Antarctica, South Georgia + Falkland Islands
» Nov 9 2019 – Nov 27 2019 (19 DAYS)
» EMBARKATION: Port Stanley
» DISEMBARKATION: Ushuaia
EXPEDITION IN BRIEF
- Observe large penguin rookeries on shore and from Zodiacs
- Follow the course taken by Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose journey remains one of the greatest feats of navigation in history
- Explore wildlife-rich Sea Lion Island and Bleaker Island
- Navigate the Antarctic Peninsula, witnessing tabular icebergs, penguin rookeries, and whales
- Day 1 – Punta Arenas — Falkland Island
- Days 2 – West Point Island and Saunders Island
- Days 3 to 4 – At sea towards south Georgia
- Day 5 to 8 – Exploration of South Georgia
- Day 9 to 11 – At sea towards Antarctica
- Days 12 and 16 – South Shetland islands and Antarctica Peninsula
- Days 17 to 18 – At sea return to USH
- Day 19 – Ushuaia
This voyage is specifically timed to coincide with the arrival of spring as the region emerges from the long and frigid winter. It is an exceptional time to visit the sub-Antarctic islands and Antarctica.
The early season marks the beginning of the wildlife migration and commencement of the breeding cycle for many species. In South Georgia, scenes of male elephant seals battling for control of the beaches (and the female harems), and the intimate and beautiful courtship rituals of the albatross, will have you believing you are ‘on the set’ of your very own wildlife documentary. Indeed, it is no surprise that many of the famous wildlife documentaries of the region are filmed at this time of year.
To the south lies Antarctica where the ice and snow conditions are in pristine condition. This is an incredibly dynamic time to experience the Antarctic eco-system. Penguins are returning and busy re-establishing their rookeries, breeding and nesting precious eggs. Seals are on the move and busy feeding as the sea ice breaks up. Early season whales are starting to return. Over 19 days you will explore on shore in the company of expert guides – including naturalists, marine biologists, ornithologists and adventurers as well as our resident photography professional. A flight at the begining of our voyage saves several days of sea time, meaning we spend more time exploring on shore and in the Zodiac boats.
ITINERARY DAY BY DAY
DAY 1 / PUNTA ARENAS (CHILE) – FALKLAND ISLANDS
(SATURDAY, 09 NOVEMBER 2019)
Our journey commences this morning in the southern Chilean city of Punta Arenas. We meet at a central location before transferring to the airport for our scheduled flight to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. (This flight is included in the price of your voyage). After a short 90-minute journey we are met on arrival and transferred to the pier. Stanley is currently home to just over 2,000 residents and is reminiscent of a rural town in coastal Britain. It is charming with brightly colored houses, pretty flower-filled gardens, a quaint cathedral and several local pubs. There is time to explore the town before ship embarkation. After settling in to our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the
air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail, dinner and cast off for the adventure of a lifetime
DAY 2 / WEST POINT ISLAND AND SAUNDERS ISLAND
Overnight we have navigated across the north of the Falkland Island archipelago and today offers an incredible introduction to the wildlife of the Sub-Antarctic. Our plan is to explore the island of West Point and nearby Saunders Island. West Point is known for its rockhopper penguin rookeries and substantial nesting black-browed albatross colony. The opportunity to observe these spectacular birds in close proximity, and on the nest is
an immense privilege and an experience not easily forgotten. Repositioning the ship, a visit to the wildlife-rich Saunders Island beckons. Along the white sand beaches and in the surrounding tussock grass we hope to encounter no less than four penguin species living in close quarters including gentoo, magellanic
and rockhopper the impressive king penguin, with their colourful orange, gold and grey plumage. We depart the Falkland Islands tonight bound for South Georgia.
DAYS 3-4 / AT SEA – TOWARDS SOUTH GEORGIA
We chart a southeasterly course bound for South Georgia. The seabirds once again join us in the Southern Ocean. Our educational presentations continue and are always popular. History is a key theme of this voyage and the epic story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition
is central to any trip to South Georgia. Perhaps you will pick up some valuable tips from our onboard photographic guide, learning about image composition, the subtle polar light and all the basics of good camera craft. We will also learn about Polar conservation – a theme particularly close to the hearts of our guides and crew.
DAY 5-8 / EXPLORATION OF SOUTH GEORGIA
South Georgia has often been called the ‘Serengeti of the Southern Ocean’ – and as we approach the deep bays of this rugged, rocky outcrop, you will begin to see why. Launching the Zodiacs we begin our exploration of the island, in the vicinity of Elsehul Bay. Large numbers of fur seals and the much larger elephant seal will line the dark sand beaches. Living in the tussock grass, king penguins and their chicks may number up to 100,000 birds in some locations, including Salisbury Plain,
St Andrews Bay and Gold Harbour. The island is also home to large numbers of nesting albatross as they fill the skies above, coming and going from the nest.
South Georgia is a thrilling location for history lovers and the rusting relics of the early whaling industry are all around us.
We hope to observe several of the old stations at locations including Leith, Husvik and Stromness. A highlight is a visit to Grytviken – the largest of the whaling stations, situated at the head of Cumberland Bay. It is here we visit the gravesite of Sir Ernest Shackleton. For many, being in the presence of the great explorer will be a highlight of the trip. An excellent museum at Grytviken, maintained by the South Georgia Heritage Trust and the restored church built by the original Norwegian whalers provides a fascinating glimpse into the past.
DAYS 9-11 / AT SEA – TOWARDS ANTARCTICA
Weather and ice will dictate our crossing of the Scotia Sea from South Georgia to Antarctica. As with all of our itinerary planning, our Expedition Leader and Captain will make a decision based on the sea and ice conditions at the time. The South Orkney Island group represent the peaks of a submarine mountain range called the Scotia Arc, connecting South Georgia to the South Shetland Islands. Often shrouded in fog and surrounded by ice much of the year, a chance to visit these islands doesn’t come often. As we edge ever closer to the frozen continent, large icebergs announce our arrival in Antarctic waters. If conditions allow, we hope to see the dark cliffs of Elephant Island appear on the horizon. Shackleton and his men were encamped here for many months, having lost HMS Endurance in the thick sea ice, far to the south in the Weddell Sea in 1915. From the tiny beach at Point Wild, Shackleton and six companions set off on the rescue mission to South Georgia, aboard the tiny lifeboat, James Caird. To this day, the epic ocean crossing is considered one of the greatest in history.
If conditions allow, we will attempt a landing at Point Wild on Elephant Island.
DAYS 12 – 16 / SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS AND ANTARCTICA PENINSULA
Around 60 miles off the coast of the Antarctic mainland we find the South Shetland Island chain. Possible landing sites could include King George Island, Half Moon Island or Yankee Harbour. Weather conditions permitting we sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island. There are some outstanding hikes at these locations and the old whaling station and aircraft hangar at Deception Island beg for further exploration.
After so much anticipation, we enter the icy waters of the Antarctic Peninsula in the vicinity of Mikkelson Harbour or Cierva Cove. Snow covered mountains soar from the dark waters. Along the shoreline in the bays and harbors of the Peninsula lives an incredible abundance of wildlife. Large rookeries are home to chinstrap, gentoo and Adelie penguins. Seals live on the ice floes, including the powerful leopard seal that we hope to encounter. Gulls, skuas and cormorants are also found nesting and feeding at many sites along the Antarctic Peninsula.
We explore by Zodiac boat and on shore where a range of exciting activities await. Locations we hope to visit include Wilhelmina Bay, Orne Harbour, Cuverville Island and the
Errera Channel. Join the photographic guide taking pictures
of stunning icebergs. Or enjoy a hike to the top of a snowy mountain saddle with one of our adventure guides. If the opportunity presents itself, visit a science base or an old historic hut. The sea kayakers may paddle up to several miles from the ship, offering a truly memorable experience.
DAYS 17-18 / AT SEA – RETURN TO SOUTH AMERICA
As we make our way back to South America, the educational presentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join our photography experts in the multimedia room and download and back up your precious images. If weather conditions allow, we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.
DAY 19 / ARRIVE USHUAIA (ARGENTINA) – VOYAGE CONCLUDES – (WEDNESDAY, 27 NOVEMBER, 2019 )
In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home. It will be possible to connect to flights through to Buenos Aires or other destinations in South America. Otherwise enjoy a night in town or venture further afield to explore the highlights of Patagonia.
CABINS & PRICES
|Triple Share||USD 14,195|
|Twin-Semi Private||USD 16,295|
|Twin Private||USD 18,195|
|Shackleton Suite||USD 21,195|
|One Ocean Suite||USD 23,195|
All rates per person in USD
- Extensive pre-departure information package
- Educational presentations from experienced guides such as ornithologists, glaciologists, historians, geologists, naturalists and marine mammals experts
- Photography advice and instructions from the resident photographer. Extended photography workshops available on select departures
- All zodiac and landing excursions
- Zodiac cruising, hiking, guided walks, photography workshops, fitness and yoga
- All meals during the voyage prepared by One Ocean Expeditions chefs
- Welcome reception and welcome dinner
- One Ocean Expeditions Farewell dinner hosted by the Captain
- Daily afternoon tea with fresh snacks
- Coffee, tea and hot chocolate available anytime
- Access to wellness area (Finnish sauna, plunge pool filled with sea water, hot tub)
- Natural essential oil amenities
- Use of multimedia room to download images. Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop and card readers are available for use on MAC and PC computers
- Windproof/waterproof jacket and bib pants on loan
- Insulated rubber boots on loan
- Water resistant binoculars on loan
- Waterproof backpack on loan
- Transfers from/to designated meeting points to/from the ship
- Required flights to/from the ship (only applicable on certain departures)
- Luggage transfer to/from your cabin
• International and national airfares
• Visa and passport fees, airport taxes
• Pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodation in arrival/departure cities
• Meals and transfers in arrival/departure cities
• Personal expenses
• Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
• Massages from registered therapist
• Personal laundry charges
• Postage, telephone calls and email set up
• Medical expenses such as fees, prescriptions or medications
• Travel medical insurance including medical evacuation (mandatory)
• Trip interruption/cancellation insurance
• Gratuities to staff and crew