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Antarctic Wildlife Adventure – 21 Days

Antarctic Wildlife Adventure – 21 Days

From USD $15,295

Description

21 day Small Ship Cruise to Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica aboard Sea Spirit.

ABUNDANT ANTARCTIC WILDLIFE
Antarctica is famous for its penguins. In the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula you can go ashore at sites where gentoo, chinstrap, and adélie penguins come together in boisterous nesting colonies. Meeting with an inquisitive penguin chick is an experience not to be forgotten.
The windswept and treeless Falkland Islands are a birders’ paradise. The islands boast a great abundance and diversity of birdlife including five species of penguin.
In the island of South Georgia, seabirds and marine mammals are counted in the millions. The island’s beaches are packed with fur seals and elephant seals jostling for space alongside innumerable king penguins.
The waters of Antarctica are also home to impressive numbers of weddell, crabeater, and leopard seals. Humpback and killer whales can also be spotted feeding in bountiful seas.

INCREDIBLE POLAR SCENERY
The scenery in Antarctic is like nothing else on Earth. Massive, rugged, gleaming white mountains—covered on all but their sheerest faces by permanent snow and innumerable glaciers—rise from deep blue waters to form protected bays and scenic passages such as the renowned Lemaire Channel.
Floating everywhere in these pristine waterways are fragments of the continent’s frozen surface. From gargantuan icebergs that dwarf our ship to billowy blankets of brash ice crackling in the wake of our Zodiacs, ice is the ever-present backdrop of our voyage.
During the authentic once-per-year Crossing the Antarctic Circle cruise we will see rarely visited regions south of the Polar Circle, the vast, white landscapes, which are both bleak and beautiful, the weather is especially wild, and the waters are full of constantly shifting sea ice and enormous tabular icebergs.

HUMAN ENTERPRISE, PAST AND PRESENT
Antarctica has been the setting of many heroic adventures and journeys of discovery. On this voyage you will be following in the historic footsteps of early whalers, polar explorers, and scientific expeditions.
Visit Point Wild on Elephant Island, where Earnest Shackleton and his men spent part of their historic odyssey. Also in the South Shetland Islands are the historical remains of a whaling station at Deception Island, as well as a multitude of far-flung research bases operated by various countries.
In these areas you also have the opportunity to appreciate modern human ingenuity at scientific research stations of various nationalities. Some of these stations, such as Port Lockroy, even boast a museum, gift shop, and post office.

Trip Name
Antarctic Wildlife Adventure - 21 Days
Days
21
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition Length: 90 metres Passenger Capacity: 114 Built / refurbished: 1992 / 2016 Like some of the birds we see in the Arctic and Antarctica, our m/v Sea Spirit is migratory and follows the sun, northbound in the summer and southbound in the winter, always ready for spontaneous discoveries – a pod of whales, a family of polar bears or a glaciated mountain vista. She is highly maneuverable and capable of navigating the narrow fjords of East Greenland and entering the small bays of Spitsbergen. Onboard, we create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for all our guests. They are united by one goal – to have a memorable wilderness experience and to become real polar adventurers. We believe that first-hand travel to such places makes one an ambassador for conservation, and helps strengthen our resolve to protect these natural environments for future generations. Public areas include: Reception, Restaurant, Bar, Outdoor Bistro, Club Lounge, Library, Presentation Lounge, Infirmary, Gym, Bridge. We have open Bridge policy. Talk to the Captain and officers. Watch landscapes from this special angle of view. Fix your location at a map of your expedition.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1: Arrival in Ushuaia, Argentina (hotel night)
Welcome to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and starting point of our Antarctic expedition! Upon your arrival at the airport, you will be greeted by our staff and transferred to a quality hotel, which has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the itinerary. For the rest of the day, you are free to explore this vibrant port city and adventure hub.For an introduction to local history and wildlife, the interesting Museo del Fin del Mundo is worth a visit. If you have time to spare, a variety of nature activities can be arranged to suit all interests and fitness levels, from hiking in nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park to wildlife viewing in the Beagle Channel. For dinner, Ushuaia offers a wide range of restaurants featuring Patagonian lamb and delectable Fuegian seafood.
Day 2 - Day 2: Welcome Aboard!
After breakfast at your hotel, the morning is yours to enjoy Ushuaia. Explore the delightful waterfront and savor views of the snowcapped Martial Range, the southernmost peaks of the Andes. Take advantage of shopping for souvenirs or some last-minute necessities such as cold-weather gear. Just remember, you will soon receive your very own parka to keep and waterproof boots to borrow on board the ship. For lunch, the many cafés, parrillas and gelato shops on Avenida San Martín will be sure to satisfy any appetite.In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the pier where we will warmly welcome you aboard the luxury expedition vessel M/V Sea Spirit. Get settled in your spacious suite and explore the ship that will be your comfortable home during the extraordinary adventure to come. After getting underway, a full schedule of events kicks off with informative briefings and introductions from your expedition staff. After the first of many delicious dinners on board, step out onto the open decks to admire the scenery and gorgeous evening light as we pass through the Beagle Channel.
Day 3 - Day 3: South Atlantic Ocean
After passing the mountainous islands of Tierra del Fuego and Isla de los Estados, we sail northeast. Pelagic seabirds surround the ship as we watch for cetaceans such as Commerson’s dolphins and southern right whales in these productive waters. The ship’s stabilizing fins provide comfort in the event of rough seas. Presentations by our expert naturalists and historians prepare you for our arrival in the Falkland Islands.
Day 4 - Day 4-5: 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 soar down from above to relieve their partners, already on eggs, while feisty rockhopper penguins leap up surf-battered cliffs from below to start laying their eggs amongst the tussocks.On nearby beaches, gentoo penguins are also incubating their eggs while older king penguin chicks are venturing into the water. Female elephant seals are also heading to sea, leaving the beaches to the huge males. 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 are taking turns sitting on eggs in burrows by the seashore. At this time, you may even find bull sea lions coming ashore to establish their territories.
Day 5 - Day 6-7: 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.
Day 6 - Day 8-12: South Georgia Island
The next five 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 a rare opportunity to witness part of their remarkable life cycle. Huge chicks from the previous year are only now starting to fledge, while this year’s parents are renewing their lifelong bonds with ritualized courtship displays.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 penguin pairs are taking turns incubating their precious eggs. 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. This is the peak of the breeding season, with thousands of massive bull elephant seals fighting to maintain harems of females, who are suckling their pups. Meanwhile, fiercely territorial male fur seals are defending their patches of sand. 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 legendary 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.This is expedition cruising at its most authentic. Our precise route and exploration opportunities are dependent on weather in this wild and remote corner of the world. Our experienced captain and expedition leader will continually adjust plans to take maximum advantage of the conditions and circumstances at hand. You can be sure that we will take every safe opportunity to go ashore in this challenging environment.
Day 7 - Day 13-14: 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.
Day 8 - Day 15-18: South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
During the next four days, we explore the highlights of the South Shetland Islands and 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. Here we also find Antarctic research bases of various nationalities, some with gift shops and post offices.The South Shetland Islands are the northernmost islands in Antarctica and will be our first 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 also hope to explore 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. Penguins and other seabirds are now starting to lay their eggs. 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, a high concentration of sea ice provides opportunities for seals and penguins to congregate on ice floes, a situation that attracts killer whales. Minke whales are also starting to arrive now. Photographers will appreciate the pristine appearance of fresh, undisturbed snow across the landscape in this early summer month.Antarctica is a true wilderness with unpredictable weather and ever-changing ice conditions, which will dictate our route and exploration opportunities. With nearly 20 hours of daylight per day, we seize every chance to experience excellent wildlife viewing and amazing scenery via Zodiac cruises and shore excursions.
Day 9 - Day 19-20: 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 10 - Day 21: Disembarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina
After a final delicious breakfast on board, we bid you a fond farewell in Ushuaia. We provide a group transfer to the airport or to the city center if you wish to spend more time here. 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!
Day 11 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
08-01-202228-01-2022USD $17,695Triple Classic
08-01-202228-01-2022USD $23,395Main Deck Suite
08-01-202228-01-2022USD $25,095Classic Suite
08-01-202228-01-2022USD $25,595Superior Suite
08-01-202228-01-2022USD $28,495Deluxe Suite
08-01-202228-01-2022USD $30,595Premium Suite
08-01-202228-01-2022USD $38,695Owner’s Suite
11-11-202201-12-2022USD $22,095Superior Suite
11-11-202201-12-2022USD $24,595Deluxe Suite
11-11-202201-12-2022USD $26,395Premium Suite
11-11-202201-12-2022USD $33,395Owner’s Suite
11-11-202201-12-2022USD $15,295Triple Classic
11-11-202201-12-2022USD $20,195Main Deck Suite
11-11-202201-12-2022USD $21,695Classic Suite
07-01-202327-01-2023USD $18,195Triple Classic
07-01-202327-01-2023USD $24,095Main Deck Suite
07-01-202327-01-2023USD $25,895Classic Suite
07-01-202327-01-2023USD $26,295Superior Suite
07-01-202327-01-2023USD $29,295Deluxe Suite
07-01-202327-01-2023USD $31,495Premium Suite
07-01-202327-01-2023USD $39,895Owner’s Suite

Inclusions

    • Antarctic Abundant Wildlife
    • Incredible Polar Scenery
    • Human Enterprise
    • Past & Present

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