Arrive at Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Make your way to your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure. Visit the Argentinean leather markets and succulent lamb dishes that make Patagonia famous as you explore the southernmost town in the world. Highlights of Ushuaia include an award-winning museum and trips to nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park and its popular “Train at the End of the World.”
Arriving at the ship in the afternoon, your Expedition Team and ship's officers greet you 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.
At sea in the westerlies the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels. Observe them from the bridge or decks as you sail southward.
Plan to visit both West and East Falklands. It is possible to experience the islands' abundance of wildlife from the town of Stanley. Look out for sea lions and Peale’s and Commerson’s dolphins in the harbor or bird life in nearby Gypsy Cove.
On the Western island, keep your eyes out for Magellanic and gentoo penguins, as well as water fowl and night herons. In addition, on Saunders you may be able to observe rockhopper, macaroni and king penguins, black-browed albatrosses and king cormorants.
On the way to South Georgia, the ship crosses the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature drops as much as 10°C within only a few hours. Near the Convergence, see a multitude of southern seabirds including several species of albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels, prions and skuas.
Magnificent mountain scenery, glaciers galore, a rugged coastline punctuated with icebergs, a rich historical tapestry, and an astounding array of wildlife are all on display as you travel down South Georgia’s leeward coast.
In South Georgia visit the bay of Elsehul, home to an active fur seal breeding beach. From there, head to Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, Gold Harbor and Cooper Bay. These locations offer good opportunities to see a wide spectrum of landscapes and wildlife, like the introduced elephant seals and king and macaroni penguins. At Fortuna Bay, follow in the footsteps of the great British Explorer Ernest Shackleton and hike over to Stomness Bay.
Heading farther south through Scotia Sea, watch as the icebergs become more and more plentiful. Your ship is again followed by a multitude of seabirds.
Your Expedition Leader and Captain create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. The route you take 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 the Gerlache Strait area including Neko Harbor, Paradise Harbor, Wilhelmina Bay, and Neumayer Channel. Depending on ice, you may also 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 stops. Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins abound, and Weddell, crabeater, elephant seals, and the predatory leopard seal are often found in this region. Minke and humpback whales are frequent visitors and orca sightings are also common.
On your way north continue to look for the great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage. Take time to reflect on your adventure in this spectacular corner of the world as you make your way northward again.
Arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark. Transfer to airport for homeward flights.