Falklands (Malvinas), South Georgia and Antarctica: Explorers and Kings

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Day 1

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Ushuaia, Argentina.
After your arrival in Ushuaia, you will be transferred from the airport to our hotel. The rest of the day will be at your leisure and in the evening you may wish to dine at one of the excellent restaurants offering Fuegan specialties, such as king crab or an "asado de cordero" (local barbecued lamb).

Day 2


In the morning you will have the opportunity to explore Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego, and the southern most town in the world. Nestled on the shore of the Beagle Channel, the town is surrounded by rugged snow-capped peaks and beautiful forests. After embarking on your expedition ship in the afternoon, we sail east down the Beagle Channel. Cruising this waterway is an exciting introduction to the cruise, as to the north are the forested and rugged mountains of Tierra del Fuego and to the south, the jagged peaks of Navarino Island.

Day 3

King Penguins at Gold Harbour

At sea.
As we steam towards the Falkland Islands, black-brown and sooty albatrosses, shearwaters, giant and cape petrels and numerous other seabirds follow in our wake. Our Antarctic experts will lecture on the marine life and the various species of birds that we will encounter during our expedition. Essential briefings and instruction about our expedition will also be conducted, thoroughly dealing with matters of safety, ecology, and the procedures required for a visit to Antarctica.

Days 4-5

Falkland Islands (Malvinas).

This remote and rarely visited archipelago of 420 islands is renowned for its concentrations of bird-life, marine animals and wildflowers. Some of the outer islands are excellent for viewing wildlife and on Carcass Island, highlights include flightless Steamer ducks, Magellanic and Gentoo penguins, and a colony of the rare Black Crowned Night herons. Peale's and Commerson's dolphins are often seen along the coast. On West Point and New Island, there are superb colonies of black-browed Albatrosses, which nest side by side with feisty Rockhopper penguins. You will also have the opportunity to meet the hospitable island residents.
Sailing southeast, our final landing site will be Port Stanley, the only settlement of any size in these islands. Here we stroll idly around the colourful streets of this Victorian town and visit the small but excellent museum.

Days 6-7

Elephant seals at Gold Harbour

Southern Ocean.
Excitement builds as we head southeast towards the islands of South Georgia and cross the Antarctic Convergence. From the bridge and outer decks, one can view the wild expanse of the Great Southern Ocean and the ever present albatrosses. Below decks, lectures will be conducted to introduce you to the sub-Antarctic wildlife. Weather, sea conditions and permits will determine specific landing sites.

Day 8-11

South Georgia.

South Georgia, along with its towering mountains, deep fjords and glaciated terrain, reveals low-lying grassy areas and beaches. Similar to Antarctica in biological characteristics, South Georgia is classified as a World Heritage reserve and attracts an astounding concentration of fauna.

Thousands of King penguins greet us at Salisbury Plain and rugged ice-covered mountains and glaciers provide a backdrop to this beautiful area. Albatrosses nest at Prion Island, where tussock grass provides shelter for a variety of seabirds and camouflage for thousands of breeding fur seals. Huge elephant seals and large numbers of King and Gentoo penguins congregate on the beaches, while light-mantled Sooty albatrosses nest in the cliffs behind.

South Georgia was the site of the final stage of Sir Ernest Shackleton's epic journey in 1916. After his ship, the Endurance, was crushed by pack ice and sank in the Weddell Sea, he and his crew arrived at Elephant Island in lifeboats. Leaving most of his men behind, Shackleton crossed 1,280 km of rough seas in an open boat to arrive at South Georgia. The Norwegian whaling station, Stromness, was on the other side of the island, so he and two others crossed the jagged and glaciated mountain range to safety. Ironically, Shackleton died at Stromness on his next expedition. We pay tribute to this great explorer and visit his grave at Grytviken.

For those who love the wild areas of the world, South Georgia is supreme and we will spend four days exploring this remote and historic island.

Day 12

Scotia Sea.

Within the comfort and security of our modern, ice strengthened ship, we cruise south towards the Antarctic Peninsula, whilst we reflect upon the courage of Shackleton and his men in their small, open boat. We travel in the opposite direction to that harrowing voyage and soon spot the first icebergs.

Days 13-17

King Penguins on Salisbury Plain

South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula.
As we approach the rugged South Shetland Islands, our first landfall could be Elephant Island, where Shackleton's men sought refuge during their epic journey. Places such as King George Island and Livingston Island support large numbers of nesting penguins, while seabirds adorn the cliffs and elephant seals wallow along the shores. Deception Island is still considered to be an active volcano, and it is here one can swim in thermally heated water.

The Antarctic Peninsula is not only the most easily accessed point on the 'White Continent" but also contains some of the most rugged scenery and a large variety of wildlife. Among the places we may visit is the aptly named Paradise Bay, where glaciers fill the calm waters with a vista of icebergs, sculpted by wind and weather. Here we will go ashore on the Antarctic continent. At Port Lockroy we will find thriving colonies of penguins and shags and a former British scientific station that now serves as a fascinating museum.

Cuverville Island and Ronge Island with their dramatic locations are home to colonies of thousands of Gentoo penguins and other breeding birds. Many visitors find the Antarctic scenery as rewarding as the wildlife and you will be enchanted by such beautiful waterways as the Neumayer and Lemaire Channels. We will also attempt to land at Peterman Island where Adelie and Gentoo penguins, skuas and Blue-Eyed shags nest close to the landing site.

Days 18-19

Drake Passage.

Today we leave Antarctica and head across the Drake Passage where there is time to relax and reflect on our extraordinary journey. We also continue our lectures on birds and marine life and recap our experiences and adventures. Strolling the outer decks, you will have opportunity to photograph the ever present albatross, or possibly a pod of whales.

Day 20


After an early breakfast our vessel will dock at the port of Ushuaia. Disembarking from the vessel, you will be transferred by bus to the exit of the port, centrally located in the town.

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