Print this page | Visit Peregrine

Antarctica's Scotia Arc 2014-15

Trip Length

Trip Code

25 days PPAS14

Countries Visited

Antarctica, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Argentina

Start City

End City

Ushuaia Ushuaia
Antarctica's Scotia Arc 2014-15

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.

Antarctica's Scotia Arc 2014-15


Day to Day 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

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner

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.

Day 3: At Sea

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

As we sail to the northeast we have the chance to enjoy a series of presentations that include talks on wildlife, ice and polar history, which will undoubtedly create enormous anticipation for our upcoming adventures. On deck the first sightings of albatross and petrels are likely to add to our sense of excitement, whilst our team of experts will be on hand to help us spot whales and identify the various other seabirds.

Day 4-5: Falkland Islands

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Our arrival on this infamous archipelago is the first opportunity to see abundant wildlife and the last time we will see permanent human inhabitants during our voyage. The Falklands contain two main islands- East and West, while the entire archipelago include almost 700 smaller ones and we attempt make several zodiac landings during two days on these islands. One of our memorable landings is in Stanley, a British 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.

Day 6-7: At Sea

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Leaving the Falklands, our journey continues southeast towards the island of South Georgia. We have a chance to learn more about Antarctic conservation as well as the fascinating history of the area, as our on-board presentations continue. Of course, there is ample time to scan the seascape from the top deck in search of marine mammals and seabirds. We will cross the Antarctic Convergence on this leg of our journey and notice a dramatic drop in temperature.

Day 8-12: South Georgia

Meals included: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners

While it is highly unlikely we will come across anyone else on South Georgia, this remote outpost has long been a centre for exploratory and commercial expeditions. Many of these original inhabitants arrived to the island to hunt the abundant whales and elephant seals that lead to steep declines in the wild population. While thankfully this practice has now been abated, we will see many remnants of the period, including several abandoned whaling stations and other outposts of this forgotten era. Perhaps, however, the most significant historic relic here is the grave of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. Located in Grytviken, the site is commemorated with a tombstone and is also home to an old whaling station, the Georgia Museum and a small gift shop and church. While South Georgia’s history is an important attraction to the islands, it is the wildlife on South Georgia that visitors often find the most captivating. South Georgia, often referred to as the Galapagos of the poles, contains an extraordinary variety and quantity of wildlife. 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.

Day 13: The South Sandwich Region

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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.

Day 14-15: At Sea

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

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

Day 16: South Orkney Islands

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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.

Day 17-22: South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

Meals included: 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners

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!

Day 23-24: Crossing the Drake Passage

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

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.

Day 25: Disembarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina

Meals included: 1 breakfast

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.


Your Trip

What's Included

Non-included Meals

Some meals are included on your trip (except for North America trips - please refer to your day-to-day itinerary). However, sometimes we think you'll benefit from getting out and discovering the local cuisine. So when a meal is not included, it's a great opportunity to try something new. For group trips, ask your leader for tips on where to get the best meal, or you might decide to dine out as a group and experience the fun together.

Not Included


What to know

Vaccinations

Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.  We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.

Visas and Permits

Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.

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 USD100, Canadians USD75 and Americans USD160. 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

Insurance

You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.

Responsible Travel

Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.

Customs and Culture

Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.

Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.

Further Reading

Antarctica

1912: The Year the World Discovered Antarctica - Chris Turney:  To the Ends of the Earth: the Transglobal Expedition - Ranulph Feinnes:  Scott and Amundsen - Roland Huntford:  Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage - Alfred Lansing

Falkland Islands

The Falklands War 1982 (Essential Histories) - Duncan Anderson Penguin summer: An adventure with the birds of the Falkland Islands - Eleanor Rice Pettingill

South Georgia

Argentina

On Heroes and Tombs-E Sabato Kiss of the Spider Woman-M Puig Argentina: A City and a Nation-J Scobie Gaucho’s and the Vanishing Frontier-R Slatta Peron & the Enigma of Argentina-T Martinez


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.

1. Budgeting: in addition to funds for onboard expenses, it is sometimes possible to purchase souvenirs such as books, t-shirts, stamps, postcards, windcheaters, caps and similar items at some of the research stations in the Antarctic Peninsula area. Mail can sometimes be posted from these stations as well. Transactions are usually in US dollars cash.

2. Clothes: please read our Antarctic pre-departure information carefully. Although you don’t need to make expensive, specialist-clothing purchases for this trip, you will need clothes that adequately protect against cold and wet conditions. (Sea spray is common on board Zodiacs). It is recommended that you have warm, waterproof clothing available for use upon arrival in Ushuaia, to protect yourself against the inclement weather.

3. Motion sickness: the waters of the Drake Passage can be some of the roughest seas in the world, although at other times they are so smooth that it is referred to as the 'Drake Lake'! Although our vessels are among the most stable ships in their class, we will still inevitably encounter motion. Unless you are certain you are impervious to the problem, you should take precautions against seasickness. Your doctor can advise you as to the best methods for avoiding this uncomfortable condition.

4. Gratuities: we suggest you allow the equivalent of US$11-13 a day for gratuities for the crew and expedition staff. This is usually collected just prior to the end of the cruise. If you wish, the amount can be paid by Visa or MasterCard.

5. Sea kayaking: there are separate Trip Notes for the sea kayaking option. Please note that this option must be booked prior to your departure from home and it cannot be booked on the ship. Some prior experience is required and places are limited.

Peregrine Voyage Documentation
Once you have booked your voyage to the Polar regions with Peregrine, you will be required to complete a series of online forms. You will be sent a link via email (my polar forms) which will take you to an enrolment form, cruise contract, medical form, arrival/departure information form and expedition parka size order form. These forms must be completed.

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!

Last Updated

9 December 2013


General Contact Details

Peregrine AdventuresPhone: 1-800-663-5132
E-mail: sales@peregrineadventures.com
Web: Visit Peregrine