Important note on flights: Some departures aboard the National Geographic Explorer and the National Geographic Endurance begin with a direct flight to or from Santiago, Chile to the Falklands, spending one less day at sea but including an additional day in South Georgia. Please reference the dates page or call for more details.
Days 1 & 2: Buenos Aires, Argentina or Santiago, Chile
The ship you select for your Antarctica, Falklands & South Georgia expedition cruise determines the starting and ending point of your journey. Guests traveling aboard the National Geographic Explorer or National Geographic Endurance (on certain departures) arrive and depart via Buenos Aires, Argentina. Guests traveling aboard the National Geographic Orion or National Geographic Endurance (on certain departures) arrive and depart via Santiago, Chile.
With an early morning arrival in Buenos Aires, Explorer guests check in at the Alvear Art Hotel (or similar) and Endurance guests check in at the Alvear Icon Hotel (or similar). Buenos Aires is Argentina’s capital, set on the Rio de la Plata. This is one of Latin America’s largest metropolitan areas, and a top tourist destination
Following an early morning arrival in sophisticated Santiago, Orion or Endurance guests check in at the centrally located Hotel Santiago by Mandarin (or similar). Santiago is nearly surrounded by the Andes, which form an inspiring backdrop for an afternoon tour of Chile's vibrant capital. After a relaxing morning, we explore the Plaza de Armas, the main
Day 3: Ushuaia
Travel by private chartered flight to Ushuaia, surveying the peaks of the southernmost Andes below before landing at the tip Tierra del Fuego at the very bottom of South America. There’s no mistaking the "end of the world" feeling about the most southerly city on Earth, which is the point of embarkation for expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula. If weather permits, we will enjoy lunch on a catamaran cruise in the Beagle Channel, where steep peaks rise out of the sea, before embarking our expedition ship and setting sail.
Day 4: At Sea
Days at sea are an opportunity to learn and relax. Our expedition ship has a full complement of naturalists,
Days 5 & 6: Falkland Islands
Also called the Islas Malvinas by Argentina, which contests Britain's claim to the colony, the windswept Falklands archipelago is a study in stone,
Days 7 & 8: At Sea
We continue cruising south, with whales swimming beneath the waters and
Days 9–13: South Georgia Island
Remote South Georgia is best known for the riveting saga of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated 1914 expedition aboard the sailing ship Endurance. The magnitude of Shackleton’s heroic trek across South Georgia to secure the rescue of his crew can only be fully grasped on a visit to the island, with its spine of glaciated peaks rising precipitously from the sea. J. Gunnar Anderson, who encountered the island in 1902, described it as “mighty fells with snowy crowns and sharp, uncovered teeth, around the valleys through which enormous, broad rivers of ice came flowing to the sea.” Yet the land, for all its ruggedness, is rich in animal life. Zodiac trips permit visits to desolate beaches and glacier-carved fjords, and curious fur seals often approach the boats. Millions of
Days 14 & 15: At Sea
As we sail for Antarctica, head up to the bridge to watch for icebergs and observe expert navigators at work as our skilled captain and officers ply these historic waters. Each day, the ship's naturalists and historians offer talks that add depth to our polar experience. Take advantage of community spaces including the lounge, the observation room with its collection of games and binoculars, and a chance to delve into the intrigues of the library’s collection of regional titles.
Days 16–20: Antarctica
A grand and otherworldly kingdom of ice, rock,
During our visit, we sail through the Lemaire Channel, where vertical cliffs hem in a narrow passage filled with a magnificent parade of bobbing icebergs. Almost constant summer daylight provides ample opportunity for flexible exploration of this frozen white frontier by Zodiac, kayak and on foot, with the guidance of the ship’s seasoned expedition experts. Millions of animals thrive here, and visitors find a rich assortment of marine life including Weddell, Southern elephant, crabeater and leopard seals, and minke, humpback, sei and fin whales, as well as orcas. Zodiacs allow us to get close to wildlife and make landings on shore, where we walk among noisy colonies of four resident penguin species—chinstrap, emperor,
Days 21 & 22: At Sea
The Drake Passage is legendary among mariners and a milestone in any adventurer's personal travel history. Named for the 16th-century English privateer Sir Francis Drake, whose ship was blown far off course in these waters, this 600-mile-wide channel that separates Cape Horn from the Antarctic Peninsula is notorious for its frequent high winds and rough seas. Without a significant land mass, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current flows unimpeded, carrying a tremendous volume of water through the passage. Midway across, the Antarctic Convergence mixes cold, northward-flowing waters with the relatively warmer south-flowing waters, creating a highly productive marine zone for Antarctic krill, the favored food source for whales, seals, penguins, squid, albatrosses and other seabirds. Our ship is likely to be escorted through the passage by dolphins, Cape petrels and wandering albatrosses.
Days 23 & 24: Ushuaia / Buenos Aires, Argentina or Santiago, Chile / Depart
After breakfast, disembark in Ushuaia with time to explore this rugged mountain town before a private chartered flight returns us to Buenos Aires or Santiago (the same destination in which you started your expedition with the exception of some Endurance departures), for homeward flights the next day.