Day 1, Arrival, Puerto Madryn
We’ve eliminated the anxiety of missed connections and flight delays by giving you a two-night hotel stay in beautiful Puerto Madryn, one of Argentina's fastest growing cities and the gateway to the Peninsula Valdés. Most flights arrive the late afternoon or early evening allowing you a night to get over your jet lag. You'll have a full day on day two to relax or explore town before embarkation on day three.
Day 2, Puerto Madryn
Located in the Patagonian province of Chubut, Puerto Madryn is a popular resort destination for wildlife excursions, and is known as the best place in Argentina to see Southern Right whales. Take a whale watching trip (not included), watch for nesting cormorants and elephant seals, or experience a walk through a colony of Magellanic penguins and myriad species of native seabirds. Our optional evening briefing is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and to meet some of your fellow travelers. All guests need to arrive at the hotel no later than the evening of day two.
Day 3, Embarkation
Arriving at the ship in the afternoon, you will be greeted by our Expedition Team and ship's officers at a safety and orientation briefing followed by the Captain's welcome dinner. Then, watch the city lights fade in the fresh night air as we sail seaward.
Day 4-5, Southern Ocean
Among the wildlife spotting opportunities as we sail south, are the albatrosses, prions, and petrels that frequently follow the ship. Our Expedition Team will be out on deck as well, looking for the whales and dolphins that can be seen in the area. Our experts will begin their presentations with informative and entertaining talks on the wildlife, history, and geology of the Falkland Islands and Southern Ocean. Helpful briefings on environmental regulations and expedition safety will also be held in our comfortable lounge.
Those interested in Citizen Science can take part in SeaBird sighting surveys, or help collect salinity samples and weather data along the way.
Day 6, West Falklands
The westernmost settled outposts in the Falklands are remote farms that have been family-owned for six and seven generations. The sheep graze alongside albatross colonies and Rockhopper, King, and Magellanic penguin rookeries while striated caracaras patrol overhead and upland geese graze at the water’s edge. A visit to one of these homesteads often includes an invitation for cakes and a cup of tea.
Day 7, Stanley, East Falkland
Chosen for its sheltered harbor and access to abundant fresh water and peat for fuel, Stanley is easy to discover on foot as most shops and services are centered on the port. The museum, the post-office featuring first day covers, plenty of shops with locally made wool items, and Stanley’s lively pubs will all be available. It is possible to experience the wildlife of the Falklands from the town including sea lions and Peale’s and Commerson’s dolphins in the harbor or bird life in nearby Gypsy Cove.
Day 8-9, Southern Ocean
There will be plenty of wildlife spotting as we make our way east across the Antarctic Convergence and officially enter Antarctic waters. Shipboard presentations will continue, featuring the exciting history and abundant wildlife of South Georgia.
Day 10-13, South Georgia
Welcome to South Georgia! Landing sites feature huge Elephant seals, aggressive Fur seals, Gentoo penguins, albatross, petrels, skuas, and gulls. King penguins from fuzzy little chicks to fattened adults can be seen in the hundreds of thousands. We will visit historic Grytviken whaling station, home of the whaling museum, Norwegian seaman’s church, the active British Antarctic Survey station plus the tiny graveyard where the great Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried.
Day 14-15, Scotia Sea
Heading farther south, we continue our informative presentations and wildlife watch as the icebergs become more and more plentiful.
Day 16-19, Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, we hope to make as much time as possible to explore by inflatable Zodiac boats and marvel up close at nature’s glory. Our Expedition Leader and Captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. We will aim for the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas, as well as sites of historic and scientific interest.
Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins abound, and Weddell, Crabeater and Elephant Seals are often found hauled out to rest along with predatory Leopard Seals and the assertive Antarctic Fur Seal. Minke and Humpback Whales are frequent visitors in the late season and Orca sightings are also common.
Day 20-21, Drake Passage
As we leave this magical place and make our way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage, we will continue our presentation series and wildlife spotting. Sailing back to Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our expedition with a special slideshow.
Day 22, Ushuaia disembarkation
Morning disembarkation lets you catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure.