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Day 1 Buenos Aires - Explore the Birthplace of the Tango
Your expedition starts with an overnight stay in Buenos Aires, the bustling capital of Argentina. We offer an optional city tour in the afternoon. Spend the evening at your leisure and discover the 'Paris of South America' and the birthplace of the tango for yourself.
Day 2 Buenos Aires/Ushuaia - Tierra del Fuego
On this day you fly to Ushuaia. The flight leaves Buenos Aires in the morning, allowing you a few hours to explore Ushuaia or to join an optional excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park before embarking MS Fram. In the evening we will sail through the scenic Beagle Channel.
Day 3 At Sea - Across the Open Sea
We will cross the open sea on our way toward the Falkland Islands. Enjoy our lectures and keep an eye out for wildlife from deck.
Day 4-6 The Falkland Islands - Where Nature is Still in Charge
The Falkland Islands are teeming with wonders of wildlife and nature, and offer fantastically clear blue skies, seamless horizons, vast open spaces, and stunning white-sand beaches. Here the sheep graze alongside immense colonies of albatross and rockhopper, king, and macaroni penguins, while predatory striated caracaras patrol overhead and upland geese forage at the water’s edge.
In the Falklands, penguins waddle close to take a look at us, then continue on their way, giving you some great photo opportunities! Stanley, the islands’ capital, makes a wonderful starting point for the various excursions we offer in the area. The town is easy enough to discover on foot, as most shops and services are centred on the port.
Day 7-8 At Sea - The South Atlantic Ocean
We spend two days cruising southward to beautiful South Georgia. En route you can participate in a number of presentations about the area’s wildlife, as well as whaling and polar history. Our expedition team is well versed in every facet of South Georgia, from its geology and glaciology to the mating rituals of the sooty albatross and the legends of the Norwegian whalers. One of the fascinating stories that will be told is that of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the men of the ill-fated Endurance and their amazing feats of bravery.
Day 9-13 South Georgia - The Serengeti of the Southern Ocean
On this specific expedition, you will get even more time to explore the unique beauty and wildlife of South Georgia. The rich history of exploration and whaling lends a great backdrop to its rugged scenery with glaciers and bustling wildlife. It is known as the 'Serengeti of the Southern Ocean', and is a favorite place for wildlife photographers. South Georgia’s unique position inside the Antarctic ecosystem – yet outside the boundaries of the yearly sea ice – makes it home to tens of millions of breeding penguins, seals, and seabirds. We plan to visit Fortuna Bay and some of South Georgia’s abandoned whaling stations. During our stay here, you will see elephant seals lounge on the sand, fur seal pups race in and out of the water, albatross soar overhead, and king penguins in the thousands. Another highlight is exploring Gold Harbour. Enjoy the sight of hanging glaciers and cliffs, the lagoons, and a large king penguin colony. You will also see a whaling museum, the Norwegian seaman’s church, and the tiny graveyard where we can pay our respects to the great Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. South Georgia also offers some good hiking options, and one of our favorites is walking the last part of the route that Shackleton took on his brave journey across the island’s rugged mountains to find help for the 22 men left on the isolated Elephant Island.
Day 14-15 At Sea - Toward Antarctica
As we continue toward the great white continent, learn more about the history, environment, and wildlife of Antarctica. We will cruise by Washington Strait and Coronation Island before setting course toward Elephant Island and Antarctica.
Day 16-20 Antarctica - The Most Beautiful and Untouched Places on the Planet
Antarctica is different from anywhere else you will ever experience! Once we have crossed the Antarctic Convergence, you will start feeling the air getting crisper and colder. You will begin to see Antarctic penguins in the water, and don’t forget to be on the lookout for the first iceberg! Among the highlights we might visit during our days in Antarctica is Deception Island, one of the South Shetlands, a distinctive ring-shaped volcanic caldera. This is one of the few places in Antarctica where we can take our backpacks and hike. Being on an active volcano in Antarctica is hardly an everyday experience.
Other places we might visit are Half Moon Island, considered a jewel of diversity in the polar landscape; Hanna Point, with its diversity of wildlife; and the large Adélie colony at Paulet Island. It can be difficult to navigate through the 30-mile Antarctic Sound due to ice, but it offers the most impressive manifestations of icebergs that we will see on this expedition. On Brown Bluff, Adélie and chinstrap penguins, kelp gulls, and cape petrels nest below spectacular cliffs that rise 1,445 feet out of the sea. The stony beach is suitable for shore landings outside of nesting season. We might sail through the narrow Errera Channel, to and from Cuverville, and see the icebergs that have become trapped and grounded in the nearby shallows. Danco Island lies peacefully among the icebergs in the Errera Channel, just a few hundred yards from the Antarctic mainland, and is a breeding site for gentoo penguins.
Go ashore and explore with us, go kayaking to see the ice up close, or take a trip on one of our small boats. Port Lockroy is a British station from World War II that was turned into a museum in 1996. It is one of the most popular sites in Antarctica and offers a peek into life on an Antarctic base in the 1950s. Pleneau is situated just south of the Lemaire Channel and is a beautiful landing site, with many stranded icebergs in the bay area. When opportunities arise we will launch our kayaks, pitch tents ashore, and take you on unforgettable hikes to explore the most beautiful, untouched places on the planet.
Day 21-22 The Drake Passage - The Voyage North
On our way back to civilization, we will continue our lecture series and recap our experiences of Antarctica. The journey from the Antarctic Peninsula to Ushuaia at the southern tip of Argentina is roughly 600 miles – or 40 hours of sailing time in good weather.
Day 23 Ushuaia/Buenos Aires - The Southernmost Town in the World
We make landfall in Tierra del Fuego. Your voyage ends in the world’s southernmost town, Ushuaia, and your journey back continues with a flight to lively Buenos Aires. If you want some sun and warmth after spending time in Antarctica we recommend you participate in one of our post-cruise programs (Land Adventures) in Buenos Aires.
Note: For Nov 2021-Mar 2022 departures, Day 14-15 are sea days. Day 16-20 are in Antarctica.