Depart for Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina.
Upon arrival in Buenos Aires, you will be transferred to the hotel.
Flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia – the southernmost city in the world. With the sea to the south and mountains to the north, Ushuaia is a spectacular departure point for your Antarctic cruise. On arrival in Ushuaia, a representative will greet you and transfer you to your Ushuaia Hotel for your overnight stay. This Argentine town is an ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy handcrafted chocolate at a café in town.
Enjoy a tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park + End of the World Train Tour. Embark your vessel “Ocean Adventurer” in the late afternoon and sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This famous channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of excitement as you depart – the next time you see land you’ll be in a wildlife wonderland!
There are many activities to keep you engaged while you are at sea. Learn to identify seabirds gliding alongside the ship, attend dynamic presentations by your Expedition Team, relax in our polar library or simply spend some time out on the deck. You will also be prepped on safety procedures for Zodiac cruises and shore landings, so you can make the most of the adventure that awaits.
Upon your arrival in the Falklands (Malvinas), your camera will get its first real workout capturing the abundant wildlife and rugged feel of this sub-Antarctic region. The archipelago contains two main islands – East Falkland and West Falkland – which you will explore during the daily Zodiac excursions and landings.
The archipelago is home to thriving Magellanic, gentoo and rockhopper penguin colonies, and if you’re lucky, you may even spot king penguins, too! Your team of specialists will be sure to educate you on the local flora and fauna as well.
You can expect to see black-browed albatrosses on West Point Island. Originally known as Albatross Island, West Point has been identified as an Important Bird Area for its several significant bird species, including the endemic Cobb’s wren and Falkland’s flightless steamer duck.
Despite its grim-sounding moniker, Carcass Island rewards with spectacular scenery and wildlife, including gentoo and Magellanic penguins. With no predators, the island’s songbird population has flourished, creating an aural experience unlike any other.
Stanley, also known as Port Stanley, is another favored landing site, as the charming town offers a unique British outpost feel. You will be free to explore, grab a pint at the local pub or visit numerous churches and museums.
Sailing south to South Georgia, you will officially enter Antarctic waters once you cross the Antarctic Convergence, an invisible biological boundary encircling the continent. This meeting of oceans, where the cold Antarctic waters mix and mingle with the warmer waters of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, is what creates the abundance of krill that attracts whales and seals to this part of the world. Your Expedition Team will notify you when you cross this invisible yet important line. Also look out for the seabirds and marine life that frequent the area.
South Georgia was a popular stop for many historic Antarctic expeditions and was once a haven for hunting whales and elephant and fur seals. Today, wildlife populations have rebounded, but you will still find remnants of old whaling stations and other abandoned outposts scattered across the island.
Although South Georgia’s history is an important attraction, it is the abundant wildlife that is sure to captivate. Landing sites on the island are varied, largely determined by the weather conditions of your voyage. Whichever landing sites we visit, they will provide you with wildlife encounters that cannot be enjoyed anywhere else on earth. South Georgia is one of the most fertile breeding grounds in the world for sub-Antarctic wildlife, with beaches blanketed with penguins – king and macaroni penguins, in particular. The island is also a paradise for bird lovers, who will marvel at the plentiful petrels, albatross and burrowing seabirds. With each landing you make on South Georgia – often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles – you will discover a new wonder.
One day you may see hundreds of thousands of pairs of king penguins waddling on a beach, and the next day you may visit another beach scattered with thousands of fur or elephant seals. The island’s beaches, grasses and mountains all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different species. This fragile, symbiotic relationship is something your Expedition Team will explain while you’re here.
A couple of shore landings that best represent what you can expect in South Georgia are Gold Harbor and Cooper Bay. Perhaps the most picturesque site in all of South Georgia, Gold Harbor provides a dizzying amount of wildlife, all in one location. Here, you will be enchanted by the view of the overhanging Bertrab Glacier to the east, a massive king penguin colony in the distance, an abundance of southern elephant seals and fur seals, and nesting albatross high above in the tussock grass.
Cooper Bay will bring you close to macaroni, gentoo or king penguins, and perhaps even Weddell seals, before you set sail for a scenic cruise through the dramatic Drygalski Fjord, where jagged, sharp peaks rise straight out of the sea.
We also hope to visit truly uncharted waters at King Hakkon Bay, a long, narrow inlet in an area that hasn’t yet been fully mapped. This is where the great explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton made landfall in his lifeboat in 1916, searching for rescue for his Endurance crew, who were marooned on Elephant Island. A favorite location of ours is the beach at Salisbury Plain, where assertive fur seals and thousands of curious king penguins are likely to greet us on shore, practically begging you to take their picture. Flanked by glaciers, it makes for a breath taking backdrop, and photographers will want to capture the surreal spectacle. Not to be outdone, the beaches at Elsehul, Royal Bay, Right Whale Bay and St. Andrew’s Bay are also sure to delight, teeming with playful king penguins and fur and elephant seals.
One of the most historic sites you will visit on the island is Shackleton’s resting place. You can visit his grave at the settlement of Grytviken, which is also home to one of the first whaling stations established in sub-Antarctic waters. You’ll have time to visit the museum, gift shop, church and small research station before sailing to Godthul (Norwegian for “good hollow”).
Linking past and present, one landing we will attempt during the voyage is on the eastern shore of Fortuna Bay. Landing here, surrounded by soaring mountains, you’ll head out on the “Shackleton Hike”, a trek that has you hiking along the final miles of Shackleton’s traverse of South Georgia into the Stromness whaling station, where the explorer finally found rescue for his crew. To reach the abandoned station, you will stroll along a pebbled beach littered with hundreds of fur seals and king and gentoo penguins.
After two weeks of endless wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Mingle with your fellow shipmates, sharing stories and photos in the lounge. The noisy, busy world awaits your return, so savor the silence of the sea as long as you can, enjoying your final moments on deck, reflecting on all the amazing creatures you’ve met.
You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning. On arrival, transfer to Ushuaia airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires.
Transfer to Buenos Aires Airport for your flight home.
Home Sweet Home!
If this itinerary does not fit the word PERFECT yet, do contact us so that we can offer you a variety of other options and alternatives, customised just as you would like it according to your needs and budget!