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The sweeping scope of this Southern Ocean voyage with Poseidon Expeditions brings the full spectrum of Antarctic wildlife into view. In the Falkland Islands, where birdlife abounds, you'll discover easily accessible albatross and penguin rookeries on idyllic island farmsteads. In South Georgia, amidst the dramatic Southern Ocean seascape, you find world-famous wildlife beaches thronged with jousting elephant seals, raucous fur seals, and stately king penguins.
In the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, you will explore a pristine polar wilderness of unbelievable beauty, complete with bustling penguin colonies, dauntless seals, and voracious whales. On this ultimate wildlife expedition, onboard MV Sea Spirit, each destination is more amazing than the last.
Welcome to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and starting point of your expedition. Upon your arrival at the airport, you will transfer to your hotel, included in the price of your voyage. For the rest of the day you are free to explore the city. Take advantage of souvenir shopping and a variety of dining options in the city centre.
In the afternoon you will be transferred to the pier and welcomed aboard the luxury expedition ship M/V Sea Spirit. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Savour the anticipation of your Antarctic dreams coming true as your ship sails towards a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as you sail through the Beagle Channel on your first evening is wonderful and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters.
After transiting the Beagle Channel and passing the islands of Tierra del Fuego, your ship will head northeast toward the Falkland Islands. Keep a lookout for marine mammals such as dolphins and whales.
The remote and sparsely-populated Falkland Islands are a birders’ paradise. You will visit one or more of the isolated outer islands where large colonies of penguins and albatross are easily accessible. The Falklands are also a great place to observe marine mammals. Fur seals and elephant seals can be found on sandy beaches while the waters in and around the archipelago are home to various whale and dolphin species. The route and exploration opportunities are dependent on the weather among these windswept islands.
You will also visit Stanley, the charmingly British capital of the Falkland Islands. Attractions within pleasant walking distance along the waterfront promenade include the Falkland Islands Museum, the governor’s house, a cathedral with an impressive whalebone arch outside, a war memorial, quality gift shops, pubs, and views of shipwrecks in the harbour.
From the Falkland Islands, you head east toward South Georgia, passing the remote, seabird-covered pinnacles known as Shag Rocks on the way. You also cross the Antarctic Convergence, the biological boundary of the Southern Ocean. Briefings, bio-security procedures, and lectures from your expert onboard staff prepare you for our arrival in South Georgia.
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic. The route and exploration opportunities in South Georgia are heavily dependent on the weather conditions you encounter. The experienced captain and expedition leader decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans depending on conditions.
South Georgia is a scenic wilderness and an unrivalled paradise for subantarctic wildlife viewing. The islands are said to host upwards of 100 million seabirds, including numerous species of albatross, penguins, prions, petrels, and terns. On beaches such as those at Salisbury Plain and St. Andrews Bay, over 100,000 elephant seals and three million fur seals jostle for space among innumerable penguins including stately king penguins and sprightly macaroni penguins. The recently completed rat eradication program is sure to make this wilderness even more pristine and rich with birdlife.
The bountiful waters surrounding South Georgia are also inhabited by an increasing number of whales. The historical whaling station of Grytviken is now home to the excellent South Georgia Museum managed by the South Georgia Heritage Trust. This is also the final resting place of Ernest Shackleton, the legendary polar explorer.
Your days in South Georgia are filled with memorable excursions, sumptuous meals, presentations by experts, and enough incredible scenery and wildlife to fill your camera and overwhelm your emotions.
After an amazing time in South Georgia, you will head southwest towards the Antarctic Peninsula. Pelagic seabirds including the majestic albatross are common in these waters and can readily be viewed from panoramic open decks or from exterior stateroom windows and balconies.
Days 15 - 18 - The South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula
The Antarctic Peninsula region contains some of the world’s most impressive scenery and some of Antarctica’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Protected bays and narrow channels are surrounded by towering mountain peaks covered in permanent snow and immense glaciers. Icebergs of every size and description complete an image of incomparable beauty. Waters rich with krill are home to a variety of whale and seal species. The whole area is alive with penguins foraging at sea and forming large nesting colonies at special places on land. The area is also home to Antarctic research stations of various nationalities. Some stations have a gift shop and post office.
The South Shetland Islands are the northernmost islands in Antarctica and will likely be your first sighting of land. This wild and beautiful island chain contains numerous landing sites with abundant wildlife and historical significance. Among them is Elephant Island, where men from Shackleton’s famous Endurance expedition spent the winter.
Farther south, on the Antarctic Peninsula, the vast Gerlache Strait area contains sheltered bays, accessible wildlife, and stunning scenery.
From Antarctica, your ship heads north through the Drake Passage toward South America. Presentations and workshops by expert staff, as well as a range of onboard recreation facilities, ensure that these days at sea are not idly spent. This is also the time for the End of Voyage ceremonies including a slideshow and farewell dinner.
After breakfast, you will say farewell in the city of Ushuaia, where your voyage began. Transfer to the airport or to the town centre if you wish to spend more time here. As you look back on your wonderful experience in Antarctica, you may already be looking forward to your next incredible adventure to the ice!
6th January 2024 - 26th January 2024
27th February 2024 - 20th March 2024
2nd November 2024 - 18th November 2024
17th November 2024 - 7th December 2024
5th January 2025 - 25th January 2025
26th February 2025 - 20th March 2025
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