Antarctic Awakening - Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica
On the bleakly beautiful Falkland Islands you’ll observe large colonies of seabirds and penguins, and explore Stanley, the historic capital of the Falkland Islands, with its impressive museums, charming pubs, cathedral with whalebone arch and dramatic views of shipwrecks in the harbour. Crossing the Antarctic Convergence you’ll observe the biological boundary of the Southern Ocean before reaching South Georgia, where thousands of massive bull elephant seals defend their territory and Sir Ernest Shackleton’s grave lies. With regular sightings of whales and seabirds en route, you’ll cross to the Antarctic Peninsula to explore the 7th continent via Zodiac cruises and shore excursions. Optional activities include spending a night camping on the ice and kayaking among colossal icebergs.
M/v Sea Spirit is a highly manoeuvrable vessel, highly capable of navigating the challenging environment of Antarctica. She is equipped with state-of-the-art stabilizers for comfortable cruising in the Drake Passage and across the Antarctic Convergence. On board the atmosphere is friendly and informal with open-seating dining (no assigned tables) and plenty of space for socialising, quiet reading, lectures and briefings.
Antarctica is a true wilderness with unpredictable weather and ever-changing ice conditions, which will dictate the route and exploration opportunities. Your experienced captain and expedition leader will continually adjust plans to take maximum advantage of the conditions and provide the very best experience possible – this is expedition cruising at its most authentic!
You will love
- Immense numbers of penguins, albatrosses, elephant seals and whales
- Remarkable history of human endeavour
- Paying your respects to Sir Ernest Shackleton
- The big advantages of a small ship
- Modern research bases
23 UNFORGETTABLE DAYS
DAY 1 | BUENOS AIRES
Welcome to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. The name of the city can be translated as “fair winds” but it is also referred to as the “Paris of South America”. This is an exuberant brew of traditions, languages and different types of culltures.
Upon your arrival at the airport Poseidon provide a transfer to your hotel, which is included in the price of the voyage. For the rest of the day you are free to explore this welcoming city.
Overnight at the Alvear Art Hotel or similar.
DAY 2 | EMBARKATION
Poseidon provide a group transfer to the pier and welcome you aboard the deluxe expedition ship M/V Sea Spirit. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Savor the anticipation of your Antarctic dreams coming true as we slip our moorings and sail toward a true wilderness where wildlife abounds.
DAYS 3-5 | SOUTH ATLANTIC OCEAN
As we head south, ocean breezes become cooler and seabirds become more abundant. We keep a sharp eye out for cetaceans such as Commerson’s dolphins and southern right whales in these productive southern seas. The ship’s stabilizing fins provide comfort in the event of rough weather. Presentations by our expert naturalists and historians prepare you for our arrival in the Falkland Islands.
DAYS 6-7 | FALKLAND ISLANDS
Our exploration of the Falklands includes visiting the isolated outlying islands. These bleakly beautiful isles are havens for wildlife. Large colonies of seabirds, perched on windy bluffs overlooking azure seas, are easily accessible by hiking over lush meadows. At this time, black-browed albatross has returned to the islands and are just starting to lay their eggs amongst the tussocks while feisty rockhopper penguins leap up surf-battered cliffs to start building their nests nearby.
On sandy beaches below, gentoo penguins are also starting to lay their eggs while king penguin chicks of all ages look on. They are joined by female elephant seals suckling their newborn pups. Just offshore, you may see Peale’s dolphins and even killer whales patrolling the coasts. A wide range of land birds, including the endemic Cobb’s wren and inquisitive striated caracara, contribute to an abundance of wildlife that will leave nature lovers breathless.
On these days we intend to come alongside the wharf at Stanley, the historic capital of the Falkland Islands. Attractions within pleasant walking distance along the waterfront promenade include the Falkland Islands Museum, the governor’s house, various war memorials, quality gift shops, and charming pubs. Christ Church Cathedral features an impressive whalebone arch and dramatic views of shipwrecks in the harbor.
We also plan to offer an excursion to Gypsy Cove, a national nature reserve where white sand beaches are frequented by numerous bird species, including the endemic Falklands flightless steamer duck. Here you can also see Magellanic penguins, who have just started to lay their eggs in burrows by the seashore.
DAYS 8-9 | SOUTHERN OCEAN
We sail east toward South Georgia, passing the remote, seabird-covered pinnacles known as Shag Rocks on the way. We also cross the Antarctic Convergence, the biological boundary of the Southern Ocean. Briefings, bio-security procedures and presentations by our lecture staff prepare you for our arrival in South Georgia.
DAYS 10-13 | SOUTH GEORGIA ISLAND
The next few days will be devoted to the exploration of the unique and spectacular wilderness of South Georgia, home to some of the greatest concentrations of wildlife on the planet. This isolated subantarctic island is said to host upwards of 100 million seabirds, including numerous species of albatross, penguins, prions, petrels, shags, skuas, gulls and terns. Among these is one of the largest flying birds in the world—the wandering albatross. Here you have the opportunity to see large downy chicks stretching their wings after spending the long Antarctic winter on snowy nests overlooking the wild Southern Ocean.
On South Georgia’s legendary beaches, king penguins are gathered in huge colonies that stretch from sandy shorelines to the foothills of glaciated mountains. Also at this time, hundreds of thousands of macaroni penguins are coming ashore to start their breeding season. Rare birds such as the endemic South Georgia pipit and yellow-billed pintail round out the list of 78 bird species found across the territory. The successfully completed rat eradication program has made this wilderness even more pristine and rich with birdlife.
South Georgia is also home to staggering numbers of southern elephant seals and Antarctic fur seals.
DAYS 10-13 CONTINUED
At this time, thousands of massive bull elephant seals are defending and occasionally fighting to maintain their harems of females, who have recently given birth. Meanwhile, male fur seals are just arriving to stake out their mating territories.
Once hunted nearly to extinction, large whales are also returning to the bountiful seas surrounding South Georgia. With the whalers long gone, the historical whaling station of Grytviken is now home to the excellent South Georgia Museum. Here you will also find the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton, heroic polar explorer and leader of the famous Endurance expedition.
In this rugged yet accessible environment, superb wildlife viewing is best complemented by active adventure. There are many opportunities for guided treks through this snowy wilderness, including the famous Shackleton Walk. For sea kayakers, the wildlife-rich waters of South Georgia offer the chance to paddle with hordes of seals and penguins in some of the world’s most scenic waterways.
DAYS 14-15 | SCOTIA SEA
After our amazing time in South Georgia, we proceed southwest toward Antarctica. We keep a constant lookout for humpback and fin whales along the way. The majestic wandering albatross and other graceful subantarctic seabirds are common in these waters and can readily be viewed from panoramic open decks and balconies.
DAYS 16-20 | SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS & ANTARCTIC PENINSULA
During the next five days, we go to the area of the Antarctic Peninsula. This region contains some of the world’s most impressive scenery and the best wildlife viewing in Antarctica. Sheltered bays and channels sparkle with ice and reflect towering mountain peaks coated in permanent snow and immense glaciers. Icebergs of every size and description complete an image of incomparable beauty. Waters rich with krill are home to huge numbers of marine mammals and seabirds. The whole area is alive with penguins foraging at sea and forming large rookeries at special places on land.
The South Shetland Islands are the northernmost islands in Antarctica and will be our primary area of exploration. This wildly beautiful island chain contains many landing sites with historical significance and abundant wildlife. Among them is Elephant Island, where men from Shackleton’s Endurance expedition spent the winter of 1916. We continue west to King George Island, home to numerous Antarctic research bases of various nationalities, some with gift shops and post offices.
Weather and ice permitting, we also hope to visit the supremely picturesque Gerlache Strait area of the Antarctic Peninsula, a pristine wilderness of spectacular white landscapes, colossal icebergs, obliging marine mammals and bustling penguin colonies. Here we have a chance to land on the continent of Antarctica.
Throughout this area, we encounter gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguins, sometimes nesting side by side. At this time of the season, all three species are busy courting and mating. This is a good time to observe the importance of pebbles in penguin culture, as prized nesting material to be stolen from rivals and given to mates. Also at this time, very high concentrations of sea ice provide more opportunities for seals and penguins to congregate on ice floes, a situation that attracts killer whales. Photographers will appreciate the pristine appearance of fresh, undisturbed snow across the landscape in this early summer month.
With more than 17 hours of daylight per day, we seize every chance to experience excellent wildlife viewing and amazing scenery via Zodiac cruises and shore excursions.
DAYS 21-22 | DRAKE PASSAGE
It is now time to head north across the Drake Passage toward South America, but the adventure is not quite over. Seabirds are our constant companions and there is always the possibility of whale encounters in these wild waters. This is also the time for festivities such as the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail and the end-of-voyage slideshow. Finally, as we enter the calm Beagle Channel, we enjoy a night of smooth sailing toward Ushuaia.
DAY 23 | DISEMBARKATION, USHUAIA
After a final delicious breakfast on board, we bid you a fond farewell in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Poseidon provide a group transfer to the airport or to the city centre if you wish to spend more time in Tierra del Fuego. As you look back on your wonderful experience in the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica, you may already be looking forward to your next polar adventure!
in Buenos Aires
Alvear Art Hotel – Buenos Aires
The Alvear Art Hotel emerges as an innovative addition to Buenos Aires, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. The hotel is just a few short steps away from elegant Santa Fe Avenue and famous Florida Street with their countless stores - a fantastic property in a fabulous city worth exploring! Read More
NEED TO KNOW
23 Days / 22 Nights
23 Days / 22 Nights
Please enquire for pricing
Please enquire for pricing
START: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA | Finish: USHUAIA, ARGENTINA
Expeditions take place October – March. Multiple dates available.
Capacity: M/v Sea Spirit – 114 guests and 72 staff and crew.
Please note: Itinerary, landings and all other activities during the cruise depend strongly on ice and weather conditions and are subject to the decisions of the Expedition Leader and the Captain of the vessel. Encounters with any mentioned wildlife cannot be guaranteed.
Single supplement may apply.
Flights and insurance on request.
Terms and conditions apply – please request a copy of our booking form for all details.
Price is subject to change due to currency fluctuation and unforeseen changes beyond our control.
Please contact us for pricing, dates and a full itinerary.
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We are so happy we put our trust in CSC, we had an amazing adventure and would recommend them to anyone.Kim & Brad Balance
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