25 days

Antarctica's Scotia Arc 2014-15

Antarctica's Scotia Arc 2014-15

Antarctica’s seabirds

The presence of silence in Antarctica

The land beyond the Antarctic Circle

Ushuaia

Whales

‘Slicing the silence’, voyage to Antarctica

Touring icebergs by kayak

Camping in tents on Antarctica

The grave of Shackleton

The epic icebergs and landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula

Light of the Antarctic

Cruise the Beagle Channel

Seals

Seals and seabirds of the Beagle Channel

South Shetland Islands

The breeding grounds of South Georgia

The albatross; bird-watching in the Falklands

Trip rating
  • This voyage will take you off the beaten track - to rare and seldom-visited sites - for a true insider’s journey to Antarctica. Our expedition will follow a narrow chain of islands, called the Scotia Arc, linking the southernmost Andes and Antarctica and will call in at the beautiful Falklands and South Georgia before heading south to the lesser-known and more remote South Sandwich, South Orkney and South Shetland archipelagos.

    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.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Ushuaia, Argentina

    Day 1 is an arrival day and you can arrive in Ushuaia at any time. With a population of over 63,000 people, Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. Flanked by the glacial jagged peaks of the Montes Martial, Ushuaia’s dramatic surroundings offer a spectacular departure point for an Antarctic cruise. While the city has seen unprecedented growth over the past few years with the addition of several new services, restaurants and tourist operations, it has retained an easy going, accessible feel. Travellers can spend some time in the Tierra del Fuego National Park or visit the many boutique shops and restaurants while preparing for their upcoming adventure. A night in a hotel is included in the voyage price. No meals are included on Day 1. 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.

    Day 2 - Ushuaia - Embarkation Day

    Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which the vessel will sail down the Beagle Channel. This historic channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Explorers who have traversed this channel include Charles Darwin, who journeyed through this region in the famous HMS Beagle. As we continue south, travellers should keep watch on deck for seabirds, seals and dolphins that may approach the vessel.

    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 3 - At Sea

    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.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4-5 - Falkland Islands

    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 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-browed 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.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 6-7 - At Sea

    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.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 8-12 - South Georgia

    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. Travellers can expect to see rookeries with thousands of 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 travellers that are rarely forgotten. Potential landing sites include: Salisbury Plain, Gold Harbour, Fortuna Bay, Grytviken, St. Andrew’s Bay, Cooper Bay

    After breakfast on Day 12, we begin our journey towards the South Sandwhich Islands, weather permitting, arriving in the evening.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 13 - The South Sandwich Region

    Zavadovski Island
    Arriving in the South Sandwich region, our first stop is Zavadovski Island, a small volcanic island and home to one of the world’s largest penguin colonies. Almost a million breeding pairs of chinstrap penguins can be found here, in the shadow of the recently active Mount Asphyxia volcano. The island was discovered in 1819 by Russian Antarctic explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and named for Lieutenant Ivan Zavodovski, the captain of this ship, the Vostok.

    Saunders Island
    Discovered in 1775 by Captain James Cook, Saunders Island was named for Sir Charles Saunders, First Lord of the Admiralty. Saunders is home to another active stratovolcano, Mount Michael, at almost a kilometer in height, which last erupted in 2012. In the crater is a recurrent lava lake, one of only a few in the world. Over half the island is covered b a permanent ice cap, but we will still find penguin colonies on the rugged shores.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 14-15 - At Sea

    We commence our journey towards the Antarctic Peninsula.  Be on the look out for first sightings of icebergs!

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 16 - South Orkney Islands

    Off the beaten track, the South Orkney Islands will draw you in with their vibrant scenery, rich bird life and the towering icebergs that collect along their shores. Here, we’ll find graceful snow petrels, silver-grey Antarctic fulmars, as well as chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins.
    If you are lucky, and ice conditions are right, there will be an excursion to Coronation Island to observe penguins nesting in moss beds alongside playful fur seals. You may also stop at the remote island of Laurie, and visit the oldest human outpost in Antarctica, Argentina’s Orcadas Base.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 17-22 - South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

    Elephant Island and surrounding islands (Northern part of the South Shetlands) is where Shackleton landed with his crew in 1916 and departed on the "James Caird" to seek help from South Georgia.


    The most common reaction to arriving at the white continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words, as few places are as untouched, unique and enduring as Antarctica. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes. At one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete isolation and silence, at the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into the brilliant blue sea or a penguin comes waddling by to inspect your footwear.


    Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether it is trekking up a glacier, visiting a research station or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Curious whales, such as Minke’s, are often attracted to Zodiacs as well, giving you a chance to get within reaching distance of these majestic animals. Each day and every landing will present a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera shutter busy.


    As exciting as the Zodiac excursions and landings are, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to an extra special Antarctic experience by partaking in an optional (extra cost) kayaking excursion or going for a swim in the Antarctic!

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 23-24 - Crossing the Drake Passage

    After more than two weeks of endless wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake Passage is your unofficial rite of passage, completing your Antarctic adventure.

    Enjoy some final moments mingling with your fellow travellers. The noisy, busy, populated world awaits your return, so savour the silence of the sea as long as you can.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 25 - Disembarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina

    After breakfast aboard the ship, it is time to part ways and say goodbye to your Expedition Team. We will transfer you to the airport for your homeward flight.

    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. (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
    • All shore landings per the daily program.
    • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities.
    • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program.
    • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled.
    • Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage.
    • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings.
    • An expedition parka to keep.
    • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock.
    • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin.
    • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader.
    • A group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the local airport.
    • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.

    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 host hotel before embarkation.
    • Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance.
    • Excess baggage charges.
    • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified.
    • Telecommunications charges.
    • The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew.
    • Massage services on the Ocean Diamond are available for onboard purchase.

    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.

  • Map Itinerary

  • Our Ships

    Sea Spirit

    Sea Spirit

    Sail aboard the luxurious Sea Spirit and you'll experience Antarctica in grand style. Built in 1991 and refurbished to a very high standard in 2010 she carries a maximum of 112 passengers; this outstanding vessel is equipped with rubber inflatable boats (Zodiacs) for shore transfers and cruising. You have a choice of one king size bed or two twin beds, in the most spacious cabins on the Sea Spirit. All cabins have facilities en suite and exterior views. Deluxe cabins, suites and the Owner's Suite have private balconies for viewing the extraordinary Antarctic icescape.

    Departure Dates for the Sea Spirit

    • 15 Dec 2014 - 08 Jan 2015
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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PPAS14
Start City: Ushuaia
End City: Ushuaia

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