|1||Santiago, Chile||Enjoy an afternoon guided tour of the city before staying the night|
|2||Embarkation Stanley||Fly from Santiago to Stanley where you will embark on the National Geographic Explorer|
|3-4||Falkland Islands||Outer Islands|
|5-6||At Sea||Southern Ocean|
|7-13||South Georgia Island||King Penguins, Elephant seals & Wandering Albatross|
|14-16||At Sea/Falklands||Make your way back to the Falklands and enjoy an afternoon visit to Port Stanley|
|17||Fly Stanley to Santiago||Disembark and make your return journey back to Santiago|
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. The ship is outfitted with the latest equipment for exploration – kayaks and a fleet of Zodiac landing craft, as well as hydrophones, HD cameras, and sophisticated video equipment that allows access to the underwater world.
Guests traveling aboard National Geographic Explorer will arrive today in Santiago. Check in to the fine, centrally located Mandarin Oriental (or similar), and have the morning to relax. Santiago is surrounded by the Andes, which form an inspiring backdrop to your afternoon guided overview of this vibrant city. Explore the Plaza de Armas, the main square, and nearby Presidential Palace, enjoying wonderful views from the many hills that dot the city. In the early evening gather for an informal reception and a drink at the hotel.
Today fly by private charter flight to the Falklands, arriving in Mount Pleasant with a transfer to Stanley, the capital. Take the time to stroll the photogenic tin-roofed, colonial-style houses of Stanley, seeing the Anglican Cathedral with its organic archway of whale bones before embarking the National Geographic Explorer.
Each Falkland Island is a variation on the theme of topographical beauty with white-sand beaches, vaulting cliffs, windswept moors, and the sunlit yellows and greens of waving tussock grass. While the Falklands boasts a human population (3,000 people in total; 2,500 of whom live in the capital, Stanley) the animals—specifically thousands of irresistible gentoo, rockhopper and Magellanic penguins, magnificent albatross with 11-foot wingspans, and curious fur seals—vastly outnumber them and constitute a major draw for wildlife.
During your days at sea, learn about the fascinating history of Antarctic exploration, as well as the flora, fauna, and geology of South Georgia—and the riveting story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance. The naturalists help you identify the seabirds that follow you: wandering albatross, prions, and black-browed albatross. There’ll also be time to browse the library, enjoy a massage in the wellness center, or workout in the gym.
Steeped in Shackleton and whaling lore, covered mostly in glaciers, South Georgia explodes with life: gentoo and macaroni penguins, enormous snorting elephant seals, and a thriving fur seal population. Here on South Georgia—the Serengeti of the Southern Ocean—you can observe one of the world’s great wildlife spectacles: literally tens of thousands of stately king penguins on a single beach! This is also the setting for the historic adventure story of Sir Ernest Shackleton aboard the ill-fated Endurance, and visit his grave site at Grytviken to drink a toast to “the Boss.”
With whales beneath and birds above, head up to the bridge, or spend these days enjoying the ship’s spa, fitness center, library, and observation deck. After time at sea, your journey across the South Atlantic Ocean takes you once more to the island archipelago that teems with nature. The afternoon visit to Port Stanley offers a chance to see the human face of the islands, to meet the hospitable locals, hoist a drink at a local pub, and stroll around this remote colonial town.
After breakfast, disembark in the Falklands’ capital city of Stanley, and transfer to the airport at Mount Pleasant for your private charter flight to Santiago to continue on your journey.