Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- 11 days ‘off ship’ exploring - The Falklands (2), South Georgia (4) & Antarctica (5)
- Few itineraries spend so much time in both Antarctica & South Georgia
- We like this ship for its spaciousness, 360 degree observation deck & heated mudroom
- Kayaking & camping (additional cost)
- Complimentary Ushuaia hotel stay, parka jacket + metal water bottle
Day 1: Arrive Ushuaia
Arrive into Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, at any time. An arrival transfer to your hotel is included.
Day 2: Ushuaia
Today we will embark on the expedition vessel. Group embarkation is set for 4:00 pm. The morning is free to do any last minute shopping or an optional excursion to the Tierra Del Fuego National Park or a good hike up to the Martial Glacier. The evening is spent on board the ship watching the sunset over the Beagle Channel.
Please note while it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion, it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. On the first day on board, your Expedition Leader will give you an expedition overview.
Day 3: At Sea towards Falklands
As we make the passage east you have time to become acquainted with the ship and frequent the common areas that include the lounge, dining hall, library and lecture hall where we meet our guides, ship's crew and lecturers. We also begin the lecture and information sessions to learn the extraordinary human and natural history of the Antarctic region.
Day 4-5: The Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands provide a rare opportunity to witness the biological diversity and extraordinary scenery of the southern islands. Nesting Albatross, penguins and Elephant seals are abundant. Port Stanley provides an opportunity to meet the hardy local inhabitants whose colourful houses provide contrast to the long dark winters.
The islands consist of 700 small and mostly uninhabited islands and 2 main islands - East and West Falklands. Located 490 km east of Patagonia, the Falklands have always been a land of hot debate. Officially discovered on August 14, 1592 by John Davis they remained uninhabited until 1764 when the French built a garrison at Port Louis disregarding the Spanish claim to the islands. From that moment on there have been many disputes between Spain, France, Britain and Argentina over the next 200 plus years until the end of the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina in 1982 brought the islands firmly under Britain's control. Now with a human population of only 2,491, the islands are the first stop in our journey. Here we hope to catch our first glimpses of penguins, including the Magellanic, Rockhopper, Gentoo, and King penguins. With a little luck, we may also see the elephant seals, sea lions, king cormorants, black-browed albatross, skuas, night herons, giant petrels, striated caracaras and of course sheep.
Day 6-7: The Great Southern Ocean
Sailing east now we'll set course for South Georgia Island. Our days at sea will be filled with lectures to prepare us for South Georgia and we will have plenty of time on deck to identify the abundant sea birds of the south ocean. We keep our eye peeled for the whales that inhabit these waters.
Day 8-11: South Georgia
South Georgia Island is home to many marvels including Shackleton's grave, former whaling stations, incredible scenery and prolific wildlife. Weather permitting we will have 3 full days to explore this island. A huge colony of King penguins is the highlight of this part of the journey. On nearby islands, we'll hope to spot wandering albatross in their nesting grounds.
Known for its brutal whaling and exploratory history, this 170 km long and 40 km wide island is considered the first gateway to Antarctica and was the centre of the huge Southern Ocean whaling industry from 1904 to 1966. The famous captain James Cook was the first to land on South Georgia on January 17, 1775 and named the island after King George III. During the 62 years of whaling activities, any number between 183 whales the first year and the record 7825 whales in 1925-26 season were killed annually for their oil. Whales weren't the only animals hunted for their oil at that time. A total of 498,870 seals - mostly giant elephant seals - were also slaughtered. Since the end of whaling activities 40 years ago, wildlife has slowly returned to the island.
Today the Island's wildlife is extraordinary, not only in its variety but also for its sheer abundance. South Georgia is home to roughly 300,000 Elephant seals, 3 million Fur seals, and 25 species of breeding birds, including wandering albatrosses. The gravel beach at St. Andrews Bay has a king penguin rookery of 100,000. The British explorer Sir Ernest H Shackleton landed at King Haakon Bay on the south-west coast after the 800-mile journey in a 20-foot open boat from Elephant Island. They proceeded to hike the ice-covered mountainous terrain, arriving into Stromness whaling station on May 20, 1916. Shackleton returned to South Georgia in 1922 for one last assault on Antarctica but passed away after suffering a major heart attack while in his cabin. He was buried in the whaler's cemetery at Grytviken station at the request of his wife.
Day 12-13: The Scotia Sea
Plotting a southwesterly course we make way towards legendary Elephant Island in the South Shetland Islands. The waters are rich with nutrients and the long summer days provide the ingredient that is missing most of the year. The result is a complex food chain topped by several species of whales, seals, and seabirds.
Day 14-18: Antarctica & the South Shetland Islands
This is what we've all been waiting for - a chance to step foot on the Great White Continent! Over the next 5 days, we will navigate southwards making stops in the South Shetland Islands then through the Bransfield Strait and to the Antarctic Peninsula. Our goal is to attempt two excursions per day while we navigate through the area but our itinerary and daily schedule will be based on the local weather and ice conditions that we encounter.
The Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands abound with wildlife activity. Penguins gather with their fast-growing chicks, whales are seen in great numbers, seals haul out onto ice floes and beaches, and numerous seabirds trail in our wake. We may visit scientists working in modern research bases, and there is plenty of time to enjoy the sheer beauty and the breathtaking scenery of ice-choked waterways, blue and white icebergs, impressive glaciers and rugged snow-capped mountains. The Peninsula also has a remarkable history and, during the voyage, we will learn about some of the most important and dramatic expeditions to this remote corner of the world. Keeping a lookout from the Bridge or the deck of the ship, as we thread our way along the continent, you'll feel the same sense of excitement as many of those early explorers.
Day 19-20: At sea towards Ushuaia
Heading north across the Drake Passage, spend two days enjoying the beauty of the sea as we sail for Ushuaia.In between bird watching and whale watching and enjoying some final lectures by our expedition staff, this is a chance to relax and review the adventures of the past week before returning to Ushuaia. Remember, the best way to experience the wildlife of the Drake Passage is to be on deck keeping a look out for Albatross, Prions, and Whales!
Day 21: Depart Ushuaia
Our adventure comes to a close. Have a final breakfast on the expedition ship before saying our goodbyes as we disembark in Ushuaia in the morning. You are free to fly out of Ushuaia anytime from noon onwards.
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.
About The Ship
- A 3-4* expedition vessel for 134 guests
- 360 degree Observation Deck
- 1B ice class rating
- Optional kayaking & camping available
- Sauna and large heated mudroom
- Complimentary jacket & loan of rubber boots
I really like this ship's style. A proper expedition vessel with all the kit and caboodle that goes with that.
John Newby Polar Specialist
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 GBP (£) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost £11699
Optional Adventure Activities
Enhance your trip with the following add-on's. Limited places per activity, get in contact to check availability.
Camping (GBP 249) - all departures. Equipment provided
Kayaking (GBP 1159-1189) - all departures, basic competency required.
Single Supplement and Child Policy
For those travelling solo and want their own cabin, the single supplement is 1.6 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 12 years old or over are welcome. There isn't any concession on pricing. Please contact us for details
- Transfers as indicated
- One night's hotel stay with breakfast
- Complimentary parka jacket & metal water bottle
- Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- Accommodation & meals during the voyage on full board
- 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 for the voyage's duration
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- Port taxes & any entry fees to landing sites
- 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. kayaking)
- Visa, passport and any vaccination expenses
- Airport arrival or departure taxes
- Personal Travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature - laundry, beverages, etc
- Voluntary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
- Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop)