South Georgia & Antarctic Peninsula Penguin Safari 16 days aboard Ocean Diamond
Penguins, penguins and more penguins! Join us for this special voyage to the wildlife paradise of South Georgia and simply breathtaking Antarctic Peninsula in search of as many wildlife sightings as possible. Sailing from Ushuaia we will head straight to South Georgia to discover an exceptionally scenic land which is home to millions of penguins, an abundance of other birdlife, various seal species and only a handful of humans. One of the most fertile breeding grounds in the world for sub-Antarctic wildlife, this is truly a nature lover’s paradise and we will enjoy every minute here revelling in up-close wildlife encounters. Yet South Georgia is not only for the wildlife enthusiasts amongst us, there are plenty of other fascinating aspects to the island including its rich history in relation to Antarctic exploration and its unique geological makeup. Alongside our team of experts we will learn all there is to know about the island, including making a visit to the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton to learn about his legendary explorations.
If that wasn’t enough adventure for one trip we will then head far south to enjoy 3 days of thrilling exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula in search of even more up-close wildlife encounters. Surrounded by towering icebergs in a wintry wilderness you will soon discover why this remarkable part of the world has enchanted explorers for so long. As we enjoy Zodiac cruises through the ice-strewn waters surrounded by incomparable landscapes at every turn, and step foot on the 7th continent, we will be on a constant look out for the wealth of penguins who make these wild and isolated lands their home.
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 >
Special Guest Photography GuideChris was 32 when he finally realised he really did want to be a photo-journalist and walked out on his career in IT sales to become a wildlife photographer Read more >
- Experience Antarctica 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 & stand-up paddle-boarding options available
- 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
ITINERARY15 Nights 16 Days
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 South Georgia.
As we make our way east towards South Georgia 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 South Georgia and briefings for use of the Zodiac boats for cruises and shore landings.
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 two full 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 some time 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 wave goodbye to the king penguins and leave South Georgia in our wake to 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 few 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 chinstrap, adelie and gentoo 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 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 these optional activities must be booked in advance.
After your thrilling Antarctic exploration, the end of our adventure is approaching and it’s time to head back towards South America as we sail across the famous Drake Passage towards Ushuaia. Over the course of these 2 days there may potentially be some rough waters, but your polar expedition ship has been designed to navigate these waters with ease. 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.
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
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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