Day 1: Puerto Madryn, ArgentinaLocated in the Patagonian province of Chubut, Puerto Madryn is one of Argentina's fastest growing cities and the gateway to the Peninsula Valdes. Puerto Madryn is a popular resort destination for wildlife excursions: visit a sea lion colony, watch for nesting cormorants and magnificent elephant seals, or experience a walk through a colony of Magellanic penguins and myriad species of native seabirds.
Day 2: Embarkation DayArrive at the ship in the afternoon to be greeted by your Expedition Team and ship's officers at a safety and orientation briefing followed by the captain's welcome dinner. Watch the city lights fade in the fresh night air as you sail seaward.
Days 3 - 4: Southern OceanProviding plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities, birds such as albatrosses, prions and petrels follow in the ship’s wake as you sail south. Your Expedition Team will be on deck as well, looking for whales and dolphins often seen in the area. Your experts will begin the presentations with informative and entertaining lectures on the wildlife, history, and geology of The Falkland Islands and Southern Ocean. Helpful briefings on environmental regulations and expedition safety will also be held in the comfortable lecture hall.
Day 5: West FalklandsThe westernmost settled outposts in the Falklands are remote farms that have been family-owned for six and seven generations. The sheep graze alongside albatross colonies and Rockhopper, King, and Macaroni penguin rookeries while Striated Caracaras patrol overhead and Upland Geese graze at the water's edge. A visit to one of these homesteads often includes an invitation for cakes and a cup of tea.
Day 6: Stanley, East FalklandsA British outpost, chosen for its sheltered harbor and access to abundant fresh water and peat for fuel, Stanley is easy to discover on foot as most shops and services are centered on the port. The museum, plenty of shops with locally made wool items and Stanley's lively pubs are interesting attractions. It is possible to experience the wildlife of the Falklands from the town including sea lions and Peale's and Commerson's Dolphins in the harbor or bird life in nearby Gypsy Cove.
Days 7 - 8: Southern OceanEnjoy this time to prepare for the next leg of your voyage. Keep an eye out as from the deck, with plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting as you make your way east across the Antarctic Convergence and officially enter Antarctic waters. Ship board presentations will continue featuring the exciting history and abundant wildlife of South Georgia.
Days 9 - 12: South GeorgiaSouth Georgia’s unique position inside the Antarctic Convergence, yet outside the limit of the yearly sea ice, makes this 3,755 square kilometer island home to tens of millions of breeding penguins, seals, and seabirds. Magnificent mountain scenery, glaciers galore, a rugged coastline punctuated with icebergs, a rich historical tapestry, and an astounding array of wildlife provide an awe-inspiring backdrop as you travel down South Georgia's leeward coast. Landing sites feature huge elephant seals, fur seals, Macaroni penguins, albatross, petrels, skuas, and gulls. King penguins, from fuzzy little chicks to fattened adults, can be seen in the hundreds of thousands. Visit historic Grytviken whaling station, home of the whaling museum, Norwegian seaman's church, the active British Antarctic Survey station plus the tiny graveyard where the great Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried.
Days 13 - 14: Scotia SeaHead farther south, and continue with informative presentations and wildlife sightings. Watch as the icebergs become more plentiful as you make your way to the Antarctic Peninsula.
Days 15 - 18: The Antarctic Peninsula / South Shetland IslandsThe white continent stretches before you, a land of extremes and extreme beauty. Your expedition leader and captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunities for wildlife viewing. The route will focus on the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas, as well as sites of historic and scientific interest. The trip may include picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, the humpback whale frequented Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. You may stop at an active scientific base such as Poland’s Arctowksi or Ukraine’s Vernadskiy, as well as an historic base such as U.K.’s Port Lockroy or Wordie House. Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins abound, and Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals haul out of the sea to rest along with predatory leopard seals and the aggressive Antarctic fur seal. Minke, humpback and orca whales are frequent visitors of this region and provide many opportunities for whale sightings.
Days 19 - 20: The Drake PassageYour lecture series and wildlife sightings with continue as you sail to Ushuaia and reflect on beautiful Antarctica and its wild inhabitants. Arrive at Ushuaia in the early morning hours.
Day 21: Disembark / Ushuaia, ArgentinaThis morning, disembark in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost town, to catch flights homeward or continue on with your adventure.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions – and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition.
Kayaking Option: $750 per person
The kayaking option provides passengers with an up-close encounter of Antarctica. Any passenger in good health with basic paddling experience is welcome to join the program. Dry suits, neoprene gloves and personal flotation devices included. Space is limited; please enquire at the time of booking.
Fuel Surcharge: Fuel surcharge may apply in the event of significant fuel price increases.
Mandatory Travel Insurance: All passengers are required to carry valid travel insurance. This insurance must contain medical and evacuation coverage. Cancellation and trip interruption insurance are strongly recommended as well. As any potential evacuation from Antarctica can cost up to $200,000, it is recommended that no policy carry less than this amount of coverage. Pre-departure forms will require information as to travel insurance carrier, policy number, and a 24 hour contact number. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends that the travel insurance policy covers trip cancellation insurance, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage and repatriation. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
Included: One pre-voyage hotel night in designated embarkation city, shipboard accommodations; all scheduled landings and excursions; all meals onboard; coffee, tea, cocoa, and espresso 24-hours daily; welcome and farewell cocktail; one glass of house wine / beer / soft drink with dinner; a pair of boots for use during the voyage; daily international news service; all port fees; scheduled transfers from Trelew airport to group hotel in Puerto Madryn; transfer from group hotel to ship for embarkation; digital voyage log; commemorative Expedition Jacket.
Not included: Airfare or travel expenses; pre or post voyage expenses; travel insurance; transfers not included in program; laundry, bar and personal expenses incurred on board; items of a personal nature; onboard communication charges; fuel surcharge (may apply in the event of significant fuel price increases); staff gratuities.