SUB-ANTARCTIC SAFARI –
FALKLANDS AND SOUTH GEORGIA
|1||Santiago, Chile||Enjoy a night in Santiago|
|2||Stanley, Falkland Islands||Fly from Santiago to Stanley|
|3 - 6||Falklands||Experience the incredible bird life along with other unique animals of the Falklands|
|7 - 8||At Sea||Towards South Georgia|
|9 - 13||South Georgia||Explore this wildlife rich island, bound to delight visitors|
|14 - 16||At Sea||Towards Ushuaia|
|17||Ushuaia||Disembark where you began your Sub-antarctic adventure|
The 2nd purpose built expedition vessel by Aurora Expeditions, the Sylvia Earle, will accommodate 132 guests whilst perfectly combining expedition and luxury. Named after the highly accomplished marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer, the ship will feature the same revolutionary Ulstein X BOW hull design like her sister ship, the Greg Mortimer. The Sylvia Earle will also feature a distinctive Glass Atrium Lounge at the bow of the ship with a stunning panoramic view on both port and starboard side, Lecture theater and lounge, and a swimming pool and jacuzzi where you can admire impressive scenery whilst watching the world go by.
Arrive in Santiago, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. At approximately 6.00 pm this evening, meet your fellow expeditioners at a voyage briefing. Afterwards, there’s free time to explore the city at your leisure. You may wish to enjoy the local cuisine at one of Santiago’s many restaurants.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Stanley, capital of the Falklands~Malvinas.
Stanley is a charming town with a distinctly British character, something you’ll discover on a panoramic tour. The town features terraced town houses, pioneer cottages and even an iconic red telephone box! Colourful buildings house cosy cafes, English pubs, souvenir shops, a post office and the fascinating Historic Dockyard Museum, with displays on the maritime history of the Falkland Islands, natural history and links to Antarctica. The tour ends at the pier, where you will board the vessel.
After embarkation, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important mandatory briefings. As the ship pulls away from port, gather on the deck to commence your adventure with spectacular views over Stanley town. This evening get to know your fellow expeditioners and friendly expedition team and crew at a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure to Falklands~Malvinas and South Georgia.
The Falklands comprises of two large islands (East and West Falkland), with over 700 islands scattered off the coast. All but seven of these are uninhabited, with windswept coastlines, white sand beaches and crystal clear water. These beautifully barren islands are true wildlife havens, sheltering an impressive diversity of birdlife, including the largest black-browed albatross colony on earth. The cold, nutrient-rich waters surrounding the islands make this a prime location for spotting marine life. There are many beautiful areas to explore across the Falklands, each offering a unique perspective on this magnificent archipelago. Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing winds, weather and wildlife opportunities. You will generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day.
Even though you will be north of the Antarctic Convergence it can be quite chilly here, so you’ll want to layer up before joining Zodiac cruises into rocky coves or along sea cliffs, keeping watch for seals, sea lions, dolphins and porpoising penguins. Zodiacs will also transport you from the ship to land, where you may be able to visit albatross colonies, penguin rookeries and perhaps even have a traditional English ‘tea and scones’ at a local cottage.
Between the Falklands and South Georgia, you will be entranced by the ceaseless flight of the many seabirds that follow your wake, skillfully using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum. On this leg it is highly weather dependent so it is difficult to estimate your precise arrival time in South Georgia. The lecture program will continue highlighting all of the incredible sights you have witnessed over the past few days. You will have ample time to enjoy observing the sea birds, whale-watching from the observation areas, or simply relaxing with a book. If time and weather conditions permit, you may pass close to Shag Rocks, a fascinating group of jagged rocky islets protruding from the sea, in the proximity of South Georgia.
As you near the rugged island of South Georgia, spare a thought for Captain James Cook, who arrived here in 1775 and believed it to be the northern tip of a great southern continent! In fact, it is a small island only 176km long, but with a 3,000m snow-capped mountain range, some of the world’s largest congregations of wildlife and a truly fascinating human history, South Georgia is an island of incredible riches. On approach, jagged mountain peaks rise steeply, while seabirds are often spotted soaring around the ship. You’ll sail down the east coast, taking in the spectacular glaciated scenery and enjoying a little shelter from the prevailing westerly winds. This enchanting coastline is yours to explore! Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their local knowledge to plan your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, sea state and wildlife opportunities. Make sure you layer up before joining Zodiac cruises around craggy coves and along the rocky coastline in search of nesting penguins, seal haul-outs and bird cliffs. Remember to keep an eye out for South Georgia’s kelp forests as well – these remarkable underwater ecosystems are quite mesmerising as their fronds sway back and forth on the water’s surface. Zodiacs will also transport you from ship to shore, where you can visit some of the largest king penguin colonies on earth, take a guided walk among fur seals and elephant seals (making sure you listen to your guides and keep your distance!) and wander along pebbled streams and grassy glacial out wash plains. You can also hope to visit the remnants of South Georgia’s thriving whaling stations and pay your respects to Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose incredible voyage of survival is synonymous with this island. If you have chosen an optional activity, you’ll have the option to do that whenever conditions allow. In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, you may ship cruise through fjords with towering cliffs of ancient stone, or into deeply indented bays towards dramatic glacier fronts. This is a great time to find a comfy spot in the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge to enjoy uninterrupted views of South Georgia’s majestic coast.
If time permits you may enjoy one more morning landing in South Georgia before commencing your journey to Ushuaia. During the time at sea you will see many sea birds flying close to the ship and darting into the waves. You may like to spend this time going through your photos and enjoying the onboard facilities, or listening to an informative lecture.
During the early morning, we sail along the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, where you will begin disembarking at around 8:00am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow travellers as you continue your onward journey, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to either downtown Ushuaia or to the airport is included in the cost of the voyage.
NOTE: At the conclusion of the voyage, we do not recommend booking flights departing Ushuaia prior to 12.00pm on the day of disembarkation in case there are delays.
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 of the Patagonia sample itineraries below and contact us to begin creating your perfect holiday.