Departing from Buenos Aires, fly to Ushuaia and transfer to the port. Embark Silver Explorer and bid farewell to Tierra del Fuego, the ‘Land at the End of the World’. Meet some of your fellow explorers as you become acquainted with the luxurious amenities found onboard. This evening, after settling in and setting sail, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team.
The Expedition Team presents talks that will prepare you for the exciting adventures ahead. Tonight, you are invited to attend a special Welcome Aboard cocktail party hosted by the Captain, who will introduce his senior officers and various members of the Silver Explorer crew.
Today’s adventure introduces you to the remarkable beauty of the remote Falkland Islands. New Island is a wildlife and nature reserve, and its many birds and animals are protected by an environmental conservation group. Once ashore, hike into the rocky cliffs to a rookery where rockhopper penguins and blue-eyed shags share the same nesting area. Observe black-browed albatross going about their daily routines and may even spot upland geese. Your onboard historian will tell you about ‘Barnard's barn’ – a stone structure once belonging to an early settler, as well as the wreck of the Protector III – an old minesweeper used for seal hunting, now grounded just off the shore. 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.
Stanley is the capital of the remote Falkland Islands, and has a distinct British ambiance. Stroll through the charming streets of this colorful little town, lined with quaint cottages and a variety of traditional pubs. Visit the 19th-century Anglican cathedral, wander through the small local museum, and see the lingering reminders of the 1986 Falklands War.
As you begin to venture farther south, experience midnight sunsets on deck, or bring your cameras and binoculars to view nature’s splendor. It is very possible to have sightings of of Humpback and Killer whales, and perhaps even the Wandering albatross, which can be recognized by its black wingtips and large wingspan.
This breathtaking destination of towering snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers, and low-lying grasslands attracts an astounding concentration of wildlife: Southern fur seals, southern elephant seals and a variety of albatross species including black-browed, light-mantled sooty, grey-headed and the spectacular wandering albatross, plus thousands of king and macaroni penguins. 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: Cooper’s Bay • 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. Gold Harbor • A large king penguin colony can be found between Weddell Glacier and Gold Harbor. • Seals can be seen resting on ice floes and sunning on the beaches. Grytviken • 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. Salisbury Plain • A favorite breeding ground for hundreds of thousands of king penguins, it is amazing to see how they completely cover the beaches and hills.
Gather in The Theater to hear fascinating tales of adventure or to learn about the region’s distinctive wildlife and nature. Lectures and seminars are presented by knowledgeable experts in a variety of scientific fields. Onboard diversions may include wine tastings, photographic workshops, spa treatments, a workout in the Fitness Center, and, of course, exquisite dining experiences.
Awesome glaciers flecked with pink algae greet you upon approaching Elephant Island – so named for its abundance of elephant seals. In 1916 when Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance was crushed in pack ice in the Weddell Sea, the crew was stranded here for 105 days. Elephant Island is home to several chinstrap penguin rookeries, as well as 2,000-year-old moss colonies. Weddell seals and macaroni penguins can also be found on the spit of land Shackleton’s men named ‘Point Wild’.
While sailing to Antarctica, every turn can reveal a new and breathtaking adventure. As the pack ice becomes thicker, it’s apparent to everyone that you are moving closer into Antarctica’s vast white wilderness. Remote and otherworldly, Antarctica is irresistible for its spectacular iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers, and for the possibility of up-close encounters with marine mammals. Watch for seals sunbathing on slow-moving ice floes and for humpback, Minke, and orca whales to surface from below the frigid waters. Each day Zodiac departures will be attempted, and, if conditions permit, cruise amidst colorful icebergs or step ashore to visit a variety of penguin rookeries and perhaps scientific research stations on complimentary excursions led by your team of natural history experts. A flexible itinerary allows you to take advantage of favorable 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. Paulet Island • 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.
After breakfast, disembark the Silver Explorer and transfer to Ushuaia International Airport for your return charter flight to Buenos Aires.
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