Summary : Set sail on an epic transatlantic voyage aboard the National Geographic Endurance. Venture from Buenos Aires, Argentina to the windswept splendors of the Falkland Islands, and from the wildlife havens of the South Atlantic to the far-flung volcanic isles of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Encounter thousands of king penguins in South Georgia; meet residents of the world’s most remote inhabited island, Tristan da Cunha; and explore the legacy of Napoléon Bonaparte on Saint Helena. Accompanied by a world-class team of experts and photographers, soak up the serenity of the open sea on a journey that recalls the Golden Age of Exploration.
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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$25,350 to $49,870
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Depart the U.S. on an overnight flight to Buenos Aires. Discover the city’s beaux arts architecture, the bohemian neighborhoods of La Boca and San Telmo, and the balcony immortalized by Argentina’s iconic first lady, Eva Perón.
Arrive today in Buenos Aires and transfer to your included hotel.
Take a charter flight to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch on a catamaran cruise on the dramatic Beagle Channel, gliding past beech forests, jagged peaks, and rushing rivers. Later, step aboard National Geographic Endurance.
As you set a course for the Falkland Islands, settle into life aboard the ship. Enjoy discussions with your naturalists about the wonders that await; and spend time on deck, scanning the horizon for petrels, penguins, and albatrosses.
Some 300 miles off the coast of Argentina lie the remote Falkland Islands, where green tussock grass waves across endless hills and pristine white-sand beaches stretch as far as the eye can see. Spend two days exploring the archipelago’s diverse landscapes, and encounter the incredible wildlife of the South Atlantic, including one of the world’s largest colonies of albatrosses; thousands of gentoo, rockhopper, and Magellanic penguins; elephant and fur seals; and more.
During two days at sea, traverse 750 nautical miles en route to South Georgia. Enjoy leisure time and attend expert-led talks about the history of Antarctic exploration, as well as the flora, fauna, and geology of South Georgia. Join your naturalists on deck to identify the seabirds that follow, such as prions and black-browed albatrosses.
Spend three spectacular days exploring the island of South Georgia. In keeping with the nature of an expedition, your schedule remains flexible, and anticipate myriad opportunities for walking, hiking, kayaking, and Zodiac excursions. Encounter elephant seals, leopard seals, and fur seals; cliffs inhabited by hundreds of nesting albatrosses; and shores peppered with tens of thousands of king penguins. Your stops may include visits to the abandoned whaling station at Grytviken, which played a part in the extraordinary story of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated expedition and is now the explorer’s final resting place; as well as Stromness Bay, where Shackleton, Tom Crean, and Frank Worsley finally reached help after a year and a half stranded in Antarctica.
Choose from an array of shipboard activities. Attend a photo workshop with your National Geographic photographer, treat yourself to a massage or a wellness class, or compete for prizes in a Geo Bee. As you approach the remote islands of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, spot active volcanic cones from the ship’s deck.
This morning take a Zodiac excursion along Inaccessible Island to look for arctic terns and the endemic Inaccessible Island rail, the world‘s smallest flightless bird. Later, step foot on the planet’s most remote inhabited island, home to some 250 hardy souls. Meet local islanders to learn about their culture and history and hear about the self-sufficient farming and lobster trade that sustains them. Hike with your naturalists in search of northern rockhopper penguins, Atlantic yellow-nosed albatrosses, and other wildlife.
Enjoy the rhythms of shipboard life as you sail across the Tropic of Capricorn. Soak up the views from one of the infinity-style hot tubs or saunas; enjoy a stretching session in the glass-walled yoga studio; and attend engaging presentations on a range of subjects, from 15th-century Portuguese and Spanish navigators to talks from your photography team on how to organize and share your images.
Explore this volcanic tropical isle where Napoléon Bonaparte lived out his final years in exile. Visit the notorious French emperor’s residence, Longwood House, and learn about the memoirs he dictated here.
After time at sea, make landfall on the pristine beaches of Ascension Island, which serve as vital breeding grounds for endangered green sea turtles that lay their eggs on these shores at night. Don a mask and go snorkeling in crystalline waters or stretch out on a deserted beach.
As you sail north across the Atlantic Equatorial Countercurrent, celebrate your Equator crossing. Luxuriate on deck and soak up the fresh sea air and beautiful views with a glass of champagne in hand. If conditions permit, you may launch Zodiacs mid-ocean—to cross the equator and take photos to prove it!
Arrive in the isolated Cape Verde Islands, a waystation for the Atlantic slave trade during the 16th century. On the island of Santiago, venture to the Cidade Velha, or old city, to explore its 16th-century royal fortress and World Heritage-designated historic center.
Continue to the scenic isle of Fogo, named “fire” in Portuguese for the massive, five-mile-wide volcanic cone that dominates its landscape. Head up to the rim of the ancient volcano and descend 5,000 feet, where you are transported to a world of stark lava flows. Surprisingly, there is a community living inside the caldera—producing wine!—and you are invited for a tasting.
Visit the ship’s Bridge as you sail northward across the Tropic of Cancer. Soak up the serenity of these final days at sea before your finale on the edge of Europe.
Drop anchor in the azure waters of the Canary Islands, which occupied a central place in the history of Atlantic exploration. The larger island of La Palma is known as La Isla Bonita, or “the pretty island,” for its lushly forested mountain slopes set against azure waters. Enjoy a scenic drive up to Mirador de la Concepción, perched on the edge of a crater. Take in fantastic views of the town and harbor below and visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Snows, with its fusion of baroque and Spanish-Moorish architecture. On the island of La Gomera, visit a house where Christopher Columbus stayed while his ships were provisioned with supplies, then stretch your legs on a hike in the verdant Garajonay National Park.
Disembark your ship in enchanting Madeira, a subtropical island abloom in flora. First settled by the Portuguese in 1419, the island’s capital city of Funchal evokes a colonial time capsule with architecture from the 15th through the 19th centuries. Explore its winding streets on a guided tour, then fly to Lisbon and check in to your included hotel for your final night.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to New York (flight costs extra).
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.
ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage 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.
One pre-cruise hotel night in Buenos Aires with breakfast; one post-cruise hotel night in Lisbon with breakfast; transfer between airport/hotel/ship if booked on recommended flights; shipboard accommodations; kayaking; certified photo instructor; video chronicle of your trip; all meals onboard ship; most beverages onboard ship; crew gratuities. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; passport and visa expenses; immigration fees; travel insurance; premium alcohol aboard ship; items of a personal nature such as Internet and laundry; optional extensions; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos ©: Ralph Lee Hopkins (King Penguin Sunset, Elephant Seal Pups, Kayak and Whale, Shackleton's Grave, Albatross, King Penguins and Passengers); Sven-Olof Lindblad (Penguins on Ice, Kayak and Seal); Michael S. Nolan (Penguin, South Georgia Landscape, Penguins and Kayak, King Penguins, Stanley Falklands, and Seals, Zodiac and Whale)