Visit the volcanic caldera of Deception Island, then round the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula to enter the Weddell Sea. Tabular icebergs and sea ice abound. Learn about scientists still searching for the fossils of giant penguins on Seymour Island. Step into Shackleton’s boots when you get to Elephant Island, the landing spot after days of treacherousness at sea. Explore vast rookeries of penguins on West Falkland Islands: King, Rockhopper, Magellanic and Gentoo penguins roost here.
Day 1: Ushuaia
Depart this charming town at the base of mountains, and voyage through the gorgeous Beagle Channel.
Days 2, 3: Drake Passage
While traveling south, watch as seabirds swoop in circles behind the ship. Keep an eye out for whales and seals as the temperature drops and you start to see icebergs.
Day 4: South Shetland Islands
Known for their abundance of wildlife, the South Shetland Islands have Chinstrap penguin rookeries and southern elephant seals. Weather permitting, the plan is to visit Deception Island, a volcanic caldera with remnants of whaling activities and much exploration history. It is a good hike to the crater rim.
Days 5, 6, 7: Antarctic Sound and the Weddell Sea
Cruising between Joinville Island and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, take in the vastness of the ice cap and note how katabatic winds are formed. Icebergs here are tabular, or flat, as they have broken off the ice shelf. Visit large Adelie penguin rookeries, and look for elephant seals and Weddell seals as well as many seabirds. Step onto the Antarctic continent, and some may enjoy camping out!
Day 8: Elephant Island
If possible, land where Shackleton and his marooned explorers found an end to a harrowing ordeal at sea. Learn the history and feel the surroundings to try to envision how that trip felt.
Days 9, 10: At Sea
Watch for whales and seabirds while enjoying the traverse across the water.
Day 11: West Point and Saunders, Falkland Islands
In these West Falkland Islands visit West Point with colorful rookeries of Rockhopper penguins. And at Saunders Island, enjoy the variety of 3 more species of penguins: Gentoo, Magellanic and King penguins – along with more Rockhoppers.
Day 12: At Sea
Seabirds circle behind the ship, and look for whales and seals.
Day 13: Ushuaia
Disembark the ship and be transferred into town or to the airport.
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.