Antarctica, South Georgia and Falklands Odyssey, 21 Days
What you get...
21 day tour departing Ushuaia. 20 nights accommodation in a Expedition Voyage. 19 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches and 18 Dinners. Transport by Expedition cruise ship, Zodiac. WAS $22845*, NOW $18276*, SAVE $4569*
Day 1 Ushuaia. Welcome to Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world and the departure point for your South Georgia and Falklands adventure. You'll meet your fellow travellers this evening to run through the details of tomorrow's embarkation, but if you arrive early feel free to explore the town. Ushuaia, which overlooks the Beagle Channel and is surrounded by mountains, is a major port for Antarctica-bound vessels and the gateway to the aptly named Tierra del Fuego National Park - the 'End of the World'. Day 2 Ushuaia to Embarkation Day. Spend the morning picking up last-minute supplies or exploring Ushuaia. The Maritime Museum provides a fascinating history of the area and Avenida San Martin is Ushuaia's main shopping strip. Board your ship in the afternoon and cruise down the historic Beagle Channel, which transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. Expect an air of excitement as the ship pulls away and the last glimpse of South America fades into the distance. The next time you encounter land, you'll find yourself at the world's southernmost continent. Day 3-4 Drake Passage. The time has come to cross the legendary Drake Passage, a body of water named after English explorer Sir Francis Drake. This is a notoriously rough passage of water, but if the conditions are favourable you can spend some time out on deck spotting dolphins, orcas or albatross. If the waters are a little rough, relax inside and take advantage of the Ocean Endeavour's facilities. There's a wellness spa, saunas, a gym and nothing works the core like a yoga class while crossing the Drake. A comprehensive lecture program will be well underway, which is a great chance to learn about Antarctica's history, geology and biology from the experts that know it best. With any luck we'll make it to land by early evening on Day-4 - a moment that always brings a lot of excitement to the ship. Day 5-7 Antarctic Peninsula. Once the Antarctic Convergence is left in your wake, the adventure really begins with three incredible days of exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and its islands. Feast your eyes on glaciers, mountains and an extraordinary array of wildlife as the immensity and beauty of the region really becomes apparent. Every day is a new adventure, and you'll explore the shore, bays and channels on daily Zodiac excursions. While the surreal landscapes are sure to impress, these excursions are all about the wildlife as we encounter penguin rookeries, spot humpback and minke whales and scan the shore for leopard seals. You'll see and hear calving glaciers crack through the Antarctic silence, and have opportunities to scramble up snowy tracks for unforgettable views of the vast landscape. If you're feeling adventurous and the weather's behaving, there'll also be a chance to take a polar plunge by jumping into the Antarctic's chilly (freezing) waters. It's both a refreshing dip and ultimate bragging rights when you return home. The landing sites visited will depend on the ship's location and weather conditions, but for information on potential landing sites please visit: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/antarctica-landing-sites Day 8 Elephant Island. Today we head for the ice-covered island where Ernest Shackleton and his team found themselves stranded. Located on the north-eastern fringes of the South Shetland islands, Elephant Island takes its name from the elephant seals that were found to be plentiful here by 19th-century explorers, and from the shape of the island itself, which resembles an elephant's head and trunk. You'll no doubt learn more about Shackleton's astounding ordeal, an essential slice of Antarctic history, while here and if conditions allow, we'll attempt a landing or Zodiac cruise around the island to give you some idea of what the shipwrecked men faced. Day 9-11 At Sea. Today we set off to sea once more, hopefully arriving at South Georgia by the evening of Day 11. This is where Shackleton and his crew sailed to over 17 days in hopes of rescue, though your crossing will be slightly less hazardous than theirs. Make the most of an opportunity to relax onboard with the health and wellness facilities, read material from the library or listen to lectures from the Antarctic experts or, if it's clear outside, taste the crisp Antarctic air from the deck as seabirds and perhaps even whales make themselves known. Day 12-15 South Georgia. Nicknamed the 'Galapagos of the South', South Georgia is one of the most remote and wild places on earth. Spend the next few days marvelling at its abundant seabirds, penguin colonies (numbering in the thousands), elephant and fur seal pups, glaciers, mountains and, last but not least, a fascinating history. South Georgia is sure to rate among the highlights of your voyage and the island has been a British Overseas Territory since 1775. At 3,755 square kilometres (1450 square miles), it's the territory's largest island and was a prominent whaling base in the 19th century, though the controversial practice ended in the 1960s. You'll no doubt see for yourself that wildlife levels on South Georgia have thankfully enjoyed a resurgence. We'll likely visit the old whaling settlement of Grytviken and pay a visit to the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton, who was buried here in 1922 after suffering a heart attack while on expedition. Day 16-17 At Sea. Wave goodbye to South Georgia and its king penguins then sit back and settle in for two days at sea. We're cruising in the direction of the legendary Falkland Islands, which are known for much more than the war that took place here in 1982. Day 18-19 Falkland Islands. Stretch those sea legs on the Falkland Islands, our base for the next two days. We'll be exploring the two main islands (east and west) on Zodiac excursions, and if all goes to plan we should sight at least three species of penguin and two endemic bird species - Cobb's wren and the flightless steamer duck. The expedition crew will educate you on the local flora and fauna so you know what you're looking for, and other potential landing sites include West Point Island, Saunder's Island, Sea Lion Island and Bleaker Island. Day 20 At Sea. As this journey comes to an end we'll follow the Argentinean coastline north towards Puerto Madryn. This is a great opportunity to reflect on the past few weeks, which have no doubt been the experience of a lifetime, and trade memories and stories with your shipmates. The wildlife, history and landscape of these southern regions are truly unique and this trip is something you'll treasure and talk about for years to come. Day 21 Puerto Madryn. Bid farewell to your fellow travellers as the adventure comes to an end. A transfer will take you to Trelewn airport for your flight home, or you may like to spend a few days in the region. Puerto Madryn is the gateway to the Valdez Peninsula, a World Heritage-listed area with abundant wildlife including whales, sea lions and elephant seals - because who could get sick of these magnificent creatures?
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