Travel to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands to see penguins, whales, seals, icebergs and much more.
These Antarctic expeditions utilize a flight to Stanley in the Falkland Islands to save almost a day and half at sea – which maximizes the time you can spend exploring incredible Antarctica, and the sub-Antarctic Falkland and South Georgia Islands. We’ll encounter a spectacular proliferation of unique wildlife and birdlife on our journey – there are penguin rookeries with more than 100,000 nesting birds, albatrosses, and the beaches are covered in fur seals and elephant seals. Beyond these islands lie Antarctica, where we will experience icebergs of all shapes and sizes and encounters with whales, including humpback, minke and orca.
Day 1: Ushuaia — Your journey to Antarctica starts in Ushuaia, Argentina, the world’s most southerly city. In the early evening we set sail along the Beagle Channel and push out into the Drake Passage, direction Antarctica.
Days 2 & 3: Drake Passage — Sailing south towards Antarctica we will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Photographing these magnificent birds takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our modern expedition vessel.
Days 4-7: Antarctic Peninsula — We arrived at the Antarctic Peninsula. Planned visits could include Paradise Harbour, Orne Harbour or Andvord Bay, or a cruise through the Errera Channel to visit the penguin rookeries at Cuverville Island. Wilhelmina Bay is another favourite location where we frequently encounter humpback whales. If ice conditions allow, we cruise through the Lemaire Channel as well as a visit to an active research base nearby provides a fascinating insight into the important climate change science occurring in Antarctica. Each day we enjoy guided walks on shore, visits to wildlife colonies, and zodiac cruising among the ice with our expert guides providing insight and interpretation.
Day 8: South Shetland Islands and Deception Island — We are now heading north and hope to make a planned visit at Deception Island. If weather conditions permit, we sail the ship right into the middle of a volcanic caldera. Fur seals gather among the old structures seeking protection from the elements. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar. There is an outstanding hike here to a location known as ‘Neptune’s Window’ – high up onto the rim of the crater. If conditions allow, we hope to enter Antarctic Sound – the broad channel that separates the continent of Antarctica from Joinville Island. This is the entrance to the Weddell Sea.
Day 9: Elephant Island — Elephant Island is a location forever connected to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition a century ago. Shore landings here are notoriously tricky due to often gale force winds and pounding surf onto the rocky beach. This is a thrilling location for anyone with a passion for polar history.
Days 10-11: Scotia Sea — While we head towards South Georgia, our onboard experts keep us busy with fascinating presentations and lead lively discussions throughout the day. The great pelagic seabirds are sure to keep us company – and we anticipate excellent sightings of albatross and giant petrels soaring on the winds of the South Atlantic Ocean.
Days 12-15: South Georgia — Rounding the remote south-eastern end of South Georgia, we spend the next four days exploring the coastline. Dark sand beaches, tussock covered hinterland and a backdrop of towering peaks and glaciers are a feast for all the senses. South Georgia has often been called the greatest wildlife show on earth. Seals cover the beaches, seabirds fill the skies and living in rookeries of immense size, live the majestic king penguins. Our aim is to visit a number of these huge colonies – where naturalists estimate that more than 100,000 adult and juvenile penguins live in close proximity. Locations we hope to visit include Gold Harbour, Royal Bay, St Andrews Bay and Salisbury Plain. Dotted along the coastline are the rusting relics of the early whaling era. The largest of these locations is Grytviken.
Days 16-18: Scotia Sea — The onboard educational program continues and our experts recap our remarkable journey to date. These days provide a good opportunity to catch up on journal entries, sort through your images in the multimedia room and catch some rest after several busy weeks of activity. The spectacular seabirds including several albatross and petrel species are our constant companions as they soar above the ship.
Day 19: Falkland Islands — Approaching Sea Lion Island, we first note the very barren and windswept landscape. We launch the Zodiacs and go ashore to view the incredible diversity of wildlife found at this location. Three species of penguin including gentoo, magellanic and rockhopper, as well as southern elephant seals and South American sea lions are known to inhabit the area. As we cruise along the coast of the Falklands, bound for Stanley, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the ship’s Captain.
Day 20: Stanley, Falkland Islands and Punta Arenas, Chile — In the early morning, we navigate through the narrows and into the harbour of Port Stanley. A transfer will take us to the airport for our return flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile (this flight is included in the price of your voyage). It will be possible to connect to flights through to Santiago or other destinations in Chile.
Please note: Specific sites visited will depend on ice and weather conditions, the planned itinerary will be updated at the time of final preparations as well as throughout the voyage in order to take advantage of favourable conditions.