This voyage takes you to the wildlife paradise of South Georgia and the extraordinary landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula. Enjoy unforgettable encounters with untamed wildlife in a vast, dramatic and spectacular setting. Take a step back in time at historically significant sites and be mesmerized by the rich diversity and contrasts that make these regions so captivating and unique.
Watch a wild, isolated and extreme world come to life as scores of penguins dive for food, herds of elephant seals bathe in the sun, and pods of orcas pass by. You’ll be transported to your own wildlife documentary, staged in a magnificent setting of mountains, sea and ice.
|Day 1||Ushuaia||Day at leisure|
|Day 2||Embarkation Ushuaia||Set sail for your adventure|
|Day 3-6||At Sea||Towards the South Georgia|
|Days 7-8||South Georgia||Millions of penguins, hundreds of thousands seals with a magnificent backdrop of snow-capped mountains|
|Days 9-10||At Sea||Towards the Antarctic Peninsula|
|Days 11-13||Antarctic Peninsula||Explore the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula|
|Days 14-15||Cross the Drake Passage||Keep a look out for sea birds and attend the educational program.|
|Day 16||Disembark Ushuaia||Farewell your fellow expeditioners|
You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port at the tip of South America. It’s the ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia whilst preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy handcrafted chocolate at a café in town.
As you embark, the anticipation grows. Trade your land legs for sea legs, meet and greet your fellow travelers and get acquainted with your ship. Since every Antarctic adventure presents new opportunities and experiences, embarkation day is just as exciting for your Expedition Team as it is for you.
There are many activities to keep you engaged while you are at sea. Learn to identify seabirds that glide alongside the ship, or attend dynamic presentations by your Expedition Team. You will be prepped on safety procedures for Zodiac cruises and shore landings, and also be given instructions for getting the most out of your optional kayaking adventures, a truly intimate way to experience Antarctica.
The first indication that you are approaching South Georgia is the sight of birds around a group of rocky spires called Shag Rocks. Have your binoculars and cameras ready to photograph these rocks rising out of the icy ocean waters. Shags and prions often rest here. After enjoying South Georgia from a distance, you’ll head toward its numerable beaches to find a protected bay for your first land excursion. Landing sites on South Georgia are varied, largely determined by the weather conditions of your voyage. Whichever sites you visit, they’ll provide you with wildlife encounters unrivaled anywhere else on earth.
This is one of the most fertile breeding grounds in the world for sub-Antarctic wildlife, with beaches blanketed with penguins. It won’t take you long to realize that South Georgia is a paradise for bird lovers, as burrowing seabirds, albatross and petrels can be seen in abundance. You’ll find that South Georgia, once a popular base for whalers and sealers, is also scattered with abandoned relics and evidence of human activity from centuries gone by. Your Expedition Team will help bring those days to life while you visit old whaling stations and enjoy presentations on the South Georgia of then and now.
One of the most significant sites you will visit on the island is Grytviken. This settlement is one of the first whaling stations established in sub-Antarctic waters. Many travelers find that this place has a special appeal, as it is home to the remains of Sir Ernest Shackleton, one of the most famous Antarctic explorers.
Say goodbye to the king penguins, as your next destination is Antarctica! Your days at sea are filled with presentations, lectures and workshops led by your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife that will greet you upon your arrival. In between presentations, spend time chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.
If conditions allow, we may attempt landfall on the South Orkney Islands, our first official stop in Antarctica.
The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words, since few places are as untouched, unique and enduring as Antarctica.
You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes. At one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete desolation and silence, and at the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into brilliant blue sea or a penguin waddles by to inspect your footwear.
Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether you are trekking up a glacier, visiting a research station or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Curious whales, such as minkes, are often attracted to our Zodiacs, giving you a chance to get within reaching distance of these majestic animals. Each day and each landing will present a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera busy.
As exciting as the Zodiac excursions and landings are, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to an extra-special Antarctic experience by partaking in an optional (extra cost) kayaking excursion or going for a swim in Antarctic waters!
After many wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage, completing your Antarctic adventure. Enjoy your final moments mingling with your fellow shipmates. The noisy, busy, populated world awaits your return, so savor the silence of the sea as long as you can.
After breakfast aboard the ship, it is time to part ways and say goodbye to your Expedition Team. A transfer to the airport will be provided after disembarkation or you may wish to stay a few additional days in Patagonia to explore this region.
Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.