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Cruises

Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica

Antarctica

19 days

Special Offer


USD$1000 Travel credit for March 2019 sailings
USD$1200 Travel credit for October/November 2019 and March 2020 sailings
USD$800 Travel credit for December 2019 and January/ February 2020 sailings

Summary

The wild and remote environments of the sub-Antarctic Falkland Islands and the island of South Georgia are home to a proliferation of unique wildlife and birdlife. There are penguin rookeries with more than 100,000 nesting birds, the beaches are covered in fur seals and elephant seals, while seabirds, including many of the albatross species, nest and raise their young. The islands have a fascinating human history as well which we will explore with our onboard experts. After exploring these sub-Antarctic islands we will continue to push south to the frozen continent itself, Antarctica. Icebergs in all shapes and sizes fill the waters, and yet more unique wildlife can be found living in sizable colonies. The waters are full of life and we frequently encounter whales including humpback, minke and orca.

Highlights

  • With just 98 passengers on board, you are guaranteed more time on land during shore excursions
  • Discover the fascinating human history and abundant wildlife of the Falkland Islands
  • Visit the ‘Serengeti of the Southern Ocean’, spectacular South Georgia
  • Marvel at one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife on earth on South Georgia Island
  • Visit Ernest Shackleton’s grave and discover more about his incredible feat of endurance
  • See enormous icerbergs as you enter the South Shetland Island chain
  • Possible landing sites include Deception Island, Yankee Harbour and Half Moon Island
  • Weather permitting, camping on the Antarctic continent is included in your cruise cost

ITINERARY

Day 1 Ushuaia/Cruise

Our exploration of the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica commences in Ushuaia. Excitement is in the air as we board the ship, enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off for the adventure of a lifetime.

Day 2 Cruise

Southern Ocean
Sailing northeast towards the Falkland Islands we are joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history of the Southern Ocean and the locations we plan to visit.

Day 3 Cruise

Falkland Islands
Having arrived in the Falkland’s overnight, we plan to explore several locations in the West Falkland archipelago. These remote islands are home to a proliferation of seabirds and migratory birds including the stunning black-browed albatross. We see our first penguins of the trip on these islands, which could include West Point with its bustling rookeries of rockhoppers.

Day 4 Cruise

Falkland Islands
On Carcass Island, we observe nesting Magellanic penguins as well as oystercatchers, geese and the striated caracara – a bird of prey. The following morning we arrive in Stanley, the capital of the Falklands Islands. Wandering through the quiet streets we learn how Stanley was a major port in the 19th century for the tall clipper ships rounding Cape Horn.

Day 5 Cruise

Southern Ocean
We chart a south-easterly course bound for South Georgia. The seabirds once again join us in the Southern Ocean. Our educational presentations continue. History is a key theme of this voyage and the epic story of Sir Earnest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expeditions is central to any trip to South Georgia.

Day 6 Cruise

Southern Ocean
At sea. Keep an eye out for seabirds and whales as we sail the Southern Ocean.

Day 7 Cruise

South Georgia Island
The island of 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 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 line the beaches. Living in the tussock grass, king penguins and their chicks may number up to 100,000 birds in some locations, including Salisbury Plains, St Andrews Bay and Gold Harbor. The island is also home to large numbers of nesting albatross and they fill the skies above.

Day 8 Cruise

South Georgia Island
South Georgia is a thrilling location for history buffs as the rusting relics of the early whaling industry are all around us. A highlight is a visit to Grytviken – the largest of the former whaling stations on the island, and where we visit the gravesite of Shackleton, buried here in 1921. For many, being in the presence of the great explorer is a highlight of the trip. There’s an excellent museum at Grytviken, maintained by the South Georgia Heritage Trust and the restored church, built by the original Norwegian whalers, is another highlight.

Day 9 Cruise

South Georgia Island
Another full day to continue exploring one of the richest widlife regions on the planet.

Day 10 Cruise

Scotia Sea and Elephant Island
After several busy days our exploration of South Georgia is complete and our attention now turns south, towards Antarctica. It takes several days to cross the Scotia Sea in the comfort of our modern expedition ship. Large tabular icebergs announce our arrival in Antarctic waters. The dark cliffs of Elephant Island appear and it is this location that ‘bookends’ the Shackleton story for many. Here Shackleton and his men were camped for many months, having lost HMS Endurance in the thick sea ice, far to the south in the Weddell Sea in 1915. If conditions allow we attempt a landing here.

Day 11 Cruise

Scotia Sea and Elephant Island
At Sea

Day 12 Cruise

Scotia Sea and Elephant Island
At Sea

Day 13 Cruise

South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
Around 60 miles off the coast of the Antarctic mainland lies the South Shetland Island chain. Possible landing sites might include King George Island, Half Moon Island, Yankee Harbour or Hannah Point. Weather conditions permitting we sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island. 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 live an incredible abundance of wildlife.

Day 14 Cruise

South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
We explore by Zodiac boat and ashore where a range of wonderful activities awaits. Locations we hope to visit include Wilhelmina Bay, Orne Harbour, Cuverville Island and the Errera Channel. Join the photographic guide and take close up photos of the penguins, or of the impossibly blue ice. 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 old historic hut. You have a range of great choices.

Day 15 Cruise

South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
Our exploration of this wild and untamed region continues.

Day 16 Cruise

South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
Our exploration of this wild and untamed region continues.

Day 17 Cruise

Drake Passage
After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula, it’s time to return to South America. The educational presentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. If conditions allow we hope to make a rounding of the fabled landmark of Cape Horn.

Day 18 Cruise

Drake Passage
At Sea

Day 19 Cruise/Ushuaia

In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home.

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