Summary : Steeped in Shackleton and whaling lore, covered mostly in glaciers, South Georgia explodes with life: king, gentoo, and macaroni penguins, enormous elephant seals and a thriving fur seal population. On South Georgia you can observe one of the world’s great wildlife spectacles—tens of thousands of stately king penguins on a single beach. See the human face of the region in the Falklands, reminiscent of Great Britain, with grazing sheep, tea and crumpets. And in this privileged place, the albatross reveal the beauty of their mysterious lives.
All departures are Photo Expeditions, see end of page for details.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Depart the U.S. on an overnight flight to Santiago, Chile.
Arrive today and check into your centrally located hotel, and have the morning to relax. Santiago is nearly surrounded by the Andes, which form an inspiring backdrop to your afternoon guided overview of this vibrant city. Explore the Plaza de Armas, the main square, and nearby Presidential Palace, enjoying wonderful views from the many hills that dot the city. In the early evening, gather for an informal reception and a drink at the hotel.
Fly by private charter flight to the Falklands, arriving in Mount Pleasant with a transfer to Stanley, the capital. You'll have time to stroll the photogenic tin-roofed, colonial-style houses of Stanley, seeing the Anglican Cathedral with its organic archway of whale bones before embarking the National Geographic Explorer.
Each Falkland Island is a variation on the theme of topographical beauty with white-sand beaches, vaulting cliffs, windswept moors, and the sunlit yellows and greens of waving tussock grass. While the Falklands boasts a human population (3,000 people in total; 2,500 of whom live in the capital, Stanley) the animals—specifically thousands of irresistible gentoo, rockhopper and Magellanic penguins, magnificent albatross with 11-foot wingspans, and curious fur seals—vastly outnumber them and constitute a major draw for wildlife.
During your days at sea, you can learn about the fascinating history of Antarctic exploration, as well as the flora, fauna, and geology of South Georgia—and the riveting story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance. Naturalists help to identify the seabirds that follow the ship: wandering albatross, prions, and black-browed albatross. There’ll also be time to browse the library or workout in the gym.
Steeped in Shackleton and whaling lore, covered mostly in glaciers, South Georgia explodes with life: gentoo and macaroni penguins, enormous snorting elephant seals, and a thriving fur seal population. Here on South Georgia, dubbed the "Serengeti of the Southern Ocean", you can observe one of the world’s great wildlife spectacles—literally tens of thousands of stately king penguins on a single beach! This is also the setting for the historic adventure story of Sir Ernest Shackleton aboard the ill-fated Endurance, and you’ll visit his gravesite at Grytviken to drink a toast to “the Boss.”
With whales beneath and birds above, head up to the bridge, or spend these days enjoying the ship’s fitness center, library, and observation deck. After time at sea, your journey across the South Atlantic Ocean takes you once more to the island archipelago that teems with nature. Your afternoon visit to Port Stanley offers a chance to see the human face of the islands, to meet the hospitable locals, hoist a drink at a local pub, and stroll around this remote colonial town.
After breakfast, disembark in the Falklands' capital city of Stanley, and transfer to the airport at Mount Pleasant for your charter flight to Santiago to connect with your overnight flight home.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for 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.
Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor:
On all departures, a certified photo instructor will be at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. Take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera— point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.
Optional Post-Trip Extension: Easter Island
Follow your Antarctica expedition with a visit to one of the most mysterious places on earth—Easter Island. Home to the silent sentinels of a long lost culture, this tiny island is located 2,300 miles west of Chiles in the Pacific Ocean and almost 1,200 miles from its nearest island neighbor. Learn about the ancient Rapa Nui culture that grew up in isolation. Where did these people come from and why did they carve more than 600 giant moai? Learn from key archaeologists. Flights must be booked through ExpeditionTrips. Trip length and rate varies due to airline schedules. Rates below are for trips that are five days; rates will be higher if longer than five days is required for flight schedules. Please inquire.
5-Day Double Occupancy from: Please inquire
5-Day Single Occupancy from: Please inquire
One pre-cruise hotel night in Santiago; transfer between airport/hotel/ship if booked on recommended flights; shipboard accommodations; kayaking; certified photo instructor; video chronicle of your trip; parka; all meals onboard ship; most beverages onboard ship; crew gratuities. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; extensions; passport and visa expenses; baggage/accident/cancellation insurance; immigration fees; items of a personal nature such as premium alcoholic beverages, Internet, and laundry; optional extensions; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos ©: Ralph Lee Hopkins (King Penguins Water, Falklands Floral Landscape, Albatross); Michael S. Nolan (Hikers/Landscape, King Penguins/Landscape, Stanley Village, Penguin Sunset, Fur Seal, Rockhopper Penguins)