Arrive in Punta Arenas, ChileBegin this amazing journey in Punta Arenas, a Chilean port city situated at the southern tip of Chile, on the north bank of the Strait of Magellan. Once a Chilean penal colony, Punta Arenas has transformed into a vibrant city offering you plenty of attractions to explore, including historic sites and museums. Explore the city by day, and then enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow shipmates.
Embarkation DayBoard the chartered flight to Antarctica, flying over the Drake Passage and landing on King George Island. The journey over the Drake Passage takes less than four hours, whereas ship-based travelers take two days to make the journey by sea. Your first glimpse of Antarctica comes into view shortly before the aircraft descends towards King George Island — hope for clear skies so you can appreciate the vastness of this great continent! Upon landing, photograph parts of the island and stretch your legs before joining the ship. After experiencing your first trip in a Zodiac, begin your exploration of the Antarctic region.
Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands
Get the sense that you have arrived on a new planet during the start of your Antarctic voyage, as the pristine nature and dramatic environments are like nothing else on earth. From the vessel, watch whales swim and feed in the nutrient-rich waters and spot penguins porpoising in the water and jumping aboard ice floes. Just as amazing as the wildlife are the towering snow-covered mountains and massive glaciers of the Peninsula, your playground for the next four days.
Every Zodiac excursion and landing presents new sights, sounds and smells. Some landings may be as relaxing as sitting on a beach, taking photographs of curious gentoo penguins. Other landings may provide exhilarating panoramic views of the Antarctic continent by hiking atop a hill. Perhaps catch a calving glacier crumbling into the sea at Petermann Island, or take a Zodiac cruise in search of fur and elephant seals around Pleneau Island.
Even common travel experiences like mailing a postcard take on an extra level of excitement in Antarctica. While weather and sea conditions determine landings, your Expedition Team ensures that each day of your Antarctic adventure leaves a lasting impression.
At SeaEnjoy these days at sea spending time on the deck or listening to presentations made by the expedition team.
With a rich history of exploration in the Antarctic, South Georgia has many stories to tell. Learn that the original inhabitants here arrived to hunt whales and fur and elephant seals to perilously low levels. Thankfully populations have rebounded and whaling and sealing cease to exist today. Explore many remnants of these days gone by, including several whaling stations and other abandoned outposts.
Perhaps the most historic and famous site on the island is the grave of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. Visit his grave at the settlement of Grytviken, which is also home to a museum, small gift shop, church and an active scientific research station.
After that history lesson, experience some wildlife encounters. South Georgia is sometimes called the Galapagos of the Poles as it is home to a captivating number of inquisitive and curious creatures. Indeed, the number of animals seen here rival that of all the other days of your voyage combined.
Each landing you make on South Georgia opens your eyes to a new wonder of wildlife - one day may be a beach filled with a hundred thousand pairs of king penguins, the next may present some close encounters with massive elephant seals or the smaller fur seals. Different penguin and bird species utilize the island landscape differently here, making it a fascinating destination teeming with wildlife from the shoreline to the top of the highest grassy hills.
At SeaSpend the next couple days at sea watching for wildlife, attending lectures from on-board specialists or relaxing on deck. Whatever you choose, remember to take a moment to reflect on the amazing creatures seen so far.
Port Stanley-Falklands Islands (Islas Malvinas)Enjoy a day in Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), and a unique outpost with a British country-charm to it. Spend time exploring churches and museums and engage with locals at the pub.
Disembark and Fly to Punta ArenasDisembark in Stanley and board the charter flight to Punta Arenas, Chile. Overnight at the hotel.
Depart for HomeIn the morning, enjoy breakfast before continuing on your flight home.