Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- Total of 7 days ‘off ship’ exploring South Georgia, the longest any voyage spends here
- The rare opportunity to really explore South Georgia in-depth, with a strong photographic focus
- We like this 146 passenger ship for its superior stability, top ice class rating & large expedition staff
- Witness the dawn of spring, as wildlife migration starts and many species begin their breeding cycle
- Complimentary photo workshops led by professional photographers. Kayaking available for an additional cost
- Added advantage of the loan of a parka jacket, waterproof trousers, boots, binoculars, trekking pole & waterproof backpack
Day 1 - Ushuaia:
Our journey to Antarctica commences in the afternoon, from Ushuaia, in southern Argentina. We gather at a central meeting point and transfer to the pier to embark our expedition ship. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet the expedition team and fellow passengers. Enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner with a sense of excitement is in the air as we cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
Days 2 & 3: At Sea:
We chart a course bound for South Georgia. This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in its bio-diversity and showcases an abundance of astonishing wildlife. We will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as we make our way south. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques.
Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days. History is a key theme of this voyage and the epic story of Shackleton is central to our journey.
Days 4 to 7 - South Georgia:
Majestic snow-covered mountains greet us on arrival in South Georgia. We hope to navigate the ship into the historic location of King Haakon Bay. It was here that, 100 years ago, Shackleton and his men made landfall in their small lifeboat, the James Caird, after completing the perilous ocean crossing from Elephant Island.
This dramatic location is visited by just a handful of ships each season. One of the most anticipated sites in South Georgia is Salisbury Plain. The black sand beaches and tussock covered dunes are home to a staggering 100,000 ing penguin adults and their young. This is just one of several such king penguin rookeries on South Georgia. Fur seals can also be seen poking their heads above the water; the elephant seals will enjoy lazing about the beach, while the skuas and giant petrels fill the skies above. Meanwhile, the albatross - our constant companion on this journey - is never far away.
History comes into sharp focus as we visit Stromness and Grytviken. From 1912 until the 1930's, these locations acted as whaling stations. Today, the rusted and ghostly remnants seem out of place in such a pristine environment. If the weather co-operates, we hope to be able to hike the last few miles across the saddle separating Fortuna Bay from neighboring Stromness, following the footsteps of Shackleton, Crean and Worsley.
As we journey further to the southeast we enter the broad expanse of Cumberland Bay. At the head of the bay lies Grytviken - the largest of the old whaling stations on South Georgia. A highlight of our landing here is a visit to the gravesite of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his loyal right hand man, Frank Wild.
Days 8 to 11 - St Andrew's Bay and Gold Harbour, Prion Island:
Our next few days will take us to St Andrew's Bay and Gold Harbour - places that are teeming with wildlife including fur seals, elephant seals and massive colonies of the colorful king penguins. We will explore as much as you desire on foot. Gold Harbour is so called because the sun's rays make the cliffs yellow with their light in the morning and evening. It's an exhilarating location. Drygalski Fjord at the far eastern extremity of the island is another spectacular site in South Georgia.
We then navigate our way back along the northern coastline, visiting the old whaling depot at Godthul where there is a terrific hike here up to a beautiful lake. Nearing the end of our visit to South Georgia, we hope to enjoy a shore landing at Prion Island – which many consider the jewel in the crown. This location has been designated as a ‘Special Protected Area’ by the South Georgia Government as it is home to colonies of breeding wandering albatross. Boasting the largest wingspan of any living bird, typically ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 m (8ft to 11ft), albatross spend most of their life in flight, landing only to breed and feed. Distances travelled each year are hard to measure, but one bird was recorded travelling 6000 km in just twelve days.
We are exceptionally lucky to be able to attempt a landing here as the site is closed to visiting ships between late November and early January, due to the concentration of fur seals on the beaches. The boardwalks provide access to several observation platforms where we view nesting wandering albatross in close proximity. As we depart South Georgia, we pause to reflect on our time in this spectacular location and chart our return course towards the Falkland Islands.
Days 12 to 15 - At Sea:
Our final days can be spent catching up on journal entries, or downloading and reviewing photos in the multimedia lab with our photography expert. It’s also a chance to take some well-earned rest after a busy ten days of exploration. If the weather is good for our crossing we will attempt a landing on the East Falklands on Day 15.
Day 16 - Stanley (Falkland Islands):
This morning we arrive back at the port of Stanley. Saying goodbye to our crew, there is some free time in town, and then we make our way to the airport for a return charter flight to Santiago. Our journey comes to an end when we arrive in Santiago.
The 6-Nov-2019 departure begins and ends in Port Stanley, Falkland Islands. There is an optional round charter flight from Santiago de Chile to Port Stanley at a cost of USD $995 per person.
This itinerary is for guidance only as each voyage will vary depending on ice and weather conditions, and opportunities to see wildlife. It's important to also understand that the charter flights to and from Antarctica are particularly prone to weather, which requires a flexible flight schedule.
What our customers think
The highlights were the Shackleton history and being able to stand on the top of the pass where the trio looked down on the whaling base at Stromness - their destination. Weather was perfect. The landscape was stunning - a glaciologists dream.
Neill New Zealand November 2017
The highlights for me were the whaling station at Grytviken and Shackleton's grave, and being able to hike the ridges above our landing sites. In regard to the wildlife, the vast quantity of wildlife, and how close you are to it, leaves you speechless.
James Jarman United States Of America November 2018
It was fantastic. The scenery, the animals, the crazy weather - what's not to like? Be flexible and open-minded and you'll have a great time.
Iris Heinemann United States Of America October 2017
I had been concerned that the photographic emphasis might outweigh the natural history content. Not the case at all! I would unconditionally recommend this trip to anyone and not just photographers! The expedition staff handled logistics with knowledgeable expertise, kindness, patience, and a strong sense of professionalism and a focus on safety.
Audrey Benedict United States Of America November 2018
About The Ship
Built in Finland in 1993, few expedition ships are capable of delivering such a well-appointed, comfortable Antarctic experience on board such a safe and ice strengthened vessel. Spacious cabins, modern stabilising and an outstanding expedition staff all help to enhance the adventure.
What really attracts me to this outstanding ship is her large cabins, fast speed and high ice class rating. Few expedition ships can touch her.
Alex Mudd 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 USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $13195
The 14-Nov- 2020 departure starts and ends in Santiago (Chile) and includes direct charter flights between Santiago (Chile) and Stanley (Falkland Islands).
Single Supplement And Child Policy
For those travelling solo who would like their own cabin, the single supplement is 1.5 to 2 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 are welcome. 25% discount young traveller discount up to 17 years and 20% off for those aged 18 - 21. 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.
|Kayaking||$795||All departures. Basic competency required.|
|Snowshoeing||Complimentary||All departures, as long as snow conditions allow. Snow shoes provided.|
|Photography||Complimentary||All departures. Workshop with professional photographer.|
- Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- Accommodation and meals during the voyage on full board
- All shore excursions and zodiac activities
- Activities including photo workshops, hiking and yoga
- Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
- Loan of rubber boots, waterproof pants and parka jacket
- Loan of rucksack and binoculars
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- Port taxes and any entry fees to landing sites
- Free access to multimedia room and download stations
- Any flights to/ from voyage start and end points
- Any additional pre/post land services, including meals
- Transfers not specified in the itinerary
- Optional adventure activities (e.g. kayaking)
- Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
- 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)