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On this extraordinary 18-day voyage, follow in the wake of courageous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton to Antarctica and the South Shetland Islands before heading via Antarctic Sound and the Weddell Sea to South Georgia and the Falkland Islands.
Begin your voyage with Albatros Expeditions in Ushuaia, cross the mighty Drake Passage en-route to the South Shetland Islands, making Zodiac landings at penguin rookeries, research stations and fascinating lookouts along the way. Continuing southward, you'll explore the Antarctic Sound with its mighty tabular icebergs and enter the Weddell Sea in search for wildlife. Sailing onwards between Elephant Island and South Georgia offers a small glimpse into the passage made famous by Shackleton 100 years ago. South Georgia is one of the world's greatest natural wonders. Wildlife-packed beaches, active research stations, former whaling stations and a visit to Shackelton's final resting place.
On your last leg back to Ushuaia, pay a visit to the fascinating Falklands. Port Stanley with its quaint English architecture will be your first call before venturing further west for Zodiac landings and wildlife observations on pristine and sheltered beaches. After leaving the Falklands, the last seadays can be spent bird watching on the deck or attending lectures and workshops.
Follow in Shackleton's footsteps and traverse the Drake Passage, a crossing the most spirited sailors consider a lifetime achievement
Explore the Antarctic Sound, with its mighty tabular icebergs and enter the Weddell Sea in search of wildlife
Visit the Falklands and explore its research stations and British heritage
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
Days 2 & 3: At Sea - Cross the Drake Passage, King George Island
Days 4 - 6: Antarctic Sound and the Weddell Sea
Days 7 - 12: The Drake Passage and South Georgia
Days 13 & 14: At Sea
Days 15 & 16: Port Stanley & The Falkland Islands
Days 17 & 18: At Sea/ Disembarkation in Ushuaia
Arrive in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost town. Explore the quaint city or local countryside. Alternatively, consider a day trip off the beaten track to the raw, natural archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. This is a hiker's paradise, with rugged, snow-capped mountains, glaciers, flower-filled meadows and boggy quagmires. In the afternoon, you'll board your ship, and your journey begins as you navigate through the Beagle Channel.
Sailing onward, you will cross the Drake Passage - a body of water that marks the intersection of the cold Antarctic with the warmer Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Drake Passage is known for rollicking conditions and strong westerly winds, called the Roaring Fifties. While this passage may be challenging, you can rest assured aboard Ocean Atlantic, which is purpose-built with stabilizers, powerful engines and a highly-qualified crew. In the Drake, excitement builds as Antarctica comes into view, perhaps you will catch your first sight of seals and penguins! Explore the sub-Antarctic Islands, and weather permitting, make your first landfall on King George Island before continuing further south to the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Over the coming days, you will begin your exciting Antarctic experience art the very tip of the continent. During these days in the Antarctic Sound, names in 1902 after the Swedish vessel Antarctic, the Captain and the Expedition Team, will keep a watchful eye on the mighty tabular icebergs, born from the floating Larsen Ice Shelf further south. We aim to have both continental and island landings on the shores of Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea, always on the lookout for some of the unusually large penguin colonies, which have recently been observed.
From the Weddell Sea, you will continue your journey into the open sea, just as Ernest Shackleton and his men did more than a hundred years ago. After passing Elephant Island at close distance, you will reach mighty South Georgia after just a few days at sea. South Georgia offers stunning wildlife experiences with a wealth of breeding penguins, sea birds, sea lions and seals, all seeking shelter in this oasis. You will explore the fjords of the north coast for 2-3 days, making shore landings as often as possible.
Days at sea are great for participating in lectures and photo sessions, or reading books in the ship library and watching the storm petrels and albatrosses from the top deck. Or just to relax.
During the morning you'll approach the Falkland Islands and in the early afternoon, your vessel will cast anchor in the sheltered natural harbour of Port Stanley. Using Zodiacs, land in the town centre, and take a leisurely stroll through the streets of Stanley. On the following day, there will be plenty of Zodiac landings, weather permitting, at two of the islands' many magnificent wildlife spots.
During the last leg of this adventurous voyage, you will head back towards Ushuaia for disembarkation in the morning after breakfast.
Newly renovated in 2016, Albatros Expeditions' Ocean Atlantic is a ship purpose-built for expedition cruising in the polar regions, and one of the strongest ships operating in the Arctic and Antarctica. Her powerful engines are designed for extreme voyages, allowing her guests the opportunity to both witness and get up-close to the incredible polar wildlife and the regions' awe-inspiring scenery.
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