In the afternoon, embark in Ushuaia, Argentina and set sail.
You will be followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Southern Atlantic. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature will drop by as much as 10 degrees C in the time span of only a few hours. Near the Convergence we will see a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship; several species of Albatrosses, Shearwaters, Petrels, Prions and Skuas.
An exciting expedition with zodiac excursions and hiking options. Visit Pegotty Bluff, the historic camp site. It was from there on the 19th May 1916 that Shackleton, Crean and Worsley set off across the Island to Stromness in a 36 hours marathon trek. The same day stop over at Cape Rosa, where it is intended to make a landing. Shackleton’s James Caird landed at Cape Rosa after an epic 16 days voyage from Elephant Island. Truly a historic day!
The ship will be positioned around the Northwest corner of South Georgia. One of the highlights is the visit to Prion Island, where you will witness the breeding efforts of the huge Wandering Albatross and enjoy watching their displays. At Salisbury Plain, the second largest King Penguin colony in South Georgia, also see elephant seals.
In Fortuna Bay the beaches are inhabited by King Penguins and seals. You might even see reindeer! Follow the final section of Shackleton’s route to Stromness, the abandoned whaling village.
At Grytviken see an abandoned whaling village, where King Penguins now walk in the streets and seals have taken over the buildings. At Grytviken visit to the Whaling History Museum as well as to Shackleton’s grave near by.
During the next few days the expedition will explore the beaches of Ocean Harbour, Godthul, Cobblers Cover, Gold Harbour, Drygalski Fjord, Larsen Harbour, Cooper Bay, St. Andrews Bay,Possession Bay, Right Whale Bay and Elsehul. The sites visited give a good opportunity to see a wide spectrum of landscapes and wildlife, like King and Macaroni Penguins, Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Fur Seals, Elephant Seals and the introduced reindeer.
Drygalski Fjord is a great scenic place for zodiac cruising. There will be opportunities for walkers in the group to hike at Godthul and Gold Harbour hikes will be guided and vary in length with approx. 2 – 4 hours, 5 – 10 km. All hiking excursions are subject to weather and landing site availability.
Unique to the 2012 departure is an expedition for real explorers! Apply now to become a member of the expedition team to traverse the island of South Georgia on a self supplied ski trek hauling pulkas (sledges) with personal and shared equipment (food, stoves, fuel) across mountainous terrain from the South to North coast. The skiers will cover a total distance of 40 – 50 km retracing sections of the historic Shackleton route from 1916. The expedition will be guided by leading polar explorer, expedition leader, author and speaker Børge Ousland, who initiated expeditions to both the South and North Poles and solo crossings of both the Antarctic and the Arctic from coasts to coasts.
The ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels. At sea, on your way to Uruguay exit the Antarctic Convergence.
This morning arrive in Montevideo, Uruguay and disembark for your continued journey home.