Summary : South Georgia has rightly been called ‘the greatest wildlife show on earth.' After in-depth exploration, you'll understand why. Traditionally, visits to South Georgia last only three or four days and are part of a much longer itinerary en route to Antarctica, but this unique opportunity offers eight full days of exploration in South Georgia. This trip is timed to coincide with the arrival of spring in the Sub-Antarctic region. Early November marks the beginning of wildlife migration and commencement of the breeding cycle for many species. Scenes of male elephant seals battling for control of beaches (and female harems), the intimate and beautiful courtship rituals of the albatross, and the antics of young penguin chicks will have you believing you are 'on the set' of your very own wildlife documentary. An additional highlight of this departure will be the shipboard photography symposium open to all guests. Members of the photographic team each have a special area of expertise including wildlife photography, landscape, and composition, along with technical elements including gear, equipment, computer-based processing, file management, and storage. With a varied and diverse itinerary and flexible plans, photography symposium participants will aim to make the most out of the beautiful light, even if it's outside of conventional shore landing times. Regular programs operate throughout this expedition because the photographers are additional staff members.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
$13,195 to $19,995
Your journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, Argentina. Gather at a central meeting point, transfer to the pier, and embark your expedition ship. After settling into your cabin and exploring the ship, meet your expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as you enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in its bio-diversity and showcases an abundance of astonishing wildlife. You are joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as you make your way to South Georgia. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill. Your photography guides will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s captain on the bridge to learn about the operations of a modern research vessel. Throughout the day, onboard experts will educate you with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife, and history of the locations you will visit in the coming days. History is a key theme of this voyage and the epic story of Sir Ernest Shackleton is central to your journey.
Often referred to as the ‘Serengeti of the Southern Ocean’, South Georgia is one of the planet’s most significant biological hotspots. Imagine tens of thousands of King penguins—stretching as far as the eye can see from the ocean to the base of alpine peaks—and going ashore at pivotal historic sites from the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. It is simply spectacular and not to be missed.
Landing sites on South Georgia are varied and are largely determined by the weather and sea conditions on your voyage. Whatever sites you visit—such as Grytviken, Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbor, Fortuna Bay, and Stromness—you’ll have wildlife encounters unrivaled anywhere else on earth.
Spend time catching up on journal entries or perhaps downloading and reviewing photos in the multimedia lab with your photography guides. For some, it's a chance to catch some well-earned rest after busy days of exploration. The lounges and bar areas provide fantastic panoramas and are great places to sit with a book and a hot drink.
The educational presentations continue. Enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by your expedition leader. A particular highlight of the return journey will be frequent sightings of albatross, petrels, and other seabirds as they soar above the ship on the winds of the Southern Ocean. Take the time to enjoy a quiet moment on the outer deck and reflect on a truly remarkable journey to the farthest reaches of the planet.
This morning, find yourself in the port of Stanley. Say goodbye to your crew and after some free time in town, make your way to the airport for the return charter flight to Santiago. (See 'Additional Costs.') Upon arrival in Santiago, your journey comes to an end.
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.
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must obtain a valid and enforceable policy of travel and baggage insurance including full coverage for medical, dental, accident, repatriation/evacuation (including helicopter) and baggage, together with (for all insurances) any coverage extensions required for the region and activities of the travel. The policy must also cover injury, illness and death, medical expenses, including any related to pre-existing medical conditions, personal effects and personal liability. Passengers must be able to provide evidence of insurance to the shipping company upon request. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for polar trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage, and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Once you have booked your voyage to the Polar Regions, you will be required to complete a Medical Information Form. This form must be completed, signed, and returned no later than 90 days prior to departure.
Important Voyage Logistics:
Trip Planning: This trip commences in Ushuaia, Argentina. It is recommended that you arrive in Ushuaia at least one day prior to the scheduled voyage departure as a buffer in the event of any unexpected travel delays between home, voyage embarkation, and departure. The voyage concludes in Stanley, Falkland Islands. Upon disembarkation in Stanley you will fly to Santiago, Chile via a special charter flight that arrives in the late afternoon. (see Additional Costs.) It is advised that you book your outward flight from late afternoon/early evening onward—or consider spending a night in Santiago—to avoid missed connections.
Luggage Limits: Different luggage limits apply to the special charter flights between Stanley and Santiago. Please observe a limit of 20-kg / 44-lb for checked baggage and 5-kg / 11-lb for carry-on baggage. There is no facility to purchase excess luggage on this flight. Excess baggage can be stored for the duration of your voyage for a small fee. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Limited to 30 guests. Pre-booking required. Must have prior sea kayaking experience. All intending kayakers must complete a questionnaire outlining their paddling experience and also attend several compulsory onboard meetings prior to the first kayak excursion. Provided equipment includes full Gore-Tex drysuits, kayak specific PFDs, neoprene booties, a waterproof deck bag, pogies, and a single or double kayak. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Photography Symposium: pre-booking required
On this photography symposium you'll travel with a team of highly experienced professional photographers who offer one-on-one support and personal photographic critique to improve your camera skills. The members of the photographic team each have a special area of expertise including wildlife photography, landscape, and composition along with technical elements including gear, equipment, computer-based processing, file management, and storage. You'll make regular use of the shipboard multimedia studio for breakout sessions and to review and critique your images. The photographic goals on this departure will be formed and led by the light available both onshore and on the water. The program is designed for all skill levels and different camera types, no extra charges apply, and participation is optional. Limited availability. Pre-register at time of booking. Regular programs operate throughout the trip because the photographers are additional staff members. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Transfer from central meeting point in Ushuaia to ship on Day 1; transfer from ship to airport in Falkland Islands; shipboard accommodations; photography symposium; assistance of resident photography guide(s); experienced expedition leader and professional expedition team of marine biologists, naturalists, historians, and adventure guides; daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat; guided hikes and walks on shore of various durations for guests of all abilities; visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty, and science stations; educational presentations and talks by polar specialists onboard or ashore; access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads, file back up, and management; emergency-trained physician on every voyage; use of onboard library, sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi, and fitness center; end of voyage video, photos and take-home USB; gear on loan (waterproof/windproof jacket, bib pants, insulated rubber boots, binoculars, and trekking poles); all meals onboard the ship; daily housekeeping; daily afternoon tea; 24-hour tea, coffee, and hot chocolate in the lounge and in all cabins (replenished daily); port fees and permits to access visited areas. Inclusions subject to change without notice.
Charter flights; any international or local airfare unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary; visa and passport expenses; pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodations unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged); pre- or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged); personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges, laundry expenses or spa services such as massage; telecommunication charges (i.e. email, satellite phone); baggage, cancellation, or medical travel insurance-related expenses (travel insurance is mandatory on all voyages); a voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and ship crew. Fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © David Sinclair, © Ira Meyer, © Renato Granieri, © One Ocean Expeditions