Antarctica, Falklands & South Georgia 21 days - Sylvia Earle Maiden Voyage aboard Sylvia Earle
EXCITING RANGE OF ACTIVITY OPTIONS AVAILABLE ON THIS DEPARTURE INCLUDING SKIING, SNOWSHOEING, KAYAKING, SHACKLETON CROSSING AND SNORKELLING!
This fantastic itinerary will take you to discover all that makes the Antarctic region so remarkable. Covering 3 incredible areas in one journey, you will sail to and from Ushuaia, with the beautiful wildlife-rich Falkland Islands as your first destination. Enjoy 2 full days of exploration here before sailing on to the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, home to millions of fur seals and penguins, wallows of elephant seals, and nesting albatross, as well as captivating historic sites. Your exceptional itinerary will be rounded off with a classic Antarctic Peninsula cruise where you will discover a land of towering icebergs, pristine scenery and enchanting wildlife.
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 >
- Discover three remarkable areas in one epic journey
- Spectacular Antarctic scenery
- Explore the wildlife paradise of South Georgia
- Step foot on the Antarctic Peninsula
- Enjoy an exploration of the Falklands
- Amazing wildlife including an abundance of penguins, birds and whales
- Activity options including kayaking, snorkelling, skiing and snowshoeing
- Optional Shackleton crossing mountaineering adventure
- Enjoy exciting Zodiac cruises throughout
- Visit historical and scientific sites
- Resident photography guide
- Full board accommodation on board ship with daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, afternoon tea and snacks
- Wines, beers and soft drinks with dinner
- 1 night accommodation in Ushuaia pre-voyage, with breakfast and half-day city tour included
- Transfers from ship & luggage transfer to ship
- Captain's Welcome and Farewell drinks including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
- All Zodiac landings and excursions
- Programme of expert lectures
- Loan of rubber boots
- Complimentary 3-in-1 polar jacket
ITINERARY20 Nights 21 Days
- Day 1 | Ushuaia, Argentina
- Day 2 | Ushuaia - Embarkation
- Day 3 | At Sea - Towards the Falklands
- Days 4 - 5 | The Falkland Islands
- Days 6 - 8 | At Sea
- Days 9 - 12 | South Georgia
- Days 13 - 14 | At Sea Towards Antarctica
- Days 15 - 19 | Antarctic Peninsula
- Day 20 | At Sea - Drake Passage
- Day 21 | Ushuaia
Your journey begins in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city. Arrive independently and transfer to the hotel for your included overnight stay. Enjoy time seeing the sights and sounds of this city which is renowned for its enchanting scenery, before enjoying a good night’s sleep in preparation for the adventures ahead.
Ushuaia - Embarkation
After a leisurely breakfast at your hotel, you can join your included half-day tour of Ushuaia and its surrounds. This beautiful city is the capital of the Tierra del Fuego province and its unique landscape of mountains, sea, glaciers and forest is simply a delight to explore. This fantastic tour will take you to some of Ushuaia’s most impressive areas including The Mission, Solier and Brown neighbourhoods where you can see the ancient houses belonging to the first families in Tierra del Fuego, and the nearby Martial Glacier where you can enjoy a chair lift ride to some excellent hiking trails that reward in superb views over Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel. There will also be time to visit the End of the World Museum where you can get an insight into the history of Tierra del Fuego, before heading to the port in the mid-afternoon to board the Greg Mortimer. Settle into your comfortable cabin and get to know your home for the next 19 nights as the ship sets sail through the scenic Beagle Channel and we begin our epic adventure of a lifetime. A luggage transfer from the hotel is included today.
At Sea - Towards the Falklands
As your ship sails north towards the Falkland Islands, keep an eye out in one of the many observation areas for the seabirds, including albatross and giant petrels, which follow the ship, and possibly some whale sightings. Enjoy informative lectures on the wildlife, history and geology of the areas you are about to discover and attend bio security briefings for your brief visit to the Falklands. Your onboard photography guide can help you to perfect your wildlife photos in preparation for your first of many landings.
The Falkland Islands
Today it’s time for your first adventure as we enjoy a 2-day visit to the wildlife hotspot of the Falkland Islands. Over the next 2 days places we hope to visit include the rarely-explored Jason Island which is home to the world’s largest black-browed albatross colony, and scenic Saunders Island, a working sheep farm. On Saunders you can discover some of the world’s most enchanting scenery along with four different species of penguin.
Carcass Island will be one for the birding enthusiasts among us as we go ashore in search of observations of the endemic Cobb’s Wren, striated caracaras, tussac birds, dark ground tyrants, black-browed albatrosses and 3 different species of penguin. We will also hope to visit West Point Island to search for Commerson’s dolphins before visiting historic Stanley, the uniquely charming capital of the archipelago, where you can enjoy a short walk around to get an insight into the way of life in this remote town. Before leaving the archipelago we will make land at the aptly named Sealion Island to visit the nature reserve and discover how the island’s raw beauty and solitude make it a haven for both wildlife and visitors alike. Whilst here you can hope to enjoy observations of bountiful elephant seals and sea lions as well as an abundance of birds including Magellanic, Rockhopper, Macaroni, King and Gentoo penguins, Striated and Crested Caracaras, southern giant petrels, thrushes and finches. There are also good chances of seeing Peale’s dolphins and maybe even pods of orcas.
As we leave The Falkland Islands behind we will spend approximately 2 to 3 days at sea sailing through the Scotia Sea towards the wildlife paradise of South Georgia. Your informative and entertaining lecture programme will continue along with bio-security briefings for your time on the island. As we pass the Shag Rocks keep an eye out on deck for the abundant seabirds that follow the ship.
Welcome to the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, a mostly uninhabited land filled with historic associations, spectacular scenery and the world’s largest king penguin rookeries. Lying wholly within the Antarctic Convergence, South Georgia is a life-sustaining haven to some of the world’s largest congregations of wildlife, and your time here will allow for an in-depth exploration of the island, with your captain choosing each day the best spots to visit for the ultimate wildlife and scenic experiences. You will explore the stunning northern coast as well as the Stromness and Grytviken harbours, where 3000-metre peaks form dramatic backdrops to the remains of whaling stations. You can enjoy Zodiac excursions each day, and for the kayakers there are plentiful areas along the beautiful coastline to explore and get up close to the playful seals that frequent the waters. Enjoy walks along the beaches where an abundance of basking elephant seals, feisty fur seals and busy penguins jostle for the perfect spot, and take the time to soak up the sights and sounds of this simply remarkable island.
Synonymous with the epic expedition of survival by Shackleton, Worsley, and Crean, if conditions permit we will attempt to follow in their footsteps and complete the final leg of their journey on a walk from Fortuna Bay to Stromness. Our expert historians will share tales along the way of these hardy explorers’ feats and fates. We will also be able to pay our respects at Shackleton’s final resting place in Grytviken. On this expedition you will have the unique chance to partake in a special 3-day Shackleton Crossing mountaineering excursion where you will attempt to repeat the full journey taken by Shackleton and his men across an extreme mountain environment from King Haakon Bay to Stromness. This energetic activity will see you cover a distance of around 50 kilometres on foot, and a suitable level of alpine climbing and trekking experience will be necessary to participate. The cost of this excursion is not included as part of your package and the activity should be booked in advance.
As well as gaining some in-depth knowledge of Shackleton’s feats, our main focus here will be on the indescribable numbers of wildlife that is found here. In St Andrews Bay you can enjoy a walk along the long black sandy beach to visit the largest King penguin colony on the island as well as hundreds of elephant seals. The sight and sound of over 200,000 pairs of King penguins at different stages of their breeding cycle jostling with the seals for prime spots along the beach, all set amongst the most incredible backdrop of spectacular snow-capped mountains, is something you won’t forget in a hurry. In Godthul you can enjoy a gentle walk along the tussock to a spectacular plateau offering magnificent views across the island, and seek out the large Macaroni penguin colony on the way back down, whilst in Salisbury Plains you will be greeted by 100,000 more pairs of king penguins as well as fur and elephant seals.
Aside from the penguins, there will be ample opportunities for enjoyable Zodiac cruises and walks, including in Fortuna Bay and across the landscapes of Grytviken where you can see the reminders of the historic whaling days. Another highlight will be the Bay of Isles where you can observe, from a safe distance, the magnificent wandering albatrosses proudly protecting their chicks. Other areas we may visit include Cooper Bay, Drygalski Fjord and Elsehul Bay.
At Sea Towards Antarctica
Leaving the wonders of South Georgia behind, we will now make our way towards the majesty of Antarctica. Your onboard lecture and presentation programme will continue, along with safety briefings for your time on the “white continent”, and some time on deck should reward with numerous sightings of seabirds and whales. As the size and frequency of the icebergs on the horizon increase the anticipation will build for the first of many landings in the indescribable Antarctic wilderness.
As you awake on day 15 the sight that awaits this morning is the stunning Antarctic Peninsula. A land of superlatives, Antarctica’s vast proportions are a sight to behold. Enjoy twice daily Zodiac excursions to explore penguin rookeries, visit historic sites and scientific stations, and get up close to the masses of elaborate icebergs. Watch seals basking on the ice floes, join an excursion in search of orca sightings, and enjoy the exhilaration of stepping foot on the white continent. As with all polar expeditions, your exact itinerary in Antarctica will be dictated by weather and wildlife sighting opportunities so be prepared for the unexpected. Making the most of every moment, your captain will choose the best course each day for wildlife viewings and adventures, with a new experience guaranteed each day.
Some of the fantastic landing sites we expect to visit throughout your time in Antarctica include the beautiful protected bay of Paradise Harbour where you can enjoy an exciting Zodiac cruise in search of whales including humpbacks, minkes and orcas, seals and various bird species including terns, gulls and blue-eyed shags. If ice conditions allow, your ship will sail through the exceptionally scenic Lemaire Channel, where time in the observation lounge or on deck will reward in incredible views of the surrounding towering cliffs and majestic icebergs reflecting off the silky still water surfaces.
Other areas along the Peninsula we hope to visit include the Hydrurga Rocks where you can search for observations of Weddell seals, leopard seals and chinstrap penguins, Neko Harbour where dramatic scenery of towering peaks and calving glaciers plays host to a large colony of gentoo penguins and more Weddell seals, and the important scientific research spot of Port Lockroy where we can learn all about Antarctica’s history and where you can send a postcard from the world’s most southern Post Office! Other possible landing sites include the Petermann and Pleneau Islands, Cuverville Island, Danco Island and the Melchior Islands.
If time allows we may make our way to the South Shetland Islands to visit the wildlife-rich Half Moon Island where beautiful glaciers and mountains coloured by yellow and orange lichens are home to a large chinstrap penguin colony, fur and elephant seals and various birds including gulls and blue-eyed shags. We may also visit the small Argentinean research station here.
Throughout your time in Antarctica we will have approximately 18-20 hours of daylight in which to enjoy exploration on land and by sea, with your expert expedition team and resident photography coach accompanying you throughout. For the more adventurous there will be ample opportunities for kayaking, snowshoeing, skiing and snorkelling excursions. Please note, kayaking, snowshoeing, skiing and snorkelling incur an additional cost and should be booked in advance.
At Sea - Drake Passage
As your epic adventure comes to an end it’s sadly time to head back towards Ushuaia. As your captain steers the ship across the legendary Drake Passage you can take the time to revel in all you will have experienced. Exchange stories with your new friends, keep watch on deck for seabirds and whales, and enjoy the final lectures and presentations from your expert team. On the last evening there will be an enjoyable farewell dinner with cocktails and a four-course meal, and your ship may make a ceremonial rounding of Cape Horn.
On the morning of day 21 you will awake to your ship gently cruising along the Beagle Channel into Ushuaia, as your epic adventure comes to an end. After breakfast it will be time to say goodbye as you disembark and transfer to the airport or to a downtown location should you wish to extend your time in Ushuaia.
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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