South Georgia & Antarctic Wildlife Safari
Join this unique expedition and experience the beauty of South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula to it's full extent. Not only will you be able to find 5 different types of penguins on this expedition, you will also get close to giant elephant seals, nesting albatross and hundreds of seals. This will be one of the most in-depth expeditions to this part of the Antarctic region with many unique wildlife encounters. It's truly a wildlife lovers paradise.
South Georgia & Antarctic Wildlife PhotographyThe beautiful scenery of South Georgia creates the perfect backdrop for wildlife photography of which there will be plenty of time for during the 6 days we spend here. Partnering with Cheeseman Ecology Safaris we bring together the best polar specialists and photographers to guide you on your explorations. As a special activity, we will go Polar Snorkeling and Polar Diving!
Polar Snorkeling & Polar DivingImagine swimming with seals and penguins and discovering icebergs below the surface. During this expedition we are able to offer polar snorkeling and polar diving as an optional activity. If the weahter conditions are good we could go diving and snorkeling twice a day. This is the ultimate way to explore South Georgia and Antarctica both above and below the surface of the ocean.
Small group expedition South Georgia & Antarctic PeninsulaFor this expedition to South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula we will travel with a limited group of 100 guests on board the ship. This maximizes our time ashore, as we can all go on land simultaniously, and enables us to offer multiple activities.
Please note this is a sample itinerary. We do our utmost to guarantee the best experiences, however we have no control over the weather and the wildlife behaviour. Ports of embarkation and disembarkation and excursion sites may change depending on sea-, weather- and ice conditions.
On this expedition we offer the opportunity to go polarsnorkeling and polardiving. We try to make as many dives as possible. On a typical day we would go out once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
Arrive in Punta Arenas (Chili), transfer to the hotel and welcome reception upon arrival. You spend one night in Punta Arenas.
23 OctFlight to Mount Pleasant on the Falkland Islands and transfer to the ship in Stanley. After boarding there will be enough time to explore the picturesque town. In the late afternoon you will be welcomed on board by the captain and have dinner aboard before the ship departs for South Georgia.
NOTE: It's possible to add a 7 day Falkland extension before you start the expedition cruise. You will spend a full day exploring Bleaker Island where you can find rockhopper penguins, imperial cormorants, and waterfowl. Then you fly to Sea Lion Island to see the most wildlife diverse island of the Falklands. We also fly to Stanley for city tour and museum visit. The last day will be an excursion to Volunteer Point.
24 - 25 Oct
We sail southeast from the Falklands to South Georgia Island. After you get comfortable and familiar with the ship you can enjoy on board lectures on wildlife, ecology and photography to prepare you for South Georgia. While on our way, keep an eye out for birds that might be following the ship, like wandering albatross. Enjoy the views and maybe even spot some whales.
26 - 31 Oct
During 6 full days we explore the beatiful island of South Georgia. We aim to land ashore often and stay as long as possible, respecting the Guidelines for Responsible Ecotourism from IAATO. Some of the sites we hope to visit:
Elsehul - A dramatic cove with 400 meter high walls where gray-headed albatross nest on the steep slopes. Also Black-browed albatross and gentoo, macaroni, and king penguins makes their nests here.
Right Whale Bay - Seals set up their territories for breeding here. At the eastern end of this cove, where there's a beautifull waterfall, they have to share their land with a large colony of king penuings.
Salisbury plain - This big glacial plain is home to 60.000 pairs of king penguins, an impressive sight, especially when there is still snow on the ground which makes it look even more beautiful. They share their beach with different types of seals and giant petrels.
Prion Island - One of a few places where colonies of wandering albatrosses are nesting around South Georiga. The couples, that mate for life, create nests of mud and grass on which they lay one big 10 cm egg.
Hercules Bay - A beautiful bay with a waterfall as a backdrop where we hope to see Macaroni penguins. Although these are the most numerous penguins on South Georgia, they are quite difficult to encounter. Macaroni penguins like to create their nest on steep slopes and in places that are hard to reach.
St. Andrews Bay - This might be the most iconic beach in South Georgia. A vast colony of over 150.000 king penguin pairs occupies the bay. In this sea of fur and feathers other inhabitants like southern elephant seals can also be found in great numbers.
Grytviken and King Edward Point - The bay of Grytviken is an important historical whaling site where you can visit the South Georgia museum and relive the stories of whalers and early polar explorers who came here. Another impressive place here is the whalers' graveyard. On this remote island, the world famous explorer Ernest Shackleton found his final resting place.
1 - 2 Nov
We sail from South Georgia towards the South Shetland Island and then onwards to the Antarctic Peninsula.
On our way south we hope to spot whales as the waters here are known for many fin whale sightings. There will be more on board lectures that will give detailed information about the expedition and what to expect during the second part of our voyage. You'll also have the opportunity to attend photography workshops to enhance your photo skills.
If the conditions are favourable we'll stop at Elephant Island, the place where Shackleton's expedition team was stranded for months untill they got rescued.
3 - 8 Nov
We spend 6 full days along the coast of the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula which we will explore both on land and in the water.
South Shetland Islands - One of the highlights of the South Shetland Islands is Deception Island. This (active) vulcanic island is rich of wildlife and we're likely to see chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals here. The landing on Deception Island might include a short hike up one of the mountains. Another very special experience is to go in one of the thermal hot springs on the beach.
From here, the ice conditions and weather will determine which route we will take. We either sail southwest into the beautiful Gerlache Strait where we'll encounter big icebergs and have a good chance of spotting whales as we continue along the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Or we move east through the Antarctic Sound towards the Weddell Sea. If the Weddell Sea is accessible we are likely to see emperor penguins and land at Adelie penguin colonies.
Western Antarctic Peninsula
Danco Coast - Steep mountains and enormous glaciers descend into deep bays creating a breathtaking scenery. This is a amazing place for zodiac cruising between the icebergs and enjoying the impressive views.
Wilhelmina Bay, Neko Harbour, and Paradise Bay - Along the coast you'll find several beautiful bays, perfect for zodiac cruising. The waters here are filled with krill, attracting many whales. If we can land in Neko Harbour you can take a hike up to a great viewing point where you can see the far surroundings.
Lemaire Channel - Giant mountains and glaciers tower up to 1000 meter cliffs on each side. The waters are often perfectly still and reflect the surroundings. A magnificent sight, that has earned the Lemaire Channel it's nickname ‘Kodak Gap’
9 - 10 Nov
In 2 days we will cross the 800 km (500 mile) Drake Passage towards Ushuaia in Argentina. On our way we might get company of royal albatross and blue petrel or see pods of sperm whales along our route. In the evening of the second day we expect to navigate into the Beagle Channel for our final port Ushuaia.
Disembark in Ushuaia, optionally continue on a Falkland Islands extentsion tour or fly home.
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