Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
At 55 degrees latitude south, Ushuaia is closer to the South Pole than to Argentina's northern border with Bolivia. It is the capital and tourism base for Tierra del Fuego National Park , the island at the southernmost tip of Argentina. You will embark your cruise in the late afternoon and after time to settle in and complete the mandatory safety drills, you will set sail through the Beagle Channel heading for open sea.
Day 2: At Sea
Today you will cruise towards the Falkland Islands and its also the perfect oppourtunity to explore all the facilities your ship has to offer. Perhaps enjoy a spa treatment, lecture from one of the on-board expedition team or just sit in the observation lounge and look out for birds and wildlife.
Days 3-4: Falkland Islands
The next 2 days will be your first days making landings in the zodiac boats and exploring this amazing region. The Falkland Islands are a British territory and home to rolling landscapes, a huge variety of wildlife and a dramatic history. Planned visiting points include West Point Island, Saunders Island and the capital of the islands, Stanley. You will hopefully get to see Black-browned Albatross, feisty Rockhopper Penguins, Magellanic Comorants and perhaps even a cup of tea and slice of cake in town!
Days 5-6: At Sea
It takes 2 days at sea to transit towards South Georgia. Enjoy the facilities of the ship along the way and keep your eye out for wildlife. Your expedition team will also continue with their programme of lectures including ones on the early Antarctic explorers. The place you are heading to next is home to one of the most famous.
Days 7-9: South Georgia
South Georgia is a breathtaking destination of towering snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers, and low-lying grasslands that attract an astounding concentration of wildlife. It is possible to find Southern fur seals, Southern elephant seals and a variety of albatross species including Black-browed, Light-mantled Sooty, Grey-headed and the spectacular Wandering Albatross. However one of the stars of the show has to be the colonies of thousands of King Penguins. It is a spectacular site with penguins as far as the eye can see and well worth your efforts in getting to this amazing destination. South Georgia also has links to the early Antarctic explorers and is where the British explorer Ernest Shackleton is buried, there may be an oppourtunity to visit his grave and pay homage to one of the most famous (and perhaps unsuccessful) Antarctic explorers. We are often asked, is South Georgia worth the extra time and cost? Our answer is that if South Georgia is on your list, you will not be disappointed!
Days 10-11: At Sea
After moving on from South Georgia there are a further 2 days of sailing to get to the Antarctic Peninsula. The excitement will build along the way as you get ever nearer the 7th continent and you prepare for your first sightings of the amazing icebergs.
Day 12: Elephant Island
Elephant Island is home to several Chinstrap Penguin rookeries, as well as 2,000-year-old moss colonies. Weddell seals and Macaroni Penguins can also be spotted. In 1916, when Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance was crushed in pack ice in the Weddell Sea, his crew was stranded here for more than 4 months finding shelter under two upturned lifeboats on the spit of land Shackleton’s men named ‘Point Wild’.
Day 13: Antarctic Sound
Today is the day you have been waiting for as you will get your first experiences of Antarctica. Your time exploring the continent will normally begin at the top of the Antarctic Peninsula, venturing into Antarctic Sound and its magnificent array of tabular icebergs, historical sites and Adelie and Gentoo Penguin rookeries. Depending on weather and ice conditions your ship may go on to visit Brown Bluff, Hope Bay and cruise the Antarctic Sound.
Days 14-15: Antarctic Peninsula
Antarctica is irresistible for its spectacular iceberg sculptures, calving glaciers and for the possibility of up-close encounters with marine mammals and the iconic penguins. Remote and otherworldly, there is nowhere else like it on the planet. You will spend these couple of days exploring some of the amazing sites which your captain and expedition leader will decide upon based on the environment. The Antarctic Peninsula also has a human history of almost 200 years, with explorers, sealers, whalers, and scientists who have come to work in this pristine and remote wilderness.
Day 16: South Shetland Islands
Your last visits to Antarctica will be made in the area of Deception Island which is a huge sunken caldera (volcano) which can be reached from the sea. From whaling to scientific studies, the Island’s history is very interesting, and you can discover more of the unique volcanic features during a hike.
Day 17-18: At Sea
The time has come for you to return towards the mainland and the next 2 days will be spent navigating the return across the Drake Passage. During the last afternoon, the onboard photographer will show the Voyage DVD.
Day 19: Ushuaia
After breakfast, its time to disembark the ship.
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