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: 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: Antarctic Peninsula
As your ship crosses the Antarctic Convergence, you can notice a considerable change in the environment. An 800-mile-long peninsula and icescapes stretch ahead of you, extending northward from the Antarctic continent towards South America. This stark White Continent often inspires a sense of awe and wonder in travelers. Your ship will sail through ice-filled bays, majestic channels, fjords, and inlets, offering your wonderful views of the untouched landscape in the endless Antarctic daylight. For your first memorable shore excursion, board a Zodiac boat and sail through scenic bays rich in wildlife. The peninsula experiences the mildest climates on the continent and a summer melting season, which creates a rich breeding ground for marine mammals and birds. Watch out for common Antarctic species such as the chinstrap, adélie and gentoo penguin, Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals, whales, albatrosses, and other seabirds. A lesser-known but widespread species of the region is the krill, a small crustacean that is a major food source for several species of whales as well as seals, penguins, squid, and fish. Weather permitting, you will also have the opportunity to visit several sites such as Paradise Bay, Danco Island, Neko Harbor and Port Lockroy, as well as sites of historic and scientific significance.
Group Cruise: Return Crossing the Drake
After waving goodbye to Antarctica, spend your time aboard the ship at leisure as you make your way north, back to South America. Enhance your understanding of the Antarctic region with Q&A sessions, share photos with your new friends aboard the ship, count the variety and quantity of the wildlife you have seen, and enjoy the final lectures and presentations as you reflect on your own firsthand experiences. This final leg of the journey takes you through the Beagle Channel between Tierra del Fuego and Navarino Island.
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.