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Operator: Quark Expeditions
Price From: 9,395 USD
Ideal Age Range: 19 to 30, 31 to 50, Over 51
Fitness Needs: Light Impact
Program duration: 16 days
Join the trip of a lifetime on this journey to the “White Continent” Antarctica.
To start off your adventure, you’ll explore Buenos Aires and its rich European roots. Then, take a private charter to Ushuaia where you’ll embark on this once-in-a-lifetime voyage. Enjoy onboard activities, as well as watching for birds and wildlife as they surround your ship.
When you land in South Georgia, you’ll witness the incredible scene of thousands of King & Macaroni Penguins as they curiously greet you. Embrace the powerful feeling of complete and utter silence as you stare across miles of ice that surrounds you. Explore abandoned whaling stations, the current research station, and the site of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s grave. As you move around this island filled to the brim with history, gaze around at the abundance of life that call it home.
Watch for elephant seals, or the known “penguin-eater”, the leopard seal, as it stalks its prey.
Throughout your stay, you’ll have many opportunities to ride on Zodiac boats, where you may see minke whales swim alongside you. Enjoy hikes along shimmering glaciers, while taking in the breathtaking beauty of Antarctica, the 7th Continent.
Arrive any time today at Buenos Aires. Explore this marvelous city, known for its incredible architecture and rich European history. Transfer independently to the group hotel for the night. (Transfer not included, hotel stay included.)
After a delicious breakfast at your hotel, the group will head to the airport to board the charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina.
After arrival, you'll have some time to explore the town before embarking on the ship. In the late afternoon, you'll board the ship which will then sail down the Beagle Channel. The channel is a part of history, and transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, the far south of South America. Go out on the deck and watch as the birds soar above you!
The next few days are at sea, but there is no shortage of entertainment. The team will test your knowledge of the different seabirds and history of South Georgia. Enjoy lectures and education on board, before heading for land and the adventures waiting for you.
This is a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travelers!
Watch for the birds around a group of rock spires called Shag Rocks. Get your camera ready and capture the mystical beauty of these rocks.
After admiring South Georgia from a distance, you'll aim for its sandy beaches where you'll find a protected bay for your first adventure to land. The landing site will be determined by the weather conditions. Wherever you land, you'll have incredible wildlife encounters that you cannot enjoy anywhere else in the world. This is one of the best breeding grounds for sub-Antarctic wildlife, and you'll see beaches packed with penguins! Expect to see rookeries of King and Macaroni Penguins in the hundreds of thousands!
You'll also notice that South Georgia is a haven for other seabirds including albatross and petrels, which you'll likely see in abundance. Explore South Georgia and see all of the abandoned relics and things left behind from the humans that explored this area centuries ago.
The island was once popular for whalers and sealers, and Captain James Cook was the first to report on the impressive number of wildlife here in 1775. This report lead to the elimination of fur seals and a major decline in whales and elephant seal populations. You'll explore old whaling stations and listen to interesting lectures from your Expedition Team, which will describe life on South Georgia and the differences between then and now.
You will have the chance to visit Grytviken, one of the first whaling stations in the sub-Antarctic waters. It is also home to the remains of famous Antarctic Explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton.
You will be at sea for the next two day. While on the ship, enjoy quiet time or the presentations from the Expedition Team. You'll get to know more about the history and geology of Antarctica, as well as tips to identify various species of animals and what makes them so unique.
It is finally time to arrive at Antarctica! The experience is not one that can easily be put into words. There will be moments when you'll marvel at the complete and utter silence, almost deafening. Then, there will be moments of hilarity as you watch the penguins.
Visit the current research center, abandoned whaling stations, and hanging out with penguins and seals. Keep an eye out for the leopard seal as they hunt penguins, or minke whales off the side of your Zodiac. Every day will be completely new, and you'll want to make sure to snap as many photos as possible.
If you find yourself wanting more, then perhaps you’ll treat yourself by booking a kayaking Adventure Option (reserve in advance when booking your trip), or if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, a little shock therapy courtesy of a Polar Plunge might be what you need!
You'll begin your journey back to Argentina. Enjoy the crossing of the Drake Passage where you complete your adventure!
Arrive in Ushuaia, where you'll disembark. Take a tour of Patagonia and the Tierra del Fuego National Park before heading to the airport where you'll board the charter flight to Buenos Aires.
|Population||43,417,000 (2015 estimate)|
|Climate(s)||Desert (Warm/Cold), Semi-arid (Warm/Cold), Mediterranean, Oceanic (Warm/Temperate/Cool), Tundra, Humid Subtropical|
|Major Airport(s):||Ezeiza International Airport (EZE), Malvinas Argentinas International Airport (USH)|
|Economic Driver(s):||Agriculture, Industry, Tourism, Energy, Foreign Trade/Investment.|