About the South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula: Penguin Safari Itinerary
Your adventure begins in Buenos Aires, where you’ll enjoy its heavily European-influenced heritage before being whisked away on a private charter flight to explore Ushuaia prior to embarkation. At sea, photograph massive albatross and pintado petrel as they swoop and soar around the ship, guiding us toward South Georgia. Beaches teeming with king penguins and elephant seals greet us on this fabled island, where we’ll pay our respects to famed explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Antarctica awaits, with its geographic contradictions and overwhelming enormity. Relax on a Zodiac ride, hike glistening glaciers, share comical moments with inquisitive penguins, or witness the rugged peninsula from a sea kayak. Antarctica will surprise and delight, and never disappoint. Expedition in Brief: • Experience the quintessential wildlife experience of the “Galapagos of the Poles” • Visit South Georgia’s king penguin rookeries – the largest in the world • Reflect at the resting place of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton • Visit abandoned whaling stations and learn stories of inhabitants who called this island home • Enjoy on-board lecturers and educational presentations from polar specialists • Arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the tango capital of the world, and let us take care of the rest of the journey
Day 1 — Buenos Aires, Argentina
You may arrive in Buenos Aires at any time during Day 1 of the itinerary. Upon your arrival in this splendid city, known for its rich architecture and European heritage, you will independently transfer to the group hotel (pre-night hotel included).
Day 2 — Charter Flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, Argentina and Embarkation
After breakfast at the hotel, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina.
Upon arrival, you will have a little time to explore this quaint port town before heading to the pier.
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This famous channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Think of the Beagle Channel as the tasty appetizer before your main course arrives. You will want to get out on deck and keep your eyes open as there are several bird species to capture your attention and test your photography skills.
Days 3 to 5 — At Sea
The expedition team will keep you busy by testing your knowledge of seabirds, penguins and the history of South Georgia as they begin their educational lecture program. Your first days will include time to get acquainted with fellow travelers and learning about the shore landings, Zodiac excursions and kayaking opportunities that await you.
Days 6 to 8 — South Georgia
The first indication that you are approaching South Georgia is the sighting of birds around a group of rocky spires called Shag Rocks. Rising out of the icy ocean waters, have your binoculars and cameras ready to photograph these rocks. Shags, prions and wandering albatross often rest here.
After enjoying South Georgia from a distance, we’ll head towards its dark sandy beaches to find a protected bay for your first land excursion. Landing sites on South Georgia are varied, and are largely determined by the weather conditions of your voyage. Whichever landing sites we visit, they’ll provide you with wildlife encounters that cannot be enjoyed anywhere else on earth.
This is one of the most fertile breeding grounds in the world for sub-Antarctic wildlife, with beaches littered with penguins – in particular king and macaroni penguins. Many rookeries number into the 100s of thousands! It won’t take you long to realize that South Georgia is a paradise for bird lovers as burrowing seabirds, albatross and petrels can be seen in abundance.
You’ll find that South Georgia is also scattered with abandoned relics and evidence of human activity from centuries gone by. Once a popular base for whalers and sealers, Captain James Cook first reported on the abundance of wildlife here in 1775. His report resulted in an almost complete decimation of fur seals and a drastic decline in both whale and elephant seal populations.
Your expedition team will help bring those days to life for you, as you’ll visit old whaling stations and enjoy lectures and presentations on the South Georgia of then and now. Thankfully, you’ll witness that many species have seen a remarkable population rebound on the island.
One of the most significant sites you will visit on the island is located on Grytviken. This is one of the first whaling stations established in sub-antarctic waters. Many travelers find this place of special appeal as it is home to the remains of one of the best known Antarctic explorers, Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Days 9 & 10 — At Sea
Antarctica awaits, along with its own penguin and seal species. While you’re at sea, you can enjoy quiet time or take in presentations by the expedition team, which will cover everything from the history and geology of Antarctica to tips on identifying different species and what makes each of them unique.
Days 11 to 13 — Antarctic Peninsula
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. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes: at one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete silence and loneliness, the next you’ll be laughing at the comical antics of a curious penguin.
Glacier hikes, visits to research bases and, of course, communing with seals and penguins are sure to keep you smiling each and every day. Perhaps you’ll catch sight of the fearless penguin-eater, the leopard seal, or come eye–to–eye with a curious minke whale while out on a Zodiac. Each day and each landing will present a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera busy.
If you find yourself wanting more, then perhaps you’ll treat yourself by booking our 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!
Days 14 & 15 — Crossing the Drake Passage
After more than a dozen days of memorable wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage, putting a final stamp of completion on your Antarctic adventure.
Day 16 — Disembarkation in Ushuaia and Charter Flight to Buenos Aires
We will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning after breakfast. After disembarkation, we will taste a little of Patagonia by touring Tierra del Fuego National Park before we transfer to the airport for the return group charter flight to Buenos Aires.
Welcome Aboard the Magellan Explorer
Magellan Explorer will join the fleet during the 2019-20 season. She is the world’s first expedition ship custom designed for Antarctic air-cruise operations. The ship provides a stylish base for our guests’ adventures, combining excellence in expedition and boutique hospitality.
The ship is being built to the latest Polar Code specifications and carries a Polar Class 6 ice-class (Lloyd’s Register PC6). For comfortable navigation, the ship features stabilizers; for maneuverability, she features bow and stern thrusters. For safety in navigation, there is an ice-detecting radar. And to reduce the environmental footprint, the vessel is equipped with an energy-recovery system that recycles the heat produced by the engines to warm up the ship and its water supply.
· Retractable stabilizers
· Double hull construction
· Bulb designed for polar navigation
· Bow and stern thrusters
· State-of-the-art navigation equipment
· Latest ice radar technology
· Two mid-ship gangways for Zodiac operations
· Large expedition warehouse
· Tier III compliance, the most stringent emission standard
· Heat recycling system
· Fleet of 10 Zodiac boats
• Passengers: 100 maximum*
• Staff and crew: 60
• Length: 90.7 m (298 ft.)
• Breadth: 16.2 m (53 ft.)
• Draft: 4.3 m (14 ft.)
• Gross tonnage: 4,900
• Ice-class: LR PC6
• Propulsion: 2X MAN main engines, total 3,440 kW
• Speed: 14 knots
* Maximum of 69 guests for air-cruise operation
Cabins & Amenities
Five different accommodation categories are available to guests. Accommodations are spacious, ranging in size from 40 sq. mt. (440 sq ft) to 20 sq. mt. (220 sq ft.). All suites and most cabins offer a private balcony. Sleeping arrangements can be configured as either one king-size bed or two twin beds, in most cases.
Amenities & Services:
Public areas include a spacious forward-facing observation lounge and bar that is also used to deliver briefings and educational presentations. The bow of the ship is accessible to guests; together with the outdoor observation deck it offers expansive views and close contact with the natural environment during exploration. The dining room accommodates all guests and expedition staff in a single sitting. There is also a meeting room, a library, a gift shop, a protected outdoor barbecue area, a gym, and a sauna. Adventure activities, such as kayaking and snowshoeing, are available.
· Main dining room offers buffet breakfast and lunch, and table service dinner
· The BBQ deck offers al fresco dining, weather permitting
· Express Lunch option available daily in the Library
· Selection of premium Chilean wines served with lunch and dinner
· Snacks and drinks during welcome and farewell celebrations
· Complimentary self-service coffee, tea, chocolate, cappuccino, and water offered 24/7 in the library and bar
· A bar offering a selection on Chilean domestic and international drinks
· Gym with panoramic windows, and sauna
· Well stocked library with a collection of Antarctic-themed books in multiple languages
· Local intranet with daily programs, international news, etc. accessible wirelessly throughout the ship
· Meeting Room with multimedia resources and interactive science lab
· Satellite internet service available at a charge and accessible wirelessly throughout the ship
· Forward observation deck and accessible bow
· Zodiac embarkation area equipped with hangers, lockers and sitting facilities
INCLUDED IN THE RATE
- For Air-Cruises starting in Punta Arenas, group transfers airport/hotel on Day 1.
- For Air-Cruises starting in Punta Arenas, 1 overnight with breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar, with a welcome dinner including drinks on Day 1.
- 1 overnight with breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar on the Day of the Scheduled Return Flight from Antarctica.
- Transfers airport/hotel on the Day of the Scheduled Return Flight from Antarctica, and transfers hotel/airport on last Day of the Air-Cruise Program.
- Flight from Punta Arenas to Frei Station on King George Island and/or vice versa as indicated in the program corresponding to each voyage.
- Ship cruise along the Antarctic Peninsula as indicated in the program corresponding to each voyage.
- Daily buffet breakfast and lunch on board ship offering a wide choice of dishes.
- Daily served dinner on board ship offering a choice of three main courses.
- Wine, beer, juice, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board ship
- Coffee, tea, chocolate, cappuccino, water and snacks on board ship throughout the expedition.
- All guided shore excursions.
- Lectures and entertainment on board.
- Comprehensive pre- and post-voyage information material.
- Loan of waterproof boots for landing in Antarctica.
- Contingency Plan as described below.
- IAATO passenger fee.
SPECIFICALLY NOT INCLUDED IN THE RATE
- Accommodation, meals, excursions and transfers other than those included in the itinerary and the Contingency Plan corresponding to each voyage. Specifically, dinner in Punta Arenas upon return from Antarctica is not included.
- Beverages purchased at the ship’s bar.
- Personal insurance.
- Extra expenses (communication, laundry, souvenirs, etc.).
- Visas for Chile and/or Argentina, passport expenses, and any arrival and/or departure tax, if applicable.
Sea Kayaking in Antarctica $895 per person
Hiking and Snowshoeing in Antarctica $85 per person-per excursion
Hotel and Transfer Packages
Preferred Seating on the Antarctic Flight
Expedition Jacket $ 349
Interested in this Trip? Contact Us Now
$14,295 – $0
$12,600 – $18,150
$12,600 – $25,250