Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica (Akademik Ioffe)

Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica (Akademik Ioffe)

From USD $14,195

Description

This is our most far-reaching polar expedition, taking in three different locations. The wild and remote environments of the sub-Antarctic Falkland Islands and the island of South Georgia are home to a proliferation of unique wildlife and birdlife. There are penguin rookeries with more than 100,000 nesting birds, the beaches are covered in fur seals and elephant seals, while seabirds, including many of the albatross species, nest and raise their young. The islands have a fascinating human history as well which we will explore with our onboard experts. After exploring these sub-Antarctic islands we will continue to push south to the frozen continent itself, Antarctica. Icebergs in all shapes and sizes fill the waters, and yet more unique wildlife can be found living in sizable colonies. The waters are full of life and we frequently encounter whales including humpback, minke and orca.

On this voyage, our days are spent exploring on shore in the company of expert guides – including naturalists, marine biologists, ornithologists and adventurers as well as our resident photography professional. Cruising in our inflatable Zodiac boats is another memorable activity. For the adventurers, we provide plenty of opportunities to explore on long hikes ashore, or by sea kayak.

Trip Name
Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica (Akademik Ioffe)
Days
19
Overview
Vessel Type: Expedition Length: 117 metres Passenger Capacity: 96 Built: 1989 Stability and Strength. Our ship was purpose built to conduct sensitive hydro-acoustic research and science in the polar regions. The original design brief dictated that the vessel offers a very high level of stability. This is achieved through a sophisticated internal trimming system, controlled via a series of gyroscopic sensors around the vessel. This stability feature is something you will greatly appreciate should you encounter less than ideal sailing conditions. Maneuverable, Quiet and Fast. With both bow and stern thrusters and twin reversible propellers, the ship can spin on its own axis – greatly assisting embarkation of the zodiacs in windy conditions. You will notice there is little – if any – ambient noise or vibration, which makes for a quiet ship. The ship is fast, with a top speed of 14.5 knots in open water. Unmatched stability, coupled with superior speed allows for more time at your destination (rather than ‘at sea’) and more flexibility with itinerary planning – a critical factor in polar waters where ice and weather conditions sometimes dictate our daily itinerary. Superb Design and Layout. Throughout the ship there are spaces ideally suited to every need. Spacious outer decks provide 360 degree views of the stunning polar landscapes – as well as a great place for an outdoor barbecue, which usually happens once on every voyage. Inside there are comfortable presentation spaces for lectures and film screenings and there’s a multimedia computer lab with several large screen workstations where guests can download and back up photos. Six Different Cabin Categories. All cabins feature outside windows allowing ample natural light to filter in. Cabins all have lower berths (some triple share cabins have one upper/lower bunk scenario and feature port holes). Akademik Ioffe carries a maximum of just 96 guests – making for true, small-ship expedition cruising. This is particularly important in Antarctica where visitor guidelines dictate that no more than 100 people can be on shore at any one time. We fall under this limit and that equals maximum time ashore at all locations. Ships carrying more than 100 guests compromise your time ashore. Enjoy Great Dining? So do we. The exciting schedule of onshore excursions, zodiac cruises and onboard activities are guaranteed to work up a serious appetite. Although the ship operates in some of the most remote locations in the world, you can expect an exceptional variety of tasty meals, prepared by a team of professional international chefs. Breakfasts are usually buffet style. Lunches offer a great choice of light meals - as well as more substantial options for those who are hungry - and each evening there is a hearty three-course meal offering both variety and choice. There’s also an excellent wine list featuring a range of international wines. You can get a cup of tea or coffee at any time of the day or night and we always offer afternoon tea with cakes and biscuits. Guests with dietary restrictions or special meal requirements are also well catered for. Join us on the Bridge. There is an open-bridge policy and guests are welcome to meet the navigating crew at virtually any time of day; there’s always something to learn from the officers on watch and the bridge is one of the best places on the ship for spotting whales and sea birds. Operational Safety. There are no compromises here. The expedition staff and crew onboard Akademik Ioffe have the deepest respect for changeable weather in the polar regions and the varying sea and ice conditions. That respect is apparent in every decision made throughout the voyage. The ship carries the most extensive inventory of safety equipment on all excursions and require leaders to undergo vigorous and effective safety training programs. Your expedition team are well prepared, so you can relax and enjoy your voyage. Relax — You're on Holiday. The ship also features a Finnish dry-heat sauna, a plunge pool, a hot water Jacuzzi, a small gymnasium and day spa with massage therapist. An expedition gear package is included. An expedition cruise requires a fair bit of planning and some special items of clothing and equipment are needed. You will have use of an expedition wet weather gear package free of charge, which includes a quality waterproof/windproof jacket and bib-pants as well as insulated, comfortable rubber boots designed for extended walking. A set of expedition binoculars and a walking pole are also available for the duration of your voyage. This saves you buying expensive items you may only ever use once and eliminates the need to carry such cumbersome gear all the way to the ship. If you do have your own gear, of course you are welcome to bring it. Make sure it is wind and waterproof. 

Itinerary



Day 1 - DAY 1 / USHUAIA (ARGENTINA)
Our epic journey to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarcticacommences this afternoon in Ushuaia, in southern Argentina.We gather at our central meeting point and transfer to the pierand embark our expedition ship, Akademik Ioffe. After settlingin to our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expeditionteam and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as weenjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound forAntarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
Day 2 - DAY 2 / AT SEA – TOWARDS THE FALKLAND ISLANDS
Sailing northeast towards the Falkland Islands we are joined byhundreds of seabirds, including the wandering albatross, whowe come to know well on this journey. Giant petrels and smallerCape petrels are also constant companions. Photographingthese magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patienceand skill and our photography expert will be on hand to showyou the best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridgeand learn about the operations of our modern research vessel.Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with aseries of presentations about the environment, wildlife andhistory of the Southern Ocean and the locations we hope to visitin the coming days.
Day 3 - DAYS 3-4 / THE FALKLAND ISLANDS
Having arrived in the Falkland Islands overnight, we launch theZodiacs and are excited to make our first shore excursion thismorning. Our plan will be to explore several locations in theWest Falkland archipelago. These remote islands are hometo a proliferation of seabirds and migratory birds including thestunning black-browed albatross. Our first penguin sightingswill be on West Point Island with its bustling rookeries ofrockhoppers. On Carcass Island, we observe nesting magellanicpenguins as well as oystercatchers, geese and the striatedcaracara – a bird of prey.The following morning we arrive in Stanley, the capital of theFalklands Islands. As we wander through the charming streetsof brightly painted houses, we learn how this quiet harbour wasonce a major port in the 19th century for tall ships roundingthe fabled Cape Horn. There are several interesting activities toenjoy today. Stanley has an excellent museum that outlines thehistoric events that took place during the conflict with Argentinain 1982. The waterfront memorial built to commemorate thelives of the British servicemen killed during the war is a soberingreminder of recent history. Stanley’s famed philatelic museumwith its impressive collection of historic stamps is anotherinteresting diversion.
Day 4 - DAYS 5-6 / AT SEA – TOWARDS SOUTH GEORGIA
We chart a southeasterly course bound for South Georgia.The seabirds once again join us in the Southern Ocean. Oureducational presentations continue and are always popular.History is a key theme of this voyage and the epic story ofSir Ernest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expeditionis central to any trip to South Georgia. Perhaps you will pickup some valuable tips from our onboard photographic guide,learning about image composition, the subtle polar light and allthe basics of good camera craft. We will also learn about Polarconservation - a theme particularly close to the hearts of ourOne Ocean Expeditions’ guides and crew.
Day 5 - DAY 7-9 / EXPLORATION OF SOUTH GEORGIA
South Georgia has often been called the ‘Serengeti of theSouthern Ocean’ – and as we approach the deep bays of thisrugged, rocky outcrop, you will begin to see why. Launching theZodiacs we begin our exploration of the island, in the vicinity ofElsehul Bay. Large numbers of fur seals and the much largerelephant seals will line the dark sand beaches. Living in thetussock grass, king penguins and their chicks may number upto 100,000 birds in some locations, including Salisbury Plain,St Andrews Bay and Gold Harbour. The island is also home tolarge numbers of nesting albatross as they fill the skies above,coming and going from the nest.South Georgia is a thrilling location for history lovers and therusting relics of the early whaling industry are all around us.We hope to observe several of the old stations at locationsincluding Leith, Husvik and Stromness. A highlight is a visit toGrytviken – the largest of the whaling stations, situated at the head of Cumberland Bay. It is here we visit the gravesite of SirErnest Shackleton. For many, being in the presence of the greatexplorer will be a highlight of the trip. An excellent museum atGrytviken, maintained by the South Georgia Heritage Trust andthe restored church built by the original Norwegian whalersprovides a fascinating glimpse into the past.
Day 6 - DAYS 10-12 / AT SEA – TOWARDS ANTARCTICA
Weather and ice will dictate our crossing of the Scotia Sea fromSouth Georgia to Antarctica, leading us perhaps to the SouthOrkney Islands or Elephant Island. As with all of our itineraryplanning, our Expedition Leader and Captain will make adecision based on the conditions at the time. The South OrkneyIslands represent the peaks of a submarine mountain rangecalled the Scotia Arc, connecting South Georgia to the SouthShetland Islands. Often shrouded in fog and surrounded by icemuch of the year, a chance to visit these islands doesn’t comeoften. As we edge ever closer to the frozen continent, largeicebergs announce our arrival in Antarctic waters. If conditionsallow, we will hope to see the dark cliffs of Elephant Islandappear on the horizon. Shackleton and his men were encampedhere for many months, having lost HMS Endurance in the thicksea ice, far to the south in the Weddell Sea in 1915. From thetiny beach at Point Wild, Shackleton and six companions setoff on the rescue mission to South Georgia, aboard the tinylifeboat, James Caird. To this day, the epic ocean crossing isconsidered one of the greatest in history. If conditions allow, wewill attempt a landing at Point Wild on Elephant Island.
Day 7 - DAYS 13 - 16 / SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS AND ANTARCTICA
Around 60 miles off the coast of the Antarctic mainland wefind the South Shetland Island chain. Possible landing sitescould include King George Island, Half Moon Island or YankeeHarbour. Weather conditions permitting we sail the ship intothe flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island. There aresome outstanding hikes at these locations and the old whalingstation and aircraft hangar at Deception Island beg for furtherexploration.After so much anticipation, we enter the icy waters of theAntarctic Peninsula in the vicinity of Mikkelson Harbour or CiervaCove. Snow covered mountains soar from the dark waters.Along the shoreline in the bays and harbours of the Peninsulalives an incredible abundance of wildlife. Large rookeries arehome to chinstrap, gentoo and Adelie penguins. Seals live on the ice floes, including the powerful leopard seal that we hopeto encounter. Gulls, skuas and cormorants are also foundnesting and feeding at many sites along the Antarctic Peninsula.We explore by Zodiac boat and ashore where a range ofexciting activities await. Locations we hope to visit includeWilhelmina Bay, Orne Harbour, Cuverville Island and theErrera Channel. Join the photographic guide taking picturesof stunning icebergs. Or enjoy a hike to the top of a snowymountain saddle with one of our adventure guides. If theopportunity presents itself, visit a science base or an old historichut. The sea kayakers may explore up to several miles from theship, for a truly memorable experience.
Day 8 - DAYS 17-18 / AT SEA – TOWARDS ANTARCTICA
After several busy days of exploration along the AntarcticPeninsula, it’s time to return to South America. The educationalpresentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining andmemorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join ourphotography experts in the multimedia room and downloadand back up your precious images. If weather conditions allow,we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretchof water is home to legendary tales of exploration and earlynavigation. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expeditionto some of the most remote corners of the planet. Approachingthe entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, weenjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.
Day 9 - DAY 19 / ARRIVE USHUAIA (ARGENTINA)
In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is timeto say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers. Guests willbe transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flightshome. It will be possible to connect to flights through to BuenosAires or other destinations in South America. Otherwise enjoy anight in town or venture further afield to explore the highlights ofPatagonia.
Day 10 - Please Note:
Polar exploration can be unpredictable, which regularly causes variations to our itineraries. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a 'guide only' and may change. The ship's Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavy ice may block out a planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
18-11-201906-12-2019USD $14,195Main Deck Triple
18-11-201906-12-2019USD $16,295Twin Semi Private
18-11-201906-12-2019USD $18,195Twin Private
18-11-201906-12-2019USD $19,295Superior
18-11-201906-12-2019USD $21,195Shackleton Suite
18-11-201906-12-2019USD $23,195One Ocean Suite

Inclusions

    • Fantastic glaciated scenery of the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia
    • Outstanding wildlife observation on shore, Zodiac cruising and from the ship
    • Visits to historic sites and science stations
    • Learn about the environment, wildlife, history and ecology from polar experts

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