This voyage encompasses the best of the Antarctic Peninsula and the enchanting wildlife haven of South Georgia. Retrace Shackleton’s steps and visit his grave and the ex-whaling station of Grytviken. Marvel at the rugged landscape which forms a dramatic backdrop to the largest King Penguin colony in the world; here penguins are in their millions together with thousands of elephant seals, fur seals and birds. The Antarctica peninsula’s peak austral summer will reward you with colonies of curious penguin chicks and playful seal pups surrounded by spellbinding ice capped landscapes, icebergs and glaciers.
Whether a history buff, wildlife enthusiast or keen photographer, journeying from South America to the sub-Antarctic and the vast white continent itself - is the ultimate voyage to experience it all.
Named after the vessel on which famous naturalist Charles Darwin sailed through the area, the rugged Beagle Channel will greet you from the plane window on the approach to Ushuaia. It’s here, in this scenic seaside village that your journey to South Georgia and the Antarctic begins. After settling into your hotel, enjoy one of the city’s many restaurants serving local seafood and Argentine cuisine or stretch the legs with a hike to the Martial Glacier taking in views of the surrounding valleys and mountains.
Today you will be transferred from your hotel to the port where you will embark The Ocean Endeavour. After boarding you will be introduced to your crew and have time to settle in before setting sail to enjoy the pastel colours and fleeting wildlife of an afternoon and dusk on the Beagle Channel.
Sailing east, your time at sea can be spent learning from your on-board team of experts and guides through talks, workshops or casual conversation. Or take to the Ocean Endeavour’s esplanade deck for panoramic views of the southern skies and the rare albatross that frequent them. These wanderers of the ocean will guide us toward our next destination while lecturers in ornithology, geology, glaciology and biology will prepare you to understand this remote and unique wilderness.
On day six of our expedition, hanging glaciers and the echoing howls of adolescent fur seals will emerge from the morning fog of South Georgia. It’s on these very shores that famed Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackelton landed his crew of the James Caird in search of help for his party stranded on Elephant Island. We will spend the next several days retracing some of Shackleton’s steps, visiting his grave at the ex-whaling station of Grytviken and wandering among hundreds of thousands of king penguins in dramatic South Georgian light. Across the island, dark volcanic beaches are backgrounded by hanging glaciers and penguin species nest among tussock grass along hikes to alpine lakes. For keen birders, one might even spot the South Georgia pipit - the world’s most southerly endemic passerine.
After a thorough exploration of this remote and rugged land, we will farewell South Georgia and turn toward the Antarctic Peninsula. Sailing further south each day, it’s here that the Southern Ocean comes into a whole new realm; where icebergs appear on the horizon at Cape Petrels flank the Ocean Endeavour as we gain sight of the frozen continent on the horizon. During these two days, out onboard education program will continuewith a focus on the Antarctic marine life, history and geopolitics of the area.
The following days will see the Ocean Endeavour sailing among the icebergs and penguin colonies of the world’s last true wilderness - the Antarctic continent. As we approach the peninsula from the north, we’ll begin the immersive Antarctic experience with more zodiac excursions cruising among the brash ice or landing at some of the area’s most celebrated vantage points. To begin the true Antarctic wildlife experience, we will immerse ourselves within the sights and sounds of a gentoo or chinstrap penguin colony - a chance to marvel at these aquatic birds and witness their brief summer activities in this frozen land.
Across the following days, the Ocean Endeavour will venture even further south, our captain seeking the most prized of pristine Antarctic wilderness and aiming to access such famous sites as Neko Harbour, Port Lockroy and the Lemaire Channel. Along the way, our experts on the vessel’s bridge will be scanning for seals and the marine leviathans that call these waters home during the austral summer. Here, among the ice, we’ll continue our exploration with snowshoeing, camping, kayaking and even take the chance for a polar plunge - a concise swim in Antarctic waters.
In celebration of all that South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula have given us over the previous days, we will farewell the seventh continent from the decks of the Ocean Endeavour with a toast to the Antarctic at sunset. As turn again toward the north and our vessels aims for Cape Horn, a crossing of the legendary Drake Passage lays ahead of us - a chance to catch a last glimpse of a wandering albatross, to attend workshops on photographic editing and to share stories at the bar with your shipmates. In the evenings, an Antarctic auction will be a chance to give back to conservation efforts in the region, an Antarctic quiz will test the knowledge you’ve gained from your guides and a slideshow will recap all that we’ve shared across our South Georgia and Antarctica adventure.
The last morning of our voyage will begin with a final breakfast on board the Ocean Endeavour before we wave goodbye to the ship and its crew from Ushuaia’s mountain-backgrounded pier. Enjoy a final view of the Beagle Channel on your transfer to the airport or opt to recap your voyage while enjoying the scenic surrounds of and cosy cafes of Ushuaia.
Cabin accommodation on board ship
All meals whilst on board
Guiding and lectures by experienced expedition team
One pre cruise accommodation night in Ushuaia
All scheduled landings and excursions
Free use of expedition boots during course of voyage
Beverages (other than tea and coffee)
Visa fees (if applicable)
Any items not mentioned as included
Optional activities not mentioned as included
As a member of IAATO we follow guidelines appointed by the Antarctic Treaty System to go above and beyond in support of minimizing negative impacts on this pristine landscape. We also encourage clients to look to book pre-and post- accommodation with us, where local businesses will be supported. Our clients also receive restaurant recommendations which support locally owned restaurants
We carefully select all ships we work with and choose smaller sized vessels to create less impact. We use a highly regulated, licensed vessel which is well equipped to operate in the Antarctic’s delicate ecosystem. We view the voyage to the Antarctic as an expedition, not a sightseeing trip. Smaller boats such as ours can navigate narrow waterways and are far less polluting than the larger ships in Antarctic waters. By carrying less passengers, we have far less waste. The waste is carried back to the home port to allow for environmentally conscious waste management and disposal.
For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE