Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands: Sea Explorer

Towering Icebergs, Thousands of Penguins, and Tales of Shackleton

Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands: Sea Explorer route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $11,595  
Length: 20 days
Arrive: Trelew, Argentina
Depart: Ushuaia, Argentina
Lodging: 19 nights aboard expedition ship, 1 hotel night
Meals: All meals onboard and Welcome/Farewell cocktail
Activity: Small Ship Cruising, Wildlife & Natural History
Trip Level: 21-day expedition cruise, nature walks on uneven ground, Zodiac cruising with wet landings, often rough seas and cold weather
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Highlights

  • Experience the magnificent scenery and amazing wildlife of the Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctic Peninsula
  • Explore by Zodiac with expert Antarctic naturalists
  • Wildlife wonders from spouting whales to million-strong penguin colonies


This trip was simply amazing! Staff and accommodations were excellent as well as activities.James K.—Rolling Hills Estates, CA

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Choose from a Variety of Ships

We offer several exciting voyages to Antarctica aboard a variety of ships. This is the detailed information for Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falklands: Sea Explorer. To see all departures on all ships, please click here.

Experience three epic destinations of the Southern Ocean: the wildlife-rich oasis of the Falkland Islands, breathtaking South Georgia Island, with its legends of Shackleton and massive colonies of king penguins, and the celebrated Antarctic Peninsula, a world of towering peaks and icebergs. On our small-ship expedition cruise during the austral summer, adventures by go-anywhere Zodiacs grant us fantastic access to hidden bays full of drifting bergs and shores thronged with chattering penguins and basking elephant seals, while our expert naturalists and historians illuminate the fascinating world of the Antarctic.

Itinerary


Oct. 29-Nov. 18, 2015

Day 1
Puerto Madryn, Argentina

Arrive in Trelew, Argentina, and transfer to Puerto Madryn, one of Argentina's fastest growing cities and the gateway to the Peninsula Valdés. This lively city is a popular resort destination for wildlife excursions: visit a sea lion colony, watch for nesting cormorants and magnificent elephant seals, or experience a walk through a colony of Magellanic penguins and myriad species of native seabirds.

Day 2
Puerto Madryn / Embarkation

We arrive at the ship in the afternoon, where we are greeted by our Expedition Team and ship's officers. A safety and orientation briefing is followed by the Captain's welcome dinner. Then, we watch the city lights fade in the fresh night air as we sail seaward.

Days 3-4
Southern Ocean

As we sail south, we have many opportunities to spot wildlife including albatrosses, prions, and petrels that frequently follow in the wake of the ship. Our Expedition Team will be out on deck as well, looking for the whales and dolphins that may also be seen in the area. Our experts will begin their presentations with informative and entertaining lectures on the wildlife, history, and geology of the Falkland Islands and Southern Ocean. Briefings on environmental regulations and expedition safety will also be held in the comfortable lecture hall.

Day 5
West Falklands

The westernmost settled outposts in the Falklands are remote farms that have been family-owned for six and seven generations. Sheep graze alongside albatross colonies and rockhopper, king, and macaroni penguin rookeries while striated caracaras patrol overhead and upland geese graze at the water's edge. A visit to one of these homesteads often includes an invitation for cakes and a cup of tea.

Day 6
Stanley, East Falkland

Chosen for its sheltered harbor and access to abundant fresh water and peat for fuel, Stanley is easy to discover on foot as most shops and services are centered on the port. The museum, the post-office featuring first day covers, plenty of shops with locally made wool items, and Stanley's lively pubs are great for exploring. It is possible to experience the wildlife of the Falklands from the town, including sea lions and Peale's and Commerson's dolphins in the harbor, or bird life in nearby Gypsy Cove.

Days 7-8
Southern Ocean

There is plenty of wildlife spotting as we make our way east across the Antarctic Convergence and officially enter Antarctic waters. Shipboard presentations continue, featuring the exciting history and abundant wildlife of South Georgia.

Days 9-12
South Georgia

South Georgia's unique position inside the Antarctic Convergence yet outside the limit of the yearly sea ice makes this 3,755 square kilometer island home to tens of millions of breeding penguins, seals, and seabirds. Magnificent mountain scenery, glaciers galore, a rugged coastline punctuated with castellate and tabular icebergs, a rich historical tapestry, and an astounding array of wildlife are all available to us as we travel down South Georgia's leeward coast. Landing sites feature huge elephant seals, aggressive fur seals, macaroni penguins, albatross, petrels, skuas, and gulls. King penguins from fuzzy little chicks to fattened adults can be seen in the hundreds of thousands. We will visit historic Grytviken whaling station, home of the whaling museum, Norwegian seaman's church, the active British Antarctic Survey station, and the tiny graveyard where the great Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried.

Days 13-14
Scotia Sea

Heading farther south, we continue our informative presentations and wildlife watching as the icebergs become more and more plentiful.

Days 15-18
Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

We enter the land of superlatives, Antarctica! Our Expedition Leader and Captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. Our route will stress the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies, and whale feeding areas as well as sites of historic and scientific interest. The trip may include picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, Wilhelmina Bay (favored by humpback whales), the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. We may stop at an active scientific base such as Poland’s Arctowksi or Ukraine’s Vernadskiy as well as an historic base such as Britain's Port Lockroy or Wordie House. Adelie, chinstrap, and gentoo penguins abound, and Weddell, crabeater, and elephant zeals are often found hauled out to rest along with predatory leopard seals and the aggressive Antarctic fur seal. Minke and humpback whales are frequent visitors in the late season and orca sightings are also common.

Days 19-20
Drake Passage

We continue our lecture series and wildlife spotting as we sail to Ushuaia and reflect on beautiful Antarctica and its fragile future. We arrive at Ushuaia in the early hours of Day 22.

Day 21
Ushuaia

We disembark in the morning and catch a flight to Buenos Aires for homeward-bound flights, or stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure.


Itinerary In-Brief for Jan. 30-Feb. 18, 2016

Days 1-2 Ushuaia, Argentina / Embark
Day 3 Southern Ocean
Day 4 West Falklands
Day 5 Stanley / East Falkland
Days 6-7 Southern Ocean
Day 8-11 South Georgia
Days 12-13 Scotia Sea
Day 14-17 Antarctica Peninsula / South Shetland Islands
Days 18-19 Drake Passage
Day 20  Ushuaia / Disembark / Depart

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.

2016 Cruise Collection Brochure

We’ve searched the world to find the finest small ships and most active adventures, from Greenland to New Zealand to the great rivers of Europe.

Download our online digital brochure to view on your computer or mobile device, or as a PDF! Or request a printed copy to be sent by mail, or by calling 800-368-2794.

What the Trip is Like

The trip is rated Level 1+, Easy. You will be travelling to a very remote destination. You must be able to complete on board safety drills and emergency evacuation procedures without the assistance of others. Rolling seas and windy conditions require you to be stable on your feet, especially when walking on slippery decks or up and down steep gangways. Shore excursions often require hiking over uneven terrain without the benefit of a developed trail. Some agility is required for getting in and out of the Zodiac landing crafts. While several Zodiac landings are dry, many will require that you step in the water to get ashore. Zodiac and shore excursions are weather permitting.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures

2015
Oct 29-Nov 18, 2015
2016
Jan 30-Feb 18, 2016  * SOLD OUT


*Please note Jan 30-Feb 18, 2016 departure is one day shorter and begins in Ushuaia, Argentina. Please call for details.

Trip Cost

Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy

Oct 29-Nov 18, 2015

CategoriesCruise Price
Triple Suite $11,595
Porthole Suite $13,395
Window Suite $14,995
Deluxe Suite $17,295
Veranda Suite $19,595
Penthouse Suite $21,995
Kayaking: $695

Jan 30-Feb 18, 2016

CategoriesCruise Price
Triple Suite $14,595
Porthole Suite $16,995
Window Suite $18,595
Deluxe Suite $20,995
Veranda Suite $22,995
Penthouse Suite $24,995
Kayaking: $750

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: $1500
90 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $750 per person
90 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Passengers are subject to any cancellation fees assessed by the purveyors of services, including airlines or hotels used in the itinerary. Requests for cancellations must be made in writing. No refunds will be made for any part of this program in which you choose not to participate.

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Deck Plan

Trip Cost Includes:

  • One pre voyage hotel night in embarkation city
  • Shipboard accommodations and all port fees
  • All scheduled landings and excursions
  • All meals onboard and Welcome/Farewell cocktail
  • A pair of boots for use during the voyage
  • A waterproof outer shell jacket for you to keep
  • Waterproof outer shell loaned for duration of cruise
  • Transport from central location to ship for embarkation
  • Transport from ship to central location for disembarkation
  • Digital Voyage Log

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare; pre- or post-voyage expenses in Argentina; passport, visa, or Argentine Reciprocity fees ($160); baggage, cancellation and accident insurance; meals other than specified above; personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls, faxes and e-mail service; and gratuities to shipboard personnel.

Arrival & Departure Information


Oct 29-Nov 18, 2015

Please review the following information before confirming your flight arrangements to Trelew and back from Ushuaia, Argentina.  Many Antarctica travelers like to begin their journey by spending a few days in Buenos Aires to get over jet lag and also to allow for any possible weather delays en route.  Note that cruises are not like other trips—if you arrive late, you miss the sailing and you can’t catch up.

It is always an overnight flight to reach Buenos Aires from the US, so you will have to book your flights to depart the US at least a day prior to Day 1 of the trip. Buenos Aires has two airports; please book your flights from the US to EZE, Buenos Aires’ international airport. You can connect to a flight to Trelew the same day or spend a day or two in Buenos Aires before flying on to Trelew.

Arrival & Meeting Place
Trelew, Argentina
Hotel in Puerto Madryn: To be Announced
Date:  Day 1
Time:  Group transfer times to be announced

Suggested Arrival Airport:  Trelew, Argentina (REL) via Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE)

Departure
Ushuaia, Argentina
Date: 21
You will disembark in Ushuaia about 8:00 a.m. Transfer to the airport for flight to Buenos Aires. Departure flight should not be scheduled until after 12:00 p.m.

Suggested Departure Airport: Ushuaia, Argentina (USH)

Jan 30-Feb 18, 2016

Arrival & Meeting Place
Ushuaia, Argentina
Hotel Name: To Be Announced
Date: Day 1
Time: Any time

Suggested Arrival Airport: Ushuaia, Argentina (USH)

Departure
Ushuaia, Argentina
Date: Day 20
Time: after 11:30 am

Suggested Departure Airport: Ushuaia, Argentina (USH)

Expedition Details

Passport

A valid passport is required for your trip. Be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid for six months after your date of exit from Argentina. In addition, we recommend your passport has at least two completely blank visa pages for every country you will be visiting. It is very important that the blank pages say “Visas” at the top. The last few pages of your passport, which say “Amendments and Endorsements,” and the final page of your passport, which may not have a page number, are not considered to be legitimate visa pages. You can request a new passport or have extra pages inserted in your current passport through a visa service agency or the US Passport Services Office. Be sure to allow sufficient time to acquire this before your trip.

It is a good idea to carry a photocopy of the photo page and the entry stamp page of your passport as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.

Visas

US citizens do not need a visa for Argentina but there is a Reciprocity Fee for US and Canadian citizens that must be purchased online prior to departure. The fee amount fluctuates so please double check prior to departure. You can pay the fee with a credit card. The fee is valid  for 10 years or the duration of the passport’s validity. 

If you are a citizen of any country other than the US, check with a local consulate for entry requirements.

Note: If you are visiting Brazil on your own or as part of an Iguau Falls Extension, you MUST have a visa for Brazil. You may contact the Brazilian Consulate to purchase your visa, or our recommended passport and visa processing service, Passport Visas Express (PVE). PVE can also be reached by phone at 888-596-6028. Let them know you are booked on a Wilderness Travel trip.

Additional Cruise Information

Further information about the cruise will be sent approximately four months prior to departure. This packet will include a packing list and other important details. Final meeting and departure instructions, including contact information, will be sent about three weeks prior to departure.

Sea Explorer

The all-suite 114-guest Sea Explorer has an ice-strengthened hull, a fleet of Zodiac inflatable craft for forays ashore, an experienced complement of officers and crew, and retractable fin stabilizers, making it an ideal ship for cruising in comfort in polar regions. Guests are accommodated in outside-facing suites, each of which affords views of the spectacular scenery. Meals are prepared by European chefs and served in the stately restaurant at a single, unassigned seating. Sea Explorer also features two lounges, a library, exercise area, elevator serving all decks, and a sun deck with Jacuzzi. The ship meets the latest international safety rules, including those of the U.S. Coast Guard.