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Penguins navigating the icy slopes

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.
Kayak unforgettable seascapes on your Antarctica voyageA group of King penguins.Hiking to the summit.Observe beautiful fur sealsAbandoned whaling village of Stromness, South GeorgiaPenguins navigating the icy slopes
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
  • Step foot on the icy continent of Antarctica
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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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 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.

If conditions are right, the first indication that you are approaching South Georgia is the sight of birds around a group of rocky spires called Shag Rocks. Have your binoculars and cameras ready to capture these rocky spires rising out of the icy ocean waters. Shags and prions often rest here, and due to nutrient rich upwellings around the rocks it can be a good place to keep a lookout for whales.

Day 7-8: South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
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.

You’ll find that South Georgia, once a popular base for whalers and sealers, is also scattered with abandoned relics and evidence of human activity from centuries gone by. Your Expedition Team will help bring those days to life while you visit old whaling stations and enjoy presentations on the South Georgia of then and now.

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 workshops led by your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife and landscapes that will surround you upon your arrival.

Day 11-13: Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words, since few places are as untouched and enduring as Antarctica. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes. At one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete isolation and silence, and at the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into a brilliant blue sea or a penguin waddles by to inspect your footwear.

Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each excursion, whether you are Zodiac cruising, visiting a historical site or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Keep a lookout for Antarctic whales, such as minkes, while on a Zodiac cruise. Each day and each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy. As exciting as the Zodiac excursions and landings are, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to an extra-special Antarctic experience by partaking in an optional paddling excursion (at an extra cost) or cast reason aside and jump into Antarctic waters for the Polar Plunge!

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.

Ship/Hotel

Ocean Diamond

Explore Antarctica aboard the Ocean Diamond
Ocean Diamond's reception and lobby.
Ocean Diamond's dining room.

Ushuaia - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$17,995
Ocean Diamond's Triple Cabin.
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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.
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Single with Porthole
Lower Deck, 200 sq feet, one double bed, two portholes, and private bathroom with shower.
Ocean Diamond's Single Cabin.
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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.
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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.
Included
  • 15 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 14 Dinners
  • 15 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Coffee, Tea and Cocoa Available Around the Clock
  • Leadership throughout the expedition by our experienced Expedition Leader
  • Loan of Waterproof Boots for Landings
  • Official Expedition Parka to Keep
  • Select Beer and Wine During Dinner
  • Photographic Journal Documenting the Expedition
     
  • All Miscellaneous Service Taxes and Port Charges Throughout the Program
     
  • Comprehensive Predeparture Materials, Including a Map and an Informative Antarctic Reader
     
  • Luggage handling from the airport to the ship on the day of embarkation.
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Internet & Phone Charges
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Mandatory Waterproof Pants for Zodiac Cruising & Any Other Gear Not Specifically Mentioned
     

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
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