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Crabeater seal

Antarctica and South Georgia

Example 17 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Ioffe
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Experience this 17-day voyage to Antarctica and South Georgia at the height of the summer. Enjoy extended daylight hours, busy wildlife colonies, and a range of landing sites to explore as the sea ice continues to break up. Arrive in Antarctica to celebrate the New Year, and sail north towards the South Shetland Islands and the Falkland Islands. Take part in daily shore visits and witness the most incredible encounters with Antarctica's wildlife.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark
Days 2-3 : Drake Passage
Days 4-5 : Antarctic Peninsula
Days 6-7 : South Shetland Islands | Elephant Island
Days 8-9 : Scotia Sea sailing towards South Georgia
Days 10-12 : South Georgia
Days 13-15 : Sailing towards the Falkland Islands
Day 16 : East Falkland Islands
Day 17 : Stanley | Disembark | Fly to Punta Arenas


  • Navigate through the Antarctic Peninsula's icy waterways
  • Experience daily off-ship excursions, exploring on shore and by Zodiacs
  • Land at Half Moon Island and explore Yankee Harbour's pebbly beach
  • Discover South Georgia's wildlife-rich coastline


Akademik Ioffe

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Crabeater seal Antarctic fur seals, Fortuna Bay, South Georgia Kayaking through the icy waters. Penguin photo opp in Antarctica A specatular iceberg off the coast of Antarctica

Day 1 Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark

Your journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, in southern Argentina. Gather at a central meeting point, transfer to the pier, and embark your expedition ship, the Akademik Ioffe. After settling in to your cabin and exploring the ship, meet the expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as you enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.

Day 2-3 Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Sailing south towards Antarctica you are joined by hundreds of seabirds, including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and a photography expert shows you the best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of the modern research vessel. Keen birdwatchers love the viewing opportunities on the bridge and expansive outer decks. Spend time with your naturalist guides and learn the subtle variations between the different species as they soar on the winds of the Drake Passage. One of the most anticipated sightings are the stunning light-mantled albatross, often seen flying in pairs in elaborate aerial displays. Throughout the day the on-board experts give a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife, and history of the locations you can visit in the coming days.

Day 4-5 Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Awaken today with the magnificent snowy peaks of continental Antarctica laid out before you. Take a deep breath – you have arrived. Welcome to Antarctica. This must surely be one of the most spectacular locations in the world to bring in the New Year!

Spend the next several days navigating through the icy waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula. The coastline features heavily glaciated mountains permanently covered in ice and snow. Rocky outcrops are home to gentoo, Adelie, and chinstrap penguin rookeries and the waters are rich in marine life. Make several off-ship excursions each day, exploring on shore, or cruising in the Zodiacs. Your activity program is in full swing and the crew encourage all guests to choose how their adventure unfolds. Break up into small groups allowing you to indulge your own personal interests– be it hiking, wildlife observation, photography, or blissful silent contemplation.

As well as exploring the offshore islands along the coastline, step foot on the actual continent of Antarctica. Neko Harbour, or nearby Paradise Harbour both provide opportunities to experience this great thrill.

Day 6-7 South Shetland Islands | Elephant Island

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula, head for the South Shetland Islands. If the weather conditions allow, sail into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic location. There are several other landing sites in the vicinity including Half Moon Island and the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour, where you can encounter Weddell seals sunning themselves. To the north lies Elephant Island– forever connected to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition a century ago. On the windswept north coast, exposed to the swells of the South Atlantic, is Point Wild. It was here that Shackleton and his exhausted men camped under their upturned boats– pondering their chances of survival. Shore landings here are notoriously tricky due to often gale-force winds and pounding surf onto the rocky beach. Nevertheless, this is a thrilling location for history buffs.

Day 8-9 Scotia Sea sailing towards South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
As the ship departs Antarctica you cannot help but ponder the journey made by Shackleton and his four companions as they attempted the near impossible– navigating 800 nautical miles in a 30-foot converted lifeboat across the tempestuous Scotia Sea to South Georgia. You make a much easier time of the crossing in your state-of-the-art expedition ship. Onboard experts keep you busy with fascinating presentations and leading lively discussions throughout the day. The great pelagic seabirds are sure to keep you company; anticipate excellent sightings of albatross and giant petrels soaring on the winds of the South Atlantic Ocean. Anticipation builds as the mountainous peaks appear on the horizon, marking your arrival at South Georgia.

Day 10-12 South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Rounding the remote southeastern end of South Georgia, spend the next three days thoroughly exploring the coastline. Dark-sand beaches, tussock-covered hinterland, and a backdrop of towering peaks and glaciers are a feast for all the senses. South Georgia is called the most staggering wildlife show on earth. Seals cover the beaches, and seabirds fill the skies and live in rookeries of immense size. Here you can meet the majestic king penguins. Aim to visit a number of these huge colonies, where naturalists estimate that more than 100,000 adult and juvenile penguins live in close proximity. Locations to visit include Gold Harbour, Royal Bay, St Andrews Bay and Salisbury Plain. Dotted along the coastline are the rusting relics of the early whaling era. The largest of these locations is Grytviken. Here is a fascinating museum and a beautifully restored Norwegian Lutheran Church. Adjacent to the old whaling station lies a small cemetery. This is the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton, who was laid to rest here in 1922. For many onboard, being in the presence of the great polar explorer is a highlight of the trip.

Continue your journey along the coastline, hoping to visit Stromness, another former whaling station, and the final destination of Shackleton and companions Frank Worsley and Tom Crean, having made the near-impossible traverse across the interior of South Georgia.

Day 13-15 Sailing towards the Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
By now you are in sensory overload, your camera is full of images, and your journey towards the Falkland Islands commences. Much of your time is spent scanning the horizon in search of whales and other marine mammals. The spectacular seabirds including several albatross and petrel species are your constant companions as they soar above the ship. Photographing these stunning birds in flight takes great patience and skill and a resident photography expert on board can show you the best techniques. The onboard educational program continues and your experts recap your remarkable journey to date. These days provide a good opportunity to catch up on journal entries, sort through your images in the multimedia room, and catch some rest after a busy two weeks of activity.

Day 16 East Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After several days crossing, Sea Lion Island marks your arrival into the Falkland Islands. This windswept location situated in the southern archipelago provides one further day of activity. Launch the Zodiacs and go ashore to view the remarkable wildlife colonies found here. Three species of penguins including gentoo, Magellanic, and rockhopper exist in the vicinity. Southern elephant seals and South American sea lions are found hauled out on the beaches. Once ashore look for king cormorants and striated caracaras. Weather permitting you may have time to visit neighboring Bleaker Island, another settlement on the exposed southeastern coast of the Falklands. Charting a northerly course towards Stanley, enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship and reflect on your remarkable expedition to the farthest corners of the planet.

Day 17 Stanley | Disembark | Fly to Punta Arenas

In the early morning, the ship navigates through the narrows and into port. Stanley is currently home to just over 2,000 residents and is reminiscent of a rural town in coastal England or Scotland. It is charming with brightly colored houses, pretty flower-filled gardens, a quaint cathedral, and several local pubs. There is time to explore the town before making your way to the airport for your flight to Punta Arenas (this flight is included in the price of your voyage).

Akademik Ioffe


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Early Bird Savings - Book by November 1 and receive $1,000 in flight credit.
Applies to Dec 28, 2017 departure
Per person starting at
The Triple Cabins.
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Main Deck Triple
Deck 3, bunk beds and a sofa bed. Shared facilities, in cabin washbasin, writing desk/chair, ample storage, bathrobes & porthole.
Twin Private Cabins.
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Twin Semi-Private
Deck 4, one lower berth and one sofa bed, a writing desk and ample storage. Semi-private facilities (one bathroom between two cabins). Opening window.
Twin Private Cabin.
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Twin Private
Deck 4 and 5. All cabins have two lower berths, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window.
Superior Cabins.
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Deck 6 these cabins have two lower berths, a sofa, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window.
The Shackelton Suite.
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Shackleton Suite
Deck 4 & 5, 1 double berth, 1 sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters, writing desk/chair, TV/DVD, IPod alarm clock. Private facilities, window & deluxe amenities.
One Ocean Suite.
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One Ocean Suite
Deck 5, 1 double berth, 1 sofa bed & separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, TV/DVD, IPod station. Private facilities with tub. Windows overlooking the bow. Deluxe amenities.


- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double or triple occupancy. Request the Twin or Triple Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.

- Twin and superior cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the shared price, suites for 2 times the shared price. Single supplement is not available in triple cabins.

- Child and Youth Prices: 25% discount for young people aged up to 17 years, and 20% off for those aged from 18-21 years who can prove they are in full-time education.

Please Note: Polar exploration can be unpredictable, which regularly causes variations to itineraries. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a 'guide only' and is subject to change.

Included in Cost:
- Flight from Port Stanley to Punta Arenas
- Transfers from/to designated meeting points to/from the ship
- Luggage transfer from designated locations to/from your cabin
- All meals during the voyage
- Welcome reception & welcome dinner
- Farewell dinner hosted by the Captain
- Daily afternoon tea with fresh snacks
- Coffee, tea & hot chocolate available anytime
- Access to wellness area (Finnish Sauna, Plunge Pool filled with sea water, Hot Tub)
- Natural essential oil amenities
- Services of English-speaking medical officer
- Use of multimedia room
- Use of on-board expedition rubber boots & wet weather gear
- All zodiac and landing excursions
- Zodiac cruising, hiking, guided walks, photography workshops, fitness & yoga
- Camping (subject to weather and ice conditions)
- Educational presentations
- Photography advice and instructions from the resident photographer
- Expedition guides, naturalist staff, and hospitality staff

Not Included in Cost:
- International and national airfares
- Visa and passport fees, airport taxes
- Pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodation in arrival/departure cities
- Meals & transfers in arrival/departure cities
- Personal expenses
- Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
- Massages from registered therapist
- Personal laundry charges
- Postage, telephone calls & email set up
- Medical expenses such as fees, prescriptions or medications
- Travel medical insurance including medical evacuation (mandatory)
- Trip interruption / cancellation insurance
- Gratuities to staff and crew


  • 16 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 16 Dinners
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Kevin M

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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
Karen Snider

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