Arrive today in 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, the Expedition Team and ship's officers greet and present 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 your ship sails south are the albatrosses, prions, and petrels that frequently follow the ship. The Expedition Team is sure to be out on deck as well, looking for the whales and dolphins that may also be seen in the area. Onboard experts begin their presentation series 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 are also 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 albatross 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 are all available to explore. 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 or bird life in nearby Gypsy Cove.
There is plenty of wildlife spotting as the ship makes its way east across the Antarctic Convergence and officially enters Antarctic waters. Ship board presentations continue, featuring the exciting history and abundant wildlife of South Georgia - your next stop.
South Georgia's unique position inside the Antarctic Convergence, yet outside the limit of the yearly sea ice, makes this island an ideal home for tens of millions of breeding penguins, seals, and seabirds. 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 on view 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 historic Grytviken whaling station, home of the whaling museum, Norwegian seaman's church, the active British Antarctic Survey station, plus the tiny graveyard where the great Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried.
Heading farther south, informative presentations and wildlife spottings continue as the icebergs become more and more plentiful.
The land of superlatives: Antarctica! The Expedition Leader and Captain create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. The route highlights 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 picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, the humpback whale favored Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. You may also stop at an active scientific base such as Poland’s Arctowksi or Ukraine’s Vernadskiy as well as an historic base such as U.K.’s Port Lockroy or Wordie House. Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins abound, and Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals are often found hauled out to rest along with predatory leopard seals and the aggressive Antarctic fur seal. Minke and humpback whales are frequent visitors in the late season and orca sightings are also common.
Your lecture series continues along with wildlife spotting as the ship begins its northern route back to Ushuaia. As the ship sails, reflect on beautiful Antarctica and its fragile future. The ship arrives 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.