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Rockhopper penguin sighting

Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Antarctica - Mega Colonies

Example 18 Day Cruise aboard RCGS Resolute
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Visit three different locations on this 18-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. While the megafauna colonies are a highlight of this voyage, history can be found at every turn and you'll visit several important locations containing relics from early exploration and the whaling era. The waters are full of life and you can anticipate encounters with both whales and seals.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Santiago, Chile | Stanley, Falkland Islands | Embark
Days 2-3 : At Sea | Towards South Georgia
Days 4-6 : Exploration of South Georgia
Days 7-9 : At Sea | Towards Antarctica
Days 10-12 : Danger Islands | Weddell Sea
Days 13-15 : South Shetland Islands | Gerlache Strait
Days 16-17 : Drake Passage | Return to South America
Day 18 : Ushuaia | Disembark

Highlights

  • Explore South Georgia's deep bays in inflatable Zodiac boats
  • Visit old whaling stations and the gravesite of Sir Ernest Shackleton
  • Enjoy a range of activity choices, including kayaking and hiking
  • Sail along the Falkland Islands joined by hundreds of seabirds

Ship

RCGS Resolute

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Weddell seal taking a rest Rockhopper penguin sighting Playful humpback whale in Paradise Bay Photographing penguins Emperor & Adelie Penguins King Penguins at Fortuna Bay, South Georgia

Day 1 Santiago, Chile | Stanley, Falkland Islands | Embark

Depart from Santiago this morning on a special charter flight direct to Stanley. You will be transferred from the airport to the town and you can spend your time exploring or join a guided visit to nearby Gypsy Cove which provides your first opportunity for observing the local wildlife, including nesting Magellanic penguins and other sea birds. 

Making your way to the port, board the expedition ship, RCGS Resolute in the afternoon. After settling into your cabins and exploring the ship, meet the expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off to explore one of the most remote regions on Earth.

Day 2-3 At Sea | Towards South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Chart a south-easterly course bound for South Georgia. 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 will pick up some valuable tips from your onboard photographic guide, learning about image composition, the subtle polar light and all the basics of good camera craft. Learn about Polar conservation - a theme particularly close to the hearts of your guides and crew.

Day 4-6 Exploration of South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Today, the ship will approach the deep bays of this rugged, rocky outcrop, you will begin to see why. Launching the Zodiacs, you will begin your exploration of the island, in the vicinity of Elsehul Bay. Large numbers of fur seals and the much larger elephant seal will 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 us. You can visit 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. 

Day 7-9 At Sea | Towards Antarctica

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Weather and ice will dictate your crossing of the Scotia Sea from South Georgia to Antarctica. Onboard experts keep you busy with fascinating presentations and lead lively discussions throughout the day. The great pelagic seabirds are sure to keep you company – and anticipate excellent sightings of albatross and giant petrels soaring on the winds of the South Atlantic Ocean. As you edge ever closer to the frozen continent, large icebergs announce your arrival in Antarctic waters. Excitement grows as the low-lying Danger Islands appears on the horizon. Situated at the extreme northern point of the Antarctic Peninsula, offshore from the larger Joinville Island, you cannot help but be excited about the days ahead.

Day 10-12 Danger Islands | Weddell Sea

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
The excursions today in the Weddell Sea will be dictated by the weather. By Zodiac, you will explore the waters around the island groups and plan to make shore landings at several locations. Be amazed with the immense scale of the Adelie penguin rookie here.  They are fascinating to observe, coming and going from fishing forays, and sitting on the nest raising their precious chicks. 

Along with the Danger Islands, the region is home to a number of other sizable penguin rookeries at locations which include Paulet Island and Gourdin Island. Nearby Vega Island is home to some of the most fascinating palaeontology found in all of Antarctica. Fossils here tell the story of Gondwanaland, of giant penguins and other dinosaur species and early plant life on Earth. Brown Bluff and d’Urville Monument are other landing possibilities in the area.a

Day 13-15 South Shetland Islands | Gerlache Strait

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Approaching the South Shetland Islands, you will aim for a shore landing at the Half Moon Island. This is a home to a boisterous colony of nesting chin strap penguins and with just a short hike, you will see the elephant seal haul. These are fascinating animals to observe as the naturalist guides explain the unique family dynamics and behavior. There are several other nearby locations, including Yankee Harbour or Hannah Point which we may choose as alternative landing sites. A thrill for many will be sailing the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island. At Whalers Bay, the remains of a rusting old whaling station provide a glimpse into history. There are a couple of excellent hiking routes here – one up to a high point overlooking the entire bay. Another to the far end of the black-sand beach where an old aircraft hangar can be viewed. It’s from here, the very first flight in Antarctica took to the air.

Enter the maze of islands and waterways along the Antarctic Peninsula and enjoying shore landings, Zodiac cruises and kayak excursions several times per day. 

Day 16-17 Drake Passage | Return to South America

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
As you make your way back to South America, the educational presentations continue, and enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by the Expedition Leader. Join your photography experts in the multimedia room and download and back up your precious images. If weather conditions allow, you can make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.

Day 18 Ushuaia | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina and say goodbye to your crew and fellow travelers. Guests will be transported after breakfast to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home.

RCGS Resolute

Deals

Save $800
Antarctic Savings - Book before May 31, 2019 and save $800 per person and receive a complimentary pre-voyage hotel stay in departure city. Select departures only. Contact us for details.
Applies to Dec 31, 2019 departure

Per person starting at
$21,195
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.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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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.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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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.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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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 Ushuaia on Day 1 and from the port to the airport (or a downtown hotels) at the conclusion of your voyage on Day 18
  • 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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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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