Day 1 Ushuaia, Argentina
Begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port town at the tip of South America. This Argentine town is an ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy handcrafted chocolate at a café in town.
Day 2 Ushuaia | Embark
- 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Embark your ship in the late afternoon and sail down the historic Beagle Channel. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities to capture seabirds hovering overhead and seals and sea lions lounging on land. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart.
Day 3 At Sea
- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
There are many activities to keep you engaged while you’re at sea. Learn to identify seabirds gliding alongside the ship, attend dynamic presentations by your Expedition Team, relax in the polar library or simply spend some time out on deck. Learn about safety procedures for Zodiac cruises and shore landings, so you can make the most of the adventure that awaits.
Day 4-5 Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
- 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Upon arrival in this archipelago, your cameras get their first real workout capturing the abundant wildlife and the rugged feel of the Falklands (Malvinas). The archipelago contains two main islands - East and West, to explore by Zodiac excursions and daily landings.
In terms of wildlife, the archipelago is home to Magellanic, gentoo, and rockhopper penguins. If lucky, you may even spot king penguins here as well! Expect to see black-browed albatross and two endemic bird species: Cobb’s wren and the Falkland’s flightless steamer duck. Your team of lecturers and specialists educate you on the local flora and fauna so that you get the most out of your time in the Falklands.
Port Stanley is often a favored landing site, as the town offers a unique British outpost feel to it, complete with a bit of a ramshackle charm. Explore the town, grab a pint at the local pub, or visit numerous churches and museums.
Day 6-7 At Sea
- 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Sailing south, officially enter Antarctic waters by crossing the invisible biological boundary called the Antarctic Convergence. Encircling the continent, cold Antarctic waters meet and mix with the warmer waters of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans, creating the abundance of krill and marine life that attracts whales and seals to this part of the world. Expedition staff keep you posted when you cross this invisible, yet important line.
Day 8-13 South Georgia
- 6 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Dinners
This remote outpost was a popular stop for many historic Antarctic expeditions and was once a haven for hunting whales and elephant and fur seals. Today, South Georgia Island wildlife populations have rebounded, but see remnants of those old whaling stations and other abandoned outposts.
While South Georgia’s history is an important attraction to the islands, it is the wildlife on South Georgia that you and your shipmates surely find most captivating. Often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles, each landing you make on South Georgia opens your eyes to a new wonder of wildlife.
One day you may see rookeries with a hundred thousand pairs of king penguins waddling on the beach. The next day visit another beach with thousands of fur or elephant seals with (non-native) reindeer grazing in the background. The grasses, mountains, and beaches of South Georgia all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different species on the island - this fragile and symbiotic relationship is something that your expedition team shares with you during your time here.
A couple of shore landings that best represent what you can expect in South Georgia are Gold Harbor and Cooper Bay. Perhaps the most picturesque site in all of South Georgia, Gold Harbor provides a dizzying amount of wildlife, all in one location. Here, be enchanted by the view of the overhanging Bertrab Glacier to the east, a massive king penguin colony in the distance, an abundance of southern elephant seals and fur seals, and nesting albatross high above in the tussock grass.
One significant and historic site of interest is the grave of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. Visit his grave at the settlement of Grytviken, which is also home to an old whaling station, a museum, gift shop, church, and a research station of approximately 20 scientists and support personnel.
Attempt to land on the eastern shore of Fortuna Bay. Head out on the “Shackleton hike,” a trek that has you hiking along the final miles of Shackleton’s traverse of South Georgia into the Stromness whaling station, where the explorer finally found rescue for his crew. To reach the abandoned station, stroll along a pebbled beach littered with hundreds of fur seals and king and gentoo penguins.
Day 14-17 At Sea
- 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
After two weeks of endless wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Mingle with your fellow shipmates, sharing stories and photos in the lounge. The noisy, busy world awaits your return, so savor the silence of the sea as long as you can, enjoying your final moments on deck, reflecting on all the amazing creatures you’ve met.
Day 18 Ushuaia | Disembark
Today say goodbye to your Expedition Team and fellow travelers, disembarking in the morning to catch your homeward flights.