Crossing the Circle via Falklands and South Georgia

Crossing the Circle via Falklands and South Georgia

This comprehensive journey sees you crossing the Antarctic Circle, further south than most travellers venture and takes you to explore the wildlife rich Falkland Islands and South Georgia. Stunning scenery, a wide variety of landscapes, unprecedented wildlife viewing opportunities and a taste of the history of Antarctic exploration – this cruise encompasses it all!

Please note this itinerary is also available aboard the Ocean Endeavour departing 15 February 2020.

Expired on Saturday February 15th, 2020

Trip code: ACTSFSG

Price: From AUD $28,260 (10% off )

Departure: 18 December 2019 , 15 February 2020

Duration: 23 Days

Locations: Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica

Please note that special prices are corrected at time of posting and are subject to availability or withdrawn without noticed. 

For further detail on this or any other packages, please contact us on 1300 968 787

Expired on Saturday February 15th, 2020

Accommodation: Cabin on ship

Inclusions: 

Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board
Beer and wine during dinner
All shore landings per the daily program
Leadership throughout the voyage by experienced Expedition Leader
All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
Formal and informal presentation by Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled
A photographic journey documenting the expedition
Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
Parka to keep
Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
A hairdryer and bathrobes in every cabin
Comprehensive predeparture materials, including a map and an informative Antarctica Reader
All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
All luggage handling aboard the ship
All gratuities
Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000.00 per person
Group transfer in Ushuaia from the airport to the pre-expedition hotel on Day 1
One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Ushuaia, with breakfast
Group transfer from the hotel to the ship on embarkation day
Group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the local airport
Exclusions
International airfare
Passport and visa expenses
Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance
Excess baggage fees on international flights
Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned above
Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
Phone and internet charges
Additional overnight accommodation
Optional adventure activities
Difficulty Rating: 2 (light adventure)
Single surcharge: Available Upon Request
Notes: This itinerary is subject to change according to climactic conditions.
Price Dependent Upon: Season and availability.

Expired on Saturday February 15th, 2020

Expired on Saturday February 15th, 2020

DAY 1: Ushuaia, Argentina

Nestled within the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, the small town of Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, sits alongside the Beagle Channel in the shadow of the Martial mountain range. Explore the city and visit the award-winning Museo Marítimo y del Presidio de Ushuaia, (Maritime & Prison of Ushuaia Museum), located in Ushuaia’s former prison in buildings dating back to 1906. Or head out to nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park that can be reached by the “End of the World Train”. Stroll along the main street of Avenida San Martin with its many cafes, shops and restaurants, explore the Argentinean leather markets and maybe taste a succulent lamb dish for which Patagonia is famous.

Embarkation begins in the afternoon at the port in Ushuaia. You will be greeted and welcomed on board by the Expedition Team and ship's officers. As the ship sets sail in the early evening along the Beagle Channel, look out over the mountainous scenery as the ship cruises past colonies of sea lions and penguins.

As we sail towards the Falkland Islands, the Expedition Team will make a series of presentations with information on how to prepare for Zodiac excursions and shore landings. There is plenty to do on board including a well-stocked library, a bar where you can meet your fellow travellers and the opportunity to spend time out on deck scanning the horizon for wildlife.

The team of lecturers and specialists will also teach you about the local flora and fauna that await you in the Falklands.

The Falkland Islands, a British Overseas Territory, is an archipelago that lies 490kms east of Patagonia in the South Atlantic Ocean. Surrounded by decades of controversy, the Falkland Islands (or Islas Malvinas as they are known in Argentina) have been settled and claimed by France, Spain, Britain and Argentina. The islands have much to offer with a wide variety of spectacular wildlife, beautiful rugged scenery as well as an interesting history. Five species of penguin breed on the islands (gentoo, king, macaroni, magellanic and rockhopper).

There are two main islands in the Falklands archipelago - East Island and West Island, which we explore by Zodiac and shore landings. Port Stanley is the largest settlement on the islands, established in the 1840’s. It is an interesting town with a British outpost feel, with colourful houses, pubs, a church and a museum.

The Falkland Islands also offer plenty of wildlife sighting opportunities and you may see at least three species of penguins and two endemic bird species - Cobb’s wren and the Falkland’s flightless steamer duck.

Leaving the Falklands, we chart a course for South Georgia, stunningly beautiful and with more wildlife than virtually anywhere else on the planet. We cross the Antarctic Convergence, an invisible biological boundary unique to Antarctica, where the meeting of oceans creates an abundance of krill and marine life that attracts large cetaceans, such as humpback whales.

South Georgia has been a British Overseas Territory since 1775. It is the largest island in the territory and one of the wildest and most remote places on earth with dramatic scenery of snow-capped mountains, huge glaciers, deep fjords and low-lying grassland. In the 19th century South Georgia was a prominent whaling base, but whaling ceased in the 1960’s and the only remnants are museums and well-preserved buildings. South Georgia teems with wildlife due to the currents that bring nutrients to the island from the Atlantic. Huge numbers of penguins and seals breed here.

During our time on South Georgia we visit the grave of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, in the whaler’s cemetery in the settlement of Grytviken. Grytviken is also home to an old whaling station and a research station, giving you an insight into the history of South Georgia.

The wildlife on South Georgia is captivating and it abounds in exceptional quantities, which is why South Georgia is often referred to as the “Galapagos of the South”. There are rookeries with a hundred thousand pairs of king penguins waddling on the beach and thousands of fur seals and elephant seals.

The landscapes of South Georgia from the grasslands and mountains to the beaches, all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different bird and animal species. The Expedition Team will explain how these vulnerable relationships all play out on the island.

Setting sail again, we cross the Scotia Sea bound for Antarctica, with its own penguin and seal species. Enjoy some quiet time scanning the horizon for wildlife as you reflect on your days on South Georgia, or take in the presentations that will cover topics ranging from the history and geology of Antarctica to identification of different species. If weather conditions are favourable, a landing at the South Orkney Islands may mark your official landing on Antarctica.

As we reach Antarctica you will be in awe of the pristine wilderness of snow, ice, glaciers, mountains and waterways stretching out before you. Our time spent here will be filled with unforgettable experiences - glacier hikes, visits to research stations, Zodiac cruises and of course incredible wildlife viewing. From chinstrap, gentoo and Adélie penguins to crabeater, leopard, Weddell and fur seals, to minke, orca and humpback whales and a plethora of seabirds - the list is endless. Each day and each shore landing will present a new collection of wildlife and vistas.

For the more adventurous you may like to book a kayaking adventure option (reserve in advance at time of booking your trip) or take a polar plunge!

Continuing south we aim to cross the Antarctic Circle, a point further south than most expeditions reach, a part of the world visited by few people and an impressive achievement. We make a champagne toast to the first explorers who ventured this far south. There is the potential for sightings of impressive icebergs in this part of Antarctica, home to the midnight sun.

After crossing the Antarctic Circle we head north towards the Drake Passage and Ushuaia. More wildlife and icebergs await as we continue our daily programme of shore landings and Zodiac cruises. Keep on the lookout for any species of penguins, seals and whales that may have eluded you on the journey south.

We cross the Drake Passage that bears the name of the 16th century English explorer Sir Francis Drake. We will again cross the Antarctic Convergence, a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer equatorial water moving in the opposite direction. This mixing pushes nutrient rich waters to the surface attracting a variety of seabirds, whales and other species and providing more wildlife viewing opportunities.

After breakfast on board the ship, we disembark in the port of Ushuaia, saying goodbye to the Expedition Team and our fellow travellers. There is a transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

Please Note: The above itinerary is a guide only as the exact route and daily schedule will depend on the weather and ice conditions.

Please note that the above itinerary is just a guide. Antarctica cruises are subject to weather, ice and other local conditions, as such, the actual itinerary is determined as the cruise progresses.

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