Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Antarctica
19 Nights / 20 Days
Day 1 Ushuaia
Arrive Ushuaia Your gateway for this expedition is Ushuaia, Argentina. Nestled within the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Ushuaia has a small-town feel yet boasts many shops, museums, cafés and restaurants that you can enjoy before your voyage. If you’re feeling adventurous, the nearby national park and Martial Glacier offer plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking.
Day 2 Depart Ushuaia
We board the expedition ship in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city near the tip of Argentina and we start to familiarise yourself with our ‘home’ for the next 20 days. In the early evening we set sail and begin our voyage, leaving Ushuaia behind and charting a course along the Beagle Channel.
Day 3 At Sea
Your days at sea are filled with presentations and lectures 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, or enjoy the fresh air and views on the outer decks.
Days 4-5 Falklands
Upon your arrival in the Falklands (Malvinas), your camera will get its first real workout capturing the abundant wildlife and rugged feel of this subAntarctic region. The archipelago contains two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, which you will explore during daily Zodiac excursions and landings.
Stanley, also known as Port Stanley, is often a favored landing site, as the town offers a unique British outpost feel,complete with eclectic charm. You’ll be free to explore, grab a pint at the local pub or visit numerous churches and museums.
In terms of wildlife, the archipelago is home to Magellanic, gentoo and southern rockhopper penguins. If you’re lucky, you may even spot king penguins here as well! You can expect to see blackbrowed albatross, plus two endemic bird species—the flightless Falkland steamer duck and possibly the elusive Cobb’s wren.
Your team of lecturers and specialists will be sure to educate you on the local flora and fauna, making the most out of your time in the Falklands.
Days 6-7 At Sea
We sail southeast bound for the island of South Georgia. The days at sea are never dull and much of our time is spent scanning the horizon in search of whales and other marine mammals, together with seabirds. Our friendly on board experts continue to fill our minds with heroic stories of some of the earliest daredevils to explore Antarctica. We also learn about Polar conservation — a theme particularly close to the hearts of our guides and crew. The anticipation grows as we cross the Antarctic Convergence, where we notice a dramatic drop in temperature.
Day 8-11 South Georgia
Majestic snow-covered mountains greet us on the island of South Georgia — the most rugged in the region. We cruise the protected waters of the eastern coast looking for suitable landing spots such as Salisbury Plain and St Andrews Bay. The highlight of both these excursions is the mind-boggling abundance of King penguin adults and young that live in these locations by the hundreds of thousands, covering every inch of the shore. But this is not the only wildlife on display: fur seals can be seen poking their heads above the water, skuas and giant petrels swoop in the skies above, and the albatross - our constant companion - is never far away. We hope to explore an old whaling station at Grytviken and visit the grave of the most famous Antarctic explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Day 12-13 At Sea
As we cross the Scotia Sea, sailing ever closer to Antarctica, we hope to visit the South Orkney Islands. Linked to the Antarctic Peninsula by an enormous sub-marine mountain range these islands, often shrouded in mist, and are protected by large icebergs and sea ice. If we are lucky, there will be an excursion to Coronation Island to observe penguins nesting in moss beds alongside graceful snow petrels. We may also stop at the remote island of Laurie and visit the Argentine meteorological station located there.
Day 14-17 South Shetlands-Antarctic Peninsula
Elephant Island is en route to the South Shetland Islands and is our next destination. En route, we learn more about the celebrated adventures of Sir Ernest Shackleton. This island was a place of refuge in 1916 for Shackleton and his crew after his ship was destroyed by pack ice in the Weddell Sea. We then spend time cruising among the South Shetland Islands just off the Antarctic Peninsula. Dazzling wildlife sightings await us on our excursions to some of these islands including King George, Half Moon, Aicho or Livingston. Adélie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins thrive here, as do several species of seal. Hopefully, we see the gentle humpback whale dining on krill off King George Island. Weather permitting; we visit the flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island. There is a spectacular walk to the higher points of the crater rim and an abandoned whaling station nearby begs exploration. Finally, after so much anticipation, we arrive at the Antarctic mainland in Paradise Harbour or nearby Hope Bay. The scenery, from the colossal icebergs to the seemingly endless Antarctic ice sheet is truly breath-taking. Here we set foot on the ‘white continent’ itself.
Day 18-19 At Sea
As we leave Antarctica and make our way back, across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage, we attempt a rounding of Cape Horn. Sailing down the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our Polar expedition with a special dinner.
Day 20 Ushuaia
In the early morning, we arrive back in Ushuaia. It is time farewell to our crew and fellow travellers. You will be transported to your hotel or to the airport for your onward flights.