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Antarctic mountains at sunset

Falkland Islands, South Georgia + Antarctica

Example 18 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Ioffe
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Explore spectacular Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic Falkland and South Georgia Islands. Encounter a spectacular proliferation of unique wildlife and birdlife on your journey – there are penguin rookeries with more than 100,000 nesting birds, albatrosses, and the beaches are covered with fur seals and elephant seals. The frozen continent offers all shapes and sizes of icebergs that fill the waters, and yet more unique wildlife can be found living in sizable colonies. The waters are full of life and you frequently encounter whales including humpback, minke, and orca. Spend your days exploring on shore in the company of expert guides – including naturalists, marine biologists, ornithologists and adventurers as well as a resident photography professional. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Punta Arenas, Chile | Embark
Day 2 : Sea Lion Island | Bleaker Island
Days 3-4 : At Sea towards South Georgia
Days 5-8 : South Georgia
Days 9-11 : At Sea towards Antarctica
Days 12-16 : South Shetland Islands | Antarctica Peninsula
Day 17 : King George Island | Fly to Punta Arenas
Day 18 : Punta Arenas

Highlights

  • Admire Stanley's charming brightly colored houses with flower-filled gardens
  • Discover South Georgia, often called the ‘Serengeti of the Southern Ocean’
  • Visit the largest whaling station, situated at the head of Cumberland Bay
  • Sail into the incredible flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island

Ship

Akademik Ioffe

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Antarctic mountains at sunset Elephant seal on the coast An old ship rusts in a Falkland Islands harbor Rockhopper penguins Whaling station in Grytviken

Day 1 Punta Arenas, Chile | Embark

The journey commences this morning in the southern Chilean city of Punta Arenas. Meet at a central location before transferring to the airport for your scheduled flight to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. (This flight is included in the price of your voyage). After a short 90-minute journey you are met on arrival and transferred to the pier. Stanley is currently home to just over 2,000 residents and is reminiscent of a rural town in coastal Britain. It is charming with brightly colored houses, pretty flower-filled gardens, a quaint cathedral, and several local pubs. There is time to explore the town before ship embarkation. 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, dinner, and cast off for the adventure of a lifetime.

Day 2 Sea Lion Island | Bleaker Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Overnight you have navigated down the eastern coast of the Falkland Islands. Approaching Sea Lion Island, first note the very barren and windswept landscape, exposed to the prevailing weather that originates in the Drake Passage. Launch the zodiacs and go ashore to view the incredible diversity of wildlife found at this location. Three species of penguin including gentoo, Magellanic, and rockhopper as well as southern elephant seals and South American sea lions are known to inhabit the area. King cormorants and striated caracaras are just some of the bird species you can expect to see. Weather permitting, visit neighboring Bleaker Island, another settlement on the exposed southeastern coast of the Falklands and equally rich in wildlife.

Day 3-4 At Sea towards South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Chart a southeasterly course bound for South Georgia. The seabirds once again join you in the Southern Ocean. The educational presentations continue and are always popular. History is a key theme of this voyage and the epic story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition is central to any trip to South Georgia. Perhaps you can pick up some valuable tips from the onboard photographic guide, learning about image composition, the subtle polar light, and all the basics of good camera craft. Also learn about Polar conservation - a theme particularly close to the hearts of your guides and crew.

Day 5-8 South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
South Georgia has often been called the ‘Serengeti of the Southern Ocean’ – and as you approach the deep bays of this rugged, rocky outcrop, you can begin to see why. Launching the Zodiacs start your exploration of the island, in the vicinity of Elsehul Bay. Large numbers of fur seals and the much larger elephant seal line the dark sand beaches. Living in the tussock grass, king penguins and their chicks may number up to 100,000 birds in some locations, including Salisbury Plain, St Andrews Bay, and Gold Harbour. The island is also home to large numbers of nesting albatross as they fill the skies above, coming and going from the nest. South Georgia is a thrilling location for history lovers and the rusting relics of the early whaling industry are all around you. Observe several of the old stations at locations including Leith, Husvik, and Stromness. A highlight is a visit to Grytviken – the largest of the whaling stations, situated at the head of Cumberland Bay. It is here you visit the gravesite of Sir Ernest Shackleton. For many, being in the presence of the great explorer is a highlight of the trip. An excellent museum at Grytviken, maintained by the South Georgia Heritage Trust, and the restored church built by the original Norwegian whalers provides a fascinating glimpse into the past.

Day 9-11 At Sea towards Antarctica

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Weather and ice dictate your crossing of the Scotia Sea from South Georgia to Antarctica. As with all of your itinerary planning, the Expedition Leader and Captain make a decision based on the sea and ice conditions at the time. The South Orkney Island group 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 surroundedby ice much of the year, a chance to visit these islands doesn’t come often. As you edge ever closer to the frozen continent, large icebergs announce your arrival in Antarctic waters. If conditions allow, you may 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 12-16 South Shetland Islands | Antarctica Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners
Around 60 miles off the coast of the Antarctic mainland find the South Shetland Island chain. Possible landing sites could include King George Island, Half Moon Island, or Yankee Harbour. Weather conditions permitting, sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island. There are some outstanding hikes at these locations and 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 lives 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 that you can hope to encounter. 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 exciting activities await. Locations you can visit include Wilhelmina Bay, Orne Harbour, Cuverville Island and the Errera Channel. Join the photographic guide taking pictures of stunning icebergs. Or enjoy a hike to the top of a snowy mountain saddle with one of your adventure guides. If the opportunity presents itself, visit a science base or an old historic hut. The sea kayakers may range up to several miles from the ship for a truly memorable experience. As your voyage comes to an end, chart a course for King George Island. Tonight you celebrate your voyage with a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.

Day 17 King George Island | Fly to Punta Arenas

This morning say goodbye to your expedition team and transfer ashore by Zodiac. Walk from the shore landing site past the Chilean research station and up towards the airstrip where you board your special charter flight. This flight takes a little over two hours and is included in the price of your voyage. Upon arrival into Punta Arenas a transfer from the airport into town is provided. A complimentary post-voyage hotel night is included. This evening is at your leisure. Punta Arenas is home to some cozy restaurants, cafes and bars – including the historic ‘Shackleton Bar’ at the Hotel Jose Nogueira – a fitting location to reflect on your journey to Antarctica.

Day 18 Punta Arenas

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast and check-out, make your own way to the airport for your onward journey. It is recommended that you book flights after midday.

Akademik Ioffe

Punta Arenas - Hotels

Deals

Save $1000
Early Bird Savings - Book by November 30 and save $1000.
Applies to Feb 2, 2019 departure
Per person starting at
$16,295
Main Deck Triple Cabins
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Main Deck Triple
Deck 3. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day) and one upper berth. Shared facilities, in cabin washbasin, writing desk/chair, ample storage, and two portholes.
Twin Semi Private Cabins
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Twin Semi-Private
Deck 4. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day), a writing desk/chair, bookshelf and tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage. Facilities are semi-private (one bathroom between two cabins) and all cabins have a window that can be opened.
Twin Private Cabins
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Twin Private
Deck 4 and 5. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day), a writing desk/chair, bookshelf and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window that can be opened.
Superior Cabins
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Superior
Deck 6. Two lower berths, a sofa, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window that can be opened.
Shackleton Suites
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Shackleton Suite
Deck 4 & 5. One double bed, one sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, IPod alarm clock, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, mini bar. Private facilities. Large window that can be opened.
One Ocean Suite
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One Ocean Suite
Deck 5. One double bed, one sofa bed & separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, IPod alarm clock, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, mini bar. Private facilities with tub. Windows overlooking the bow.

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.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This itinerary includes a complimentary post-voyage hotel night in Punta Arenas for all guests returning from voyages that conclude at King George Island.

Rate Includes:
  • Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your trip
  • Transfers in Punta Arenas to the airport on Day 1 and from Punta Arenas airport (to a downtown location) on arrival back from Antarctica on Day 17
  • Scheduled flight to Stanley (Falkland Islands) and special charter flight from King George Island (Antarctica) back to Punta Arenas (Chile)
  • Hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas for one night at the conclusion of your voyage
  • Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes that open on each deck
  • All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea
  • 24 hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar/lounge plus in cabin tea and coffee-making facilities
  • Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine bioligists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
  • Daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings
  • Guided hikes and walks on shore of various durations for guests of all abilities
  • Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and community visits
  • Educational presentations and talks by polar experts in their fi eld (ie. marine biologists, naturalists, historians etc). Onboard or on shore
  • Resident photography guide available to assist all guests plus access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads, file back up and management
  • An emergency trained Physician onboard every voyage
  • Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff
  • Onboard sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness center including personal trainer and massage options (charge applies for massage and treatments)
  • Sea Kayaking program available (additional charge of US$795pp) – must be reserved at the time of booking your voyage and you must have some prior paddling experience
  • Access to well stocked library full of polar books
  • End of voyage video, photos and take home USB
  • Port fees and all permits to access visited areas
The Expedition does not include:
  • Any international or local airfare unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary
  • Visa and passport expenses
  •  Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  •  Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  •  Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges, or laundry expenses
  • Telecommunication charges (ie. email, satellite phone)
  • Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (travel insurance is mandatory on all voyages)
  •  A voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and ship crew (suggested amount – $US12-15 per day)

Included

  • 17 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 16 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Callie W

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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
Lindsay Gompf

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