Group Cruise: Embarkation
Enjoy the morning at leisure, savoring an unhurried breakfast and then relaxing at the hotel or exploring the surroundings on your own. You will embark on your ship in the late afternoon, allowing you time to see some of the local sights if you wish. Once onboard your ship, it’s time to meet your fellow passengers and become acquainted with the vessel and the expedition team. You will set sail on the Beagle Channel, towards the southernmost tip of South America. Having settled in, attend your first safety briefing and orientation before sitting down to the welcome dinner.
Group Cruise: The Falkland Islands
The Falkland archipelago consists of two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, which you can explore during your daily Zodiac boat shore excursions and landings. Port Stanley, also known as Stanley, is often a favored landing site as the town offers a unique British outpost ambiance complete with eclectic charm. While in town, you will be free to explore, grab a pint at the local pub, or visit the cathedral and museum. The Falkland Archipelago is rich in wildlife, especially birds, and home to Magellanic, Gentoo, and Southern rockhopper penguins. If you’re lucky, you may even spot King penguins! Expect to spot Black-browed albatross, plus two endemic bird species—the flightless Falkland steamer duck and possibly the elusive Cobb’s wren. The team of lecturers and specialists accompanying you will be sure to educate you on the local flora and fauna, helping you make the most of your time in the Falklands.
Group Cruise: Southern Ocean – Falklands to South Georgia
Sailing southeast towards South Georgia, you will officially enter Antarctic waters once you cross the Antarctic Convergence, an invisible biological boundary encircling the southernmost continent. This is the meeting point of oceans, where the colder waters of the Antarctic mix with the relatively warmer waters of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans. This amazing phenomenon helps nourish the abundance of krill that brings whales, seals, and birdlife to this part of the world. With the help of expert naturalists on board, you can while away time watching seabirds and marine life that frequent the area.
Group Cruise: South Georgia Island
South Georgia is often referred to as the ‘Serengeti of the Southern Ocean’ and it’s easy to see why as you take in tens of millions of breeding penguins, seals, and seabirds. Magnificent mountain scenery, glaciers galore, icebergs, a rich historical tapestry, and an incredible array of wildlife will astound you as we travel down South Georgia’s coast. One day you may see rookeries with hundreds of thousands of pairs of king penguins waddling on a beach, and the next, you may visit another beach blanketed with thousands of fur or elephant seals. The grasses, mountains and beaches of South Georgia play an important role in the breeding and survival of diverse species on the island. During your expedition, you can also visit the historic Grytviken whaling station, featuring the tiny graveyard where the great Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried.
Group Cruise: Scotia Sea to Antarctica Peninsula
Say goodbye to the king penguins! Heading farther south towards the Antarctic Peninsula, you can continue to enjoy informative presentations onboard your cruise as well as spotting wildlife in the distance as the icebergs grow increasingly larger in size and more plentiful.
Group Cruise: South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
Cruise between the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, taking in the immensity and natural beauty of the White Continent. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave you speechless and awe-struck! Each day, you will set out by Zodiac boat with passionate experts to explore the local bays, channels, and landing sites. Your expedition team will take care of you at each landing, whether you are hiking the Antarctic landscape, visiting a research station, or visiting the colonies of chinstrap, Adélie, and gentoo penguins, all of which are found in this region. Keep an eye out for Weddell, fur, crabeater, and leopard seals, as well as curious whales, such as humpbacks, fins, or perhaps orcas, while on your Zodiac excursions. The serene silence is sometimes interrupted by the noise of squabbling penguins, and the boom and crack of a calving glacier – this is your perfect opportunity to take in all the sounds and sights that Antarctica has to offer.
Group Cruise: Antarctic Circle
Heading southward, your ship will sail towards the Antarctic Circle, a magical destination for seafarers and explorers. Beyond the latitude at approximately 66°33´ S, reaching the Antarctic Circle is both a memorable experience and an impressive achievement, as few visitors have the opportunity to travel so far south. The further toward the South Pole you go, the more influence the rugged and icy the surroundings have on the expedition. Thick ice fields are a common sight in this region, glaciers dominate the landscape, and the number of drifting icebergs begins to increase. This is Antarctica, raw and wild, home of the midnight sun, Weddell seals, and your best chances of encountering sea ice – the foundation of the Antarctic marine ecosystem. Simply magical!
Group Cruise: Sailing the Drake
As you sail through the Drake Passage, named after the famous 16th-century British explorer Sir Francis Drake, the spectacular seascape will keep you mesmerized. Onboard, you can attend engaging lectures and presentations from passionate polar naturalists on Antarctica’s fascinating history, flora, and fauna, all of which will prepare you for your experience upon your arrival. Guided by experts, you may even spot magnificent seabirds, such as albatrosses and petrels, as well as different species of whales on their way south to Antarctica. In between these informative sessions and watching for wildlife, savor gourmet meals with fellow travelers as well as delicious liquor and cocktails at the bar.
Group Cruise: Disembarkation
Arriving in Ushuaia, your journey ends at the pier upon disembarking from the ship. You can choose to spend the rest of your morning soaking in the sights and sounds of Ushuaia at your own pace, thus continue your adventure, or catch your flight home. You will be transferred to the airport directly if you plan to catch the first flight homeward, or taken to your hotel in town should you have plans to leave at a later time or date.