Antarctica South Georgia and Falklands Explorer

Antarctica and South Georgia

This is a once in a lifetime adventure for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike. Antarctica is the land of penguins, seals, whales and icebergs. As we sail to South Georgia from Elephant Island, we follow in the footsteps of the heroic polar explorer, Shackleton. Penguins rule South Georgia. They number in the hundreds of thousands and carpet beaches as far as the eye can see. It is home to the greatest concentration of wildlife on Earth and the final resting place of Shackleton. The Falkland Islands are ruggedly beautiful, with their spectacular array of birdlife, flora and fauna

  • Unspoiled wilderness and incredible variety of wildlife.
  • Explore Antarctica's South Shetland Islands and spectacular Peninsula
  • Sub-Antarctic Falkland Islands and South Georgia
  • See penguins, seals, whales and albatrosses.
  • Breathtaking scenery such as icebergs, glaciated mountains and volcanoes.
  • Regular zodiac excursions and on-shore landings.
  • Educational lectures on the history, geology and ecology.
  • Optional kayaking and snowshoeing.

Stewart's Take

This is the an incredible journey of discovery, and one that will be etched in your memory forever

Overview

This is a once in a lifetime adventure for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike. Antarctica is the land of penguins, seals, whales and icebergs. As we sail to South Georgia from Elephant Island, we follow in the footsteps of the heroic polar explorer, Shackleton. Penguins rule South Georgia. They number in the hundreds of thousands and carpet beaches as far as the eye can see. It is home to the greatest concentration of wildlife on Earth and the final resting place of Shackleton. The Falkland Islands are ruggedly beautiful, with their spectacular array of birdlife, flora and fauna.
Day 1 - Ushuaia, Argentina On arrival at Ushuaia Airport, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. The first night of your voyage is spent in the quaint town of Ushuaia, the most southerly city in the world and the capital of Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire). The remainder of the day is at leisure and you are free to explore, maybe making a few last minute purchases from the many shops or artisan markets, or relaxing in a café. Avenida San Martin is the main street and there are some excellent museums to visit or you may prefer to wander the streets taking in the town’s dramatic setting, with views of the mountains to the north and the Beagle Channel to the south. Day 2 - Embarkation in Ushuaia This morning is again free for you to explore Ushuaia further, or maybe discover Tierra del Fuego National Park, the most southerly national park of South America. The park offers a range of hiking trails that lead you through the stunningly beautiful and dramatic scenery of snow-capped peaks, lush meadows, rugged coastline, glaciers, waterfalls and lakes. Look out for guanaco, Andean foxes, muskrats and the North American beaver. Birds found here include the Andean condor, Magellanic oystercatcher, kelp goose, austral parakeet and torrent duck. Late this afternoon we transfer to the port of Ushuaia in time for embarkation on board the Ocean Endeavour. The Expedition Team and the Ship’s Officers will be waiting to welcome us aboard. As we set sail, familiarise yourself with the layout of the Ocean Endeavour and its great amenities and enjoy a welcome dinner. This evening we sail along the wildlife-rich Beagle Channel, towards the White Continent of Antarctica. As we leave the lights of Ushuaia behind, look out for Magellanic penguins, rock cormorants, petrels and black-browed albatross from the deck as well as noisy sea lion colonies. Days 3 to 4 - At Sea, Crossing the Drake Passage The infamous Drake Passage, named after the famous English explorer, Sir Frances Drake, separates the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula from the southernmost tip of South America. It is often rough and turbulent, but sometimes as calm as a lake. It is unpredictable, so be prepared! Enjoy the fabulous on board facilities, maybe join a yoga class, or attend a presentation or two given by the Expedition Team to prepare you for what lies ahead - from the geology of Antarctica to the history, wildlife and even the ice! As we sail towards Antarctica, there is a fall in temperature as we cross the Antarctic Convergence and enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. The Antarctic Convergence is marked by an increased number of seabirds, whales and other species that are attracted by the nutrient-rich waters pushed to the surface by the colder waters of the polar region flowing north and meeting the warmer equatorial waters flowing south. Head out on deck to look for the mighty albatrosses that fly overhead, scan the waters for breaching whales and icebergs, or gaze out from the panoramic windows of the observation deck. We continue our course south and hope to make landfall by the evening of Day 4, depending on the weather conditions. Keep on the look out for the first sighting of land - that heralds your arrival to the White Continent! Days 5 to 8 - South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula The next four days are spent exploring the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula, a region that has captivated explorers for centuries and now enthrals travellers. We explore by Zodiac, cruising amongst the magnificently sculpted icebergs and making shore landings where we mingle with penguins, climb to vantage points to absorb the spectacular panoramic views, maybe visiting a scientific or historic base. There may even be opportunities to kayak and snowshoe and of course learn more about photography with one of the experts. Antarctica will enchant you with its incredible scenery, from imposing glaciers to towering snow-capped peaks, vast icebergs and ice-strewn channels. Not to mention the wildlife - from extensive colonies of chinstrap, Gentoo and Adelie penguins, to crabeater, Weddell, fur and elephant seals and a plethora of fascinating birds. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the mighty crack of a calving glacier. Maybe you will be one of the brave few to take a polar plunge in the icy waters! Every day brings a new experience and new landing site. As we cruise from one landing site to the next, enjoy the continued lecture programme and take in the scenery from the outer decks of the Ocean Endeavour. Make the most of the health and fitness facilities from the relaxing spa and saunas to the pool and gym. Day 9 - Elephant Island We leave the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands behind us as we chart a course for historic Elephant Island. If conditions permit, we will attempt to take the Zodiacs to Point Wild. Elephant Island has its place firmly etched in polar history, as this is where Shackleton’s crew from the 1914-17 Trans Antarctic Expedition took refuge when their ship, The Endurance, was crushed by pack ice in the Weddell Sea. They set up camp at Point Wild, a harsh and inhospitable place and waited for over four months, whilst Shackleton sailed with 5 other men in the James Laird lifeboat to South Georgia. This is one of the most incredible adventure stories and most heroic survival stories of all times. Days 10 to 12 - At Sea Leaving Elephant Island, we chart a course northeast towards South Georgia. Learn to identify the seabirds that follow in the wake of the ship or glide alongside the vessel including albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels. Look out for whales and dolphins as you enjoy the silence of the sea. Attend lectures and presentations by the Expedition Team as they prepare you for what lies ahead on South Georgia - from the history and geology to the incredible wildlife. Take in the panoramic views from the observation lounge and spacious decks, or make the most of the on board facilities that include a spa, saunas, saltwater pool, gym and yoga classes. If weather conditions are favourable, we hope to make landfall on South Georgia by late evening on day 12. Days 13 to 15 - South Georgia South Georgia captivates every traveller that steps foot on its shores. Home to the greatest concentration of wildlife on the planet, here penguins number in the hundreds of thousands, blanketing beaches as far as the eye can see. We spend three days exploring this stunningly beautiful island, an island that is not only overrun with an incredible array of fauna, but one that is steeped in history. South Georgia was an intrinsic part of Sir Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated Endurance Expedition and was once the centre of the whaling industry. South Georgia is home to over 30 million breeding birds, thousands of seals, the introduced Norwegian reindeer, nesting sites of the wandering albatross, four breeding species of penguin and the largest colony of king penguins on this planet. It is known as the ‘Galapagos of the South’. If the wildlife is not enough of a draw card - then the spectacular scenery against which it is set can only enhance your visit - emerald green bays, snow-covered peaks and blue glacier ice. We explore by Zodiac and kayak and on foot, with opportunities to learn more about photography from one of our expert guides. Every day provides a different experience and a different location. Stand in awe amongst tens of thousands of penguins, look out across beaches carpeted with elephant seals, visit the remains of abandoned whaling stations and even the grave of Shackleton himself. Days 16 to 17 - At Sea Saying goodbye to the wildlife of South Georgia, we head west towards the isolated and sparsely populated Falklands archipelago, where the silence is broken only by the call of birds. Attend lectures and presentations by the Expedition Team, relax and unwind in the His and Hers saunas and spa and take advantage of all the other amenities on board. Days 18 to 19 - Falkland Islands Have your camera at the ready as we approach the ruggedly beautiful Falklands archipelago to capture not only the abundant wildlife but also the incredible scenery. Over the next couple of days we explore East and West Island by Zodiac and on foot as we make daily shore landings and maybe even discover smaller inlets by kayak. Learn about the intriguing and controversial history of the Falkland Islands as we explore the quaint capital of Port Stanley, with its British outpost feel. Near the town you may see Southern giant petrels, the endemic Falkland steamer ducks, kelp gulls and dolphin gulls. There are also black-crowned night herons, red-backed hawks, peregrine falcons and turkey vultures. As we explore the islands, look out for the 5 species of penguins found here, large populations of black-browed albatrosses, elephant and fur seals, Peale’s and Commerson’s dolphins, orcas and a myriad of bird species including the Falkland’s flightless steamer duck, imperial shags and Cobb’s wrens. Day 20 - At Sea After our exploration of the Falkland Islands, we set sail on a course west, bound for the city of Ushuaia, the most southerly city in the world and the capital of Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire). Day 21 - Disembarkation in Ushuaia We are scheduled to arrive into Ushuaia early this morning, and we disembark after a final breakfast aboard the Ocean Endeavour. After saying our farewells to our Expedition Team and the crew of the Ocean Endeavour, we transfer you to the airport for your onward flight, or you may like to spend a extra days in Ushuaia, giving you time to explore this fascinating town and the surrounding areas. Please Note: You are advised not to book a flight out of Ushuaia before midday on disembarkation day, in case of delays caused by unfavourable weather conditions.

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Your Luxury Expedition Ship: M/V Ocean Endeavour

Expedition Ship M/V Ocean Endeavour

The Ocean Endeavour is an extremely well-appointed expedition ship expertly engineered to explore Antarctica. Carrying up to 199 guests, the ship offers a superb guest experience with a nautical lounge, two restaurants, sundeck, and plenty of deck space for observation of polar landscapes, and lounges for learning and reflection. 

For full information about Ocean Endeavour click here...

Included
  • Pre-cruise hotel accommodation in Ushuaia.
  • Arrival transfers to the hotel and to the ship.
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping.
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage.
  • Complimentary wine with dinner
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings.
  • All shore landings per the daily program. Leadership throughout the voyage by experienced Expedition Leader.
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program. Formal and informal presentations by Expedition Team and guest speakers.
  • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock.
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure materials.
  • A group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the local airport. All luggage handling aboard ship.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
Excluded
  • Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation
  • Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance.
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified.
  • Telecommunications charges.
  • The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew.
Deposits Reservations require a deposit of 20% 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 or you may pay by wire transfer in your selected currency, USD, EUR, GBP, AUD or SEK. Bookings within 120 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments Balances are due 120 days prior to departure. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 180 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of US$ 1250, AU$1600, £830, €1100 per person. If cancellation is received between 179 days and 120 days, the full deposit is forfeited. If cancellation occurs less than 120 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 The Antarctic Cruise Company 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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