argentina, FALKLAND ISLANDS, SOUTH GEORGIA, ANTARCTICA
october 30-NOVEMBER 20, 2016
$13,995-$23,995 (per person, see below for accommodation options)
Day 1 - Buenos Aires
The capital of Argentina, the birthplace of Tango, the home of Asado, the “Paris of South America”, and the largest concentration of theaters in the world; Buenos Aires. The city is rich in culture and style and a vibrant gateway for our voyage.
Day 2 - Embarkation
Arriving at the ship in the afternoon, you will be greeted by our Expedition Team and ship’s officers at a safety and orientation briefing followed by the Captain’s welcome dinner. Then, watch the city lights fade in the fresh night air as we sail seaward.
Day 3, 4 and 5 - Southern Ocean
Among the wildlife spotting opportunities as we sail south are the Albatrosses, Prions, and Petrels that frequently follow the ship. Our Expedition Team will be out on deck as well, looking for the whales and dolphins that may also be seen in the area. Our experts will begin the presentations with informative and entertaining talks 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 lounge.
Day 6 - Stanley - East Falkland
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, the post office featuring first day covers, plenty of shops with locally made wool items and Stanley’s lively pubs will all be available. 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.
Day 7 and 8 - Southern Ocean
There will be plenty of wildlife spotting as we make our way east across the Antarctic Convergence and officially enterAntarcticwaters. Shipboardpresentations will continue featuring the exciting history and abundant wildlife of South Georgia.
Day 9 - King Haakon Bay
We plan to awake this morning in King Haakon Bay, the historic launching point of Shackleton’s treacherous traverse, of what was then an uncharted mountainous island. If weather and the authorities permit our landing, a private group of qualified climbers will go ashore to begin a three day trek following in Shackleton’s footsteps. Assuming conditions permit, those of us not participating in the climb may enjoy a leisurely walk along the bay or explore the area via zodiac. We may see elephant seals, fur seals and king penguins on the beach as well as burrowing petrels and pipits in the tussock grasslands. As we leave the island we’ll enter waters rich in Krill, so we’ll spend some time on deck, keeping an eye out for several species of whale that may be feeding here.
Day 10 - Salisbury Plain - Prion Island
This morning we will visit the Salisbury Plain King Penguin colony. The colony boasts an estimated 60,000 breeding pairs, which swells to 250,000 individuals in total during molting season. The colony has had an extraordinary population increase over the last century; only 350 breeding pairs were counted at this site in 1912. While we’re having lunch, theship will reposition to Prion Island, an important breeding site for the Wandering Albatross and the South Georgia Pipit. Thislanding requires a special permit, and is highly regulated, but is one of the few places in the world where we can view Wandering Albatross on the nest.
Day 11 - St. Andrew’s Bay - Grytviken
After breakfast we will explore St. Andrew’s Bay on South Georgia’s exposed and rugged north coast. If conditions permit we will land and visit the island’s largest King Penguin colony. In addition to King Penguins, St. Andrew’s Bay is also home to over 6,000 Southern Elephant seal cows during the pupping season, making it one of the largest Elephant seal breeding beaches on the island. In the afternoon we will arrive at Grytviken, and visit the final resting place of Ernest Shackleton, in the company of special guest, Angie Butler. While researching her recent book on Shackleton’s “righthand man” Frank Wild, Angie discovered Wild’s misplaced ashes, and worked with Wild’s family to have them brought to Grytviken, where they now rest on the righthand side of Shackleton’s gravesite. Grytviken means ‘pot cove’ in Norwegian and Swedish, and the site earned its name from the numerous sealers’ tripots (used for rendering seal or whale blubber) that have been found here. The ruins of Grytviken whaling station are at the head of the cove, surrounded by spectacular mountains. After visiting the cemetery we’ll have ample opportunity to explore the remains of the whaling station, as well as a
museum that contains whaling photographs and artifacts. A post office, and a full size replica of the James Caird are located in a building adjacent to the museum. The Norwegian Church built in 1913 is only a short walk away.
Day 12 - Fortuna Bay - Stromness
This morning we’ll explore Fortuna Bay. In addition to a good sized King Penguin colony, the bay is also home to over 6,000 Southern Elephant Seal cows during the pupping season, making it one of the largest Elephant Sealbreedingbeachesontheisland. IfconditionspermitwewillreturntoFortunaafterlunchforthe “Shackleton Walk”, recreating the final leg of Shackleton’s historic journey by walking from Fortuna Bay to Stromness Bay. This is a moderately difficult walk, and those who prefer to stay onboard for the quick repositioning to Stromness, will find plenty to enjoyin its scenic beauty, historic buildings, and abundant wildlife. Those who choose not to do the walk may appreciate a stroll to the beautiful Shackleton Waterfall located at the end of the valley. After reuniting with the traverse team at Stromness, we’ll return to the ship to toast them and hear more about their adventures.
Day 13 - Gold Harbor - Cooper Bay
This morning we’ll discover Gold Harbor, one of the most stunning sites in all of South Georgia. At the head of the bay is the spectacular Bertrab Glacier, which hangs over vertical cliffs. Gold Harbor is home to both Gentoo and King Penguin colonies. Elephant Seals dominate the beaches while Southern Giant Petrels constantly patrol the site for feeding opportunities. In the afternoon we’ll visit Cooper Bay, home to the only Macaroni Penguin colony that is reasonably accessible by boat. We’ll either land on a small beach or cruise in zodiacs to catch a glimpse of this notoriously difficult to view penguin species. If landing is possible access to the Macaroni colony does involve climbing up a steep, tussock covered slope, littered with Fur Seals. Chinstrap Penguins are also prevalent at this site.
Days 14 and 15 - Scotia Sea
Heading further South, we continue our informative presentations and wildlife watch as the icebergs become more and more plentiful.
Days 16, 17, 18 and 19 - Antarctica & South Shetland Islands
Early on the morning of Day 16 we will pass by Elephant Island, and if conditions allow, we will zodiac cruise or land on this exposed and remote local. Our focus will be the site where Shackleton’s party beached, after Endurance sank in the Weddell Sea. Twenty-two men remained here, living under a lifeboat, while Shackleton and two companions took the James Caird and sailed for South Georgia. After four months, on August 30, 1916, Shackleton returned to rescue his men with the vessel Yelcho. A bronze bust of the Yelcho’s Captain, Luis Pardo Villalon, can be seen within the Chinstrap Penguin colony. In 2013 a group of explorers and filmmakers set out from the same spot, in an effort to replicate Shackleton’s journey using only the equipment and gear available to the original group. Our special guest Seb Coulthard, was the expedition engineer on this project and will have many tales to tell, about both the original expedition and the 2013 recreation. Our Expedition Leader and Captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. The route will stress 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 favored Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife filled Penola Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. We 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 are often found hauled out to rest along with predatory Leopard Seals and the aggressive Antarctic Fur Seal. Minke and Humpback Whales are frequent visitors in the late season and Orca sightings are also common.
Day 20 and 21 - Drake Passage
We will continue our presentation series and wildlife spotting as we sail back to Ushuaia and reflect on beautiful Antarctica and its fragile future. We arrive at Ushuaia in the early hours of Day 22.
Day 22 - Ushuaia Disembarkation
Morning disembarkation allows you to catch a flight homeward or extend your stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure.
the ship has various accommodations in different price ranges. see directly below for options.
- Ship accommodation based on your booking selection
- All meals
- 21 nights accommodation
- Ship expedition team
- Two expert photographers' guidance
price does not include
- International airfare to and from Argentina
- Alcoholic beverages
- Travel insurance
- What is not mentioned as included
- Dates: October 30-November 20, 2016
- Price: $13,995-$23,995 (per person, see below for accommodation options)
- Price includes: ship accommodations based on your booking choice, all meals, expert photography guidance and lessons
- Location: Argentina, Falkland Islands, Shetland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica
- Points of Interest: Argentina, Southern Ocean, Falkland Islands, King Haakon Bay, Salisbury Plain, Prion Island, St. Andrew's Bay, Grytviken, Fortuna Bay, Stromness, Gold Harbor, Cooper Bay, Scotia Sea, Antarctica, South Shetland Islands, Drake Passage, South Georgia
- Education: field instruction, class instruction and one-on-one critiques