Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula
» Dec 31 2018 – Jan 19 2019 (20 DAYS)
» EMBARKATION: Ushuaia
» DISEMBARKATION: Ushuaia
EXPEDITION IN BRIEF
- Day 1 – Ushuaia, Argentina
- Day 2 – Embarkation
- Days 3 – Southern Ocean
- Day 4 – West Falkland Islands
- Day 5 – Stanley, East Falkland
- Days 6 and 7 – Southern Ocean
- Days 8 to 11 – South Georgia
- Days 12 and 13 – Scotia Sea
- Days 14 to 17 – Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
- Days 18 and 19 – Drake Passage
- Day 20 – Ushuaia
In the Falkland Islands, where birdlife abounds, we discover easily accessible albatross and penguin rookeries on idyllic island farmsteads. In South Georgia, amidst the dramatic Southern Ocean seascape, we find world-famous wildlife beaches thronged with jousting elephant seals, raucous fur seals, and stately king penguins.
In the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula we explore a pristine polar wilderness of singular beauty, complete with bustling penguin colonies, dauntless seals, and voracious whales. On this ultimate wildlife expedition, each destination is more amazing than the last.
ITINERARY DAY BY DAY
Day 1 – Ushuaia
Arrive in Ushuaia anytime today, or take advantage of our complimentary flexible arrival program and arrive up to 24 hours in advance. You’ll be staying at the beautiful Arakur Hotel & Resort, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Explore the trails, take a spa, relax and soak in the surroundings, or head into Ushuaia and browse the Argentinean leather markets. Our optional evening briefing is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and to meet some of your fellow travellers. Enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast in the morning.
Day 2 – Embarkation
This morning, we’re free to explore Ushuaia or unwind at the resort until our mid-afternoon transfer to the ship. On board, we’ll be greeted by our Expedition Team and the Ship’s Officers. A concise safety and orientation briefing will be followed by the Captain’s welcome dinner. After dinner, we’ll relax and take in the scenery on our early evening sail through the Beagle Channel, past Magellanic Penguin, Rock Cormorant, and Sea Lion colonies.
Day 3 – Southern Ocean
Among the wildlife spotting opportunities as we sail south, are the albatrosses, prions, and petrels that
frequently follow the ship. Our Expedition Team will be out on deck as well, looking for the whales and dolphins that can be seen in the area. Our experts will begin their presentations with informative and entertaining talks on the wildlife, history, and geology of The Falkland Islands and Southern Ocean. Helpful briefings on environmental regulations and expedition safety will also be held in our comfortable lounge.
Day 4 – West Falklands
The westernmost settled outposts in the Falklands are remote farms that have been family-owned for six and seven generations. The sheep graze alongside albatross colonies and Rockhopper, King, and Magellanic penguin rookeries while striated caracaras patrol overhead and upland geese graze at the water’s edge. A visit to one of these homesteads often includes an invitation for cakes and a cup of tea.
Day 5 – Stanley, East Falkland
Chosen for its sheltered harbor and access to abundant fresh water and peat for fuel, Stanley is easy to discover on foot as most shops and services are centered on the port. The museum, the post-office featuring first day covers, plenty of shops with locally made wool items, and Stanley’s lively pubs will all be available.
It is possible to experience the wildlife of the Falklands from the town including sea lions and Peale’s and Commerson’s dolphins in the harbor or bird life in nearby Gypsy Cove.
Days 6 and 7 – Southern Ocean
There will be plenty of wildlife spotting as we make our way east across the Antarctic Convergence and officially enter Antarctic waters. Shipboard presentations will continue, featuring the exciting history and abundant wildlife of South Georgia.
Days 8 to 11 – South Georgia
Its unique position inside the Antarctic Convergence yet outside the limit of the yearly sea ice, makes this 3,755 square kilometer island home to tens of millions of breeding penguins, seals and seabirds. Magnificent mountain scenery, glaciers galore, a rugged coastline punctuated with castellate and tabular icebergs, a rich historical tapestry, and an astounding array of wildlife are all available to us as we travel down South Georgia’s leeward coast.
Landing sites feature huge Elephant seals, aggressive Fur seals, Gentoo penguins, albatross, petrels, skuas, and gulls. King penguins from fuzzy little chicks
to fattened adults can be seen in the hundreds of thousands. We will visit historic Grytviken whaling station, home of the whaling museum, Norwegian seaman’s church, the active British Antarctic Survey station plus the tiny graveyard where the great Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried.
Days 12 and 13 – Scotia Sea
Heading farther south, we continue our informative presentations and wildlife watch as the icebergs become more and more plentiful.
Days 14 to 17 – Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, we will hope to make as much time as possible to explore by inflatable Zodiac boats and marvel up close at nature’s glory. Our Expedition Leader and Captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. We will aim for the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas, as well as sites of historic and scientific interest.
The trip may include picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, the Humpback Whale favored Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. We may stop at an active scientific base such as Poland’s Arctowksi or Ukraine’s Vernadskiy as well as a historic base such as U.K.’s Port Lockroy or Wordie House.
Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins abound, and Weddell, Crabeater and Elephant Seals are often found hauled out to rest along with predatory Leopard Seals and the assertive Antarctic Fur Seal.
Days 18 and 19 – Drake Passage
As we leave this magical place and make our way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage, we will continue our presentation series and wildlife spotting. Sailing back to Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our expedition with a special slideshow.
Day 20 – Ushuaia disembarkation
Morning disembarkation lets you catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure.
CABINS & PRICES
All rates per person in USD
- One night hotel accommodation in embarkation city. Early check-in (up to 24 hours prior to usual check-in time) available if requested, with confirmed air itinerary, at least 90 days prior to departure
- Transfer from airport in embarkation city (Trelew Airport “REL” for the Nov 3 voyage which embarks in Puerto Madryn; Ushuaia Airport “USH” for all other departures) to group hotel if arriving on Day 1 of itinerary, and providing we have your confirmed air itinerary at least 90 days prior to departure
- Transfer from group hotel to ship for embarkation
- Group transfer from ship to airport, hotel in Ushuaia, or central location following disembarkation
- Shipboard accommodations
- All scheduled Landings / excursions
- All meals onboard
- Coffee/tea/cocoa 24 hours daily
- Welcome/Farewell cocktail
- House wine / beer / soft drink with dinner
- Expedition jacket (yours to keep)
- A pair of boots for use during the voyage
- WiFi from the public computers in the library
- 100 minute WiFi card (for use on your personal devices)
- Daily international news service
- Digital Voyage Log
- All port fees
- All landing fees
- In Owner’s Suite, Penthouse, Veranda, Deluxe and Promenade categories: champagne and chocolates on arrival, and complimentary mini-bar
- Any airfare or travel expenses associated with arrival in Ushuaia or Puerto Madryn
- Transfer from airport to group hotel, unless arriving on Day 1 of the itinerary
- Pre or post voyage expenses in Ushuaia or Puerto Madryn
- Laundry and personal expenses incurred on board
- Alcohol and soft drinks onboard (except as listed above in inclusions)
- Onboard communication charges such as outgoing phone calls, WiFi from personal devices in excess of the 100 minutes provided
- Staff gratuities