Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- 10 days ‘off ship’ exploring – The Falklands (2), South Georgia (4), South Orkneys (1) and Antarctica (3)
- Includes the little visited South Orkney Islands, weather dependent
- Encounter six species of penguin and four species of whale
- Discover the region's past onboard and on land, visiting historical sites and museums
- For an additional cost, experience scuba diving on some departures
Day 1: Embark the vessel in Ushuaia
Begin your journey where the world drops off, embarking in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world. Leave in the afternoon and then sail through the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel into the evening and beyond.
Day 2: At sea towards the Falkland Islands
At sea, in the westerlies, the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.
Day 3: On the Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands (Malvinas) offer an abundance of wildlife that is easily approachable, although caution is always advised. These islands are largely unknown gems, home to not only various species of bird but also Peale's and Commerson's dolphins in the surrounding waters.
During this part of the voyage, you may visit the following sites:
Carcass Island – Despite its name, this island is pleasantly rodent-free and hence bounteous with birdlife. A hike along the shore of the island will give you views of Magellanic and Gentoo Penguins, as well as close encounters with water fowl, Night Herons, and passerines.
Saunders Island – On this fascinating western side of the archipelago, see Black-browed Albatross and its sometimes-clumsy landings, along with breeding Imperial Shags, Rockhopper Penguins, and more Magellanic and Gentoo Penguins
Day 4: Port Stanley, Falkland Islands
Arrive at the capital of the Falklands and into the heart of its culture. Port Stanley has a Victorian-era charm: colourful houses, well-tended gardens, and English-style pubs are all to be found here. You can also see several century-old clipper ships nearby, silent witnesses to the hardships of 19th century sailors.
The small but interesting museum is also worth a visit, covering the early days of settlement up to the Falklands War. Approximately 2,100 people live in Port Stanley. All passengers are free to wander around on their own, we recommend a visit to the local church and museum, however note that admission feeds are not included in the voyage.
Days 5-6: At sea towards South Georgia
On the way to South Georgia, you now cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature may drop significantly in the time span of only a few hours. Near the Convergence you'll see a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship; several species of Albatrosses, Shearwaters, Petrels, Prions and Skuas.
Days 7-10: South Georgia
In the afternoon of day 7 you will reach the first landing site in South Georgia. Please keep in mind that weather conditions in this area can be challenging, largely dictating the program.
Over the next few days, the plan is to visit some of the following sites:
Prion Island – This location is closed during the early part of the wandering albatross breeding season (20 Nov–7 Jan). From January onwards, the breeding adults have found their partners and are sitting on eggs or nursing their chicks. Witness the gentle nature of these animals, which possess the largest wingspan of any birds in the world.
Fortuna Bay – Near beaches inhabited by various penguins and seals, you have the chance to follow in the footsteps of the great British Explorer Ernest Shackleton, and hike over to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness. This path cuts across the mountain pass beyond Shackleton's Waterfall, and as the terrain is partly swampy, be prepared to cross a few small streams.
Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour – These sites not only house the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia, they're also three of the world's largest breeding beaches for Antarctic fur seals. Millions breed on South Georgia during December and January; watch the large bulls keep a constant vigil over territories where dozens of females have just given birth or are about to deliver.
Grytviken – See an abandoned whaling village, where King Penguins now walk in the streets and seals have taken over the buildings. There will also be a visit to the Whaling History Museum as well as to Shackleton's grave nearby. In the afternoon of day 10 you'll depart from South Georgia.
Day 11: At sea towards the South Orkney Islands
Where the ship is again followed by a multitude of seabirds. At some point, there might be sea-ice on this route, and at the edge of the ice some South Polar Skuas and Snow Petrels could join the other seabirds trailing the vessel south.
Day 12: South Orkney Islands
Depending on the conditions, a visit to Orcadas Base is planned, an Argentine scientific station on Laurie Island in the South Orkney archipelago. The friendly base personnel will show you their facility, where you can enjoy wonderful views of the surrounding glaciers. If a visit isn't possible, you may instead land in Signy Island's Shingle Cove.
Day 13: At sea towards Antarctica
Enormous icebergs and a fair chance of fin whale sightings ensure there's never a dull moment on this last sea voyage south. In addition, your best chance of spotting Antarctic Petrels is here.
Days 14-17: Antarctic Peninsula
If the ice permits, you will now sail into the Weddell Sea through the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound. Huge tabular icebergs will announce the arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. You might visit Brown Bluff where you may be able to step foot on the Continent. In good sailing conditions, the time in the Weddell Sea may be extended.
If the conditions aren't favourable to enter the Weddell Sea from the east, the ship will set course for Elephant Island and head into the Bransfield Strait, between South Shetland Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. Here you can attempt to access the Antarctic Sound from the northwest.
The breathtaking scenery continues in the southern Gerlache Strait, and if ice conditions allows, we may even reach Lemaire Channel.
Days 18-19: At sea towards Ushuaia
As you make your way north you are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage – making for a far from lonely return voyage.
Day 20: Ushuaia
Arrive in Ushuaia in the morning and disembark after breakfast.
NOTE: This itinerary is for guidance only as each voyage will vary depending on ice and weather conditions, and opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is key and all part of the adventure of an expeditionary cruise.
What our customers think
Expedition staff were excellent! The icebergs were unbelievable and we were stunned by the glaciers. Penguins caught my heart and I loved the many species of penguins and other birds.
Susan & Jay Washington December 2017
It was a fabulous trip, something I had dreamt of doing since the late 1960's. I was absolutely thrilled by the whole package and experience. A personal experience of exploration and learning which I will always treasure.
Rae New Zealand December 2017
All staff and crew were brilliant at handling the Zodiac excursions. We particularly enjoyed having expedition staff driving the boat on excursions as they were able to talk to us about what we were seeing. We loved doing the Shackleton Hike - the crew brought his story to life for us in many ways.
Colin & Jacqui UK November 2017
Perfect from start to finish.
Phillipe Jeanty United States Of America February 2019
We saw an amazing amount of wildlife, seven penguin species and four whale species. Walking on an ice floe in the Weddell sea was perfect.
David & Jill UK November 2017
About The Ship
- A 3-4* expedition vessel for 116 guests
- Contemporary feel after 2009 re-build
- A quiet diesel-electric propulsion system
- 1D ice class rating
- Kayaking, camping, mountaineering, hiking
- Rubber boots are provided on loan
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
Prices quoted below are per person based on 2 people sharing. Cabin availability changes all the time so please contact us for up-to-date details and information on specific cabin availability.
* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in EUR (€) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost €10650
- The 19-Jan-2020 voyage is 19 days long.
- The 24-Feb-2020 and 24-Feb-2021 voyages are 23 days long, spending 3 extra days exploring the South Shetlands and the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula before crossing the Antarctic Circle.
Single Supplement And Child Policy
For those travelling solo and want their own cabin, the single supplement is 1.7 times the cost of a single berth, please contact us for details. However, there is no single supplement for passengers willing to share a cabin.
Children aged 3 years old or over are welcome. On select departures, children under 16 may receive a 40 % discount, please contact us for details
Optional Adventure Activities
Enhance your trip with the following add ons. Limited places per activity.
Get in contact to check availability.
- Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- Accommodation and meals during the voyage on full board including snacks, coffee and tea
- All shore excursions and zodiac activities
- Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
- Access to an onboard doctor and basic medical services
- Loan of rubber boots and snowshoes for the voyage's duration
- Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on embarkation day
- Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia directly after disembarkation
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- Port taxes and any entry fees to landing sites (except additional fees for museums in Port Stanley, Falklands)
- Flights to and from points of embarkation/disembarkation
- Any additional pre/post land services, including meals
- Transfers not specified in the itinerary
- Optional adventure activities (e.g. diving)
- Visa, passport and any vaccination expenses
- Airport arrival or departure taxes
- Personal travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature - laundry, beverages, etc
- Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
- Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop)