In the afternoon, watch for Peale’s dolphins and the distinctive black and white markings of the Commerson’s dolphin as the Silver Explorer approaches West Point Island. Upon arrival, photographic opportunities are everywhere as you walk across rolling moorland and admire colonies of black-browed albatrosses that nest side-by-side with feisty rockhopper penguins. Learn about the island’s unique vegetation including the rare Felton plant. The hospitable island owners are always happy to answer your questions and share their stories.
South Georgia is also linked to the early Antarctic explorers. Captain James Cook first stepped ashore in 1775, but perhaps more famous is Ernest Shackleton’s arrival in 1916 following the sinking of his ship, the Endurance. Visit Shackleton’s grave and the whaling museum at Grytviken. Here are some of the places you may visit:
• An unforgettable view of huge icebergs can be seen surrounding Cooper’s Bay as you approach.
• Enjoy a Zodiac cruise to see numerous breeds of penguins, such as macaronis and chinstraps, on the rocks and waters surrounding the island.
• A large king penguin colony can be found between Weddell Glacier and Gold Harbour.
• Seals can be seen resting on ice floes and sunning on the beaches.
• An historic whaling station, all that remain are the rusted hulls of long abandoned whalers.
• Now a museum, guests can learn about past whaling techniques and view various exhibits on exploration and discovery.
• At the burial site of the famous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, toast the great explorer and his many accomplishments.
• A favorite breeding ground for hundreds of thousands of king penguins, it is amazing to see how they completely cover the beaches and hills.
A flexible itinerary allows you to take advantage of favourable sea and weather conditions. In the true spirit of expedition cruising, each day the Expedition Leader and Captain will determine your best course depending on weather, ice conditions and wildlife encountered. Here are some of the places you may visit:
Brown Bluff, Tabarin Peninsula (a 2,200-foot bluff on the Antarctic continent)
• Brown Bluff is an ice-capped, 745-meter-high, flat-topped mountain with a prominent cliff of reddish-brown volcanic rock.
• Adelie and gentoo penguins, kelp gulls, and pintado petrels use this as a breeding area.
• Birds such as the all-white snow petrel and skuas may be seen from a distance.
• As you explore the area, a Weddell seal may be seen basking in the sunlight.
• Wait long enough and you might see the Adelie penguins standing along the rocks, finally making their way into the surf.
Paradise Bay (on the Antarctic peninsula)
• The bay is well named for its spectacular scenery of mountains, glaciers and icebergs.
• From the ship, observe Argentina’s Base Brown, one of many Antarctic research stations.
• Here, you will actually set foot on the continent of Antarctica.
• View the wildlife from sea level while cruising in your Zodiac with one of your experienced Expedition Team members. There’s a good chance you’ll come across a crabeater seal relaxing on a nearby ice floe, or if you’re very lucky, your Zodiac driver may locate a pod of Minke whales.
• As you arrive, you may well be amazed by the sight of Adelie penguins covering the entire island. The island is home to 80-90 thousand Adelies that come here to breed.
• On a nearby hill, view a massive colony of blue eyed shags.
• Kelp gulls and snowy sheathbills are amongst the birds that breed on Paulet Island, and Wilson’s storm-petrels are regularly seen.
• Listen as your Expedition Team guide tells of Otto Nordenskjold and his party that over-wintered on the island in 1912. Remnants of their hut still remain.
• If time permits, take a Zodiac cruise to view impossibly blue icebergs, Crater Lake and the Adelie penguins making themselves at home on the ice floes.
Port Foster, Whalers Bay (Deception Island)
• Deception Island is home to a collapsed volcano and an excellent example of a caldera where it is believed that the volcano’s summit collapsed with one section sinking far enough to allow the sea to flood the interior. Your team plans to sail inside this breached wall through a narrow entrance called Neptune’s Bellows.
• Your resident geologist will take the opportunity to explain the unique volcanic features of the area while our historian will introduce you to the whaling history of Deception Island.
• Still visible on the island are the boilers used to make whale oil in the early 1900s.
|Adventurer Class||Explorer Class||View Suite||Vista Suite||Veranda Suite||Expedition Suite||Medallion Suite||Silver Suite||Grand Suite||Owner|
|19 day itinerary|