20 days

Antarctic Peninsula, Falkland Islands & South Georgia 2015 - 2017

Antarctic Peninsula, Falkland Islands & South Georgia 2015 - 2017

Antarctica’s seabirds

Seals and seabirds of the Beagle Channel

South Shetland Islands

The breeding grounds of South Georgia

The epic icebergs and landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula

The presence of silence in Antarctica

Touring icebergs by kayak

The grave of Shackleton

Seals

Ushuaia

Whales

‘Slicing the silence’, voyage to Antarctica

The albatross; bird-watching in the Falklands

Cruise the Beagle Channel

Light of the Antarctic

Shackleton

The king penguins of Salisbury plains

The rolling hills ‘camp’ of the Falklands

Shop for fine wool in Stanley

Trip rating
  •  

    This extended expedition encompasses the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, the remote Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and the extraordinary beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula. You’ll experience a great diversity of landscapes and unprecedented wildlife viewing opportunities. Join us for the quintessential Antarctic experience for polar travellers!

     

    Optional Extra - Sea Kayaking

    Imagine gliding along the surface of a bay in the presence of icebergs and glaciers. Our sea-kayaking adventures are the best way to feel at one with the sea. Taken in small groups of 10-16 people, multiple times per voyage, sea-kayaking adventures are only done during calm weather conditions. Although kayaking is open to all levels of experience, it is essential that participants have some prior experience, including the ability to do a wet exit. Beginners interested in kayaking should first undertake an introductory kayaking course. Regardless of your level of experience, it is advisable to have some recent practice before commencing your voyage so that you are comfortable while kayaking.

     

    Optional Extra - Camping

    Camping is an available option on select departures. The crew will determine the best spot and conditions to undertake this adventure and all equipment is provided. Spend the night under the Antarctic sky with your shipmates. Numbers are limited.

    Included Option - Snowshoeing

    A novel way to experience the beauty of the polar landscape, and discover remote alcoves and hidden valleys. The rewards of walking atop the snow are well worth the effort, as we're able to visit new places that may be inaccessible on foot. This traditional means of transport across the snow comes from the indigenous people of North America. While you can appreciate a connection with the past, the snowshoes we use today are much lighter and more forgiving than the old wood-weave snowshoes used during the days of the North American fur trade.

     

    More information about your Adventure Options, including the physical requirements and cost of each option is available by contacting Peregrine. Please note that not every option is available on every departure.

     

    Possible Landings and Wildlife Sightings - Falkland Islands

    CARCASS ISLAND

    The 8 km long (five mile) island, northwest of West Falkland, belongs to Rob and Lorraine McGill. It's a picturesque island, where songbirds nest among the luxuriant growth that covers the gently rolling landscape. The island is named after a Royal Navy ship, the HMS Carcass, which arrived in 1766.

     

    NEW ISLAND

    The most southwesterly island in the archipelago is about 13 km (eight miles) long and 800 m wide. The western side of the island is a cliff 183 m high, while the eastern side slopes to the sea. Tony Chater and Ian Strange hold ownership of the island, and have turned their respective portions into nature reserves.

     

    STANLEY

    The deep-water harbour of Stanley was the economic mainstay of the Falkland area in the 19th century. Sailing ships damaged while rounding Cape Horn called in for expensive repairs, and vessels carrying fortune seekers on their way to the gold fields of California and Australia often docked at Stanley as well. Stanley is as lively as it gets in the Falklands, and the future of the port may be bright if hydrocarbon deposits off the coast prove to be abundant.

     

    WEST POINT ISLAND

    The Napier family has owned this island since the 1860s. Black-browed albatross and rockhopper penguins nest on cliffs along the water’s edge, and Commerson’s dolphins are often seen in the water surrounding the island.

     

     

    Possible Landings and Wildlife Sightings - South Georgia

    DRYGALSKI FJORD

    This is a photogenic and dramatic fjord, with sharp and jagged peaks rising out of the sea. Glaciation never reached the peaks of this fjord, giving it a unique landscape.

     

    GOLD HARBOUR

    The backdrop to this harbour is the hanging Bertrab Glacier. King and gentoo penguins call this place home, as do rowdy elephant and fur seals.

     

    GRYTVIKEN

    Only a handful of people live on South Georgia, a United Kingdom overseas territory. Two of them are curators of the South Georgia Museum, located in the former whaling station manager’s villa. A church was built for the whaling community and is the only building in Grytviken that is still used for its original purpose.

     

    PRION ISLAND

    Robert Cushman Murphy named this island for the species of petrels seen here. Wandering albatross are also known to nest on the island.

     

    SALISBURY PLAIN

    One of the largest king penguin rookeries in South Georgia is located on Salisbury Plain. The Murphy and Lucas Glaciers flank the plain, creating a perfect backdrop for photographers.

     

    ST. ANDREW'S BAY

    Thousands of breeding pairs of king penguins nest at St. Andrew’s Bay. It is the largest king penguin rookery on South Georgia and quite a spectacle to behold. Reindeer introduced by Norwegian whalers are known to feed on the grass in the area.

     

    STROMNESS

    This abandoned whaling station was in full operation the day that Ernest Shackleton and his companions staggered in after a 36-hour trek across the island. There is a small cemetery here, with the graves of 14 whalers.

     

     

    Possible Landings and Wildlife Sightings - Antarctic Peninsula

    CUVERVILLE ISLAND

    A gentoo penguin rookery is situated on the north end of the island on a rocky beach. Depending on the time of season you visit, you may see them building nests or attending to their chicks. Giant petrels and kelp gulls also breed on the island.

     

    DAMOY POINT

    If you're lucky enough to mail a postcard in Antarctica, you’ll likely pass through Damoy Point. This is the northern entrance to the harbour on which Port Lockroy is located.

     

    DANCO ISLAND

    This small island, 1.6 km (one mile) in length, is easy to explore and home to gentoo penguins. Visit the marker of a former British Antarctic Survey hut and watch out for a variety of seabirds such as snowy sheathbills, kelp gulls and blue-eyed shags.

     

    ENTERPRISE ISLAND

    Located in Wilhelmina Bay, this island was once used by whalers. A Zodiac cruise around the island passes by a wrecked whaling ship.

     

    LEMAIRE CHANNEL

    This strait runs between Booth Island and the Antarctic Peninsula, and is one of the most scenic locations on the western coast, especially during sunrise and sunset. The 11 km (6.8 mile) channel may become impassable when ice fills the narrow passageway, so we’ll hope for clear waters.

     

    MELCHIOR ISLANDS

    This is a group of low islands in Dallmann Bay, on which you may see male fur seals haul-out at the end of the breeding season to recuperate from their battles for supremacy.

     

    NEKO HARBOUR

    This bay was once used by the floating whale factory ship Neko. You may see some whale vertebrae used by resident gentoo penguins as shelter from the wind. There's an unmanned refuge hut here, erected by Argentina. Climb past the hut and up a steep slope for spectacular views of the glacier-rimmed harbour.

     

    PETERMANN ISLAND

    Here, near the Lemaire Channel, you can stand ashore and see the southernmost breeding colony of gentoo penguins. Adelie penguins, shags and south polar skuas also inhabit the island. The dome of the island rises 200 meters (650 feet) above the sea, offering a challenging hike for panoramic views.

     

    PORT LOCKROY

    Journey to Port Lockroy if weather permits. The harbour is on the west side of Wiencke Island. A secret base was built here during the Second World War as part of Operation Tabarin. It's now designated as a historic site, featuring a museum and the world's southernmost post office. Proceeds from your purchases here support the preservation of historic sites from the Heroic Age of Exploration.

     

    WATERBOAT POINT

    At low tide this historic point is connected to the Antarctic mainland. Zodiacs can be used to explore the area when the tide is in. Two scientists studying penguin behaviour lived in a water boat on the point from 1921-22. The remains of their camp have been designated as an Antarctic historic site.

     

    AITCHO ISLANDS

    This is a group of small islands, some still unnamed, situated in the northern entrance of the English Strait. You can often spot a great mix of wildlife here, including at the established rookeries of gentoo and chinstrap penguins. Southern elephant and fur seals are frequently hauled-out here too.

     

    BAILY HEAD

    Also known as Rancho Point, this area is a rocky headland on the southeastern shore of Deception Island. Chinstrap penguins build nests on slopes leading to a high ridge, which dominates a natural amphitheater and provides a superb setting for landscape photography.

     

    HALF MOON ISLAND

    This crescent-shaped island was known to sealers as early as 1821. Unlike the sealers who liked to keep their best locations secret, we’re happy to bring you ashore on this impressive island. Many Antarctic birds breed here, including chinstrap penguins, shags, Wilson’s storm-petrels, kelp gulls, snowy sheathbills, Antarctic terns and skua.

     

    HANNAH POINT

    Macaroni, chinstrap and gentoo penguin rookeries are located on the point, which is on the south coast of Livingston Island. Due to the rather congested area available to the nesting penguins, you can only visit here from 10 January onwards.

     

    PENDULUM COVE

    Hot geothermal waters are found along the shoreline of this cove, which was named after observations made in 1829 by a British expedition. You may see yellow algae and boiled krill floating on the surface because of the scalding hot water.

     

    PENGUIN ISLAND

    Antarctica has two flowering plants, both of which you can find on Penguin Island: Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis. Chinstrap penguins, fur seals and southern elephant seals use the island for breeding purposes.

     

    ROBERT POINT

    A nice spot for Zodiac cruising, this point was known to sealers as early as 1820. Chinstrap penguins, kelp gulls and pintado breed here, and whales may be seen in the surrounding waters.

     

    TELEFON BAY

    Your expedition team will point out where the most recent evidence of volcanic eruption on Deception Island can be seen.

     

    TURRET POINT

    Chinstrap and Adelie penguin rookeries are found on this point, which is situated on the south coast of King George Island. The beaches are often crowded with southern elephant, fur, and Weddell seals hauled-out on the rocks.

     

    WHALER'S BAY

    To reach Whaler’s Bay, sail through the narrow passage of Neptune’s Bellows. The bay was used by whalers from 1906 to 1931 and is part of a protected harbour created by a circular flooded caldera, known as Deception Island. Along with waddling penguins and lounging seals, you’ll see the rusty remains of whaling operations on the beach. Watch for steam rising from geothermally-heated springs along the shoreline.

     

    YANKEE HARBOUR

    Gentoo penguins have established a rookery on this harbour, which is situated on the southwest side of Greenwich Island. You can also see an abandoned Argentine refuge hut and a huge glacier stretching along the east and north sides of the bay. An abandoned try-pot is all that remains of the sealing activity that brought men thousands of miles to seek their fortune.

     

    IMPORTANT REMINDER: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. When travelling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, ice and weather conditions to guide your route and itinerary details. The above is a tentative outline of what you might experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

    Why we love it

    • Journey through the historic Beagle Channel and Drake Passage, looking out for rare birdlife and whales with the help of your expedition team
    • Most people will never get the chance to see the snowy mountains, icebergs and glaciers of the Great White Continent. Explore the spectacular Antarctic Peninsula from multiple perspectives on daily excursions
    • The Antarctic Peninsula is teeming with marine and birdlife. Get up close to minke, humpback and orca whales or gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins on regular Zodiac cruises and landings
    • Discover the remote landscapes, wildlife and rich history of South Georgia and the Falklands Islands
    • Optional activities such as sea kayaking or polar ice camping are available on selected voyages and offer unforgettable adventures. Book early, as these sell out fast

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Ushuaia, Argentina

    Bienvenidos. Welcome to Argentina. Begin your Antarctic adventure with an overnight stay in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. A transfer from the airport to the hotel is included in your voyage fare. Full details will be sent with your final joining instructions. 

     

     
    Ushuaia is a relatively small city and is easy to find your way around. From Avenida San Martin, the streets run uphill and you can get a great view of the Beagle Channel from the top. If you arrive early you might also like to visit Tierra del Fuego National Park, which is located 11 km west of the city. If you arrive earlier or wish to extend your stay and need accommodation please ask Peregrine or your agent for details and costs.

    Day 2 - Ushuaia - Embarkation Day

    Today board the ship and embark through the beautiful Beagle Channel in the afternoon, leaving Ushuaia behind you. The channel is rich in wildlife, so rug up and head out on deck. The expedition team may be able to point out penguins, cormorants, petrels and Black-browed Albatross in the sea and air around you. 

    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 3 - At Sea

    While out at sea, there is plenty to keep you entertained. Browse the ship's library and attend a series of presentations by on-board experts about Antarctic marine biology, history, geology and ornithology. Armed with this new knowledge, your Antarctic explorations and interactions with wildlife will be all the richer. You will also be prepped on safety procedures for Zodiac cruises and shore landings. 

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4-5 - Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

    As you approach the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), see a treasure-trove of birdlife emerge. Kelp Geese, rockhopper penguins and Magellanic penguins are native to the area, so use your newfound knowledge to identify the various species you come across. Depending on the weather, daily Zodiac trips will take you to various landing sites around the Falklands. Hike up rocky beachheads and socialise with the friendly local residents in Port Stanley. 

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 6-7 - At Sea

    More shipboard presentations over the few days will prepare you for upcoming shore landings and possible Zodiac cruises along the coast of South Georgia. You'll know you’re in bona fide Antarctic waters when you cross the Antarctic Convergence – the biological boundary dividing Antarctica from the rest of the southern seas.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 8-11 - South Georgia

    Your first sight of South Georgia will be of snow-capped mountains. Keep an eye out for wandering albatross and giant petrels, and don’t be surprised if you spot the odd reindeer. Although Antarctica has no native land mammals, reindeer were introduced in the early 20th century by Norwegian whalers. Over the next four days, planned activities include a series of landings at king penguin rookeries, abandoned whaling stations and the lonely gravesite of Sir Ernest Shackleton. As always, potential excursions are determined by weather and ice conditions.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 12-13 - At Sea

    Head south again, spending a few more education-filled days at sea en route to the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Armed with unlimited hot drinks and a warm parka, enjoy time on deck searching for wildlife. If conditions allow, the ship may attempt landfall on the South Orkney Islands, which are officially in Antarctica.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 14-17 - South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

    Leaving South Georgia behind, head to the unique landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula. Changing conditions mean that each expedition is different, but your team will make sure that every day is memorable. Venturing out on the Zodiac, you might visit a penguin rookery and the historic harbour of Port Lockroy one day, and watch icebergs calve around Petermann Island the next. Chinstrap, Adelie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Curious whales, such as minkes, are often attracted to Zodiacs, giving you a chance to really get up close. Perhaps take a 'polar plunge' in the freezing waters of Neko Harbour. The options for exploration are as vast as the Peninsula itself.  

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 18-19 - Crossing the Drake Passage

    Prepare for potentially rough seas as you journey homeward through the Drake Passage. This legendary waterway, named after Sir Francis Drake, separates the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula from South America, making for a scenic voyage back to the mainland. Spend your last days at sea appreciating the vast open waters and surrounding wildlife, using sturdy sea legs when up on deck.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 20 - Disembarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina

    After a shipboard breakfast this morning, disembark in Ushuaia, where you'll be transferred to the airport for your flight home. Your Antarctic adventure comes to an end here. If you're booking a flight out of Ushuaia today, please ensure it doesn't leave before midday, in case you encounter delays coming into the harbour. If you are extending your stay and would like a transfer from your Ushuaia hotel to the airport at a later date, please contact Peregrine or your agent.

    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia as indicated in the itinerary.
    • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping.
    • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage.
    • All shore landings according to the daily program.
    • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced expedition leader.
    • All Zodiac transfers and cruising according the daily program.
    • Formal and informal presentations by our expedition team and guest speakers as scheduled.
    • Downloadable photographic journal, documenting the voyage.
    • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings.
    • A waterproof expeditions parka to keep.
    • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock.
    • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin.
    • Comprehensive pre-departure materials including an informative Antarctic Reader.
    • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
    • All luggage handling aboard ship.
    • Emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person.
    • Group transfers in Ushuaia from the airport to any local hotel (conditions apply).
    • Group transfers to the ship on embarkation day.
    • A group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the local airport.

    Not Included

    • Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
    • Passport and visa expenses.
    • Government arrival and departure taxes.
    • Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the joining hotel before embarkation.
    • Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance.
    • Excess baggage charges.
    • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges.
    • Telecommunications charges.
    • The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew.
    • Compulsory Waterproof pants for zodiac landings.

    Safety Information

    Safety is paramount on a Peregrine voyage. Due to new International Security Regulations, you will not be able to approach the ship on your own. You will have to arrive with the rest of the group, accompanied by a Peregrine representative. Full details of embarkation/disembarkation procedures will be supplied with your final documentation. On board you will be asked to participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. We will also conduct important briefings on landing procedures and Zodiac operations.

    All ships operating in Polar waters must comply with a variety of regulations, codes and industry standards.  All our ships adhere to regulations set by IMO (International Maritime Organisation) including ISM Code (Safety Management System), ISPS Code (for ship and port security), SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) and MARPOL (Maritime Pollution Prevention).  IN addition, Quark Expeditions is a full member of IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators) and a full member of AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators).

    Quark Expeditions have also been externally audited for it's health and safety programme and have been awarded the British Standard BS8848, the only expedition cruise company to have this accreditation.

  • Our Ships

    Ocean Diamond

    Ocean Diamond

    Sail aboard the Ocean Diamond, a modern, stable super-yacht and experience Quark's Antarctica. Carrying a maximum of 189 passengers, this outstanding vessel features numerous adventure options plus onboard amenities such as a massage and wellness program and a well-stocked polar library. The Ocean Diamond is staffed with experienced captains, officers, expedition leaders, and guides.

    Departure Dates for the Ocean Diamond

    • 22 Nov 2015 - 11 Dec 2015
    • 19 Dec 2016 - 07 Jan 2017
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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PPAPF15
Start City: Ushuaia
End City: Ushuaia
Style: Polar

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