South Georgia & Antarctic Peninsula in Luxury 16 daysAboard: Silver Cloud Expedition
A classic Antarctic Peninsula cruise with the added bonus of an exploration of the wildlife paradise of South Georgia. Aboard the luxury Silver Cloud Expedition you will experience all of the adventure associated with an Antarctica cruise, with expert guides and zodiac landings, combined with five star service.
Beginning and ending at the “world’s end”, Ushuaia, you will sail across to the breathtaking destination of South Georgia, home to millions of penguins and seals. Explore this fascinating and historic region before setting sail towards the wonder of the Antarctic Peninsula, looking for seals basking on ice floes, Macaroni penguin, and the prodigious Orca whale.
- Spectacular Scenery
- Amazing avian and marine wildlife
- Luxury expedition experience
- Follow the great explorers
- Kayaking option available
- Full board accommodation on board ship, including all beverages
- Return charter flights Santiago - Ushuaia
- 1 night pre-cruise hotel stay
- Transfers to and from ship
- Butler service in all suites
- Zodiac and shore excursions
- Programme of expert lectures
- Free wifi
- Expedition parka
So much to experience
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Embark Silver Cloud in Ushuaia, settle in and attend a mandatory safety drill before leaving port. During the afternoon you will be introduced to some of the important crew members and your Expedition Team. At sail away bid farewell to Tierra del Fuego, the ‘Land at the End of the World’.
As we sail towards South Georgia this is the perfect time to explore your luxury vessel and prepare for the exciting excursions ahead. Spend some time on deck looking for whales and seabirds, or join one of the entertaining and informative lectures from your expert team. There will also be safety and bio-environmental briefings to prepare you for your time in South Georgia.
This breathtaking destination of towering snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers, and low-lying grasslands attracts an astounding concentration of wildlife: Southern fur seals, southern elephant seals and a variety of albatross species including Black-browed, Light-mantled Sooty, Grey-headed and the spectacular Wandering Albatross, plus thousands of King and hundreds of Macaroni Penguins.
South Georgia is also linked to the early Antarctic explorers. Captain James Cook first stepped ashore in 1775, but perhaps more famous is Ernest Shackleton’s arrival in 1916 following the sinking of his ship Endurance. Visit the graves of Shackleton and Frank Wild, and the whaling museum at Grytviken. Some of the places we expect to visit and explore include Cooper Bay, Gold Harbour, Grytviken and Salisbury Plain.
As we leave beautiful South Georgia behind and head towars Antarctica you can participate in onboard activities, listen to some of the lectures given, relax in one of the lounges, or peruse an array of titles and topics in the well-stocked Library. Take a stroll on deck and enjoy the solitude and splendour of the vast sea and sky. During the cruise towards the Antarctic Peninsula we might see some of the giant tabular icebergs coming from the Weddell Sea.
Awesome glaciers flecked with pink algae can be seen approaching Elephant Island — so named either for its elephant-like appearance or for sightings of elephant seals here. Elephant Island is home to several Chinstrap Penguin rookeries, as well as 2,000-year-old moss colonies. Weddell seals and Macaroni Penguins can also be spotted. In 1916, when Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance was crushed in pack ice in the Weddell Sea, the crew was stranded here for more than 4 months finding shelter under two upturned lifeboats on the spit of land Shackleton’s men named ‘Point Wild’.
Our next Antarctic experiences will be at the top of the Antarctic Peninsula, venturing into Antarctic Sound and its magnificent array of tabular icebergs, historical sites and Adelie and Gentoo Penguin rookeries.
Depending on weather and ice conditions Silver Cloud might visit Brown Bluff, Hope Bay and cruise the Antarctic Sound.
Brown Bluff, (a 2,200-foot bluff on the Antarctic continent) is an ice-capped, 745-metre-high, flat-topped mountain with a prominent cliff of reddish-brown volcanic rock. The coastal area at the base of Brown Bluff is used by Adelie and Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls, and Cape Petrels as a breeding area. Under good climatic conditions a walk onto a nearby glacier might be feasible.
Hope Bay has one of the largest Adelie Penguin colonies in Antarctica and a Zodiac cruise past the Argentine Station “Esperanza” will show some of the penguins, Weddell seals and Blue-eyed Shags.
While sailing in Antarctica’s vast white wilderness, our itinerary will be flexible and in the true spirit of expedition cruising, the Expedition Leader and Captain will determine our best course depending on weather, ice conditions and wildlife we may encounter.
Here are some of the places we may visit:
Cuverville Island was discovered by Gerlache’s Belgian Antarctic expedition of 1897–99. Large, bare rock areas provide nesting sites for Gentoo Penguins. Snow Petrels and Cape Petrels may also be seen, whilst Wilson’s Storm-petrels nest in the higher scree of the island. During Zodiac cruises, hauled-out Weddell seals are quite often encountered. Under good conditions one can climb part of Cuverville’s hill for spectacular panoramic views.
Paradise Bay is well named for its spectacular scenery of mountains, glaciers and icebergs. The Silver Cloud will sail past Argentina’s “Base Brown”, one of many Antarctic research stations. You can also view the wildlife from sea level while cruising in our Zodiacs. Apart from observing cormorants in the cliffs there is a good chance to see crabeater seals relaxing on ice floes; whales have been seen regularly.
Petermann Island is named for geographer August Petermann and was discovered by a German expedition in 1873-74. During our landing, we will be able to observe rookeries of Adelie Penguins, Gentoo Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. Petermann has various geological features, especially rock surfaces showing glacial polish and some glacial grooving.
Pleneau Bay lies at the south end of the Lemaire Channel, and was first explored during Charcot’s 1903–05 French Antarctic Expedition. Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls and South Polar Skuas are usually found breeding on Pleneau Island and Southern elephant seals are often hauled-out in wallows. Enjoy the spectacular scenery of icebergs nearby either from shore or during a Zodiac cruise.
South Shetland Islands
We will end our Antarctic sojourn in the South Shetland Islands.
Port Foster, Whalers Bay and Telefon Bay are all located in Deception Island, an excellent example of a caldera that can be reached from the sea. We plan to sail into the caldera through the narrow entrance called Neptune’s Bellows. Ashore Deception Island’s interesting history -from whaling to scientific studies- still shows remains of a former whaling station, including the boilers used to make whale oil in the early 1900s, and houses belonging to a British research base. The unique volcanic features of the area can be seen during hikes.
The Aitcho Islands have Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguin colonies. Southern Giant Petrels and skuas are never far from penguin rookeries and elephant seals quite often look for company near the landing site.
At Sea - Drake Passage
Navigating our return through the Drake Passage, we will watch for seabirds and wildlife we may have missed on our initial crossing. There will be opportunities to attend additional presentations offered by the Expedition Team lecturers and to edit the many photos taken as we travel towards Ushuaia. During the last afternoon, our Photographer/Videographer will show the Voyage DVD.
After breakfast, disembark Silver Cloud and transfer to Ushuaia Airport for your return flights.
A view from Above
we work hard to earn passionate reviews from our clients.
Now that I am back from my odyssey voyage, I thought I would let you know that after all that planning it really did exceed my expectations – we managed landings everywhere even on Tristan da Cuhna and had great bird sightings. The guides all knew what they were talking about too and made sure I got some great photos – still sorting them all out! Thanks for everything and see you at Birdfair!Dave Martin
I want to thank you for all you did to make my recent Falklands trip run so smoothly and comfortably. Thank you for all your help over the diet too.Dr Lorna Mairs
Just a quick note to express my sincere thanks to you and all your staff for making this an epic adventure of immense proportions. Everything went smoothly, pickups, hotels and most of all the expedition itself. Truly a mind blowing experience unlike any I have ever taken.Mr J Borg, Malta
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