Classic South Georgia - Antarctic Cruise

Classic South Georgia | Ushuaia | Antarctica Tours Classic South Georgia | Ushuaia | Antarctica Tours
Join us on the USHUAIA for an expedition cruise to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctic Peninsula, and South Shetland Islands. Immerse yourself in the spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife, and rich history of these remote destinations. Experience the thrill of exploring South Georgia's rugged landscapes, witnessing penguin and seal colonies, and retracing the footsteps of historic explorers like Shackleton. This unforgettable journey promises a perfect blend of adventure, education, and reflection.

22 Day Antarctica Itinerary

Day 1: Ushuaia

We will embark the USHUAIA in the afternoon. We will then have a welcome drink, followed by an introduction of the expedition team and crew. This will give us time to meet our new shipmates. After a welcome drink, the ship will set off for Western Falkland Islands. These islands are known for rugged beauty as well as a wealth of waterfowl and seabirds.

Day 2: At Sea

Open bridges on USHUAIA allow us to learn from the officers about navigation and marine life while enjoying the view of the ocean. The waters of these oceans are home to a variety of interesting seabirds. They often follow the currents left behind by the ship. These include albatrosses, petrels and many others. While we're at sea, join the naturalists and expedition staff on deck as they search for local wildlife such as dolphins and orcas. A variety of interesting lectures will prepare us for our first excursion to the Falkland Island (Malvinas).

Day 3: Western Falkland Islands (Malvinas)

Our lecturers and Naturalists will be with you for your first trip on 15 October 2023, if conditions are favorable. We might explore the following islands on the west coast:

West Point Island

West Point Island is located off of the north-westmost point on West Falkland. This attractive settlement is located on the east side of the island, on the leeward slopes of Black Bog Hill. This valley rolls across the middle of the island, to the Devil's Nose. It is one of the main attractions of the Falklands (Malvinas). Visitors are treated to a magnificent view of Cliff Mountain at the Island's high point, 1,250 feet (381 meters), as well as the highest cliffs on the Falklands. We will see a large colony of Rockhopper Penguins nesting in the vicinity.

Carcass Island

Carcass Island is located to the northwest of the Falklands Archipelago. The lower part of the island, below Jason Hill in the east, is covered by a mature tussac forest. Carcass Island is known for its abundance of cover, and lack of rats, mice, and cats. This has led to a large number of birds. Gentoo Penguins and Magellanic Penguins nest on the island. Peale’s and Commerson’s dolphins are often seen close to shore to catch a glimpse at the tourists. We are welcomed to share tea and cookies in the beautiful gardens of the settlement.

We will then sail eastwards around the islands in the north of the archipelago to arrive at Stanley the next morning.

Day 4: Eastern Falkland Islands (Malvinas) - At Sea

We will spend the early morning exploring the charming little town Stanley, its Museums, pubs and souvenir shops. It was founded in early 1840s. The weather and isolation made it difficult to live, but the progress was slow and marked by two wars.

You don't even need to leave the city to experience the amazing wildlife that the Islands offer. Southern Giant Petrels are often seen flying close to shore. Kelp Gulls and Dolphin Gulls are often seen together in flight. Black-crowned Night Herons are frequent but less noticeable visitors in the Stanley area. They also include Red-backed Hawks, and Peregrine Falcons. Turkey Vultures can be seen perched on the tops of prominent buildings. The park is home to many pairs of Upland Geese. You can also take a walk around town and see the birds singing.

Early afternoon is the time for a sail to South Georgia.

Day 5 & 6: At Sea

During the time at sea, a comprehensive lecture program is offered. Naturalists will share with us their expertise on the unique wildlife we'll encounter and its ecosystems. South Georgia has been hailed as one of Earth's most inspiring and beautiful places. It is home to more wildlife than anywhere on earth.

Day 7: At Sea - South Georgia

South Georgia is in view! It is a beautiful place with a variety of scenery, from high mountains to mighty glaciers and deep fjords. We would visit the following places in the afternoon if the weather was good.

Elsehul

Elsehul, located at the northwest extremity of South Georgia along the eastern edge of the Parydian Peninsula's knife-edged summits, is a charming little harbor. The only place on the island where you can see colonies of Blackbrowed or Greyheaded Albatrosses from zodiacs in the protected waters of the coast.

Right Whale Bay

Right Whale Bay, a 1.5 mile (2.4 km wide) bay located between Craigie Point & Nameless Point on the North Coast of South Georgia is entered. Named after South Georgia's commercial whaling center in 1922. We hope to see a few King Penguins along with Giant Petrels gulls breeding fur seals.

Day 8 to 12: South Georgia

The exact route will be determined by the local conditions on land and at sea, but we are interested in exploring these destinations:

Salisbury Plain

Salisbury Plain, also known as the "Serengeti of the South", is an unparalleled wildlife area. The tens and thousands of King Penguins nesting in this ecosystem are framed by several large glaciers. We can walk along the wide, sandy beach as we explore this colony. The penguins are literally all around us, and we feel awed by their curiosity. There are also elephant seals, Southern Giant Petrels, and Gentoo Penguins that wander. Be prepared for a truly amazing experience.

Prion Island

Prion Island has a beautiful islet covered in tussac grass. We may be lucky enough to get a chance to view a colony of Wandering albatross nesting on the top. The wooden boardwalk will take us to the top, allowing for comfortable viewing and getting close to nests.

Grytviken

Grytviken is located in King Edward Cove. This sheltered harbor lies between Hope Point, and Hobart Rock at the west shore of Cumberland East Bay. Grytviken's rusting whaling station is located on a flat plain, at the top of Cumberland East Bay. It is surrounded by mountains and steep hills. The station is now the South Georgia Museum and remains an important attraction for visitors. Also, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s grave at the whalers' cemetery nearby, along with his memorial cross, are also of great interest. Even by South Georgia's standards, the scenery is stunning: The glaciers and snow-covered peaks of Mt. Sugartop, Mt. Paget, Mt. Roots, Nordenskjold Peak, Mt. Kling, Mt. Brooker forms a stunning backdrop for the cove. The views, especially from King Edward Point, are among the best on Earth.

Godthul

Godthul, a 3-km-long inlet located between Cape George and Long Point on the Barff Peninsula's eastern shores, is 9km east from Cumberland East Bay. Gentoo penguins can be seen on the tussac plateau, and Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses echo in the amphitheater of the natural cliffs that surround the harbor. Between 1908-1929, a floating factory ship was serviced each summer by two whale catchers. The whaling operation was supported by a small whaling shore depot located in the southeast corner. Rusty barrels, wooden sheds and boats, along with the collection of elephant seal and whale bones, are all fascinating remnants from the past.

St Andrews Bay

St. Andrews Bay's coastline is a 1,86-mile (3 km) stretch of fine, dark sand that runs from north to south. Its interior features the Cook Buxton Heaney Glaciers, and it has a penguin and seal population. In the bay, there is South Georgia's largest colony of King Penguins. In spring, elephant seals are also a common sight on the beach. A large collection of animals attracts a scavenger squad that is persistent and ravenous. Sheathbills dart around and in the colony of penguins. Cape Petrels are nesting in small numbers on the cliffs to the north of St. Andrews Bay. The leopard seals also patrol this part of the beach, searching for penguins near the edge of the kelp bed. On the slopes of tussac, a few White-chinned petrels nest and Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses. Brown Skuas, Antarctic Terns, and other seabirds nest on the scree slopes of the North End Beach. They defend their nests with characteristic noise.

Cooper Bay

Cooper Bay can be found on the southernmost tip of South Georgia. This site is home to a variety of animals in an amazing setting. The fascinating volcanic rocks that tower above the small fjords invite you to take a zodiac ride and observe wildlife. Be on the lookout for Chinstrap Penguins and Macaroni Penguins.

Drygalski Fjord

Drygalski Fjord can also be found in the south-east of the island. These glaciers have receded significantly over the past few decades but remain one of most impressive features along this coast, especially the Risting Glacier and Jenkins Glacier. We might be able to see the glaciers break and the formation of an iceberg while on the ship.

Day 13 & 14: At Sea

The next two days will be spent crossing the Scotia Sea to the Antarctic Peninsula. This is a great opportunity for you to relax on deck or read, edit your photos or reflect on what you experienced during the final days in South Georgia. These days will include lectures and other activities.

Day 15: Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands

Elephant Island is a mysterious place that we hope to be able to explore. Fans of Sir Ernest Shackleton will be familiar with this windswept, historic island. Shackleton had to abandon 22 men on the island in 1916, as he embarked with five other people on a last ditch rescue effort. The rescue attempt that followed was one of history's greatest. This gripping adventure story in an amazing part of the globe will leave every passenger with more knowledge.

Day 16: At Sea - Antarctic Peninsula: Antarctic Sound

You will be prepared by our expedition team for your experience on the Antarctic Peninsula or South Shetland Islands.

We hope to reach the Antarctic Peninsula later today in the picturesque Antarctic Sound area. We will attempt to land on one of these landing sites.

Argentine Antarctic Station Esperanza

We will try to sail the passage to the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula, which traverses the Antarctic Sound and runs northwest-to-southeast. Hope Bay and Argentine Station Esperanza can be found on the west side of the Sound.

Brown Bluff

Brown Bluff is a promontory located on the Tabarin Peninsula south of Hope Bay. They could both be landing sites. Adelie penguins inhabit the Weddell sea, which is the heart of the peninsula.

Day 17 to 19: Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

You will be prepared by our expedition team for your experience on the Antarctic Peninsula or South Shetland Islands.

Gerlache Strait

The wide straits and protected bays of this region, with its mountainous islands offer solitude. The physical characteristics of this region include a profusion tall peaks that humans have not yet climbed, and huge glaciers moving inexorably towards the sea.

Hydrurga Rocks

Hydrurga Rocks is a group of small islands located east of Two Hummock Island, in the Palmer Archipelago at the northern entry of Gerlache Strait. Chinstrap Penguins breed here, as do Blue-eyed Shags. Kelp Gulls also have a breeding record.

Cuverville Island

Cuverville Island is also a possibility. It lies within the picturesque Errera Channel in the middle of the Gerlache Strait. Many Gentoo Penguins nest here on a well-defined, raised beach. We plan to visit the South Shetland Islands on our journey north.

Deception Island

The narrow passage will take us into the caldera of Deception Island, the largest among the three volcanic centers that have recently formed in the South Shetlands. It is an amazing experience. The rising slopes of the black cinder covered volcanic rim are a great way to get a spectacular view.

Half Moon Island

Chinstrap Penguins live on this crescent-shaped Island, located at the entrance to Moon Bay, between Greenwich Islands and Livingston Islands.

Day 20 & 21: At Sea

You will be prepared by our expedition team for your experience on the Antarctic Peninsula or South Shetland Islands.

As we leave Antarctica, we head to the north through Drake Passage. Our lecturers will be on board to help you search for whales and seabirds. Enjoy some last lectures. Relax and enjoy the last lectures.

Day 22: Ushuaia

Arriving at Ushuaia early in the morning, we disembark after breakfast.
Please be aware: This itinerary is only a guide. The exact itinerary and program may vary depending on the local conditions, including weather and ice. We will also take into consideration wildlife viewing opportunities. The Captain or Expedition Leader will make changes to the itinerary based on the current conditions. On board, a daily schedule will be distributed. Flexible thinking is key.

Itinerary Map

Classic South Georgia

22 Day Antarctica Itinerary Highlights

  • Cruise through breathtaking landscapes of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • Witness diverse wildlife, including penguins, seals, albatrosses, and whales, creating a truly immersive experience.
  • Explore historic sites such as Grytviken, a former whaling station, and learn about the legendary journey of Sir Ernest Shackleton.
  • Marvel at South Georgia's awe-inspiring scenery, featuring glaciers, fjords, and vast colonies of King Penguins.
  • Engage in informative lectures by expert naturalists, enhancing your understanding of the unique ecosystems and wildlife encountered.
  • Cruise through iconic passages like the Gerlache Strait and Antarctic Sound for unparalleled views.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast Served Daily
  • 21 Dinners
  • 22 Lunches
Salisbury Plains | South Georgia | King Penguins
King George Island | South Shetland Islands |  Antarctica
+12
 | Cierva Cove |  Antarctica

22 Day Antarctica cruise activities

Sea Kayaking
Under full instruction from your sea kayaking guide, experience true tranquillity as you paddle through clinking ice floes and realise the enormity of the surrounding scenery. Look out for breaching whales, lounging seals and penguins zipping alongside your kayak. Some experience is required.
Ice Camping
Camp out on the ice and experience the silence which blankets the continent by night. This is your chance to completely connect with this ethereal ice world – wrap up warm and embrace the Antarctic elements.
Snowshoeing
Get a spring in your step when you slip on a pair of snowshoes in Antarctica. Enabling you to easily scale gentle slopes, this unique activity allows you to access hard to reach places and seek out the most impressive views.
Photography
Learn to capture wildlife and landscape shots in a small group photography program, including critiquing sessions and editing classes. Plus, Explorer Boat excursions with a dedicated photography expert on landings.
Explorer Boats
Achieve the best views and photographs from a forward facing Explorer Boats. They allow you to sit comfortably and securely while crackling through the ice-strewn waters. Look out for wildlife such as penguins, seals and whales as you cruise.
Yoga
It doesn’t get more serene than complimentary yoga classes to the tune of glacial scenery. Join the most unique exercise setting in the world after a day of exploration. Classes are regular but are dependent on weather conditions and swell.
Classic South Georgia
22 Days
From $9,990.00 per person


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