|Antarctica, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Argentina|
This voyage is Peregrine’s most complete and varied Antarctic adventure. It promises an in-depth and unforgettable experience to the 'bottom of the world', travelling to the extraordinary Falkland Islands and diverse sub-Antarctic islands before sailing further south to the remarkable Antarctic Peninsula area.
Our first stop is the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean. This far-flung group of islands lies north of the Antarctic Convergence and enjoys a relatively warmer climate than our other destinations. As a result the mainly uninhabited Falklands support unique wildlife not found further south, including sixty species of migratory birds as well as the rare rockhopper penguin. Our journey continues south-east, crossing the Antarctic Convergence to the remote and hauntingly beautiful island of South Georgia. Here, amongst the soaring snow-clad mountains and massive glaciers, we find huge king penguin rookeries, thousands of sub-Antarctic fur seals, the comical macaroni penguins and spectacular wilderness that is perhaps unequalled on earth. We also discover its remarkable history, reminding us that we are following the footsteps of some of the world’s most legendary explorers, from Captain James Cook to Sir Ernest Shackleton.
We then set course to the off-shore islands of the Antarctic Peninsula, before continuing to the South Shetland archipelago and stopping at various islands whose waters are often inhabited with feeding humpback whales. On approaching the mainland, the splendours of Antarctic nature will be on display. Thousands of differently shaped icebergs dot the sea, penguins are seen 'porpoising' through the waters and various seals, including the predatory leopard seal, use the ice floes as a resting place. The Antarctic Peninsula itself boasts a profusion of wildlife including five species of seal, massive penguin rookeries with gentoos, Adélies and chinstraps as well as a variety of whale species and seabirds, including albatross, petrels, shearwaters and skuas. Extraordinary scenery and somewhat forbidding landscape awaits us on land. A sweeping ice sheet rises above the shore line, binding together an entire continent that is close in size to Africa. One can only marvel at the resolve of the early explorers in their quests to conquer Antarctica.
Note: Weather, ice and other mitigating factors may result in changes to our itinerary and alteration to certain shore excursions.
Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage.
Your gateway for this expedition is Ushuaia, Argentina. Nestled within the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Ushuaia offers you a small-town feel but has many shops, museums, cafes and restaurants to enjoy before your voyage. If you’re feeling adventurous, the nearby national park and Martial Glacier offer plenty of hiking and outdoor activities. Arrival Transfers: Please note a group arrival transfer from the airport is included on day 1. Please advise of your flight details to assure you are picked up. Accommodation: If you arrive earlier or wish to extend your stay and need accommodation please ask Peregrine or your agent for details and costs.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which the vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This historic channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Historic visitors who have traversed this channel include Charles Darwin, who journeyed through this region in the famous HMS Beagle. As we continue south, travelers will keep watch on deck for seabirds, seals and dolphins that can approach the vessel.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
As we sail to the northeast we have the chance to enjoy a series of presentations that include talks on wildlife, ice and polar history, which will undoubtedly create enormous anticipation for our upcoming adventures. On deck the first sightings of albatross and petrels are likely to add to our sense of excitement, whilst our team of experts will be on hand to help us spot whales and identify the various other seabirds.
Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
Our arrival on this infamous archipelago is the first opportunity to see abundant wildlife and the last time we will see permanent human inhabitants during our voyage. The Falklands contain two main islands- East and West, while the entire archipelago include almost 700 smaller ones and we attempt make several zodiac landings during two days on these islands. One of our memorable landings is in Stanley, a British unique British outpost with a unique, ramshackle charm. The largest settlement in the Falklands, our day here is spent visiting churches, museums and perhaps mingling with locals at a typical British pub. The Falklands also gives us our first glimpse of some of the wildlife that is present further south. For instance, the archipelago is home to a variety of penguin species that include Magelianic, gentoo, rockhopper as well as the occasional King penguin. We can also expect to see Black-browned albatross and elephant seals that crowd the beaches and, if we are lucky, orca whales that often swim near the shore. As we travel, our team of lecturers and specialists introduce the flora and fauna along the way and ensure that we make the most of our memorable time on the island. Potential landing sites include: Stanley, West Point Island, Saunder’s Island, Sea Lion and Island, Bleaker Island.
Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
Leaving the Falklands, our journey continues southeast towards the island of South Georgia. We have a chance to learn more about Antarctic conservation as well as the fascinating history of the area, as our on-board presentations continue. Of course, there is ample time to scan the seascape from the top deck in search of marine mammals and seabirds. We will cross the Antarctic Convergence on this leg of our journey and notice a dramatic drop in temperature.
Meals included: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
While it is highly unlikely we will come across anyone else on South Georgia, this remote outpost has long been a centre for exploratory and commercial expeditions. Many of these original inhabitants arrived to the island to hunt the abundant whales and elephant seals that lead to steep declines in the wild population. While thankfully this practice has now been abated, we will see many remnants of the period, including several abandoned whaling stations and other outposts of this forgotten era. Perhaps, however, the most significant historic relic here is the grave of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. Located in Grytviken, the site is commemorated with a tombstone and is also home to an old whaling station, the Georgia Museum and a small gift shop and church. While South Georgia’s history is an important attraction to the islands, it is the wildlife on South Georgia that visitors often find the most captivating. South Georgia, often referred to as the Galapagos of the poles, contains an extraordinary variety and quantity of wildlife. Travelers can expect to see rookeries with thousands King Penguins that waddle on the beach, Sooty Albatross breed, and fur seals jostle for domination over their slice of territory. Such scenes leave indelible prints in the minds of travelers that are rarely forgotten.
Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
There is anticipation in the air as we begin the journey towards Antarctica. The journey is filled with seminars from on onboard team, and also provides a great chance to know your fellow shipmates. If conditions allow, we may attempt landfall on the South Orkney Islands, which are officially in Antarctica.
Meals included: 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
Our arrival on the white continent brings a mixture of emotions. Yet, the most common reaction to arrival here is a sense of reverence and awe. Few places are as untouched, as unique and as enduring as the seventh continent. While we ply the icy waters, travelers soon realize that Antarctica is a land of deep contrasts. At times there is a sense of bleakness, desolation and an eerie silence while other sites reveal towering glacier-capped mountains rising from a brilliant blue sea, while the wildlife provide a loud din of sound. You will not only witness the wonders of Antarctica but you will experience it, as our team of expedition staff takes you onto the continent. Your time here may involve hiking up a glacier, visiting a research station, or consorting with penguin colonies. While some travelers opt to explore in kayak or even camp on the continent, others are content to simply stand on the ocean bank and absorb the unique scenery unfolding around them. One thing is for certain: you should have your camera ready at all times- this is the life experience you have been waiting for!
Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
The Drake Passage has two distinct personalities. The first is the Drake Shake, where the ride can be bumpy. The second is the Drake Lake, when the surface can be completely calm. We can’t guarantee either, but what we will say is that you will likely use the last two days of your voyage to recount the experiences you have had and prepare for your reentry into ‘the real world’.
Meals included: 1 breakfast
After breakfast aboard the ship we arrive back in Ushuaia, travellers are transferred to the airport for the homeward flight. Please do not book flights before 12.00pm. Transfers: If you are extending your stay and would like a transfer from Ushuaia to the airport please contact Peregrine or your agent.
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.Visas and Permits
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all required visas for your trip. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
No visas are required to visit the Antarctic continent or its offshore islands. However, you will need to have your passport with you on the ship, as port authorities will wish to inspect passports on departure from Ushuaia or Port Stanley (as the case may be) and also again at the end of your voyage. (To facilitate matters, our ground operators in Ushuaia or Port Stanley will usually collect your passport prior to departure in order that all passengers’ passports may be kept together for the duration of the voyage. After completion of port formalities on the return to Ushuaia or Stanley on the final morning, they will be handed back to you prior to your disembarkation from the ship.) For most departures, your ship departs for the Antarctic continent from the port of Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, at the southern tip of Argentina. At the time of printing, no visas for Argentina are required by holders of Australian, New Zealand, British, Canadian, U.S.A. or European passports. Passengers holding passports issued by other countries should carefully check the situation with their travel agent or Argentinean consular authorities. If your flight to Ushuaia travels via Santiago, tourist visas are required for Chile for some nationalities. Please check with your travel agent. For a side trip to Iguassu Falls, Australian, USA and British passport holders also require a Brazilian visa if visiting the Brazilian side of the falls. However, New Zealanders and Canadians do not require a visa for this. This visa must be obtained prior to entering the country and, at the time of printing, costs $US60. Please check carefully with your travel agent or your nearest appropriate consulate for up-to-date information before you leave your home country. (There have been suggestions that passengers entering Brazil from Argentina for just a few hours at Iguassu may be able to do so without holding a visa, but we cannot give any guarantees. The only certain way is to hold a visa issued as above.) For the trip scheduled to depart from Port Stanley (and those departures scheduled to visit the Falkland Islands), visitors from Britain, the Commonwealth, North America, Chile and the European Community do not need visas as at the time of printing. Visitors should check their particular situation with us, their travel agent, the nearest British Consulate, or contact the Travel Co-ordinator at the Falkland Island Government Office in London (tel: 020 7222 2375).
Visitors from the EEC, USA, Australia, Canada, Cyprus, New Zealand or South Africa do not need Visas. Check with the relevant Embassy or Consulate in their country for up to date visa information.
Check with the relevant Embassy or Consulate in their country for up to date visa information.
Australians, Americans, British, Canadians and New Zealanders, do not currently require a visa for Argentina. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent. Please note that when entering Argentine Territory, the following citizens must pay a "reciprocity fee": Australians USD100, Canadians USD75 and Americans USD160. From 20 December 2010, the fee will be valid for multiple re-entries within a period of one year as of the date of first entry. Previously the fee was only collected at Ezeiza International Airport and at Aeroparque Jorge Newbury Airport on arrival but this will now be done entirely ONLINE, effective October 31, 2012 (for arrivals to Aeroparque Jorge Newbury airport) and December 28, 2012 (for arrivals to Ezeiza airport). This fee also needs to be paid online if you are crossing the border into Argentina by land. This price is subject to change and the price on the below website will have the up to date costs. How to pay the reciprocity fee online: • Visit www.migraciones.gov.ar or www.provinciapagos.com.ar and register to start the process • Fill out the form with the corresponding personal and credit card information • Print the payment receipt • Present the printed receipt at Immigration Control on arrival in Argentina. The receipt will be scanned by the Immigration officials, the information will be checked, and entry to the country will be registered
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.Responsible Travel
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in.
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
The Falklands War 1982 (Essential Histories) - Duncan Anderson
Penguin summer: An adventure with the birds of the Falkland Islands - Eleanor Rice Pettingill
On Heroes and Tombs-E Sabato Kiss of the Spider Woman-M Puig Argentina: A City and a Nation-J Scobie Gaucho’s and the Vanishing Frontier-R Slatta Peron & the Enigma of Argentina-T Martinez
These Trip Notes should be read in conjunction with Peregrine’s Antarctica pre-departure information that is provided to you shortly after booking (or which can be requested prior to booking). A second information manual dealing with Antarctic history, geology, geography, marine and bird life will also be provided.
1. Budgeting: in addition to funds for onboard expenses, it is sometimes possible to purchase souvenirs such as books, t-shirts, stamps, postcards, windcheaters, caps and similar items at some of the research stations in the Antarctic Peninsula area. Mail can sometimes be posted from these stations as well. Transactions are usually in US dollars cash.
2. Clothes: please read our Antarctic pre-departure information carefully. Although you don’t need to make expensive, specialist-clothing purchases for this trip, you will need clothes that adequately protect against cold and wet conditions. (Sea spray is common on board Zodiacs). It is recommended that you have warm, waterproof clothing available for use upon arrival in Ushuaia, to protect yourself against the inclement weather.
3. Motion sickness: the waters of the Drake Passage can be some of the roughest seas in the world, although at other times they are so smooth that it is referred to as the 'Drake Lake'! Although our vessels are among the most stable ships in their class, we will still inevitably encounter motion. Unless you are certain you are impervious to the problem, you should take precautions against seasickness. Your doctor can advise you as to the best methods for avoiding this uncomfortable condition.
4. Gratuities: we suggest you allow the equivalent of US$11-13 a day for gratuities for the crew and expedition staff. This is usually collected just prior to the end of the cruise. If you wish, the amount can be paid by Visa or MasterCard.
5. Sea kayaking: there are separate Trip Notes for the sea kayaking option. Please note that this option must be booked prior to your departure from home and it cannot be booked on the ship. Some prior experience is required and places are limited.
Peregrine Voyage Documentation
Once you have booked your voyage to the Polar regions with Peregrine, you will be required to complete a series of online forms. You will be sent a link via email (my polar forms) which will take you to an enrolment form, cruise contract, medical form, arrival/departure information form and expedition parka size order form. These forms must be completed.
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
23 October 2012