USHUAIA TO USHUAIA

 

(FALKLANDS, SOUTH GEORGIA & ANTARCTIC PENINSULA)  

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19 DAYS

ITINERARY SUMMARY

DayPlaceHighlights
Day 1UshuaiaSet sail, meet the expedition team
Day 2At SeaEnjoy the facilities onboard, fine dining options, welcome cocktail party
Days 3 & 4Falkland IslandsNew Island, West Point Island, Bleaker Island, Sea Lion Island
Days 5 & 6At SeaRelax and unwind onboard the Silver Wind
Days 7 - 9South GeorgiaWildlife extravaganza on the island- albatross, king and macaroni penguins.
Days 10 & 11At SeaKeep an eye out for icebergs, whales and birdlife
Day 12Elephant IslandChinstrap penguins, weddell seals, macaroni penguins
Day 13Antarctic SoundIconic stretch of water from the Bransfield Strait to the Weddell Sea
Days 14 & 15Antarctic PeninsulaExplore this main peninsula of the spectacular southernmost continent
Day 16South Shetland IslandsSouth Shetland Chinstrap, Adelie, Gentoo and Macaroni Penguins, Leopard seals, Weddell seals, crabeater seals, Southern elephant seals and Antarctic fur seals
Days 17 & 18Drake PassageCross this iconic stretch of ocean notoriously known as turbulent seas or calm like a lake
Day 19UshuaiaDisembark back in Ushuaia and farewell your new friends and expedition crew

South Georgia Odyssey - Greg Mortimer - Maps

SHIP OFFERING THIS ITINERARY

SILVER WIND
Silver Wind Butler Crew

The Silver Wind is a is a modern and comfortable ship which has undergone refurbishments in December 2018 with a second planned for summer 2020 after her original build in 1995. Timelessly elegant and luxurious, the Silver Wind is enabled to comfortably carry 254 passengers (240 on Polar voyages) across her 6 passenger decks. Her new and improved strengthened ice-class hull makes for adaptable sailing through the Polar Regions with ease for whatever the conditions may bring.

Day 1 Ushuaia

Ushuaia

At 55 degrees latitude south, on the Southern most tip of Argentina, Ushuaia is closer to the South Pole than to Argentina’s northern border with Bolivia. It is the capital and tourism base for Tierra del Fuego National Park.

Today embark on your voyage to Antarctica via the Falkland Islands. After you settle in to your cabin you will have a safety drill and meet your fellow travellers.

Day 2 At Sea

Silver Wind Outdoor Dining

Taking advantage of the day at sea, the Expedition Team will present talks about the Falkland Islands (Malvinas -as the Spanish-speaking world calls them) 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.

Day 3 West Point Island and Saunders Island, Falkland Islands

Black-browed on nest dome Alex

Located slightly northwest of West Falkland, West Point Island is used for sheep farming and nature observations. Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins with their distinctive black and white markings can often be spotted as one approaches West Point Island. Our Zodiacs will take us to a jetty from where we will walk slightly less than 2 miles to Devil’s Nose. Walking across rolling moorland and past gorse we will be observed by Grass Wrens, Long-tailed Meadowlarks, Falkland Thrushes, Striated Caracaras and Turkey Vultures, but our goal is to reach colonies of Black-browed Albatross that nest side-by-side with Rockhopper Penguins. Magellanic Penguins and Magellanic Cormorants  can also be found on the island.

Silversea Only, Rockhopper Penguins

Saunders Island is the fourth-largest of the Falkland Islands in the western portion of the archipelago. The island’s topography is unusual, being made up of three peninsulas linked by narrow necks, and three big upland areas. Today the island is run as a sheep farm, but has historical importance as the location of the first British settlement in the Falklands. Saunders’ wildlife is also impressively varied. It is possible to see Gentoo and King Penguins in the open dune and sand-flat area, while Rockhopper Penguins (with the odd pair of Macaroni Penguins in between them), Imperial Shags and Black-browed Albatrosses frequent Mount Richards, the highest point on the island at 457 metres. Other key bird species are the Black–throated Finch, Ruddy-headed Goose and Falkland Steamer Duck.

Day 4 Stanley, Falkland Islands

Stanley, Falkland Islands

Stanley is the capital of the remote Falkland Islands, and –although Argentine authorities have repeatedly claimed the islands as part of their country- has a distinct British ambiance. A reminder of the 1982 Falkland War between Britain and Argentina is the War Memorial.

Opt to take a ‘city tour’ by bus with a local guide or stroll through the charming streets of this colourful little town, lined with quaint cottages and a variety of traditional pubs. Visit the 19th-century Anglican cathedral (the southernmost Anglican cathedral in the world) and wander through the Falkland Islands Dockyard Museum. For stamp collectors a visit to the Philatelic Bureau is a must. Depending on local conditions there might be the chance to see Gentoo, Magellanic or King Penguins at Bluff Cove or Volunteer Point.

Days 5-6 At Sea

Silver Wind Ocean View

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or relaxing, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Days 7-9 South Georgia

South Georgia

South Georgia is a breathtaking destination of towering snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers, and low-lying grasslands that attract an astounding concentration of wildlife. It is possible to find Southern fur seals, Southern elephant seals and a variety of albatross species including Black-browed, Light-mantled Sooty, Grey-headed and the spectacular Wandering Albatross, plus thousands of King and Macaroni Penguins. South Georgia is also linked to the early Antarctic explorers. Captain James Cook first stepped ashore in 1775, but perhaps more famous is Ernest Shackleton’s arrival in 1916 following the sinking of his ship Endurance. Shackleton’s grave and the whaling museum at Grytviken are highlights, as would be a visit to one of the King Penguin colonies at Salisbury Plain or Gold Harbour.

Days 10-11 At Sea

Gym Silver Wind

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or relaxing, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 12 Elephant Island

Weddell Seal

Awesome glaciers flecked with pink algae can be seen approaching Elephant Island — so named either for its elephant-like appearance or for sightings of elephant seals here. Elephant Island is home to several Chinstrap Penguin rookeries, as well as 2,000-year-old moss colonies. Weddell seals and Macaroni Penguins can also be spotted. In 1916, when Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance was crushed in pack ice in the Weddell Sea, the crew was stranded here for more than 4 months finding shelter under two upturned lifeboats on the spit of land Shackleton’s men named ‘Point Wild’. The bust of the Chilean captain Luis Pardo has been erected here to commemorate the successful rescue in the tug Yelcho.

Day 13 Antarctic Sound

Seals, Antarctica

The Antarctic Sound is a stretch of water named after the first ship to have passed through this body of water from the Bransfield Strait to the Weddell Sea in 1902. The Antarctic eventually sank and crew and scientists had to spend quite some time in this area before they could be rescued. Sites that have to do with this story – like Hope Bay or Paulet Island – are hopefully visited if conditions allow. At Paulet, Hope Bay and Brown Bluff Adelie and Gentoo Penguins breed, as do Kelp Gulls and Cape Petrels, Snow Petrels and Skuas. The Sound’s main attractions are the spectacular tabular icebergs that come from the Larsen Ice Shelf further south.

Days 14-15 Antarctic Peninsula

Antarctica, Iceberg

Remote and otherworldly, Antarctica is irresistible for its spectacular iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers, and for the possibility of up-close encounters with marine mammals and the iconic penguins. The Antarctic Peninsula – the main peninsula closest to South America – has a human history of almost 200 years, with explorers, sealers, whalers, and scientists who have come to work, and eventually intrepid visitors coming to enjoy this pristine and remote wilderness. It is a region of protected bays, unscaled snow-capped mountains, vast glaciers and a few places where whalers or scientists have worked. Just as irresistible are the many Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguin colonies, the seals basking on ice floes, the whales and orcas.

Day 16 South Shetland Islands

Gentoo Penguins

Some 770 kilometers south of Cape Horn, the South Shetland Islands are usually the first land seen in Antarctica. Separated from the Antarctic Peninsula by the Bransfield Strait, nine major islands make up the group. The region was the first to be exploited by sealers in the early 19th century, and because of its proximity to South America, it still is the most visited by scientists and tourists. Chinstrap, Adelie, Gentoo and Macaroni Penguins all breed here. In addition, because it is the warmest part of the continent, large moss beds as well as orange, black, grey and green lichens grow –even hair grass and pearlwort manage to survive. Leopard seals, Weddell seals, crabeater seals, Southern elephant seals and Antarctic fur seals can be seen in the water and on the beaches.

Days 17-18 Drake Passage

Crossing the Drake

The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for its turbulent seas due to the westerly winds and the funneling effect of the passage. The Antarctic Convergence, a natural boundary where cold polar water flows northward and warmer equatorial water moves southward, is within the Drake Passage. When these two currents meet, nutrients are pushed to the surface, often attracting a multitude of seabirds and whales. Black-browed Albatross, Sooty Shearwaters and White-chinned Petrels glide in the air currents alongside and in the wake of the ship.

Day 19 Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia

After breakfast, disembark Silver Wind and transfer to Ushuaia International Airport for your return flight to Buenos Aires.

Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and ice conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

A flexible itinerary allows us to take advantage of favourable sea and weather conditions. In the true spirit of expedition cruising, each day the Expedition Leader and Captain will determine our best course depending on weather, ice conditions and wildlife we may encounter.

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

We will tailor the perfect holiday to suit your needs.

Extend your trip to Patagonia

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.