Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica: Explorers & Kings Cruise

Gerald Cubitt
Small penguin families
A penguin community
Claudio Suter
Mountains of ice
Claudio Suter
A humpback whale dives beneath the Antarctic waters
Claudio Suter
Antarctic Sunrise
Ocean Diamond's dining room.
Enjoy a book in the library aboard the Ocean Diamond.
In brief: - Explore the world’s seventh continent on the Antarctic Peninsula by ship, Zodiac and on foot - Learn about Antarctica’s unique geology, history and wildlife with an expert team of lecturers - See the incredible wildlife of South Georgia, including 30 breeding bird species and four penguin species - Follow in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s perilous voyages on South Georgia and pause for a moment at his graveside - Explore the quaint, British town of Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands - Immerse yourself in the icy realm of the Antarctic by taking an optional kayaking excursion - On board lecturers and educational presentations from Polar specialists the duration of this antarctic cruise

Day 1

    Ushuaia, Argentina

    Due to the size of the continent, Antarctica’s diversity is best appreciated on longer voyages, where greater distances can be covered. This extended expedition encompasses the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, the remote Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), as well as the extraordinary beauty of the Peninsula. Overnight in Ushuaia.

    Day 2

      Embarkation Day

      Prior to the afternoon embarkation in Ushuaia, visitors can explore the southernmost city in the world. The former prison for hardened criminals and political dissidents has been converted to a museum. The shops and cafés will be open for last-minute purchases or for a moment of relaxation.

      Day 3

        At Sea

        There are many activities to keep you engaged while you are at sea. You could learn to identify the seabirds that glide alongside the ship, or attend the illustrated presentations by the Expedition Team. They prepare you for the shore landings and Zodiac cruising that is to come.

        Days 4-5

          Falkland Islands

          Upon arrival in this archipelago your cameras will get their first real workout capturing the abundant wildlife and rugged feel of these remote islands. The Falkland archipelago contains two main islands - East and West, which you will explore by Zodiac excursions and daily landings.

          One landing that will surely stick out in your memory is at Port Stanley. This unique British outpost has a ramshackle charm to it. The largest settlement in the Falklands, you’ll spend your day here visiting churches, museums, wandering around town and perhaps mingling with locals at a typical British pub.

          In terms of wildlife, the archipelago is home to a variety of penguin species, including Magellanic, Gentoo and Rockhopper. If lucky, you may spot King Penguins here as well! You can also expect to see Black-browed Albatross and many other bird species around the islands, including an opportunity to see the two endemic species; Cobb’s Wren and the Falklands flightless steamer duck. Your team of lecturers and specialists will be sure to educate you on the local flora and fauna so that you get the most of a memorable time in the Falklands.

          Days 6-7

            At Sea

            Encircling the continent, cold, northward-flowing Antarctic waters meet and mix with the warmer waters of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, creating the abundance of krill and microscopic marine life that attracts whales and other species to this part of the world. Ship staff will be sure to keep you posted when you cross this invisible, yet important line.

            Days 8-10

              South Georgia

              This remote outpost has long been a centre for exploratory expeditions and commercial exploitation. Many of these original inhabitants arrived to the island to hunt whales and elephant seals. Populations were once decimated, but thankfully populations have rebounded and whaling and sealing ceases to exist today. You will see many remnants of these past activities; including several whaling stations and other abandoned outposts.

              One significant and historic site that will be of interest is the grave of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. You can visit his grave at the settlement of Grytviken, which is also home to an old whaling station, the museum and a small gift shop and church and a research station of approximately 20 scientists and support personnel.

              While South Georgia’s history is an important attraction to the islands, it is the wildlife on South Georgia that you and your shipmates will likely find the most captivating. Often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles, South Georgia contains an exceptional quantity of wildlife. Each landing you make on South Georgia will open your eyes to a new wonder of wildlife. One day you may see rookeries with thousands of King Penguins waddling on the beach. Another day could take us to a beach with jousting elephant or fur seal beachmasters fighting to retain their harems.The grasses, mountains and beaches of South Georgia all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different species, something that your Expedition Team will be pleased to tell you about during your excursions on this impressive and unique island.

              Days 11-12

                At Sea

                Say goodbye to the king penguins, as your next destination is Antarctica! Your days at sea are filled with seminars from your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife that will be greeting you upon your arrival in Antarctica. In between presentations, spend time chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.

                Days 13-16

                  South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Penisula

                  The most common reaction to arriving at the white continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words, as few places are as untouched, unique and enduring as Antarctica. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes. At one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete desolation and silence, at the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into the brilliant blue sea or a penguin comes waddling by to inspect your footwear.

                  Guided hikes with the Expedition Team will have you trekking up a glacier, visiting a research station, or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Gentoo and Adélie penguins are found here, along with Fur, Weddell, Crabeater and Leopard Seals. Curious whales, such as Minkes, are often attracted to Zodiacs as well, giving you a chance to get within reaching distance of these majestic animals. Each day and each landing will present a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera shutter busy.

                  As exciting as the Zodiac excursions and landings are, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to an extra special Antarctic experience by partaking in a kayaking excursion.

                  Days 17-18

                    Drake Passage

                    After more than two weeks of endless wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake Passage is your unofficial rite of passage, which will complete your Antarctic adventure.

                    Day 19

                      Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina

                      After breakfast aboard the ship, it is time to part ways and say goodbye to your Expedition Team. You will be transferred to the airport for your homeward flight.

                      - Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy. Request the Twin 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.
                      -Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate. The supplement for a suite is 2 times the shared rate.
                      -Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person is included. Contact us for details on arranging additional travel insurance.

                      Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that you will achieve everything outlined to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.

                      Included in cruise fare:
                      • Group transfers in Ushuaia from the airport to any local hotel
                      • One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia as indicated in the itinerary.
                      • Group transfers from a designated location in Ushuaia to the ship on embarkation day
                      • 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 your experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities
                      • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
                      • Formal and informal presentations by your Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
                      • Photographic Journal on DVD, 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
                      • 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 to a maximum benefit of USD $100,000 per person
                      • Snowshoes available on loan for shore excursions
                      • A comprehensive photography program that includes the services of a resident photography instructor, a program of lectures on photography and digital image manipulation, photography focused excursions at landing sites
                      • A one-year membership in Friends of Scott Polar Research Institute

                      Not included in cruise fare:
                      • 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
                      • 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