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South Georgia & the Falklands

Itinerary

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Itinerary Map
Please note: Flexibility is a hallmark of our expeditions, and the day-to-day itinerary can change as we adapt to weather and local conditions, taking advantage of rare wildlife sightings or allowing photographers to linger ashore through the golden hour of light.

Important note on itineraries: Some departures have a slightly different itinerary, Please reference the dates page or call for more details.

 
Days 1 & 2: Buenos Aires, Argentina
After an early morning arrival in Buenos Aires, check in to your deluxe accommodations in Argentina’s capital city. Buenos Aires is one of Latin America’s largest metropolitan areas, and a top tourist destination known for its cosmopolitan lifestyle, vibrant cultural melange and European-style architecture that reflects its colonial heritage and the influence of many 19th- and early-20th-century immigrants. After a leisurely morning, take a guided afternoon tour of the city, including Beaux Arts palaces, grand boulevards and Eva Peron’s famous balcony. Get acquainted with your fellow travelers during an early evening reception.

Day 3: Buenos Aires / Ushuaia—Embark Ship
Fly by private chartered aircraft to Ushuaia, crossing the peaks of Patagonia before landing in Ushuaia at the bottom of Tierra del Fuego. There’s no mistaking the "end of the world" feeling about the world’s most southerly city, which is a point of embarkation for many expeditions to Antarctica. Have lunch on a catamaran cruise in the Beagle Channel, flanked by mountains rising out of the sea on either side, before embarking ship to set sail in the South Atlantic.

Day 4: At Sea
Days at sea are an opportunity to learn and relax. Our expedition ship has a full complement of naturalists, scientists and historians on board who are eager to share information about geology, climate, wildlife and human exploration in the southern polar region. Lectures and slideshows add to our appreciation of all we see and experience during the voyage. Today, we are prepared for our visit to the Falkland Islands. Meanwhile, our crossing of the South Atlantic should provide ample opportunities to witness seabirds, including the black-browed albatross.

Days 5 & 6: Falkland Islands
Also called Islas Malvinas by Argentina, which contests Britain for claim to the colony, this windswept archipelago is a study in stone, sand and peat, with rugged cliffs battered by the ocean. Its isolated shores are home to marine mammals and prodigious birdlife—including the world’s largest albatross colony. Flightless steamer ducks, blue-eyed shags and several penguin species, including Magellanic, gentoo and rockhopper, are abundant, and Peale's dolphins often ride our bow waves near the islands. Though the Falklands are still disputed territory, they are culturally British through and through. English and Scottish immigrants arrived with sheep in the 19th century, and wool is produced to this day. The photogenic capital of Stanley offers a quaint study, with its tin-roofed houses, rose gardens, pubs and other emblems of Falklands colonial heritage, including an Anglican cathedral with an organic whalebone archway.

Days 7 & 8: At Sea
Continue sailing to the southeast, with whales swimming below and seabirds circling above. The ship’s naturalists and polar historian prepare us for exciting days ahead with presentations about South Georgia’s flora, fauna and geology, plus the inspiring story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance. Take advantage of the ship’s leisure and recreation opportunities, including a fitness center, sauna, massage therapy at the spa, and a library filled with books about Antarctic natural history and polar exploration.

Days 9–14: 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.

Explore the scenic coastline, with flexible opportunities for walking, hiking, kayaking and Zodiac excursions. By Zodiac we can access desolate beaches and glacier-carved fjords, and curious fur seals often approach our boats. Millions of king penguins live here in vast, squawking colonies that stretch to the horizon. South Georgia’s waters are home to blue, sperm, fin, sei and southern right whales, though they were nearly wiped out in the 20th century when whaling was still a commercial industry. At the former whaling outpost of Grytviken, abandoned processing factories lie derelict, and elephant seals have taken over the grounds. Those who wish to pay respects to the legendary explorer can visit the grave of Shackleton, who died here in 1922.

Days 15–17: At Sea / Falkland Islands
Head up to the bridge to observe expert navigational skills at work as our captain and officers sail these history-laden waters. Take advantage of community spaces including the lounge, the observation room with its game collection and binoculars, and the library, with an impressive collection of titles on regional natural history and exploration. On Day 17, our journey back across the South Atlantic returns us to the Falklands. In the afternoon, explore the capital of Stanley, once an important port for refueling steamships traveling around Cape Horn before the Panama Canal opened. Our visit offers a chance to see the human face of the islands, to meet the hospitable residents, hoist a drink at a local pub, and wander around this remote colonial outpost town.

Days 18 & 19: Falkland Islands—Disembark / Santiago, Chile / Depart
After breakfast, disembark ship in Stanley and transfer to the airport for our private chartered flight to Santiago. From Santiago, connect with onward flights, which are typically overnight flights that arrive the next day.


Physical Rating: Moderate

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