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Kayak quiet waters as you sail to remote coves of Antarctica

South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula: Penguin Safari

Example 16 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Diamond
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Be a part of this incredible 16-day adventure aboard Ocean Diamond as it takes you to a roundtrip voyage from Ushuaia. At sea, photograph massive albatross and pintado petrel as they swoop and soar around the ship, guiding you toward South Georgia. Beaches teeming with king penguins and elephant seals greet you on this fabled island, where you can pay your respects to famed explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Antarctica awaits, with its geographic contradictions and overwhelming enormity. Relax on a Zodiac ride, hike glistening glaciers, share comical moments with inquisitive penguins, or witness the rugged peninsula from a sea kayak. Antarctica surprises and delights, and never disappoints.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive in Ushuaia
Day 2 : Ushuaia | Embark
Days 3-6 : At Sea
Days 7-8 : South Georgia
Days 9-10 : At Sea
Days 11-13 : Antarctic Peninsula
Days 14-15 : Crossing the Drake Passage
Day 16 : Disembarkation in Ushuaia

Highlights

  • Explore South Georgia’s king penguin rookeries – the largest on earth
  • Tour abandoned whaling stations and enjoy some stories from inhabitants
  • Enjoy on-board lectures & educational presentations from polar specialists

Ship

Ocean Diamond

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Kayak quiet waters as you sail to remote coves of Antarctica The End of the World The port town of Ushuaia Observe beautiful fur seals Abandoned whaling village of Stromness, South Georgia

Day 1 Arrive in Ushuaia

Begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port at the tip of South America. It’s the 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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel, which transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart!

Day 3-6 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
There are many activities to keep you engaged while you are at sea. Learn to identify seabirds that glide alongside the ship, or attend dynamic presentations by your Expedition Team. You will be prepped on safety procedures for Zodiac cruises and shore landings, and also be given instructions for getting the most out of your optional kayaking adventures (extra cost), a truly intimate way to experience Antarctica.

Day 7-8 South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
The first indication that you are approaching South Georgia is the sighting of birds around a group of rocky spires called Shag Rocks. Rising out of the icy ocean waters, have your binoculars and cameras ready to photograph these rocks. Shags, prions, and wandering albatross often rest here.

After enjoying South Georgia from a distance, head towards its dark sandy beaches to find a protected bay for your first land excursion. Landing sites on South Georgia are varied and are largely determined by the weather conditions of your voyage. Whichever landing sites you visit, they provide you with wildlife encounters that cannot be enjoyed anywhere else on earth.

This is one of the most fertile breeding grounds in the world for sub-Antarctic wildlife, with beaches littered with penguins - in particular king and macaroni penguins. Many rookeries number into the 100s of thousands! It won’t take you long to realize that South Georgia is a paradise for bird lovers as burrowing seabirds, albatross, and petrels can be seen in abundance.

One of the most significant sites you visit on the island is located on Grytviken. This is one of the first whaling stations established in sub-Antarctic waters. Many travelers find this place of special appeal as it is home to the remains of one of the best known Antarctic explorers, Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Day 9-10 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Say goodbye to the king penguins, as your next destination is Antarctica! Your days at sea are filled with presentations and lectures led by your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife that will greet you upon your arrival. In between activities, spend time chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.
If conditions allow, we may attempt landfall on the South Orkney Islands, our first official stop in Antarctica.

Day 11-13 Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
The most common reaction to arriving at the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words. Antarctica is a land of extremes: at one moment you are overcome with a feeling of complete silence and loneliness, the next you are laughing at the comical antics of a curious penguin.

Glacier hikes, visits to research bases and, of course, communing with seals and penguins are sure to keep you smiling each and every day. Perhaps catch sight of the fearless penguin-eater, the leopard seal, or come eye–to–eye with a curious minke whale while out on a Zodiac. Each day and each landing presents a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera busy.

If you find yourself wanting more, then perhaps treat yourself by booking a kayaking Adventure Option (reserve in advance when booking your trip), or if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, a little shock therapy courtesy of a Polar Plunge might be what you need!

Day 14-15 Crossing the Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
After more than a dozen days of memorable wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage, to spend time on the deck, watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy presentations by your Expedition Team, or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.

Day 16 Disembarkation in Ushuaia

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive in Ushuaia in the morning, which allows for you to continue your adventure on land or catch your flights home.

Ocean Diamond

Ushuaia - Hotels

Per person starting at
$10,495
Ocean Diamond's Triple Cabin.
Select a Date
Triple
Lower Deck, 200 sq feet. Two twin beds and an upper bed, two portholes, and private bath with shower.
Ocean Diamond's Twin Cabin.
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Twin Obstructed View
Captains & Upper Decks, 200 sq feet, one double bed or two twin beds, picture window with a partially obstructed view, and private bathroom with shower.
Ocean Diamond's Twin Cabin.
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Twin Window
Upper, Main & Captain´s Decks, 183-200 sq feet. One double bed or two twin beds, picture window, and private bathroom with shower.
Ocean Diamond's Single Porthole Cabin.
Select a Date
Single with Porthole
Lower Deck, 200 sq feet, one double bed, two portholes, and private bathroom with shower.
Ocean Diamond's Single Cabin.
Select a Date
Single Obstructed View
Captain's Deck, 200 sq feet, one double bed, picture window with obstructed view, and private bathroom with shower.
Ocean Diamond's Suite.
Select a Date
Suite
Main Deck, 400 sq feet, one double bed or two twin beds, two picture windows and separate sitting area with sofas, two easy chairs, small table and two private bathrooms with shower.
Ocean Diamond's Balcony Suite.
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Balcony Suite
Observation Deck, 325 sq feet, one double bed or two twin beds, window and sliding glass door, private 96 sq ft deck, and private bathroom with shower.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy. Request the Twin 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.

- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate. The supplement for a suite is 2 times the shared rate.

Insurance: Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a maximum benefit of US$100,000 or US$500,000 per person is included. Travelers should have a minimum US$50,000 (or equivalent) of emergency medical coverage prior to embarkation. It is recommended that you and all members of your party have comprehensive travel insurance covering trip cancellation, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage, and repatriation. Contact us for details.

Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that everything can be accomplished. A measure of flexibility is something all must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.

Rates include:
  • Group transfer in Ushuaia from airport to pre-expedition hotel on Day 1
  • One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Ushuaia with breakfast
  • Group transfer from hotel to ship on embarkation day
  • Group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the local airport
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by your experienced Expedition Leader
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Formal and informal presentations by your Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled
  • Photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
  • An official expedition parka to keep
  • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin
  • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard ship
  • Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US $500,000 per person
Rates Exclude:
  • International airfare
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
  • Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption, and medical travel insurance
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
  • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
  • Phone and internet charges
  • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
  • Additional overnight accommodation
  • Optional kayaking activities.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Molly H

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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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