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Elephant Seal Pups in South Georgia

Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctic Peninsula

Roundtrip Ushuaia - Example 21 Day Cruise aboard Sylvia Earle
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On this 21-day expedition cruise roundtrip Ushuaia aboard Sylvia Earle, combine the Falkland Islands with the scenery and wildlife of South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula for a truly unforgettable trip. The Falklands offer rich history, landscapes, and bird-watching opportunities. Even though you’ve seen it countless times on television, nothing compares with personally hearing, smelling, and seeing the magnitude of South Georgia’s king penguin colonies and beaches alive with fur seals and elephant seals, fighting, mating, breeding, and suckling. In the Antarctic Peninsula, Zodiac-cruises reveal hunting orcas, calving glaciers, humpbacks feeding, and penguins fledging.
King Penguins on the march in Antarctic PeninsulaAlbatross nest amid rolling hills in Falkland IslandsKing Penguins Face OffZodiac Cruise through Antarctic watersElephant Seal Pups in South Georgia
Highlights
  • Explore the rich history and landscapes of the Falkland Islands
  • Discover the magnitude of South Georgia's king penguin colonies and beaches
  • Experience the thrill of seeing fur seals and elephant seals
  • Witness orcas, calving glaciers, and humpbacks feeding on Zodiac-cruises
  • Marvel at the sights of penguins fledging in the Antarctic Peninsula
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: Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina

Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a representative and transferred to your downtown hotel. 

This afternoon, visit the hospitality desk in the lobby between 8.00 am and 12.00 pm, or 3.00 pm and 7.00 pm, to collect your luggage tags, and confirm if you wish to join the Beagle Channel and Isla de Los Lobos Cruise (sea lion island) tomorrow. The team will confirm details regarding your embarkation day, answer any questions and provide you with information on where to dine or purchase last-minute items.   

The remainder of your time is at leisure. 

Assigned accommodation: Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort or Los Acebos Ushuaia Hotel 

Day 2: Ushuaia | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
This morning, enjoy breakfast and check out. Ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labeled with your name and cabin number. Take your cabin luggage to the hotel reception, before, or at check-out. Your luggage will be stored and transferred directly to the port for clearance, to be placed in your cabin ahead of your arrival on board. Keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day.  

Your morning is at leisure to explore Ushuaia. 

Those wishing to join the afternoon catamaran cruise, meet back at the hotel lobby at 12.45 pm ready to transfer to the port at 1.00 pm. Here you board your catamaran and sail the Beagle Channel, towards the city’s iconic Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. Crossing the Bridges Archipelago you’ll slow down to watch colonies of sea lions and imperial cormorants sun themselves on the rocky outcrops, while gulls, rock cormorants, skuas, petrels, albatrosses, and cauquenes are often sighted. The cruise offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountain range, in addition to hearing tales of the people and communities of the region. 

Alternatively, enjoy your day at leisure and meet at your hotel lobby at 3.45 pm to be transferred to the pier for embarkation. 

Once onboard, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important mandatory briefings. As the ship pulls away from the port, 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 3-4: Drake Passage Crossing

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches
As you commence the Drake Passage crossing, make the most of your time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Your expedition team prepares you for your first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures and starts your lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’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 your wake. They rise and fall skilfully, using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.

Your wildlife experiences begin as you enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following your vessel. On sea days, you may enjoy the facilities on board the vessel including the gym, and wellness center, or the relaxing in one of the observation lounges. 

Nearing the South Shetland Islands and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula on the afternoon of day four, the excitement is palpable with everyone converging on one of the observation decks watching for your first iceberg. The ocean takes on a whole new perspective once you are below the Antarctic Convergence and are surrounded by the surreal presence of floating ice sculptures. The memory of your first big iceberg sighting is likely to remain with you for a lifetime. Time and weather permitting, you may attempt your first landing in Antarctica by late afternoon.


 

Day 5-9: Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners
It is almost impossible to describe the feeling of arriving in Antarctica. Spotting your first iceberg and taking a deep breath of some of the freshest, 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 have a host of choices available to you. 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. 

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 weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.

You generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. You will 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. 

While ashore you aim to stretch your legs, wandering along pebbly beaches or perhaps up snow-covered ridgelines to vantage points with mountains towering overhead and ice-speckled oceans below. If you have chosen an optional activity, you will have the option to participate in the activity whenever conditions allow, and of course, keen polar plungers will have the chance to fully immerse themselves in polar waters - conditions permitting! The polar plunge can take place at any time during the voyage, so listen out for the announcement from the expedition team and get ready for the most exhilarating dip of your life! 

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 (open at the captain’s discretion) for uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendour. Listen out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve into the sea. Take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of the pristine paradise of the splendid white continent.

If you have chosen an optional activity, you will have the option to enjoy that activity whenever conditions allow. 

Day 10-11: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Enjoy informative and entertaining lectures from the expedition team and learn about the wildlife, history, and culture of the places that you will visit on the voyage. You may want to treat yourself to a massage in the wellness center, stay active in the gym or borrow a book from the well-stocked library and relax in one of the many observation areas on board the vessel. 

Day 12-15: 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! 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. 

Remember to 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 mesmerizing as their fronds sway back and forth on the water’s surface. 

Zodiacs will also shuttle you from ship to shore, where you can visit some of the largest king penguin colonies on the planet, 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. 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. 

Day 16-17: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Between South Georgia and the Falklands~Malvinas, you will be entranced by the ceaseless flight of the many seabirds that follow the ship. Sea days are great for editing photos and enjoying more lectures from the team of experts who will share their wealth of knowledge about the region through which you are traveling. 

Day 18-19: Falklands | Malvinas

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
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.

Even though you are north of the Antarctic Convergence it can be quite chilly here, so always remember to layer up before joining Zodiac cruises into rocky coves or along sea cliffs, keeping watch for seals, sea lions, dolphins, and porpoising penguins. If conditions allow, aim to land in historic Stanley, the capital of the Falklands~Malvinas. This charming town has a distinctly British character, with terraced townhouses, pioneer cottages, and even an iconic red telephone box! Colorful buildings house cozy 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 20: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
With lectures and film presentations to complete your Antarctic experience, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the magic of the South Atlantic Ocean and the life that calls it home. There is time for reflection and discussion about what you have seen and experienced. 

As you approach the tip of South America, the Captain may sail close to legendary Cape Horn, weather and time permitting.

Day 21: Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
During the early morning, you sail along the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into the dock in Ushuaia, where you begin disembarking at around 8.00 am. Wish farewell to your expedition team and fellow travelers as you all continue your 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.

Note: After the cruise, we do not recommend booking flights departing Ushuaia before 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation in case there are delays. 

Ship/Hotel

Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle
Sylvia Earle Observation Deck
Sylvia Earle Library

Ushuaia - Hotels

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Greg Mortimer-Aurora Stateroom Triple
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Aurora Stateroom Triple
22.67m2 (244ft2) - There are two Aurora Stateroom Triple cabins featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms.
Sylvia Earle Aurora Stateroom Superior
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Aurora Stateroom Superior
19.9m2 - 20.8m2(214.2ft2 - 223.9ft2) - 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.
Sylvia Earle Balcony Stateroom C
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Balcony Stateroom C
19.5m2 - 28.7m2 (209.9ft² - 308.9ft2) - 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.
Sylvia Earle Balcony Stateroom B
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Balcony Stateroom B
19.5m2 - 28.7m2 (209.9ft² - 308.9ft2) - 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
19.5m² - 28.7m² (209.9ft² - 308.9ft²)- 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
29.2m2 - 35.2m2 (314.3ft2 - 378.9ft2) - 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.
Sylvia Earle Junior Suite
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Junior Suite
Up to 41.6m2 (447.8ft2)- 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
43.8m2 (471.5 ft2) - 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.
Included
  • 20 Breakfasts, 18 Lunches, 19 Dinners
  • 20 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Beer, House Wine, and Soft Drinks with Dinner 
  • Educational Lectures and Guiding Services from Expedition Team 
  • Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult)
  • Port Surcharges, Permits, and Landing Fees
  • Captain's Welcome and Farewell drinks including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages.
  • A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
  • Complimentary use of Muck boots during the voyage
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
  • All airport transfers mentioned in the itinerary.
  • On-board accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
  • Half-day tour of Ushuaia on Day 2, prior to embarkation
  • One night's hotel accommodation including breakfast, in Ushuaia on Day 1
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Airport Departure Tax - Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges
  • Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
  • Optional activity surcharges
  • Reciprocity and Vaccination Charges
  • Passengers traveling with Aurora Expeditions are required to be covered by a reputable travel insurance policy that includes baggage loss, cancellation & curtailment of the holiday, medical, accident, and repatriation/emergency evacuation coverage worth at least $250,000 USD.

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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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