Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands

For many this is one of the best expedition cruises thinkable, combining three magnificent destinations in one trip. In the region of the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula we get a great variety of opportunities to actively explore the unique wildlife and breathtaking scenery. With nearly 200 recognized sites here we use all our experience to offer you the best places and ways to explore the enchanting world of the Sixth Continent. For many, South Georgia is a not-to-be-missed destination within the Antarctic region, reknown for its indiscribable beauty and the mindblowing numbers of animals. The Falkland Islands offer an unforgettable vista of moors and rugged coastlines carved by the South Atlantic, where the wildlife and plant life form a link between Patagonia and Antarctica. In addition you’ll see a lot of seabirds and whales during our crossings at sea, making this a true and complete Antarctic and Subantarctic adventure.

Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
The small city of Ushuaia is the perfect starting point for our expedition cruise to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland/Malvinas Islands. Located near the southern tip of South America, it boasts beautiful views of the Andres Mountains and the Beagle Channel. Stroll the lively main street of cafes, shops and outfitters, perhaps picking up a last-minute item for your voyage, or enjoying a typical Argentine grill entrée at one of the many casual restaurants. If you arrive early, you will want to visit beautiful Tierra del Fuego National Park. Our guests will overnight at the stunningly situated five-star Arakur Resort and Spa, a member of the “Leading Hotels of the World.”

Day 2: Embarkation
In the afternoon we embark the Sea Spirit and set sail down the scenic Beagle Channel.

Day 3: At sea
Escorted by seabirds and whales the Sea Spirit makes its way to the Falkland Islands

Day 4-5: The Falklands
The Falkland Islands are a small country of moors and rugged coastlines carved by the South Atlantic, where the wildlife and plant life form a link between Patagonia and Antarctica. On the beaches of the islands elephant seals are a spectacular sight when battling to establish territories at the start of the breeding season or even simply relaxing at the sea. Sea lions and fur seals are also easily seen around the Islands. As many as a million penguins nest in the Falklands every summer, representing five of the world’s seventeen species – king, gentoo, rockhopper, Magellanic and acaroni. What’s more, for the gentoo, the Falklands are home to the largest population on Earth.
The capital of the Falklands Port Stanley is the southernmost British outpost. Together with many reminders of its British heritage such as red phone boxes and English pubs the town boasts more unusual sights like a whalebone arch and many shipwrecks along the coast.

Day 6-7: At sea
Clear your camera’s memory as we sail towards the “capital” of Antarctic wildlife.

Day 8-11: South Georgia
South Georgia is an unmissable destination within Antarctica. This sub-Antarctic region is a peak emerging from the Scotia Arc, an underwater mountain chain that extends the Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula. This long and narrow, whale bone shaped island is a home to:
Four seal species – southern elephant seal, Antarctic fur seal, Weddell seal, and leopard seal.
Several whale species – southern right whales, humpbacks, fin whales, sperm whales, killer whales orcas, and southern bottlenose whales.
Antarctic seabirds, about 46% of the world’s breeding population of grey headed albatrosses; northern giant petrels, white chinned petrels and Antarctic prions. Most of the world’s population of the South Georgia blue eyed shags live there, some 7,500 pairs.

Penguins – around half the world’s population of macaroni penguins, along with 100,000 pairs of Gentoo penguins and about 6,000 breeding pairs of Chinstrap penguins.
The most attractive residents of the South Georgia are King penguins with their orange-yellow crowns. The total number of King penguins is around 400,000 breeding pairs.
We spend 4 days among the alpine landscapes and penguins’ crowds. Visit to the historic settlement of Grytviken with its whaling era remnants is one of the highlights of South Georgia.

Day 12-13: Scotia Sea
Our invited experts on Antarctic wildlife, history and geology give lectures and presentations preparing us for the meeting with wild spaces of the Sixth Continent.

Day 14-18: The Antarctic Continent and South Shetlands
Our Captain and Expedition Leader will do their best to show you all the faces of Antarctica. We hope to tick off 5 penguin /6 seal / several whale species in Antarctic check-list. While cruising along narrow Antarctic waterways we admire huge icebergs of different shapes, sizes and colours. We visit scientific stations representing several different countries and learn about Antarctic scientific researches straight from the source. Of course setting foot on the actual Antarctic Continent is also on agenda.

Day 19-20: Drake Passage
This last sea passage separates the magic world we’d discovered from the rest of the world, where we will be in several days. Use these days to refresh your memories and bid farewell to birds and whales you identify easily now.

Day 21: Disembarkation in Ushuaia
Our morning disembarkation in Ushuaia is followed by group transfer to the airport. Or you may stay at the city centre, if you plan a longer stay in Ushuaia.

INSURANCE:
Travel insurance is mandatory for all expedition cruises, including a medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance. The repatriation/evacuation must be insured at cost, not a maximum amount. In case of a medical problem arising during the voyage, either on board or on shore, which results in costs for medical treatment, evacuation, use of aircraft or repatriation etc. the responsibility for payment of these costs belongs solely to the passenger. It is mandatory for the passenger to ensure that such eventualities are covered by travel insurance (incl. medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance). In any case, if not covered by appropriate travel insurance the responsibility still remains with the passenger and PolarXL and its partners specifically decline any responsibility whatsoever.

Although not mandatory, we strongly recommend taking out a cancellation insurance for your cruise. During the booking on the PolarXL website you can indicate if you want to take out a cancellation insurance through PolarXL. Alternatively, you can decide to take out the insurance yourself at your insurance agency.
The itinerary for all expedition cruises is for guidance only and this also applies to this particular cruise. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board who will keep you informed on possibilities during the cruise. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

Regarding cruises in the Spitsbergen waters: since 2015 ships cruising in the waters around Spitsbergen must have either a local pilot or a two licensed officers on board. In case of a pilot coming on board this will mean the pilot will take control of the ship and the route. In some instances it is necessary for one of the ship’s officers to take the pilot exemption test during a cruise. This will also mean the pilot has control of the ship and the route. In case a pilot takes control of the ship it could mean that the route can partly not be done as described on our website.
This is a local law and neither PolarXL nor its partners can accept any responsibility for changes in the route should this happen.

The species mentioned on our website all regularly occur in the area mentioned. PolarXL can not guarantee you will see a certain number of species or animals, nor can we guarantee which animals you will see. In certain cases you will see fewer animals than indicated, in certain cases you will see more and different animals than indicated.

PLEASE NOTE:
The itinerary for all expedition cruises is for guidance only and this also applies to this particular cruise. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board who will keep you informed on possibilities during the cruise. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

Regarding cruises in the Spitsbergen waters: since 2015 ships cruising in the waters around Spitsbergen must have either a local pilot or a two licensed officers on board. In case of a pilot coming on board this will mean the pilot will take control of the ship and the route. In some instances it is necessary for one of the ship’s officers to take the pilot exemption test during a cruise. This will also mean the pilot has control of the ship and the route. In case a pilot takes control of the ship it could mean that the route can partly not be done as described on our website.
This is a local law and neither PolarXL nor its partners can accept any responsibility for changes in the route should this happen.

The species mentioned on our website all regularly occur in the area mentioned. PolarXL can not guarantee you will see a certain number of species or animals, nor can we guarantee which animals you will see. In certain cases you will see fewer animals than indicated, in certain cases you will see more and different animals than indicated.

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