In the afternoon, watch for Peale’s dolphins and the distinctive black and white markings of the Commerson’s dolphin as the Silver Explorer approaches this West Point Island. Upon arrival, photographic opportunities are everywhere as you walk across rolling moorland and admire colonies of black-browed albatrosses that nest side-by-side with feisty rockhopper penguins. Learn about the island’s unique vegetation including the rare Felton plant. The hospitable island owners are always happy to answer your questions and share their stories.
At the rustic Sea Cabbage Café warm up with complimentary hot drinks and homemade baked goods. Then take a look into the Bluff Cove Museum for a better understanding of life in the Falklands and, in particular, Bluff Cove and its fabulous lagoon wildlife. There may also be an opportunity to watch spinning and felting of local wool.
Stanley has a distinct British ambiance, and following your morning at Bluff Cove, there will be time to stroll through the colorful town area along charming streets lined with quaint cottages and a variety of traditional pubs. Sights include the 19th-century Anglican cathedral, a small local museum and some lingering reminders of the 1986 Falklands War between Britain and Argentina.
South Georgia is also linked to the early Antarctic explorers. Captain James Cook first stepped ashore in 1775, but perhaps more famous is Ernest Shackleton’s arrival in 1916 following the sinking of his ship, the Endurance. Visit Shackleton’s grave and the whaling museum at Grytviken. Here are some of the places you may visit:.
• An unforgettable view of huge icebergs can be seen surrounding Cooper’s Bay as you approach.
• Go ashore by Zodiac to see numerous breeds of penguins, such as macaronis and chinstraps, on the rocks and waters surrounding the island.
• A large king penguin colony can be found between Weddell Glacier and Gold Harbour.
• Seals can be seen resting on ice floes and sunning on the beaches.
• An historic whaling station, all that remain are the rusted hulls of long abandoned whalers.
• Now a museum, guests can learn about past whaling techniques and view various exhibits on exploration and discovery.
• At the burial site of the famous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, toast the great explorer and his many accomplishments.
• A favorite breeding ground for hundreds of thousands of king penguins; it is amazing to see how they completely cover the beaches and hills.
• In early March, you may also be able to watch adorable seal pups at play.
The itinerary calls for one and a half days exploring this remote archipelago, and (weather permitting) hope to land on either the uninhabited Nightingale Islands or Inaccessible Island, a protected wildlife reserve and World Heritage Site. You will see the most magnificent wildlife, flora and fauna all unspoilt by people. All guests will receive a certificate verifying that they have indeed visited this extremely remote world destination.
For your first full day in Cape Town, begin with a scenic drive along the Atlantic seaboard towards Cape Point – the most southwesterly tip of Africa and the meeting point of the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. At the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve enjoy a guided walk through the reserve accompanied by a botanical specialist. The reserve occupies 7,750 ha of indigenous flora and fauna, as well as Cape Point with its dramatic sea cliffs. A funicular railway will take you to the top of the point, to take in the breathtaking views. Following lunch, pay a visit to the African Penguin Colony at Boulders Beach before continuing on our scenic route back to the quayside.
Alternatively, join members of the Expedition Team and travel to the Baphumelele Children’s Home – a place of safety for children who have been orphaned, abandoned, abused or neglected. At the orphanage, enjoy a brief tour and have the chance to assist with various activities such as infant minding, playing with toddlers, reading to the children, general handiwork, and meal preparation in the kitchen. After completing the various tasks assigned and bidding farewell to the children, travel to Mandela Park where you will join the YEP (Youth Empowerment Project) leadership group for a bicycle tour of Khayelitsha. Learn about the organization and their efforts to keep youngsters off the streets. Yur afternoon will conclude with a game of soccer, “Township Style” before returning to the quayside.
After breakfast the next day, disembark the Silver Explorer for your continued journey home.