Ultimate Antarctica: Weddell Sea and Falkland Islands

Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands

Starting from $12,095

View Photo Gallery

Experience a truly comprehensive Antarctic experience. Visit the South Shetland Islands, Antarctic Peninsula and the stunning Weddell Sea region. Adding to the experience will be a visit to several locations in the Falkland Island archipelago - home to nesting albatross and the colorful King penguin.

Contact us about this trip

Special Offer

Save $800 on all cabin categories when you book by January 31st, 2019

• Valid on new bookings only
• Not available on group bookings
• Cannot be combined with other offers
• TravelWild reserves the right to limit, change or discontinue this offer without notice

 

Starting from $12,095

Rates & Dates Prices are per person and shown in USD.

Main Deck TripleTwin Semi PrivateTwin PrivateSuperior CabinShackleton SuiteOne Ocean Suite
Jan 22, 2019 - Feb 2, 2019$12,095
 
$14,295
 
$15,995
 
$16,895
 
$18,695
 
$20,295
 
Jan 7, 2020 - Jan 18, 2020$12,595
$11,795
$14,895
$14,095
$16,695
$15,895
$17,595
$16,795
$19,495
$18,695
$21,195
$20,395
Feb 4, 2020 - Feb 15, 2020$12,595
$11,795
$14,895
$14,095
$16,695
$15,895
$17,595
$16,795
$19,495
$18,695
$21,195
$20,395

Itinerary

Day 1: Punta Arenas, Chile to King George Island, Antarctica

Our journey commences this morning in the southern Chilean port city of Punta Arenas. We gather at a central location and transfer to the airport for the two-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Antarctica (this flight is included in the price of your voyage). Upon arrival at the King George Island, we embark our ship via Zodiac. After settling into our cabins and exploring our new surroundings, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and our first meal. No doubt, everyone on board will be looking forward to the incredible adventure ahead.

Days 2-3: Gerlache Strait and Antarctic Peninsula

Overnight we have navigated across the Bransfield Strait and we awake to the towering peaks of the Antarctic continent laid out before us. For the next three days, we have a varied itinerary exploring the Gerlache coastline. If ice conditions allow, we cruise through the Lemaire Channel and visit sites which may include Pleneau Island and the Penola Strait. To the south lies Petermann Island, home to a sizeable penguin rookery where both Adelie and Gentoo penguins nest side by side. A visit to an active research base nearby provides a fascinating insight into the important climate change science occurring in Antarctica. There’s a fantastic walk on a nearby island and we can make a full traverse across a snowy knoll from one side of the island to the other. The old British Antarctic Survey hut of Wordie House, begs for further investigation. Returning north, we pass the massive granite sentinels of Mount Scott and Mount Shackleton and may attempt a second transit of the Lemaire Channel. The landscape all along this section of the Antarctic coastline feature heavily glaciated mountains permanently covered in ice and snow. Our activity program is in full swing by now, and each day we enjoy guided walks on shore, visits to wildlife colonies, and Zodiac cruising among the ice with our expert guides providing insight and interpretation. Planned visits could include Paradise Harbor, Orne Harbor or Andvord Bay, or a cruise through the Errera Channel to visit the penguin rookeries at Cuverville Island. Wilhelmina Bay is another favorite location and one where we frequently encounter pods of humpback whales.

Day 4: South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

We are now heading north towards Antarctic Sound – the gateway into the icy Weddell Sea. Along the way, we hope to make a planned visit to Deception Island. If weather conditions permit, we sail the ship right into the middle of a volcanic caldera. This is a very dramatic place and home to several penguin rookeries along the black sand beaches. History is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with the rusted relics and dilapidated wooden structures. Fur seals gather among the old structures seeking protection from the elements. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar. This is where Australian, Sir Hubert Wilkins made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928. There is an outstanding hike here to a location known as ‘Neptune’s Window’ - high up onto the rim of the crater.

Days 5-7: Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea

At about 25 nautical miles long and about 10 nautical miles wide, the Antarctic Sound separates Joinville Island from the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. As we sail into the sound we witness, for the first time, the vastness and majesty of the Antarctic icecap become an awe-inspiring sight. Heading into the Weddell Sea we notice a significant increase in the number of huge tabular icebergs and the presence of sea ice. These massive icebergs break from the huge ice shelves to the south and drift north on the currents. This always makes for exciting navigation – and stunning photographic opportunities in the soft Antarctic twilight. This is wild and remote Antarctica and has a distinctly different feel from locations visited thus far. The Weddell Sea region is home to Adelie penguin rookeries of staggering size – some contain more than 100,000 nesting birds. Such colonies dwarf the rookeries we have visited so far. Weather permitting, excursions may include Hope Bay, Paulet Island and Brown Bluff. All eyes will be trained on the ice floes through which we navigate the ship. We have enjoyed successful sightings of emperor penguins in this area in recent years. Based on the size and plumage, our naturalists believe them to be juveniles out exploring and fishing – and possible residents of the known emperor colony on the southern side of Snow Hill Island. The history of exploration in this region is incredibly rich. Remnants of Nordenskjöld’s Swedish expedition of 1901-1904 are found in several locations in this area. The epic century-old story of Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition has strong links to the region. It was here that he and his men drifted north on the ice after their ship had been lost in the ice months earlier. As we head north and out of the Weddell Sea, the lavender-pink sunset off the port quarter of the ship will make some of us pause to consider the bravery (or foolhardiness) of those early explorers who travelled these waters a hundred years before us.

Day 8: Elephant Island, Antarctica

We approach Elephant Island from the south. Point Lookout, on the southern tip of the island, is home to an impressive chinstrap penguin colony. Macaroni penguins also breed here and are a species we have yet to encounter to date. Both southern elephant seals and Antarctic fur seals are hauled out on the beaches in large numbers. If conditions permit, we may visit the fabled location of Point Wild on the north coast of Elephant Island. It is here that Shackleton and his men were encamped under their upturned lifeboats before five men set off on a rescue mission to South Georgia in their tiny lifeboat.

Days 9-10: At sea towards Falkland Islands

While sailing north to the Falkland Islands our onboard polar experts will recap on our Weddell Sea adventures and prepare us for the days ahead. Much of our time is spent scanning the horizon in search of whales and other marine mammals. The spectacular seabirds including several albatross and petrel species are our constant companions as they soar above the ship. Photographing these stunning birds in flight takes great patience and skill and our resident photography expert on board will show you the best techniques. Our onboard educational program continues and our experts entertain us with interactive presentations and leading lively discussions.

Day 11: West Point & Saunders Islands, Falkland Islands

Arriving into the Falkland Islands overnight, we explore the islands of West Point and Saunders, both in the West Falkland archipelago. West Point is known for its rockhopper penguin rookeries and large nesting black-browed albatross colony. The opportunity to observe these spectacular birds in close proximity to the nest is an immense privilege and an experience not easily forgotten. One final highlight awaits – a visit to the wildlife-rich Saunders Island. Along the white sand beaches and in the tussock grass we hope to encounter no less than four penguin species living in close quarters including Gentoo, Magellanic and rockhopper - and our ultimate goal during the Falkland Island visit, observing the impressive king penguin. Saunders is a fitting end to an epic Antarctic adventure. Charting a course for the port of Stanley in early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship and reflect on one of life’s great travel experiences.

Day 12: Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

In the early morning, we navigate through the narrows and into our port. Stanley is currently home to just over 2,000 residents and is reminiscent of a rural town in coastal England or Scotland. It is charming with brightly colored houses, pretty flower-filled gardens, a quaint cathedral and several local pubs. There is time to explore the town before we make our way to the airport for our return flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile (this flight is included in the price of your voyage). It will be possible to connect to flights through to Santiago or other destinations in Chile. If you are staying in Punta Arenas, a transfer will be provided to several downtown locations.

About our Itinerary: Polar exploration can be unpredictable, which regularly causes variations to our itineraries. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a 'guide only' and may change. The ship's Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and Zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavy ice may block out a planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.

Akademik Ioffe

Akademik Ioffe

Deckplan & Cabin Photos

Highlights

  • Explore the spectacular Antarctic wilderness in a casual atmosphere of like-minded travelers
  • Experience abundant wildlife including immense penguin colonies and other seabirds, seals and even some of the great whales at close range
  • Cruise in comfort along towering icebergs, serrated maritime mountains and luminous glaciers
  • Zodiac landing craft allow visitation on remote shorelines and otherwise inaccessible areas
  • Ship allows an "open bridge policy" to observe its sophisticated navigation equipment and provides an excellent location to view wildlife the landscape (subject to weather and critical navigation maneuvers)
  • Expert naturalist guides
  • Resident photography experts on board the ship

Included

  • Voyage as outlined in the itinerary
  • All meals during the voyage
  • All Zodiac excursions
  • Extensive program of educational presentations from experienced team of naturalists
  • On board welcome reception and dinner and farewell dinner
  • Afternoon tea with fresh snacks each afternoon
  • Coffee, tea, hot chocolate throughout the day
  • Onboard medical officer
  • Access to our special programs on board (such as hiking, photography)
  • Overnight camping—please note that this activity is free of charge, we provide all the necessary equipment and gear and you can decide once on board if you wish to participate – no pre booking required. There is a low probability of Camping because of weather conditions in South Georgia
  • Rubber boots are available in many sizes as are rain jackets and bib pants
  • Use of multimedia station. We have a multimedia room where you can download your photos at the end of the day if you wish
  • Foul weather gear set – rain jacket, bib pants and Lacrosse gumboots (Wellington boots) Or SeaLine water proof backpack, Bushnell waterproof binoculars and Lacrosse gumboots (Wellington boots).
  • Flights arriving and departing are included in the price of your tour

Adventure Options

  • Kayaking: $795 per person
  • Camping: Free (weather permitting)
 

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.

 
 
XML Sitemap