Experience vast penguin rookeries and seal colonies on this awe-inspiring voyage to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands aboard the M/S Expedition. This 21-day voyage highlights Ernest Shackleton’s legend and his courageous exploration of Antarctica, visiting historical sites of past explorers and the wildlife rich island of South Georgia, Shackleton’s final resting place. Antarctica is beyond comprehension and sure to amaze any travellerseeking a true adventure to the world’s most remote wilderness.
Accommodation: Cabin on ship
20 nights shipboard accommodation
1 night hotel accommodation in Ushuaia
Expeditions on Zodiac boats
20 breakfasts, 18 lunches, 19 dinners
Arrival and departure transfers. * Departure transfer from ship to the airport, Albatros Hotel or central location where luggage can be stored*
Insulated waterproof boots supplied
Trip Code: ACTSSOS
Price: AUD $18599
Departure: 23 November 2018 , 11 January 2019 , 11 January 2020 , 11 February 2020
Duration: 21 days
Locations: Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica
DAY 1: Arrival in Ushuaia
Check into your pre-cruise hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure.
DAY 2: Ushuaia - Embark on ship
Embarkation on the M/S Expedition begins in the afternoon at the port in Ushuaia. The morning is free for any last minute shopping, an optional excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park or a hike up to the Marshall Glacier. The evening is spent on board watching the sunset over the Beagle Channel. On the first day on-board, your Expedition Leader will give you an expedition overview.
DAY 3: At Sea
As we make the passage east you have time to become acquainted with the ship and frequent the common areas that include the lounge, dining hall, library and lecture hall where you meet your guides, ship’s crew and expedition staff. We also begin the lecture and information sessions to learn the extraordinary human and natural history of the Antarctic region.
DAY 4: Falkland Islands - Days 4 & 5
The Falkland Islands provide a rare opportunity to witness the biological diversity and extraordinary scenery of the southern islands. Penguins and albatross are abundant here, and the Falklands have the largest black-browed albatross colony in the world. Port Stanley, the capital, offers an opportunity to meet the hardy local inhabitants whose colourful houses provide contrast to the long dark winters.
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).
DAY 6: At Sea - Days 6 & 7
Sailing east we set course for South Georgia Island. Days at sea are filled with lectures to prepare us for landings. Keep your eyes peeled for the many whales that inhabit these waters.
DAY 8: South Georgia Island - Days 8 to 11
Home to many fascinating sites, including Shackleton’s Grave, South Georgia Island has several former whaling stations and is home to prolific wildlife. Visiting a huge colony of king penguins is a major highlight of this part of the journey. Weather permitting we will have three full days to explore this island.
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 and huge glaciers. 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.
DAY 12: At Sea - Days 12 & 13
We turn south and sail for two days, retracing Shackleton's route backwards as we head towards Elephant Island and the Antarctic Peninsula.
DAY 14: Antarctic Peninsula - Days 14 to 18
Experience some of the most unique wildlife viewing and awe-inspiring scenery in the world as you set foot on the Antarctic continent. Attempt two shore landings per day (weather conditions permitting), and encounter gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguin rookeries; Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as orca, humpback and minke whales in the cold Antarctic waters. The peninsula also has a remarkable human history. During the voyage we will learn about some of the most important and dramatic expeditions to this remote corner of the world.
DAY 19: Return Drake Passage Crossing - Days 19 & 20
Today we turn north to begin our journey back across the Drake Passage to our home port of Ushuaia. In between bird watching, whale watching and enjoying some final lectures by the expedition staff, our final two days are a perfect opportunity to relax and review the highlights of the past week before returning to Ushuaia.
The Drake Passage bears the name of the 16th century English explorer Sir Francis Drake. At some point on the Drake Passage, we 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.
DAY 21: Disembark in Ushuaia
And so our adventure comes to a close. We'll say our goodbyes as we disembark in Ushuaia in the morning. Upon completion of the 8:00 am disembarkation in Ushuaia, you will be transferred to either the airport or a central location where luggage can be stored.
*** Important - Please be sure not to book flights out of Ushuaia before 12PM (Noon) on the day of disembarkation from your cruise ship.
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.