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Humpback whale emerges from polar waters

Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica: Antarctic Christmas

Example 21 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Endeavour
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Set sail on this 21-day expedition aboard the magnificent Ocean Endeavour to discover Antarctica, the world’s last frontier and the land of penguins and icebergs. This is a once in a lifetime adventure that will appeal to wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike. Antarctica, the fabled White Continent is the land of penguins, seals, whales and icebergs. As we sail to South Georgia from Elephant Island, we follow in the footsteps of the heroic polar explorer, Shackleton. Penguins rule South Georgia. They number in the hundreds of thousands and carpet beaches as far as the eye can see. It is home to the greatest concentration of wildlife on Earth and the final resting place of Shackleton. The Falkland Islands are ruggedly beautiful, with their spectacular array of birdlife, flora and fauna. This is the an incredible journey of discovery, and one that will be etched in your memory forever!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Ushuaia, Argentina
Day 2 : Ushuaia | Embark
Days 3-4 : At Sea – Drake Passage
Days 5-8 : South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula
Day 9 : Elephant Island
Days 10-11 : At Sea
Days 12-15 : South Georgia
Days 16-17 : At Sea
Days 18-19 : Falkland Islands
Day 20 : At Sea
Day 21 : Ushuaia | Disembark

Highlights

  • Visit the rugged Falkland Islands and the capital, Port Stanley
  • Admire the unspoiled Antarctic wilderness
  • Watch elephant seals challenge each other from up close
  • Walk among thousands of King Penguins in South Georgia

Ship

Ocean Endeavour

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Humpback whale emerges from polar waters Zodiac cruising in polar waters Gentoo penguin chick in Antarctica Incredible Antarctic glaciers Colony of king penguins A whale plays near the surface at dusk. An old ship rusts in a Falkland Islands harbor

Day 1 Ushuaia, Argentina

On arrival at Ushuaia Airport, make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where your representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. The remainder of the evening is at your leisure. 

Day 2 Ushuaia | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
This morning is again free for you to explore Ushuaia further, or maybe discover Tierra del Fuego National Park, the most southerly national park of South America. The park offers a range of hiking trails that lead you through the stunningly beautiful and dramatic scenery of snow- capped peaks, lush meadows, rugged coastline, glaciers, waterfalls and lakes. Look out for guanaco, Andean foxes, muskrats and the North American beaver. Birds found here include the Andean condor, Magellanic oystercatcher, kelp goose, austral parakeet and torrent duck.

Late this afternoon, transfer to the port of Ushuaia in time for embarkation on board the Ocean Endeavour. The Expedition Team and the Ship’s Officers will be waiting to welcome you aboard. As you set sail, familiarize yourself with the layout of the Ocean Endeavour and its great amenities and enjoy a welcome dinner. This evening sail along the wildlife-rich Beagle Channel, towards the White Continent of Antarctica. As you leave the lights of Ushuaia behind, look out for Magellanic penguins, rock cormorants, petrels and black-browed albatross from the deck as well as noisy sea lion colonies.

Day 3-4 At Sea – Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
The infamous Drake Passage, named after the famous English explorer, Sir Frances Drake, separates the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula from the southernmost tip of South America. It is unpredictable—often rough and turbulent, but sometimes as calm as a lake—so be prepared! Enjoy the fabulous onboard facilities: join a yoga class or attend a presentation or two given by the Expedition Team to prepare you for what lies ahead—from the geology of Antarctica to its history and wildlife, and even the ice!

Sailing towards Antarctica there is a fall in temperature as you cross the Antarctic Convergence and enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. The Antarctic Convergence is marked by an increased number of seabirds, whales, and other species that are attracted by the nutrient-rich waters pushed to the surface by the colder waters of the polar region flowing north and meeting the warmer equatorial waters flowing south. Head out on deck to look out for the mighty Albatross that fly overhead, scan the waters for breaching whales and icebergs, or gaze out from the panoramic windows of the observation deck.

Continue your course south and hope to make landfall by the evening of Day 4, depending on the weather conditions. Keep on the lookout for the first sighting of land— that heralds your arrival to the White Continent!

Day 5-8 South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
The next three days are spent exploring the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula, a region that has captivated explorers for centuries and now enthrals travelers. Explore by Zodiac, cruising amongst the magnificently sculpted icebergs and making shore landings where you can mingle with penguins, climb to vantage points to absorb the spectacular panoramic views, maybe visiting a scientific or historic base. There may even be opportunities to kayak and snowshoe and of course learn more about photography with one of the experts.

Antarctica will enchant you with its incredible scenery, from imposing glaciers to towering snow-capped peaks, vast icebergs and ice-strewn channels. Not to mention the wildlife – from extensive colonies of chinstrap, Gentoo and Adelie penguins, to crabeater, Weddell, fur and elephant seals and a plethora of fascinating birds. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the mighty crack of a glacier calving. Maybe you will be one of the brave few to take a polar plunge in the icy waters! Every day brings a new experience and new landing site.

As you cruise from one landing site to the next, enjoy the continued lecture program and take in the scenery from the outer decks of the Ocean Endeavour. Make the most of the health and fitness facilities from the relaxing spa and saunas to the pool and gym.

Day 9 Elephant Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Leave the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands behind as the ship charts a course for historic Elephant Island. If conditions permit, the crew will attempt to take the Zodiacs to Point Wild.

Elephant Island has its place firmly etched in polar history, as this is where Shackleton’s crew from the 1914-17 Trans-Antarctic Expedition took refuge when their ship, The Endurance, was crushed by pack ice in the Weddell Sea. They set up camp at Point Wild, a harsh and inhospitable place and waited for over four months, whilst Shackleton sailed with 5 other men in the James Laird lifeboat to South Georgia. This is one of the most incredible adventure stories and most heroic survival stories of all times.

Day 10-11 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Leaving Elephant Island, chart a course northeast towards South Georgia. Learn to identify the seabirds that follow in the wake of the ship or glide alongside the vessel including albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels. Look out for whales and dolphins as you enjoy the silence of the sea.

Attend lectures and presentations by the Expedition Team as they prepare you for what lies ahead on South Georgia – from the history and geology to the incredible wildlife. Take in the panoramic views from the observation lounge and spacious decks, or make the most of the onboard facilities that include a spa, saunas, pool, gym and yoga classes.

If weather conditions are favorable, hope to make landfall on South Georgia by late evening on day 10.

Day 12-15 South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
South Georgia captivates every traveler that steps foot on its shores. Home to the greatest concentration of wildlife on the planet, here penguins number in the hundreds of thousands, blanketing beaches as far as the eye can see. Aim to spend four days exploring this stunningly beautiful island, an island that is not only overrun with an incredible array of fauna, but one that is steeped in history. South Georgia was an intrinsic part of Sir Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated Endurance Expedition and was once the center of the whaling industry.

South Georgia is home to over 30 million breeding birds, thousands of seals, the introduced Norwegian reindeer, nesting sites of the wandering albatross, four breeding species of penguin and the largest colony of king penguins on this planet. It is known as the ‘Galapagos of the South’. If the wildlife is not enough of a drawcard - then the spectacular scenery against which it is set can only enhance your visit - emerald green bays, snow-covered peaks, and blue glacier ice.

Explore by Zodiac and kayak and on foot, with opportunities to learn more about photography from one of your expert guides. Every day provides a different experience and a different location. Stand in awe among tens of thousands of penguins, look out across beaches carpeted with elephant seals, visit the remains of abandoned whaling stations and even the grave of Shackleton himself.

Day 16-17 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Saying goodbye to the wildlife of South Georgia, head west towards the isolated and sparsely populated Falklands archipelago, where the silence is broken only by the call of birds. Attend lectures and presentations by the Expedition Team, relax and unwind in the saunas and spa, and take advantage of all the other amenities onboard.

Day 18-19 Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Have your camera at the ready on your approach to the ruggedly beautiful Falklands archipelago to capture not only the abundant wildlife but also the incredible scenery. Over the next couple of days, explore the East and West Falkland Islands by Zodiac and on foot as you make daily shore landings and maybe even discover smaller inlets by kayak.

Learn about the intriguing and controversial history of the Falkland Islands as we explore the quaint capital of Port Stanley, with its British outpost feel. Near the town, you may see Southern Giant Petrels, the endemic Falkland Steamer Ducks, Kelp Gulls, and Dolphin Gulls. There are also Black-crowned Night Herons, Red-backed Hawks, Peregrine Falcons, and Turkey Vultures.

As you explore the islands, look out for the five species of penguins found here, large populations of Black-browed Albatross, elephant and fur seals, Peale’s and Commerson’s dolphins, orcas, and a myriad of bird species including the Falkland’s Flightless Steamer Duck, Imperial Shags, and Cobb’s Wrens.

Day 20 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Departing from the Falklands, set sail for Puerto Madryn. The next day is spent at sea, as you head towards Puerto Madryn, but there are the many onboard amenities to enjoy including a spa, saunas, pool and gym and relaxing yoga classes and of course a final presentation or two.

This last day at sea gives you one final chance to view the marine life of these southern waters.

Join the captain for a farewell dinner tonight on board the ship and toast the end of an epic voyage.

Day 21 Ushuaia | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
You are scheduled to arrive into Ushuaia early this morning, and we disembark after a final breakfast aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

After saying our farewells to our Expedition Team and the crew of the Ocean Endeavour, transfer to the airport for your onward flight, or you may like to spend a extra days in Ushuaia, giving you time to explore this fascinating town and the surrounding areas.

Ocean Endeavour

Ushuaia - Hotels

Deals

Save 15%
Early Bird Savings - Book before February 29, 2020, and save 15% on select cabin categories. Valid on new bookings made after February 6, 2020 for cabin categories 4 or 5. Contact us for details.
Applies to Dec 20, 2021 departure

Save 25%
Early Bird Savings - Book before February 29, 2020, and save 25% on select cabin categories. Valid on new bookings made after February 6, 2020 for cabin categories 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10. Contact us for details.
Applies to Dec 20, 2021 departure

Per person starting at
$16,995
Select a Date
Single Inside (Cat. 1)
Approximately 95 to 105 sq. ft. (9-10 sq. m), an interior Single cabin mid ship on Deck 5 with a lower berth and private bath, TV and radio.
Select a Date
Triple (Cat. 2)
Approximately 225 sq. ft. (20 sq. m), a Triple on Deck 4 is an interior cabin with three lower berths, and private bath. Cabin 4100 has four lower single beds and one private bathroom with a separate shower room.
Ocean Endeavour
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Interior Twin (Cat. 3)
Deck five: Interior cabin, two lower berths, private bath - approx. 125 sq. ft. (twin)/110 sq. ft. (single)
Select a Date
Twin/Single (Cat. 4)
Deck four: Porthole window, unobstructed view, two lower berths, private bath - approx. 100 sq. ft. (twin)/90 sq. ft. (single)
Select a Date
Main Twin (Cat. 5)
Deck five: Picture window, unobstructed view, two lower berths, private bath - approx. 115 sq. ft.
Select a Date
Comfort Twin (Cat. 6)
Deck four: Two portholes windows, unobstructed view, two lower berths - 175 sq.ft. Deck seven: picture window, partial view, two lower berths- 135 sq.ft. Deck eight: Picture windows, obstructed view, matrimonial bed, pvt. bath, fridge - 160 sq.ft.
Select a Date
Select Twin (Cat. 7)
Deck five. Picture windows, unobstructed view, two lower berths, approx. 190 sq. ft. Deck eight: oversize windows, partially obstruction view, matrimonial bed, private bath, refrigerator - approx. 145 sq. ft.
Select a Date
Superior Twin (Cat.8)
Superior Twin cabins on deck 5 are approximately 21 m² and feature a large picture window, one double or two lower beds and a pull out sofa bed and private bathroom. Deck 7 Superior Twins are approximately 17 m² ( )
Select a Date
Junior Suite (Cat. 9)
Junior Suites on Deck 5 are at least 325 sq. ft. (30 sq. m), and at least 164 sq. ft. (15 sq. m) on Deck 7. All Junior Suites feature a picture window with an unobstructed view, one double bed and a private bath.
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Suite (Cat. 10)
Approximately 320 sq. ft. (30 sq. m), the Owner’s Suite on Deck 7 features two large bow-facing windows, one double bed, separate sitting room and private bath with tub.

Notes

Solo Travelers: Single Cabins are available in Cat 1. & Cat 4. Same gender shared cabins are available at no extra charge (not available in Cat 8, Cat 9 or Cat 10). Single occupancy of other cabins at 1.7x double occupancy rate. 

Child Policy: Child rate is 50% of adult double occupancy rate in selected cabin. Minimum age of 8.
Children must be aged between 8 & 12 at time of travel to be eligible for these rates.

Please Note: Cruise itinerary is subject to change depending on weather conditions, ice conditions and other factors.

Expedition Costs Include: 
  • 1-night hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia
  • Group transfer from the hotel to pier
  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All meals onboard including snacks
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruising (except optional activities with cost)
  • Guiding and lectures by an expedition team
  • English-speaking expedition team
  • Free use of rubber boots on land
  • Use of gym, sauna, pool, and onboard Jacuzzi
  • Onboard yoga
  • Use of wind and water-resistant jacket
  • All port taxes
  • Transfer airport to the hotel on Day 1 and pier to the airport on the day of disembarkation
Expedition Costs Do Not Include: 
  • Airfares to/from embarkation and disembarkation city
  • Visa fees (if applicable)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Beverages (other than coffee and tea)
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, on-board communication (telephone calls, faxes, email service)
  • Gratuities for the crew 
  • Optional activities (kayaking, camping, snowshoeing, intensive photo course)
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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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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