Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- 13 days ‘off ship’ exploring - The Falklands (2), South Georgia (4), Antarctica & Polar Circle (7)
- We love this trip for its unique itinerary
- Very few voyages combine both South Georgia & the Antarctic Circle = epic combination
- Comfortable, medium sized expeditionary ship (189 guests)
- Optional adventure activities - kayaking, stand up paddle & camping (limited places, additional cost for each)
- Complimentary Ushuaia hotel stay + parka jacket
Day 1: Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina
Your gateway for this expedition is Ushuaia, Argentina. Nestled within the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Ushuaia has a small-town feel yet boasts many shops, museums, cafés and restaurants that you can enjoy before your voyage. If you're feeling adventurous, the nearby national park and Martial Glacier offer plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking.
Day 2: Embarkation Day
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel. As you embark, the anticipation grows. Meet and greet your fellow travellers and get acquainted with your ship. Since every Antarctic adventure presents new opportunities and experiences, embarkation day is just as exciting for your Expedition Team as it is for you. On board to ensure your comfort and safety, your team will also help make your wildlife dreams come true.
Day 3: At Sea towards Falklands
There are many activities to keep you engaged while you're at sea. You can take advantage of the library of books available on your ship, hang out at the bar chatting to other travellers or spend time out on deck, admiring the sea. Your Expedition Team will also conduct a series of presentations to familiarise yourself with how to prepare for zodiac cruises and shore landings.
Days 4-5: Falkland Islands
The Falkland archipelago contains two main islands - East and West, which we will explore by Zodiac excursions and daily landings. These rugged islands have a frontier type feel to them, especially at Port Stanley - the largest settlement on the islands. It's an interesting British outpost type place, where you may just as easily wander into a pub as you will a church or museum.
With your camera at hand, our wildlife sightings in the Falklands should include at least three species of penguins and two endemic bird species - Cobb's wren and the Falklands' flightless steamer duck.
Your team of lecturers and specialists will be sure to educate you on the local flora and fauna so that you get the most out of a memorable time in the Falklands.
Days 6-7: At Sea towards South Georgia
En route to South Georgia, you'll cross the invisible biological boundary unique to Antarctica, the Antarctic Convergence. This meeting of oceans is what creates the abundance of krill and marine life that attracts large cetaceans, such as humpback whales.
Days 8-11: South Georgia
Evidence of the old whaling and sealing heydays is still found throughout the island. You'll be surprised to learn that the whale and seal populations were once decimated here, as today their populations are strong, with massive rookeries to be seen.
One significant and historic site that may be visited is the grave of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. His grave at the settlement of Grytviken, which is also home to an old whaling station and a research station, is a day for reflecting on what it must've been like to be one of the first explorers to this unforgiving, yet beautiful environment.
While South Georgia's history is an important attraction to the islands, it is the wildlife on South Georgia that you and your shipmates will likely find the most captivating. Often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles, South Georgia contains an exceptional quantity of wildlife. Each landing you make on South Georgia will open your eyes to a new wonder of wildlife. One day you may see rookeries with a hundred thousand pairs of King penguins waddling on the beach. The next day we may another beach with thousands of fur or Elephant seals.
The grasses, mountains and beaches of South Georgia all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different bird and animal species. Your Expedition Team will be happy to share their knowledge of how these vulnerable relationships all play out on the island.
Days 12-13: At Sea towards Antarctica
Antarctica awaits, along with its own penguin and seal species. While you’re at sea, you can enjoy quiet time or take in presentations by the Expedition Team, who will cover everything from the history and geology of Antarctica to tips on identifying different species and what makes each of them unique.
Days 14-16: South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
The most common reaction to arriving at the white continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes; at one moment you'll be overcome with a feeling of complete silence and loneliness, then the next you'll be laughing at the comical antics of a curious penguin.
Glacier hikes, visits to research bases and, of course, communing with the seals and penguins are sure to keep you smiling each and every day. Perhaps you'll catch sight of the fearless penguin-eater, the leopard seal, or come eye to eye with a curious Minke whale while out on a zodiac ride. Each day and each landing will present a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera shutter busy.
If you find yourself wanting more, then perhaps you'll treat yourself by booking our kayaking adventure option (reserve in advance when booking your trip) or if you're feeling a bit overwhelmed, a little shock therapy courtesy of a Polar Plunge might be what you need!
Days 17-18: The Antarctic Circle
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Peninsula do not come close to reaching this far south.
With a toast to the first explorers who ventured here, you can raise a glass of champagne and take pride in knowing you've made it to a part of the world still visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home to the midnight sun, with potential for some fantastic iceberg sightings.
Days 19-20: Northbound along the Peninsula
If you haven't had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you'll surely be satisfied by the time we return to the Drake Passage. We'll continue to journey onto land and out by zodiac twice daily. Your Expedition Team will also be on the lookout for any species of penguins, seals and whales that may have eluded you on the journey south.
Days 21-22: At sea towards Ushuaia
After more than a dozen days of memorable wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake Passage is your unofficial rite of passage, putting a final stamp of approval on your Antarctic adventure.
Day 23: Disembark in Ushuaia
After breakfast aboard the ship, it is time to part ways and say goodbye to your Expedition Team. Airport transfers will be provided for those departing on the first homeward flights. Other guests can transfer to the town for later departures.
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.
Expert Impartial Advice At No Extra Cost
Antarctic travel options are complicated. We help you choose the right boat, the right cabin, and at the right point in the season.
A Depth Of Knowledge On Board
As a team of ex-guides, tour leaders, & polar adventurers our Antarctic knowledge is leagues ahead of the rest.
For The Ends Of The Earth
Swoop is proud to be B Corp Certified as we know sustainability is more than our carbon footprint (but we’re reducing that too).
We’re With You At Every Step
We’ll make sure you have the adventure of a lifetime.
What our customers think of Ultimate Antarctica: South Georgia & Antarctic Circle
Ultimate Antarctica: South Georgia & Antarctic Circle trips scored 4.8/5 from 6 reviews
Our zodiac boat landed on St Andrews Bay in South Georgia Island. I was in pure awe as we walked among king penguins who seemed to share the same curiosity about us. I snapped countless and countless of pictures documenting, video recording every memory. We continued to walk until we reached the beginning of this dense colony, the second largest in South Georgia Island, where we found ourselves standing in front of hundreds of thousands of king penguins, their vibrating calls echoing through the valley, as giant albatrosses swooped down towering green mountain peaks above us creating a shadow directly over us. My boyfriend insisted, "Put the camera down. Just for 10 seconds." It was difficult to this, but as soon as I did, tears came running. This is Jurassic Park.
Travelled: April 2020
Highlight - seeing the first iceberg. And another one - kayaking through the brash ice. Landscapes - ethereal / mind blowing. Wildlife - we hoped for more whales up close ... but we did see some, including orcas. Although smelly, the penguins were delightful. Seals were everywhere! The Expedition Team was outstanding. We were relieved that the Kayaking was so well managed and we coped. Reaching the Polar Circle and landing on the Peninsula were magical - pinch yourself moments.
Travelled: February 2021
John Shaw -
Standing on South Georgia with 100,000+ breeding pairs of King penguins.
Travelled: January 2020
There were many- but cruising up to glacier at thee d if an amazing day with bright blue skies, the glacier in full view with sun shining and a leopard seal flaring by on an iceberg was spectacular. Zodiac raising with the humpback whales and floating among the icebergs south of the Antarctic Circle was full on wonderful!
Travelled: January 2023
There were multiple high points. Visiting Shackleton's grave site at Grytviken. South Georgia. Kayaking at various points around South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula. I got to meet some really interesting people including passengers and ships crew and staff
Travelled: February 2021
Shane Dolan -
One highlight was South Georgia. The trip would not have been the same without the myriad of wildlife seen on South Georgia. The landscapes in Antarctica are beyond amazing; they are serene and humbling. It was a pleasant surprise to see 4 different species of whales, including killer whales.
Travelled: February 2021
About The Ship
- On-board helicopter facilities (available in selected locations only)
- 4 Zodiac embarkation points for swift landing opportunities
- Nine different cabin types
- 1A+ Ice Class rating
- The most exciting range of adventure activities available in Antarctica, including flightseeing, stand-up paddleboarding and cross-country skiing
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.
|Triple||Twin Window||Veranda Suite||Superior Twin||Twin Deluxe||Single||Suite||Owner's Suite||Grand Suite|
|January 2024 Save up to 24%|
|December 2024 Save up to 28%|
* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $37690
Please note: the use of helicopters is not permitted at South Georgia.
Please note: The departures shown have a mandatory transfer package (USD $995 per person) as outlined below, the cost of which is included in the pricing shown:
- One pre-night's hotel accommodation in Buenos Aires, with breakfast
- Group transfer from hotel to airport in Buenos Aires
- Group flight departing from Buenos Aires' domestic airport (Aeroparque/AEP) to Ushuaia, and returning to Buenos Aires' international airport (Ezeiza/EZE)
- Group transfer from Ushuaia airport to the ship and return (Note: Transfer on arrival in Buenos Aires from airport to hotel at the beginning of the journey is not included. Please make your own way to the included hotel.)
- Combined airport transfer and express bus tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park after disembarkation in Ushuaia
Single Supplement And Child Policy
For those travelling solo who would like their own cabin, there is a good number of dedicated single cabins. The single supplement is 1.7 times the cost of a standard cabin and 2 times the cost of a superior category. Please contact us for details. There is no single supplement for solo passengers willing to share a cabin.
At date of embarkation, the minimum age restriction of 8 years and a minimum height and weight requirement of 64 lbs or 29kg and 48" or 1.2m must be met. 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||$995||An immersive full sea kayaking program for those who want to kayak multiple times (as often as weather and ice conditions allow). Prior kayaking experience is required and you must be able to do a wet exit to participate. Available on all departures, subject to weather and ice conditions. Booking in advance is essential.|
|Paddling||$295||One-off paddle session lasting approximately 60-90 minutes using sit on top kayaks. Available on all departures, subject to weather and ice conditions. Minimal kayaking experience is required. Booking in advance is strongly recommended.|
|Paddleboarding||$295||Selected departures. Basic competency required.|
|Skiing||$575||Selected departures. Cross country skiing. Basic competency required.|
- Online photo journal of voyage
- Complimentary parka jacket
- Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- Accommodation and 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 and any entry fees to landing sites
- Any additional pre/post land services, including meals
- Transfers not specified in the itinerary
- Optional non-complimentary adventure activities (e.g. kayaking)
- Visa, passport and any vaccination expenses
- Airport arrival or departure taxes
- Personal travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature, e.g. laundry, beverages & communication
- Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
- Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop)