20 days

Antarctic Peninsula, Falkland Islands & South Georgia: From Buenos Aires 2015 - 2017

Antarctic Peninsula, Falkland Islands & South Georgia: From Buenos Aires 2015 - 2017

Argentina's capital Buenos Aires

The rolling hills ‘camp’ of the Falklands

The king penguins of Salisbury plains

Shop for fine wool in Stanley

Ushuaia

The breeding grounds of South Georgia

Antarctica’s seabirds

Seals and seabirds of the Beagle Channel

South Shetland Islands

Shackleton

The epic icebergs and landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula

The presence of silence in Antarctica

Touring icebergs by kayak

Seals

Whales

‘Slicing the silence’, voyage to Antarctica

The albatross; bird-watching in the Falklands

Cruise the Beagle Channel

Light of the Antarctic

The grave of Shackleton

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 - Mountaineering

    Geared towards our fitness–conscious adventurers, mountain climbing in Antarctica is among the most rewarding and addictive of outdoor endeavours. Climbing in Antarctica is a special experience. Our mountaineering adventures are challenging full-day activities that can last up to five hours. You are required to complete a fitness waiver to participate.

    Optional Extra - Cross-Country Skiing

    Cross-country skiing is one of the most efficient ways to travel over snow or ice-covered ground. Travel in Antarctica the same way that pioneering explorers like Amundsen and Shackleton did. Each trip takes a few hours, so it is imperative that you are in good physical shape. Ideally, you’ll have cross-country skiing experience to partake in this activity, however exceptions may be made for those deemed physically capable. While the essential gear will be provided, you will be responsible for bringing extras such as additional warm clothing and a pair of good sunglasses.

    Optional Extra - Stand-Up Paddleboarding

    Combining surfing with kayaking or canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding gives you a personal and unique perspective on Antarctica. Taken in small groups in good weather conditions on calm bays and harbours, with Zodiac accompaniment, paddleboarding is offered via signup on-board the ship on a first-come, first-served basis.

    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.

    Included Option - Photography

    Antarctica is one of the most photogenic destinations in the world. Penguins amble across pebbled beaches, whales spy-hop from the blue sea and sparkling icebergs tower in this serene, yet dramatic environment. Whether you own a serious SLR or a simple point-and-shoot, our on-board photography expert provides you with hands-on instruction and technical tips to ensure that you capture the best of your Antarctica experience.

     

    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

    • Your voyage at sea brings new experiences every day. Cross the wild and wintry Drake Passage, pass between blue-tinged icebergs and explore the coastlines of a multitude of contrasting islands
    • Daily Zodiac trips along the Antarctic Peninsula provide unequalled encounters with nature. See thousands of penguins in their natural habitat, elephant and fur seals lining beaches and various species of whales
    • The Falkland Islands are a haven for birdwatchers. Search for petrels, cormorants and Black-browed albatross before heading to the pub to rub shoulders with friendly locals in Port Stanley
    • Discover the old abandoned whaling station of Griytviken in South Georgia, paying your respects at the grave of the explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton
    • Optional activities such as sea kayaking can take your adventure to the next level. Book early, as these sell out fast

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Welcome to Buenos Aires. Begin your Antarctic Explorer adventure with an overnight stay in this Argentinian metropolis and explore its sophisticated streets. Meet your shipmates at the hotel in the evening for a welcome meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception.

    Day 2 - Ushuaia - Embarkation Day

    This morning take a 3-4 hour charter flight to Ushuaia. On arrival enjoy a little free time to explore the charming port town. Board the ship and cruise out through the beautiful Beagle Channel in the afternoon. Named after the British ship the HMS Beagle, this channel is rich with birdlife, so look out for penguins, cormorants and petrels. The waterway transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America, providing unforgettable scenery along the way. 

    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 3 - At Sea

    While at sea, you'll be kept busy by your expedition team, who will prepare you for the adventures to come. The team may include marine biologists, historians, geologists and more. Enjoy on-board presentations about the history and wildlife of Antarctica. 

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4-5 - Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

    Your first encounter with land after being at sea will be the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). This area is packed with birdlife so you'll be able to use your newfound knowledge to identify particular species of animals. Look out for Magellanic, gentoo and rockhopper penguins, Black-browed albatross and two endemic bird species - Cobb’s wren and the Falkland’s flightless steamer duck. Meet the friendly local residents and explore the islands on daily Zodiac landings. 

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 6-7 - At Sea

    Further shipboard presentations over the next few days will prepare you for upcoming landings and Zodiac cruises along the coast of South Georgia. Cross the Antarctic Convergence, the biological boundary dividing Antarctica from the rest of the southern seas, and sail into true polar waters. Keep warm in the parka provided up on deck and take advantage of the unlimited hot drinks available.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 8-11 - South Georgia

    Jagged mountains erupting from the sea, your first sight of South Georgia is spectacular. Once ashore, you might hear a chorus of barking and squealing seals and penguins. Planned activities over the next few days include a series of landings at king penguin rookeries and abandoned whaling stations. Keep an eye out for albatross and petrels, and don’t be surprised if you spot the odd reindeer, as these were introduced by Norwegian whalers in the early 20th century. Perhaps visit Sir Ernest Shackleton's grave at the abandoned whaling station of Grytviken. As landings are dependent on weather and ice conditions, please be aware that plans may change with little notice.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 12-13 - At Sea

    Heading south again, spend a couple of education-filled days at sea en route to the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Make use of the on-board library and attend more lectures made by the expedition team. 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

    By now you should have reached the Antarctic Peninsula. Your expedition team will make sure that your four days here are filled with varying landscapes, wildlife encounters and activities. Perhaps take a 'polar plunge' into the ice-cold waters of Neko Harbour, scramble to the top of a craggy hill for panoramic views of the area or witness a glacier calve into the sea near Danco Island while on a Zodiac cruise. 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 the chance to get right up close to these majestic animals. Perhaps partake in an optional sea kayaking adventure (at an extra cost and subject to availability). Every day along the peninsula will provide unique experiences.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 18-19 - Crossing the Drake Passage

    Begin your homeward journey through Drake Passage. Cross your fingers for smooth sailing but be prepared for potentially rough seas. This immense passage separates the Antarctic Peninsula from South America, and was named after the famed English explorer, Sir Frances Drake. Enjoy your last couple of days at sea relaxing with your shipmates and enjoying views from the deck.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 20 - Disembarkation in Ushuaia and fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Arrive into Ushuaia this the morning after breakfast. After disembarkation, experience a little bit of Patagonia by touring Tierra del Fuego National Park. Transfer to the airport for the group charter flight back to Buenos Aires (approximately 3-4 hours). You should arrive into the Argentinian capital at about 5 pm, but we recommend that any onward flights should be booked to depart after 8 pm in case of delays. 

    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast in Buenos Aires 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 to 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 transfer from the Buenos Aires joining hotel to the airport.
    • Return charter flights from Buenos Aires (EZE) to Ushuaia (USH).
    • Group transfer from Ushuaia Airport to the ship on embarkation day.
    • Group transfer from the ship to Ushuaia Airport on disembarkation.
    • Excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park on disembarkation day before going to the 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.
    • Transfer from Buenos Aires airport to the joining hotel on arrival
    • 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.

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY - BUENOS AIRES

    Wile travelling, there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities.  We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together an only on main, well-lit thoroughfares.  Be particularly vigilant on public transport.  Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

     

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PPBE15
Start City: Buenos Aires
End City: Buenos Aires
Style: Polar

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