Upon arrival in Ushuaia, you'll be greeted and transferred with fellow expeditioners to your designated pre-voyage hotel. If already in Ushuaia, proceed to your hotel with check-in available from 3.00 pm. Visit the hospitality desk at Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort, Luis Fernando Martial 1650, between 8.00 am and 12.00 pm or 3.00 pm and 7.00 pm to collect luggage tags and confirm participation in the Beagle Channel and Isla de Los Lobos Cruise (sea lion island) tomorrow. Expeditioners arriving after 7.00 pm will find a welcome pack at check-in and should visit the hospitality desk the next day between 8.00 am – 10.00 am. The rest of the day is free, with meals at your own expense. Assigned accommodation: Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort or Los Acebos Ushuaia Hotel.
This morning, after breakfast and check-out, make sure your cabin luggage has clear cabin tags with your name and cabin number. Take it to the hotel reception, where it will be stored and directly transferred to the port for clearance, ready to be placed in your cabin upon your arrival onboard. Keep any valuables with you throughout the day.
You have the morning at leisure to explore Ushuaia. For those interested in the afternoon catamaran cruise, meet at the hotel lobby at 12.45 pm for a transfer to the port at 1.00 pm. Onboard the catamaran, sail through the Beagle Channel towards the iconic Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. The cruise includes a slow passage through the Bridges Archipelago to observe colonies of sea lions, imperial cormorants, and various bird species. Alternatively, if you prefer a leisurely day, meet at the hotel lobby at 3.45 pm for a transfer to the pier for embarkation.
Once onboard the ship, take time to settle into your cabin before attending important mandatory briefings. As the ship departs from port, gather on the deck to enjoy breathtaking views of Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego, marking the beginning of the Antarctic adventure.
In the evening, get acquainted with fellow expeditioners, the friendly expedition team, and crew at a welcome dinner, celebrating the start of an exciting Antarctic journey.
As we commence the trip across the South Atlantic Ocean towards the Falklands~Malvinas, we make the most of the time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. The expedition team prepare you for the first landing with important wildlife guidelines, biosecurity procedures, and start the lecture program to help you learn more about the region’s history, wildlife and environment.
The wildlife experiences begin as we enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following the ship. They rise and fall, skilfully using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.
The Falklands~Malvinas archipelago consists of two major islands (East and West Falkland) and over 700 smaller islands along the coast. Except for seven, most of these islands are uninhabited, featuring windswept coastlines, pristine white sand beaches, and clear waters. These seemingly desolate islands serve as vital wildlife sanctuaries, hosting a diverse range of bird species, including the world's largest black-browed albatross colony, and are renowned for abundant marine life in the cold, nutrient-rich surrounding waters.
Exploration of the Falklands~Malvinas reveals numerous scenic areas, each providing a unique perspective on this magnificent archipelago. The experienced expedition team, with extensive familiarity from numerous journeys to the region, customizes the day-to-day voyage based on prevailing winds, weather conditions, and wildlife opportunities.
Typically, we engage in landings or Zodiac excursions twice daily. Despite being north of the Antarctic Convergence, temperatures can be chilly, so it's advisable to layer up before participating in Zodiac cruises exploring rocky coves, sea cliffs, and observing seals, sea lions, dolphins, and penguins. Zodiacs transport you from the ship to the shore, offering opportunities to visit albatross colonies, penguin rookeries, and potentially enjoy a traditional English 'tea and scones' at a local cottage.
If conditions permit, we aim to land in Stanley, the historic capital of the Falklands~Malvinas. This charming town exudes a distinctly British character, featuring terraced town houses, pioneer cottages, and iconic red telephone boxes. Vibrant buildings house cozy cafes, English pubs, souvenir shops, a post office, and the captivating Historic Dockyard Museum, which showcases the maritime history of the Falkland Islands, natural history, and connections to Antarctica.
While sailing from the Falklands~Malvinas to South Georgia, you'll be captivated by the continuous aerial dance of numerous seabirds trailing and circling the vessel. The informative lecture series by the expert team will persist, offering engaging presentations. Additionally, you have the option to indulge in the ship's various amenities, peruse books from the extensive library, or stay active in the fitness center.
The arrival time in South Georgia today will be influenced by sea and weather conditions.
As you approach the rugged island of South Georgia, reflect on Captain James Cook's arrival in 1775, envisioning it as the northern tip of a vast southern continent. Despite being a small island, measuring only 176 km (110 mi) in length, South Georgia boasts a 3,000 m (9,842 ft) snow-capped mountain range, hosting some of the world's largest wildlife congregations and a captivating human history. The island's riches include jagged mountain peaks rising dramatically, with seabirds frequently seen soaring around the ship. We will cruise along the coast, offering a chance to explore the enchanting glaciated scenery. If time and weather permit, we may pass near Shag Rocks, a captivating group of rocky islets in the vicinity of South Georgia.
Your knowledgeable expedition team will expertly plan your daily itinerary, considering weather, sea conditions, and wildlife opportunities.
Before joining Zodiac excursions exploring craggy coves and rocky coastlines for nesting penguins and seal haul-outs, ensure you dress warmly. Keep an eye out for mesmerizing kelp forests in South Georgia's waters. Zodiacs will also transport you ashore, providing opportunities to visit large king penguin colonies, guided walks among seals, and exploration of glacial plains. Optional activities can be pursued as conditions permit. Besides Zodiac and shore excursions, ship cruising through fjords and bays with ancient stone cliffs offers breathtaking views of South Georgia's majestic coast from the observation lounge or the bridge.
As we cruise across the Scotia Sea towards the Antarctic continent, the expert team will persist in delivering informative onboard lectures. Feel free to indulge in the ship's amenities, such as the sauna and jacuzzis, or stay engaged with physical activities in the gym – the decision is yours on how you prefer to spend your days at sea.
During Captain James Cook's second voyage of exploration (1772–1775), he navigated the southern latitudes globally without encountering land, casting uncertainty on the existence of the still-unknown Antarctic continent. It was during this journey that Cook discovered the South Sandwich Islands and landed on South Georgia Island, describing them as "Lands doomed by Nature to perpetual frigidness." Named after Lord Sandwich, the South Sandwich Islands, along with South Georgia, constitute a UK Dependent Territory and remain uninhabited. Located about 740 km southeast of South Georgia, the islands form a 350 km-long chain, featuring volcanic origins and diverse landscapes, including ice-capped peaks and active volcanoes. Nature dictates our exploratory activities, and if conditions permit, we aim to explore the islands' dramatic coastlines by ship or Zodiac. Despite limited knowledge about these islands, the British Antarctic Survey conducted some biological and geological research in the 1960s, revealing sparse vegetation but an extraordinary wildlife spectacle on Zavodovski Island – a chinstrap penguin colony with approximately one million penguins. Witnesses to this massive colony express a sense of awe at the sight.
Contemplate recent adventures in the remote South Sandwich Islands over drinks and listen to stories of exploration from our onboard experts. Get ready for the upcoming thrilling experiences in the Antarctic Peninsula.
Describing the sensation of reaching Antarctica is nearly impossible. Witnessing your first iceberg and inhaling the incredibly fresh, crisp air is an unforgettable experience. With 18-24 hours of daylight, your days can be as busy as you desire. Engage in Zodiac cruises amidst stunning ice formations, explore shorelines with pebbly beaches, and hike snow-covered ridges for panoramic views. Penguin colonies hold the right of way, and polar plungers can immerse themselves in frigid waters if conditions allow. Sail through dramatic straits, observe whales, and savor the splendors of Antarctica from the observation lounges. Listen for the sounds of glaciers carving through this magnificent White Continent.
Conclude your Antarctic adventure with a final morning landing in the South Shetland Islands before embarking on the return journey through the Drake Passage to South America. Amidst lectures and film presentations, immerse yourself in the enchantment of the Southern Ocean and its vibrant marine life. Take time for reflection and discussion, becoming an advocate for Antarctica's conservation, sharing your experiences with family, friends, and colleagues. If conditions allow, the Captain may navigate near the iconic Cape Horn as we approach the tip of South America.
In the early morning, we sail up the Beagle Channel and quietly dock in Ushuaia, allowing passengers to disembark around 8:00 am. Bid farewell to the expedition team and fellow travelers as everyone continues their onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound appreciation for the immense power of nature.
Upon disembarkation, passengers with flights departing before 2:00 pm will be transferred directly to Ushuaia Airport. Those continuing their travels in the region will be transferred to their post-voyage Ushuaia accommodation. Passengers with flights after 2:00 pm can explore Ushuaia before an afternoon airport transfer, with details provided onboard prior to disembarkation.
Note: We recommend not booking flights departing Ushuaia before 12:00 pm on the day of disembarkation due to potential delays.