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Icebergs reflected in Antarctica's Paradise Bay

Explorer's Antarctica

Example 19 Day Cruise aboard Silver Explorer
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Explore the path taken by several early explorers before you. Hike the Falkland Islands, zodiac South Georgia, and explore research stations on the Antarctic Peninsula. As you sail watch for whales, seals, and penguins plus a myriad of seabirds. Learn about the history of this remote region from your onboard guides. Board the luxurious Silver Explorer for this 19-day Antarctic journey visiting the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island, South Shetland, and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark
Day 2 : At Sea
Day 3 : West Point Island | Saunders Island, Falkland Islands
Day 4 : Stanley, Falkland Islands
Days 5-6 : At Sea
Days 7-9 : South Georgia Island
Days 10-11 : At Sea
Day 12 : Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands
Days 13-16 : Antarctic Peninsula
Days 17-18 : Drake Passage
Day 19 : Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark

Highlights

  • Visit historic sites of early explorers and remains of whaling operations
  • See snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers, and spectacular icebergs
  • View rockhopper, gentoo, macaroni, king, Magellanic and chinstrap penguins
  • Watch for seals, dolphins, and whales
  • Identify seabirds including albatross, shearwaters, and petrels

Ship

Silver Explorer

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Icebergs reflected in Antarctica's Paradise Bay Hide and seek with a young seal South Georgia Island, Shackleton walk King Penguin colony on Volunteer Point, East Falkland Island View the pristine beauty of Antarctica

Day 1 Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark

Departing from Buenos Aires, fly to Ushuaia and transfer to the port. Embark Silver Explorer and bid farewell to Tierra del Fuego, the ‘Land at the End of the World’. Meet some of your fellow explorers as you become acquainted with the luxurious amenities found onboard. This evening, after settling in and setting sail, you are introduced to your Expedition Team.

Day 2 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Expedition Team presents talks that prepare you for the exciting adventures ahead. Tonight, you are invited to attend a special Welcome Aboard cocktail party hosted by the Captain, who introduces his senior officers and various members of the Silver Explorer crew.

Day 3 West Point Island | Saunders Island, Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today’s adventure introduces you to the remarkable beauty of the remote Falkland Islands. 

In the morning, watch for Peale’s dolphins and the distinctive black and white markings of the Commerson’s dolphin as the Silver Explorer approaches 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.

During lunch reach Saunders Island, the second-largest of the offshore islands. Apart from its historical importance –this is where the first British settlement was located- Saunders’ wildlife is quite varied. Depending on the weather conditions attempt a landing at the Neck, to see several penguin species, as well as other seabirds and land birds. Gentoo penguins and king penguins reside in the open dune and sand flat area, while rockhopper penguins (with the odd pair of macaroni penguins in between them), imperial shags and black-browed albatrosses frequent Mount Richards. Other key bird species are the black–throated finch, ruddy-headed goose and Falkland steamer duck.

Day 4 Stanley, Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Stanley is the capital of the remote Falkland Islands, and has a distinct British ambiance. This excursion passes by older and newer portions of Stanley, stopping at the local harbor for small boats, both in current operations as well as half sunken hulks from 100 years ago -some of which are now being used as docks. Additional stops are the shipwreck of the Lady Elizabeth, the peat cutting area, an outdoor whale bone display, war memorials and the museum.

Stroll through the charming streets of this colorful little town, lined with quaint cottages and a variety of traditional pubs. Visit the 19th-century Anglican cathedral, wander through the small local museum, and see the lingering reminders of the 1986 Falklands War between Britain and Argentina may still be seen though the island has settled back to its quiet business of raising sheep.

Day 5-6 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
As you begin to venture farther south, experience midnight sunsets on deck, or bring your cameras and binoculars to view nature’s splendor. It is very possible to have sightings of humpback and killer whales, and perhaps even the wandering albatross, which can be recognized by its black wingtips and large wingspan. Other onboard diversions may include photography workshops, Spa treatments, a workout in the Fitness Centre, and, of course, exquisite dining experiences.

Day 7-9 South Georgia Island

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
This breathtaking destination of towering snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers, and low-lying grasslands attracts an astounding concentration of wildlife: southern fur seals, southern elephant seals, and a variety of albatross species including black-browed, light-mantled sooty, grey-headed and the spectacular wandering albatross, plus thousands of king and macaroni penguins. 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. Here are some of the places you may visit:

Cooper’s Bay: an unforgettable view of huge icebergs can be seen surrounding Cooper’s Bay as you approach. Enjoy a Zodiac cruise to see numerous breeds of penguins, such as macaronis and chinstraps, on the rocks and waters surrounding the island.

Gold Harbour: a large king penguin colony can be found between Weddell Glacier and Gold Harbor. Seals can be seen resting on ice floes and sunning on the beaches.

Grytviken: a historic whaling station, all that remains 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.

Salisbury Plain: a favorite breeding ground for hundreds of thousands of king penguins, it is amazing to see how they completely cover the beaches and hills.

Day 10-11 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Awesome glaciers greet you as you approach Elephant Island – so named for its former abundance of elephant seals. In 1916, when Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance was crushed in pack ice in the Weddell Sea, the crew was stranded here for 137 days. Elephant Island is home to several chinstrap penguin rookeries, as well as old moss colonies. Weddell seals and macaroni penguins can also be found on the spit of land Shackleton’s men named Point Wild. A solitary statue can be seen there, honouring the Chilean pilot Luis Pardo, who took the cutter Yelchoacross the Drake Passage to rescue Shackleton’s men.

Day 12 Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Awesome glaciers flecked with pink algae greet you upon approaching Elephant Island – so named for its abundance of elephant seals. In 1916 when Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance was crushed in pack ice in the Weddell Sea, the crew was stranded here for 105 days. Elephant Island is home to several chinstrap penguin rookeries, as well as 2,000-year-old moss colonies. Weddell seals and macaroni penguins can also be found on the spit of land Shackleton’s men named ‘Point Wild’.

Day 13-16 Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
While sailing to Antarctica, every turn can reveal a new and breathtaking adventure. As the pack ice becomes thicker, it’s apparent to everyone that you are moving closer into Antarctica’s vast white wilderness. Remote and otherworldly, Antarctica is irresistible for its spectacular iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers, and for the possibility of up-close encounters with marine mammals. Watch for seals sunbathing on slow-moving ice floes and for humpback, minke, and orca whales to surface from below the frigid waters. Each day Zodiac departures are attempted, and, if conditions permit, cruise amidst colorful icebergs or step ashore to visit a variety of penguin rookeries and perhaps scientific research stations on complimentary excursions led by your team of natural history experts. A flexible itinerary allows you to take advantage of favorable sea and weather conditions. In the true spirit of expedition cruising, each day the Expedition Leader and Captain determine your best course depending on weather, ice conditions and wildlife encountered. Here are some of the places you may visit:

Brown Bluff, Tabarin Peninsula (a 2,200-foot bluff on the Antarctic continent): Brown Bluff is an ice-capped, 745-meter-high, flat-topped mountain with a prominent cliff of reddish-brown volcanic rock. Adelie and gentoo penguins, kelp gulls, and pintado petrels use this as a breeding area. Birds such as the all-white snow petrel and skuas may be seen from a distance. As you explore the area, a Weddell seal may be seen basking in the sunlight. Wait long enough and you might see the Adelie penguins standing along the rocks, finally making their way into the surf.

Paradise Bay (on the Antarctic peninsula): The bay is well named for its spectacular scenery of mountains, glaciers and icebergs. From the ship, observe Argentina’s Base Brown, one of many Antarctic research stations. Here, you can actually set foot on the continent of Antarctica. View the wildlife from sea level while cruising in your Zodiac with one of your experienced Expedition Team members. There’s a good chance come across a crabeater seal relaxing on a nearby ice floe, or if you’re very lucky, your Zodiac driver may locate a pod of minke whales.

Paulet Island: As you arrive, you may well be amazed by the sight of Adelie penguins covering the entire island. The island is home to 80-90 thousand Adelies that come here to breed. On a nearby hill, view a massive colony of blue-eyed shags. Kelp gulls and snowy sheathbills are amongst the birds that breed on Paulet Island, and Wilson’s storm-petrels are regularly seen. Listen as your Expedition Team guide tells of Otto Nordenskjold and his party that over-wintered on the island in 1912. Remnants of their hut still remain. If time permits, take a Zodiac cruise to view impossibly blue icebergs, Crater Lake, and the Adelie penguins making themselves at home on the ice floes.

Port Foster, Whalers Bay (Deception Island): Deception Island is home to a collapsed volcano and an excellent example of a caldera where it is believed that the volcano’s summit collapsed with one section sinking far enough to allow the sea to flood the interior. Your team plans to sail inside this breached wall through a narrow entrance called Neptune’s Bellows. Your resident geologist explains the unique volcanic features of the area while your historian introduces you to the whaling history of Deception Island. Still visible on the island are the boilers used to make whale oil in the early 1900s.

Day 17-18 Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for its turbulent seas due to strong westerly winds and the currents pushed through the ‘narrow’ gap between South American and the Antarctic Peninsula. The Antarctic Convergence is a natural boundary where nutrients are pushed to the surface, often attracting a multitude of seabirds and whales. Spend some time on deck watching the horizon and the variety of seabirds that glide in the air currents of your ship’s wake such as the black-browed albatross, sooty shearwaters, and white-chinned petrels. Take this opportunity to attend additional presentations offered by the Expedition Team lecturers and to swap photos with new friends as you travel towards Ushuaia.

Day 19 Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, disembark the Silver Explorer.

Silver Explorer

Per person starting at
$19,300
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Adventurer Class
6 cabins on Deck 3, 180 sq. feet, Twin or Queen beds, 2 portholes.
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Explorer Class
4 cabins on Deck 4, Twin or Queen beds, 180 sq. feet with view window.
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View Suite
12 suites on Deck 3, 230 sq. feet with view window, Twin or Queen beds.
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Vista Suite
16 suites on Deck 4, 194 - 230 sq. feet with large window, Twin or Queen beds.
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Veranda Suite
8 suites on Deck 5, 215 sq. feet with French balcony, Twin or Queen beds.
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Medallion Suite
2 suites on Deck 7, 358 sq. feet with private veranda, Twin or Queen beds.
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Silver Suite
6 suites on Deck 5, 430 sq. feet with 2 French balconies, Twin or Queen beds.
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Grand Suite
2 suites on Deck 7, 650 sq. feet with large private veranda, Twin or Queen beds.
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Owner
2 suites on Deck 7, 540 sq. feet with large private veranda, Twin or Queen beds.

Notes

Please note: Fares are capacity controlled, and subject to change at any time without notice. All prices are in US dollars, cruise-only per person based on double occupancy.

- The supplement for single occupancy in a Vista, Veranda or Midship Veranda Suite ranges from 25% – 100% above the double occupancy fare, depending upon the sailing and suite selected. Single supplement for a Silver or Medallion Suite (Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper), Owner’s, Grand or Royal Suites are 100% above of the double occupancy fare. Suites for single and third guests are capacity controlled.

Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

Included in cruise fare:
  • Included one night pre-cruise hotel
  • Included transfers (between airport/hotel and ship)
  • Included charter flight to/ from Ushuaia
  • Included luggage handling
  • Highly qualified expedition team with experts in their field (marine biologists, ornithologists, historians and more)
  • Excursions and activities, including explorations by Zodiac®
  • Complimentary expedition gear: backpack and water bottle on every voyage, parka for polar expeditions
  • Personalised service with a butler for all suites and the highest crew to guest ratio in the industry
  • Fine dining even in the most remote places of the planet
  • Comfortable amenities with the largest expedition suites at sea
  • Inclusive room-service, select wines, spirits and soft drinks throughout the ship
  • Free WIFI* throughout the ship
  • Onboard Gratuities
  • Exclusive partnership with The Royal Geographical Society.

Included

  • 18 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches, 18 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Callie W

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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