Have questions? We're here.
Kayaking the polar waters

The Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctica

Example 19 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Sergey Vavilov
Talk with an expert
Customize any aspect of your Antarctica trip. 1.406.541.2677
Help Me Plan My Trip
Talk with an expert Ask a Question
Spend your days exploring on shore in the company of expert guides, cruising in inflatable Zodiac boats, enjoying long hikes, or kayaking in Antarctica's icy waterways. This 19-day voyage starts in South America, with a flight from Punta Arenas, Chile, to the Falkland Islands, saving a full day of sea travel and maximizing your exploration time. On your way to Antarctica discover South Georgia's unique wildlife and birdlife, including penguin rookeries, fur and elephant seals, and nesting albatross species. Once you have reached the frozen continent, icebergs of all shapes, sizes, and shades of blue fill the waters. Antarctica's waters are full of aquatic life and encounter with humpback, minke, and orca whales are not uncommon.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Punta Arenas, Chile | Port Stanley, Falkland Islands | Embark
Day 2 : West Point Island and Saunders Islands
Days 3-4 : At Sea
Days 5-8 : South Georgia
Days 9-11 : Scotia Sea | Elephant Island
Days 12-16 : South Shetland Islands, Antarctica
Days 17-18 : Return to South America | Fly to Ushuaia
Day 19 : Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark

Highlights

  • Visit West Point's bustling rookeries of rockhopper penguins
  • Explore South Georgia's deep bays in inflatable Zodiac boats
  • Sail among large icebergs on your way to Elephant Island
  • Look for leopard seals resting on the ice floes

Ship

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Kayaking the polar waters An elephant seal peeks out of the water around South Georgia Kayaking through the icy waters. A huge colony of king penguins. Icebergs reflected in Antarctica's Paradise Bay

Day 1 Punta Arenas, Chile | Port Stanley, Falkland Islands | Embark

Your journey begins in the morning in the southern Chilean city of Punta Arenas. Meet your fellow travelers at the airport and fly on the scheduled service to Stanley in the Falkland Islands (this flight is included in the price of your voyage). After a short 90-minute flight you are met on arrival and transferred to the pier.

Stanley is currently home to just over 2,000 residents and is reminiscent of a rural town in coastal England or Scotland. It is charming with brightly colored houses, pretty flower-filled gardens, a quaint cathedral, and several local pubs. The waterfront memorial, built to commemorate the lives of the servicemen lost during the Falklands War in the early 1980s, is a sobering reminder of recent history.

There is time to explore the town before you make your way to the ship for embarkation. After settling into your cabins and exploring the ship, meet your expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as you enjoy a welcome cocktail, dinner, and cast off for the adventure of a lifetime.

Day 2 West Point Island and Saunders Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Navigate across the north of the Falkland Island archipelago and today offers an incredible introduction to the wildlife of the Sub-Antarctic. Explore the island of West Point and nearby Saunders Island. West Point is known for its rockhopper penguin rookeries and substantial nesting black-browed albatross colony. The opportunity to observe these spectacular birds in close proximity, and on the nest is an immense privilege and an experience not easily forgotten. Repositioning the ship, a visit to the wildlife-rich Saunders Island beckons. Along the white sand beaches and in the surrounding tussock grass, get the opportunity to encounter no less than four penguin species living in close quarters including Gentoo, Magellanic, and rockhopper the impressive king penguin, with their colorful orange, gold and grey plumage. Depart the Falkland Islands tonight bound for South Georgia.

Day 3-4 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Sail southeast bound for the island of South Georgia. These days at sea are never dull. Much of your time is spent scanning the horizon in search of whales and other marine mammals as well as seabirds. Friendly onboard experts continue to fill minds with heroic stories of some of the earliest daredevils to explore Antarctica. Learn about Polar conservation - a theme particularly close to the hearts of guides and crew. The anticipation grows particularly as the ship crosses the Antarctic Convergence. Notice a dramatic drop in temperature.

Day 5-8 South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 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 9-11 Scotia Sea | Elephant Island

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Weather and ice dictate your crossing of the Scotia Sea from South Georgia to Antarctica, leading the ship perhaps to the South Orkney Islands or Elephant Island. As with all of your itinerary planning, the expedition leader and captain make a decision on the locations to visit based on the conditions at the time. The South Orkney Islands represent the peaks of a submarine mountain range called the Scotia Arc, connecting South Georgia to the South Shetland Islands. Often shrouded in fog and surrounded by ice much of the year, a chance to visit these islands doesn’t come often.

Large icebergs announce your arrival in Antarctic waters. If conditions allow, hope to see the dark cliffs of Elephant Island appear on the horizon. Shackleton and his men were encamped here for many months, having lost HMS Endurance in the thick sea ice, far to the south in the Weddell Sea in 1915. From the tiny beach at Point Wild, Shackleton and six companions set off on the rescue mission to South Georgia, aboard the tiny lifeboat James Caird. To this day, the epic ocean crossing is considered one of the greatest in history. If conditions allow, attempt a landing at Point Wild on Elephant Island.

Day 12-16 South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

  • Ship
  • 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners
Around 60 miles off the coast of the Antarctic mainland lies the South Shetland Island chain. Possible landing sites include King George Island, Half Moon Island, Yankee Harbour, or Hannah Point. Weather conditions permitting, sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island. Enjoy an outstanding hike at these locations. The old whaling station and aircraft hangar at Deception Island beg for further exploration.

After so much anticipation, enter the icy waters of the Antarctic Peninsula in the vicinity of Mikkelson Harbour or Cierva Cove. Snow-covered mountains soar from the dark waters. Along the shoreline in the bays and harbors of the peninsula live an incredible abundance of wildlife. Large rookeries are home to chinstrap, gentoo and Adelie penguins. Seals live on the ice floes, including the powerful leopard seal. Gulls, skuas, and cormorants are also found nesting and feeding at many sites along the Antarctic Peninsula.

Explore by Zodiac boat and ashore where a range of wonderful activities awaits. Locations to visit include Wilhelmina Bay, Orne Harbour, Cuverville Island, and the Errera Channel. Join the photographic guide and take close-up photos of the penguins, or of the impossibly blue ice. Or enjoy a hike to the top of a snowy mountain saddle with one of the adventure guides. If the opportunity presents itself, visit a science base or old historic hut. The sea kayakers may range up to several miles from the ship, for a truly memorable experience. You have a range of great choices.

Day 17-18 Return to South America | Fly to Ushuaia

  • City
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
This morning, you will say goodbye to the expedition team and transfer ashore by Zodiac. Walk from the shore landing site past the Chilean research station and up towards the airstrip where we board our special charter flight. This flight takes a little over two hours and is included in the price of your voyage. Upon arrival in Punta Arenas a transfer from the airport into town is provided.

Day 19 Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
In the early morning, arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travelers. Be transported to your hotels or to the airport for return flights home. It is possible to connect to flights through to Buenos Aires or other destinations in South America. Otherwise, enjoy a night in town or venture further afield to explore the highlights of Patagonia.

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Ushuaia

Deals

Save $1,200
Early Bird Savings - Book before January 31, 2019 and save $1,200 per person. Some restrictions may apply. Select departures only. Contact us for details.
Applies to Nov 9, 2019 departure

Per person starting at
$14,195
Main Deck Triple Cabins
Select a Date
Triple Share
Deck 3. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day) and one upper berth. Shared facilities, in cabin washbasin, writing desk/chair, ample storage, and two portholes.
Twin Semi Private Cabins
Select a Date
Twin Semi-Private
Deck 4. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day), a writing desk/chair, bookshelf and tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage. Facilities are semi-private (one bathroom between two cabins) and all cabins have a window that can be opened.
Twin Private Cabins
Select a Date
Twin Private
Deck 3, 4 and 5. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day), a writing desk/chair, bookshelf and tall wardrobes with internal shelving storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window that can be opened.
The Superior Cabins.
Select a Date
Superior
Deck 3. Two lower berths, a sofa, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have portholes that can be opened.
Shackleton Suites
Select a Date
Shackleton Suite
Deck 4 & 5. One double bed, one sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, IPod alarm clock, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, mini bar. Private facilities. Large window that can be opened.
One Ocean Suite
Select a Date
One Ocean Suite
Deck 5. One double bed, one sofa bed & separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, IPod alarm clock, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, mini bar. Private facilities with tub. Windows overlooking the bow.

Notes

- Single Supplement: 1.5x for twin and superior cabins and 2x for suites. Single supplement is not available in the triple cabin category.

- Child and Youth Prices: 25% discount for young people aged up to 17 years, and 20% off for those aged from 18-21 years who can prove they are in full-time education.

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.

Included in Cost:
- Flight from Port Stanley to Punta Arenas
- Transfers from/to designated meeting points to/from the ship
- Luggage transfer from designated locations to/from your cabin
- All meals during the voyage
- Welcome reception & welcome dinner
- Farewell dinner hosted by the Captain
- Daily afternoon tea with fresh snacks
- Coffee, tea & hot chocolate available anytime
- Access to wellness area (Finnish Sauna, Plunge Pool filled with sea water, Hot Tub)
- Natural essential oil amenities
- Services of English speaking medical officer
- Use of multimedia room
- Use of on-board expedition rubber boots & wet weather gear
- All zodiac and landing excursions
- Zodiac cruising, hiking, guided walks, photography workshops, fitness & yoga
- Camping (subject to weather and ice conditions)
- Educational presentations
- Photography advice and instructions from the resident photographer
- Expedition guides, naturalist staff, and hospitality staff

Not Included in Cost:
- International and national airfares
- Visa and passport fees, airport taxes
- Pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodation in arrival/departure cities
- Meals & transfers in arrival/departure cities
- Personal expenses
- Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
- Massages from registered therapist
- Personal laundry charges
- Postage, telephone calls & email set up
- Medical expenses such as fees, prescriptions or medications
- Travel medical insurance including medical evacuation (mandatory)
- Trip interruption / cancellation insurance
- Gratuities to staff and crew
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Change & customize to make it yours.
Jeff Rottschafer headshot
Jeff R

We Love to Talk Travel

Call AU 1.800.751.327
or
Chat Now
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.
Nancy Sin

Why Travel With Adventure Life

More Reasons

Awards and Accolades

All News