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Humpback whale dive

Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctica

Via Punta Arenas - Example 19 Day Cruise aboard RCGS Resolute
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Visit three different locations on this 19-day classic voyage. The Falkland Islands and the island of South Georgia are home to a proliferation of unique wildlife and birdlife. Both locations feature a fascinating history and stunning scenery. To the south lies Antarctica, the frozen continent where icebergs in all shapes and sizes fill the waters, and encounters with whales including humpback, minke, and orca are frequent. Explore on shore in the company of expert guides, including naturalists, marine biologists, ornithologists, and adventurers as well as a resident photography professional. Cruise in Zodiac boats, explore on long hikes ashore, or kayak along the icy waters. This itinerary appeals to those who want to see it all!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Punta Arenas, Chile | Embark
Days 2-3 : At Sea – Towards Antarctica
Days 4-6 : South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
Days 7-8 : Antarctic Sound | Weddell Sea and Elephant Island
Days 9-11 : Scotia Sea - Toward South Georgia
Days 12-14 : Exploration of South Georgia
Days 15-17 : At Sea - Toward the Falklands
Day 18 : Falkland Islands
Day 19 : Arrive Stanley | Disembark | Santiago, Chile

Highlights

  • Visit old whaling stations and the gravesite of Sir Ernest Shackleton
  • Sail along the Falkland Islands joined by hundreds of seabirds
  • Search for whales & other marine mammals on your way to South Georgia
  • Enjoy a range of activity choices, including kayaking and hiking
  • Learn about the environment, wildlife, history, and ecology of the region

Ship

RCGS Resolute

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Humpback whale dive A huge colony of king penguins. Elephant seal on the coast Kayaking through the icy waters. Antarctic mountains at sunset

Day 1 Punta Arenas, Chile | Embark

Your journey commences in the southern Chilean port city of Punta Arenas. Gather at a central meeting point and transfer to the wharf where you'll embark your expedition ship. After settling into your cabins and exploring the ship, meet the expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air and enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner. Chart a course through the Straits of Magellan and are on your way, bound for Antarctica – and what promises to be an incredible adventure.

Day 2-3 At Sea – Towards Antarctica

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
The Drake Passage is rich in bio-diversity and showcases a great abundance of wildlife. You will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross, Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as you make your way south. Photographing these magnificent birds takes patience and skill and your photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of your modern expedition vessel. Throughout the day your onboard experts educate you with a series of presentations about the environment, the wildlife and history of the locations you can hope to visit in the coming days. As you approach the coastline of Antarctica, encounter more icebergs and anticipate your first whale sightings.

Day 4-6 South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Excitement is in the air as the magnificent snowy peaks of the South Shetland Islands are laid out before you. Depending on ice and weather conditions, enter the South Shetlands via the McFarlane Strait, with an objective of Half Moon Island, or nearby Yankee Harbour. Arriving on shore, a sizeable rookery of chinstrap penguins act as a very noisy welcoming committee and you can hope to observe your first substantial elephant seal colony here. There are some good hiking options along the rocky beach to a high point. Otherwise observe the chinstraps at close proximity as they establish their nests.

Overnight, cross the Bransfield Strait and are now along the coastline of continental Antarctica. The itinerary is deliberately flexible to account for early season ice conditions, and to take advantage of optimal snow conditions at several favourite landing sites. The planned exploration starts in the vicinity of Mikkelson Harbour and neighbouring Cierva Cove – both beautiful locations and the perfect introduction to Antarctica. Both spots provide excellent Zodiac cruising and it is fascinating to observe the very beginning of the penguin breeding cycle and the courtship rituals that take place. Keep your eyes out for the powerful leopard seal, which can frequently be found hauled out on the icefloes around here.

Continue your journey on your way to Antarctic Sound - the gateway into the icy Weddell Sea. Depending on the seasonal ice conditions, visit a number of outstanding locations on the way into the Weddell. The plan is to sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic place and history is all around as you explore the old whaling station, with the rusted old boilers and dilapidated wooden huts. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar. This is where Australian, Sir Hubert Wilkins, made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928. There is also an outstanding hike, high up onto the rim of the crater. The Aitcho Islands provide some great hiking routes showcasing the colourful mosses and lichens found on the island. Gentoo and chinstrap penguins nest here and on the beaches, seals are often encountered coming and going from the surrounding waters. Fort Point situated on Greenwich Island is another possible location for a visit.  ​

Day 7-8 Antarctic Sound | Weddell Sea and Elephant Island

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
The next objective is to enter the icy Weddell Sea, through the broad channel that separates the continent of Antarctica from Joinville Island. At first, you will be awe-struck by the sheer size of the tabular icebergs in this area and their presence always makes for exciting navigation on the ship. This region is also home to some of the largest Adelie penguin rookeries found in Antarctica. After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetlands and Antarctic Sound, head for Elephant Island – a location forever connected to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition a century ago. On the windswept north coast, exposed to the swells of the South Atlantic is Point Wild. It was here that Shackleton and his exhausted men camped under their upturned boats more than a century ago – pondering their chances of survival. Shore landings here are often notoriously tricky due to strong winds and pounding surf on the rocky beach. This is a thrilling location for anyone with a passion for polar history.

Day 9-11 Scotia Sea - Toward South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
As the ship departs Elephant Island, ponder the journey made by Shackleton and his four companions – as they attempted the near impossible – navigating 800 nautical miles in a 30 foot converted lifeboat across the tempestuous Scotia Sea to South Georgia. You'll have a much easier time of the crossing in your modern expedition ship. Onboard experts keep you busy with fascinating presentations and lead lively discussions throughout the day. The great pelagic seabirds are sure to keep you cpmpany – and you can anticipate excellent sightings of albatross and giant petrels soaring on the winds of the South Atlantic Ocean. Anticipation builds as the mountainous peaks appear on the horizon, marking your arrival at South Georgia.

Day 12-14 Exploration of South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Spend the next three days exploring the coastline of South Georgia. Dark sand beaches, tussock covered hinterland and a backdrop of towering peaks and glaciers are a feast for all the senses. South Georgia has often been called the greatest wildlife show on Earth. Seals cover the beaches, seabirds fill the skies and living in rookeries of immense sizes are the majestic king penguins. The aim is to visit a number of these vast colonies – where naturalists estimate that more than 100,000 adult and juvenile penguins live in close proximity. Locations could include Gold Harbour, Royal Bay, St Andrews Bay and Salisbury Plain. Dotted along the coastline are the rusting relics of the early whaling era. The largest of these locations is Grytviken. Here you'll find a fascinating museum and a beautifully restored Norwegian Lutheran Church. Adjacent to the old whaling station lies a small cemetery. This is the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton – who was laid to rest here in 1922. For many onboard, being in the presence of the great polar explorer is a highlight of the trip. Continue your journey along the coastline, hoping to visit Stromness – another former whaling station – and the final destination of Shackleton and companions Frank Worsley and Tom Crean, having made the near impossible traverse across the interior of South Georgia against all odds. 

Day 15-17 At Sea - Toward the Falklands

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
By now you are in sensory overload, your cameras full of images and your journey towards the Falkland Islands commences. The spectacular seabirds, including several albatross and petrel species, are your constant companions soaring above the ship. The onboard educational program continues, and your experts recap your remarkable journey to date. These days provide a good opportunity to catch up on journal entries, sort through your images at the multimedia station and catch some rest after a busy two weeks of activity.

Day 18 Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake to the sight of landfall in the Falkland Islands. Approaching Sea Lion Island, you'll 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. As you cruise along the coast of the Falklands, bound for Stanley, enjoy a special dinner attended by the ship’s Captain.

Day 19 Arrive Stanley | Disembark | Santiago, Chile

  • 1 Breakfast
This morning, pass through ‘the Narrows’ and into the port of Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands. Say goodbye to your crew and after some free time to explore the town, make your way to the airport for your special charter flight to Santiago - Chile's stylish capital city. On arrival in Santiago your journey comes to an end. Onward regional and international flight connections may be possible this evening. A transfer is provided to a downtown location for those choosing to stay and explore Santiago and the delights of Chile. 

RCGS Resolute

Deals

Save $1,200
Early Bird Savings - Book before January 31, 2019 and save $1,200 per person and enjoy a complimentary pre-voyage hotel night. Some restrictions may apply. Select departures only. Contact us for details.
Applies to Oct 20, 2019 departure

Per person starting at
$15,095
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Main Deck Triple
Deck 3. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge, portholes, writing desk and chair, and private washroom facilities.
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Twin Private Cabin
Deck 4. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge, large windows, writing desk and chair, and private washroom facilities.
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Superior Cabin
Deck 5. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge, large windows, writing desk and chair, and private washroom facilities.
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Superior Plus Cabin
Deck 5. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge, large picture windows, writing desk and chair, and private washroom.
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Shackleton Suite
Deck 6. 22 m2. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge convertible to a sofa bed, large picture windows, a large desk, expansive cabinetry, and washroom facilities including both a shower & bathtub.
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One Ocean Suite
Deck 6. 44 m2. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge convertible to a sofa bed with matching club chairs, large picture windows, a large desk, expansive cabinetry, and washroom facilities including both a shower & bathtub.

Notes

Please Note: Polar exploration can be unpredictable, which regularly causes variations to itineraries. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a 'guide only' and is subject to change.

Your Expedition Includes: 
  • Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your trip
  • Transfers from a central meeting point in on Day 1 and from the port to the airport (or a downtown hotels) at the conclusion of your voyage on Day 19
  • Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes
  • 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 field (ie. marine biologists, naturalists, historians etc).
  • 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 cener including personal trainer and massage options (charge applies for massage and spa 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 reference 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 – US$12-15 per day)
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Erin Correia
Erin C

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