|Day 1||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Guided tour of Buenos Aires|
|Day 2||Embarkation Ushuaia||Fly to Ushuaia, Catamaran cruise on Beagle Channel|
|Day 3||At Sea||Crossing the Southern Ocean|
|Days 4 - 10||Antarctic Peninsula||gentoo, Adelie & chinstrap penguins, seals and dramatic scenery|
|Days 11 & 12||At Sea||Southern Ocean|
|Days 13 - 17||South Georgia||Millions of penguins, hundreds of thousands seals with a magnificent backdrop of snow-capped mountains|
|Days 18 & 19||At Sea||Albatross, prions, shearwaters and whales|
|Days 20 & 21||Falkland Islands||Four species of penguins, black-browed albatross, numerous bird species and dramatic Falklands scenery|
|Day 22||Disembark Port Stanley, Fly to Santiago||Farewell your expedition team and board your charter flight to Santiago, Chile|
Launching in 2020, the National Geographic Endurance is a next-generation expedition ship, purpose built for polar navigation. The Category A vessel is a fully stabilized, highly strengthened ship designed to navigate polar-passages and uncharted waters all year round. Designed to provide an extremely smooth ride in even the most adverse of conditions, reduced spray on deck and wave-splicing action making for superior observation.
Made for exploration, the National Geographic Endurance is outfitted with kayaks and a fleet of Zodiac landing crafts, underwater cameras, video microscopes to explain elements of the surrounding environments, a hydrophone to listen to the vocalisations of marine mammals, an open bridge to constantly talk to your captain and expedition crew along with snorkeling gear and wet suits for underwater excursions. Please Note: As the National Geographic Endurance is still being built, all images featured are rendered and actual images may vary.
National Geographic Explorer was completely redesigned and rebuilt prior to being relaunched in 2008. The ship is equipped with an ice-strengthened hull and advanced navigation equipment making it ideal for Antarctic expeditions, and offers a well-appointed interior with vast expanses of glass for an unprecedented connection to the regions explored. The Explorer accommodates guests in 81 spacious outside cabins, most with feature windows and some with balconies. Public areas include a lounge and bar, a spa, fitness centre and sauna, and a choice of dining options that offer regionally inspired cuisine.
Arrive in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, set on the Rio de la Plata, and check in to your centrally-located hotel for overnight. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided tour that gives you an overview of the city, seeing its Beaux Arts palaces, grand boulevards, and the famous balcony forever associated with Eva Peron.
*Note: This pre-voyage night is part of a charter flight package and is at an additional cost.
In the morning fly from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. The National Geographic charter flight is at an additional cost. Alternatively you can book a regular domestic flight. Please contact us regarding what your preferred option is.
The morning’s flight offers some rare views as you fly over the starkly rugged terrain of Patagonia to land in Ushuaia, known as the southernmost city in the world (although, with a population of around 60,000, really more of a large town). Set on the shores of the Beagle Channel, ‘Ushuaia’ actually means “the bay facing westward” in the language of the original Yamana inhabitants. Once a penal colony for political prisoners as well as hardened criminals – the Presidio (prison) was closed in the late 1940s – Ushuaia is now a major tourist centre, particularly for people cruising to Antarctica.
This afternoon you will embark on the National Geographic Endurance.
Awake well into your journey sailing across the Drake Passage toward Antarctica. While at sea you have the chance to spend plenty of time with your on-board polar experts whose presentations will prepare you for the exciting days ahead. You will also start to identify the seabirds that glide alongside the ship.
With long hours of daylight, the most will be made of the time spent around the Antarctic Peninsula and cruising among the surrounding islands. Dazzling wildlife sightings await you on excursions to some of these islands and the scenery is breathtaking, from the colossal icebergs to the seemingly endless Antarctic ice sheet. The schedule is flexible, allowing the opportunity to take advantage of the unexpected, exploring by Zodiac, kayak and on foot, and using the vessel’s arsenal of tools for exploration. If the ice conditions permit, you might sail through the incomparable Lemaire Channel and land on the White Continent itself.
Sailing north-east bound for the island of South Georgia, you’ll notice a dramatic drop in temperature as you cross the Antarctic Convergence where the cold Antarctic waters meet and mix with the warmer waters of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, creating the abundance of krill and marine life that attracts whales and seals to this part of the world. The on-board naturalists will increase your anticipation with presentations on the wildlife of South Georgia, and, of course, the inspiring story of the great polar explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, and his ship ‘Endurance’.
Explore the spectacular coastline of South Georgia Island. In keeping with the nature of an expedition, your schedule is flexible with opportunities for walking, hiking, kayaking and Zodiac excursions, making stops every day as you leisurely circumnavigate the island. Teeming wildlife and breathtaking scenery farewell the ship as your Zodiacs make landfall. Plan to visit Grytviken, part of the extraordinary story of the Endurance and the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton, as well as Stromness Bay where Shackleton, Tom Crean and Frank Worsley finally reached aid at a whaling station. See huge elephant seals, and, on a single beach, you will visit a vast colony of tens of thousands of king penguins!
Whales beneath and birds above, as you continue on your journey. Naturalists will prepare you for the exciting days ahead with presentations on wildlife and history of the Falkland Islands.
Arriving in the Falklands overnight, by morning you’ll be excited to make your first shore excursion. The archipelago contains two main islands – East and West Falkland – and in terms of wildlife, they boast the largest black-browed albatross colony in the world and are home to bustling rookeries of Magellanic, gentoo and rockhopper penguins; you may even spot king penguins here! You will make a stop in Port Stanley, the capital of the Falklands with a very ‘British-outpost’ feel, and will be free to wander the charming streets of brightly painted houses, and visit the Anglican Cathedral, with its organic archway of whalebones, and the Falkland Islands Museum.
As you arrive back into Stanley, transfer to the Mount Pleasant airport where you will board your charter flight to Santiago, Chile where you incredible adventure will come to an end.
*Note: This flight is part of a charter flight package and is at an additional cost.