South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula: Penguin Safari
» Dec 27 2019 – Jan 11 2020 (16 DAYS)
» EMBARKATION: Ushuaia
» DISEMBARKATION: Ushuaia
EXPEDITION IN BRIEF
- Experience the quintessential wildlife experience of the “Galapagos of the Poles”
- Visit South Georgia’s king penguin rookeries – the largest in the world
- Reflect at the resting place of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton
- Visit abandoned whaling stations and learn stories of inhabitants who called this island home
- Enjoy on-board lecturers and educational presentations from polar specialists
- Day 1 – Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina
- Day 2 –Embarkation day
- Days 3 to 6 – At Sea
- Days 7 – 8 – South Georgia
- Days 9 and 10 – At Sea
- Days 11 to 13 – Antarctic Peninsula
- Days 14 and 15 – At Sea
- Day 16 – Disembarkation in Ushuaia
Your adventure begins in Buenos Aires, where you’ll enjoy its heavily European-influenced heritage before being whisked away on a private charter flight to explore Ushuaia prior to embarkation. At sea, photograph massive albatross and pintado petrel as they swoop and soar around the ship, guiding us toward South Georgia. Beaches teeming with king penguins and elephant seals greet us on this fabled island, where we’ll pay our respects to famed explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Antarctica awaits, with its geographic contradictions and overwhelming enormity. Relax on a Zodiac ride, hike glistening glaciers, share comical moments with inquisitive penguins, or witness the rugged peninsula from a sea kayak. Antarctica will surprise and delight, and never disappoint.
ITINERARY DAY BY DAY
Day 1 –Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina
You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port at the tip of South America. It’s the ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy handcrafted chocolate at a café in town.
Day 2 – Embarkation day
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel, which transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart!
Days 3 to 6 – At Sea
There are many activities to keep you engaged while you are at sea. Learn to identify seabirds that glide alongside the ship, or attend dynamic presentations by your Expedition Team. You will be prepped on safety procedures for Zodiac cruises and shore landings, and also be given instructions for getting the most out of your optional kayaking adventures (extra cost), a truly intimate way to experience Antarctica.
Days 7 and 8 – South Georgia
The first indication that you are approaching South Georgia is the sighting of birds around a group of rocky spires called Shag Rocks. Rising out of the icy ocean waters, have your binoculars and cameras ready to photograph these rocks. Shags and prions often rest here.
After enjoying South Georgia from a distance, we’ll head towards its sandy beaches to find a protected bay for your first land excursion. Landing sites on South Georgia are varied, and are largely determined by the weather conditions of your voyage. Whichever landing sites we visit, they’ll provide you with wildlife encounters that cannot be enjoyed anywhere else on earth.
This is one of the most fertile breeding grounds in the world for sub-Antarctic wildlife, with beaches littered with penguins – in particular king and macaroni penguins. Many rookeries number into the 100s of thousands!
It won’t take you long to realize that South Georgia is a paradise for bird lovers as burrowing seabirds, albatross and petrels can be seen in abundance.
You’ll find that South Georgia is also scattered with abandoned relics and evidence of human activity from centuries gone by. Once a popular base for whalers and sealers, Captain James Cook first reported on the abundance of wildlife here in 1775. His report resulted in an almost complete decimation of fur seals and a drastic decline in both whale and elephant seal populations.
Your Expedition Team will help bring those days to life for you, as you’ll visit old whaling stations and enjoy lectures and presentations on the South Georgia of then and now. Thankfully, you’ll witness that many species have seen a remarkable population rebound on the island.
One of the most significant sites you will visit on the island is located on Grytviken. This is one of the first whaling stations established in sub-Antarctic waters. Many travellers find this place of special appeal as it is home to the remains of one of the best known Antarctic explorers, Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Days 9 and 10 – At Sea
Say goodbye to the king penguins, as your next destination is Antarctica! Your days at sea are filled with presentations and lectures led by your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife that will greet you upon your arrival. In between activities, spend time chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.
Days 11 to 13 – Antarctic Peninsula
The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words, since few places are as untouched, unique and enduring as Antarctica. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes. At one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete desolation and silence, and at the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into brilliant blue sea or a penguin waddles by to inspect your footwear.
Days 14 and 15 – Crossing the Drake
After more than a dozen days of memorable wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage, to spend time on the deck, watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy presentations by your Expedition Team, or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.
Day 16 – Disembarkation in Ushuaia
You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning, which allows for you to continue your adventure on land or catch your flights home.
CABINS & PRICES
|Twin (obst. view)||USD 15,295|
|Twin (window)||USD 15,795|
|Single (obst. view)||USD 18,595|
|Single Porthole||USD 18,595|
|Balcony Suite||USD 17,495|
- Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
- All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board
- All shore landings per the daily program
- Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
- All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
- Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled
- A photographic journal documenting the expedition
- Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
- An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
- Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
- A hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
- Comprehensive predeparture materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
- All luggage handling aboard the ship
- All gratuities
- Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person
- Group transfer in Ushuaia from the airport to the pre-expedition hotel on Day 1
- One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Ushuaia, with breakfast
- Group transfer from the hotel to the ship on embarkation day
- Group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the local airport
- International airfare
- Passport and visa expenses
- Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
- Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
- Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
- Excess-baggage fees on international flights
- Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
- Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
- Phone and Internet charges
- Additional overnight accommodation
- Optional adventure activities