Travel to the Antarctic in mid to late summer for the most action-packed wildlife experience possible. Get your camera ready as you walk through some of the world’s largest king penguin colonies. Cast your eyes over waters where killer whales hunt in packs, while the elephant seal beach-masters are busy guarding their harems.
Cruise through glassy waters past iridescent icebergs
Raise a glass as you join a small club of adventurers to cross the Antarctic Circle (conditions permitting)
Kayaking and polar snorkelling available (extra cost), plus complimentary photography guidance.
With only 100 guests logistics are faster; everyone can do landings together
Day 1 - Arrive in Ushuaia:
Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be transferred to your downtown hotel.
Day 2 - Embark in Ushuaia:
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before exploring Ushuaia on a half-day city tour.
Capital city of the province of Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia is located on the shores of the Beagle Channel and it is surrounded by the Martial Range. It has a unique landscape; a combination of mountains, sea, glaciers and forest. The city tour will visit The Mission, Brown and Solier neighbourhoods, where you can see old houses belonging to the first families to settle in Tierra del Fuego.
You will then head 11km (7 miles) out of town to Martial Glacier. Riding the chair lift to the trails leading up to the glacier provides wonderful regional views and of Ushuaia town, the Beagle Channel and its islands. Continue afterwards to the End of the World Museum to learn the history of Tierra del Fuego.
Transfer to the pier where our expedition team will warmly welcome you on board the vessel. As we pull away from port, we’ll gather on the deck to commence our adventure with spectacular views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego. You’ll then have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings.
Day 3 - At Sea:
As we commence our voyage, our expedition team prepare you for our first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures. We will also start our lecture program to learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment. There will be opportunities to enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following in our wake as they rise and fall in the air currents created by the ship.
Day 4 - The Falklands Islands (Las Malvinas):
Located 477km (296 miles) east of Argentina, the Falklands are a unique mix of inhabited outpost and wildlife hotspot. An archipelago of over 700 islands, only seven of the islands are inhabited and only two of those are the main islands: East and West. The cold nutrient-rich waters surrounding the islands makes them a prime location for marine life, including seabirds and seals.
Our time here includes a short walk around the historic town of Stanley, and a visit to Sea Lion Island located in the south of East Falkland. The raw beauty and solitude of the island makes it a haven for visitors and wildlife alike. In 2009, Sea Lion Island was officially declared a National Nature Reserve, and no introduced predators live on the island.
It is ideal habitat for elephant seals and sea lions and a plethora of birds such as thrushes, finches, tussac birds and Magellanic penguins. Pods of orcas, Peale’s dolphins and leopard seals are regularly seen in the waters surrounding the island. You’ll also see southern giant petrels, with a wingspan of two metres, rockhopper, gentoo and Magellanic penguins breeding there and Macaroni, king penguins and striated and crested caracaras are also regular visitors.
Days 5 to 7 - At Sea:
Between the Falklands and South Georgia, you will be captivated by the flight of many seabirds following in our wake, skilfully using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum. Our lecture program will continue, highlighting all of the amazing sights we have witnessed over the past few days and there is of course plenty of time to enjoy the sea birds, whale watch from the bridge, or simply relax in the bar with a book. If time and weather conditions permit, we could pass close to Shag Rocks, a fascinating group of rocky islets protruding from the sea around South Georgia.
Days 8 to 12 - South Georgia:
Over the next few days, you’ll experience the wonder of South Georgia: fur seals jostling for space on the beach, enormous, bustling king penguin colonies, and jaw-dropping mountain landscapes. On zodiac cruises, you will discover bays filled with wildlife: raucous and playful fur seals, and curious penguins. Challenge yourself on hikes and enjoy dazzling pristine landscapes seen by few.
South Georgia is one of the world’s most amazing natural environments; a life-sustaining haven to some of the world’s largest congregations of wildlife. The surrounding seas are one of the most productive areas on Earth supporting millions of seals, whales, penguins and seabirds. Between the mountains, glaciers carve their way through the tussock grass to a deeply indented coastline one that is synonymous with the epic survival story of Shackleton, Worsley, and Crean. There is history everywhere with abandoned whaling stations and remnants of explorers and the legacy continues with summer workers conducting scientific and regeneration projects. If conditions permit, we plan to follow in Shackleton, Worsley, and Crean’s footsteps and walk the final leg of their journey from Fortuna Bay to Stromness.
Some of the places where we may land in South Georgia include:
Grytviken – originally a Norwegian sealing and whaling station, closed in 1965. Sir Ernest Shackleton’s body was laid to rest here.
St Andrews Bay – with a long black sandy beach that fronts a broad valley and stretches well back from the sea; home to the largest king penguin colony on South Georgia.
Godthul – bays lined with bleached whale bones, teeming with penguins and fur seals. A careful descent leads us to a magnificent Macaroni penguin rookery.
Salisbury Plains – With about 100,000 pairs, Salisbury Plain has one of the largest king penguin colonies on South Georgia. You will also find fur and elephant seals here.
Fortuna Bay & Stromness – Fortuna Bay is surrounded by high mountains and glaciers leading into an open valley that is home to a small king penguin colony. This is where Shackleton, and his colleagues descended from the treacherous interior towards Stromness whaling station.
Days 13 & 14 - Scotia Sea:
We’ll head across the Scotia Sea, on our way to South Georgia, following the route that Shackleton and five of his men took in an attempt to arrange the rescue of the rest of their crew. They launched the most seaworthy of their open boats, the James Caird, to attempt a perilous journey to South Georgia, some 1290 km (802 miles) away. There Shackleton would enlist the help of the whalers and return to Elephant Island to rescue the men who had been left behind. As excitement builds for our arrival in South Georgia, there will be a chance to catch up with fellow travellers in the bar, watch for wildlife with our naturalist from the bridge, or learn more of Shackleton’s story from our onboard historian.
Days 15 to 20 - Antarctic Peninsula:
Over the next few days, and depending on ice and weather conditions, the whole of the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula is ours to explore. Having visited this area countless times and using their expertise, our expedition team will design our voyage from day to day to allow us to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.
With 18-20 hours of daylight, the days can be as busy as you wish. We will usually attempt two landings or zodiac excursions each day: cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, following feeding whales, landing on the continent and its off-shore islands to visit seal haul outs, penguin rookeries and historic huts, and stopping by a few of our other favourite spots along the peninsula. Our itinerary is deliberately flexible to allow us to pick the best spots on the day based on ice and weather conditions.
A sample of some of the places where we may cruise, hike, land, photograph or view spectacular wildlife include:
- We’ll keep our eyes open for humpbacks, orcas, minkes, and crabeater seals as we head out on zodiacs into the beautiful protected bays around the Antarctic Peninsula surrounded by magnificent peaks and spectacular glaciers.
- We can see large chinstrap penguin colonies and fur and elephant seals hauled out on the pebble beaches of wildlife-rich islands, where glaciers and mountains dominate the vista.
- If ice conditions allow, standing on the ship’s observation deck as the ship sails quietly along the narrow Lemaire Channel could certainly be one of the highlights of our voyage. Cliffs tower 700m/2296ft straight out of the ocean on either side of the ship. The water can sometimes be so still that perfect reflections are mirrored on the surface, or gigantic icebergs may clog the channel or occasionally even obstruct our passage, creating navigational challenges for our Captain and crew.
Days 21 & 22 - At Sea:
As we return to Ushuaia, you may choose to spend the remaining days browsing and editing your photos, treating yourself to a massage or listening to an informative lecture.
Day 23 - Disembark in Ushuaia:
We will sail along the Beagle Channel in the early morning, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, and begin disembarking at around 8am. Say farewell to your expedition team and fellow travellers as we all continue on our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to the airport or downtown Ushuaia is included in the cost of the voyage.
This itinerary is for guidance only; each voyage will vary depending on ice and weather conditions. Flexibility is key and part of the adventure of an expeditionary cruise.
- On-board accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
- All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
- Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
- Captain’s Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
- All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
- Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team
- Access to our onboard doctor and basic medical services
- A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
- Complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage
- A printed photo book produced with photos from your voyage
- Port surcharges, permits and landing fees
- International or domestic flights to or within South America, unless specified
- Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
- Airport arrival or departure taxes
- Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination charges
- Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
- Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
- Optional excursions not included in the itinerary
- Optional activity surcharges
- All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges
100 Capacity Classic Vessel (USD)
|Trip start and end date||Triple||Twin||Balcony Stateroom||Balcony Suite||Junior Suite||Captain's Suite||Notes|
|Jan 22 2021 - Feb 13 2021||$23,300pp||$25,900pp||$27,800pp||$35,800pp||$43,300pp||$50,600pp|