The capital of Argentina, the birthplace of Tango, the home of Asado, the “Paris of South America”, and the largest concentration of theaters in the world - Buenos Aires. The city is rich in culture and style and a vibrant gateway for your voyage.
Arriving at the ship in the afternoon, you will be greeted by your Expedition Team and ship's officers at a safety and orientation briefing followed by the Captain's welcome dinner. Then, watch the city lights fade in the fresh night air as you sail seaward.
Among the wildlife spotting opportunities as you sail south are the albatrosses, prions, and petrels that frequently follow the ship. Your Expedition Team will be out on deck as well, looking for the whales and dolphins that may also be seen in the area. Experts will begin the presentations with informative and entertaining lectures on the wildlife, history, and geology of The Falkland Islands and Southern Ocean. Helpful briefings on environmental regulations and expedition safety will also be held in the comfortable lecture hall.
The westernmost settled outposts in the Falklands are remote farms that have been family owned for six and seven generations. The sheep graze alongside abatross colonies and rockhopper, king, and macaroni penguin rookeries while striated caracaras patrol overhead and upland geese graze at the water's edge. A visit to one of these homesteads often includes an invitation for cakes and a cup of tea.
Chosen for its sheltered harbor and access to abundant fresh water and peat for fuel, Stanley is easy to discover on foot as most shops and services are centered on the port. The museum, the post-office featuring first day covers, plenty of shops with locally made wool items, and Stanley's lively pubs will all be available. It is possible to experience the wildlife of the Falklands from the town including sea lions and Peale's and Commerson's dolphins in the harbor.
There will be plenty of wildlife spotting as you make your way east across the Antarctic Convergence and officially enter Antarctic waters. Ship board presentations will continue featuring the exciting history and abundant wildlife of South Georgia.
Its unique position inside the Antarctic Convergence yet outside the limit of the yearly sea ice makes this 3,755 square kilometer island home to tens of millions of breeding penguins, seals, seabirds, and even reindeer. Magnificent mountain scenery, glaciers galore, a rugged coastline punctuated with castellate and tabular icebergs, a rich historical tapestry, and an astounding array of wildlife are all available as you travel down South Georgia's leeward coast.
Landing sites feature huge elephant seals, aggressive fur seals, macaroni penguins, albatross, petrels, skuas, and gulls. King penguins, from fuzzy little chicks to fattened adults, can be seen in the hundreds of thousands. Visit the historic Grytviken whaling station, home of the whaling museum, Norwegian seaman's church, the active British Antarctic Survey station and the tiny graveyard where the great Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried.
Heading farther south, continue your education series as the icebergs become more and more plentiful.
The land of superlatives, Antarctica! Your Expedition Leader and Captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. The course will stress the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas as well as sites of historic and scientific interest. The trip may include the Gerlache Strait area including Neko Harbor, Paradise Harbor, Wilhelmina Bay, and Neumayer Channel. Depending on ice, you may also be able to visit the beautiful Antarctic Sound including Brown Bluff, Hope Bay, and Paulet Island. Active scientific bases such as Poland's Arctowksi or Ukraine's Vernadskiy and historic bases such as U.K.'s Port Lockroy or Wordie House may also be visited.
Adelie, chinstrap, and gentoo penguins abound with rare opportunities to see the elusive emperor. Weddell, crabeater, and elephant seals are often found hauled out to rest along with the predatory leopard seal. Minke and humpback whales are frequent visitors and orca sightings are also common.
Continue your lecture series and wildlife spotting as you sail back to Ushuaia. Depending on sea conditions, you may have an opportunity to sail past the legendary Cape Horn. Arrive at the pier in Ushuaia in the early hours of Day 22.
Morning disembarkation lets you catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure.