Antarctica South Georgia and Falklands: Resolute

Antarctica, Falklands and South Georgia

The towering peaks and immense glacial systems of the Antarctic Peninsula are home to an abundance of wildlife. Large penguin rookeries are found at several locations and we encounter seals and whales in the iceberg filled waterways. Opportunities to visit historic huts and active science stations add further interest. We explore on shore through guided walks which may last up to several hours. Or if you prefer to sit and observe the penguins as they come and go from the water - why not? The more active may choose the sea kayaking option and experience a whole new side of Antarctica

  • Witness some of the largest wildlife colonies found anywhere on Earth
  • Outstanding wildlife observation on shore, Zodiac cruising and from the ship
  • Visits to historic sites and science stations
  • Learn about the environment, wildlife, history and ecology from polar experts
  • Onshore hiking options
  • Photographer-in-Residence
  • Sea kayaking available
  • Whale watching
  • Active Cruising & Wellness
Our journey continues as we follow the course taken by Sir Ernest Shackleton whose epic small boat journey, from Elephant Island across the Scotia Sea to South Georgia remains one of the greatest feats of navigation in history. We explore the northern coastline of the island, home to some of the largest king penguin colonies on earth. The shores are covered in wildlife – including nesting albatross, fur seals and elephant seals. Rusting relics from the old whaling era sit silent and provide a dramatic contrast to the green tussock grass, and snowy peaks that surround us. We then head for the Falkland Islands and aim to spend one final day exploring the wildlife-rich Sea Lion Island and nearby Bleaker Island. Our voyage comes to an end in Stanley – the small capital of the Falkland Islands. This is the classic small- ship expedition to three unique locations.

Special Offer

Save a flight credit of US$800 per person (or equivalent currency). In addition, we will include a complimentary pre-voyage hotel night at the fabulous Arakur in Ushuaia (valued at US$200pp), combined with an onboard US$50 dining/spa credit. The Arakur hotel is known for its spectacular location on a natural bench surrounded by stunning panoramic views.

Stewart's Take

The RCGS Resolute brings a luxurious touch to this classic polar adventure!

Overview

The towering peaks and immense glacial systems of the Antarctic Peninsula are home to an abundance of wildlife. Large penguin rookeries are found at several locations and we encounter seals and whales in the iceberg filled waterways. Opportunities to visit historic huts and active science stations add further interest. We explore on shore through guided walks which may last up to several hours. Or if you prefer to sit and observe the penguins as they come and go from the water - why not? The more active may choose the sea kayaking option and experience a whole new side of Antarctica.
DAY 1 / USHUAIA (ARGENTINA) Our journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, Argentina. We gather at our central meeting point and transfer to the pier and embark our expedition ship. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail, dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime. DAY 2-3 / DRAKE PASSAGE - AT SEA TOWARDS ANTARCTICA Sailing south towards Antarctica we will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross will be our constant companions as we transit the Drake Passage. 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, or relax in the spacious observation lounges and outer decks. 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. DAYS 4-6 / GERLACHE STRAIT AND ANTARCTIC PENINSULA EXPLORATION Take a deep breath and venture out on deck as the towering peaks of the Antarctic continent are laid out before us. This is the moment you have been waiting for. For the next three days we have a varied itinerary exploring the Gerlache coastline and South Shetland Islands. We aim for Paradise Harbour and an opportunity to step foot on the contintal land mass of Antarctica. For many, this is the fulfilment of a life-long goal. A superb hike here leads up to a high point affording incredible views of the glaciers and mountains. This is a good location to observe nesting imperial cormorants on the cliffs. While Zodiac cruising or paddling the kayaks into nearby Skontorp Cove are other memorable activities – the small cove is surrounded by towering glaciers on all three sides. Our activity program is in full swing by now, and 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. We have been exploring this section of Antarctica’s coastline for many years and we have a few special locations in mind. The Errera Channel has several such spots – including Danco Island – a dome-shaped sentinel providing some great hiking options. Cuverville Island is another favourite – with its substantial Gentoo penguin rookeries. We navigate north through the Gerlache Strait towards Spert Island - a little visited rocky outcrop with remarkable geology. The island is criss-crossed by narrow channels which makes for fantastic Zodiac cruising and sea kayaking. The cliffs are home to numerous nesting bird species and we often encounter whales here. Nearby Mikkelson Harbour also allows for another off-ship excursion. After several busy days of exploration we head north, bound for the South Shetland Islands. This is an important whale migration corridor and we expect sightings of humpbacks, or the resident orca group that inhabit this area. If weather conditions permit, we sail the ship right into the middle of a volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic place and home to several penguin rookeries along the black sand beaches. History is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with the rusted relics and dilapidated wooden buildings. Fur seals gather among the old structures seeking protection from the elements. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar. This is where Australian, Sir Hubert Wilkins made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928. There is an outstanding hike here to a location known as ‘Neptune’s Window’ - high up onto the rim of the crater. DAY 7 / ELEPHANT ISLAND After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetlands, we head for Elephant Island – a location forever connected to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition a century ago. Point Lookout on the southern tip of Elephant Island is home to an impressive chinstrap penguin colony. Macaroni penguins also breed here and are a species we have yet to encounter to date. Both southern elephant seals and fur seals are hauled out on the rocky beaches. If conditions permit, we hope to visit the fabled location of Point Wild on the north coast of Elephant Island. It is here that Shackleton and his men were encamped under their upturned life boats for several months in 1917, before five men set off on a rescue mission to South Georgia in their tiny lifeboat – the 'James Caird'. DAYS 8-10 / SCOTIA SEA – TOWARDS SOUTH GEORGIA Departing Elephant Island we cannot help but ponder the journey made by Shackleton and his four companions – as they attempted the near impossible – navigating 800 nautical miles in a 24-foot converted lifeboat across the tempestuous Scotia Sea to South Georgia. We make a much easier time of the crossing in our state-of-the-art expedition ship. 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. Anticipation builds as the mountainous peaks appear on the horizon, marking our arrival at South Georgia. DAYS 11-13 / EXPLORATION OF SOUTH GEORGIA Having arrived in South Georgia we spend the next three 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, are the majestic king penguins. Our plan is to visit several of these huge colonies – where naturalists estimate that more than 100,000 adult and juvenile penguins live in close proximity. Locations may 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. Here we find a fascinating museum and a beautifully restored Norwegian Lutheran Church. Adjacent to the old whaling station lies a small cemetery. This is the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton – who was laid to rest here in 1922. For many onboard, being in the presence of the great explorer is a highlight of the trip. We continue our journey along the coastline, hoping to visit Stromness – another former whaling station – and the final destination of Shackleton and companions Frank Worsley and Tom Crean having made the near impossible traverse across the interior of South Georgia after their epic boat trip from Antarctica a century ago. DAYS 14-16 / AT SEA – TOWARDS THE FALKLANDS By now we are in sensory overload, our cameras full of images and our journey towards the Falkland Islands commences. The spectacular seabirds including several albatross and petrel species are our constant companions as they soar above the ship. 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 at the multimedia stations and catch some rest after several busy weeks of activity. DAY 17 / FALKLAND ISLANDS We wake to the sight of landfall in the Falkland Islands. Approaching Sea Lion Island, we first note the very barren and windswept landscape, exposed to the prevailing weather that originates in the Drake Passage. 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. King cormorants and striated caracaras are just some of the bird species we expect to see. As we cruise along the coast of the Falklands, bound for Stanley, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the ship’s Captain. DAY 18 / ARRIVE STANLEY (FALKLAND ISLANDS) – VOYAGE CONCLUDES – FLY BACK TO SANTIAGO (CHILE) This morning we find ourselves back in the port of Stanley. We say goodbye to our crew and after some free time in town, make our way to the airport for our return charter flight to Santiago. On arrival in Santiago our journey comes to an end. Onward regional and international flight connections may be possible this evening. Discuss the options with your booking agent. A transfer is provided to a downtown location for those choosing to stay and explore Santiago and the delights of Chile. GETTING THERE... IMPORTANT VOYAGE LOGISTICS This trip commences in Ushuaia (Argentina). We recommend arriving in Ushuaia at least one day prior to the scheduled voyage departure. This gives you a buffer in the event of any unexpected travel delays between home and voyage embarkation. Here we board our expedition ship, charting a course for Antarctica. At the conclusion of the trip, we fly from Stanley back to Santiago on our special charter service. A transfer is provided from the airport to a central downtown location. This return flight arrives in Santiago in the late afternoon and onward international flight connections may be possible. Discuss the best flight options with us. Full joining instructions are provided in your final travel documentation. If you have questions before this time, please ask us. ABOUT OUR ITINERARY: Polar exploration can be unpredictable. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a ‘guide only’ and may change. The ship’s Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and Zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavy ice may hinder our planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.

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Luxury Expedition Vessel: RCGS Resolute

RCGS Resolute

The purpose built polar expedition vessel RCGS Resolute provides a most capable, safe, and exclusive expedition cruise experience.  Designed for comfort, there are public spaces ideally suited for each and every need. Two separate bar and lounge areas featuring 180 degree views and a wonderfully stocked library provide ideal places to relax or catch up on some reading. RCGS Resolute has the highest ice class (Lloyds 1AS).  Equipped with propellers of stainless steel, high density steel plating and small frame spacing on her hull, RCGS Resolute continues into the ice, when others simply cannot.  The ship is very stable and her stability and strength are features greatly appreciated in ice laden large waters.  Unmatched stability, coupled with superior speed allows for more time at your destination and more flexibility with itinerary planning – a critical factor in polar waters where ice and weather conditions sometimes dictate daily plans. All cabins feature outside viewing ranging from deck three traditional with port holes, up to decks 4 through 6 offering expansive panoramic windows.  Cabins all have lower berths that have the ability to be single beds, or 1 double bed depending on our guests needs. 

For full information about this vessel click here:

Included
  • Pre-voyage information package to help you prepare for your trip
  • Free use of expedition gear package with quality waterproof/windproof jacket, bib-pants plus insulated rubber boots, waterproof backpack, set of binoculars and a Nordic trekking pole.
  • Transfers to the ship on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport on disembarkation
  • Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board with daily afternoon tea
  • 24-hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar/lounge plus in-cabin tea and coffee making facilities
  • Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of biologists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
  • Daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings
  • Guided hikes and walks for guests of all abilities
  • Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and science stations
  • Resident photography guide
  • An emergency trained medical physician
  • Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff
  • Onboard sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness centre including massage options (charge applies for massage and treatments)
  • Sea Kayaking program available (additional charge of US$795pp) – must be reserved at the time of booking your voyage and you must have some prior paddling experience
  • Well-stocked library with polar reference books
  • End of voyage video, photos and take-home USB
  • Port fees and all permits to access visited areas
Excluded
  • Any international or local airfare unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary
  • Visa and passport expenses
  • Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges or laundry expenses
  • Telecommunication charges (i.e. email, satellite phone)
  • Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (travel insurance is mandatory on all voyages)
  • A voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and ship crew (suggested amount – US$15-20 per day)
Deposit Reservations require a 20% deposit 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 Payment Balances are due 120 days prior to departure and can be paid by bank transfer. Balance payments may be made by credit card subject to a 2% surcharge. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 120 days or more prior to departure = loss of deposit. If cancellation occurs less than 120 days up to and including the day of departure: 100 % of the total price. 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. Pricing, Sharing and Single Occupancy Prices shown are per person on a shared basis. If you are travelling alone and wish to share, you will be matched with someone of the same gender and pay only the share rate. If desired, Single occupancy is available at 1.5 times the twin share rate (not available in the Triple category), or 2 times the rate for Suites. Family Travel and Child Discounts For youth up to and including 17 years of age there is a 25% reduction in price. For youth between the ages of 18-21 there is a 20% reduction in price with proof of educational enrolment (current student card). These youth bookings must accompany an adult booking. Permission is required for any traveller under the age of 18 years and a Child Consent form to be completed. Booking Terms Please read carefully the general Terms and Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by One Ocean 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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