SOUTH GEORGIA, ANTARCTIC ODYSSEY & THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS
Combine the best of the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia on one incredible voyage. Antarctica offers lively penguin colonies, feeding whales, and unsurpassed adventure activities. Cross the majestic Scotia Sea to visit the worlds largest king penguin colonies and for those who are interested follow Shackleton’s epic walk (on foot or ski) across South Georgia.
|1||Ushuaia, Argentina||Day at leisure|
|2||Embarkation Ushuaia||Embark the Sylvia Earle, set sail and meet the expedition team|
|3||At Sea||Cross the South Atlantic Ocean towards Falkland Islands|
|4||Falkland Islands||Four species of penguins, black-browed albatross, numerous bird species and dramatic Falklands scenery|
|5 & 6||At Sea||Albatross and whales. Educational program|
|7 - 10||South Georgia||Penguins and Seals with a magnificent backdrop of snow-capped mountains|
|11 & 12||At Sea||Enjoy presentations from expedition or relax and enjoy the many facilities on board|
|13 - 15||South Sandwich Islands||Explore these remote volcanic islands, home to the largest chinstrap penguin colony|
|16 & 17||At Sea||Keep an eye out for your first iceburg as you sail towards the Antarctic Peninsula|
|18 - 22||Antarctic Peninsula||Gentoo, Adelie & chinstrap penguins, seals and dramatic scenery|
|23 & 24||At Sea||Crossing the Drake Passage|
|25||Ushuaia, Argentina||After breakfast disembark the Sylvia Earle for your onward journey|
The 2nd purpose built expedition vessel by Aurora Expeditions honours the highly accomplished marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer, Sylvia Earle. As the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998 this vessel pays tribute to Sylvia’s long standing conservation efforts for marine protected areas and ocean wildlife.
Besides the same revolutionary Ulstein X BOW hull design like the Greg Mortimer, the Sylvia Earle features a distinctive Glass Atrium Lounge at the bow of the ship with a stunning panoramic view on both port and starboard side, Lecture theatre and lounge, a swimming pool and jacuzzi where you can admire impressive scenery while watching the world go by.
Please Note: The Sylvia Earle is currently under construction so all images are renders.
Arrive in Ushuaia, renowned for its breathtaking scenery. Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world set on the shores of the Beagle Channel. Ushuaia is a major tourist centre, particularly for people cruising to Antarctica. The city offers magnificent hiking in Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, the only coastal national park in Argentina.
After transferring to your downtown hotel, the rest of the day is at your leisure.
You’ll embark on your voyage in Ushuaia in the late afternoon. Settle into your cabin and meet your fellow travellers as well as the expedition team as you set sail along the Beagle Channel.
As you cross the South Atlantic Ocean, the expedition team will prepare you for your first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures, and start the lecture program to help you learn more about the region’s history, wildlife and environment.
Arrive at the Falkland Islands and make one or two shore excursions if weather permits. 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!
The educational program will continue as you head to the South Georgia. Spend some time on deck admiring the sea birds and looking our for any wildlife that may be passing by or simply relax and catch up on some reading.
Over the next few days explore South Georgia’s spectacular north coast. Visit the world’s largest king penguin rookeries, the nesting grounds of majestic wandering albatross and if weather allows, follow Shackleton’s route from Fortuna Bay to Stromness. Kayakers revel in paddling waters alive with king penguins and playful seals. Photographers will enjoy a backdrop of 3000-metre peaks, basking elephant seals, feisty fur seals and penguins cluttering kelp-strewn beaches.
As you sail away from splendid South Georgia, enjoy presentations from the expedition team to help prepare for your arrival to the wild South Sandwich Islands. Perhaps you may want to practise your photo editing skills, stay active in the gym, or simply watch seabirds frolic alongside the ship.
Located about 740 km south-east of South Georgia, the islands form a chain some 350 km long, comprising 11 large and several smaller islands with a total area of about 600 sq. km.Most are ice-capped, and the tallest peak, on Montagu Island, reaches 1,370 m. The climate is cold, with frequent snow and strong winds. The islands are volcanic in origin and some remain active. The island of Zavodovski, for instance, appears in constant eruption, while the islands of Visokoi, Candlemas, Saunders, and Bellingshausen all show definite signs of activity. Bristol, Cook, and Thule islands are heavily glaciated and show no signs of warmth or activity. All the islands are steep-sided above the water, and fall away rapidly into deep water.
In our trusted Zodiacs or kayaks, explore the coast of some of the islands if conditions allow. Vegetation is very sparse. But there’s at least one extraordinary wildlife spectacle: Zavodovski Island supports a chinstrap penguin colony that numbers around one million penguins on its steep volcanic slopes. Those who have seen this massive penguin colony speak of it with awe.
Note: The South Sandwich islands will only be explored by zodiacs or kayaks there will be no shore landings.
Join the expedition team to pick up photography tips or learn about the white continent, and keep an eye out for your first iceberg as we sail towards the Antarctic Peninsula.
It’s almost impossible to describe the feeling of arriving in Antarctica. Spotting your first iceberg and taking a deep breath of some of the most fresh, crisp air on earth is an experience that will stay with you forever. The expedition team plan to visit busy penguin rookeries, historic sites and make a continental landing. The Antarctic Peninsula’s west coast is yours to explore. The experienced expedition team, many who’ve been to Antarctica over dozens of summers, create the best daily itinerary that prevailing weather and ice conditions allow. A sense of excitement abounds as you use every moment of daylight to enjoy the best that Antarctica has to offer. This could mean two to three excursions in a day, whether it be to penguin colonies, historic huts, a working scientific station or a Zodiac cruise through a sculpture garden of grounded icebergs. Note – Weather and ice conditions permitting, Sylvia Earle voyages will attempt to explore the ice-chocked Weddell Sea region before moving onto the western side of the Peninsula.
As the Captain steers the ship north across Drake Passage there’s time to watch for seabirds, enjoy entertaining talks, discuss what you’ve seen and learned, exchange photos and stories. With luck, the ship may make a ceremonial rounding of Cape Horn before sharing a farewell dinner with your newfound friends.
Cruise up the Beagle Channel early this morning before slipping into to dock in Ushuaia, where your voyage concludes after breakfast. Farewell your expedition team and disembark the ship.
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 the Patagonia sample itineraries below and contact us to begin creating your perfect holiday.