|Day 1||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Transfer from airport, overnight hotel|
|Day 2||Embarkation Buenos Aires||Set sail|
|Days 3 - 5||At Sea||South Atlantic Ocean|
|Days 6 & 7||Falkland Islands||Five species of penguins, black-browed albatross, numerous bird species and dramatic Falklands scenery|
|Days 8 & 9||At Sea||Southern Ocean|
|Days 10 - 14||South Georgia||Millions of penguins, hundreds of thousands seals|
|Days 15 & 16||Southern Ocean||Albatross, prions, shearwaters and whales|
|Days 17 - 21||Antarctic Peninsula||Gentoo, Adelie & chinstrap penguins, seals and dramatic scenery|
|Days 22 & 23||At Sea – Beagle Channel||Southern Ocean|
|Day 24||Disembark Ushuaia||Farewell your fellow expeditioners|
The Sea Spirit was built in Italy in 1991. She’s a very comfortable ice-strengthened, small (114 guests), all-suite expedition ship. The vessel was updated in late 2010 and had additional refurbishment in April 2017. All suites have private facilities and exterior views. Some of the suites feature private balconies for enjoying fantastic landscapes of Antarctica.
She has a fleet of ten rubber inflatable zodiac boats for landings, an experienced crew, and a set of retractable fin stabilizers for smooth sailing. This ship features an open bridge, 2 rear outdoor viewing areas, an outdoor viewing area at the front of the vessel, a bar, lounge, presentation room and dining area all lined with windows. There is also a gym on-board as well as a library and media centre.
Welcome to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. The name of the city can be translated as “fair winds” but it is also referred to as the “Paris of South America”. This is an exuberant brew of traditions, languages and different types of cultures.
Upon your arrival at the airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel, which is included in the price of the voyage. For the rest of the day you are free to explore this welcoming city. In the evening you may be interested in attending a tango show or visiting one of the fabulous restaurants.
Take the group transfer to the pier where you will be welcomed on board 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.
Sailing south through the South Atlantic Ocean toward the Falkland Islands, keep a lookout for dolphins and whales. Presentations and workshops by the expert staff, as well as the range of on board recreation facilities, ensure that these days at sea are not idly spent. The ship’s stabilizing fins provide comfort in the event of rough seas.
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!
To make the most of your time in South America we can tailor a holiday to Patagonia to suit your voyage dates. If you have a bit more time we can create a tailor-made itinerary to some of the highlights of South America. Take a look at some sample Patagonia itineraries below and contact us to begin creating your perfect holiday.