SOUTH GEORGIA & ANTARCTICA  

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17 DAYS

ITINERARY SUMMARY
DayPlaceHighlights
1Punta Arenas, ChileEmbark on the Silver Cloud
2-4At SeaTowards South Georgia
5-7South GeorgiaWildlife and history combine to make your time here unforgettable
8-9Drake PassageSail this legendary water as you head to the white continent
10Elephant IslandSail in the footsteps of explorers named after the Elephant seals that make their home there
11-13Antarctic PeninsulaExplore the incredible icy waters and lands of the Antarctic Peninsula
14South Shetland IslandsExplore these islands, what many consider the jewel in Antarctica's crown
15-16Drake PassageSail back towards South America
17Ushuaia, ArgentinaDisembark the Silver Cloud
Silver Cloud South Georgia Antarctica Punta Arenas 2021-22

SHIP OFFERING THIS ITINERARY

SILVER CLOUD

Spacious yet intimate, the yacht-like Silver Cloud carries 240 guests in incomparable comfort and style combining spacious ocean-view suites and private verandas with excellent dining and entertainment options. Silver Cloud epitomizes a vision of world-class cruise accommodations, cuisine, service and amenities. The Silver Cloud is equipped with a fleet of zodiacs and expert guides to escort you on excursions from the ship.

Day 1 Punta Arenas, Chile

Punta Arenas

Welcome to Chile’s City at the End of The World – a wind-whipped, fractured land of islands, glacial fjords and mountains, which drop away towards Antarctica. A hardy city, where the temperature hovers in single figures throughout the year, Punta Arenas nevertheless offers a warm welcome and refuge, ahead of – and following – epic adventures and expeditions south across Drake Passage. Punta Arenas is a remote place, but with custom-free status, and more than 100,000 people calling it home it’s also surprisingly cosmopolitan. The commercial centre of Magallanes Punta Arenas is fueled by lucrative barrels of Chilean oil – and establishing itself as a global centre for Antarctic research, with teams from various countries basing themselves here. The town is built around the Plaza de Armas central square – be sure to kiss the toe of the statue, said to guarantee your safe return. Look down across this colourful city, stretching out to meet the waters of the Straits of Magellan, from the viewpoint at Cerro De La Cruz. Natural wonders abound, whether it’s Alberto de Agostini National Park’s glacial sculptures, or Torres del Paine National Park’s soaring mountains, rushing waterfalls and picturesque lakes. Offshore, in the Strait of Magellan, you can find the birdlife sanctuary of Magdalena Island – an uninhabited island, where hundreds of thousands of penguins march and crowds of cormorants and gulls call out. View the penguins from the platform of the red and white striped lighthouse and look out across an endless expanse of pairs below.

Days 2-4 At Sea

Silver Cloud Dining

Taking advantage of the day at sea, the Expedition Team will present talks about South Georgia that will prepare you for the exciting adventures ahead.  Birders out on deck want to keep an eye out for Black-browed Albatross, Southern Giant Petrels and Cape Petrels.

Days 5-7 South Georgia

Fortuna Bay King Penguins

Charcoal-black mountains ladled with snow, giant glaciers and thriving wildlife combine to make South Georgia one of the great natural islands. Adventure to these far flung lands – where the animals are in charge and humans come a distant second. Here you’ll witness a cacophony of calling birds, natural set pieces like elephant seals clashing and thrashing, and crowds of colourful king penguins stretching out as far as the eye can see. An overseas territory of the UK, these isolated, subantarctic islands once formed a remote whaling centre – and you can still visit the former whaling stations. Nowadays the giants of the sea are free to cruise the icy waters uninhibited.

Written into explorer history due to its links with Ernest Shackleton’s tale of Antarctic exploration, shipwreck and survival, the Endurance’s crew were saved when he reached the salvation of these shores in 1916 – before returning to collect the remaining sailors from Elephant Island. A museum commemorates the legendary mission, and you can see the memorial to Shackleton that stands over his final resting place on this fabled island. South Georgia’s colonies of king penguins – with vivid bursts of yellow and orange around their necks – stand, squabble and curiously investigate, enjoying the isolated respite of this island. They’re joined by smaller penguin species like Macaroni penguins, and other glorious birdlife like the majestic wandering albatrosses, which you can see gliding on gusts of wind, over the choppy waves.

Days 8-9 Drake Passage

Drake Sunset

Sailing the legendary Drake Passage is an experience that few are ever lucky enough to experience. The southern tip of the Americas already feels like a wild enough environment – but the sensation of watching the distant cliffs of the peninsular known as the ‘End of the World’ fade into the horizon, is one that’s equal parts epic, eerie and magical. Set sail, to slowly drop off the bottom of the map from Cape Horn, and voyage on an expedition down into the icy underworld of Antarctica. Drake Passage is an extraordinary voyage of romantic ocean faring legend, as you aim for Antarctica’s icy realm. On arrival, skyscraper sized icebergs salute you, as you traverse the waters of this continent where snow and ice dwelling creatures like penguins and whales roam undisturbed. Your first sight of this most-unexplored place will most likely be the South Shetland Islands.

Walk in the footsteps of some of history’s greatest and bravest explorers as you explore famed, snow-covered landmasses like Elephant and Deception Island. If the journey across Drake Passage sounds daunting, don’t worry – even in rough seas you’re never alone, and will often be accompanied on this spine-tingling adventure by soaring albatrosses and maybe even a protective pod of humpbacks and hourglass dolphins or two. Converging warm and cool ocean currents attract some spectacular animal life to the passage.

Day 10 Elephant Island

Elephant Island

Promising thrilling adventure, legendary tales and immaculate Antarctic beauty, Elephant Island is perhaps Antarctica’s best-known location. The exploits of its early explorers have immortalised this harsh, monochrome island in the tomes of human history. Believed to take its name from the elephant seals that early explorers spotted lolling on its rocks, the volcanic island was not properly explored until 1916 – when Ernest Shackleton and his men were stricken by the weather and sought salvation on its shores. Their story of survival, stranded in this barren land, is one of humanity’s most evocative and inspiring accounts. Elephant Island is written deep into the legend of Antarctic exploration, and you’ll discover Shackleton’s tale for yourself as you arrive in the island’s icy realm. The remarkable, slowly flowing Endurance Glacier – which you’ll see on arrival here – takes its name from their ship, The Endurance.

Visit the monument that stands to Shackleton, often surrounded by a migrating crowd of tiny gentoo penguins, at Point Wild – the spot where he and his 28 crew members camped for four and a half months of Antarctic winter. Eventually, Shackleton and a handful of courageous others sailed for South Georgia Island, before returning to secure the rescue of the remaining crew members. Aside from sailing amid breathtaking winter vistas, witnessing incredible fauna and feeling the sheer rush of an adventure to the unknown – one of the true joys of any Antarctic cruise is to follow in the footsteps of the brave explorers who first sought out the alluring nectar of these dangerous, evocative landscapes.

Days 11-13 Antarctic Peninsula

Penguins, Antarctica

The Antarctic Peninsula unravels upwards towards South America, reaching out a beckoning finger to the adventurous, who dare to explore this untamed realm. Stretching up from the heart of the world’s southernmost continent, the Antarctic Peninsula lies close to 1000 kilometres from Tierra del Fuego and, for many, offers a spectacular first taste of the snow-blanketed landscapes and colossal ice sculptures, which make up Earth’s least-explored continent. Unseen by humans until 1820 – a blink of an eye ago in relative terms – this is an adventure sure to make your hairs stand on end, as you experience the thrill of the truly unknown and extraordinary. The vast peninsula is sprinkled with research bases, which are at the frontline of human scientific endeavour, pushing to study and understand this unique landscape, its exceptional wildlife, and the impact that humans are having on this pristine continent. Witness cathedral-sized icebergs up close, and blue-hued glaciers, slowly slipping from imposing locations like Hope Bay. Blanched mountain peaks cover the peninsula, and you’ll find thousands of adorable Adelie penguin pairs thriving undisturbed in this peninsula’s unique setting.

Day 14 South Shetland Islands

Half Moon Bay, South Shetland Islands

Lying close to the northwestern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, separated by the Bransfield Strait, the South Shetland Islands fall under the jurisdiction of the Antarctic Treaty, suspending claims on their sovereignty. Several countries maintain research bases here, and with plump elephant seals, and crowds of Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie Penguins also calling the islands home, it can even feel a little crowded at times. King George Island is the largest and most hospitable island, hosting the majority of the research stations – some of which are populated all-year-round by tiny, hardy crews. Don’t be fooled though, these islands offer extraordinary adventure in one of the most remote locations on earth. The triple peaks of Mount Foster tower above the archipelago, and you’ll feel your heart pumping a little quicker, as you sail into the core of Deception Island’s magnificent collapsed volcano caldera. Hike the luna landscapes within, and even dip into the improbably warm, geothermally-heated waters of Pendulum Cove. Elephant Island, meanwhile, is written deep into the history of Antarctic expedition legend, as the site where Ernest Shackleton and the stricken crew of the Endurance miraculously survived a harsh Antarctic winter, in 1916.

Days 15-16 Drake Passage

Crossing the Drake

Sailing the legendary Drake Passage is an experience that few are ever lucky enough to experience. Set sail, back to South America – if the journey across Drake Passage sounds daunting, don’t worry – even in rough seas you’re never alone, and will often be accompanied on this spine-tingling adventure by soaring albatrosses and maybe even a protective pod of humpbacks and hourglass dolphins or two. Converging warm and cool ocean currents attract some spectacular animal life to the passage.

Day 17 Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia

Disembark in Ushuaia, a southerly frontier on the cusp of wild nature and extraordinary adventures. Farewell your new friends and incredible expedition team as you continue on your next adventure.

To book this cruise call 1300 668 112 or email contact@antarcticatravelcentre.com.au

We will tailor the perfect holiday to suit your needs.