Spend the holidays cruising to the Falkland Islands for its interesting history and to visit dolphins, albatross and Rockhopper penguins. Continue on to the Antarctic Peninsula to visit penguins, seals, whales, exquisite scenery and seabirds. Visit a British base that is now a museum, gift shop and post office. Make landings at various ports of call to experience the variety of Antarctic beauty.
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
Fly from Buenos Aires to this exquisitely lovely town at the base of steep snowy mountains with rocky islands all around. Tierra del Fuego actually feels like the Land at the End of the World. Embark the luxurious Silver Explorer, explore new surroundings, and meet your Expedition Team.
Day 2: At Sea
Listen to special presentations about upcoming adventures, and enjoy a Welcome Aboard cocktail party hosted by the Captain.
Day 3: Stanley, Falkland Islands
Visit this capital with British influence found in charming streets, pubs, and quaint cottages. While there are vestiges of the British/Argentina Falklands War in 1986, islanders have returned to quietly raising sheep.
Day 4: West Point Island, New Island – Falkland Islands
Watch for 2 types of dolphins here and be entertained by Rockhopper penguins. Learn about the rare Felton plant and other vegetation as you walk across rolling moorland. Visit colonies of black-browed albatross, see blue-eyed shags and possibly upland geese. Learn about the wrecked minesweeper grounded just offshore, the Protector III.
Days 5-6: Drake Passage
Known for rough seas, this crossing is at the convergence of cold and warmer waters. The turbulence and the ship’s wake bring food to the surface and attract seabirds. It is possible to see swooping albatross, shearwaters and petrels of all kinds.
Days 7-10: Antarctic Peninsula
In Antarctica the weather can change drastically and immediately. Sea ice conditions also vary with the weather, water currents and glaciers that calve and leave icebergs and smaller chunks of ice. Because of these variables, the itinerary around the Antarctic Peninsula needs to be flexible. While you will definitely experience incredible scenery of steep mountains, glaciers, icebergs and penguins, exactly where you go will be determined at the time.
If possible, some of the following landings will be included in your adventure:
Aitcho Islands, South Shetland Islands: Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins thrive here. You may also encounter a leopard or southern elephant seal, as well as seabirds like Southern giant petrels.
Brown Bluff: This is a 2200 foot bluff on the Antarctic continent made of reddish-brown volcanic rock. Kelp gulls, pintado petrels, and Adelie and Gentoo penguins breed here. Catch sight of a Weddell seal, or Adelies heading out to the water.
Cuverville Island: There are large bare rock areas here for Gentoo nests, and you should also see Wilson’s storm-petrels and Pintado petrels. With a Zodiac, visit Weddell and Antarctic fur seals on land.
Paradise Bay: From the ship you can see Argentina’s Almirante Brown Antarctic Research Base set in exquisite scenery. Set foot on the Antarctic continent here, and cruise in a zodiac looking for crabeater seals or Minke whales.
Paulet Island: 80 to 90 thousand Adelie penguins cover this island for breeding. See the huge colony of blue-eyed shags, as well as Kelp gulls, snowy sheathbills and Wilson’s storm-petrels. Visit remnants of the hut of Otto Nordenskjold and his party where they stayed the winter of 1912.
Petermann Island: Geologic features highlighted here include many basaltic dikes along the shore. At the small summit see granite grooved and smoothed by glaciers. There are rookeries here as well for Adelie penguins, gentoos and blue-eyed shags.
Pleneau Island: Situated at the south end of the Lemaire Channel, find breeding Gentoo penguins, Kelp gulls and south polar skuas. Southern elephant seals are also found in this most spectacularly scenic area.
Port Foster, Deception Island: Enter through the narrow opening of Neptune’s Bellows to be in the volcanic caldera of this island. The history of whaling here will be explained, and you can see boilers where whale oil was made in the early 1900’s.
Port Lockroy: A British radio station during WWII, this became a research station in the 1950’s and a museum in 1962. A gift shop welcomes adventurers and the post office actually works! Lots of Gentoo penguins and snowy sheathbills are at your feet around the museum, a stark black set of buildings outlined in red.
Days 11-12: Drake Passage
Watch for seabirds and marine mammals while at sea.
Day 13: Ushuaia
Disembark after breakfast and be transferred to the airport if you are flying out.
Polar Cruise Ships
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of expedition cruising, itineraries are subject to change due to weather, ice conditions, natural and cultural events, wildlife viewing opportunities and other logistical considerations. In general, a ship's crew will endeavor to complete the itinerary provided, but the ultimate decision lies with the ship's captain and expedition leaders.