South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula: Penguin Safari Cruise

Claudio Suter
Birds resting on an iceburg
Gerald Cubitt
Group of King Penguins
Claudio Suter
A bird soars through the polar sky
A penguin community
Gerald Cubitt
Penguins cruising the ice
Ken Kaminesky
Relax in the lounge aboard the Sea Spirit.
Ken Kaminesky
Relax and enjoy a book in the library.

Day 1

    Ushuaia, Argentina

    The Tierra del Fuego archipelago is home to Ushuaia, at the southern tip of Patagonia. This scenic nature lover’s playground has plenty of hiking trails to explore if you need to escape from all the tasty treats on offer at the many bakeries, shops, cafes and restaurants in town.

    Day 2

      Embarkation Day

      This is a day for introductions and getting acquainted with your ship. Meet your fellow shipmates, be introduced to your Expedition Team and snap a few photographs of Ushuaia as you head to sea.

      Days 3-4

        At Sea

        Your Expedition Team will treat you to a number of fun and informative lectures during your time at sea. Reaching the Antarctic Convergence is your first taste of what makes polar travel special. Here, the cold Antarctic waters meet and mix with the warmer waters of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans, creating the abundance of marine life that attracts whales and other species to this part of the world.

        Days 5-8

          South Georgia

          Once ruled by sealers and whalers, things have changed greatly on South Georgia. You’ll be happy to see that the once exploited and nearly vanquished seal and whale populations are now thriving. Penguins abound here as well, with four different species to be on the lookout for.

          Some are a bit elusive, but the king penguins are impossible to miss, as their rookeries here number into the hundreds of thousands! 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, including the odd elephant seal.

          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, museum and a small gift shop, church and scientific research station.

          Days 9-10

            At Sea

            Say goodbye to the king penguins and elephant seals, as your next destination is Antarctica! In between presentations on the wildlife, history and geology of Antarctica, you can spend time chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar. If conditions allow, attempt a landfall on the South Orkney Islands, which are officially in Antarctica.

            Days 11-14

              South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula

              Arriving in Antarctica is often a surprisingly emotional moment. Who knows how you’ll react, but the general reaction is a sense of reverence and awe. No other place on earth is like Antarctica, which is a land of extremes. Complete silence in the middle of the day is something you’re unaccustomed to in your busy life, so Antarctica puts many people into a contemplative mood. But not for too long, as a calving glacier may break the silence or a penguin comes waddling by to inspect your footwear.

              Trekking up a glacier, visiting a research station or going on a Zodiac cruise amongst massive icebergs will become daily activities. It won’t take you long to tell the difference between Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals either, which are all found in this part of Antarctica. Curious whales, such as minkes, are often attracted to Zodiacs as well, giving you a chance to get close to these majestic animals.

              Every journey is full of surprises, even for our experienced Expedition Team, which means your journey will be unlike any before, or after it. This is untamed, unscripted nature at its best!

              Days 15-16

                Crossing the Drake Passage

                Wave goodbye to the penguins as the ship turns northward towards home. Crossing the Drake Passage is considered your unofficial rite of passage, completing your Antarctic adventure. Enjoy some final moments mingling with your fellow travelers or listening to the expedition recaps from your Expedition Team.

                Day 17

                  Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina

                  After a final breakfast together, it is time to part ways. Transfer 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 everything can be accomplished. 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.

                  Rates include:
                  - One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia as indicated in the itinerary.
                  - Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping.
                  - All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage.
                  - Fine dining and an “open bar” offering unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
                  - A 10MB card providing internet access via the ship’s wireless connection.
                  - 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 in every cabin.
                  - 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 for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $100,000 per person.