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Admire Antarctic fur seals

Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Islands

Example 19 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Victory
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On this extraordinary 19-day voyage, follow in the wake of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton to Antarctica and the South Shetlands before heading via Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea to South Georgia and Falkland Islands. Cross the mighty Drake Passage en route for the South Shetland Islands. Make Zodiac landings at penguin rookeries, research stations, and fascinating lookouts. Explore the Antarctic Sound with its mighty tabular icebergs and enter the Weddell Sea in search of wildlife. In South Georgia, find wildlife-packed beaches, active research stations, former whaling stations, and Shackleton’s final resting place. Sail to the Falkland Islands, and explore Port Stanley with its quaint English architecture before venturing further west for Zodiac landings and wildlife observations on pristine and sheltered beaches.
 
A colony of king penguins on South GeorgiaMirror-like waters in protected baysAbandoned whaling village of Stromness, South GeorgiaMassive flat-topped tabular icebergs in the Weddell SeaRockhopper penguins are just one species of bird life you will see during your Falkland Islands tourLandscape during Antarctica tourAdmire Antarctic fur seals
Highlights
  • Cross the infamous Drake Passage in the wake of great explorers
  • Set foot on the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Discover abundant wildlife, including penguins, whales, seals, and seabirds
  • Learn about whaling and maritime history in the Falklands and South Georgia
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Ushuaia | Embark

Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina - the world’s southernmost city. Explore this vibrant Patagonian city, or stretch your legs in the surrounding forests. Alternatively, consider a day trip off the beaten path into the raw nature of Tierra del Fuego. The island of Tierra del Fuego is a hiker's paradise with rugged snow-capped mountains, glaciers, flower-filled meadows and rich boggy wetlands. In the afternoon, board the vessel, waiting to welcome you in port.

After the mandatory safety drill, your expedition begins as you navigate through the calm waters of the famous Beagle Channel (named for Charles Darwin's ship). This steep-sided strait divides southern Tierra del Fuego between Chile and Argentina and has been the jumping-off point for thousands of expeditions into the unknown. Watch out for whales and dolphins as you sail off the edge of the map into the tempestuous Drake Passage.

NB. Trips that depart in November or December will often have the same itinerary and spend the same amount of days at each location, but the route will be inverted - following this plan: Ushuaia, Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctic peninsula.

Day 2-3: At Sea | Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Sailing onward, crossing the famed Drake Passage - the body of water separating Patagonia and the Antarctic Peninsula. The Drake Passage is known for rollicking conditions and strong westerly winds, nicknamed the Roaring Fifties. While this passage may be challenging, you can rest comfortably aboard our expedition vessels, which are purpose-built with stabilizers, and powerful engines and manned by a highly-qualified crew. The most spirited sailors consider the Drake Passage a lifetime achievement - and you will complete the crossing twice!

Youur days in the Drake Passage will be put to good use preparing for your arrival in Antarctica - the Expedition Leader will brief you comprehensively on how to stay safe and minimize your impact on this precious wilderness, as well as briefing you thoroughly on your plans for your time spent exploring, including hints and tips for wildlife watching. The dedicated Expedition Team will assist you in biosecuring your clothing and equipment (a vital process to protect Antarctica's delicate ecology), as well as sharing tailored lectures on Antarctic exploration history, wildlife, geology, glaciology and more! 

Cross into the Antarctic Convergence on the third day of your voyage - watch the mercury plummet as you sail southwards into Antarctic waters, an abrupt cooling that marks the intersection of Antarctic waters with the warmer waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. As the sea cools, wildlife multiplies; these are some of the most biologically productive water on Earth, so expect to see petrels, albatrosses and potentially penguins, seals and whales in abundance. Weather permitting, you may be able to make landfall in the South Shetland Islands (a small but spectacular archipelago to the north of the Antarctic Peninsula) on the afternoon of your second day in the Drake Passage, marking the start of your exploration on the Last Continent. 

Day 4-7: South Shetland Islands | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Sound

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Over the next days, we will enjoy a safe and exciting Antarctic experience that explorers of yesteryear could only dream of.

Antarctic adventure begins in the South Shetland Islands, a chain of rugged rocks marking the northernmost point of Antarctica. It is also one of the richest in terms of wildlife, with large Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguin colonies, and an abundance of large seabirds such as predatory Giant Petrels. Landing sites that may be visited in the South Shetland Islands include the black steaming sands and rusting ruins of Deception Island (an active volcanic crater), the bustling penguin colonies of Aitcho and Half Moon Islands, or the old sealers' anchorage of Yankee Harbour.  

The following days will be spent exploring further south on the Antarctic Peninsula in the Gerlache Strait region. This region is typically icy, so your exact route will be subject to careful planning by the Expedition Leader and Captain and explained to the guests through regular evening briefings. However, we will aim to visit a range of sites that showcase the best of this staggeringly beautiful region.

Consisting of the 'spine' of the Antarctic Peninsula and a large number of glaciated and mountainous islands, the Gerlache Strait is what comes to mind when most people think of Antarctica. Marvel at the massive icebergs and vast glaciers on a Zodiac cruise in Paradise Bay. Be moved by penguins tenderly caring for their precious eggs, and fiercely defending their nests on Cuverville Island. Watch cataracts of ice tumble into the clear blue ocean on a hike over the active glaciers of Neko Harbour. Experience the Antarctica of old at historic huts such as Damoy Point, lovingly restored and open to all. Feel the spray of water from the blow of a humpback whale on a Zodiac safari in Wilhelmina Bay. Wonder at awe-inspiring scenery on a ship cruise through the Lemaire Channel. Wherever you go on the Antarctic Peninsula, endemic wildlife, tantalizing history and breathtaking natural beauty abound.

As the vessel heads to the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula to head for South Georgia, you may be lucky enough to visit Elephant Island, the mythically grim island where Shackleton's men sheltered for several months while the Boss sought rescue - one of the greatest stories of human survival and endurance ever told. 

On Antarctica, all human activity is subject to the whims of Mother Nature. To make every possible effort to maximize opportunities for exploration off the vessel, the safety of the guests and crew is the top priority. All guests are requested to join the expedition spirit and be flexible - harsh weather offers the opportunity to expand your knowledge of Antarctica with lectures from the expert Expedition Team, or to enjoy the superlative comfort of your vessels, be it wine-tasting, relaxing in the hot tubs, or recharging with a relaxing massage in the Polar Spa.

Day 8-9: Scotia Sea - En route to South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
From Antarctica, set out again into the mighty Drake Passage, this time following the furious seas towards South Georgia, mirroring the route of Sir Ernest Shackleton onboard the James Caird. His voyage took an agonizing seventeen days in the tiny wooden lifeboat - still considered one of the greatest ever feats of navigation and seamanship. Your crossing will benefit from the vessels' powerful engines, and the stability provided by the specially-designed X-Bow, making the journey in just two days!

In order to protect the extremely delicate and rich ecosystem of South Georgia, the dedicated Expedition Team will again assist you to biosecure your clothing and equipment, while continuing with their in-depth lecture program, now focussing on the fascinating history, biology and wildlife of South Georgia. Be sure to wrap up warm and join your Expedition Team out on deck - this section of the Scotia Sea (of which the Drake Passage constitutes the western portion) is one of the most biologically productive on Earth and is a haven for vast quantities of wildlife - from whales and albatross to penguins and seals. Watch the waves carefully - in this region, sub-Antarctic species (such as fur seal) mingle with true polar species (such as Adelie Penguins), creating a fascinating ecological mix.

Day 10-13: South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
A strip of jagged mountains pierce the brooding clouds of the Southern Ocean. Icebound peaks loom over storm-washed beaches, while glaciers peek from the head of deep fjords. First believed to have been landed on by legendary explorer Captain James Cook, even to modern explorers, South Georgia presents a forbidding aura. But peer closer, and you will see greenery among the ice; movement on the beaches; and wings in the skies above. 

While it seems hard to believe today, South Georgia was once one of the most degraded environments on Earth. Hearing of the rich pickings, sealers flocked to the island after Cook, slaughtering wantonly. Once the seals had been almost exterminated, visiting ships sought larger prey, and South Georgia became the world's largest whaling destination, with several settlements built to carry out this industrialized slaughter. Whalers from Norway introduced reindeer as the game, which soon destroyed the island's native vegetation, while brown rats (accidentally introduced by Europeans and their boats) feasted upon seabirds and their eggs - a horror against which these naive birds had no defense. 

Thankfully, extensive conservation (including a painstaking eradication of reindeer and rats) has restored this magnificent island to its former glory - and the glory it truly is. Beaches throng with hundreds of thousands of King Penguins, arguably some of Earth's most elegant animals. They must vie for space with the abundant Antarctic fur seals, all desperately defending territories and competing furiously for mates - and they themselves must avoid the southern elephant seals, Earth's largest seals (weighing up to a staggering four tonnes). Tiny South Georgia Pippits and Pintail Ducks (once almost extinct) are now abundant, and petrels, albatross and shags nest on the steep hillsides and wheel in the air above. In the sea, leopard seals stalk for their next penguin meal, fur seal pups play in the shallows, and offshore, a huge variety of whale species gorge on krill. Nowhere else on Earth can boast such a diversity of wildlife, or in such quantities; South Georgia truly has to be experienced to be believed.  

In Antarctica, the exact itinerary will be dictated by weather and sea conditions, but especially by the wind and swell - nevertheless, the experienced Expedition Team and Captain will work their hardest to maximize opportunities to explore. Options include visiting the vast penguin colonies of Salisbury Plain and St Andrew's Bay, seeing the former whaling stations of Lieth and Stromness, drinking in the scenery and seal colonies of Gold Harbour, or exploring this island's fascinating exploration heritage at Grytviken (where Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried). South Georgia is one of those locations that grabs hold of the senses and never lets go; even long after departure, the jewel of the South Atlantic will captivate visitors for years to come. 

Day 14-15: At Sea - En route to the Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Leaving the icy peaks of South Georgia behind, continue onwards towards the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). While South Georgia and the Falklands are separate British Overseas Territories, the two are intimately linked - South Georgia was administered from the Falklands for most of its history and continues to be supported logistically entirely by the Falklands. Unlike South Georgia (which only hosts visiting government officials and scientists), the Falklands has its own unique system of government, society and culture. 

While the indigenous Yaghan people of Tierra del Fuego may have visited the islands, the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) had no indigenous population when Europeans arrived in the early 16th Century. The islands' sovereignty has been contested ever since, with historical Spanish, French, British and Argentine claims; the islands were established politically as a British colony in 1840. Tensions resulted in a conflict over the islands between Britain and Argentina in 1982. The conflict left a lasting impact on the islands - while it spurred much-needed development assistance from the United Kingdom, the conflict also left much of the islands heavily mined. Since the conflict, however, the islands have flourished, selling lucrative fishing rights to their rich waters. The de-mining operation was completed in 2020, celebrated by a football match on the last patch of de-mined ground between the islands' governor and the Zimbabwean de-mining team who have made the Falklands their home. 

The waters between South Georgia and the Falklands are some of the richest in the world, with huge whale, seal and penguin populations feeding where cold Antarctic waters meet the warmer waters of the South Atlantic, so keep binoculars at the ready as you sail across the Antarctic convergence (especially around Shag Rocks). Otherwise, join your Expedition Team lecturers to hear about these islands' fascinating history, biology and unique 'Kelper' (as the locals call themselves) culture. 

Day 16-17: Port Stanley | Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
In the morning, approach the Falkland Islands and the vessel will cast anchor in the sheltered natural harbor of Port Stanley in the early afternoon. Utilizing the Zodiacs, and land in the center of this small city. Stanley is the only settlement on the islands of any size, with a population of around two thousand people. Behind the colorful buildings in neat rows, look closer and you will notice a very distinctly British feel to Stanley - Victorian houses which could be on any swanky London terrace line the harbourfront; red telephone and post boxes stand by the jetty; whitewashed pubs serve fish and chips alongside foaming pints of ale. The Falkland Islanders are proud of their unique homeland and capital, and Stanley is a great place to explore and soak up the local vibe. Highlights in the city include Christchurch Cathedral, the southernmost Anglican cathedral on Earth, as well as excellent shops selling local products (watch out for high-quality woolen goods in particular!), cafes and pubs offering a warm welcome, and several excellent museums; visitors are spoiled for choice! A short drive or a pleasant walk from the city are several stunning beaches; formerly heavily mined, these are now open, and locals and foreigners alike often visit to see the abundant penguins and spectacular gold-white sands. 

On your second day in the Falklands, venture to some of the outer islands - 'Camp', as the locals call the area outside Stanley. The outer islands of the Falklands are much wilder and more remote than the mainland and host the majority of the islands' wildlife. Islands such as West Point, Carcass and Saunders are well known for their spectacular wildlife. Southern Rockhopper Penguins, Black-Browed Albatross and King Cormorants commonly nest together in vast cliffside colonies; penguins nurture their eggs and chicks in clefts between large cylindrical nests where cormorants and albatross nest. Be sure to look out above to see the best albatross coming into land (often less than gracefully). The islands are home to a vast number of other bird species such as the endearingly cheeky Striated Caracara (watch all unattended possessions!), and in the water, a number of species such as commerson's dolphins and South American sea lions can be seen playing. 

Day 18: At Sea towards South America

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your time at sea, a variety of activities will be arranged on board to provide the guests with the chance to reflect on their voyage. Relax with an expertly crafted cocktail in the Nordic Bar in the company of new friends, soak up the knowledge and passion of your Expedition Team during lectures in the Shackleton Lounge, or simply enjoy the flight of the albatross that accompanies you westward. 

During your last evening onboard, join the Captain and Senior Officers for the Farewell Cocktail Party, followed by a presentation of photos and video by the onboard photographer - the ideal opportunity to re-live your Antarctic adventure. Skål! 

Day 19: Ushuaia | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
On the morning of the final day of your voyage, arrive back at the pier of Ushuaia, Argentina. Trees, grass and a busy city may seem strange to you after the white wilderness of Antarctica! After a hearty breakfast, it is time to bid a fond farewell to the Crew and Albatros Expedition Team, and descend the gangway back to dry land with memories of the voyage of a lifetime. 

Ship/Hotel

Ocean Victory

Ocean Victory ship
Ocean Victory ship
Ocean Victory ship in South Georgia

Dates & Prices

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Save 40% Off
Book by April 30, 2024, and save 40% off on select 2024 departures. This promotion is valid for new bookings and cannot be combined with other promotions. To qualify, personal details and deposit payment must be received within seven working days of the booking. For trips with less than 90 days until departure, personal details and full payment must be received within 48 hours of the booking. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.
Applies to Nov 1, 2024 departure

Save 30% Off
Book by April 30, 2024, and save 30% off on select Arctic and Antarctica 2024-2025 departures. This promotion is valid for new bookings and cannot be combined with other promotions. To qualify, personal details and deposit payment must be received within seven working days of the booking. For trips with less than 90 days until departure, personal details and full payment must be received within 48 hours of the booking. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.
Applies to Mar 6, 2025 departure

Per person starting at
$15,795
Ocean Victory Cat-G
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Category G Single
Single Stateroom (Porthole) 18 m2 Standard single stateroom onboard, located on deck 3. This is a conveniently located stateroom close to the Mudroom which facilitates access to the Zodiacs during embarkation and disembarkation to begin your adventures on the Zodiacs. Single staterooms are normally with a porthole, single bed (200*90), reading light, and a sitting chair.
Ocean Victory Cat-E Cat-F Porthole_Triple
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Category F Triple
Triple Stateroom (Porthole) 22 m2 There are four Triple staterooms on board Ocean Victory featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms. Triple staterooms are normally with a sofa bed and two twin beds however a double bed can be accommodated.
OceanVictory Cat-E
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Category E
French Balcony Suite 16 m2 The French Balcony Suite is a standard stateroom with a French balcony, a double bed, floor-to-ceiling windows and a bathroom. All French Balcony Suites are located on Deck 7.
OceanVictory Cat-D
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Category D
Albatros State Stateroom (Porthole) 22 m2 The standard stateroom on Ocean Victory is close to the Mudroom and has quick access to the zodiac platforms for disembarkation during landings. This is very convenient if you have more limited mobility and would like a short distance to the zodiacs. The staterooms are perfect for those who wish a comfortable base during their stay onboard Ocean Victory. The standard staterooms all have a double bed or 2 single beds and bathroom. The staterooms are located on deck 3 except for 1 which is located on deck 4.
Ocean Victory Cat COcean Victory Cat C
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Category C
Balcony State Stateroom 24 m2 The most abundant type of stateroom on Ocean Victory, the Balcony State Staterooms are located on decks 4 & 6. They have a balcony, a double bed or two single beds, a bathroom, and a sofa that can be used as a bed for a child if traveling as a family. If you desire to book two staterooms with connecting doors, this is also a possibility under this category.
Ocean Victory Cat COcean Victory Cat C
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Category Csp
Superior Balcony Stateroom (48) 24 sqm., incl. Balcony
Ocean Victory Cat COcean Victory Cat C
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Category Cxl
Grand Balcony Stateroom (4) app. 30 sqm., incl. Balcony
Ocean Victory Cat-B2
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Category B
Balcony Suite 35 m2 Ocean Victory has 2 Balcony Suites on board located on Deck 4. The suites feature double or twin beds, a seating area, a bathroom and a large balcony. The balcony suites can host 2 people.
Ocean Victory Cat-AOcean Victory Cat-A
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Category A
Junior suite 42 m2 The 4 Junior Suites aboard Ocean Victory have a great view from their location high up on the ship on deck 7. The suites feature a double bed or twin beds, sofa bed, seating area, a spacious bathroom, and a private balcony. The suite can accommodate up to 3 people.
Ocean Victory Cat-D
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Premium Suite
Premium suite 45 m2 – PS The largest of all the staterooms on board the Ocean Victory is the Premium Suite. This 2-bedroom suite features a double bed (or twin beds), a sofa bed, table and chair, a balcony, and a spacious bathroom. Located on deck. 4. This category is available upon request. Please refer to Albatros Expeditions for price.

Notes

Kayaking activities available on both Arctic and Antarctic voyages. 
Although kayaking opportunities are possible in most locations during each excursion in the Antarctic region, weather, sea and ice conditions will dictate the when and where to ensure your safety and improve your experience.
In order to sign up for this activity, you need to have previous kayaking experience and attend a mandatory safety briefing by the Kayak Master. The cost is $345/person per outing and it can only be booked onboard.

Possible shared staterooms for same-gender, single travelers: Category C (Balcony Stateroom) and Category F (Triple Porthole Stateroom)
Included
  • 18 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches, 18 Dinners
  • 18 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Welcome and Farewell Cocktails   
  • Digital visual journal link after voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list and more.
  • English-speaking expedition team
  • Information briefings and lectures by expedition team
  • Parkas and Boots in assorted sizes, suitable for shore landings
  • Special photo workshop
  • Complimentary house wine, beer and soda at dinner (selected labels and brands, served at the a-la-carte dinners)
  • All Zodiac landings and excursions, as per itinerary, guided by the Expedition Team
  • Free tea and coffee available 24 hours
  • Taxes and landing fees
  • Embarkation shuttle transfer to the vessel from Ushuaia city centre
  • Shuttle transfer after disembarkation from the ship to Ushuaia city centre or airport
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Beverages (other than coffee and tea)
  • Anything not mentioned under 'inclusions'
  • Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals not on board the ship
  • Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 14 per person per day)
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance of at least $200,000 per passenger is required. Please bring a copy of your insurance onboard.
  • Camping - This should be secured at the time of booking. Limited to 30 participants only and offered on all Nov - Jan voyages if conditions allow.
  • Snowshoeing - Offered on all Nov - Dec trips if conditions allow. (For Svalbard trips, only in June) This be booked onboard only.
  • Kayaking - Offered on all ships and all trips if conditions allow. This can be booked onboard only.

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