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Cape to Cape with Falklands & South Georgia

South Georgia Cruise

Summary : Embark on a 22-day luxury expedition cruise, including the Falkland Islands and the South Georgia, a sub-Antarctic region formed by a chain of underwater mountains. These places of adventures are home to rich and fascinating wildlife including over 300,000 king penguins, humpback whales, elephant seals, and fur seals. On your journey between Argentina's mythical Tierra del Fuego and beautiful Cape Town, South Africa, discover three of the most isolated islands in the world: Tristan da Cunha, a volcanic and mountainous land; Gough Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to one of the world’s largest seabird colonies; and Nightingale Island, a refuge for many penguins.

Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Itinerary
Day 1
Ushuaia, Argentina

Considered to be the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, lying at the very tip of Argentina looking out over the Beagle Channel. This surprising little town of 45,000 people is surrounded by mountains and fertile plains. Tierra del Fuego's forests cover the lower slopes of the Andean mountains which are crowned with snow-capped peaks - a unique and unforgettable sight.

Upon arrival in Ushuaia, transfer to the Arakur Hotel for lunch before embarking the vessel. Or join an optional tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park (must pre-book).

Day 2
At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. For lovers of the open sea, visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest, and entertainment.

Day 3 – 4
Falkland Islands

Visit New Island with its distinctive jagged relief located on the western edge of the Falkland Islands and home to a tiny village of two families. Step onto the golden sand of its flower-lined beaches, beside which an old stone house still stands, and you'll feel like you've entered a natural paradise. A narrow pathway weaves around typical Falkland moorlands. Follow it and in under 20 minutes you'll find yourself at the heart of a colony of southern rockhopper penguins, black-browed albatross and imperial shags. It's the perfect opportunity to watch the albatross swoop down from the cliffs and skim the waves that crash against the rocks on the exposed side of the island.

Make your way through the turbulent Woolly Gut strait and emerge in the stillness of Grave Cove. Located in the northern edge of the Falkland Islands, this bay owes its name to the vestiges of whalers’ graves that overlook the beach. As you step off the boat and onto the white-sand beach, you might find yourself escorted by a few hospitable Commerson's dolphins, elegantly adorned in black and white. A stroll along the grassy dunes will lead you to a vast plain of lush green grass, tended by a few sheep. On the other side of the island you'll find one of the largest gentoo penguin colonies in the area. With some luck, you'll also glimpse a sea lion scouring the waves for his next meal.

If one island of the Falklands calls for use of superlatives, it would undoubtedly be Steeple Jason. Located at the extreme northwest corner of the Falklands, the island is home to the largest black-browed albatross colony in the world. You'll be rapt at the sight of these magnificent birds with black-contoured eyes. Photographers will delight in immortalizing the endless ballet of the albatross, who soars majestically and then alights awkwardly amidst nests. Caracaras, gentoo penguins, and Magellanic penguins are also abundantly present, as if to prove to the visitor that here nature is king.

The Neck is a narrow stretch of land connecting the two sides of Saunders Island, located on the northwestern edge of the Falklands. You'll safely enter these blustery surroundings with the assistance of your naturalist guides. And once there, a reward awaits you: a veritable paradise of endless shoreline lapped by turquoise waters. Several bird species, also attracted to this stunning location, have settled here. At the other end of The Neck, you'll encounter Magellanic penguins, southern rockhopper penguins, black-browed albatross and king penguins, all basking in the beauty of their surroundings.

Day 5 – 6
At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. For lovers of the open sea, visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest, and entertainment.

Day 7 – 9
South Georgia

Aboard your ship, discover South Georgia, a region formed by an underwater mountain chain that extends from the Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula. All the wildlife of the Far South can be found there: king and gentoo penguins, elephant seals, fur seals… You might get the chance to discover the majestic glaciers of Gold Harbor and the vast plains of Fortuna Bay. If you are fortunate enough to land at Salisbury Plain, you can expect a wonderful spectacle—home to more than 300,000 king penguins.

Day 10 – 13
At Sea

During your days at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. For lovers of the open sea, visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest, and entertainment.

Day 14
Tristan Da Cunha

A small British archipelago discovered in the 16th century by the Portuguese sailor after whom it was named, Tristan da Cunha is made up of several islands scattered off the South-African coast. Most of these are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. During your cruise, you will discover the archipelago’s eponymous main island, offering visitors basalt land lulled by the swell, home to the only village in the chain of islands, and topped with a volcano.

Day 15
Nightingale Island

This small active volcanic island belongs to the isolated Tristan da Cunha island chain, far out in the South Atlantic. Totally uninhabited, the island is visited only by researchers for whom it offers a rich field of observation. The island is colonized by over a million birds, including great shearwaters and Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross, two iconic species of these Subantarctic waters.

Day 16
Gough Island

Located in the midst of the Roaring Forties winds, this small uninhabited volcanic island is the remotest of the Tristan da Cunha islands. Stopovers here are no easy feat and require authorization. But even from your Zodiac, you'll have a chance to take in the beauty of this wild island, lined by steep cliffs that plunge dramatically into the ocean. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gough Island harbors one of the largest colonies of seabirds in the world. Endemic species include the Gough finch and the Gough moorhen. Along with its ‘little sister’, Inaccessible Island, Gough constitutes one of the most well-preserved natural sites in the world, virtually unaltered by man.

Day 17 – 20
At Sea

During your days at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. For lovers of the open sea, visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest, and entertainment.

Day 21
Cape of Good Hope / Cape Town, South Africa

Located at the southern tip of the African continent, the Cape of Good Hope was originally dubbed the Cape of Storms by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias, due to its position at the confluence of two opposing ocean currents. One of the most iconic sites on the planet, the area is a veritable paradise for a number of marine animal species. The cape is one of three promontories offering a breathtaking view onto Table Mountain National Park, a stunning expansive stretch of greenery. From your ship, you'll take in the impressive scene of ocean waves crashing against steep, towering cliffs.

Dynamic and peaceful, cosmopolitan and hip, Cape Town offers its visitors a most unique mix. Here, the locals like to say that their city is “the quintessential melting pot of South Africa”. Located in the heart of one of the most beautiful bays in the world and dominated by the famous Table Mountain, it is graced with extraordinary landscapes including sheer cliffs that plunge into the Atlantic Ocean and vast whitesand beaches. Further on, the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve awaits you and is home to a wide variety of endemic fauna and flora.

Day 22
Cape Town, South Africa

Disembark the vessel after breakfast.

Notes

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.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Bilingual Departures: All departures are French/English.

Included:

One-way flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia; meet and greet by your representatives in Ushuaia and transfer from airport to ship; meals on board the ship; captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner; luggage transfer between pier and ship; mineral water, tea, filter coffee, a selection of white, red and rosé wines offered during meals, afternoon tea; open bar (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands - list available upon request) onboard ship; crew gratuities; 24-hour room service (special selection); butler service is included for guests staying in Deck 6 Suites; parka; boot rental. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:

Airfare; passport and visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable; any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned; spa charges; beverages other than those mentioned; laundry services, hair salon; personal expenses, Wi-Fi, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions; cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s); fuel surcharge may apply.

Photos: © Olivier Blaud, © Lorraine Turci

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