South Georgia Island is incredibly rich in rare wildlife and history. See over 30 species of birds, including four penguin species, and visit the grave of the Sir Ernest Shackleton. Search for whales, seals and penguins on regular Zodiac excursions along the dramatic coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula on both north and southbound explorations.. Onboard lectures from a team of polar experts provide great insight into the unique history, geology and wildlife of the region.. Explore the well-known but little-seen Falkland Islands, hiking over rugged cliffs to seabird nesting spots and visiting the tiny capital of Stanley.
If you desire to ‘do it all’ on your Antarctic adventure, then this is the voyage for you. Not only will you cross the Antarctic Circle and travel further south than traditional Antarctic cruises, you’ll also visit the remote Falkland Islands and fjords of South Georgia. This 23-day journey is for anyone who appreciates a wide variety of landscapes, unprecedented wildlife-viewing opportunities and historic landing sites. Travelling with a team of polar experts, you’ll return having gained remarkable knowledge about these regions.
Breakfast Included: 22 Lunches Included: 20 Dinner Included: 21
Welcome to Ushuaia, a small but bustling gateway town at the tip of South America. If you are flying into Malvinas Argentinas Ushuaia International Airport (AKA Ushuaia Airport) today, you will be met by a Quark representative at the airport and transferred to your pre-expedition accommodation. There will be an information package at reception for you with details of your embarkation tomorrow. There are no activities planned for today, so perhaps head out and grab a steak with chimichurri (an Argentinian garlic salsa).
Ushuaia – Embarkation Day
You will be transferred to port for embarkation in the afternoon. Begin your Antarctic journey by passing through the Beagle Channel. You can get started spotting wildlife along the channel’s shores with seals, sea lions and plenty of birdlife making their homes here. Settle into your cabin and get to know your crew and onboard expert team.
There are many activities to keep you engaged while en route to the Falkland Islands. Take advantage of the library of books available on the ship, become acquainted with your fellow travellers at the bar and enjoy spectacular views from the deck. Thick parkas will be provided to keep you warm so you can stay warm while you’re on the open sea. The expedition team will conduct a series of presentations on polar wildlife and history and to prepare you for the Zodiac cruises and shore landings ahead.
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Spend two days exploring the Falkland’s two main islands, East and West. While our itinerary will be based on weather and animal-spotting opportunities, you can expect daily Zodiac excursions and shore landings. Wildlife sightings around the Falkland Islands should include at least three species of penguin and two endemic bird species – Cobb’s wren and the flightless steamer duck. The expedition team are on hand to educate you on the local flora and fauna so you will know what you’re looking for. Potential landing sites include Port Stanley, West Point Island, Saunder’s Island, Sea Lion Island and Bleaker Island. You also have the chance to partake in adventure options like camping and kayaking, but these must be booked in advance and are not included in the trip price.
Head to South Georgia, crossing the invisible biological boundary of the Antarctic Convergence en route. Unique to Antarctica, this meeting of oceans creates an abundance of krill and marine life. With the help of the expedition team, keep an eye out for large cetaceans, including humpback whales. Learn more about Antarctic conservation as well as the fascinating history of the area, as your onboard presentations continue.
South Georgia is a polar wildlife paradise that you will explore at length over the next four days. As with all polar destinations, our exact itinerary can’t be confirmed in advance, but you should expect to visit rookeries teeming with hundreds of thousands of penguins, encounter huge elephant seals and spot plenty of shags, prions and albatrosses. We will also endeavour to make a landing at Grytviken to visit the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Spend your days at sea enjoying the view from the deck and attending educational presentations made by onboard experts about the history, geology and wildlife of the region. Hot drinks are available around the clock, so relax with a cup of tea or coffee. If weather conditions are good, a visit to the South Orkney Islands may mark your official landing on Antarctica.
Spend three days in this otherwordly environment, perhaps watching whales feed in the waters of the South Shetland Islands, enjoying the comical antics of penguins playing among the ice floes or cruising around icebergs by Zodiac. Some landings may be as simple as sitting on a beach and taking photographs of curious gentoo penguins, while others may include hiking up a hill to enjoy panoramic views of the Peninsula. You may also like to awaken your senses with a polar plunge into the sea, or take part in the sea kayaking adventure option (reserve in advance when booking your trip).
Crossing the Antarctic Circle
Few people can say they’ve crossed the Antarctic Circle. Toast to your adventure and the first explorers to venture this far south with a glass of champagne. This region has the densest concentration of wildlife in Antarctica, and is home to the midnight sun and incredible ice-sculptures. While not a typical landing, the crossing of the Antarctic Circle is a moment to remember. The event will usually happen while at sea, so be sure to head up to the bridge and snap your photo of the GPS reading 66° 33’ S.
Travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula and continue to journey onto land by Zodiac twice a day, weather depending. By now you should have gained enough knowledge to be able to tell the difference between various species of penguins, seabirds, whales and seals. Your expedition team will always be on the lookout for new species of wildlife.
The journey homeward begins as you cross the famous Drake Passage. Keep on the look out for any wildlife in the water or in the air and enjoy the last of the lectures from your expert team.
Ushuaia – Disembarkation Day
Disembark in Ushuaia in the morning after breakfast. If you are flying out of Malvinas Argentinas Ushuaia International Airport (AKA Ushuaia Airport) today, you will enjoy a complimentary transfer.