This adventure is the fastest way to get to the rarely visited South Georgia Island while also stepping foot on the 7th Continent. As we set sail, photograph massive albatross and pintado petrel as they swoop and soar around the ship, guiding us toward South Georgia. Beaches teeming with king penguins and elephant seals greet us on this fabled island, where we’ll pay our respects to famed explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Antarctica awaits, with its geographic contradictions and overwhelming enormity. Relax on a Zodiac ride, hike glistening glaciers, share comical moments with inquisitive penguins, or witness the rugged peninsula from a sea kayak. Antarctica will surprise and delight, and never disappoint.
• Experience the quintessential wildlife experience of the “Galapagos of the Poles”.
• Visit South Georgia’s king penguin rookeries – the largest in the world.
• Reflect at the resting place of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton.
• Visit abandoned whaling stations and learn stories of inhabitants who called this island home.
• Enjoy on-board lecturers and educational presentations from polar specialists.
ITINERARY IN BRIEF
Day 1: Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina.
Day 2: Embarkation Day.
Days 3 -4 – 5 & 6: At Sea.
Days 7 & 8: South Georgia.
Days 9 & 10: At Sea.
Day 11- 12 & 13: Antarctic Peninsula.
Day 14 & 15: Crossing the Drake Passage.
Day 16: Disembarkation in Ushuaia.
NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The on-board expedition leader will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
Contact us for more details.
ARRIVE IN USHUAIA, ARGENTINA
You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port at the tip of South America. It’s the ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy handcrafted chocolate at a café in town.
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel, which transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart!
There are many activities to keep you engaged while you are at sea. Learn to identify seabirds that glide alongside the ship, or attend dynamic presentations by your Expedition Team.
You will be prepped on safety procedures for Zodiac cruises and shore landings, and also be given instructions for getting the most out of your optional sea kayaking adventures (extra cost), a truly intimate way to experience Antarctica.
If conditions are right, the first indication that you are approaching South Georgia is the sight of birds around a group of rocky spires called Shag Rocks.
Have your binoculars and cameras ready to capture these rocks rising out of the icy ocean waters. Shags and prions often rest here, and due to nutrient rich upwellings around the rocks it can be a good place to keep a lookout for whales.
After enjoying South Georgia from a distance, we’ll head toward its numerable beaches to find a bay for your first land excursion. Landing sites are varied, largely determined by the weather conditions of your voyage. Whichever sites we visit, they’ll provide you with wildlife encounters unrivaled anywhere else on earth.
South Georgia is one of the most fertile breeding grounds in the world for sub-Antarctic wildlife, with beaches blanketed with penguins. It won’t take you long to realize that you are in a bird paradise, as burrowing seabirds, albatross and petrels can be seen in abundance.
You’ll find that South Georgia, once a popular base for whalers and sealers, is also scattered with abandoned relics and evidence of human activity from centuries gone by. Your Expedition Team will help bring those days to life while you visit old whaling stations and enjoy presentations on the South Georgia of then and now.
One of the most significant sites you will visit on the island is Grytviken. This settlement is one of the first whaling stations established in sub-Antarctic waters. Many travelers find that this place has a special appeal, as it is home to the remains of Sir Ernest Shackleton, one of the most famous Antarctic explorers.
Say goodbye to the king penguins, as your next destination is Antarctica!
Your days at sea are filled with presentations and workshops led by your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife and landscapes that will surround you upon your arrival.
The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words, since few places are as untouched and enduring as Antarctica.
You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes. At one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete isolation and silence, and at the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into a brilliant blue sea or a penguin waddles by to inspect your footwear.
Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each excursion, whether you are Zodiac cruising, visiting a historical site or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Keep a lookout for Antarctic whales, such as minkes, while on a Zodiac cruise. Each day and each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy.
As exciting as the Zodiac excursions and landings are, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to an extra-special Antarctic experience by partaking in an optional paddling excursion (at an extra cost) or cast reason aside and jump into Antarctic waters for the polar plunge!
CROSSING THE DRAKE PASSAGE
After more than a dozen days of unique wildlife encounters and remarkable landscapes, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage.
CROSSING THE DRAKE PASSAGE.
Spend time on deck watching for seabirds and whales, enjoy presentations by your Expedition Team, or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.
DISEMBARKATION IN USHUAIA.
You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning, which allows for you to continue your adventure onward or catch your flights home.
- Staff and Crew: 130.
- Guests: 172 (140 on Antarctic Express programs).
- Length: 126 meters.
- Breadth (Beam): 19 meters.
- Draft: 7 meters.
- Propulsion: 2 x Rolls Royce 9,000 kW hybrid diesel/electric.
- Ice Class: 1B.
- Cruising Speed: 16 knots, in open water.
- Registration: Portugal.
- Lifeboats: 2, fully-enclosed.
- Chef-prepared meals (all meals and daily snack included).
- One dining room with unreserved seating.
- Bar staffed by a professional bartender serving a selection of soft drinks, juices, liquors, spirits, beer, and wine, which can be charged to your shipboard account.
- Comfortable lounge area for reading or relaxing with a cup of coffee.
- Observation decks for spotting wildlife and enjoying the ever-changing polar landscape.
- Polar library stocked with a large collection of polar books, and games.
- Pool & sauna.
- Spa facilities and wellness program.
- Lecture theatre.
- Polar Boutique.
- Ship-to-shore satellite communications with email and wireless Internet access.
COMMUN AREAS ABOARD WORLD EXPLORER
Whether viewing wildlife and taking in the open ocean from the glass-domed Observation Lounge, sipping complimentary cups of coffee or tea in the Explorer Lounge or enjoying the extensive collection of field guides, picture books and reference books in the library, guests feel welcome and at home aboard the World Explorer. The onboard Polar Boutique is stocked with forgotten essentials, gear and souvenirs. And the lecture theater-style auditorium easily accommodates everyone on board for presentations and videos that provide education and entertainment. Ship-to-shore satellite communications provide access to email and wireless internet, though note that connections can never be guaranteed on remote polar expeditions.
An outdoor running track, gym, sauna, heated outdoor pool and spa for booking massages, facials, and hair, hand and foot treatments help maintain healthy and relaxing routines while traveling. The spa features change rooms, showers and lockers so you can clean up before returning to your cabin—a bonus for those in shared cabins! At the heated outdoor pool, a shallow children’s area is separated from a deeper saltwater plunge pool.
DINNING ABOARD WORLD EXPLORER
Enjoy breakfast and lunch buffet style, while dinners are served plated in an open seating atmosphere and with casual dress code. Although meal times may change due to landings and wildlife encounters, you’ll always enjoy three delicious meals a day. An assortment of fresh-baked cookies and/or pastries are offered in the afternoon, as are hot and cold snacks during cocktail hour. A well-stocked bar is open from mid-morning into the evening with a selection of premium beers, wines, liquors and spirits, which can be charged to your shipboard account. Dietary restrictions may be accommodated with prior notice, with the exception of kosher food.
ACTIVITIES ABOARD WORLD EXPLORER
Aboard the World Explorer, days are packed with multiple landings, Zodiac cruises and optional activities like kayaking, camping and stand-up paddle boarding (additional charge). During your days at sea, enjoy lectures and workshops presented by the expedition team and spend time on deck looking for seabirds and cetaceans. Guides are well trained in spotting wildlife and showing off unique polar landscapes with geology and history. An outdoor running track, gym and heated outdoor pool further your options during ocean crossings.
Located on Deck 6, and approximately 246 sq. ft. (23 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 55 sq. ft. (5 sq. m) walk-out balcony. A separate combo sitting area/bedroom with a sofa bed and additional closet, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower is also featured in each cabin.
Located on Decks 5 and 6, and approximately 270 sq. ft. (25 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a floor-to-ceiling glass French balcony. A sitting area with sofa, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower is also featured in each cabin.
Located on Decks 5 and 6, and approximately 215 sq. ft. (20 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 55 sq. ft. (5 sq. m) walk-out balcony. A sitting area with sofa, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower is also featured in each cabin.
Located on Decks 5 and 6, and approximately 278 sq. ft. (26 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony with access from sitting room and bedroom. A separate sitting area with sofa, walk-in closet, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower is also featured in each cabin.
Located on Deck 5, and approximately 334 sq. ft. (31 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony with access from sitting room and bedroom. A separate sitting area with sofa, his and hers closets, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower and his and hers sinks is also featured in each cabin.
Located on Decks 5 and 6, and approximately 355 sq. ft. (33 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony with access from sitting room and bedroom. A separate sitting area with sofa, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower, his and hers sinks, and bathtub is also featured in each cabin
- Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping.
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage.
- All shore landings per the daily program.
- Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader.
- All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program.
- Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled.
- Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage.
- A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings.
- An official Quark Expeditions parka to keep.
- Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock.
- Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin.
- Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader.
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
- All luggage handling aboard ship.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
- Passport and visa expenses.
- Government arrival and departure taxes.
- Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation.
- Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance.
- Excess baggage charges.
- Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified.
- Telecommunications charges.
- The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew.
- Kayaking (additional charge).
- Camping (additional charge).
- Standup Paddleboarding (additional charge).
- This trip is also available on board the Ocean Adventurer and Ocean Diamond. Contact us for more details.
- Voyages are subject to ice and weather conditions.
- The itineraries described for expedition voyages illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.