|Day 1||Ushuaia, Argentina||Transfer from airport, overnight hotel|
|Day 2||Embarkation Ushuaia||Beagle Channel|
|Day 3||At Sea||Towards the Falkland Islands
||Falkland Islands||Four species of penguins, black-browed albatross, numerous bird species and dramatic Falklands scenery|
|Days 6-7||At Sea||Southern Ocean|
|Days 8-11||South Georgia||Millions of penguins, hundreds of thousands seals|
|Days 12-13||Scotia Sea||Albatross, prions, shearwaters and whales|
|Days 14-18||Antarctic Peninsula||gentoo, Adelie & chinstrap penguins, seals and dramatic scenery|
|Days 19-20||At Sea – Beagle Channel||Southern Ocean|
|Day 21||Disembark Ushuaia||Farewell your fellow expeditioners|
Welcome to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and starting point of our expedition. Upon your arrival you are transfered to your hotel, which is included in the price of the voyage. For the rest of the day you are free to explore the city.
In the afternoon we provide a group transfer to the pier and welcome you aboard the luxury expedition ship M/V Sea Spirit. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Savor the anticipation of your Antarctic dreams coming true as we slip our moorings and sail toward a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as we sail through the Beagle Channel on our first evening is wonderful and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters.
After transiting the Beagle Channel and passing the islands of Tierra del Fuego head northeast toward the Falkland Islands. Seabirds including the majestic wandering albatross are common in these waters and are a pleasure to watch as the glide past.
The Falkland Islands is an archipelago carved by the South Atlantic, where the wildlife and plant life form a link between Patagonia and Antarctica. On the beaches of the islands elephant seals are a spectacular sight when battling to establish territories at the start of the breeding season or even simply relaxing at the sea. Sea lions and fur seals are also easily seen around the Islands. As many as a million penguins nest in the Falklands every summer, representing five of the world’s seventeen species – king, gentoo, rockhopper, Magellanic and Macaroni. The Falklands are also home to large colonies of black-browed albatross.
The capital of the Falklands Port Stanley is the southernmost British outpost. Together with many reminders of its British heritage such as red phone boxes and English pubs the town boasts more unusual sights like a whalebone arch and many shipwrecks along the coast.
The ship will head east toward South Georgia. On the way pass the Shag Rocks, remote seabird-covered pinnacles. You will cross the Antarctic Convergence which is a biological boundary of the Southern Ocean. Clear your camera’s memory as we sail towards the “capital” of Antarctic wildlife and attend on board presentations from expert staff.
South Georgia is a peak emerging from the Scotia Arc, an underwater mountain chain that extends the Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula. Spend four days exploring the alpine landscapes and viewing subantarctic wildlife. Visit to the historic settlement of Grytviken with its whaling era remnants is one of the highlights of South Georgia.
This long and narrow, whale bone shaped island is a home and abundance of wildlife including:
Four seal species – southern elephant seal, Antarctic fur seal, Weddell seal, and leopard seal
Several whale species – the southern right whales, humpbacks, fin whales, sperm whales, orcas, and southern bottlenose whales)
More than 100 million seabirds – grey headed albatross, blue eyed shags, giant petrels, white chinned petrels and Antarctic prions
Penguins – Macaroni penguins, Gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins and the most attractive residents of the South Georgia are King Penguins with their orange-yellow crowns. There are approx. 400,000 breeding pairs of King Penguins on South Georgia.
While you are at sea enjoy presentations from the expedition team on Antarctic wildlife, history and geology preparing you for the meeting with wild spaces of the Sixth Continent.
The wilderness of Antarctica is subject to unpredictable weather and ever-changing ice conditions which will dictate the route and exploration possibilities. We encourage guests to be flexible and understanding that the Captain and Expedition Leader will do their best to show you all the faces of Antarctica whilst keeping you safe.
Spend your days cruising along narrow Antarctic waterways in Zodiacs admiring huge icebergs of different shapes, sizes and colours. Visit scientific stations representing several different countries and learn about Antarctic scientific research straight from the source. Set foot on the Antarctic Continent and spend some time hiking. Hopefully you will see all five penguin species, six seal species and perhaps encounter some curious whales along the way.
This last sea passage separates the magic world from the rest of the world. Use these days to refresh your memories and bid farewell to birds and whales you’ll identify easily now.
After breakfast say farewell in the city of Ushuaia. A group transfer to the airport or to the town centre if you wish to spend more time here, is included. As you look back on your wonderful experience in Antarctica, you may already be looking forward to your next incredible adventure to the ice!