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: $11,395  
Length: 22 days
Arrive: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Depart: Ushuaia, Argentina
Lodging: 18 nights aboard expedition ship, 1 hotel night
Meals: All meals onboard and Welcome/Farewell cocktail
Activity: Small Ship Cruising, Wildlife & Natural History
Trip Level: 20-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

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.

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.

 

Early Sign-up Discount!

Save 15% on Penthouse, Veranda and Deluxe Suites, and 10% on Superior and Window Suites, for bookings confirmed with deposit by Dec 31, 2014.
Oct 2015-Feb 2016 departures
Valid for new sign-ups only. Offer expires Dec 31, 2014

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

Day 1
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Arrive in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina and often called the “Paris of South America.” This lively city, the birthplace of the tango, is rich in style and culture and is a vibrant gateway for our voyage to the Falkland Islands and Antarctica. Overnight at hotel.

Day 2
Buenos Aires / 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 3-5
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 6
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 7
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 8-9
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 10-13
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 14-15
Scotia Sea

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

Days 16-19
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 20-21
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 22
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.

Reverse Itinerary-in-Brief
(February Departures)

Day 1-2 Ushuaia, Argentina, and embark
Day 3-4 Drake Passage
Day 5-8 Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
Day 9-10 Scotia Sea
Days 11-14 South Georgia
Days 15-16 Southern Ocean
Days 17-18 Falkland Islands
Days 19-22 Drake Passage and disembark Buenos Aires

Note: This cruise is not an exclusive Wilderness Travel departure. The itinerary, lecturers, and other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the ship operator.

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
Feb 23-Mar 16, 2015
Oct 29-Nov 18, 2015
2016
Jan 30-Feb 18, 2016

Trip Cost

Prices valid through Spring 2015

Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy

October 28-November 18, 2014

CategoriesCruise Price
Triple Suite $11,395
Porthole Suite $12,995
Window Suite $14,595
Superior Suite $15,595
Deluxe Suite $17,195
Veranda Suite $19,295
Penthouse Suite $21,695

February 23-March 16, 2015

CategoriesCruise Price
Triple Suite $13,795
Porthole Suite $16,395
Window Suite $17,995
Superior Suite $18,895
Deluxe Suite $20,195
Veranda Suite $21,995
Penthouse Suite $24,595

Prices valid through Spring 2016

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
Superior Suite $15,895
Deluxe Suite $17,495
Veranda Suite $19,595
Penthouse Suite $21,995

Jan 30-Feb 18, 2016

CategoriesCruise Price
Triple Suite $14,595
Porthole Suite $16,995
Window Suite $18,595
Superior Suite $19,495
Deluxe Suite $20,995
Veranda Suite $22,995
Penthouse Suite $24,995

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
  • In Ushuaia, transport from central location to ship for embarkation (Feb 19 voyage only)
  • In Buenos Aires, transport from the group hotel to the ship for embarkation (Oct 31 voyage only)
  • One group transfer from ship to airport or central location upon disembarkation in Ushuaia
  • One group transfer from ship to international airport (EZE) or central location upon disembarkation in Buenos Aires (Feb 19 voyage only)
  • Digital Voyage Log

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

Airfare to Ushuaia or Buenos Aires, Argentina, and return; pre- or post-voyage expenses in Ushuaia or Buenos Aires; 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.

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.

Arrival & Departure Information

Please review the following information before confirming your flight arrangements to Buenos Aires/Ushuaia.  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 a day prior to the start of the trip. Buenos Aires has two airports; please book your flights to EZE, Buenos Aires’ international airport.

October 28, 2014 departure

Arrival & Meeting Place
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hotel Name: To be Announced
Date:  Day 1
Time:  Any Time

Suggested Arrival Airport:  Buenos Aires, Argentina(EZE)

Departure
Ushuaia, Argentina
You will disembark in Ushuaia about 9:00 a.m. Transfer to the airport for flight to Buenos Aires. Departure flight should not be scheduled until after 11:30 a.m.

Departure Airport(USH)
Fly to Buenos Aires where you can connect to international flight to U.S.  Flights from Buenos Aires arrive into  EZE(International Airport) or (AEP) domestic airport.  You need to allow 3 hours connecting time in Buenos Aires to your international flight.

February 23, 2015 departure

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

Suggested Arrival Airport
Ushuaia (USH) via Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE/AEP)

If you are connecting in Buenos Aires to a flight to Ushuaia the same day, you need to allow at least three hours connecting time because you may have to transfer from the international airport to the domestic airport, which takes up to one hour. Upon arrival in Ushuaia, transfers will be provided to the group hotel for an overnight. On Day 2, you will be transferred to the boat for boarding in the afternoon.

Departure
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Date: Day 22

You will disembark in Buenos Aires at about 9:00 am. The remainder of the day is free to explore Buenos Aires on your own. You may want to book a hotel day room for your convenience. Transfers can be arranged at additional cost.

International Air Travel

You are responsible for making your own arrangements for flights to and from Buenos Aires and Ushuaia. Airlines with the most convenient schedules for this trip include:

American Airlines (via Miami or Dallas)
Phone: 800-433-7300
www.aa.com
   
Delta Airlines (via Atlanta)
Phone: 800-241-4141
www.delta.com
 
Airport codes: Miami (MIA); Buenos Aires, Argentina International Airport (EZE); Buenos Aires Domestic Airport (AEP) Ushuaia (USH)

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule so we can reserve your airport transfers. It is your responsibility to ensure your flight times coordinate with the arrival and departure logistics for this trip.

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 elegant, all-suite 114-guest Sea Explorer has established itself as one of the finest expedition cruise ships in Antarctica. With an ice-strengthened hull, a fleet of Zodiac inflatable craft for forays ashore, an experienced complement of officers and crew, and retractable fin stabilizers, Sea Explorer can explore the Antarctic Peninsula and Antarctic islands in comfort and safety. All guests are accommodated in outside-facing suites, each of which affords views of the spectacular Antarctic scenery. Excellent cuisine is created 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. Sea Explorer’s seamless operation and outstanding, experienced expedition staff ensure a shipboard and on-shore experience in Antarctica that is unmatched.