With three weeks to explore not only South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula in depth, but also dropping into the historic Falklands Islands, this Antarctica expedition sits on a rung of its own. Enjoy the freedom to customise your trip with a wide range of optional activities. In addition to regular Zodiac excursions, choose to explore the water on a kayaking expedition, sign up for a photography masterclass, rejuvenate with some onboard yoga and massage, or camp out overnight like a true polar explorer. Whereas most polar expeditions of this kind have a crew-to-passenger ratio of ten, fifteen or twenty to one, Peregrine expeditions on the Ocean Endeavour have an expedition crew member for every 8 passengers for a greater personal touch. Our experienced leaders have made hundreds of polar voyages. Learn about the history, geography and wildlife of the Antarctic from experts in marine biology, glaciology and history
Immerse yourself in another world on this in-depth exploration of Antarctica. Setting off aboard the comfortable, spacious and superbly equipped Ocean Endeavour, follow in the footsteps of Sir Earnest Shackleton and experience the joys of Antarctica, from humpback whales to penguins to glaciers. This extensive expedition allows for more time in South Georgia, Antarctica’s own ‘Galapagos’, where some penguins can number in the hundreds of thousands within a single colony. Set foot on the great Antarctic Peninsula, discover first-hand the story of Shackleton’s astounding Elephant Islands ordeal, and enjoy a taste of the British-tinged Falkland Islands before culminating in Puerto Madryn. With optional adventure activities (such as ice camping and kayaking) and rare touches of the five-star (thanks to an onboard spa and wellness amenities), it doesn’t get much better than this for expedition travel in Antarctica.
Breakfast Included: 20 Lunches Included: 18 Dinner Included: 19
Welcome to Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world. On arrival at the airport, meet your Peregrine representative who will transfer you to your hotel. Attend a briefing this evening to run through the details of the following day’s embarkation. If you arrive early and have some time, feel free to explore Ushuaia as you please. This city, a major port for Antarctica-bound vessels, has quite the dramatic setting; it overlooks the Beagle Channel and is surrounding by mountains.
Ushuaia – Embarkation
Embarking late afternoon, cruise down the historic Beagle Channel. This channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of excitement as you depart, as the last glimpse of land disappears into the distance. The next time you see land you will find yourself in the world’s southernmost continent.
Crossing the Drake Passage
The time has come to cross the Drake Passage, that legendary body of water named after the famous English explorer Sir Francis Drake. If the conditions are right, enjoy some time out on deck to spot dolphins, orcas or perhaps albatross. If the waters are a little rough, perhaps relax and partake in some of the superb onboard facilities of the Ocean Endeavour (nothing works the core during a yoga class like a Drake Passage crossing). A comprehensive lecture program will be well underway; this is a great chance to learn from experts the history, geology and biology of the Great White Continent. With any luck we will make it to land by early evening on day 4 – a moment that always brings much excitement.
As the Antarctic Convergence is left in your wake, the adventure really begins. Enjoy three incredible days of exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and its islands. Feast your eyes on glaciers, mountains and an extraordinary array of wildlife, as the immensity and beauty of the region really comes into view. Every day is a new adventure, and each day you will explore the shore, bays and channels on excursions by Zodiac. There are a number of potential landing sites and the crew will make a decision on which will be visited based on conditions. A list of these sites can be found at https://www.peregrineadventures.com/en-au/antarctica/landing-sites. While the landscapes themselves dazzle, it is all about the wildlife on these excursions, as we encounter penguin rookeries, spot humpback and minke whales, look out for leopard seals. There will also be the chance to see and hear calving glaciers cracking through the Antarctic silence, and to scramble up snowy tracks to behold sweeping views of the landscape.
Today we make for the ice-covered isle where Ernest Shackleton and his team were stranded in 1915. Located on the north-eastern fringes of the South Shetland islands, Elephant Island takes its name from the elephant seals that were found to be plentiful here by 19th-century explorers – and from the shape of the island itself, which resembles an elephant’s head and trunk. You will no doubt learn more about Shackleton’s astounding 135-day ordeal, an essential slice of Antarctic history, while here. If conditions allow, we will attempt a landing or Zodiac cruise around Elephant Island.
Bound for South Georgia, we set off at sea once again, arriving by the evening of day 11 if all goes to plan. Take the opportunity to relax and unwind with some onboard health and wellness, review photographic material, listen to lectures from onboard experts or, if it’s clear outside, taste the crisp Antarctic air from on deck as seabirds and perhaps whales rear their heads.
With the nickname ‘Galapagos of the South’, South Georgia is one of the most remote and wild places on earth. Spend the next few days marvelling at its abundant seabirds, penguin colonies (numbering in the thousands), elephant and fur seal pups, glaciers, mountains and, last but not least, a fascinating history. South Georgia is sure to rate among the highlights of your voyage. The island has been a British Overseas Territory since 1775 and, at 3,755 square kilometres (1450 square miles), is the territory’s largest island. A prominent whaling base in the 19th century, South Georgia saw no more of the controversial practice as of the 1960s. Thankfully wildlife levels on South Georgia have enjoyed a resurgence. We will likely visit the old whaling settlement of Grytviken and pay a visit to the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Sit back and settle in for two days at sea as we cruise in the direction of the legendary Falkland Islands.
In the Falklands we will be exploring the two main islands (east and west) on Zodiac excursions, and wildlife sightings should include at least three species of penguin and two endemic bird species – Cobb’s wren and the flightless steamer duck. The expedition team will educate you on the local flora and fauna so you will know what you’re looking for. Other potential landing sites include West Point Island, Saunder’s Island, Sea Lion Island and Bleaker Island.
As the journey approaches its end, we set off north for Puerto Madryn. With the experience of a lifetime behind you, it’s a great chance to reflect on the immense world of Antarctica and trade memories with your shipmates.
Puerto Madryn – Disembarkation
Bid farewell to your fellow travellers as the adventure comes to an end. A transfer will take you to Trelewn airport for your flight home or you may like to spend a few days in the region. Puerto Madryn is the gateway to the Valdez Peninsula with its abundant wildlife that has made it a UNESCO World Heritage site.