Summary : With its enormous King Penguin colonies, historic sites of Antarctic exploration and dramatic glaciated scenery, there is nowhere else quite like South Georgia on Earth. You might see elephant seals sunbathe on volcanic beaches, albatross circle overhead while the remnants of whaling stations tell the stories of sailors past. This expedition will see the dramatic highlights of the South Georgia archipelago before turning south to explore the wildlife-abundant wilderness of the Antarctic Peninsula. Whether a history buff, wildlife enthusiast or keen photographer, this adventure - journeying from South America to the sub-Antarctic and then the vast white continent itself - is the ultimate voyage to experience it all. After a day of hiking and local cuisine in the picturesque seaside town of Ushuaia, Argentina, the Ocean Endeavour will sail east. A few sea days will introduce you to the ocean ecology, rare seabirds and dramatic skies of the Southern Ocean before the horizon is taken over by the dramatic peaks of South Georgia.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins
$14,995 to $22,995
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Arrive in Ushuaia and transfer from the airport to your included hotel.
Transfer from the hotel to ship for embarkation.
Sailing east, your time at sea can be spent learning from your on-board team of experts and guides through talks, workshops or casual conversation. Or take to the Ocean Endeavour’s esplanade deck for panoramic views of the southern skies and the albatross that frequent them. These wanderers of the ocean will guide the ship toward your next destination while lecturers in ornithology, geology, glaciology and biology will prepare you to understand this remote and unique wilderness.
On day six of your expedition, hanging glaciers and the echoing howls of adolescent fur seals will emerge from the morning fog of South Georgia. It’s on these very shores that famed Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackelton landed his crew of the James Caird in search of help for his party stranded on Elephant Island. Spend the next few days retracing some of Shackleton’s steps, visiting his grave at the ex-whaling station of Grytviken and wandering among hundreds of thousands of king penguins in dramatic South Georgian light. Across the island, dark volcanic beaches are backgrounded by hanging glaciers and penguin species nest among tussock grass along hikes to alpine lakes. For keen birders, one might even spot the South Georgia pipit - the world’s most southerly endemic passerine.
After a thorough exploration of this remote and rugged land, bid farewell to South Georgia and turn toward the Antarctic Peninsula. Sailing further south each day, it’s here that the Southern Ocean comes into a whole new realm; where icebergs appear on the horizon at Cape Petrels flank the Ocean Endeavour as you gain sight of the frozen continent on the horizon. During these two days, your onboard education program will continue with a focus on the Antarctic marine life, history and geopolitics of the area.
Day 12 will see the Ocean Endeavour sailing among the icebergs and penguin colonies of the world’s last true wilderness - the Antarctic continent. As you approach the peninsula from the north, you’ll begin your immersive Antarctic experience with more zodiac excursions cruising among the brash ice or landing at some of the area’s most celebrated vantage points. To begin the true Antarctic wildlife experience, immerse yourselves within the sights and sounds of a gentoo or chinstrap penguin colony - a chance to marvel at these aquatic birds and witness their brief summer activities in this frozen land.
Across the following days, the Ocean Endeavour will venture even further south, your captain seeking the most prized of pristine Antarctic wilderness and aiming to access such famous sites as Neko Harbour, Port Lockroy and the Lemaire Channel. Along the way, your experts on the vessel’s bridge will be scanning for seals and the marine leviathans that call these waters home during the austral summer. Here, among the ice, continue your exploration with snowshoeing, camping, kayaking (extra fee) and even take the chance for a polar plunge!
In celebration of all that South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula have given over the previous days, bid farewell to the seventh continent from the decks of the Ocean Endeavour with a toast to the Antarctic at sunset.
Disembark the ship after breakfast and transfer to the airport.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions—and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase emergency evacuation/repatriation insurance; a minimum of $150,000 is advised by the shipping company. The medical insurance must be able to cover all existing health issues the passenger might have. It must also cover medical treatment and medical evacuation in any of the areas traveled. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for Antarctic trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Paddling in small groups, you’ll glide between ice floes, brash ice and icebergs dotted with wildlife. Previous kayaking experience is required. It is recommended to have been in a kayak at least three times before. You will need to verify your travel and medical insurance prior to commencing kayaking. Kayakers should be aged 14 or over.
Optional Photography Private Workshop:
Includes workshops prior to arrival in Antarctica, critiquing sessions while in Antarctica and editing workshops on the return journey. Some Zodiac excursions will be on forward-facing Zodiacs with your photography guide at your side on landings too.
One pre-cruise hotel night in Ushuaia with breakfast; transfer from Ushuaia airport to hotel on Day 1; transfer from hotel to pier on Day 2; transfer from ship to Ushuaia airport on disembarkation day; shipboard accommodations; gear to keep (wind and water resistant jacket); gear on loan (rubber boots, hiking poles); onboard yoga; all meals onboard ship; soft drinks during meal times. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; accommodations other than those mentioned as included; passport and visa expenses if applicable; optional adventure and photography programs and activities; alcohol; Wi-Fi; communication charges; all items of a personal nature; laundry; required travel insurance; gratuities; excess baggage charges; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos ©: The Ocean Endeavour Company; Jennifer Santoyo