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Antarctica, Falklands and South Georgia
22 days - Prices $18,980 - $27,480

Departures:

01/16/2015


See entire List of Trips

Ship(s): Sea Spirit (charter)

 

Trip Highlights:

Experience Antarctica and South Georgia at the height of the austral summer, exploring the remote shores and waters, rich in wildlife from penguins to whales.


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Want more info about this trip
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Rates: $18,980 - $27,480

Summary: In the spirit of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctica expedition, this exploration of the White Continent offers in-depth Antarctica, South Georgia, and Falkland Islands adventure travel – all while seamlessly combining rich natural history with some of Mother Nature’s most rugged and dramatic landscapes. Your three-week Antarctica expedition takes place at the height of the austral summer; long daylight hours provide extra time for Zodiac trips to remote shores where you’ll be in the rare company of thousands of penguins, seals and albatross, the otherworldly icy architecture of the Antarctic Peninsula, and exceptionally knowledgeable veteran Antarctica experts.


Trip Itinerary
Days 1 - 2: Depart Home / Buenos Aires, Argentina / Ushuaia
Depart from home on your independent flight via Buenos Aires, arriving in Ushuaia the next day. Transfer to your hotel for brunch. The rest of the day is at leisure with a welcome dinner and overnight at your hotel.

Day 3: Ushuaia / Embark
Join an excursion to nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park for nature hikes surrounded by dramatic scenery. After lunch at a local restaurant, explore Ushuaia and visit the small End of the World Museum. Board the Sea Spirit this afternoon and set sail for the Falkland Islands.

Days 4 - 5: At Sea / Carcass Island, Falkland Islands / Saunders Island
Attend lectures on the natural and historical highlights ahead during a day at sea. On Carcass Island visit gentoo and Magellanic penguin rookeries and stroll along beautiful beaches to search for seabirds. On Saunders Island, you will find colonies of gentoo, rockhopper, and Magellanic penguins, as well as black-browed albatross.

Days 6 - 7: Cruising the South Scotia Sea
Lecturers recap your experiences and prepare you for your visit to South Georgia. On deck, join naturalists in search of the 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. 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 – 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.

Days 11 - 12: At Sea
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 13: Elephant Island
Today arrive at Elephant Island, made famous by the Shackleton expedition. Awesome glaciers, speckled with pink algae, create a dramatic backdrop. Weather permitting, enjoy a Zodiac cruise around the island and the 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.

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.

Lemaire Channel and Pleneau Island - Cruising the beautiful Lemaire Channel, keep watch for the humpback and minke whales frequently spotted here. This narrow channel is one of the most visually impressive areas of the Antarctic Peninsula. Steep mountain peaks jut out of the sea on both sides, and the waters are often choked with icebergs and frequented by crabeater seals. A stunning labyrinth of grounded icebergs lies in the shallow waters west of Pleneau Island, presenting a superb Zodiac cruising experience. Crabeater and leopard seals haul out on the ice, and elephant seals and gentoo penguins occupy the island itself.

Days 19 - 20: Drake Passage
During your Drake crossing, watch for wandering and black-browed albatross, sooty shearwaters, and white-chinned petrels. Whales are also frequently seen in these waters.

Days 21 - 22: Ushuaia, Argentina / Disembark / Buenos Aires / Return Home
Disembark in Ushuaia and transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires, connecting with your independent overnight flight to return 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. Pre-registration required, please contact ExpeditionTrips for more information.

Included:
Accommodations in hotels and on board Sea Spirit as outlined in the itinerary; all onboard meals and group meals on land, including soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner; group transfers; services of the expedition staff, including lectures, briefings, slide/film shows; all group activities and excursions; landing and port fees; all gratuities; kayaking (not guaranteed, limited availability, previous experience required); emergency medical coverage (maximum benefit per paying passenger of $25,000)*; evacuation coverage (maximum benefit per paying passenger of $100,000)*.

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, etc.

*Emergency Medical & Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency medical coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $25,000 is included in the cost of this expedition, as well as evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $100,000. 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 recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for Antarctic trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.

 


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