Shackleton Route in Luxury 19 days aboard Silver Explorer
A classic voyage on board a purpose built, luxury expedition ship with an in-depth itinerary covering the Falklands, South Georgia, the South Shetlands and the Antarctic Peninsula. This is the best time of the year to see the Antarctic region and its wildlife in all its splendour, especially whales, and with one of the best expedition teams in the industry.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Wildlife Guide & PhotographerAndy is a 6th generation Falkland Islander, with a passion for wildlife, plants and photography. Raised in the Falkland Islands, Andy developed a close affinity with the Islands natural environment at a young age. School holidays where spent in the ‘camp’ or countryside with friends and family. For more than 10 years, Andy had the privilege of spending a time on Sea Lion Island, visiting his mother who managed one of the Islands premier tourist destinations. Read more >
Photographer and founder of the Travel Photographer Of The Year awardsA fascination with natural light and a passion with nature, landscape and travel underpin Chris Coe's photography. His images often have a striking simplicity and graphic quality. More recent work has introduced a subtlety with experimentation with both movement and light.Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
Special Guest LecturerExclusive to this voyage, Doug Allan, a multi award winning polar photographer and cameraman, will be your special guest lecturer. Doug has been on over 20 expeditions to Svalbard to film its wildlife, and knows the wonders of this area more than most. Read more >
- Spectacular and varied scenery
- Prolific land, marine and avian wildlife including huge penguin colonies
- Exciting Zodiac excursions and landings
- Follow in the footsteps of the great explorers
- Full board accommodation on board ship, including all beverages
- Return charter flights Buenos Aires - Ushuaia
- 1 night pre-cruise hotel stay
- Transfers to and from ship
- Highly qualified expedition team
- Excursions and activities, including explorations by Zodiac
- Complimentary expedition gear: parka, backpack and water bottle
- Personalised service with a butler for all suites
- Inclusive room-service, select wines, spirits and soft drinks throughout the ship
- Free WIFI throughout the ship
- Onboard Gratuities
ITINERARY18 Nights 19 Days
- Day 1 | Ushuaia
- Day 2 | At Sea
- Day 3 | Falkland Islands (West Point & Saunders)
- Day 4 | Port Stanley
- Days 5 - 6 | At Sea
- Days 7 - 9 | South Georgia
- Days 10 - 11 | At Sea
- Day 12 | Elephant Island
- Day 13 | Antarctic Sound
- Days 14 - 15 | Antarctic Peninsula
- Day 16 | South Shetland Islands
- Days 17 - 18 | At Sea - Drake Passage
- Day 19 | Ushuaia
Embark Silver Explorer and meet some of your fellow explorers as you become acquainted with the luxurious amenities found on board. A mandatory safety drill will take place before you set sail. During the afternoon you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and important members of the crew. At sail away enjoy the mountain-lined shoreline of the Beagle Channel while you leave Ushuaia and bid farewell to Tierra del Fuego, the “Land at the End of the World”.
The Expedition Team’s expert lecturers will present ornithological and historical insights into the Falkland Islands, our first destination. You might hear about the early European explorers and the different attempts at settling the Falkland Islands/Malvinas. Get introduced to the specific birdlife we expect to see during our stay by our onboard Ornithologist.
Tonight, you are invited to attend a special Welcome Aboard cocktail party hosted by the Captain, who will introduce his senior officers.
Falkland Islands (West Point & Saunders)
Watch for Peale’s dolphins and the distinctive black and white markings of the Commerson’s dolphin as Silver Explorer approaches West Point Island during the early morning. Walk across rolling moorland to reach colonies of Black-browed Albatrosses that nest side-by-side with Rockhopper Penguins. The hospitable island owners are always happy to answer your questions and share their stories while you have a cup of tea and some home-baked cookies and cakes.
During lunch Silver Explorer will reposition to Saunders Island, the second-largest of the offshore islands. Apart from its historical importance –this is where the first British settlement was located- Saunders’ wildlife is quite varied. Depending on the weather conditions we will attempt a landing to see several penguin species, as well as other seabirds and land birds. Gentoo Penguins and King Penguins reside in the open dune and sand flat area, while Rockhopper Penguins, Imperial Shags and Black-browed Albatrosses frequent Mount Richards. Other key bird species are the Black–throated Finch, Ruddy-headed Goose and Falkland Steamer Duck.
Stanley is the capital of the remote Falkland Islands, and has a distinct British ambience.
You can join a classic ‘City Highlights’ tour which covers Stanley and the surrounding area. This excursion passes by older and newer portions of Stanley, seeing the shipwreck of the Lady Elizabeth, an outdoor whale bone display, war memorials and the museum.
Stroll through the charming streets of this colourful little town, lined with quaint cottages and a variety of traditional pubs, and visit the 19th-century Anglican cathedral. After the 1982 Falkland conflict between Britain and Argentina the island has settled back to its quiet business of raising sheep.
Binoculars and camera in hand, head out on deck to watch for seabirds and marine mammals. Gather in The Theatre to perhaps hear about Captain Cook’s first visit to South Georgia or to learn about the region’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Our knowledgeable onboard experts will present lectures and seminars in a variety of scientific fields. Other onboard diversions may include photography workshops, Spa treatments, a workout in the Fitness Centre, and, of course, exquisite dining experiences.
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. Here are some of the places we may visit:
Cooper Bay - Enjoy a Zodiac cruise to see Macaroni and Chinstrap Penguins on the rocks and in the water.
Gold Harbour - A large King Penguin colony can be found near Bertrab Glacier, while elephant seals can be seen sunning on the beaches.
Grytviken - Grytviken is a historic whaling station. You can still see the remains of the activity, including rusted hulls of long abandoned whaling and sealing ships, and some of the working-areas. In the museum guests can learn about past whaling techniques and view various exhibits on exploration and discovery. Visit the burial site of famous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. The remains of his faithful companion Frank Wild have been brought here too.
Salisbury Plain - Salisbury Plain is a favourite breeding ground for hundreds of thousands of King Penguins. It is amazing to see how they completely cover the beaches and hills.
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 greet us as we approach Elephant Island – so named for its former abundance of elephant seals. In 1916, when Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance was crushed in pack ice in the Weddell Sea, the crew was stranded here for 137 days. Elephant Island is home to several Chinstrap Penguin rookeries, as well as old moss colonies. Weddell seals and Macaroni Penguins can also be found on the spit of land Shackleton’s men named Point Wild. A solitary statue can be seen there, honouring the Chilean captain Luis Pardo, who took the cutter Yelcho across the Drake Passage to rescue Shackleton’s men.
We will start our Antarctic experiences 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 Explorer 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 along the Antarctic Peninsula’ white wilderness, every turn can reveal a new and breathtaking adventure. Remote and otherworldly, Antarctica is irresistible for its spectacular icebergs and calving glaciers, and for the possibility of up-close encounters with marine mammals. Watch for seals sunbathing on slow-moving ice floes and for humpback, Minke, and orca whales to surface from below the frigid waters in this spectacular wilderness- surely events that you will not forget.
Cuverville Island, Errera Channel has large, bare rock areas provide nesting sites for Gentoo Penguins. Snow Petrels and Cape Petrels may be seen, and Wilson’s Storm Petrels nest in the higher scree of the island. During Zodiac tours, we hope to see hauled-out Weddell and leopard seals. Conditions permitting, we will attempt to hike to the top of the island for some spectacular panoramic views.
Paradise Bay is well named for its spectacular scenery of mountains, glaciers and icebergs. From the ship or Zodiac, observe Argentina’s “Base Brown”, one of many Antarctic research stations, and view the wildlife from sea level while cruising in our Zodiacs. There is a good chance you will come across a crabeater seal relaxing on a nearby ice floe. Blue-eyed Shags nest in the cliffs close to the base, while Brown Skuas like to be around the buildings. Minke whales frequent the area.
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. To reach Petermann Island the Lemaire Channel has to be crossed. This is one of the most spectacular channels with steep snow-covered mountains on both sides and icebergs of different sizes at the southern end.
South Shetland Islands
The South Shetland Islands run parallel to the Antarctic Peninsula and have both scientific stations and large penguin colonies. Depending on conditions we might visit the Aitcho Islands, Deception Island or Half Moon Island.
Port Foster (Deception Island) is an excellent example of a breached caldera flooded by seawater. We plan to sail into Port Foster through a narrow entrance called Neptune’s Bellows. Our resident Geologist will take the opportunity to explain the unique volcanic features of the area, while our Historian might introduce you to the whaling history of Deception Island. The British base’s Biscoe House was destroyed by a mudflow after a volcanic eruption in the late 1960s but can still clearly be seen. Depending on weather conditions several hikes to viewpoints might be offered.
At Sea - Drake Passage
The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for its turbulent seas due to strong westerly winds and the currents pushed through the ‘narrow’ gap between South American and the Antarctic Peninsula. Spend some time on deck watching the horizon and the variety of seabirds that glide in the air currents of our ship’s wake such as the Black-browed Albatross, Sooty Shearwaters, and White-chinned Petrels. Take this opportunity to attend additional presentations offered by the Expedition Team lecturers as we travel towards Ushuaia. Our onboard Photographer/Videographer will present the Voyage DVD.
Arrive in the morning and disembark
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We had the time of our lives on board ship...if anybody wants to go to Antarctica, we will certainly advise to go with you.
Huge congratulations to you and all the team for the perfect organisation throughout the trip. From the early planning to the last transfer, everything went without a hitch.
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!
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
The adventure really was a 'trip of a lifetime' and we are so glad we tagged an extra day in Buenos Aires at either end and that we went Premium Economy, it made all the difference. The ship Sea Explorer was exactly as Simon had described and was very comfortable. South Georgia was the highlight but we were surprised how much wildlife there was to see on the Falklands and we might well book one of your nature trips to the Falklands in the future.
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.
• I wanted to send you a quick thank you email. We had a fantastic trip, the boat, staff, scenery, itinerary, and pretty much everything else was incredible! Thank you so much for arranging the cabin upgrade, we were delighted to have our own room! We had a really brilliant time, and wanted to say thanks so much for being so helpful throughout, we're lucky to have found you.
We had a very special experience organized by you in Feb, especially the wedding in Antarctica and our stay in Patagonia. Thank you.
Many thanks for all you help with our polar trip which exceeded all expectations. We will certainly recommend your company and seriously consider yourselves for future trips.
I just want to thank you for all your help with my Ross Sea trip. It was really the trip of a lifetime & the ship & crew were excellent.
Overall I think that it was an excellent trip that was well worth the price paid and I would have no hesitation recommending your company to others.
I'm sure you get plenty of compliments, but I just want to follow up telling you what a great time we had on the MS Expedition Antarctica Classic cruise. We were very pleased with all of the staff, on the ground and on the ship. Everyone was so friendly and knowledgeable. We greatly appreciated their experience and expertise. Their very careful attention to all of the environmental rules and precautions should also be lauded. Thank you for all of your service and attention. If we're planning on one of the other regions that you serve, we'll definitely be in touch!!
We would like to thank you with all our heart for our fabulous trip. It was amazing. Everything was perfect. I recommend Antarctica and South America to everybody. Doing business with you was also a great experience. You are the best travel agent I ever met. I hope to have the chance to do business with you again in the future.
We've just got back from out trip to Patagonia and the Antarctic and want to say a big thank you to all of you at Wildfoot but specifically you, Tina and Sara, for organising our trip and sorting out all my queries before we went. You've all been thoroughly professional - and friendly with it. I always get concerned that hotels won't have received the booking, the air e-tickets won't be recognised or luggage ends up somewhere other that where we are, but I didn't need to worry as everything was well planned in advance and the various elements, air travel, two cruises, hotels etc, fitted seamlessly. You can take this as a 10 out of 10 satisfaction rating and recommendation for your company. You will certainly be my 'go to' provider if we ever do anything similar in the future. Thanks once again for our trip of a lifetime.
I just wanted to say an enormous thank you for your help with my trip. It was the best two weeks of my life! MS Expedition was amazing – their itinerary, their crew, their spirit. It was truly exceptional.One of the best things was how they arranged the rooms, I just had the best roommates and that really made a big difference to the trip. We got to see some fast ice and got out to walk on it – literally walking on the frozen sea. Amazing! I am saving for my next trip and I would not dream of going with anyone but you guys again. Good work! A dream very much come true.
I hope you’re well. I wanted to drop you a line to say we are back from Antarctica and had a wonderful time with Ponant. The trip exceeded our expectations in every respect, and I haven’t yet found enough superlatives to describe it to friends! Antarctica was breathtaking (as you know), and we loved pretty-much everything about Ponant. It was the perfect fit for us and I’m very grateful to you for taking the time to help with the booking. Having read the nightmares that Silversea have been having with the Silver Cloud, we felt lucky to be onboard Le Lyrial. Of course the only downside of a trip like this is we want to go back - best start saving now! Thanks again for all of your help and support with the booking process. Ponant was exactly as you described it. We have our eye on a couple of other cruises with them so I might be in touch soon.
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.
We had the most fantastic time! Everything exceeded our expectations - the ship, the expedition team, the scenery and the most amazing wildlife experiences - 15 humpback whales around the ship one sunset was particularly stunning. Thank you so much to you and your colleagues for your expert advice (the cabin choice was just perfect, especially for the bumpy days!) and guidance and helping made this experience so great. My lifetime's ambition was to visit Antarctica and you all helped make that possible. I should also say that the arrangements in Buenos Aires worked really well too. I think we all have ideas about the next trip - Svalbard or the NorthWest Passage - but maybe in a couple of years, although we do each have $1500 in vouchers from Quark! I am not on Facebook myself but will try to put a review on either of the links below. I've received the new brochure already.
A great big thanks to all at Wildfoot Travel for making my Antarcti Expediton an epic adventure of immense proportions. Everything went smoothly, pickups, hotels and most of all the expedition itself. A truly mind blowing experience unlike any I have ever taken. Looking forward to the next trip with you.
Just came back from a trip aboard the Ortelius to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. Thank you Wildfoot for organising it so well. We had the trip of a lifetime and everything ran very smoothly and stress free so many, many thanks
I travelled to the Antarctica Circle with Wildfoot. It was a memorable trip. The MS Expedition was definately the right choice. The ship is very nice, very comfortable, very clean, the crew is fantastic, the meals were very good, the expedition staff very kind and extremely knowledgeable and professional. All activities were very well and timely organized in a safety manner. Besides that, despite haveing had a rough sea on the Drake on way in, we were quite lucky with the weather (we got some cloudy days but also snow, bright sunshine and beautiful sunsets,) making every landing a wonderful happening. All in all, it was less than perfect.
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