Summary : Embark on the polar adventure of a lifetime on a comprehensive voyage that sails to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula. Along the way, you'll explore scenic bays and channels; stop at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies, and whale feeding areas; and visit sites of historic and scientific interest. The trip may include picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, the humpback whale-favored Wilhelmina Bay, the wildlife-filled Errera Channel, the majestic Neumayer Channel, or the striking Antarctic Sound with its tabular icebergs. Travel to remote farms in the Falklands Islands that have been family-owned for up to seven generations. Marvel at sheep grazing alongside albatross colonies and rock hopper, king, and Magellanic penguin rookeries. Discover South Georgia's magnificent mountain scenery, glaciers galore, rugged coastline punctuated with castellate icebergs, rich historical tapestry, and an astounding array of wildlife.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins
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The anxiety of missed connections and flight delays is eliminated with a two-night hotel stay at the beautiful Arakur Resort & Spa. Most flights arrive in Ushuaia in the late afternoon or early evening. Bring your bathing suit, lounge in the spa, enjoy a bath, or get a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow you’ll have a full day to relax at the resort or explore town before embarkation on day three.
Today is all yours: explore some of the sights that Ushuaia has to offer, from museums to Argentinean leather markets, or continue relaxing at the Arakur. An optional evening briefing is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and meet some of your fellow travelers.
NOTE: All guests need to arrive at the hotel no later than the evening of Day 2.
This morning you’re free to explore Ushuaia or unwind at the resort until your mid-afternoon transfer to the ship. Once on board, you’ll be greeted by your expedition team and the ship’s officers. A concise safety and orientation briefing will be followed by the Captain’s welcome dinner. After dinner, relax and take in the scenery on an early evening sail through the Beagle Channel, past Magellanic penguins, rock cormorants, and black-browed albatrosses.
As you sail south you may see albatrosses, prions, and petrels that frequently follow the ship. Your expedition team will be out on deck as well, looking for the whales and dolphins that can be seen in the area. A series of informative and entertaining talks on the wildlife, history, and geology of the Falkland Islands and Southern Ocean will begin. Important briefings on environmental regulations and expedition safety will also be held in the lounge.
The westernmost settled outposts in the Falklands are remote farms that have been family-owned for up to seven generations. Sheep graze alongside albatross colonies and rockhopper, king, and Magellanic penguin rookeries as striated caracaras patrol overhead and upland geese graze at the water's edge. A visit to one of these homesteads often includes an invitation for cakes and a cup of tea.
Chosen for its sheltered harbor and access to abundant fresh water and peat for fuel, Stanley is easy to discover on foot as most shops and services are centered around the port. The museum, the post-office, plenty of shops with locally-made wool items, and Stanley's lively pubs will all be available. It is possible to experience the wildlife of the Falklands from the town, including sea lions and Peale's and Commerson's dolphins in the harbor or bird life in nearby Gypsy Cove.
There will be plenty of wildlife to spot as the ship makes its way east across the Antarctic Convergence and officially enters Antarctic waters. Shipboard presentations will continue, featuring the exciting history and abundant wildlife of South Georgia.
Its unique position inside the Antarctic Convergence yet outside the limit of the yearly sea ice, makes 1,450-square-mile South Georgia an attractive home to tens of millions of breeding penguins, seals, and seabirds. Magnificent mountain scenery, glaciers galore, a rugged coastline punctuated with castellate and tabular icebergs, a rich historical tapestry, and an astounding array of wildlife are all available to you as the ship travels down South Georgia's leeward coast.
Landing sites feature huge elephant seals, aggressive fur seals, gentoo penguins, albatross, petrels, skuas, and gulls. King penguins can be seen in the hundreds of thousands. You'll visit historic Grytviken whaling station, home of the whaling museum, Norwegian seaman's church, the active British Antarctic Survey station, and the tiny graveyard where the great Antarctic explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, is buried.
Heading farther south, attend informative presentations and watch for wildlife as the icebergs become more and more plentiful.
In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, the expedition will take as much time as possible to explore by inflatable Zodiac boats and marvel at nature’s glory up close. Your expedition leader and captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. They'll aim for the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies, and whale feeding areas, as well as sites of historic and scientific interest.
Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins abound, and Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals are often found hauled out to rest along with predatory leopard seals and the assertive Antarctic fur seal. Minke and humpback whales are frequent visitors in the late season and orca sightings are also common.
This part of the trip may include the historically rich Elephant Island, or the stunning and picturesque Antarctic Sound, where giant tabular icebergs drift in the current. Depending on weather and ice conditions you may land on the continent at Brown Bluff where wildlife thrives or explore the humpback whale-favored Cierva Cove and Gerlache Strait. If time and weather permit, you may stop off in the South Shetlands and visit Deception Island, the famous whaling station in Whalers Bay, or take one last look at the penguins at Halfmoon Island before heading north.
Leave this magical place and make your way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage. Continue to enjoy onboard presentations and wildlife spotting. As you sail to Ushuaia, Argentina through the Beagle Channel, you will celebrate the conclusion of the expedition with a special slideshow.
A morning disembarkation allows you catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for additional sightseeing and adventure.
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 are required to carry a valid travel insurance plan. This plan must cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, evacuation expenses, and pre-existing medical conditions. Additionally, passengers are strongly advised to carry a comprehensive travel insurance plan which should also include coverage for cancellation, curtailment, trip interruption, and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay or inconvenience occurring to or otherwise involving a passenger. Pre-departure forms will require travel insurance carrier, policy number, and a 24-hour contact number. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends coverage of at least $200,000 in the polar regions and can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.
The Citizen Science program is complimentary and open to all guests who want to help with real-world scientific research. Participate in a variety of hands-on activities that support important, current research projects in four major disciplines: Oceanography, Glaciology, Ornithology and Marine Biology. Collected data contributes to a better understanding of how climate change is affecting the Antarctic Continent. Projects and availability vary. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Limited to 20 guests per voyage; advanced booking is highly recommended. If you savor the peaceful feeling of floating through nature that can only be found in a kayak, you’re going to love kayaking in Antarctica. Take advantage of good weather and calm, protected waters in what are indisputably some of the most beautiful settings on earth. Participants should be capable of getting in and out of a kayak, performing a wet exit, and forward and back strokes. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Get the most out of your photography and bring home memories that will last a lifetime. On every voyage, a dedicated photography coach will be at your disposal with invaluable tips and advice on how to capture the natural beauty of this unique landscape and all that inhabit it—in the unique light and weather conditions that make Antarctica both special and challenging to photography lovers of all skill sets. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Two nights hotel accommodation in embarkation city; transfer from airport in embarkation city to group hotel (if arriving on Day 1 of itinerary and with confirmed air itinerary at least 90 days prior to departure); transfer from group hotel to ship for embarkation; group transfer upon disembarkation from the ship to airport, hotel in Ushuaia, or central location; shipboard accommodations; scheduled landings and excursions; Citizen Science program; dedicated photography guide; 200MB Wi-Fi card (for use on personal devices); Wi-Fi from the public computers in the library; digital voyage log; daily international news service; gear to keep (waterproof expedition jacket); gear on loan (insulated rubber boots); all meals onboard the ship; complimentary house wine, beer, and soft drinks with dinner; coffee, tea, and cocoa 24 hours daily; all port fees; all landing fees. Additional Inclusions for Veranda Suites and Above: En suite champagne and chocolates on arrival, complimentary minibar (beer, wine, and soft drinks), and an en suite Nespresso machine. Inclusions subject to change without notice.
Any airfare or travel expenses associated with arrival/departure in Argentina; transfer from airport to group hotel, unless arriving on day 1 of the itinerary; pre- or post-voyage expenses in Ushuaia; kayaking; laundry and personal expenses incurred on board; alcohol and soft drinks (except as listed in the inclusions); onboard communication charges such as phone calls; Wi-Fi from personal devices in excess of the 200MB provided; staff gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Polar Latitudes