A “classic” Antarctica voyage that adds exploration into the Weddell Sea and north to the Falkland Islands. This trip gives you more variety of scenery, history and wildlife than then Peninsula expeditions,
As the short Antarctic Summer approaches, wildlife activity begins to reach fever pitch. Penguin rookeries are a hive of activity. Nests have been re-established after winter and anxious parents carefully guard precious eggs and feed newborn chicks. Elsewhere, cormorants, gulls and skuas are also busy tending their nests. In the Drake Passage, which separates South America from Antarctica, live the great pelagic seabirds including the spectacular wandering albatross. Petrels also call the open ocean home. Almost from the moment we set sail from Ushuaia in Argentina, the sea birds are our constant companions in our travel south towards the frozen continent. Once in Antarctica, we anticipate incredible encounters with various seal species and migrating whales as they arrive to feed in the nutrient rich waters. We make daily excursions ashore with our expert guides and enjoy a great range of activities. A final highlight of this voyage will be a visit to the stunning Falkland Islands. Located in the warmer Sub-Antarctic zone, an exceptional diversity of wildlife can be found here, including the magnificent King penguin. For lovers of our feathered friends this voyage provides the opportunity to see as many as eight different penguins species, countless seabirds and other Antarctic birdlife.
Length of Travel: 12 Days
Itinerary in Brief
- Day 1: Embarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina.
- Days 2-3: At sea, Drake Passage
- Days 4-5: Antarctic Peninsula
- Day 6-7: Weddell Sea
- Day 8: Elephant Island
- Days 9-10: At sea northbound
- Day 11: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
- Day 12: Disembarkation in Port Stanley, Fly to Punta Arenas
* Special Notes
*Plan to stay in Punta Arenas one night before voyage and one night after to allow for flight delays.
Day 1: Embarkation in Ushuaia
Our journey to Antarctica commences in Ushuaia, Argentina. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
Days 2 - 3: Drake Passage
Sailing south towards Antarctica we will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross, who we come to know well on this journey. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions. The keen birdwatchers will love the viewing opportunities on the bridge and expansive outer decks. One of the most anticipated sightings will be the stunning Light mantled albatross, often seen flying in pairs in elaborate aerial displays.
Days 4 - 5: Antarctic Peninsula
We awaken today to the magnificent snowy peaks of continental Antarctica laid out before us. It a really is a breathtakingly staggering sight. Weather and ice conditions permitting we visit Dallman Bay and the Melchior Islands. This is the perfect introduction to Antarctica. We hope to make a landing at Cuverville Island – a site that will be a hive of activity in mid December, with thousands of gentoo penguins nesting on eggs and eagerly awaiting the birth of their newborn chicks. We then head north towards Antarctic Sound – the gateway into the icy Weddell Sea. Along the way we hope to make a stop at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic place and history is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with rusted relics from a bygone era.
Days 6- 7: Weddell Sea
Navigating into the Weddell Sea, we see the vast sweep of the Antarctic icecap for the first time and will find ourselves increasingly surrounded by tabular icebergs. These gargantuan icebergs break from the ice shelves and drift north on the currents. This always makes for exciting navigation and stunning photographic opportunities. If weather conditions co-operate we spend the night camping in Antarctica.
Day 8: Elephant Island
Point Lookout, on the southern tip of Elephant Island, is home to an impressive chinstrap penguin colony. Macaroni penguins also breed here and are a species we have yet to encounter to date. If conditions permit we may visit the fabled location of Point Wild on the north coast of Elephant Island. It is here that Shackleton and his men were encamped under their upturned life boats, before five men set off on a rescue mission to South Georgia. Landings at this location are tricky due to the currents and surf on the beach.
Days 9-10: At Sea
Sailing north to the Falkland Islands, the spectacular seabirds are our constant companions soaring above the ship. Our onboard educational program continues and we enjoy interactive presentations and lively discussions.
Day 11: Falkland Islands
Arriving into the Falkland Islands overnight, we explore West Point or neighboring Carcass Island. These locations are best known for rockhopper penguins and nesting black browed albatross colonies. One final highlight awaits –Saunders Island, where we hope to encounter four penguin species living in close quarters, including the mighty king penguin. Charting a course for the port of Stanley tonight, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.
Day 12: Disembarkation & Flight to Punta Arenas
This morning we navigate through the narrows and into the port of Stanley. We have time to explore before we make our way to the airport for our return flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile.
*Plan to stay in Punta Arenas for this night.