Antarctic Circle via Falklands & South Georgia 23 daysAboard: Ocean Diamond
This diverse and exciting expedition is the perfect all-encompassing itinerary for those wishing to discover almost everything that this spectacular part of the world has to offer. This 23 day itinerary will take you first to the remote, rugged landscapes of the Falkland Islands to experience the islands’ diverse range of flora and fauna, before sailing on to the incomparable wildlife paradise of South Georgia for an unforgettable wildlife experience. And if that wasn’t enough, you will then sail further south to discover the lands of Antarctica, one of the most spectacular and remote places on earth. With the addition of a crossing of the Antarctic Circle, this is without doubt one of the best Polar expeditions available!
Walking amongst the millions of penguins in South Georgia and learning about the area’s rich history, island-hopping in the Falklands in search of unique wildlife encounters, Zodiac cruising through the ice-strewn waters of Antarctica, and celebrating crossing the Circle in style…this wonderful itinerary has it all!
- Crossing the Antarctic Circle
- Experience Antarctica, the Falklands and the wildlife paradise of South Georgia in one fantastic itinerary
- Amazing wildlife, including millions of penguins, myriad birds and whales
- Spectacular scenery
- Exciting zodiac landings and excursions
- Kayaking & Camping on Ice options
- Full board accommodation including all meals, snacks & soft drinks on board ship
- Beer and wine during dinner
- All zodiac excursions and landings
- Programme of expert lectures and presentations
- Loan of waterproof boots
- Expedition parka
- All service and port charges
- Emergency evacuation insurance to max. US$100,000pp
- One night's pre-departure hotel accommodation
So much to experience
Too much to choose from? This is where we come in
Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Antarctica, Falklands adventure for you.
Mike lives and breathes adventure travel and has a wealth of experience in some of the most exciting and inspirational destinations in the world. His expertise and first-hand experience afford him the skills to help build holidays to remember.
Simon’s deep passion for and first-hand knowledge of a vast range of destinations all over the world gives him the ideal skills to help you create a truly unforgettable wildlife inspired adventure to the most exciting places on the planet.
Zoe’s abiding love of adventure travel has taken her to some of the most incredible wildlife-rich places on Earth. Her vast experience and genuine desire to share her knowledge makes her an outstanding and invaluable person to help you organise your wildlife adventure trip.
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All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Your adventure begins in Ushuaia, where after having arrived independently you can join a group transfer to a downtown hotel for your included overnight stay before enjoying some time to explore the southernmost city in the world. Thanks to its unique location at the bottom of the world, Ushuaia has enjoyed a tourism boost in recent years but has managed to retain the easy-going charm that it is famed for. Surrounded by the spectacular landscape of the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park, Ushuaia is an enchanting place to explore and we recommend enjoying some of the area’s local wines, sampling some of the local restaurant’s famous barbeques or taking an excursion into the National Park.
Overnight hotel stay with breakfast included.
Ushuaia - Embark
After a good night’s rest and a hearty breakfast you will have time for some more exploration of Ushuaia in the morning before joining your group transfer to the port where your polar expedition ship awaits you. Embarkation will begin in the late afternoon and after meeting your expedition team and settling into your comfortable cabin, you can spend some time exploring your new surroundings and watching from deck as we sail through the scenic and historic Beagle Channel and set course for the Falkland Islands.
As we make our way north towards the Falkland Islands we recommend spending some time on deck looking for the multitude of seabirds that often follow in the ship’s wake. You may also be lucky enough to spot a whale or 2 bobbing in the waters below. Your informative and entertaining programme of lectures and presentations delivered by your expert expedition team will begin, covering everything from the flora and fauna you will encounter on your voyage, to the history of Polar exploration. There will also be bio-environmental briefings for your time in the Falklands and briefings for use of the Zodiac boats for cruises and shore landings.
Today your adventure begins in earnest as we arrive in the Falkland Islands to enjoy the first of many shore excursions of our voyage. The remote Falklands archipelago consists of two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, and we will spend two days here exploring as much of this fascinating group of islands as possible. As with all expedition cruising, our exact itinerary will be dictated by sea and ice conditions, with your captain and experienced expedition team choosing the very best course to take advantage of the thrilling wildlife and scenic opportunities available. Places we expect to be able to visit during your time here include Carcass Island, New Island and West Point Island amongst others. In all of these locations you can expect to experience a great deal of wildlife encounters, including at least three species of penguins and an abundance of other birdlife including the endemic Cobb’s wren and Falkland’s flightless steamer duck.
We will also visit the Falklands capital of Stanley, where you can enjoy a stroll around the beautiful waterfront in this quaint town which has a quintessentially British feel. You will have time to visit the town’s museum and church, or enjoy a refreshing drink in one of the friendly local pubs.
Throughout your time in the Falklands your team of lecturers and specialists will accompany you to offer insights into the area’s unique flora and fauna, as well as the island’s well-documented history.
As we leave the Falklands behind and head south-east towards South Georgia your ship will cross the Antarctic Convergence. We highly recommend spending some time on deck as we cross this invisible biological boundary unique to Antarctica, where the meeting of oceans creates an abundance of krill and marine life that attracts large cetaceans, such as humpback whales, to the area. Your programme of lectures will continue and as we near South Georgia there will be bio-environmental briefings for your time on the island, including information on how to behave around the remarkable numbers of various wildlife species you are highly likely to encounter.
Welcome to the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, where millions of penguins, abundant birdlife, regular sightings of whales and other marine mammals, spectacular scenery and a rich history combine to make one of the world’s most surprising and enchanting destinations. We will spend four days here exploring all that the area has to offer, with the prominent focus being on the astounding array of wildlife and the island’s historical associations.
One of the many places we expect to visit includes Grytviken, an area of significant historical interest and the final resting place of the legendary explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Here we can spend the day learning about Polar expeditions of the past, paying our respects at Shackleton’s grave, visiting a research station, abandoned whale station and beautiful church, and soaking up the mystical surroundings.
Although South Georgia’s rich history is a huge draw for visitors to this mostly uninhabited island, the abundance of wildlife on display is South Georgia’s crowning glory and the locations we will visit have been selected to provide you with unforgettable up-close wildlife encounters. From Salisbury Plain, home of one of the largest king penguin rookeries on the island, to Gold Harbour where the hanging Bertrab Glacier provides a spectacular backdrop to a hive of activity of king and gentoo penguins squabbling with rowdy elephant and fur seals for prime position along the beaches, this wildlife wonderland will not disappoint.
We recommend arriving here with as much space on your camera as possible as the photographic opportunities are simply endless. The unique Drygalski Fjord with its dramatic peaks rising from the sea is an unforgettable sight, whilst the tens of thousands of breeding pairs of penguins in St Andrew’s Bay is a wildlife spectacle to behold. Throughout your time here your experienced expedition team will offer insights into not only the island’s history and wildlife, but also to the area’s unique geological features which play such an important role in the breeding and survival of the different bird and animal species.
It’s time for our next adventure as we leave South Georgia in our wake and sail south towards the pristine wilderness of Antarctica, where even more exciting wildlife and scenic opportunities await. These days at sea can be spent attending some of the informative and entertaining talks on all things Antarctica, relaxing with a book from the library, collating the countless pictures you will have no doubt captured during your time in South Georgia, or out on deck looking out for the first of many iceberg sightings. As we approach the Peninsula there will be briefings on what to expect over the course of the next 7 days.
South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
After the anticipation of the last two days, your first sight of land in Antarctica will not disappoint, and you will begin to appreciate exactly why these remarkable lands have long captivated the attentions of explorers and intrepid adventurers. A land of extremes, Antarctica is likely to arise almost every type of emotion in you, from the feeling of total isolation amongst the startling imposing landscapes of mountains and icebergs, to the exhilaration of watching the comical antics of the abundance of penguins.
As with all Antarctica expeditions our exact itinerary over the course of the next few days will be flexible and dependent upon weather and ice conditions, with your captain and experienced crew deciding each day on the best course for unrivalled wildlife, scenery and adventure experiences. Each expedition to Antarctica is different and you can be guaranteed of multiple unique, once in a lifetime moments that you will live long in the memory.
Exploring each day by Zodiac boat you will discover multiple bays, channels and landing sites on a constant lookout for wildlife sightings including humpback and minke whales, various southern seal species and, of course, bustling penguin rookeries. One of our favourite places for spotting penguins includes Danco Island where we can enjoy a short hike to visit a large penguin colony which resides high up on a ridge that affords spectacular views of the surrounding pristine landscape. Other sites we expect to visit include Neko Harbour, the Melchior Islands, Port Lockroy and Cuverville Island to name just a few.
There will ample opportunities for enjoyable hikes and walks throughout our time in Antarctica and the majesty of the Antarctic Peninsula’s mountains will enchant as you scramble up snowy pathways to vantage points offering you 360° views of your surroundings.
Throughout your time here you can enjoy walks along the beaches alongside the penguins, thrilling Zodiac cruises through the crackling sea ice, navigating through mazes of towering icebergs of all shapes and sizes, experience the awesome sights and sounds of calving glaciers including those in Neko Harbour, and fully immerse yourself in all that this wonderful continent has to offer. For the more adventurous we highly recommend a Polar Plunge in the frigid Antarctic waters and there are exciting kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding options available too. Please note that kayaking and paddle-boarding must be booked in advance.
The Antarctic Circle
Having sailed southwards along the Peninsula we will venture even further south to attempt a crossing of the Antarctica Circle. Ice conditions will dictate our route, but we are very hopeful of completing this impressive achievement that very few people have been lucky enough to experience. As we cross over this famed line we will raise a glass of champagne in celebration of this unforgettable moment.
Exploring south of the Circle we will witness Antarctica in its rawest form, and we will spend some time here searching for Weddell seals and photographing the most magical and surprising ice formations on the continent. In the land of the Midnight Sun, we will have ample time here to soak up the area’s unique landscapes.
Northbound Along the Peninsula
After our exciting time south of the Circle there is still time for even more adventures as we sail back northwards along the western side of the Peninsula to continue our exploration. Enjoying Zodiac excursions twice daily we will be on a constant lookout for even more penguin sightings as well as seals and whales.
After your thrilling Antarctic exploration, the end of our epic adventure is approaching and it’s time to head back towards South America as we sail back across the famous Drake Passage towards Ushuaia. We hope for a smooth sailing that will allow us to spend some time on deck looking for our final seabird and whale sightings. This is also a great chance to spend some time collating all of the many pictures you will have taken and sharing tales of your adventures with your fellow passengers.
Ushuaia to Buenos Aires
After having sailed through the Beagle Channel overnight you will arrive back into the port of Ushuaia in the early morning, where you will bid a fond farewell to your expedition team and disembark to join your group transfer to the airport for your homeward flights, or to a downtown location should you wish to spend more time in this charming city at the bottom of the world.
A view from Above
Ocean Diamond is a high quality expedition ship, designed more like a super-yacht. All cabins and suites have exterior views, flat-screen TVs, DVDs and private facilities. Amenities include a wellness, yoga and massage option, well-stocked library, photography programme, bar with optional beverage package, observation lounge, dining room, theatre-style auditorium and clinic. Options also include camping, kayaking, snowshoeing, skiing and mountaineering on many expeditions. Ocean Diamond also supports the Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute and makes a contribution on behalf of all passengers.
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
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.Steve Sutton
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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