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This extended expedition encompasses the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, the remote Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), as well as the extraordinary beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula. You’ll experience a great diversity of environments and landscapes, which will provide unprecedented wildlife viewing opportunities. Join us for the quintessential Antarctic experience for polar travelers!
Your gateway for this expedition is Ushuaia, Argentina. Nestled within the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Ushuaia has a small-town feel yet also has many shops, museums, cafés and restaurants that you can enjoy before your voyage. If you’re feeling adventurous, the nearby national park and Martial Glacier offer plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking.
As you embark, the anticipation grows. Trade your land legs for sea legs, meet and greet your fellow travelers and get acquainted with your ship. Since every Antarctic adventure presents new opportunities and experiences, embarkation day is just as exciting for your Expedition Team as it is for you. On board to ensure your comfort and safety, your team will also help make your wildlife dreams come true.
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 kayaking adventures, a truly intimate way to experience Antarctica.
Upon your arrival in the Falklands (Malvinas), your camera will get its first real workout capturing the abundant wildlife and rugged feel of this region. The archipelago contains two main islands—East Falkland and West Falkland—which you will explore during Zodiac excursions and daily landings. Stanley, also known as Port Stanley, is often a favored landing site, as the town offers a unique British outpost feel, complete with eclectic charm. You’ll be free to explore, grab a pint at the local pub or visit numerous churches and museums. In terms of wildlife, the archipelago is home to Magellanic, gentoo and rockhopper penguins. If you’re lucky, you may even spot king penguins here as well! You can expect to see black- browed albatross, plus two endemic bird species—Cobb’s wren and the Falkland’s flightless steamer duck. Your team of lecturers and specialists will be sure to educate you on the local flora and fauna, making the most out of your time in the Falklands.
Sailing south, you’ll officially enter Antarctic waters once you cross the invisible biological boundary called the Antarctic Convergence. Encircling the continent, cold Antarctic waters meet and mix with the warmer waters of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, creating an abundance of krill and marine life that attracts whales and seals to this part of the world. Your Expedition Team will be sure to keep you posted when you cross this invisible yet important line.
This remote outpost was a popular stop for many historic Antarctic expeditions and was once a haven for hunting whales and elephant and fur seals. Today, island wildlife populations have rebounded, but you’ll still see remnants of old whaling stations and other abandoned outposts. One significant and historic site that will be of interest is the grave of the great explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. You can visit his grave at the settlement of Grytviken, which is also home to an old whaling station, a museum, a gift shop, a church and a small research station. Although South Georgia’s history is an important attraction to the island, it is the wildlife that you and your shipmates will surely find most captivating. Often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles, each landing you make on South Georgia will open your eyes to a new wonder of wildlife. One day you may see rookeries with hundreds of thousands of pairs of king penguins waddling on a beach, and the next day you may visit another beach dotted with thousands of fur or elephant seals. The grasses, mountains and beaches of South Georgia all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different species on the island. This fragile and symbiotic relationship is something that your Expedition Team will explain to you during your time here.
Say goodbye to the king penguins, as your next destination is Antarctica! Your days at sea are filled with presentations, lectures and workshops led by your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife that will greet you upon your arrival. In between presentations, spend time chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar. If conditions allow, we may attempt landfall on the South Orkney Islands, our first official stop in Antarctica.
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, unique 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 desolation and silence, and at the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into brilliant blue sea or a penguin waddles by to inspect your footwear. Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether you are trekking up a glacier, visiting a research station or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Curious whales, such as minkes, are often attracted to our Zodiacs, giving you a chance to get within reaching distance of these majestic animals. Each day and each landing will present a new collection of creatures to entertain 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 (extra cost) kayaking excursion or going for a swim in Antarctic waters!
After more than two weeks of endless wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage, completing your Antarctic adventure. Enjoy your final moments mingling with your fellow shipmates. The noisy, busy, populated world awaits your return, so savor the silence of the sea as long as you can.
After breakfast aboard the ship, it is time to part ways and say goodbye to your Expedition Team. Airport transfers will be provided for those departing on the first homeward flights. Other guests will be transferred to town.
Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.
Vessel Type: Comfortable Expedition Length: 90 metres Passenger Capacity: 118 Built / refurbished: 1975 / 1998 / 2017 - re-named to the Ocean Adventurer in June 2017 Ocean Adventurer is designed to carry 132 travelers in comfort to the most remote corners of the world. Originally built in Yugoslavia in 1976, this nimble, ice-strengthened ship has become a passenger favourite over the years and underwent refurbishments in 1999 and 2002 with the most significant being in 2017. With the latest rounds of refurbishments guests will enjoy: • A refreshed, contemporary new look and feel throughout the ship. • The addition of six new twin cabins and three new suites. • All existing cabins will be furnished with all new soft furnishings and brand new bathrooms. • Main common areas such as the Lounge and Dining Room will be remodeled as well as the Bar. • Major technical enhancements – include two new Rolls Royce engines, which will significantly increase fuel efficiency and minimized carbon footprint.
• Explore the world’s seventh continent on the Antarctic Peninsula by ship, Zodiac and on foot. • Learn about Antarctica’s unique geology, history and wildlife with an expert team of lecturers. • See the incredible wildlife of South Georgia, often referred to as “the Galapagos of the South.” This includes more than 30 species of breeding birds, including four species of Penguin. • Follow in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s perilous voyages on South Georgia and pause for a moment at his graveside. • Explore the quaint, British town of Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands. • On board lecturers and educational presentations from Polar Specialists.