This exciting expedition provides great diversity and will appeal to those seeking a truly comprehensive Antarctic experience. It includes visits to the South Shetland Islands, the western and northern sections of the Antarctic Peninsula, the stunning Weddell Sea region, and the historic location of Elephant Island – a place forever connected to the epic story of Sir Ernest Shackleton. Adding to the experience will be a visit to several locations in the Falkland Islands, including the homes of nesting albatross and the colorful King penguin. Throughout the voyage, our expedition ship acts as a floating wilderness lodge, which we reposition every day to yet another exciting location. You will be spoiled for choice by all of the activities we have planned.
We maximize our time on this voyage by flying from South America to Antarctica, saving a two day crossing of the Drake Passage. A further day and a half is saved by flying back to South America at the end of the voyage. The time saved by flying allows us to spend maximum time exploring the magnificent Antarctic. You can expect to be off the ship exploring for nine out of the twelve days This voyage is unique and has been designed for those who want the most in-depth Antarctic experience possible.
Length of Travel: 12 Days
Itinerary in Brief
- Day 1: Fly Punta Arenas to King George Island
- Days 2-4: Antarctic Peninsula
- Days 5-7: 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: Fly to King George Island
Our journey commences in Punta Arenas, located in southern Chile, where we board our two-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Antarctica. Upon arrival at the King George Island in Antarctica, we embark our ship via Zodiac inflatable crafts.
Days 2 - 4: Antarctic Peninsula
Overnight we have navigated across the Bransfield Strait and awake to the towering peaks of the Antarctic continent. For the next three days we have a varied itinerary exploring the Gerlache coastline of Antarctica. If ice conditionsallow, we cruise through the Lemaire Channel. Planned visits might include Paradise Harbour, Orne Harbour, or Andvord Bay, or a cruise through the Errera Channel to visit the penguin rookeries at Cuverville Island. We chart a course towards Antarctic Sound – the gateway into the icy Weddell Sea. Along the way we hope to make a visit at Deception Island.
Days 5-7: 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.