Wildlife of the White Continent: Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica
This epic 24-day adventure takes you on a once-in-a-lifetime voyage across the Southern Ocean to the wilds of Antarctica. Along the way you’ll travel through the Beagle Channel and the Drake Passage, call in at the curiously British Falkland Islands, explore the remote and wildlife-rich island of South Georgia with its former whaling station, and spend several days discovering the incredible landscapes and wildlife that call the Antarctic Peninsula home. Along the way you’ll travel on board an expedition ship, learning about the fascinating region from your expedition team, with presentations and dinners to illuminate your journey.
- Observe incredible wildlife such as whales and penguins in their natural habitat
- Explore the Antarctic Peninsula through daily shore landings
- Learn about the region from your experienced Expedition Team
- Discover the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Ushuaia
- Travel on board an expedition vessel designed to navigate Antarctic waters
Days 1-2 – Arrive in Buenos Aires
Fly direct to Buenos Aires on an overnight flight. On arrival you’ll be taken to your hotel where you’ll spend the next two nights.
Day 3 – Tour of Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is one of South America’s most atmospheric cities, full of life and colour. On a half-day tour of the city you’ll get to explore its colourful barrios, the ornate cemetery of Recoleta and its grand plazas.
Day 4 – Fly to Ushuaia
Fly to Ushuaia, the gateway to the frozen south and the world’s most southerly city. Here you will check into a hotel for one night before boarding your expedition vessel the next day.
Day 5 – Embark your ship
This afternoon you will board your expedition vessel. You’ll have dinner on board the ship, with the chance to relax on deck and take in the scenery during an early evening sailing through the Beagle Channel. You may spot Magellanic penguins, rock cormorants and colonies of sea lions – your first sightings of the region’s fascinating wildlife.
Day 6 – Explore the ship
Sailing south you’ll have plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting, including the species of bird that follow the ship: albatrosses, prions and petrels are often spotted. The ship’s expedition team will be on deck to help you spot whales and dolphins, which can often be seen in the area. During the day and in the evening you can view presentations on the wildlife, history and geology of the Falkland Islands and Southern Ocean, as well as helpful environmental and safety briefings which will help you make the most of your time on board.
Days 7-8 – The Falkland Islands
Spend two days exploring the Falkland Islands, staying overnight on board the ship. On shore landings you’ll visit remote farming settlements (often sixth or seventh generation) in the westernmost part of the islands, where you can see albatross colonies living alongside grazing sheep, several varieties of penguin and upland geese. You will visit a homestead for the quintessentially British tea and cake. You’ll also visit Stanley, the islands’ pint-sized capital. With its sheltered harbour, Stanley is easily discoverable on foot, with a museum, Post Office, shops and pubs. There will be opportunities to buy locally made wool items and view the town’s sea lions, dolphins and bird life.
Days 9-10 – Sailing to South Georgia
The next two days are spent crossing the ocean eastwards to South Georgia, with plenty of wildlife spotting along the way. Entering Antarctic waters, you will be able to enjoy presentations on the history and animal life of South Georgia.
Days 11-14 – South Georgia
You’ll have four days to explore the island of South Georgia. Set within the Antarctic Convergence, this 3,755sqm island is set outside the frigid limits of the yearly sea ice. Because of this, tens of millions of breeding penguins, seals and sea birds call the island home. As well as supporting a wide array of life, the landscapes are eerily beautiful, including mountain scenery, glaciers, a rugged coastline and many icebergs. Travelling down South Georgia’s leeward coast, we’ll stop at landing sites to see elephant and fur seals, Gentoo penguins, skuas and gulls. You may be able to see King penguins at all stages of their lives, from fuzzy chicks to large adults. You will also get the chance to visit Grytviken whaling station, where you can visit the whaling museum, seaman’s church, the Antarctic Survey Station and the final resting place of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Days 15-16 – Sailing south
Leaving South Georgia behind you’ll sail further south, continuing with informative presentations and wildlife spotting on board, the icebergs in the sea around the ship becoming more plentiful.
Days 17-20 – Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula
During your four days sailing the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula you’ll have ample time during shore landings to explore the wildlife and landscapes. Inflatable Zodiac boats will take you from the ship to the shore, and your Expedition Leaders and Captain will create a flexible itinerary dependant on weather conditions, ice and opportunity. Your shore excursions will take you to the most scenic bays and channels of the peninsula, where you can discover penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas. Those with an interest in the scientific research of the region will enjoy visits to areas of special scientific interest, and you will also have time to learn about the history of Antarctica. Shore landings may include stops in beautiful Neko Harbour, with its dramatic cliffs; sheltered Paradise Harbour, home to many icebergs; the enormous Wilhelmina Bay, popular with humpback whales; and the picturesque Lemaire, Penola and Neumayer channels. Depending on conditions you may get the chance to visit active scientific bases, such as those run by Polish and Ukrainian teams, and the historic bases of Port Lockroy and Wordie House. During your exploration of the peninsula you’ll likely spot Adelie, chinstrap and Gentoo penguins, several varieties of seal, minke and humpback whales and even orca.
Days 21-22 – Sailing north
Leaving the Antarctic Peninsula behind the ship will make its way north, crossing the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage once more. There will be opportunities to view presentations and spot wildlife along the way. The voyage sails back to Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel, with a special slideshow of the trip shown on your final night.
Day 23 – Arrive in Ushuaia
You will disembark in Ushuaia in the morning, with time to catch your flight to Buenos Aires. Stay overnight in a hotel in the city and reflect on your epic voyage.