South Georgia Expedition Cruise

South Georgia is a remote yet magical island, exquisite in its beauty and virtually unspoilt by man. It is adorned with emerald green bays, blue glacier ice and formidable snow covered peaks. South Georgia travel will expose you to one of the world’s greatest wildlife areas – the “Galapagos of the South”. Home to over 30 million breeding birds, thousands of seals, four breeding species of penguin and the largest colony of king penguins on this planet – the island teems with life. 

Antarctica Classica

This cruise offers the ultimate introduction to the White Continent, the last pristine region of the world and our planet’s last frontier. Embarking and disembarking in the port of Ushuaia, the expertly-planned itinerary includes many of the wildlife and scenic highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands. Vast penguin colonies, a spectacular variety of seabirds and an abundance of seals and magnificent whales await you, all set in breathtaking scenery of imposing mountain ranges, ice-filled channels, beautifully-shaped icebergs and awe-inspiring glaciers.

Check the full itinerary with altitude:

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Wandering Albatross South Georgias

Trip itinerary:

This trip is from 9 to 1 days, depending the ship and the company.

Your gateway for this expedition is Ushuaia, Argentina. Nestled within the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Ushuaia offers you a small-town feel but has many shops, museums, cafes and restaurants to enjoy before your voyage. The nearby national park and Martial Glacier are must-sees and offer plenty of hiking and outdoor activities.

As you embark, the anticipation and excitement grows. Trade your land legs for sea legs, meet and greet your fellow travelers, Expedition Team and get acquainted with your ship. As every Antarctic adventure presents new opportunities and experiences, Embarkation day is just as exciting for your Expedition Team as it is for you. They’re onboard to ensure your comfort and safety, as well as help make your wildlife dreams come true.

There are many activities to keep you engaged while at sea. Learn to identify seabirds that glide alongside the ship or attend illustrated presentations by your Expedition Team. You will be prepped on procedures for your Zodiac cruises and shore landings as well as be given important biodiversity information for protecting the remote places.

Upon arrival in this archipelago your cameras will get their first real workout capturing the abundant wildlife and rugged feel of these remote islands. The Falkland archipelago contains two main islands – East and West, which you will explore by Zodiac excursions and daily landings.

One landing that will surely stick out in your memory is at Port Stanley. This unique British outpost has a ramshackle charm to it. The largest settlement in the Falklands, you’ll spend your day here visiting churches, museums, wandering around town and perhaps mingling with locals at a typical British pub.

In terms of wildlife, the archipelago is home to a variety of penguin species, including Magellanic, Gentoo and Rockhopper. If lucky, you may spot King Penguins here as well! Also expect to see Black-browed Albatross and many other bird species around the islands, including an opportunity to see the two endemic species; Cobb’s Wren and the Falklands flightless steamer duck. Your team of lecturers and specialists will be sure to educate you on the local flora and fauna so that you get the most of a memorable time in the Falklands.

The lecture series and wildlife spotting will continue on the way to South Georgia as you prepare to visit the ‘Galapagos of the Polar regions.’

This remote outpost has long been a center for exploratory expeditions and commercial exploitation. Many of first European inhabitants arrived to the island to hunt whales and elephant seals. Populations were once decimated, but thankfully populations have rebounded largely because whaling and sealing in South Georgia no longer exist. You will see many remnants of these past activities; including several whaling stations and other abandoned outposts.

One significant and historic site that will be of interest is the grave of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. You can visit his grave at the settlement of Grytviken, which is also home to an old whaling station, the museum and a small gift shop and church and a research station of approximately 20 scientists and support personnel.

While South Georgia’s history is an important attraction to the islands, it is the wildlife on South Georgia that you and your shipmates will likely find the most captivating. Often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles, South Georgia contains an exceptional quantity of wildlife. Each landing you make on South Georgia will open your eyes to a new wonder of wildlife. One day you may see rookeries with thousands of King Penguins waddling on the beach. Another day could take you to a beach with jousting elephant or fur seal beachmasters fighting to retain their harems. The grasses, mountains and beaches of South Georgia all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different species, something that your Expedition Team will be pleased to tell you about during your excursions on this impressive and unique island.

Say goodbye to the king penguins, as your next destination is Antarctica! Your days at sea are filled with seminars from your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife that will be greeting you upon your arrival in Antarctica. In between presentations, spend time chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.

The most common reaction to arriving at the white continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words, as few places are as untouched, unique and enduring as Antarctica. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes. At one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete desolation and silence, at the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into the brilliant blue sea or a penguin comes waddling by to inspect your footwear.

Guided hikes with the Expedition Team will have you trekking up a glacier, visiting a research station, or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Gentoo and Adélie penguins are found here, along with Fur, Weddell, Crabeater and Leopard Seals. Curious whales, such as Minkes, are often attracted to Zodiacs as well, giving you a chance to get within reaching distance of these majestic animals. Each day and each landing will present a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera shutter busy.

As exciting as the Zodiac excursions and landings are, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to an extra special Antarctic experience by partaking in a kayaking excursion.

After more than two weeks of endless wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake Passage is your unofficial rite of passage, which will complete your Antarctic adventure. Enjoy some final moments mingling with your fellow travelers. The noisy, busy, populated world awaits your return, so savor the silence of the sea as long as you can.

After breakfast aboard the ship, it is time to part ways and say goodbye to your Expedition Team. A transfer to the airport for your homeward flight will be offered.

Contact

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    FAQ for Antarctica

    Antarctic trips run during the southern hemisphere summer – from late October through the end of March. Each part of the season has its particular highlights. You should choose your trip based on your interests in Antarctica.

    October –November (late spring, early summer)

    This is the most pristine and adventurous time to visit Antarctica. The White continent is undisturbed by earlier travelers, snow is deep and ice is just starting to melt. Temperatures may be colder during these trips, but this offers breathtaking icebergs, pristine icescapes and incredible scenery. Wildlife is not as plentiful as later in the season, but it is penguin mating season and you will see penguins busy at work building nests.

    December – February (high summer)

    Days are very long (up to 20 hours of sunlight a day), allowing you to explore Antarctica later into the evening. Wildlife is plentiful and very active – penguin chicks start to hatch and in later January-February baby penguins are a highlight. These trips sell out early and must be booked in advance to guarantee space.

    Fly cruises that operate in and out of Punta Arenas, Chile run during this part of the season (early Dec – Feb)

    Mid-February – March (later summer)

    Late summer is the best part of the season for whale watching. A lot of ice and snow has melted, revealing different landscapes than earlier in the season and allowing ships to enter areas that were inaccessible due to ice or to travel farther south.

    You can travel to Antarctica by expedition cruise ship, this is the best option. Also you can take a charter flight across the Drake Passage.  Crossing by cruise ship is the most popular way to travel to Antarctica, with the most variety of voyage options.

    The 1,000 km Drake Passage crossing takes two days at sea. This route follows in the footsteps of the early explorers and provides a great opportunity to meet fellow passengers and to look for sea birds and whales. These two days also offer a lecture and presentation schedule by the naturalists onboard. Seas can be rough across the Drake Passage, so we recommend some preparation (more details below).

    Weather conditions in Antarctica are variable during the summer months, with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark. The extended daylight warms sheltered areas so that you may find temperatures warm enough for t-shirts while hiking up a glacier. However, you may encounter snow squalls, fog and white-outs during an expedition.

    An outer, waterproof layer is the most important part of your Antarctic gear. We recommend a waterproof jacket with hood, waterproof pants and gloves, as well as a warm hat. All ships will provide rubber Wellington boots for shore excursions. Layers are key in Antarctic weather, as conditions change quickly. Fleece or thermal clothing is also recommended. 

    The Drake Passage is notorious for rough seas, and we recommend all passengers bring preventative medication aboard. There is a doctor on each ship and sea sickness medication can be acquired if needed during the voyage.

    You can purchase Dramamine in Ushuaia, however there are some medications not available in Argentina. We recommend you consult your doctor before leaving home to secure medication, as some require prescriptions.

    All passengers are required to have travel insurance, which covers medical evacuation / repatriation. We also recommend purchasing trip cancellation insurance to cover you in case of unforeseen circumstances. Different ship operators have different insurance requirements, so we can help guide you once you choose your trip. We work with a number of insurance agents and can help find a good insurance fit for you. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many travel insurance policies have changed so it’s important to check coverage carefully.

    The daily goal aboard expedition vessels is two excursions per day, depending on weather and ice conditions. Excursions can be land visits to go for a hike, zodiac cruises through bays to observe ice and wildlife or station visits. Each excursion ranges from 1-3 hours. All activities in Antarctica are dependent on weather and wind conditions. Expedition teams have various plans each day to accommodate activities during challenging weather systems.

    All the cruise ship compnyes work under the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) rules, which governs and protects Antarctica. In some landing sites, the number of people allowed onshore limited to 100 or even 50 people. Larger ships tend to offer zodiac cruises in these areas so that passengers get the most time off the ship.

    To protect and maintain the fragile environment, food and drink are not allowed ashore.There are also important regulations about proximity to wildlife that you will learn from the Expedition staff.

    These expeditions are not necessarily physically demanding, but you need to be mobile and in overall good health to participate. As you will be traveling to a remote area without access to sophisticated medical facilities, you should not travel to the Antarctic if you have a life-threatening medical condition. Aboard the ship you can opt in or out of hikes or excursions, depending on your interest and ability.

    Probably not. A number of requirements apply to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)/drones in Antarctica, due to concerns about privacy, wildlife, environment, interference with scientific work, use in controlled airspace, and potential impacts if lost.

    Weather forecast for Antarctica Peninsula & Drake Passage

    This is the weather forecast from Windy & windguru, our most confident services to predict the weather evolution.

    Tierra del Fuego is a place with extremly variable weather. If you decide to go out for an experience, just be ready for any kind of weather, and you will enjoy the magnificence of the nature in this lattitude!

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