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Kayaking the polar waters

The Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctic Peninsula

Example 20 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Ioffe
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This 20-day exploration of the Falklands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula offers you the incedible opoortunity to discover the unique landscapes of the White Continent. Encounter a spectacular proliferation of unique wildlife and birdlife, including penguin rookeries with more than 100,000 nesting birds, albatrosses, and beaches covered in fur seals and elephant seals. Experience Zodiac cruise expeditions, hiking ashore and sea kayaking between icebergs of all shapes and sizes, and close encounters with whales, including humpback, minke and orca.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Ushuaia | Embark
Day 2 : At Sea
Days 3-4 : Falkland Islands
Days 5-7 : At Sea towards South Georgia
Days 8-10 : South Georgia
Days 11-13 : Scotia Sea | Elephant Island
Days 14-17 : South Shetlands and Antarctic Peninsula
Days 18-19 : Drake Passage
Day 20 : Ushuaia | Disembark

Highlights

  • Explore the West Falkland archipelago, home to the black-browed albatross
  • Zodiac cruise through South Georgia, looking for fur and elephant seals
  • Cross the Scotia Sea and watch for icebergs as you reach Antarctic waters
  • Observe the abundance of wildlife on the Antarctic Peninsula's shoreline

Ship

Akademik Ioffe

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Kayaking the polar waters An elephant seal peeks out of the water around South Georgia Kayaking through the icy waters. A huge colony of king penguins. Icebergs reflected in Antarctica's Paradise Bay

Day 1 Ushuaia | Embark

Your epic journey to the Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, in southern Argentina. Gather at a central meeting point and transfer to the pier and embark your expedition ship, Akademik Ioffe. After settling in to your cabins and exploring the ship, meet your expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as you enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.

Day 2 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sailing northeast towards the Falkland Islands be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross, giant petrels, and smaller Cape petrels. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and the photography expert onboard can show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of the modern research vessel. Throughout the day onboard experts educate you with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife, and history of the Southern Ocean and the locations to visit.

Day 3-4 Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Arriving in the Falklands overnight, by morning plan to make your first shore excursion. Explore several locations in the West Falkland archipelago, home to a proliferation of seabirds and migratory birds including the stunning black-browed albatross. See your first penguins of the trip on these islands, which could include West Point with its bustling rookeries of rockhoppers. On Carcass Island, observe nesting Magellanic penguins as well as oystercatchers, geese, and the striated caracara – a bird of prey.

The following morning arrive in Stanley, the capital of the Falklands Islands. Wander through Stanley's charming streets and learn how this quiet harbor was once a major port in the 19th century for the tall clipper ships rounding Cape Horn. There are several interesting activities for you to enjoy today. Visit Stanley's museum, an excellent location that outlines the historic events that took place during the conflict with Argentina in 1982. Discover the waterfront memorial built to commemorate the lives of the British servicemen killed during the war and explore Stanley’s famed philatelic museum with its impressive collection of historic stamps.

Day 5-7 At Sea towards South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Sail southeast bound for the island of South Georgia. These days at sea are never dull. Much of your time is spent scanning the horizon in search of whales and other marine mammals as well as seabirds. Friendly onboard experts continue to fill minds with heroic stories of some of the earliest daredevils to explore Antarctica. Learn about Polar conservation - a theme particularly close to the hearts of guides and crew. The anticipation grows particularly as the ship crosses the Antarctic Convergence. Notice a dramatic drop in temperature.

Day 8-10 South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Majestic snow-covered mountains greet you on the island of South Georgia - the most rugged island in this region. Begin your exploration of the island by Zodiac cruising in the vicinity of Elsehul Bay. Large numbers of fur seals and the much larger elephant seal line the beaches. Living in the tussock grass, king penguins and their chicks may number up to 100,000 birds in some locations, including Salisbury Plains, St Andrews Bay, and Gold Harbor. The island is also home to large numbers of nesting albatross.

South Georgia is a thrilling location for history buffs as the rusting relics of the early whaling industry are all around. A highlight is a visit to Grytviken – the largest of the former whaling stations on the island, and where you can visit the gravesite of Shackleton, buried here in 1921. For many, being in the presence of the great explorer is a highlight of the trip. There’s an excellent museum at Grytviken, maintained by the South Georgia Heritage Trust, and the restored church built by the original Norwegian whalers is another highlight.

Day 11-13 Scotia Sea | Elephant Island

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Weather and ice dictate your crossing of the Scotia Sea from South Georgia to Antarctica, leading the ship perhaps to the South Orkney Islands or Elephant Island. As with all of your itinerary planning, the expedition leader and captain make a decision on the locations to visit based on the conditions at the time. The South Orkney Islands represent the peaks of a submarine mountain range called the Scotia Arc, connecting South Georgia to the South Shetland Islands. Often shrouded in fog and surrounded by ice much of the year, a chance to visit these islands doesn’t come often.

Large icebergs announce your arrival in Antarctic waters. If conditions allow, hope to see the dark cliffs of Elephant Island appear on the horizon. Shackleton and his men were encamped here for many months, having lost HMS Endurance in the thick sea ice, far to the south in the Weddell Sea in 1915. From the tiny beach at Point Wild, Shackleton and six companions set off on the rescue mission to South Georgia, aboard the tiny lifeboat James Caird. To this day, the epic ocean crossing is considered one of the greatest in history. If conditions allow, attempt a landing at Point Wild on Elephant Island.

Day 14-17 South Shetlands and Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Around 60 miles off the coast of the Antarctic mainland lies the South Shetland Island chain. Possible landing sites include King George Island, Half Moon Island, Yankee Harbour or Hannah Point. Weather conditions permitting, sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island. Enjoy an outstanding hike at these locations. The old whaling station and aircraft hangar at Deception Island beg for further exploration.

After so much anticipation, enter the icy waters of the Antarctic Peninsula in the vicinity of Mikkelson Harbour or Cierva Cove. Snow-covered mountains soar from the dark waters. Along the shoreline in the bays and harbors of the peninsula live an incredible abundance of wildlife. Large rookeries are home to chinstrap, gentoo and Adelie penguins. Seals live on the ice floes, including the powerful leopard seal. Gulls, skuas, and cormorants are also found nesting and feeding at many sites along the Antarctic Peninsula.

Explore by Zodiac boat and ashore where a range of wonderful activities awaits. Locations to visit include Wilhelmina Bay, Orne Harbour, Cuverville Island, and the Errera Channel. Join the photographic guide and take close-up photos of the penguins, or of the impossibly blue ice. Or enjoy a hike to the top of a snowy mountain saddle with one of the adventure guides. If the opportunity presents itself, visit a science base or old historic hut. You have a range of great choices.

Day 18-19 Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula, it’s time to return to South America. The educational presentations continue as well as the entertaining and memorable voyage recap by the Expedition Leader. Join the ship's photography experts in the multimedia room and download and back up your precious images. If weather conditions allow, hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition to some of the most remote corners of the planet. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.

Day 20 Ushuaia | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
In the early morning, arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers. Be transported to your hotels or to the airport for return flights home. It is possible to connect to flights through to Buenos Aires or other destinations in South America. Otherwise enjoy a night in town or venture further afield to explore the highlights of Patagonia.

Akademik Ioffe

Deals

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Early Bird Savings - Book by December 31 and receive $1,000 in Flight Credit.
Applies to Oct 18, 2017 departure
Per person starting at
$13,695
The Triple Cabins.
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Main Deck Triple
Deck 3, bunk beds and a sofa bed. Shared facilities, in cabin washbasin, writing desk/chair, ample storage, bathrobes & porthole.
Twin Private Cabins.
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Twin Semi-Private
Deck 4, one lower berth and one sofa bed, a writing desk and ample storage. Semi-private facilities (one bathroom between two cabins). Opening window.
Twin Private Cabin.
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Twin Private
Deck 4 and 5. All cabins have two lower berths, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window.
Superior Cabins.
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Superior
Deck 6 these cabins have two lower berths, a sofa, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window.
The Shackelton Suite.
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Shackleton Suite
Deck 4 & 5, 1 double berth, 1 sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters, writing desk/chair, TV/DVD, IPod alarm clock. Private facilities, window & deluxe amenities.
One Ocean Suite.
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One Ocean Suite
Deck 5, 1 double berth, 1 sofa bed & separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, TV/DVD, IPod station. Private facilities with tub. Windows overlooking the bow. Deluxe amenities.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double or triple occupancy. Request the Twin or Triple 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 and superior cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the shared price, suites for 2 times the shared price. Single supplement is not available in triple cabins.

- Child and Youth Prices: 25% discount for young people aged up to 17 years, and 20% off for those aged from 18-21 years who can prove they are in full-time education.

Polar exploration can be unpredictable, which regularly causes variations to itineraries. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a 'guide only' and is subject to change.

Included in Cost:
- All meals/afternoon teas
- Use of on-board expedition rubber boots & wet weather gear
- Shore excursions
- Landings
- Educational presentations
- Expedition guides, naturalist staff, and hospitality staff, an ER-trained English-speaking physician
- Guided hikes/walks
- Complimentary tea and coffee 24 hours per day
- Access to the multimedia room and download stations and accommodations on board

Not Included in Cost:
- Tips
- Additional purchases on-board in the gift shop or bar
- Communication or laundry services

Included

  • 19 Breakfasts, 18 Lunches, 19 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kassandra Miller
Kassandra M

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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