Welcome to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and starting point of your expedition. Upon your arrival at the airport a transfer is provided to your hotel, which has been pre-arranged and is included in the price of the voyage. For the rest of the day you are free to explore the city. Take advantage of souvenir shopping and a variety of dining options in the city center.
In the afternoon a group transfer is provided to the pier where you board the luxury expedition ship M/V Sea Spirit. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Savor the anticipation of your Antarctic dreams coming true as the ship slips its moorings and sails toward a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as you sail through the Beagle Channel on your first evening is wonderful and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters.
After transiting the Beagle Channel and passing the islands of Tierra del Fuego, head northeast toward the Falkland Islands. Keep a lookout for marine mammals such as dolphins and whales. The ship’s stabilizing fins provide comfort in the event of rough seas.
The remote and sparsely-populated Falkland Islands are a birders’ paradise. Visit one or more of the isolated outer islands where large colonies of penguins and albatross are easily accessible. The Falklands are also a great place to observe marine mammals. Fur seals and elephant seals can be found on sandy beaches while the waters in and around the archipelago are home to various whale and dolphin species. The route and exploration opportunities are dependent on weather among these windswept islands.
Also visit Stanley, the charmingly British capital of the Falkland Islands. Attractions within pleasant walking distance along the waterfront promenade include the Falkland Islands Museum, the governor’s house, a cathedral with impressive whalebone arch outside, a war memorial, quality gift shops, pubs, and views of shipwrecks in the harbor.
From the Falkland Islands head east toward South Georgia, passing the remote, seabird-covered pinnacles known as Shag Rocks on the way. Also cross the Antarctic Convergence, the biological boundary of the Southern Ocean. Briefings, bio-security procedures, and lectures from expert staff prepare you for your arrival in South Georgia.
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic.South Georgia is a scenic wilderness and an unrivalled paradise for subantarctic wildlife viewing. The islands are said to host upwards of 100 million seabirds, including numerous species of albatross, penguins, prions, petrels, and terns. On beaches such as those at Salisbury Plain and St. Andrews Bay, over 100,000 elephant seals and three million fur seals jostle for space among innumerable penguins including stately king penguins and sprightly macaroni penguins. The recently completed rat eradication program is sure to make this wilderness even more pristine and rich with birdlife.
The bountiful waters surrounding South Georgia are also inhabited by an increasing number of whales. The historical whaling station of Grytviken is now home to the excellent South Georgia Museum managed by the South Georgia Heritage Trust. This is also the final resting place of Ernest Shackleton, the legendary polar explorer.
After your amazing time in South Georgia proceed southwest toward the Antarctic Peninsula. Pelagic seabirds including the majestic albatross are common in these waters and can readily be viewed from panoramic open decks or from exterior stateroom windows and balconies.
The wilderness of Antarctica is subject to unpredictable weather and ever-changing ice conditions, which dictate your route and exploration opportunities. This is a real expedition. Every opportunity is taken to experience excellent wildlife viewing, amazing scenery, and excursions via Zodiac.
The Antarctic Peninsula region contains some of the world’s most impressive scenery and some of Antarctica’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Protected bays and narrow channels are surrounded by towering mountain peaks covered in permanent snow and immense glaciers. Icebergs of every size and description complete an image of incomparable beauty. Waters rich with krill are home to a variety of whale and seal species. The whole area is alive with penguins foraging at sea and forming large nesting colonies at special places on land. The area is also home to Antarctic research stations of various nationalities. Some stations have a gift shop and post office.
The South Shetland Islands are the northernmost islands in Antarctica and are likely your first sighting of land. This wild and beautiful island chain contains numerous landing sites with abundant wildlife and historical significance. Among them is Elephant Island, where men from Shackleton’s famous Endurance expedition spent the winter.
Farther south, on the Antarctic Peninsula, the vast Gerlache Strait area contains sheltered bays, accessible wildlife, and stunning scenery. Places with names like Paradise Bay are the epitome of everything Antarctic: glaciated mountains, towering icebergs, feeding whales, seals on ice floes, and bustling penguin colonies. At the southern end of Gerlache Strait is the famous Lemaire Channel, also known as “Kodak Gap” because of the photogenic way the mountainous sides of the narrow channel are reflected in calm waters strewn with icebergs.
From Antarctica head north through the Drake Passage toward South America. Presentations and workshops by expert staff, as well as a range of onboard recreation facilities, ensure that these days at sea are not idly spent. This is also the time for End of Voyage ceremonies including a slideshow and farewell dinner.
After breakfast say farewell in the city of Ushuaia, where you started. A group transfer is provided to the airport or to the town center if you wish to spend more time here. As you look back on your wonderful experience in Antarctica, you may already be looking forward to your next incredible adventure to the ice!
|Triple Classic||Main Deck Suite||Classic Suite||Superior Suite||Deluxe Suite||Premium Suite||Owner's Suite|
|Kayaking Option: $850|