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

Introduction

This document contains essential information that you need to prepare for, as well as information you will need during your holiday with Peregrine.

We ask that you read it carefully and that you take the document with you on your holiday. It contains information on visas, vaccinations, spending money, etc, as well as a detailed, day by day itinerary of your trip.


Your Trip

What's Included

Transport

Not Included


Preparing to Travel

Safety

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.

 

Visas and Permits

Antarctica

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 Punta Arenas and also again at the end of your voyage. To facilitate matters, our ground operators in Ushuaia or Punta Arenas 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 Punta Arenas, 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. For Fly/Cruise itineraries departing from Punta Arenas (Chile) or if your flight to Ushuaia travels via Santiago, tourist visas are required for Chile for some nationalities. Please check with your travel agent. For the voyages 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).

Falkland Islands

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.

Argentina

IMPORTANT: 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 - US$100, Canadians - US$75, and Americans - US$160. The fee will be valid for multiple re-entries within a period of one year as of the date of first entry. Payment must be made entirely ONLINE and fees can no longer be paid on arrival at any 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

Government travel advice

Many governments publish up-to-date travel advice for countries around the world. Information is gleaned from both local and international sources as well as ‘friendly’ governments, and the notices are often on the cautious side. Sometimes there will be conflicting information. For example, the Australian, UK and Canadian governments may agree on the nature of the advice; however, frequently they do not. And sometimes the views expressed by a particular government can be coloured by political considerations. We will monitor these travel advisories closely and may alter itineraries or cancel trips as a result. However, it is also your responsibility to stay informed and form a balanced view. We recommend that you visit the websites or contact the departments listed below. Unless otherwise stated, it is not normally the intention of the relevant government travel advice to dissuade you from travelling. Rather, it is to inform you of where and when you should exercise caution to avoid problems. Please also note that, as a responsible tour operator, we maintain constant links with our ground operators and your safety - at all times - is our paramount concern. You can check your government's latest travel advice at one of the links below:

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 

UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

U.S. Department of State

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Passport

Please ensure that you have a current passport well before travelling. It also needs an accurate photo and should be valid for at least six months after you are scheduled to return home. Also check that your airline tickets are in exactly the same name as your passport.

Insurance

Every Peregrine traveller is required to have comprehensive travel insurance. This covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. You can arrange your own insurance or we can recommend a policy for you. Remember to bring a copy of your insurance policy with you so your tour leader/guide can record the details at the pre-tour briefing. If you arrive at your destination without travel insurance, you'll need to organise this before you can continue on your Peregrine journey.

Medical preparation

Apart from having travel insurance and being in generally good health, some pre-holiday health preparation is advised. We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations and in some places anti-malarial medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental checkup is also highly recommended before departure.

Vaccinations

Vaccination requirements do change, but generally you do not need vaccinations for this voyage.


It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain any vaccinations or preventative medicines for the countries you are visiting – or any which may be required by your home country upon your return. To find out which, if any, vaccinations are mandatory or recommended for your destination contact your local doctor, immunisation centre or medical centre for up-to-date information. You should be issued with an International Certificate of Vaccination booklet that records each vaccination. Always carry this with you on your travels; it could provide essential information for doctors in the event that you fall ill whilst travelling.

Copies of key documents

We recommend that you photocopy the main pages of your passport, your airline ticket, itinerary, insurance policy and credit cards. Keep one set of photocopies with you, separate from the originals. Leave one set of copies at home with family or friends. It is also worth taking some extra passport photos with you.

Fitness

Although you don't need to be particularly fit to take part in an Antarctic expedition, you do need to have a good level of mobility.  You must be able to complete the on board safety drills and emergency evacuation procedures unaided.  Rolling seas and windy conditions require you to be stable on your feet while negotiating the ship over potentially slippery decks and gangways.  The zodiacs are accessed via a steep gangway or stairs.  Most of our ships have lifts, but these may not access all decks so some stair climbing on board will be necessary.

On shore conditions will vary. Ice and snow underfoot can make conditions slippery.  Some locations have steep climbs or longer walks to reach a place of interest but wherever possible, the expedition guides will offer options of shorter or longer stays on shore, and varying levels of activity.  The crew are on hand to assist passengers on and off the zodiacs at all landings.

What to take

General Packing List

The Antarctic Peninsula has relatively mild weather conditions when compared to the rest of the continent. As a result, you should not need to make many expensive specialist gear purchases, although you do need good wet weather pants and warm clothing. Wet weather jacket and boots are supplied on board the ship.

 
The dress code on board is relaxed and casual and you will not need to dress formally for meals. The inside of the ship is well heated, so you will not require special clothing on board. Indeed, you could spend most of your time in light trousers and a t-shirt! However, it is not unusual for you to want to go out on deck suddenly – a whale sighting or seals on a nearby ice-floe nearly always produce a major exodus, so you need to keep warm clothing handy at all times, even when a shore excursion is not imminent. When you do go ashore you will require warm clothing - a few layers of light and medium-weight items which can be easily adjusted rather than one or two large and bulky items - and wet weather gear to protect you from the spray which can sometimes be encountered on the Zodiacs.

 

Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday. Laundry facilities are available on board the ship.  A more detailed packing list is provided in the pre departure information from the ship operator, Quark which will be provided to you after booking.

Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts, Trip Notes
Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
Spare passport photos
Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card
Money belt (for travelling en route)
Small first-aid kit

Seasickness medication
Ecologically friendly laundry soap
Daypack (lightweight and waterproof)
Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
Electrical adapter plug
Toiletries/travel wipes
Sunscreen, lip balm, moisturising cream, sunhat and sunglasses (with UV protection)
Swimsuit
Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain)
Refillable water bottle
Phrase book (if travelling en route to ship)
Gloves (2 pairs minimum)
Hat that covers ears
Scarf or other face protection
Wind and waterproof pants (a few sizes larger)
Warm pants
Comfortable shoes
Long wool or cotton socks (for expeditions)
Silk or polypropylene socks (for inside the ship)

Thermal underwear (silk or polypropylene)
Jumpers/sweaters/fleeces
Cotton turtlenecks and t-shirts
Camera and spare film and batteries (or recharge for digital cameras)
Plastic bags with zippers for carrying film, etc
Binoculars


Money Matters

Currency

Falkland Islands

The Falkland pound (FKP).

South Georgia

The British pound (GBP).

Argentina

The unit of currency is the Argentinean peso. The peso is subdivided into 100 centavos.

Exchange rates

Refer to www.xe.com for current exchange rates.

Accessing Money

Falkland Islands

Currency exchange and cash are available at the bank in Stanley. Sterling traveller's cheques, Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in Stanley. English pound sterling is often accepted.

Argentina

In Buenos Aires and all large towns in Argentina, cash can be drawn from ATMs in local currency. This can either be drawn on credit with Visa or MasterCard or directly from your savings account if it is linked into the Cirrus or Maestro network. Look for ATMs displaying either Cirrus, Maestro, Plus, Visa or MasterCard symbols. Although this is a very convenient and safe form of receiving local currency it is not always available when you most need it so you should still have a back-up supply in US dollar traveller’s cheques and US dollars cash (you will be charged a small fee to change these into local currency). Please note that many ATM machines will only accept 4-digit PIN numbers. If you have a PIN number of more than 4 digits you should contact your bank and obtain a new number.

Personal Expenses

Antarctica

All meals, shore excursions and presentations aboard the ship are included in the price. Each time you use the laundry, communication or medical services, or purchase anything from the shop or bar, you will be required to sign a chit detailing the cost and the item you purchased. Be aware that it is sometimes possible to purchase souvenirs, post cards, and stamps if you go ashore at one of the research or weather stations that we sometimes visit. US dollars cash is probably the best for this purpose, except on the Falkland Islands where pound sterling is preferable. See also the section on gratuities.

Spending Money

The US Dollar is the standard currency on board. Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Discover Card and American Express are accepted on board for settling your shipboard account.

At the time designated in the shipboard program, please give the Hotel Manager the credit card you would like to use for all your incidental expenses. An account will be opened for your cabin for purchases aboard ship. This will include bar services, laundry, postage, and communication charges. A ‘chit’ system will operate for on board payments. You will sign for any bar, wine, communication charges, laundry, etc. An account for payment will be presented to you on the final day of the voyage. Final payment can be made using cash, travellers’ checks or major credit cards. Personal cheques are not accepted on board. If you are sharing a cabin and would like separate accounts, you must advise the Hotel Manager.

It is wise to travel with sufficient cash to pay for incidentals such as shipboard items on the last day of the voyage, airport taxes and any required taxi transfers.
 
In Antarctica, there are limited opportunities to spend money other than on the ship.  If you are visiting the Falklands, it is advisable to have Pounds Sterling to spend while in Stanley and for trips to the Peninsula, you may visit Port Lockroy which is a small museum and has a souveneir shop. 

Airport Taxes

Antarctica

Most countries have airport departure and security taxes. These are generally now added to the cost of your flight ticket and will be quoted to you when you are arranging your flights. However, there is a departure tax of 28 pesos (or US$8) payable when leaving Ushuaia and this must be paid in cash at the airport. From Buenos Aires International airport, in addition to a number of taxes built into your airline ticket, there is also an additional tax now payable in cash at the airport.

Argentina

At the time of writing this most airports in Argentina include the departure taxes in the air ticket, however at El Calafate and Ushuaia airports you will be required to pay a departure tax. Please check the most up-to-date amount with your travel agent. 

Tipping

The voyage fare does not include the customary, optional gratuity which is divided between the crew, expedition team and hospitality staff.  We suggest US$13 - US$15 per day as a guide.  The amount is at your discretion and can be added to your onboard account at the end of the voyage.


While you are travelling

On arrival

There is no arrival transfer included in Buenos Aires.  Please make your way to the joining hotel.  Full details will be in your pre departure documentation.  Additional nights accommodation can be booked if required.

A couple of rules

In most countries even the smallest quantity of an illegal substance is considered a very serious offence and can carry lengthy jail terms. Avoid any contact with illegal drugs. Don’t put yourself and others at risk and never carry bags or luggage for other people. Any person found to be carrying or using illegal drugs will be asked to leave the trip immediately without the right to any refund.

 

Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don't tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Peregrine, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.


Other Important Information

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.

Please note that the exploratory nature of this expedition involving weather, ice, wildlife or other mitigating factors may require that unscheduled or last-minute changes be made to the itinerary, sometimes resulting in the cancellation of certain shore excursions. Every effort will be made to adhere to the itinerary, within the limits of safety and time constraints.

1. Your voyage is operated by our sister company, Quark Expeditions.  All accommodation and transfer arrangements as listed in the itinerary are also operated by Quark Expeditions or their local representatives.

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.  Adventure Options:  Kayking is available to book on all Antarctic voyages.  Some voyages also offer other activities such as camping, stand up paddle boarding, cross country skiing and mountaineering.  All of these activities must be booked prior to departure and incur an additional cost.  Spaces are limited.  Additional trip notes and waivers will be sent when any adventure options are booked.  For kayaking, previous experience is essential and a good level of fitness is required for cross country skiing and mountaineering.

5.  Smoking:  Smoking is permitted in designated areas on the ship only and is not permitted in cabins, public areas, on zodiacs or anywhere on shore excursions.

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 before final documents will be sent.

 

Polar Booking Conditions Arctic and Antarctic bookings have an increased deposit requirement of A$2000pp.  The balance is due 90 days before departure. 
If a booking is cancelled 90 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.
If a booking is cancelled between 89 days and departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage.
Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a Polar voyage.


Day to Day Itinerary

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

Trip Length

Trip Code

20 days PPBE15

Countries Visited

Antarctica, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Argentina

Start City

End City

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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner

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. 

Day 3: At Sea

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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. 

Day 4-5: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

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. 

Day 6-7: At Sea

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

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.

Day 8-11: South Georgia

Meals included: 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners

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.

Day 12-13: At Sea

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

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.

Day 14-17: South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

Meals included: 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners

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.

Day 18-19: Crossing the Drake Passage

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

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.

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

Meals included: 1 breakfast

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. 

About this information

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!

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Last Updated

30 July 2015


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