Arrive early and enjoy some tango and empanadas in Argentina’s capital. After exploring this vibrant city of South America on your own, an evening meeting with your ship representative will get you ready for the expedition ahead.
Today you will trade your land legs for sea legs, meet your fellow travelers and get acquainted with your ship. Your journey ahead is a blank slate, full of possibilities. The Expedition Team will ensure your comfort and safety, while also planning out a daily schedule that will optimize your wildlife viewing and shore landings for the days ahead.
You can spend time on deck identifying seabirds, taking in lectures by your Expedition Team or chatting with your new ship friends. Days at sea can be as busy or as relaxing as you desire, during these first few days the Expedition Team will inform you on procedures for your Zodiac cruises and shore landings.
Upon arrival in the Falklands you’ll be greeted by abundant wildlife and a feeling of rugged remoteness. The Falkland archipelago is great for exploring by Zodiac excursions and daily landings so you will get to it right away.
One landing that will surely stick out in your memory is at Port Stanley. This unique British outpost has a ramshackle charm to it with plenty of churches and museums to explore, as well as some friendly locals willing to chat over a drink at the local pub.
If you’re itching for some wildlife photography opportunities then how do Magellanic, gentoo and rockhopper penguins sound? Or, perhaps you’ll even spot some king penguins here as well. Other impressive birds you can expect to see here include black-browed albatross and two endemic species; Cobb’s wren and the Falkland’s flightless steamer duck.
With such a smattering of interesting flora and fauna in the Falklands, your team of lecturers and specialists will be sure to educate you on your surroundings and answer any questions about the sights and species you’ve seen.
Sailing south, you’ll enter Antarctic waters by crossing the invisible biological boundary unique to Antarctica – the Antarctic Convergence. 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.
With a rich history of exploration in the Antarctic, South Georgia has many stories to tell. You’ll learn that the original inhabitants here arrived to hunt whales and fur and elephant seals to perilously low levels, but thankfully populations have rebounded and whaling and sealing ceases to exist today. You will also see many remnants of these days gone by; including several whaling stations and other abandoned outposts.
Perhaps the most historic and famous site on the island 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 a museum, small gift shop, church and an active scientific research station.
After that history lesson, you’ll surely be ready for some wildlife encounters. South Georgia is sometimes called the Galapagos of the Poles as it is home to a captivating number of inquisitive and curious creatures. Indeed, the number of animals you’ll see here will rival that of all the other days of your voyage combined.
Each landing you make on South Georgia will open your eyes to a new wonder of wildlife; one day may be a beach filled with a hundred thousand pairs of king penguins, the next may present some close encounters with massive elephant seals or the smaller fur seals. Different penguin and bird species utilize the island landscape differently here, making it a fascinating destination teeming with wildlife from the shoreline to the top of the highest grassy hills.
Say goodbye to the king penguins, as the next stop is Antarctica! Your days at sea are enjoyed out on deck or taking in presentations by the Expedition Team. With a bit of luck, arrive in the South Orkney Islands in time for a landing, which are officially part of Antarctica.
Spellbound, shocked and awe-inspired are common reactions to arriving in Antarctica. The indescribable feeling of stepping foot on this untouched, unique environment is something you’ll remember forever. 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 sea or a penguin unwittingly provides comic relief as it waddles by.
Your camera will constantly be fixated on Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Minke and humpback whales are also commonly sighted in the clear Antarctic waters.
When it comes time for an animal break, the Expedition Team will take you on guided hikes to glaciers, research stations and snowy mountains, to help you appreciate the landscape and what it takes to live in such an extreme environment.
Homeward bound, your journey across the Drake Passage is a time for reflecting on all of the places you’ve been and sights you’ve seen. It is always a bittersweet moment to turn the ship away from the penguins and icebergs and towards Ushuaia.
As the magical silence of Antarctica fades away, enjoy some final chats with your new friends on the ship and celebrate your successful journey to a land like no other.
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.