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Antarctica, Falklands and South Georgia
22 days - Prices $16,980 - $33,480

Departures:

01/05/2014


See entire List of Trips

Ship(s): Sea Adventurer (charter)

 

Trip Highlights:

Enjoy an in-depth exploration of the Antarctic region at a great time of year aboard a classic vessel with fantastic naturalist guides and kayaking option.


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Want more info about this trip
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Rates: $16,980 - $33,480

Summary: Journey through a thrilling land of penguins, icebergs, and Sir Ernest Shackleton as you explore the Falklands, the little-known natural wonderland of South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctica is the last great wilderness on earth. Its lofty peaks spill forth dazzling glaciers and towering ice shelves, creating 100,000 icebergs each year. Given the hostility of Antarctica’s climatic extremes, you might think the region devoid of life; however, life exists here in great abundance—whales, seals, and thousands of seabirds, including penguins. Weather and ice conditions determine your path and landings, just as they governed the voyages of the Antarctic explorers of the past. Expert naturalists and leaders guide you along the way enhancing your expedition.


Trip Itinerary
Day 1: Depart Home
Depart from home on your independent flight to Ushuaia via Buenos Aires.

Day 2: Buenos Aires / Ushuaia, Argentina
Arrive in Buenos Aires and transfer to the domestic airport for your independent flight to Ushuaia. The rest of the day is at leisure, with a welcome reception, dinner, and overnight at your hotel.

Day 3: Ushuaia / Embark
Enjoy a relaxing morning with lunch at a local restaurant. Join a tour of Ushuaia before boarding the Sea Adventurer this afternoon. Set sail for the Falkland Islands this evening.

Day 4: At Sea
Enjoy a day at sea as you make your way to the Falkland Islands. Lecturers introduce you to the natural and historical highlights ahead.

Day 5: Bleaker Island, Falkland Islands
Step ashore on lovely, windswept Bleaker Island to discover nesting Magellanic penguins, a cliffside rockhopper penguin rookery, and an imperial shag colony. Birders have a good chance of spotting the endemic Falkland steamer duck and Cobb’s wren.

Days 6 - 7: Cruising the South Scotia Sea
Your lecturers recap your experiences in the Falklands and prepare you for your visit to South Georgia. On deck, join your naturalists in search of seabirds and marine mammals that flourish in these nutrient-rich waters.

Days 8 - 10: South Georgia
Flexibility in this area is a must. All of your expedition leaders have been to South Georgia numerous times and, if the weather is in your favor, you may make a landing before breakfast or even after dinner. You call at some of the many islands, bays, and coves where you can see outstanding birdlife and elephant and fur seals close at hand. The following is a list of places you may visit on South Georgia. Some of them are pending final government approval.

Elsehul Bay – This beautiful bay on the north end is home to thousands of fur seals as well as macaroni penguins, the most numerous of all penguin species. Listen for the high-pitched trumpeting of the king penguins amid the magnificent sounds of marine mammals that echo throughout this bay.

Salisbury Plain – Two glaciers flank Salisbury Plain on South Georgia’s north coast. Here, more than 200,000 king penguins congregate and breed, and you are greeted by one of the more remarkable sights—and sounds—on earth.

Stromness Bay – Site of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his party’s arrival after their harrowing crossing of the island’s glaciers on foot, Stromness offers views of cliffs and a glacier from which the adventurer and his companions descended.

Grytviken – You go ashore and explore here, discovering the old ruins of this once-active whaling station. The cemetery holds a special fascination, as it is here that Shackleton is buried—on this island he loved. Walking along the coast, you spy seabirds, penguins, and marine mammals.

Gold Harbour – At the foot of the Bertrab Glacier, Gold Harbour is often referred to as the "jewel in the island’s crown." In addition to a large king penguin colony, you are likely to see elephant and fur seals, gentoo penguins, giant petrels, and perhaps even some light-mantled albatross.

Day 11: South Scotia Sea
Your lecture series continues as you venture south. Naturalists recap your memorable visit to South Georgia and introduce you to the history, geology, and wildlife of the Antarctic Peninsula and its surrounding islands.

Day 12: South Orkney Islands
These mountainous islands were once known as "The Inaccessible Islands." In winter a solid sheet of fast ice actually joins this island group to the Antarctic Peninsula, some 450 miles away. A scene of unparalleled beauty awaits you, with penguins everywhere, including Adelie, chinstrap, gentoo, and even the occasional macaroni penguin.

Day 13: Elephant Island
This morning you arrive at Elephant Island, made famous by the Shackleton expedition. Awesome glaciers, speckled with pink algae, create a dramatic backdrop. Weather permitting, you enjoy a Zodiac cruise around the island and have an opportunity to view a thriving chinstrap penguin colony.

Days 14 - 18: Antarctic Peninsula
As you cruise the waters of the Antarctic Peninsula and its adjacent islands, your daily schedule of landings are dependent upon weather and ice conditions. There is the possibility that you may visit a research station and witness the scientific activities conducted by the multinational community of scientists working there. The expeditionary nature of your voyage precludes guaranteeing specific stops; in the past your guides have visited the locations below. This list serves as a guideline only of the places you may experience.

Brown Bluff - Located on the Antarctic continent, the volcanic promontory of Brown Bluff rises 2,450 feet above an ash beach littered with huge and bizarrely shaped boulders. Some 20,000 pairs of Adelie, and hundreds of gentoo penguins, make their home here. Skuas and pintado petrels nest near the top of the cliff and kelp gulls fill the air with perpetual sound and motion.

Devil Island – This island, just one mile long and located in the Erebus and Terror Gulf, was named for its twin horn-like peaks. Here you will find a thriving Adelie penguin colony and a short hike into the hills offers magnificent views of the Antarctic continent and surrounding islands.

Paulet Island – Paulet is the site where the crew of C.A. Larsen’s ship, Antarctic, were stranded for ten months when their ship was caught and crushed in the ice in 1903. The small stone hut they built can still be seen today, surrounded by a huge colony of breeding Adelie penguins, as well as Antarctic shags.

Gourdin Island – Located at the western extremity of Antarctic Sound this island is home to nesting chinstrap, gentoo, and Adelie penguins. Here you will also find a host of predators and scavengers—skuas, snowy sheathbills, giant petrels, and kelp gulls. Weddell seals are also frequently found hauled out on the surrounding ice.

Deception Island - As you approach Deception through Neptune’s Bellows, a channel just wide enough for your ship to navigate, southern fulmars and pintado petrels soar overhead. Anchorage is inside a volcano whose collapsed cone was filled by rushing seawater. Step ashore on black sand beaches to visit one of the world’s largest chinstrap penguin colonies. Here you are surrounded by a cacophony of braying calls and the perpetual motion of seemingly endless columns of penguins entering and exiting the surf.

Days 19 - 20: Drake Passage
Named for the 16th-century English seaman, Drake Passage is a deep waterway spanning 600 miles from the southern tip of South America to the South Shetland Islands. Strolling the decks, you have opportunities to see and photograph wandering and black-browed albatross in company with sooty shearwaters and white-chinned petrels. Be sure to keep a lookout for the whales often seen in these waters.

Day 21: Ushuaia, Argentina / Disembark / Buenos Aires
Disembark in Ushuaia and transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires, connecting with your independent overnight flight to return home.

Day 22: Return Home
In the early morning, take your connecting flights home.


Notes:

Itinerary based on travel to / from USA.  Itinerary serves as a guide only and is dependent on sea, weather and ice conditions and the wildlife you may encounter.

Kayaking:
Expert guides will lead through beautiful, clear polar waters in areas that can’t be accessed by ship. Exploring in small groups, sea kayaking excursions will only be offered during calm weather conditions in protected bays. Take this once-in-a-lifetime expedition to the next level, by adding kayaking in Antarctica to your bucket list. Please note there are a limited number of single and double kayaks available for use each day. Anyone interested must also have prior sea-kayaking experience, including the capability to do a wet exit. Special headgear, gloves, and socks are highly recommended and will be outlined in your pre-departure documentation.

Included:
Accommodations in hotels and on board Sea Adventurer as outlined in the itinerary; all onboard meals; all group meals on land; group transfers; services of the expedition staff, including lectures, briefings, slide/film shows; all group activities and excursions; landing and port fees; all gratuities; custom-designed parka; kayaking (not guaranteed, limited availability); emergency medical coverage (maximum benefit per paying passenger of $50,000)*; evacuation coverage (maximum benefit per paying passenger of $75,000)*.

Not Included:
All air transportation; excess baggage charges; airport arrival and departure taxes; transfers for independent arrivals and departures; passport and/or visa fees; accident/baggage/ cancellation insurance; items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar charges, alcoholic beverages, email/Internet/fax/telephone charges.

*Emergency Medical & Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency medical coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $50,000 is included in the cost of this expedition, as well as evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $75,000. Insurance is underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA. The policy will contain reductions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions. All coverages may not be available in all states. Please note this coverage does not cover you against trip cancellation or for additional days of travel prior to and/or after the expedition trip dates. ExpeditionTrips strongly advises all clients to purchase travel insurance which includes trip cancellation and interruption coverage for the entire duration of your trip.

 


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