Day 1 — Ushuaia, Argentina
The Tierra del Fuego archipelago is home to Ushuaia, at the southern tip of Patagonia. This scenic nature lover’s playground has plenty of hiking trails to explore if you need to escape from all the tasty treats on offer at the many bakers, shops, cafés and restaurants in town.
Day 2 — Embarkation Day
This is a day for introductions and getting acquainted with your ship. Meet your fellow shipmates, be introduced to your Expedition Team and snap a few photographs of Ushuaia as you head to sea.
Days 3 and 4 — Crossing the Drake Passage
Legendary for its high winds and rolling seas, you may get lucky and have surprisingly calm seas. Spend your time in the lounge or chatting with your fellow travelers. As you develop your sea legs during the crossing, our Expedition Team will begin their series of presentations to help you for your upcoming Zodiac and land excursions. You officially enter Antarctica when the ship crosses the Antarctic Convergence, a biological boundary that fluctuates around 60° south.
Days 5 to 8 — South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
Spellbound, shocked and awe-inspired are common reactions to arriving in Antarctica. The indescribable feeling of stepping foot on this untouched, unique environment is something you’ll remember forever. Antarctica is a land of extremes; at one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete desolation and silence, at the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into the sea or a penguin unwittingly provides comic relief as it waddles by.
Your camera will constantly be fixated on Adélie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Minke and humpback whales are also commonly sighted in the clear Antarctic waters.
When it comes time for an animal break, the Expedition Team will take you on guided hikes to glaciers, research stations and snowy mountains, to help you appreciate the landscape and what it takes to live in such an extreme environment.
Days 9 and 10 — At Sea
Your days at sea are enjoyed out on deck or taking in presentations by the Expedition Team.
Days 11 to 13 — South Georgia
With a rich history of exploration in the Antarctic, South Georgia has many stories to tell. You’ll learn that the original inhabitants here arrived to hunt whales and fur and elephant seals to perilously low levels, but thankfully populations have rebounded and whaling and sealing ceases to exist today. You will also see many remnants of these days gone by; including several whaling stations and other abandoned outposts.
Perhaps the most historic and famous site on the island is the grave of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. You can visit his grave at the settlement of Grytviken, which is also home to a museum, small gift shop, church and an active scientific research station.
After that history lesson, you’ll surely be ready for some wildlife encounters. South Georgia is sometimes called the Galapagos of the Poles as it is home to a captivating number of inquisitive and curious creatures. Indeed, the number of animals you’ll see here will rival that of all the other days of your voyage combined.
Each landing you make on South Georgia will open your eyes to a new wonder of wildlife; one day may be a beach filled with a hundred thousand pairs of king penguins, the next may present some close encounters with massive elephant seals or the smaller fur seals. Different penguin and bird species utilize the island landscape differently here, making it a fascinating destination teeming with wildlife from the shoreline to the top of the highest grassy hills.
Days 14 to 16 — At Sea
The next few days at sea can be as busy or as relaxing as you desire. Go on deck to spot whales and sea birds flying overhead, or attend lectures from our on-board specialists. Whatever you choose, remember to take a moment to reflect on the amazing creatures you’ve met so far.
Days 17 and 18 — Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Upon arrival in the Falklands (Malvinas), you’ll be greeted by abundant wildlife and a feeling of rugged remoteness. The Falkland (Malvinas) archipelago is great for exploring by Zodiac excursions and daily landings so we’ll get to it right away.
One landing that will surely stick out in your memory is at Port Stanley. This unique British outpost has a ramshackle charm to it with plenty of churches and museums to explore, as well as some friendly locals willing to chat over a drink at the local pub.
If you’re itching for some different wildlife then you’ve seen thus far, then how do magellanic and rockhopper penguins sound? Or, perhaps you’ll even spot some king penguins here as well. Other impressive birds you can expect to see here include black-browed albatross and two endemic bird species: Cobb’s wren and the Falkland’s flightless steamer duck.
With such a smattering of interesting flora and fauna in the Falklands (Malvinas), your team of lecturers and specialists will be sure to educate you on your surroundings and answer any questions about the sights and species you’ve seen.
Days 19 to 22 — At Sea
It is always a bittersweet moment to turn the ship away from the penguins and icebergs and towards Buenos Aires. As the magical silence of Antarctica fades away, enjoy some final chats with your new friends on the ship and celebrate your successful journey to a land like no other.
Day 23 — Disembarkation in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Your journey ends in Buenos Aires, the Paris of South America, and after enjoying a final breakfast aboard the ship, it is time to part ways and say goodbye. We will transfer you to the airport for your homeward flight, or you can continue on your adventure and visit the home of tango.
Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.