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Epic Antarctica & South Georgia Adventure | Ocean Albatros

18 Days FROM AUD 14,552 20 % off!

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Overview

On this epic 18-day voyage, we explore the South Shetlands and the Antarctic continent before heading via the Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea for an extended South Georgia visit. The adventure ends in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo. On board Ocean Albatros.

Optional Activities : Kayaking, Photography

Trip Code: ACABEAA

Travel Style: Small Ship Expedition Cruise

Location: Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia

Ship: Ocean Albatros

Flights: We offer a range of flight options to meet your cruise. Contact us today to learn more. 

CRUISE ITINERARY

Arrive and embark in Ushuaia, Argentina - the world’s southernmost town. Explore the quaint city or local countryside. Alternatively, consider a day trip off the beaten path to the raw, natural archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. It's a hiker's paradise with rugged snow-capped mountains, glaciers, flower-filled meadows and boggy quagmires. In the afternoon we embark the ship Ocean Abatros, our home for the coming days.

Our journey begins as we navigate through the calm waters of the Beagle Channel, a strait in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago.

Arrive Ushuaia & Embark

Sailing onward, we cross the famed Drake Passage - a body of water that marks the intersection of the cold Antarctic with the warmer Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Drake Passage is known for strong westerly winds, heavy sea, and its nickname ‘The Roaring Fifties’. While this passage may be challenging, you can rest confidently aboard our expedition vessel, which is purpose-built with stabilizers, powerful engines and a highly qualified crew. The most spirited sailors consider Drake Passage a lifetime achievement – and soon you can tick it off on the list yourself!

Cross the Drake Passage Days 2-3

The next couple of days, we will explore the Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain as well as the Antarctic peninsula.

Landfalls could include: Deception Island, an extinct volcano with waters warm enough for a polar swim; and Half Moon Island with nesting Wilson's storm petrels and chinstrap penguins.

The itinerary and activities over the next few days depend on weather and ice conditions. The route and shore landings will be determined by the captain and expedition leader and communicated to guests through regularly scheduled briefings.

Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetlands Days 4-5

Over the coming days, we will begin the exciting Antarctic experience at the very tip of the Continent. During these days in the Antarctic Sound, named in 1902 after the Swedish vessel Antarctic, the captain and the expedition team will keep a watchful eye on the mighty tabular icebergs, born from the floating Larsen Ice Shelf further south. We aim to have both continental and island landings on the shores of Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea, always on the lookout for some of the unusually large penguin colonies, which have recently been observed.

The Weddell Sea takes its name from the early British explorer James Weddell, who by hunting seals through a break in the ice in 1823 got to the southernmost point at his time. As we enter the Weddell Sea of today, we grow accustomed to giant floating icebergs and witness the sheer quantity of sea ice in these waters. Apart from penguins, the wildlife here includes Weddell and elephant seals and seabirds. Humpbacks feed in the nutrient-rich waters (caused by the upwell of cold water from the ocean depths), so there are opportunities to see whales, as well as the Antarctic’s largest predator, the solitary leopard seal.

Because of the considerable sea ice and enormous bergs in the Weddell Sea, navigation through this remote nature is at the edge of what is possible; your captain and expedition leader are well aware that shifting ice means that no individual part of this area can be guaranteed as accessible at any time, so they will work together to find the most magnificent opportunities. This is part of the wonder of this part of the world, and you'll be visiting an area few humans have ever seen.

From the Weddell Sea we continue our journey into the open sea, just as Ernest Shackleton and his men did more than hundred years ago. Having lost their ship Endurance deep south in the Weddell Sea they moved slowly north on ice floes and later in open lifeboats until they reached Elephant Island. From here started one of the most remarkable boat journeys in the polar history, when Shackleton and five of his men for two weeks navigated the 720 nautical miles to South Georgia to call for recovery of the stranded crew on Elephant Island. We on the other hand will reach the mighty South Georgia after just a few days at sea!

Antarctic Sound, Weddell Sea & Elephant Island Day

Days at sea are great for participating in lectures, photo sessions and recaps, reading books in the ship library and watching the ubiquitous storm petrels and albatrosses from top deck. From photography workshops to lectures on the regions we visit by our knowledgeable expedition team and guest lecturers. Additionally, a raffle or auction onboard usually takes place during this time, to raise funds for charitable organizations focused on global issues and local environmental solutions. In this case, for example, South Georgia Heritage Trust, Whale & Dolphin Conservation, and more. Take this opportunity to give back to the world while educating yourself on the subjects that these organizations support in a fun and enjoyable time.

At Sea Towards South Georgia Days 9-10

South Georgia has a dramatic setting with glacier-clad rugged mountains. Lying in the Southern Ocean south of the Antarctic convergence, the cold sea is booming with life. The island, often referred to as “The Galapagos of the Poles”, can only be reached by ship. There is no permanent human settlement, but seabirds and seals breed in the millions. The difficulty of getting there and the restrictions to protect the environment, makes South Georgia one of the least-visited tourist destinations in the world. Today the island has been largely left to recover from human over-exploration, resulting in dramatic increases in the number of whales, seals as well as penguin and seabird populations. The itinerary and activities over the next days are largely dependent on the weather and the sea.

The British administration at Grytviken, a former Norwegian whaling station, is also worth a visit. The famed British explorer Ernest Shackleton died in Grytviken on his second visit, and is buried south of the station. The endemic South Georgia pipits and South Georgia pintails may be seen around the buildings.

We will have a chance to visit Salisbury Plain, home to one of the largest king penguin colonies on the island, estimated between 250,000 and 5,000,000. Gentoo penguins, giant petrels and Antarctic prions also breed on the island.

We will explore the fjords of the north coast and take as many shore landings as time and the swelling sea will allow us. The proximity of the possible landing locations usually allow for a very diversified and active itinerary, sure to give us memories for a lifetime.

The marine life around South Georgia is at its most active during March/April, with thousands of whales feeding with ferocity to prepare for their coming migrations. Fur seal pups amass on the shorelines and Albatross chicks are peeking out from the nests. The king penguin chicks will shed their brown feathers and start heading into the ocean, other penguins like gentoo, macaroni and chinstrap will also see their chicks starting to grow confidence for a life on their own.

Soluth Goergia Days 11-15

We are now into the last leg of this adventurous voyage, heading to Uruguays capital of Montevideo.

After a hearty farewell to vessel and crew, we disembark in the morning after breakfast.

At Sea & Disembark in Montevideo Days 16-18
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF
Departing Ending Duration From Price
18 Mar 2024 04 Apr 2024 18 AUD 14,552
Cabin Type From Price
CAT G - Single Stateroom Porthole SAVE UP TO 20% OFFAUD 23,912
CAT F - Triple Stateroom Porthole SAVE UP TO 20% OFFAUD 14,552
CAT E - French Balcony Suite SAVE UP TO 20% OFFAUD 19,992
CAT D - Porthole Stateroom SAVE UP TO 20% OFFAUD 17,032
CAT C - Balcony Stateroom SAVE UP TO 25% OFFAUD 22,268
CAT B - Balcony Suite SAVE UP TO 25% OFFAUD 24,593
CAT A - Balcony Junior Suite SAVE UP TO 25% OFFAUD 35,168
CAT FS - Freydis Premium Balcony Suite SAVE UP TO 25% OFFAUD 37,493
CAT BS – Brynhilde 2BR French Balcony Suite SAVE UP TO 25% OFFAUD 39,893

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Kayaking

Kayaking

Photography

Photography

Important Information

  • INCLUSIONS

    • 18-day/17-night cruise with accommodation in a shared outside double stateroom with private facilities

    • Shuttle transfers to ship from city centre (Ushuaia)

    • All Zodiac landings and excursions as per itinerary

    • Expedition parka

    • Rubber boot rentals

    • Guiding and lectures by our expedition leader and team

    • Special Photo Workshop

    • English-speaking expedition team

    • Visual Journal link after voyage including voyage log, gallery, maps, species list and more!

    • Full board on the ship - breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon snacks

    • Free tea and coffee 24 hours’ daily

    • Welcome and farewell cocktails

    • Taxes
     

    EXCLUSIONS

    • Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary

    • Single room supplement and stateroom upgrades

    • Meals not on board the ship

    • Beverages (other than coffee and tea)

    • Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 14 per person per day)

    • Personal expenses

    • Anything not mentioned under ’Inclusions’

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request, contact us for more detail. 

  • Please note this itinerary may be subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions. 

  • Departure dates, seasonality and availability.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Sustainability

We appreciate that voyages to the Antarctic to have an impact on this pristine environment. In light of this, all our voyages are double carbon offset. In addition, we strive to eliminate as many single use plastics as possible from our supply chain. In choosing this voyage you are also supporting the fantastic work done by the Antarctic Science Foundation (ASF) and their work in understanding and protecting this unique destination. In addition all voyages support the Mawsons Huts Foundation (MHF). The MHF support the legacy of Sir Douglas Mawson, the legendary Antarctic explorer and scientist. As a member of IAATO we follow strict 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 ships 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

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