EPIC ANTARCTICA: CROSSING THE CIRCLE VIA FALKLANDS (MALVINAS) & SOUTH GEORGIA.

On this diverse expedition, you’ll experience the spectacular flora and fauna of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) before immersing yourself in the unique history and exquisite, rare wildlife of South Georgia.
Whether you’re visiting Antarctic research stations, witnessing a sudden minke whale breach from your Zodiac, sharing a magical moment with king penguins or celebrating crossing the Antarctic Circle with like-minded travelers and crew, you’ll know this experience will live on in you forever.
 
Expedition in Brief:
•Learn about Antarctica’s unique geology, history and wildlife from our expert team of lecturers
•See the incredible wildlife—more than 30 species of breeding birds, including four species of penguin—of South Georgia, often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles
•Follow in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s perilous voyages to South Georgia and visit his gravesite
•Explore the quaint British town of Stanley in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
•Cross the Antarctic Circle

Itinerary

Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port town at the tip of South America. 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.
 
Day 2: Embarkation Day
As the ship sets sail in the late afternoon, you will begin your Antarctic journey, passing through the Beagle Channel. The channel opens up to the vastness of the Southern Ocean, where your next land sighting will be along the Antarctic Peninsula. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities to capture seabirds hovering overhead.
 
Day 3: At Sea
There are many activities to keep you engaged while we're at sea. You can take advantage of the library of books available on your ship, hang out at the bar chatting to other travelers or spend time out on deck, admiring the sea. Your Expedition Team will also conduct a series of presentations to familiarize yourself with how to prepare for Zodiac cruises and shore landings.
 
Day 4-5: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
The Falkland archipelago contains two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, which you will explore thanks to Zodiac excursions and daily landings. These rugged islands have a frontier feel to them. This is especially true of the largest settlement, Stanley, an interesting British outpost–type place, where you could just as easily wander into a pub as you could a church or museum.
Have your camera handy, as your wildlife sightings in the Falklands (Malvinas) should include at least three species of penguins, plus two endemic bird species—Cobb’s wren and the Falkland’s flightless steamer duck. Your team of lecturers and specialists will be sure to educate you on the local flora and fauna so that you have the most memorable time.
Your team of lecturers and specialists will be sure to educate you on the local flora and fauna so that you get the most out of a memorable time in the Falklands.
 
Day 6-7: At Sea
En route to South Georgia, you’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence, an invisible biological boundary unique to Antarctica. This meeting of oceans is what creates the abundance of krill and marine life that attracts large cetaceans, such as humpback whales, to the area.
 
Day 8-11: South Georgia
Evidence of the old whaling and sealing heyday is still found throughout the island. You’ll be surprised to learn that whale and seal populations were once decimated here. Today, their populations are strong, with massive rookeries to be seen.
One significant and historic site that will be of interest is the grave of the great explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Your visit to his gravesite at the Grytviken settlement, also home to an old whaling station and a research station, is a day for reflecting on what it must have been like to be one of the first explorers of this unforgiving yet beautiful environment.
Although South Georgia’s history is an important attraction to the island, it is the wildlife that you and your shipmates will likely find most captivating. Often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles, South Georgia contains an exceptional quantity of wildlife. Each landing you make on the island will open your eyes to a new wonder: one day you may see rookeries with hundreds of thousands of pairs of king penguins waddling on a beach; the next day you may visit another beach dotted with thousands of fur or elephant seals.
The grasses, mountains and beaches of South Georgia all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different bird and animal species. Your Expedition Team will be happy to share its knowledge of how these vulnerable relationships all play out on the island.
 
Day 12-13: At Sea
Antarctica awaits, along with its own penguin and seal species. While you’re at sea, you can enjoy quiet time or take in presentations by your Expedition Team, who will cover everything from the history and geology of Antarctica to tips on identifying different species and what makes each of them unique.
 
Day 14-16: South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
The experience is hard to put into words, but the most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes: at one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete silence and loneliness, and the next moment you’ll be laughing at the comical antics of a curious penguin.
Glacier hikes, visits to research bases and, of course, communing with seals and penguins are sure to keep you smiling every day. Perhaps you’ll catch sight of the fearless penguin eater, the leopard seal, or maybe you’ll come eye to eye with a curious minke whale while you are cruising in a Zodiac. Each day and each landing will present a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera busy.
If you find yourself wanting more, then perhaps you’ll treat yourself by booking our kayaking Adventure Option (reserve in advance when booking your trip); if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, a little shock therapy courtesy of a Polar Plunge might be what you need!
 
Day 17-18: The Antarctic Circle
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Peninsula do not come close to reaching this far south.
As you toast the first explorers who ventured here, you can raise a glass of champagne and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, where there is the potential for fantastic iceberg sightings.
 
Day 19-20: Northbound Along the Peninsula
If you haven’t had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you’ll surely be satisfied by the time you return to the Drake Passage. You will continue to journey onto land by Zodiac twice daily as you travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula. Your Expedition Team will always be on the lookout for species of penguins, seals and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south.
 
Day 21-22: Crossing the Drake Passage
After more than a dozen days of memorable wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage, putting a final stamp of approval on your Antarctic adventure.
 
Day 23: Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina
Today you’ll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and fellow travelers, disembarking in the morning to catch your homeward flights.

This expedition includes:

  • One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast.
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping.
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage.
  • All shore landings per the daily program.
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader.
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program.
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled.
  • Photographic Journal, documenting the voyage.
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings.
  • An official parka to keep.
  • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock.
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader.
  • A group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the local airport.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • All luggage handling aboard ship.
  • Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $100,000 per person.

This expedition excludes:

  • Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation
  • Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance.
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified.
  • Telecommunications charges.
  • The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew.
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