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South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey

Example 25 Day Cruise aboard Sylvia Earle
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On this epic voyage, not only will you explore the famed white continent and far-flung South Georgia, you will also sail to the South Sandwich Islands, a chain of seldom-visited volcanic islands located 740 kilometres south-east of South Georgia. True to our spirit of adventure, we aim to explore these islands on Zodiac cruises and perhaps land in one of the wildest places on earth. This is a Christmas and New Year adventure that you’re likely to remember and talk about for many years to come.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrival in Ushuaia
Day 2 : Embarkation Day | Ushuaia
Day 3 : At Sea
Day 4 : Falklands - Malvinas
Days 5-6 : At Sea
Days 7-10 : South Georgia
Days 11-12 : At Sea
Days 13-15 : South Sandwich Islands
Days 16-17 : At Sea
Days 18-22 : Antarctic Peninsula
Days 23-24 : Drake Passage
Day 25 : Ushuaia | Disembark

Highlights

  • Attempt a landing on an island for a chance to encounter a colony of chinstrap penguins
  • Celebrate Christmas and New Year on this epic Antarctic voyage
  • Become one of the very few to reach the South Sandwich Islands

Ship

Sylvia Earle

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Visit remote outposts on an Antarctic voyage A seal sleeping on a mound of snow.

Day 1 Arrival in Ushuaia

Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to your group hotel (preferred flights only). 

Day 2 Embarkation Day | Ushuaia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
This morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before exploring Ushuaia on a half-day city tour. Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego is located at the shores of the Beagle Channel and surrounded by the Martial Mountains giving you a unique landscape in Argentina, which is the combination of mountains, sea, glaciers and forests.
On this half day introductory tour, you will visit “La Mision” neighbourhood, the old Government House, and the upper area of the city, which offers beautiful panoramic views of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel.
During the excursion you will see the antique houses that belonged to the first families settled in Ushuaia. The excursion ends with a visit to the Old Prison Museum before transferring to the pier for embarkation at approximately 4.00 PM.
After embarkation, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before your important mandatory briefings. As the ship pulls away from port, you'll gather on the deck to commence your adventure with spectacular views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego.
This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners and friendly expedition team and crew at a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure to Antarctica.

Day 3 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As you commence your trip across the South Atlantic Ocean towards the Falklands~Malvinas, make the most of your time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. The expedition team prepare you for our first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures, and start your lecture program to help you learn more about the region’s history, wildlife and environment.
Your wildlife experiences begin as you enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following in our wake. They rise and fall skillfully, using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.

Day 4 Falklands - Malvinas

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Falklands~Malvinas comprises two large islands (East and West Falkland), with over 700 islands scattered off the coast. All but seven of these are uninhabited, with windswept coastlines, white sand beaches and crystal clear water. These beautifully barren islands are true wildlife havens, sheltering an impressive diversity of birdlife, including the largest black-browed albatross colony on earth. The cold, nutrient-rich waters surrounding the islands make this a prime location for spotting marine life.
There are many beautiful areas to explore across the Falklands~Malvinas, each offering a unique perspective on this magnificent archipelago. Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing winds, weather and wildlife opportunities.
Also aim to land in historic Stanley, the capital of the Falklands~Malvinas. This charming town has a distinctly British character, with terraced town houses, pioneer cottages and even an iconic red telephone box! Colourful buildings house cosy cafes, English pubs, souvenir shops, a post office and the fascinating Historic Dockyard Museum, with displays on the maritime history of the Falkland Islands, natural history and links to Antarctica.

Day 5-6 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Between the Falklands~Malvinas and South Georgia, you will be entranced by the ceaseless flight of the many seabirds that follow our wake, skillfully using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum. On this leg, you are usually travelling into the prevailing weather so it is difficult to estimate our precise arrival time in South Georgia. Your lecture program will continue highlighting all of the incredible sights you have witnessed over the past few days. You will have ample time to enjoy observing the sea birds, whale-watching from the observation areas, or simply relaxing with a book. If time and weather conditions permit, you could pass close to Shag Rocks, a fascinating group of jagged rocky islets protruding from the sea, in the proximity of South Georgia.

Day 7-10 South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
As you near the rugged island of South Georgia, spare a thought for Captain James Cook, who arrived here in 1775 and believed it to be the northern tip of a great southern continent! In fact, it is a small island only 176 km (110 mi) long, but with a 3,000 m (9,842 ft) snow-capped mountain range, some of the world’s largest congregations of wildlife and a truly fascinating human history, South Georgia is an island of incredible riches.
On approach, jagged mountain peaks rise steeply, while seabirds are often spotted soaring around the ship. You’ll sail down the east coast, taking in the spectacular glaciated scenery and enjoying a little shelter from the prevailing westerly winds. This enchanting coastline is yours to explore!
Generally, landings or Zodiac excursions happen twice a day. Make sure you layer up before joining Zodiac cruises around craggy coves and along the rocky coastline in search of nesting penguins, seal haul-outs and bird cliffs. Remember to keep an eye out for South Georgia’s kelp forests as well - these remarkable underwater ecosystems are quite mesmerising as their fronds sway back and forth on the water’s surface.
Zodiacs will also transport you from ship to shore, where you can visit some of the largest king penguin colonies on earth, take a guided walk among fur seals and elephant seals (making sure you listen to your guides and keep your distance!) and wander along pebbled streams and grassy glacial outwash plains. We also hope to visit the remnants of South Georgia’s thriving whaling stations and pay our respects to Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose incredible voyage of survival is synonymous with this island. If you have chosen an optional activity, you’ll have the option to do that whenever conditions allow.

Day 11-12 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
As you sail away from splendid South Georgia, enjoy presentations from the expedition team to help prepare for your arrival to the wild South Sandwich Islands. Perhaps you may want to practise your photo editing skills, stay active in the gym, or simply watch seabirds frolic alongside the ship.

Day 13-15 South Sandwich Islands

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
On Captain James Cook’s second voyage of discovery (1772–1775), he circumnavigated the globe in high southern latitudes, without seeing land, casting doubt on the existence of the Antarctic continent, which at that time was still unknown. It was during this voyage Cook discovered the South Sandwich Islands and landed on South Georgia Island, describing them as, ‘Lands doomed by Nature to perpetual frigidness: never to feel the warmth of the sun’s rays; whose horrible and savage aspects I have not words to describe.
Located about 740 km / 460 mi south-east of South Georgia, the islands form a chain some 350 km / 220 mi long, comprising 11 large and several smaller islands with a total area of about 600 sq. km / 230 sq. mi. Most are ice-capped, and the tallest peak, on Montagu Island, reaches 1,370 m /4,500 ft. The climate is cold, with frequent snow and strong winds. The islands are volcanic in origin and some remain active. The island of Zavodovski, for instance, appears in constant eruption and reeks of rotten eggs (the volcano itself is named Mt. Asphyxia), while the islands of Visokoi, Candlemas, Saunders, and Bellingshausen all show definite signs of activity. Bristol, Cook, and Thule islands are heavily glaciated and show no signs of warmth or activity. All the islands are steep-sided above the water, and fall away rapidly into deep water (more than 1,500 m / 5,000 ft).

Day 16-17 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Join the expedition team to pick up photography tips or learn about the white continent, and keep an eye out for your first iceberg as we sail towards the Antarctic Peninsula.

Day 18-22 Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners
It’s almost impossible to describe the feeling of arriving in Antarctica. Spotting your first iceberg and taking a deep breath of some of the most fresh, crisp air on earth is an experience that will stay with you forever.
Once you arrive, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are yours to explore, and you have a host of choices available. Because you are so far south, you will experience approximately 18-24 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish.
Generally, landings or Zodiac excursions happen twice a day. You’ll want to rug up before joining Zodiac cruises along spectacular ice cliffs or among grounded icebergs, keeping watch for whales, seals and porpoising penguins. Zodiacs will also transport you from the ship to land, where you can visit penguin rookeries, discover historic huts and explore some of our favourite spots along the peninsula.
In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, you may ship cruise some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to watch whales travelling or feeding. This is a great time to enjoy the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge for uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendour. Keep an ear out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve their way from summit to sea, and take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of this incredible white continent.

Day 23-24 Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Enjoy a morning landing in Antarctica before commencing the crossing of the Drake Passage. Swap photos with your fellow expeditioners or simply relax and enjoy the last days of a truly unforgettable voyage to the Antarctic.

Day 25 Ushuaia | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
During the early morning, you sail along the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, where you begin disembarking at around 8.00 am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow travellers as you all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to either downtown Ushuaia or to the airport is included in the cost of the voyage

Sylvia Earle

Ushuaia - Hotels

Deals

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Special Savings - Book by March 31, 2020 and save 20% per person. Select departures only. Valid for all cabin types, except Aurora Stateroom Superior and Captain's Suite. For new bookings after January 6, 2020. Contact us for details.
Applies to Dec 17, 2021 departure

Per person starting at
$28,695
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Aurora Stateroom Triple
4 Aurora Stateroom Triple cabins featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms.
Greg Mortimer
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Aurora Stateroom Twin
3 Aurora Stateroom Twin cabins featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms, perfect for adventurers who are looking for a comfortable base that's close to the action.
Greg Mortimer-Aurora Stateroom
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Aurora Stateroom Superior
Located on Deck 7, the Staterooms feature french balconies, floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area. Perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear.
Greg Mortimer-Balcony Stateroom
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Balcony Stateroom C
11 Balcony Stateroom C cabins - most economical, fitted with all the necessities and comfortable for up to 2 people. These cabins are scattered throughout Deck 6.
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Balcony Stateroom B
17 Balcony Stateroom B Cabins - standard cabin, many fitted with interconnecting features making them great for families or groups. These cabins are located at the fore and aft of Deck 4 and 6.
Greg Mortimer
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Balcony Stateroom A
23 Balcony Stateroom A cabins - premium cabin, and the most abundant on board. These cabins are located in preferred positions on Deck 4 and 6 which provides easy access between Decks via the internal stairs or elevator.
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Balcony Stateroom Superior
Located on Deck 4 and 6, the Staterooms feature floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area. Some of these rooms are equipped with wheelchair accessible bathrooms.
Greg Mortimer- Junior Suite
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Junior Suite
4 Junior Suites take in some impressive scenery from their vantage points on Deck 7. When you aren't enjoying a landing, you can relax in the suites' separate lounge area, or just watch the world float by from the private balcony.
Greg Mortimer-Captain's Suite
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Captain’s Suite
Captain's Suite - the largest of all our rooms, will take you to the polar regions in ultimate style and comfort. Complete with large lounge area, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and en-suite, you'll need to get in early to secure this suite.

Notes

Inclusions
  • Arrival transfer from airport to hotel on Day 1
  • One night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia on Day 1
  • City tour in Ushuaia on Day 2 (lunch not included)
  • Luggage transfer from your hotel in Ushuaia to ship on Day 2
  • Transfer from pier to downtown Ushuaia or to airport on Day 25
  • On-board accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
  • Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team
  • Free access to our onboard doctor for consultations relating to sea-sickness. A standard fee of US $60.00 (reclaimable through your travel insurance provider) applies for medical consultations not related to sea-sickness
  • A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
  • Complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees
Exclusions
  • International or domestic flights, unless specified
  • Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination charges
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
  • Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
  • Optional excursions not included in the itinerary
  • Optional activity surcharges
  • All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
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