Antarctica, Falklands & Sth Georgia: Solar Eclipse

Antarctica, South Georgia and Falklands

This voyage features the clean unspoiled scenery, wildlife, and rich history of the Antarctic Peninsula, as well as the crown jewels of the Southern Ocean: South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Plus, the rare chance to observe a Solar Eclipse near the ice of the Weddell Sea

  • Explore the Antarctic Peninsula by ship, Zodiac and on foot.
  • Incredible sub-Antarctic wildlife of South Georgia and the Falklands.
  • More than 30 species of breeding birds, including four species of Penguin.
  • Follow in the footsteps of Shackleton and pause for a moment at his graveside.
  • Explore the quaint, British town of Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands.
  • Learn from the specialist onboard lecturers.
This is an unusual trip beyond the bounds of the world as we know it with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the celestial event - Solar Eclipse in the sky of the Antarctic. The voyage abounds with breathtaking adventures and unforgettable impressions.  

In the Falkland Islands, where birdlife abounds, we discover easily accessible albatross and penguin rookeries on idyllic island farmsteads. In South Georgia, amidst the dramatic Southern Ocean seascape, we find world-famous wildlife beaches thronged with jousting elephant seals, raucous fur seals, and stately king penguins.

In the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula we explore a pristine polar wilderness of singular beauty, complete with bustling penguin colonies, dauntless seals, and voracious whales. On this ultimate wildlife expedition, each destination is more amazing than the last.

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Stewart's Take

The unique chance to observe a total eclipse of the Antarctic sun in the most pristine wilderness on Earth

Overview

This voyage features the clean unspoiled scenery, wildlife, and rich history of the Antarctic Peninsula, as well as the crown jewels of the Southern Ocean: South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Plus, the rare chance to observe a Solar Eclipse near the ice of the Weddell Sea.
Day 1: Arrival in Ushuaia, Argentina (hotel night) Welcome to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and starting point of our Antarctic expedition! Upon your arrival at the airport, you will be greeted by our staff and transferred to a quality hotel, which has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the itinerary. For the rest of the day, you are free to explore this vibrant port city and adventure hub. For an introduction to local history and wildlife, the interesting Museo del Fin del Mundo is worth a visit. If you have time to spare, a variety of nature activities can be arranged to suit all interests and fitness levels, from hiking in nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park to wildlife viewing in the Beagle Channel. For dinner, Ushuaia offers a wide range of restaurants featuring Patagonian lamb and delectable Fuegian seafood. Day 2: Welcome Aboard! After breakfast at your hotel, the morning is yours to enjoy Ushuaia. Explore the delightful waterfront and savor views of the snowcapped Martial Range, the southernmost peaks of the Andes. Take advantage of shopping for souvenirs or some last-minute necessities such as cold-weather gear. Just remember, you will soon receive your very own parka to keep and waterproof boots to borrow on board the ship. For lunch, the many cafés, parrillas and gelato shops on Avenida San Martín will be sure to satisfy any appetite. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the pier where we will warmly welcome you aboard the luxury expedition vessel M/V Sea Spirit. Get settled in your spacious suite and explore the ship that will be your comfortable home during the extraordinary adventure to come. After getting underway, a full schedule of events kicks off with informative briefings and introductions from your expedition staff. After the first of many delicious dinners on board, step out onto the open decks to admire the scenery and gorgeous evening light as we pass through the Beagle Channel. Day 3: South Atlantic Ocean After transiting the Beagle Channel and passing the islands of Tierra del Fuego, we head northeast toward the Falkland Islands. We keep a lookout for dolphins and whales. The ship’s stabilizing fins provide comfort in the event of rough seas. Presentations by our experts prepare you for our arrival in the Falkland Islands. Day 4-6: Falkland Islands The remote and sparsely-populated Falkland Islands are a birders’ paradise. We anticipate spending two days in the remote outer islands where large colonies of penguins and albatross are easily accessible. The Falklands are also a great place to observe marine mammals. Fur seals and elephant seals can be found on sandy beaches while the waters around the archipelago are home to cetaceans such as Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins. Our exact route and exploration opportunities are dependent on weather among these isolated and windswept islands. We also intend to visit the port of Stanley, the charmingly British capital of the Falkland Islands. Attractions within pleasant walking distance along the waterfront promenade include the Falkland Islands Museum, the governor’s house, a cathedral with impressive whalebone arch outside, a war memorial, quality gift shops, pubs, and views of shipwrecks in the harbor. Day 7-8: Southern Ocean From the Falkland Islands we head east toward South Georgia, passing the remote, seabird-covered pinnacles known as Shag Rocks on the way. We also cross the Antarctic Convergence, the biological boundary of the Southern Ocean. Briefings, bio-security procedures, and lectures from our experts prepare you for our arrival in South Georgia. Day 9-13: South Georgia Island This is expedition cruising at its most authentic. Our route and exploration opportunities in South Georgia are heavily dependent on the weather conditions we encounter. Our experienced captain and expedition leader decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. You can be sure that the best possible advantage will be taken of the circumstances presented to us by nature in this wild and remote corner of the world. We take every safe opportunity to go ashore in this amazing place. South Georgia is a scenic wilderness and an unrivaled paradise for subantarctic wildlife viewing. The islands are said to host upwards of 100 million seabirds, including numerous species of albatross, penguins, prions, petrels and terns. On beaches such as those at Salisbury Plain and St. Andrews Bay, over 100,000 elephant seals and three million fur seals jostle for space among innumerable penguins including stately king penguins and sprightly macaroni penguins. The recently completed rat eradication program is sure to make this wilderness even more pristine and rich with birdlife. The bountiful waters surrounding South Georgia are also inhabited by an increasing number of whales. The historical whaling station of Grytviken is now home to the excellent South Georgia Museum managed by the South Georgia Heritage Trust. Grytviken is also the final resting place of Ernest Shackleton, the legendary polar explorer. Our days in South Georgia are filled with memorable excursions, sumptuous meals, presentations by our experts, and enough incredible scenery and wildlife to fill your camera and overwhelm your emotions. Day 14-15: Total Solar Eclipse in the Scotia Sea As the time of the eclipse nears, we leave South Georgia and proceed southwest across the Scotia Sea toward Antarctica. The goal now is to get into perfect position for observing a total solar eclipse. To accomplish this remarkable feat, the captain will navigate the ship precisely onto the narrow path of totality—the relatively small area from which one can see the sun’s light become totally obscured by the moon—at the precise time of the predicted eclipse. Essentially, we will try to meet the center of the moon’s shadow as it moves swiftly across the Scotia Sea during its rare and brief appearance in Antarctica. This may well bring us within sight of the Weddell Sea pack ice, adding a great polar ambiance to this amazing celestial event. With the advantage of sophisticated ice charts and meteorological forecasts—and a little luck—we will gather on deck in the early morning of Friday, December 4th, under clear skies to observe a total eclipse of the Antarctic sun in the most pristine wilderness on Earth. Day 16-17: Southern Ocean After the mesmerizing spectacle of the solar eclipse, we continue west toward the Antarctic Peninsula. Pelagic seabirds including the majestic albatross are common in these waters and can readily be viewed from panoramic open decks or from exterior stateroom windows and balconies. We may also encounter enormous tabular icebergs drifting north from the Weddell Sea. Day 18-20: South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula The Antarctic Peninsula region contains some of the world’s most impressive scenery and some of Antarctica’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Protected bays and narrow channels are surrounded by towering mountain peaks covered in permanent snow and immense glaciers. Icebergs of every size and description complete an image of incomparable beauty. Waters rich with krill are home to a variety of whale and seal species. The whole area is alive with penguins foraging at sea and forming large nesting colonies at special places on land. The area is also home to Antarctic research stations of various nationalities, some with a gift shop and post office. The South Shetland Islands are the northernmost islands in Antarctica and will likely be our first sighting of land. This wild and beautiful island chain contains numerous landing sites with abundant wildlife and historical significance. Among them is Elephant Island, where men from Shackleton’s famous Endurance expedition spent the winter. Farther south, on the Antarctic Peninsula, the gorgeous Gerlache Strait area contains sheltered bays, accessible wildlife, and stunning scenery. Places with names like Paradise Bay are the epitome of everything Antarctic: glaciated mountains, towering icebergs, feeding whales, seals on ice floes, and bustling penguin colonies. At the southern end of Gerlache Strait is the famous Lemaire Channel, also known as “Kodak Gap” because of the photogenic way the mountainous sides of the narrow channel are reflected in calm waters strewn with icebergs. The wilderness of Antarctica is subject to unpredictable weather and ever-changing ice conditions, which dictate our route and exploration opportunities. This is a real expedition. We exploit every opportunity to experience excellent wildlife viewing, amazing scenery and excursions via Zodiac. Day 21-22: Drake Passage It is now time to head north across the Drake Passage toward South America, though the adventure is not quite over. We are always on the lookout for marine mammals and seabirds in these wild waters. This is also the time for festivities such as the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail and the end-of-voyage slideshow. Finally, as we enter the calm Beagle Channel, we enjoy a night of smooth sailing toward Ushuaia. Day 23: Disembarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina After breakfast we say farewell in the city of Ushuaia, where we started. We provide a group transfer to the airport or to the town center if you wish to spend more time here. As you look back on your wonderful experience in Antarctica, you may already be looking forward to your next incredible adventure to the ice!

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Luxury Expedition Ship M/S Sea Spirit

MS Sea Spirit, luxury, small expedition ship

Sail aboard the remarkably comfortable Sea Spirit and experience the polar regions in grand style with spacious suites. Carrying a maximum of 112 passengers this outstanding vessel, approved for polar waters, is equipped with rubber inflatable boats - called Zodiacs- for shore transfers and cruising. Kayaking and camping options are available on select departures. All suites have facilities en suite and exterior views. Deluxe Suites, Premium Suites and the Owner's Suite have private balconies for viewing the breathtaking landscapes of the Arctic, Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands. Cruise with all the comfort of home - king-size beds (twin beds for those who prefer them), an open bar, balconies and a hot tub. Plus enjoy the amenities of a fine hotel, while a resident photographer helps you take brag-worthy photos.

For full information about this vessel click here...

Included
  • 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Ushuaia;
  • Group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation;
  • Group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation in Ushuaia;
  • Shipboard accommodations;
  • All scheduled landings/excursions;
  • All lectures and briefings onboard;
  • All meals;
  • Coffee/tea/cocoa/espresso 24 hours daily;
  • Welcome drink and farewell dinner onboard;
  • A pair of rubber boots on loan for shore landings;
  • Expedition parka;
  • All port fees;
  • Pre-departure materials;
  • Digital Voyage Log.
Excluded
  • Airfare;
  • Visa and passport fees (if applicable);
  • Luggage and trip cancellation insurance;
  • Meals, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations;
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls, faxes, and e-mail service and gratuities to shipboard personnel;
  • Fuel surcharge may be applied for all bookings;
  • Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of USD 150,000;
  • Pre- or post-cruise travel expenses.
Deposits - Reservations require a deposit of $1500 per person at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 120 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments - Balances are due 90 days prior to departure. Final payment can be made by calling us (final payment cannot be made online) and may be paid by major credit card, bank transfer or check. Cancellations - All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 90 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of $750 per person. If cancellation occurs less than 90 days prior to departure, all payments are forfeited. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms - Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Poseidon Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
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