Summary : Embark on a voyage featuring the abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery of the Antarctic Peninsula, Falkland Islands and South Georgia, including classic sites of historic and scientific interest. As many as a million penguins nest in the Falklands every summer, representing five of the world’s seventeen species – king, gentoo, rockhopper, Magellanic and macaroni. Observe abandoned whaling stations, and operational research stations. Encounter humpback, orca and minke whales; albatross and herons; as well as elephant, fur and weddell seals. Along the journey, your team of experienced guides and lecturers will bring to life the region's remarkable history. In Antarctica, the silence is so perfect that every breath taken is triumphant!
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
$13,395 to $31,495
Welcome to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and starting point of your expedition. Upon your arrival at the airport transfer you will be transferred to your included hotel. For the rest of the day you are free to explore the city.
Arrive at the ship via group transfer in the afternoon where you will be greeted by the expedition team and ship's officers at a safety and orientation briefing followed by the captain's welcome dinner. After dinner, relax and take in the mountainous scenery on an early evening sail down the Beagle Channel keeping an eye out for penguins, cormorants, and sea lion colonies.
After transiting the Beagle Channel and passing the islands of Tierra del Fuego, head south across the Drake Passage. On the way cross the Antarctic Convergence, the biological boundary of the Southern Ocean. Briefings, orientations, and lectures from your expert staff prepare you for your arrival in Antarctica.
The wilderness of Antarctica is subject to unpredictable weather and ever-changing ice conditions, which dictate the route and exploration opportunities. This is a real expedition with excellent wildlife viewing, amazing scenery, and excursions via Zodiac.
The Antarctic Peninsula region contains some of the world’s most impressive scenery and some of Antarctica’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Protected bays and narrow channels are surrounded by towering mountain peaks covered in permanent snow and immense glaciers. Icebergs of every size and description complete an image of incomparable beauty. Waters rich with krill are home to a variety of whale and seal species. The whole area is alive with penguins foraging at sea and forming large nesting colonies at special places on land. The area is also home to Antarctic research stations of various nationalities. Some stations have a gift shop and post office.
The South Shetland Islands are the northernmost islands in Antarctica and will likely be your first sighting of land. This wild and beautiful island chain contains numerous landing sites with abundant wildlife and historical significance. Among them is Elephant Island, where men from Shackleton’s famous Endurance expedition spent the winter.
Farther south, on the Antarctic Peninsula, the vast Gerlache Strait area contains sheltered bays, accessible wildlife, and stunning scenery. Places with names like Paradise Bay are the epitome of everything Antarctic: glaciated mountains, towering icebergs, feeding whales, seals on ice floes, and bustling penguin colonies.
At the southern end of Gerlache Strait is the famous Lemaire Channel, also known as “Kodak Gap” because of the photogenic way the mountainous sides of the narrow channel are reflected in calm waters strewn with icebergs.
From Antarctica head northeast toward South Georgia. Pelagic seabirds including the majestic albatross are common in these waters and can readily be viewed from panoramic open decks or from exterior stateroom windows and balconies. Briefings and lectures from expert staff prepare you for your arrival in South Georgia.
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic. Your route and exploration opportunities in South Georgia are heavily dependent on the weather conditions encountered. Your experienced captain and expedition leader decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. You can be sure that the best possible advantage will be taken of the circumstances presented by Nature in this wild and remote corner of the world.
South Georgia is a scenic wilderness and an unrivaled paradise for subantarctic wildlife viewing. The islands are said to host upwards of 100 million seabirds, including numerous species of albatross, penguins, prions, petrels, and terns. On beaches such as those at Salisbury Plain and St. Andrews Bay, over 100,000 elephant seals and three million fur seals jostle for space among innumerable penguins including stately king penguins and sprightly macaroni penguins.
The bountiful waters surrounding South Georgia are also inhabited by an increasing number of whales. The historical whaling station of Grytviken is now home to the excellent South Georgia Museum managed by the South Georgia Heritage Trust. This is also the final resting place of Ernest Shackleton, the legendary polar explorer.
Your days in South Georgia are filled with memorable excursions, sumptuous meals, presentations by experts, and enough incredible scenery and wildlife to fill your camera and delight your senses.
From South Georgia head west toward the Falkland Islands. Presentations and workshops by expert staff, as well as a range of onboard recreation facilities, ensure that these days at sea are not idly spent.
The remote and sparsely-populated Falkland Islands are a birders’ paradise. Visit one or more of the isolated outer islands where large colonies of penguins and albatross are easily accessible. The Falklands are also a great place to observe marine mammals. Fur seals and elephant seals can be found on sandy beaches while the waters in and around the archipelago are home to various whale and dolphin species. Route and exploration opportunities are dependent on weather among these windswept islands.
Visit Stanley, the charmingly British capital of the Falkland Islands. Attractions within pleasant walking distance along the waterfront promenade include the Falkland Islands Museum, the governor’s house, a cathedral with impressive whalebone arch outside, a war memorial, quality gift shops, and pubs.
From the Falkland Islands proceed north toward Puerto Madryn. Keep a lookout for marine mammals such as dolphins and whales. This is also the time for your End of Voyage ceremonies including slideshow and farewell dinner.
After breakfast, say farewell in the city of Puerto Madryn. A group transfer is provided to the airport or to the town center if you wish to spend more time here.
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.
Bilingual Departure: English/German
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage including medical, evacuation, cancellation and trip interruption. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.
Kayaking: $850 per person
Space is limited. Sign up at the time of booking to secure your spot. You must book your spot before you join the vessel for your voyage. Weather permitting, sea kayakers will have the opportunity to paddle through tranquil waters filled with glittering icebergs and porpoising penguins while surrounded by magnificent glaciers and mountains. Participants must be at least 18 years old, in good health, have appropriate physical fitness, and have previous kayaking experience.
Photography Program: Included in price
Learn and practice your photography alongside an experienced professional. An expert Photographer will be on hand to answer your questions and give advice, both in the form of on-board lectures and workshops on shore. Explore the key elements of photography in a fun and relaxed setting, with plenty of opportunities for questions and feedback. Learn how to see light in a new way and experiment with the techniques of composition and framing.
Group transfers from airport to Ushuaia hotel on the day prior to departure; 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Ushuaia (if a single traveler reserves a shared cabin aboard the ship, they will automatically receive shared hotel accommodations on the pre-cruise night at the hotel); group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation; group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation in Ushuaia; shipboard accommodations; scheduled landings/excursions; meals on board ship; coffee/tea station 24 hours on ship; welcome and farewell cocktail on ship; a pair of rubber boots on loan for shore landings; expedition jacket (yours to keep); port fees; pre-departure materials; digital Voyage Log. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; visa and passport fees (if applicable); luggage, medical and trip cancellation insurance; excess baggage charges; soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those mentioned as included; kayaking; personal expenses such as laundry, and onboard communications (telephone calls, faxes, and e-mail service); gratuities to shipboard personnel; fuel surcharge may apply; emergency evacuation insurance; pre- or post-cruise travel
Photos © Poseidon Expeditions