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Antarctica, South Georgia and Falklands Explorer

21 Days FROM AUD 19,495

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Overview

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Book by 28 February 2019, subject to availability, further conditions apply. Contact us for details.  

This is an epic voyage of discovery aboard the Ocean Endeavour, as you follow in the footsteps of Shackleton and unearth the secrets of Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands.

Setting sail from Ushuaia through the unpredictable waters of the fabled Drake Passage, we set a course for the Antarctic Peninsula where we enter a vast frozen wilderness that is hauntingly beautiful, with magical vistas and untamed wildlife. Shackleton’s epic voyage comes to life as we visit Elephant Island en route to South Georgia, the final resting place of this heroic polar explorer. South Georgia will captivate you, host to the greatest concentration of wildlife on this planet and the world’s largest colony of king penguins. Yet more incredible wildlife viewing follows, as we explore the rugged Falkland Islands with their spectacular array of flora and fauna.

This is a journey of a lifetime that will stay with you forever.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACACFEX

Location: Antarctica

Ship: The Ocean Endeavour

CRUISE ITINERARY

Ushuaia is the most southerly city in the world and the capital of Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire). It has a dramatic setting, surrounded by mountains to the north and the Beagle Channel to the south, making it a spectacular departure point for your Antarctic adventure.

On arrival at Ushuaia Airport, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. He/she will be holding a sign with your name on it. Should you not be able to contact them, please refer to the front of your itinerary for emergency contact details of our representative office.

Your cruise itinerary begins with an overnight stay in Ushuaia. If you arrive into Ushuaia early enough, the day is yours to explore. Avenida San Martin and the surrounding streets are where most hotels, shops, restaurants, cafes and tourist services are located.

The Museo Marítimo y del Presidio de Ushuaia (Maritime & the Prison of Ushuaia Museum) is well worth a visit. Located in the former prison of Ushuaia, the prison buildings now house four museums - the Maritime Museum, the Prison Museum, the Antarctic Museum and the Marine Museum of Art. The buildings date back to 1906 when convicts were transferred from Isla de los Estados to Ushuaia to build this national prison. Construction was completed in 1920 and the cells that were designed for 380 inmates, held up to 800 prisoners before closing in 1947.

Tierra del Fuego National Park is a short bus ride from Ushuaia and was the first shoreline national park established in Argentina. It is a rugged, mountainous park with great views of Lapataia Bay and dramatic scenery of waterfalls, mountains, glaciers and lakes. There are many hiking trails within the park including the Coastal Path (Senda Costera) that connects Ensenada Bay to Lapataia Bay on Lago Roca. The park is home to many species of animal including the guanaco, Andean fox, North American beaver, European rabbit and muskrat. There are also many species of birds including the torrent duck, kelp goose, austral parakeet, Andean condor and the Magellanic oystercatcher.

The Fin del Mundo Train (End of the World Train) is a steam train that runs from Ushuaia to Tierra del Fuego National Park, providing an alternative way to get to the park.

Ushuaia, Argentina

This morning is free for you to explore Ushuaia, giving you time to wander the streets of this quaint port town, or discover Tierra del Fuego National Park.

Transfer to the pier of Ushuaia for embarkation in the late afternoon and you will be welcomed on board the Ocean Endeavour by the Expedition Team and the Ship’s Officers.

This evening we set sail through the Beagle Channel that was named after the British ship the HMS Beagle. This famous channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America, and is rich in wildlife. Keep a look out for Magellanic penguins, rock cormorants, petrels and black-browed albatross from the deck as well as sea lion colonies.

Enjoy your first taste of life at sea and a welcome dinner. The air is likely to be filled with anticipation, as your next view of land will be of Antarctica - the White Continent.

Embarkation in Ushuaia

As we leave the Beagle Channel, prepare yourself for potentially rough seas as we enter the legendary Drake Passage. This infamous and unpredictable channel of water separates the southernmost tip of South America from the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. It was named after the English explorer, Sir Frances Drake.

As we head southwards, there is time to get to know your shipmates and get an insight into the excitement ahead with presentations from the Expedition Team on everything Antarctic - from the history and geology to the incredible wildlife.

We will notice a drop in temperature as we cross the Antarctic Convergence and enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. At the Antarctic Convergence, the colder polar waters flowing north meet the warmer equatorial waters flowing south. This mixing pushes nutrient rich waters to the surface, attracting a variety of seabirds, whales and other species. Look out through the panoramic observation windows or brave the elements outside on deck as you keep your eyes peeled for albatrosses flying overhead, icebergs and maybe even breaching whales.

Leaving the Antarctic Convergence in our wake, we continue south towards Antarctica, maybe making landfall by early evening on Day 4, if conditions are favourable. The first sighting of land always brings great excitement, and is often embraced as the true beginning of any Antarctic expedition.

At Sea - Day 3 & 4

We explore the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula that is famed for its majestic mountains, glaciers, imposing icebergs, ice-strewn waters and abundance of wildlife. The scenery, wildlife and serene silence of Antarctica will enchant and enthral and you will soon realise why this region has captivated the attention of explorers and travellers for centuries.

Your days on the Antarctic Peninsula will form the core of your adventure. Every day will be different as we cruise by Zodiac amongst the beautifully sculpted icebergs and take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore local bays, channels and landing sites. Unpredictable weather and ice conditions mean that the itinerary will be flexible, but will make the most of wildlife sightings, as we aim to explore penguin rookeries, seal and bird colonies, whale feeding areas as well as visiting sites of historic and scientific interest and climbing to vantage points for panoramic views. There is always something new or unexpected to see, with opportunities for kayaking, snowshoeing and photography with an expert, which means that your expedition will be a unique and personal experience and unlike any other. Enjoy the antics of thousands of curious penguins as you sit on a pebbled beach, scout for whales and seals as you cruise by Zodiac, visit a research base, listen out for the mighty crack of a calving glacier and maybe brave a polar plunge in the icy waters!

As we cruise through the Peninsula, the lecture programme continues and sightseeing is at its most spectacular off the ship’s outer decks. Enjoy the Ocean Endeavour’s newly designed health and fitness features, with facilities that include a spa, His and Hers saunas, saltwater pool and gym plus yoga sessions.

South Shetlands & Antarctica - Day 5 to 8

Early this morning we leave the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands behind, we chart a course for historic Elephant Island. The crew of Shackleton’s Trans Antarctic Expedition (1914-17) took refuge on Elephant Island following the loss of their ship. The Endurance was crushed by pack ice in the Weddell Sea. They camped at Point Wild and waited there whilst Shackleton sailed with 5 other men in the James Laird lifeboat to South Georgia. The legendary rescue took four and a half months, and must be one of the most incredible adventure stories and most heroic survival stories of all times.

If conditions prevents a landing here, we will attempt to get within viewing distance of Point Wild to see the Endurance Memorial Site and then set sail for South Georgia immediately after.

Elephant Island & At Sea

As we voyage northeast towards South Georgia, watch for whales from the ship's bridge, listen to engaging talks by the Expedition Team, take in the expansive views from the observation lounge, or maybe treat yourself to a spa. If weather conditions are favourable, we hope to make landfall on South Georgia by late evening on day 11.

At Sea - Day 9 to 11

The next days are spent exploring the incredibly beautiful island of South Georgia with its emerald green bays, snow-covered peaks and blue glacier ice, where you will be exposed to one of the world’s greatest wildlife areas. Known as the ‘Galapagos of the South’, South Georgia is home to over 30 million breeding birds, thousands of seals, the introduced Norwegian reindeer, nesting sites of the wandering albatross, four breeding species of penguin and the largest colony of king penguins on this planet.

The island is also steeped in history. It was an intrinsic part of Sir Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated Endurance Expedition and was once the centre of the whaling industry.

We will explore by Zodiac, kayak and on foot, standing in awe amongst tens of thousands of penguins, looking out across beaches littered with elephant seals, visiting the remains of abandoned whaling stations and the grave of Shackleton. Sites that we may visit include Prion Island, Fortuna Bay, Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour, Grytviken and Stromness Bay.

South Georgia - Day 12 to 13

Leaving South Georgia in our wake, we head west towards the isolated, ruggedly beautiful and sparsely populated archipelago of the Falkland Islands. Attend lectures and presentation by our on-board experts, unwind in the sauna and spa and take advantage of all the other amenities on board.

At Sea - Day 14 to 16

The Falkland Islands, a British Overseas Territory, is an archipelago that lies 490 kilometres east of Patagonia in the South Atlantic Ocean. Surrounded by decades of controversy, the Falkland Islands (or Islas Malvinas as they are known in Argentina) have been settled and claimed by France, Spain, Britain and Argentina.

The Falkland Islands are largely unknown gems that offer an abundance of wildlife - they are a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike. Although often primarily remembered for the Falklands War between the UK and Argentina in 1982, the archipelago is a haven for wildlife. There are 5 species of penguin found here as well as vast populations of black-browed albatrosses, large colonies of elephant and fur seals, Peale’s and Commerson’s dolphins, orcas and a myriad of bird species.

Our itinerary will be dictated by the weather but we will make daily excursions and shore landings, exploring by Zodiac, hiking and maybe even kayaking. We may visit Carcass Island that abounds with birdlife or Saunders Island, home to the black-browed albatross, breeding imperial shags, and 4 species of penguin (rockhopper, king, Magellanic and gentoo). West Point Island also hosts a large black-browed albatross population and rockhopper penguins. On Pebble Island there are opportunities to see colonies of 4 species of penguin, king and rock shags, giant petrels, striated caracaras, black-necked swans and ground nesting birds plus an aircraft wreckage from the 1982 conflict. At Grave Cove there are excellent hiking opportunities and a nesting gentoo penguin colony. Volunteer Point is home to the largest king penguin rookery on the Falklands and Sea Lion Island is home to the largest breeding colony of southern elephant seals in the archipelago, with up to 2,000 individuals on the northern beaches. Orcas and Commerson’s dolphins can often be seen from the shoreline.

We will visit Port Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands, a quaint town with colourful houses, waterfront promenade and English-style pubs. The town was established in the early 1840’s and attractions include the Falkland Islands Museum, the governor’s house, a cathedral with impressive whalebone arch, a war memorial, quality gift shops and views of shipwrecks in the harbour. Southern giant petrels often fly close to the shore, the endemic Falkland steamer ducks abound on the shorelines while kelp gulls and dolphin gulls can often be seen flying overhead. Other frequent visitors to the Stanley area include black-crowned night herons, red-backed hawks and peregrine falcons. Turkey vultures are regularly seen on top of any prominent building.

Falkland Islands - Day 17 to 18

This morning we depart from the Falklands, we set our course for Ushuaia. Our final day at sea gives us one last chance to view the marine life of these southern waters. Our final leg of the voyage is along the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel to Tierra del Fuego.

We will toast the end of our epic voyage at a farewell dinner tonight on board the ship.

At Sea

We are scheduled to arrive into Ushuaia early this morning, disembarking after a final breakfast aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight, or maybe spend a few days in Ushuaia, giving you time to explore further, maybe hiking in Tierra del Fuego National park.

Please Note: You are advised not to book a flight out of Ushuaia before midday on disembarkation day, in case of delays caused by unfavourable weather conditions.
Cruise itinerary is subject to change depending on weather conditions, ice conditions and other factors.

Disembarkation in Ushuaia
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

Pricing & date

Departing Ending Duration Price
17 Jan 2021 07 Feb 2021 21 AUD 19,495
Cabin Type Price
Inside Cabin (Cat 1) AUD 23,995
Inside Triple (Cat 2) AUD 19,495
Interior Twin (Cat 3) AUD 23,995
Exterior Twin (Cat 4) Save Up To 15% - FromAUD 21,845
Main Twin (Cat 5) Save Up To 15% - FromAUD 23,061
Comfort Twin (Cat 6) Save Up To 15% - FromAUD 24,276
Select Twin (Cat 7) Save Up To 15% - FromAUD 25,488
Superior Twin (Cat 8) Save Up To 20% - FromAUD 25,132
Double Junior Suite (Cat 9) Save Up To 20% - FromAUD 26,276
Double Suite (Cat 10) Save Up To 20% - FromAUD 27,416
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Important Information

  • - 1 night hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia
    - Group transfer from hotel to pier
    - Shipboard accommodation
    - All meals whilst on-board including snacks
    - All shore excursions and zodiac cruising (*excluding forward facing zodiac)
    - Guiding and lectures by expedition team and team
    - English-speaking expedition team
    - Free use of rubber boots on land
    - Use of gym, sauna, pool and on-board Jacuzzi
    - On-board yoga
    - Wind and water resistant jacket
    - All Port taxes
    - Transfer airport to hotel on day 1 and pier to airport on day of disembarkation

    Exclusions:
    - Airfares to/from embarkation and disembarkation city
    - Visa fees (if applicable)
    - Travel Insurance
    - Beverages (other than coffee and tea)
    - Personal expenses such as laundry, on-board communication (telephone calls, faxes, email service)
    - Gratuities for the crew (recommended US$15.00 per person per day)
    - Optional Activities whilst on-board
     

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

GUIDANCE FOR VISITORS TO THE ANTARCTIC

RECOMMENDATION XVIII-1, ADOPTED AT THE ANTARCTIC TREATY MEETING, KYOTO, 1994

Activities in the Antarctic are governed by the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 and associated agreements, referred to collectively as the Antarctic Treaty System. The Treaty established Antarctica as a zone of peace and science.

In 1991, the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties adopted the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, which designates the Antarctic as a natural reserve. The Protocol sets out environmental principles, procedures and obligations for the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment, and its dependent and associated ecosystems. The Consultative Parties have agreed that as far as possible and in accordance with their legal system, the provisions of the Protocol should be applied as appropriate. The Environmental Protocol was ratified in January 1998.

The Environmental Protocol applies to tourism and non-governmental activities, as well as governmental activities in the Antarctic Treaty Area. It is intended to ensure that these activities, do not have adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment, or on its scientific and aesthetic values.
This Guidance for Visitors to the Antarctic is intended to ensure that all visitors are aware of, and are therefore able to comply with, the Treaty and the Protocol. Visitors are, of course, bound by national laws and regulations applicable to activities in the Antarctic.


PROTECT ANTARCTIC WILDLIFE

Taking or harmful interference with Antarctic wildlife is prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by a national authority.

Do not use aircraft, vessels, small boats, or other means of transport in ways that disturb wildlife, either at sea or on land.
Do not feed, touch, or handle birds or seals, or approach or photograph them in ways that cause them to alter their behavior. Special care is needed when animals are breeding or molting.
Do not damage plants, for example by walking, driving, or landing on extensive moss beds or lichen-covered scree slopes.
Do not use guns or explosives. Keep noise to the minimum to avoid frightening wildlife.
Do not bring non-native plants or animals into the Antarctic, such as live poultry, pet dogs and cats, or house plants.


RESPECT PROTECTED AREAS

A variety of areas in the Antarctic have been afforded special protection because of their particular ecological, scientific, historic, or other values. Entry into certain areas may be prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by an appropriate national authority.
Activities in and near designated Historic Sites and Monuments and certain other areas may be subject to special restrictions.

Know the locations of areas that have been afforded special protection and any restrictions regarding entry and activities that can be carried out in and near them.
Observe applicable restrictions.
Do not damage, remove, or destroy Historic Sites or Monuments or any artifacts associated with them.

RESPECT SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

Do not interfere with scientific research, facilities or equipment.

Obtain permission before visiting Antarctic science and support facilities; reconfirm arrangements 24-72 hours before arrival; and comply with the rules regarding such visits.
Do not interfere with, or remove, scientific equipment or marker posts, and do not disturb experimental study sites, field camps, or supplies.
BE SAFE

Be prepared for severe and changeable weather and ensure that your equipment and clothing meet Antarctic standards. Remember that the Antarctic environment is inhospitable, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous.

Know your capabilities and the dangers posed by the Antarctic environment, and act accordingly. Plan activities with safety in mind at all times.
Keep a safe distance from all wildlife, both on land and at sea.
Take note of, and act on, the advice and instructions from your leaders; do not stray from your group.
Do not walk onto glaciers or large snow fields without the proper equipment and experience; there is a real danger of falling into hidden crevasses.
Do not expect a rescue service. Self-sufficiency is increased and risks reduced by sound planning, quality equipment, and trained personnel.
Do not enter emergency refuges (except in emergencies). If you use equipment or food from a refuge, inform the nearest research station or national authority once the emergency is over.
Respect any smoking restrictions, particularly around buildings, and take great care to safeguard against the danger of fire. This is a real hazard in the dry environment of Antarctica.

KEEP ANTARCTICA PRISTINE

Antarctica remains relatively pristine, the largest wilderness area on Earth. It has not yet been subjected to large-scale human perturbations. Please keep it that way.

Do not dispose of litter or garbage on land. Open burning is prohibited.
Do not disturb or pollute lakes or streams. Any materials discarded at sea must be disposed of properly.
Do not paint or engrave names or graffiti on rocks or buildings.
Do not collect or take away biological or geological specimens or man-made artifacts as a souvenir, including rocks, bones, eggs, fossils, and parts or contents of buildings.
Do not deface or vandalize buildings or emergency refuges, whether occupied, abandoned, or unoccupied.​​

 

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