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Atlantic Odyssey

South Georgia and Atlantic Cruise Information

Summary : The Atlantic Odyssey offers a unique possibility to visit some of the remotest islands in the world: South Georgia, the South Orkney Islands, Tristan da Cunha, St. Helena, Ascension Island, and Praia Island. Beautiful and often rare species live on these islands, many of them not found anywhere else in the world. Isolated local communities can also be visited.

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

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Itinerary
Day 1
Ushuaia, Argentina

In the afternoon, you will embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.

Day 2 – 5
At Sea

Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you catch a taste of life from the perspective of the polar explorers who first braved these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling waves, maybe even a fin whale blasting up a column of sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence–Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas–you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too: A variety of albatrosses and petrels show up, along with Cape pigeons and southern fulmars.

Day 6 – 8
South Georgia

Your aim is to visit some of the world’s top king penguin rookeries. This time of year you have a good chance of seeing these animals nesting on eggs, their chicks close by. The rookeries are overflowing, with waddling rush-hour traffic to and from the beach. Possible visits include:

Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour – Here you see not only the massive king penguin colony, but also elephant seals and limitless fur seal pups playing in the surf.

Prion Island – A great location to watch wandering albatrosses.

Grytviken – You have the opportunity to check out this abandoned whaling station, where king penguins now walk the streets and elephant seals lie around like they own the place—because they just about do. You might also see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave.

Cooper Bay – A great place for a Zodiac cruise, this bay also houses a rookery of macaroni penguins. King penguins, pintails, and giant petrels may also appear here.

Day 9 – 13
At Sea

In the Westerlies there is often a pleasant tailwind. On both sides of the Antarctic Convergence, you will observe many species and great numbers of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic seabirds.

Day 14
Gough Island

Approach the unique Gough Island for Zodiac cruising in Quest Bay. As always, this is weather permitting. Here you can see the Northern Rockhopper Penguins, and Sub-Antarctic Fur Seals. You will feel very privileged to be among the few visitors who have been able to experience Gough Island and in particular, to see it at such close quarters.

Day 15 – 17
Tristan da Cunha

Today you will arrive in the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, where you will call at the west side of the main island. There will be landing attempts at Nightingale Island and Inaccessible Island with millions of seabirds ranging from Yellow-nosed Albatrosses to Brown Noddies. One day will be in reserve for bad weather. Please note that weather conditions will dictate which landings are possible.

Day 18 – 21
At Sea

Enter sub-tropical waters and enjoy the company of seabirds and dolphins as you make your way to St Helena.

Day 22 – 24
St Helena

St. Helena has a good anchorage and landing site at Jamestown. On this island, you will have opportunity to enjoy local culture, pleasant climate, and endemic plants and birds. You will visit Longwood House, the place where Napoleon lived and died in exile. There will be opportunities to explore the island on your own and for snorkeling in the shallow surf where you can find a multitude of tropical and sub-tropical fish species. Some passengers will depart at this point from the newly built St Helena airport, others will continue on to Ascension Island.

Day 25 – 26
At Sea

Enjoy your time at sea along the mid-Atlantic ridge en route to Ascension Island.

Day 27 – 28
Ascension Island

Welcome to Ascension Island, a dry volcanic island with a moist and richly vegetated top. The Sooty Tern colony sometimes consists of more than 1 million breeding pairs. Join your group for an optional summit hike to visit the Sooty Terns. In the evening, she hopes to go ashore to see the egg laying Green turtles on the beach. In the evening the vessel will depart from Ascension Island.

Day 29 – 33
At Sea

Witness the northbound spring migration of northern birds like Arctic Terns and Long-tailed Skuas who will join you are you are crossing the Equator.

Day 34
Praia, Cape Verde Islands

Passengers will disembark at 9 a.m. Those who will fly from Praia on the night of April 30/May 1 will be offered an excursion in Praia on the island of Sao Tiago. Enjoy an excursion to Cidade Velha, steeped in history, and observe the massive fortress on the hill, built to deter English marauders in the period when the Crowns of Portugal and Spain were united and Portuguese possessions became as fair game to the likes of Drake and Raleigh as were Spanish ones. See the ruins of the Cathedral, the oldest Christian Church in the tropics. Stroll around the City of Praia, which is the capital of the Cape Verdes, and which has given rise to a unique variety of folk music, which you shall hear as you pass the various bars!

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.

Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase insurance including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance. 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. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.

Antarctic Peninsula (Optional):
Interested in adding the Antarctic Peninsula to your journey? Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.

Included:

Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea; luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation in Ushuaia; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; gear on loan (snowshoes and rubber boots); miscellaneous service taxes and port charges. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:

Airfare; pre- and post-land arrangements; transfers to the vessel; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; camping and kayaking; travel insurance; excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for the ship's crew; fuel surcharge may apply.

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