Classic South Georgia Cruise

Monika Schillat
King Penguins at the base of a snow covered mountain range.
Jonathan Brunger
Travelers enjoying a zodiac cruise during an Antartctic cruise
Brian Morgan
Colony of black-browed albratross on the Falklands
Lopez Tapia
Enjoy a zodiac tour through the icebergs.
Paul Oneill
A seal sits on snow.
MV Ushuaia lounge
The bar aboard the Ushuaia.
Join this amazing 20-day expedition cruise aboard the MV Ushuaia to the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), South Georgia, Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands. Throughout the voyage, watch for wildlife such as rockhopper penguins, elephant seals, black-browed albatrosses and many more!

Day 1

Embark in Ushuaia

Board the Ushuaia in the afternoon and meet your new shipmates. A welcome drink and then an introduction to the crew and expedition staff follow. Afterward, the ship sails towards the Western Falkland Islands (Malvinas).

Day 2

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At Sea

The open bridge policy on the Ushuaia welcomes the opportunity to meet the ship's officers and learn about navigation, watch for marine life, and enjoy the views of the open ocean. These waters are also home to an interesting group of seabirds, which often ride the currents created in the wake of the ship, such as albatrosses and petrels. Join the expedition staff and naturalists on deck whilst you are at sea and search for seabirds and other local wildlife, such as orcas and dolphins. An interesting set of lectures is provided to prepare passengers for the first excursion to the Western Falkland Islands (Malvinas).

Day 3

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Western Falkland Islands (Malvinas)

Depending on weather conditions, explore West Point Island and Carcass Island, both located in the Western Falkland Islands and rich in wildlife. West Point Island presents Devil's Nose, which offers beautiful views of Cliff Mountain and opportunities to visit with rockhopper penguins and black-browed albatrosses. Carcass Island is home to a vast and large population of small birds, as well as gentoo and magellanic penguins. Peale and Commerson dolphins also visit guests on the shoreline of the island. After viewing the wildlife, enjoy a cup of tea with the locals in the beautiful gardens on Carcass. In the evening, board the Ushuaia and sail around the northern archipelago towards the capital, Stanley.

Day 4

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Eastern Falkland Islands (Malvinas) | At Sea

Spend the morning exploring the museum, park, shops, and pubs in the quaint capital of Stanley. The town was established in the early 1840's. Isolation and the weather conditions made life hard, but progress was gradual and punctuated by the extremely eventful times of involvement in two world wars. Also, enjoy opportunities to see southern giant petrels, Falkland steamer ducks, kelp gulls, upland geese and dolphin gulls. black-crowned night herons, red-backed hawks and peregrine falcon may also be spotted around the island. In the afternoon, board the Ushuaia and head towards South Georgia.

Days 5-6

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At Sea

These two days at sea involve an extensive lecture series with expert naturalists who share their knowledge of the wildlife and unique ecosystems encountered throughout the entire voyage.

Day 7

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At Sea | South Georgia

South Georgia comes into sight today! Enjoy breathtaking views of one of the most beautiful and inspiring places on earth with more wildlife than virtually anywhere else on the planet. The scenery is incredible, ranging from high mountains and mighty glaciers to deep fjords and low-lying grasslands.

Days 8-10

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

South Georgia

The exact itinerary for South Georgia depends on local land and sea conditions, but the following destinations are among the possible options to explore:

Salisbury Plain
Salisbury Plain is sometimes called the “Serengeti of the South” and is a wildlife site without parallel. Several large glaciers provide a dramatic backdrop for the tens of thousands of king penguins that nest in the tussock grass of this remarkable ecosystem. The wide beach makes for excellent walking as you visit the colony, where you are literally surrounded and delightfully outnumbered by throngs of curious, gentle penguins. Elephant and fur seals also abound, as well as southern giant petrels and the occasional wandering gentoo penguin. Prepare for an awe-inspiring experience, as the elephant seals are giving birth on the beaches.

Prion Island
On the tussock-grass covered islet, visit a breeding colony of wandering albatross. Ascend to the summit on a wooden boardwalk, offering comfortable viewing platforms.

The rusting ruins of the Grytviken whaling station are situated on a level plain at the head of King Edward Cove, backed by steep hills and mountains. Now the site of the South Georgia Museum, the station remains a focal point of interest for many visitors, as does Sir Ernest Shackleton´s grave in the nearby whaler´s cemetery and his memorial cross on Hope Point. The scenery in this area is exceptionally beautiful even by South Georgia standards: the glaciers and snow covered peaks of the Allardyce Range form a magnificent backdrop to the cove, and the views from King Edward Point, in particular, must be among the finest on earth.

Visit gentoo penguins on the tussac plateau, then light-mantled sooty albatross while exploring the natural cliff amphitheater that encircles the harbor. Discover fascinating relics from the whaling era, as well as the impressive collection of whale and elephant seal bones scattered along the beach.

St. Andrew's Bay
Take a stroll down the fine dark sand beaches of St. Andrew's Bay, which are bounded in the interior by the Cook, Buxton and Heaney Glaciers and covered with penguins and seals. St.Andrew's Bay is home to the largest colony of king penguins on South Georgia, as well as elephant seals, leopard seals and a wide variety of voracious scavengers such as sheathbills and cape petrels. There are also opportunities to see white-chinned petrels, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, brown skuas and Antarctic terns, all who nest on the Bay.

Cooper Bay
Another highlight could be a visit in Cooper Bay at the southeast extremity of South Georgia. There is a wealth of wildlife at this site, in a spectacular setting. Chinstrap, gentoo and macaroni penguins dot the tussock slopes and there are plenty of fur seals on the beaches. Fascinating volcanic rocks tower over small fjords, providing a stunning backdrop for a thrilling wildlife watching zodiac cruise on the waterfront.

Drygalski Fjord
Although Drygalski Fjord´s glaciers have retreated significantly in recent decades, they remain one of the most striking features of this coastline, particularly the Risting and Jenkins Glaciers. With a little luck, you might see the glaciers calve and witness the birth of a new iceberg.

Days 11-12

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At Sea

Begin crossing the waters to the South Shetland Islands while enjoying time on deck, catching up on your reading, and reflecting on the amazing experience in South Georgia of the past few days. Lectures and activities are offered throughout these two days.

Day 13

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands

Sir Ernest Shackleton admirers need no introduction to this historic isle. In 1916 Shackleton was forced to leave 22 of his men stranded on these shores, while he and five others embarked on an unbelievable last-ditch rescue attempt. What followed is one of the greatest rescue stories of all time. Attempt your own zodiac cruise off this historic site and return with a greater knowledge of this gripping tale of adventure in a truly remarkable part of the world.

Day 14

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At Sea

Spend the day preparing for the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands with the expedition team.

Days 15-17

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

In the area of the Antarctic Sound, the MV Ushuaia may visit the following sites:

Argentine Antarctic Station Esperanza
Sail the passage to the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula, which traverses the Antarctic Sound and runs northwest-to-southeast. Hope Bay and the Argentine Station Esperanza are located on the western side of the Sound.

Brown Bluff
Brown Bluff, a promontory on the Tabarin Peninsula, is located south of Hope Bay. Both of them might be possible landing sites. The Weddell Sea represents the center of the Peninsula´s Adélie penguin population.

Paulet Island
The numbers of penguins are breathtaking, and the region also teems with vibrant exploration history. The most bizarre of these tales involves the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1901-03 under the command of geologist Otto Nordenskjöld. Nordenskjöld´s expedition was the first to overwinter in the Peninsula. His ship, the Antarctic, under the command of the famous Norwegian whaling captain Carl Anton Larsen, was trapped in the ice and sank, but the men survived on different locations and even managed to carry out significant scientific research in the area.

Gerlache Strait
This region of broad straits, mountainous islands, protected bays, and narrow channels offers moments of solitude. A profusion of tall peaks humans have never climbed and vast glaciers flowing inexorably seaward are the physical features here.

Hydrurga Rocks
Hydrurga Rocks is a small group of islets which lie east of Two Hummock Island in the Palmer Archipelago, at the northern entrance of the Gerlache Strait. Chinstrap penguins, blue-eyed shags and kelp gulls are confirmed breeders here.

Cuverville Island
Cuverville Island lies in the scenic Errera Channel, in the center of the Gerlache Strait. A well-defined raised beach forms a nesting site for many gentoo penguins here. On the way north the ship may explore the South Shetland Islands.

Deception Island
Deception is the largest of three recent volcanic centers in the South Shetlands. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing. Once inside, the rising slope of the black, cinder-covered volcanic rim can be walked uphill to a rather spectacular vantage point.

Half Moon Island
This crescent-shaped island, in the entrance of Moon Bay between Greenwich and Livingston Islands, is home to chinstrap penguins in breathtaking surroundings.

Days 18-19

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At Sea

While heading north across the Drake Passage, join the ship's lecturers and naturalists to watch for seabirds and whales.

Day 20

  • Breakfast

Disembark in Ushuaia

In the morning, enjoy breakfast on board before disembarking.

 Standard Plus TripleStandard CabinStandard PlusPremier TwinPremier SingleSuperiorSuite
- Fuel surcharge may vary: no surcharge if the price of the barrel of crude oil is $100 or lower.
- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy. Request the Twin Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.
- Twin cabins (except suites) are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the share rate. Suites may be reserved at 2 times the share rate. A third berth (sofa bed) in a few suites maybe occupied at 50% of the published twin share rate.
- Special family rates: A child (under 16 years) accompanied by two adults will be free of charge in a triple Superior cabin or triple Suite.

FUEL SURCHARGE applies if price of crude oil barrel is $100 or higher.

Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Your exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board.

Included in the cruise price:
  • Voyage aboard the Ushuaia as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the Ushuaia
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by zodiac
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material
  • Detailed post-expedition log

Not included in the cruise price:
  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post land arrangements
  • Transfers to / from the vessel
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Meals ashore
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as bar and beverage charges and telecommunication charges
  • Customary gratuity at the end of the voyages (guidelines will be provided)