FROM: USD $13,815

Classic South Georgia - 20 days

From Ushuaia set sail towards the Falkland Islands before continuing on to South Georgia. Stop off at the Elephant Island en route to the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Enjoy lectures on board, an open-air deck to spot sea birds and marine life, an open bridge policy to learn about navigation, plus two shore excursions per day.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates

Trip Highlights

Western Falkland Islands – Visit West Point Island and neighbouring Carcass Island in the Western Falkland Islands, both home to small charming settlements and an abundance of flora and fauna
South Georgia – Discover the highlights and hidden gems of South Georgia with its tall rugged peaks, impressive glaciers, cavernous fjords and low-lying grassland, and wealth of wildlife
Ushuaia – 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
Antarctic Peninsula – The northernmost point of the continent and a spectacular location for a shore landing with jagged mountain peaks, glaciers and an abundance of wildlife
Eastern Falkland Islands – Explore the capital of the Falkland Islands, the quaint little town of Stanley, with some free time to wander around its museum, souvenir shops and pubs
Elephant Island – Part of the South Shetland Islands and most famous for the rescue mission that took place here in 1916 when members of Shackleton’s Endurance expedition were rescued after being stranded following a shipwreck
The South Shetland Islands – A crucial stop on any Antarctic expedition, this spectacular archipelago is made up of islands, islets and rock outcrops, each with their own population of penguins and seals with plenty of opportunity to spot marine life offshore too
Drake Passage – A historically challenging channel of water which marks the location of the Antarctic Convergence, where the warmer waters of the north meet the cold polar waters of the south resulting in incredible biodiversity of marine life

Included

19 nights onboard the Ushuaia in a standard twin cabin (upgrades available on request)
Two shore excursions per day to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands by zodiac (ice conditions permitting)
Experienced expedition staff
19 breakfasts, 18 lunches and 19 dinners
Program of lectures by expert naturalists
All service taxes and port charges

Not Included

International flights and visas
Drinks on board the Ushuaia
Pre and post tour accommodation, plus any airport or port transfers
Government arrival and departure taxes
Tips for the expedition staff and naturalists

Itinerary

Day 1

Begin your Antarctic expedition

This afternoon marks the start of your Antarctic adventure as you begin your journey to South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula on board polar vessel the Ushuaia. After boarding you’ll be offered a welcome drink and introduced to the crew and expedition staff, as well as the rest of your shipmates for the next 20 days. Setting sail, the vessel will begin its course towards the ruggedly beautiful Falkland Islands.
Overnight: The Ushuaia   |  Dinner

Day 2

At sea

This day at sea offers the perfect opportunity to familiarise yourself with the vessel and to benefit from its four open air decks where you can try spot seabirds, orcas, dolphins and other local wildlife with the help of the expedition lecturers. If you’re interested in navigation, then why not head up to the bridge and take advantage of the open bridge policy, which allows you to join the officers to learn about navigation and watch for marine life. A selection of lectures will be available for you to join today if you wish to learn more about our first stop.
Overnight: The Ushuaia   |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Western Falkland Islands

Today is spent exploring the western coast of the Falkland Islands, including stops at West Point Island and neighbouring Carcass Island. Situated off the northwest corner of West Falkland, West Point Island covers just ten square miles and is home to a picturesque settlement, working sheep farm and small harbour. Perhaps the most famous location on the island is Devil’s Nose, a rocky cape that is the dwelling of a variety of sea birds including thousands of black-browed albatross and several hundred rock hopper penguins.

Continue your exploration of the Falkland Islands western coast with a stop on Carcass Island, which at 19 square kilometres is just slightly larger than its neighbour West Point. The landscape is varied and beautiful, from white sand beaches and tussac grasses to rocky hills and dense forest. Thanks to a lack of cats or rats on the island, the bird population has thrived here with the endemic Cobb’s wren, striated caracaras, short-eared owls and many more. On the island’s northern beaches you can spot elephant seals, while the south is haven for Magellanic and Gentoo penguins. If you decide to take a stroll along the shoreline you may be lucky enough to spot Peale’s and Commerson’s dolphins. Back at the island’s settlement enjoy tea and cookies with the locals before heading back to the Ushuaia.
Overnight: The Ushuaia   |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Eastern Falkland Islands

Overnight the Ushuaia would have sailed around to the northern islands, so that this morning you could wake up close to your next port of call – the quaint little town of Stanley, which also happens to be the capital of the Falkland Islands. Enjoy some free time to wander around its museum, souvenir shops and pubs. Even in town you’re bound to encounter the island’s wildlife, as Southern Giant Petrels often make appearances on the shoreline along with the endemic Falkland Steamer Ducks, Kelp Gulls and Dolphin Gulls. Keep an eye out for Turkey Vultures perched on the top of buildings, or Upland Geese strolling through the park. After spending the morning exploring all that Stanley has to offer, you’ll big farewell to the Falkland Islands as the Ushuaia continues its journey southbound.
Overnight: The Ushuaia   |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 5-7

At sea

The following two days are spent at sea as the Ushuaia makes its way towards South Georgia. Your time may be filled by the extensive lecture program on offer, led by expert naturalists providing information about the wildlife and ecosystems that you’ll encounter on your journey. On Day 7 you’ll catch your first glimpse of South Georgia.
Overnight: The Ushuaia   |  Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3

Days 8-10

South Georgia

Made famous by the polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, South Georgia is regarded by many as one of the most spectacular places on earth. Not only is the landscape striking enough with its tall rugged peaks, impressive glaciers, cavernous fjords and low-lying grassland, but South Georgia is also home to an incredible diversity of flora and fauna. While the island has no native land mammals, it is home to numerous species of sea bird including the albatross and king penguin, as well as endemic birds such as the South Georgia shag, South Georgia pipt and South Georgia pintail. Seals can often be spotted on the island’s beaches and whales in the surrounding waters.

Over the next three days you’ll visit many of South Georgia’s key highlights and hidden gems. One such place you may visit is the iconic Salisbury Plain, a coastal plain on the north coast of the island that is home to tens upon thousands of King Penguins. Wandering along this wide beach surrounded on all sides by these curious creatures is indescribable. If you’re lucky you may also see elephant seals giving birth on the beaches. Another highlight is Prion Island, a small two kilometre long piece of land that acts as a sanctuary for breeding colony of Wandering Albatross. Their nesting ground is reached by a wooden boardwalk where you can watch them from viewing platforms.

A popular site for many travellers is the abandoned whaling station of Grytviken which lies within King Edward Cove and is now the location of the South Georgia Museum. Tucked away in a sheltered harbour between Hope Point and Hobart Rock on the western shore, the scenery here is absolutely stunning with a backdrop of glaciers and snow capped peaks.

Other potential locations include Godthul Bay – home to Gentoo penguins and Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses as well as the remains of a small shore depot once used for whaling operations; St Andrews Bay with its overwhelming population of penguins and seals on a swathe of dark sand and overlooked by the Cook. Buxton and Heney glaciers; Cooper Bay in the southeast of South Georgia, home to penguins and seals living against a backdrop of volcanic rocks towering over small fjords; and Drygalski Fjord with its dramatic glaciers and striking coastline.
Overnight: The Ushuaia  |  Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3

Days 11-12

At sea

Leaving South Georgia behind the Ushuaia will begin its two day passage across the Scotia Sea towards the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. This is an ideal time to get out on the deck to enjoy the fresh sea air, go through your photos on the trip so far or to catch up on some reading. There will also be lectures and other onboard activities on offer.
Overnight: The Ushuaia  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Days 13-14

Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands

Today you’ll get your first taste of the South Shetland Islands with a shore excursion to the mysterious Elephant Island. Located in the north-eastern reaches of the archipelago, Elephant Island is perhaps most famous for the incredible rescue mission that took place here in 1916 when 22 members of Shackleton’s Endurance expedition were rescued after being stranded on the island for 135 days following a shipwreck. While on shore you’ll learn about the island’s fascinating history as well as have the chance to spot the many fur seals and Chinstrap penguins on its coast. On day 14 the Ushuaia heads back onto open water as you continue your journey to the rest of the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.
Overnight: The Ushuaia  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Days 15-17

The Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands

A stunning archipelago home to an incredible abundance of wildlife, the South Shetland Islands is a crucial stop on every expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula. Spanning 540 kilometres from northeast to southwest, this polar archipelago is made up of four distinct groupings of islands with some 150 additional islets, skerries and rock outcrops.

The next three days are spent exploring the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula with the opportunity to partake in two shore landings per day. The Ushuaia will attempt to sail to the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula, traversing the Antarctic Sound en route, where you can visit Hope Bay and the Argentine Station Esperanza. Just south of Hope Bay is another potential landing site - the million-year-old volcano Brown Bluff.

Paulet Island is a popular landing site amongst tourists due to its population of Adelie Penguin and Blue-eyed Cormorant colonies, and if ice conditions allow you’ll be sure to spend some time on this spectacular island. From here the Ushuaia will sail through the stunning Gerlache Strait, lined with glaciers, icebergs and snow-capped peaks, into the northwest reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Other potential landing sites include a small group of islets called the Hydrurga Rocks, home to Chinstrap Penguins, Blue-eyed Shags and Kelp Gulls; Deception Island with its flooded caldera of an active volcano; and the breath-taking cresent-shaped Half Moon Island at the entrance of Moon Bay.
Overnight: The Ushuaia   |  Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3

Days 18-19

The Drake Passage

Departing the Antarctic Peninsula, the Ushuaia will start its journey home across the Drake Passage travelling north. On this journey through the Drake Passage you will pass over the Antarctic Convergence, where the warmer waters of the north meet the cold polar waters of the south. This interaction causes an upwelling of nutrients from the seafloor, resulting in the incredible diversity of algae, krill and other small sea creatures. Spend these days on the open-air decks, spotting seabirds and marine life with the help of the expedition lecturers on hand.
Overnight: The Ushuaia   |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Day 20

The end of your expedition

Your vessel arrives into the port of Ushuaia early in the morning. After breakfast and bidding farewell to your expedition lecturers and naturalists, your Antarctic adventure comes to an end. The ship arrives at 7 am and disembarkation is normally at 8.00/ 8.30 am. We strongly recommend not to book flights departing before noon time.
Breakfast

Prices & Dates

Prices shown are per person based on twin occupancy sharing the lowest category of cabins. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who would like their own cabin and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price.

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In Brief

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Ushuaia
Ends
Ushuaia
Departs
17 Oct 2018
Hotel Rating
The Ushuaia Polar Vessel
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - Expedition crew and naturalists
Meals
Breakfast: 19, Lunch: 18, Dinner: 19
Visiting
South Georgia, The Falkland Islands, South Shetland Islands, The Drake Passage, Ushuaia
Countries

Extra Tour Info

The Ushuaia
All about The Ushuaia polar vessel used on our expeditions
Updated
1st March 2017
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