South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula: Penguin Safari

Duration 16 days
Departing from
  • Ushuaia, Argentina
Starting from $10,495
Adventure Options Sea KayakingPaddling ExcursionStand-Up Paddleboarding

Overview

This adventure is the fastest way to get to the rarely visited South Georgia Island while also stepping foot on the 7th Continent. As we set sail, photograph massive albatross and pintado petrel as they swoop and soar around the ship, guiding us toward South Georgia. Beaches teeming with king penguins and elephant seals greet us on this fabled island, where we’ll pay our respects to famed explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Antarctica awaits, with its geographic contradictions and overwhelming enormity. Relax on a Zodiac ride, hike glistening glaciers, share comical moments with inquisitive penguins, or witness the rugged peninsula from a sea kayak. Antarctica will surprise and delight, and never disappoint.

Highlights

  • Experience the quintessential wildlife experience of the “Galapagos of the Poles”
  • Visit South Georgia’s king penguin rookeries – the largest in the world
  • Reflect at the resting place of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton
  • Visit abandoned whaling stations and learn stories of inhabitants who called this island home
  • Enjoy on-board lecturers and educational presentations from polar specialists

Day In The Life: Falklands, South Georgia, Antarctica

Interested to see more of this voyage? Explore Antarctica in 360° Virtual Reality!

Itineraries

Day 1 — Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina

You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port at the tip of South America. It’s the ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy handcrafted chocolate at a café in town.

Day 2 — Embarkation Day

Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel, which transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart!

Days 3 to 6 — At Sea

There are many activities to keep you engaged while you are at sea. Learn to identify seabirds that glide alongside the ship, or attend dynamic presentations by your Expedition Team. You will be prepped on safety procedures for Zodiac cruises and shore landings, and also be given instructions for getting the most out of your optional sea kayaking adventures (extra cost), a truly intimate way to experience Antarctica.

If conditions are right, the first indication that you are approaching South Georgia is the sight of birds around a group of rocky spires called Shag Rocks. Have your binoculars and cameras ready to capture these rocks rising out of the icy ocean waters. Shags and prions often rest here, and due to nutrient rich upwellings around the rocks it can be a good place to keep a lookout for whales.

Days 7 and 8 — South Georgia

After enjoying South Georgia from a distance, we’ll head toward its numerable beaches to find a bay for your first land excursion. Landing sites are varied, largely determined by the weather conditions of your voyage. Whichever sites we visit, they’ll provide you with wildlife encounters unrivaled anywhere else on earth.

South Georgia is one of the most fertile breeding grounds in the world for sub-Antarctic wildlife, with beaches blanketed with penguins. It won’t take you long to realize that you are in a bird paradise, as burrowing seabirds, albatross and petrels can be seen in abundance.

You’ll find that South Georgia, once a popular base for whalers and sealers, is also scattered with abandoned relics and evidence of human activity from centuries gone by. Your Expedition Team will help bring those days to life while you visit old whaling stations and enjoy presentations on the South Georgia of then and now.

One of the most significant sites you will visit on the island is Grytviken. This settlement is one of the first whaling stations established in sub-Antarctic waters. Many travelers find that this place has a special appeal, as it is home to the remains of Sir Ernest Shackleton, one of the most famous Antarctic explorers.

Days 9 and 10 — At Sea

Say goodbye to the king penguins, as your next destination is Antarctica! Your days at sea are filled with presentations and workshops led by your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife and landscapes that will surround you upon your arrival.

Days 11 to 13 — Antarctic Peninsula

The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words, since few places are as untouched and enduring as Antarctica.

You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes. At one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete isolation and silence, and at the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into a brilliant blue sea or a penguin waddles by to inspect your footwear.

Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each excursion, whether you are Zodiac cruising, visiting a historical site or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Keep a lookout for Antarctic whales, such as minkes, while on a Zodiac cruise. Each day and each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy.

As exciting as the Zodiac excursions and landings are, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to an extra-special Antarctic experience by partaking in an optional paddling excursion (at an extra cost) or cast reason aside and jump into Antarctic waters for the polar plunge!

Days 14 and 15 — Crossing the Drake Passage

After more than a dozen days of unique wildlife encounters and remarkable landscapes, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage. Spend time on deck watching for seabirds and whales, enjoy presentations by your Expedition Team, or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.

Day 16 — Disembarkation in Ushuaia

You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning, which allows for you to continue your adventure onward or catch your flights home.

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.

Dates and Rates

Departure
Days
Starting from
 
 
Nov 16 – Dec 1, 2019
16
$10,495
Dec 27 – Jan 11, 2020
16
$13,995
Dec 27 – Jan 11, 2021
16
$14,995

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Reviews

Displaying 4 - 6 of 6

Wonderful Antarctic Trip

5

My wife and I took the Quark Expeditions trip to South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula and it was wonderful. The Quark people did everything they could to give us a fantastic experience. Everything they promised to do they DID. The ship was comfortable, food great, Zodiac landings and cruises were terrific. We had a great time. It was very exhausting, very exciting, very cold and uncomfortable away from the ship, but well worth the effort to see and experience things so different from home.

Fantastic adventure

5

Fantastic adventure

A trip of a Lifetime

5

After planning for several months, February 9th finally arrived and we joined the Quark Group to board the Ocean Endeavor for a magical and exciting journey to South Georgia Island and the Antartic Peninsula.

The expedition was most educational, in that we learned so much about Antartica's history through the ages to its current state.

The beauty of this continent is undescribable and cannot even be justified through photos.

Thank you Quark and your magnificent Team to present this exceptional Expedition for us to enjoy.

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