Penguins on South Georgia | Antarctica
FROM: USD $22,325 pp
Antarctica, South Georgia & Falklands Explorer - 19 days map

Embark on a once in a lifetime expedition on this 19 day Antarctic cruise starting in Ushuaia. Travel through the Drake Passage and discover Elephant Island, famous for the story of Shackleton's heroic quest. Visit South Georgia and see its rugged mountains, icy peaks, and stormy shores. Explore the Falkland Islands, learn about its interesting history and marvel at the incredible array of wildlife including penguins, whales, and seals.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Cruise Ship

Trip Highlights

Ushuaia – Explore the starting point of your expedition cruise to Antarctica, this busy Argentine port city is the southernmost city in the world and a stunning place to spend a night at the start and end of your cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula
Drake Passage – Cross one of the most historically challenging channels of water in the world. This is where the warmer waters of the north meet the cold polar waters of the south resulting in incredible biodiversity of marine life
Antarctic Peninsula – Discover the northernmost point of Antarctica and a spectacular location for a shore landing with jagged mountain peaks, glaciers and an abundance of wildlife
The Falkland Islands - Stroll down the streets of quintessentially British Stanley and discover wildlife including penguins and sea lions
Beagle Channel – Set sail along the famous Beagle Channel and scenic Mackinlay Pass from Ushuaia as you begin your Antarctic adventure, passing by spectacular snow-capped peaks and colonies of penguins and fur seals gathered on rocky outcrops
The South Shetland Islands – Spot penguins, seals and plenty of of marine life offshore at this crucial stop on any Antarctic expedition.
South Georgia - Wander the abandoned streets of Grytviken, spot lumbering elephant seals and watch giant colonies of king penguins huddle together

Included

18 nights aboard either the Ocean Albatros or the Ocean Victory expedition cruise ship in a shared double cabin with private facilities
Services of an English-speaking expedition team
All Zodiac landings and excursions, as per itinerary, guided by the Expedition Team
Full board on the ship, afternoon snacks, free tea and coffee daily
Special photo workshop and a digital visual journey to remember your trip
18 breakfasts, 17 lunches and 18 dinners
Shuttle transfer between Ushuaia city centre and the vessel at beginning of the tour and from the vessel to the city centre or airport at the end of the tour
Expedition parka and rubber boots loan scheme for the entire voyage
Welcome and farewell cocktails
All service taxes and port charges

Not Included

International flights and visas
Tips for the expedition staff and crew
Any meals not onboard the ship & any drinks (excluding tea and coffee)
Government arrival and departure taxes
Additional excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1

Setting Sail

Welcome to Ushuaia! As the world's most southern city, Ushuaia's nickname of 'the end of the world' is well deserved. On arrival, make your way to the port and board our home for the next two weeks, the Ocean Albatros or Victory expedition ship. After enjoying a refreshing welcome cocktail our expedition begins as we set sail through the famous Beagle Channel (named after Charles Darwin's ship) towards Drake Passage.

If arriving into Ushuaia with plenty of time, you may wish to take a day trip to the picturesque archipelago of Tierra del Fuego, home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world with rugged snow-capped mountains, glaciers and flower-filled meadows.

Please Note: Trips that depart in November or December will often have the same itinerary and spend the same amount of days at each location, but the route will be inverted - following this plan: Ushuaia, Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctic peninsula.
Overnight: Ocean Albatros or Ocean Victory Ship  |  Dinner

Days 2-3

Crossing the Drake Passage

For the next two days we sail through the challenging Drake Passage, famous for its rough conditions and strong westerly winds, called the Roaring Fifties. Our expedition vessels are well-equipped with stabilizers, powerful engines, and a skilled crew for your comfort. Crossing the Drake Passage is a notable achievement.

During our time in the Drake Passage, we'll prepare for Antarctica. Our Expedition Leader will provide safety guidelines and tips for minimizing our impact on this fragile environment. Our Expedition Team will help with biosecurity measures and offer lectures on Antarctic history, wildlife, geology, and more.

On the third day, we'll cross into the Antarctic Convergence, experiencing a sudden drop in temperature as we enter Antarctic waters. This region teems with wildlife, including petrels, albatrosses, penguins, seals, and whales. Weather permitting, we may be able to make landfall on the South Shetland Islands on our second day in the Drake Passage, beginning our exploration of Antarctica.
Overnight: Ocean Albatros or Ocean Victory Ship  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Days 4-7

The Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands

Our journey begins in the South Shetland Islands, the northernmost part of Antarctica, known for its rich wildlife, including Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguin colonies and impressive seabirds like Giant Petrels. We'll marvel at the ice-clad mountains of Livingstone and King George Islands before we explore places such as Deception Island with its volcanic crater, Aitcho and Half Moon Islands with their vibrant penguin colonies, and the historical site of Yankee Harbour.

Next, we'll head further south to the Gerlache Strait region on the Antarctic Peninsula. This icy wonderland boasts massive icebergs, glaciers, penguins tending to their nests on Cuverville Island, and hikes over active glaciers in Neko Harbour. We'll also visit historic huts such as Damoy Point and may even witness humpback whales in action in Wilhelmina Bay. As our vessel sails towards the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula en route to South Georgia, we might have the opportunity to explore Elephant Island. This is the legendary island where Shackleton's men endured several months of harsh conditions while their leader embarked on a heroic quest for rescue – a remarkable tale of human survival and resilience.

While our specific stops depend on conditions, our Expedition Leader will keep you informed during evening briefings. Our expert Expedition Team will enhance your experience with insightful talks. Antarctica's weather is highly unpredictable, and safety is our top priority. If conditions restrict off-vessel activities, we will enjoy lectures, wine-tasting, hot tubs, or spa treatments aboard the comfortable vessels.
Overnight: Ocean Albatros or Ocean Victory Ship  |  Breakfast x 4, Lunch x 4, Dinner x 4

Days 8-9

Onwards to South Georgia

Leaving Antarctica behind, we embark on the Drake Passage once more, this time tracing the path of Sir Ernest Shackleton's epic journey aboard the James Caird. While Shackleton's ordeal lasted a gruelling seventeen days in a small wooden lifeboat, your voyage benefits from our vessels' powerful engines and specially-designed X-Bow, completing the journey in just two days.

To safeguard South Georgia's delicate ecozystem, the dedicated Expedition Team will help you with biosecurity measures. They'll also continue their enlightening lecture series, focusing on South Georgia's captivating history, biology, and wildlife. Don't forget to bundle up and join the Expedition Team on deck – this part of the Scotia Sea, which includes the Drake Passage, teems with life, from whales and albatross to penguins and seals. Keep an eye out for the unique mix of sub-Antarctic and polar species, like fur seals and Adelie Penguins, creating a captivating ecological blend.
Overnight: Ocean Albatros or Ocean Victory Ship  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Days 10-13

Exploring South Georgia

South Georgia, a land of rugged mountains, icy peaks, and stormy shores, once held a foreboding reputation. Captain James Cook is said to have first set foot here, but its initial appearance was stark and intimidating. However, a closer look reveals greenery amidst the ice, life on its beaches, and birds soaring above.

In the past, South Georgia faced environmental devastation. Sealers and whalers descended upon it, mercilessly hunting seals and whales. Reindeer, introduced by Norwegian whalers, damaged native vegetation, while brown rats, unintentionally brought by Europeans, ravaged seabirds and their eggs.

Thankfully, extensive conservation efforts, including the removal of reindeer and rats, have restored South Georgia to its former glory. Its beaches now teem with elegant King Penguins and Antarctic fur seals competing for space. Southern elephant seals, Earth's largest, are also present. South Georgia Pippits and Pintail Ducks, once nearly extinct, thrive, while various bird species nest on steep hillsides and cruise the skies. In the sea, leopard seals hunt penguins, fur seal pups play, and a variety of whales feast on krill. South Georgia boasts unrivalled wildlife diversity and abundance, a true marvel to witness.

Our itinerary will depend on weather, sea conditions, and winds, but the experienced Expedition Team and Captain will strive to maximize exploration opportunities. Options include visiting massive penguin colonies, exploring former whaling stations, admiring seal colonies, and immersing in exploration history at Grytviken, where Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried. South Georgia leaves an indelible mark on the senses, captivating visitors long after their departure.
Overnight: Ocean Albatros or Ocean Victory Ship  |  Breakfast x 4, Lunch x 4, Dinner x 4

Days 14-15

Continuing to the Falklands

Leaving South Georgia's icy peaks, we head toward the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). Although separate British Overseas Territories, these two places share a close history. South Georgia was administered from the Falklands for much of its past and still relies on Falklands' support. Unlike South Georgia, the Falklands have their own government, society, and culture.

When Europeans arrived in the early 16th Century, there were no indigenous people on the Falklands. The islands' sovereignty has been disputed, with claims from Spain, France, Britain, and Argentina. They became a British colony in 1840. In 1982, a conflict between Britain and Argentina over the islands had a lasting impact, including development assistance and a significant minefield. However, the Falklands have since thrived, thanks to their valuable fishing rights. The de-mining operation was completed in 2020, celebrated with a football match between the islands’ Governor and the Zimbabwean de-mining team.

The waters between South Georgia and the Falklands are incredibly rich, with abundant whale, seal, and penguin populations where cold Antarctic waters meet the warmer South Atlantic. Keep your binoculars handy as we cross the Antarctic convergence, especially near Shag Rocks. You can also attend lectures by the Expedition Team to learn about the islands' captivating history, biology, and the unique 'Kelper' culture of the locals.
Overnight: Ocean Albatros or Ocean Victory Ship  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Days 16-17

Stanley and the Falkland Islands

In the morning, we approach the Falkland Islands, anchoring in Port Stanley's sheltered natural harbor in the early afternoon. Using our Zodiacs, we'll land in the heart of this quaint city, the only significant settlement on the islands, with around two thousand residents. Stanley exudes a distinctly British charm, with Victorian houses along the harborfront, red telephone and post boxes by the jetty, and cozy pubs serving classic fish and chips and ale. The Falkland Islanders take pride in their unique homeland, and Stanley is a delightful place to explore and absorb the local atmosphere. Must-visit spots in the city include Christchurch Cathedral, the southernmost Anglican cathedral globally, as well as charming shops offering local products, inviting cafes, welcoming pubs, and several exceptional museums.

On our second day in the Falklands, we'll venture to the outer islands, known as 'Camp' by the locals. These remote islands are more rugged and home to most of the archipelago's wildlife. Islands like West Point, Carcass, and Saunders are renowned for their spectacular wildlife, including Southern Rockhopper Penguins, Black-Browed Albatrosses, and King Cormorants nesting together in vast cliffside colonies. Look up to witness the impressive albatross landings. The islands are also teeming with other bird species, including the cheeky Striated Caracara. In the waters, you can spot species like Commerson's dolphins and South American sea lions at play.
Overnight: Ocean Albatros or Ocean Victory Ship  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Day 18

Return to Ushuaia

Leaving Antarctica, we sail north across the infamous Drake Passage heading back towards the Beagle Channel and the shores of Ushuaia. Whilst at sea there are numerous activities on offer. You can relax with a cocktail in the Nordic Bar, listen in on lectures by the passionate and knowledgeable Expedition Team in the Shackleton Lounge, or simply gaze at the Albatrosses travelling north alongside the ship.

On the final evening aboard the ship we join the Captain and Officers for a Farewell Cocktail Party, followed by a presentation of photos and videos by the onboard photographer, allowing us to relive our Antarctic adventure.
Overnight: Ocean Albatros or Ocean Victory Ship  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19

End of the Adventure

After we arrive back at Ushuaia in the morning we enjoy a final breakfast and say goodbye to our crew before disembarking.
Breakfast

Prices & Dates

The prices shown are per person based on twin occupancy sharing a Category D State Room with porthole on the Ocean Albatros and Ocean Victory ship.

Read More
Ocean Victory is the cruise ship for this departure.
Ocean Victory
Guaranteed Departure
2025
Twin Share
Single Room
06 Mar - 24 Mar Ocean Victory is the cruise ship for this departure.
Ocean Victory is the cruise ship for this departure.
USD $22,325
USD $29,005

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.

Ocean Albatros, Antarctica

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: Expedition Ship

Having made her debut in November 2022 the Ocean Albatros is one of the most popular expedition cruise vessels in the world. With the highest Polar code 6 and Ice class 1A, the Ocean Albatros is ideal for small-ship expedition cruising in the Antarctic, with a sturdy construction offering high stability in rough weather. For shore landings the ship has 18 motorized rubber ‘Zodiac’ boats, taking you to exciting areas that the larger vessel can't reach. This state-of-the-art vessel is also part of a new generation of low-energy vessels, ensuring it's environmentally friendly with a 50% lower carbon footprint than traditional expedition ships. There are 95 comfortable cabins and suites on board, including 12 single cabins. All of the cabins are spacious with an en suite bathroom, sofa and a TV, with either portholes or windows, offering an unobstructed sea view. The higher category of cabins also have their own balcony. On board you can soak up the scenery and spot wildlife from the viewing deck and observation lounge or head to the Sunpool Deck to enjoy the jacuzzi and pool bar. The spa boasts a unique panorama sauna and there's a gym if you want to work up a sweat. Enjoy tasty international cuisine in the two on board restaurants and relax with a drink in the Nordic bar after an incredible day spotting giant glaciers and icebergs.

Ocean Victory, Antarctica

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: Expedition Ship

Launched in December 2020, the Ocean Victory is a luxury infinity vessel that is established as one of the most modern small cruise ships on the market. The Ocean Victory is the perfect vessel for small-ship expedition cruises in the Antarctic, its sturdy construction offers strong stability in the rough seas that are found around Antarctica. In order to get to shore the ship has motorised rubber ‘Zodiac’ boats which are captained by experienced professionals and allow you to explore areas that the larger ship cannot reach. As part of a brand-new generation of low-energy vessels, this ship ensures it is environmentally friendly with a 50% lower carbon footprint than traditional expedition ships. The Ocean Victory features a total of 93 large, modern cabins and staterooms. Each cabin boasts ample space and features a private en suite bathroom, a comfortable sofa, and a television. The rooms have either portholes or windows, ensuring an uninterrupted view of the sea. The premium category cabins even come with their own balconies. On board there are two restaurants and one open-deck dining facility, as well as the Albatros Nordic Bar serving a variety of cocktails, beers and non-alcoholic beverages. The wellness area offers a jacuzzi, a spa, and a fitness centre, so there are plenty of options for relaxation between locations.

At a Glance

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Ushuaia
Ends
Ushuaia
Hotel Rating
Ocean Albatros or Ocean Victory Ships
Tour Guide
Yes - Expedition crew and naturalists
Meals
Breakfast: 18, Lunch: 17, Dinner: 18
Countries
Minimum Age
15 yrs, accompanied by an adult
Arr. Transfer
No
Dep. Transfer
No
Stunning sunset, painting the sky pink and purple in Ushuaia at the end of the earth
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