Days 1 & 2 -- U.S./Buenos Aires, Argentina (National Geographic Explorer) or Santiago, Chile (National Geographic Orion)
Depart on an overnight flight to Buenos Aires (Explorer) or Santiago (Orion). Settle into the Sofitel Buenos Aires before seeing the city's Beaux-Arts palaces and the famous balcony associated with Eva Peron. Or settle in to Santiago's Grand Hyatt Hotel before our guided overview of this vibrant city backed by the inspiring Andes.
Day 3 -- Ushuaia, Argentina
This morning's charter flight offers some rare views of Patagonia en route to Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city. Take a catamaran cruise through Patagonia's scenic Beagle Channel before embarking our ship.
Day 4 -- At Sea
Awake well into our journey across the Drake Passage??a milestone in
any adventurer'??s personal travel historywith time to hear talks
preparing you for the exciting days ahead.
Days 5 through 10 -- Exploring Antarctica
With long daylight hours, we make the most of our six days exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the surrounding islands. In keeping with the nature of an expedition, our schedule is flexible, allowing us to take advantage of the unexpected--pausing to watch whales off the bow, taking an after-dinner Zodiac cruise or an extra landing during the day. Those interested may have the opportunity to kayak.
We anticipate making several landings each day in Zodiacs to explore
this vast land. Depending on weather and sea conditions, we plan to make
some or all of the following stops:
The bay is aptly named because the surrounding mountains look as though
they rise straight to heaven. Stretch your legs on a hike to a nearby
summit for a breathtaking view, or slip into a kayak to quietly paddle
along a cliffside rookery in search of blue-eyed shags.
Lemaire Channel and Petermann Island
Cruise through the narrow Lemaire Channel between towering snow-covered
mountains and spectacular blue icebergs. Step ashore at Petermann Island
to the cries of thousands of gentoo penguins that stand along the coast
as if awaiting your arrival.
Historic Port Lockroy
Drop anchor in beautiful Neko Harbor. Enjoy an up close encounter with
the penguins on the beach or climb high onto an ice field for a
panoramic vista of untouched peaks surrounding this idyllic bay.
The great French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot named Port Lockroy a
century ago. In 1944 the British government instituted the top-secret
expedition code-named Operation Tabarin, creating a series of base
stations in Antarctica. Base A, at Port Lockroy, was the first and now
serves as a museum and Antarctica's only public post office where we can
send mail to be postmarked in Antarctica.
Days 11 & 12 -- At Sea
Watch for whales from the ship's bridge, attend talks by our experts, and enjoy the amenities on board.
Days 13 through 17 -- South Georgia Island
The following days are devoted to exploring the magnificent coastline of South Georgia Island. The schedule is flexible, and throughout our journey there will be opportunities for walking, hiking, kayaking, and taking Zodiac excursions. Depending on weather and sea conditions, we plan to make some or all of the following stops:
King Haakon Bay
This is the site of Shackleton's landfall after his rigorous voyage in the 23-foot lifeboat, James Caird.
The untouched beaches, headlands, mountains, glaciers, and nesting
wandering albatrosses are a great introduction to the wilds of South
Wander on foot, visiting the ruins of the abandoned whaling station of
Grytviken and its fine museum about whaling and the island's natural
history. A host of seabirds, penguins, and marine mammals can be seen as
we hike along the coast to the cemetery where Sir Ernest Shackleton is
Salisbury Plain/Elsehul Bay
At the height of breeding season, the northern tip of South Georgia is
said to have more wildlife per square foot than any place else on Earth.
We are likely to be greeted by thousands of king penguins. Visit a
colony of wandering albatrosses and see colorfully crested macaroni
penguins, fur and elephant seals, and gray-headed and black-browed
albatrosses on their nests.
Right Whale Bay
Land on black-sand beaches, inhabited by southern fur seals, elephant
seals, and king penguins, plus dozens of other bird species.
St. Andrews Bay
St. Andrews Bay is teeming with wildlife. Hike past fur and elephant seals and a colony of more than 200,000 king penguins.
Gold Harbour is home to elephant seals, thousands of fur seals and tens
of thousands of penguins, including a colony of aristocratic king
Whalers once sought shelter in this small bay. Here we are likely to
encounter king, gentoo, and macaroni penguins; prions; petrels; and
terns; and perhaps Weddell seals.
Stromness offers views of cliffs and glaciers that legendary captain
Ernest Shackleton and his companions descended to complete their famed
crossing with the Endurance
in 1916. Shackleton and a crew of
five men had set sail in a 22-foot wooden sailboat on a 700-mile voyage
across the Southern Oceanâ??a journey that became one of the most
incredible stories of survival at sea. Explore the glacier's ice face by
Zodiac. Walk along a pebble beach, passing king and gentoo penguins,
and hundreds of fur seals.
Days 18 & 19 -- At Sea
Enjoy talks by our experts and National Geographic photographer, and unwind in the spa, library, or on deck.
Days 20 & 21 -- Falkland Islands
Dock in Port Stanley, and stroll along the streets lined with Victorian-style houses. See an archway made of whalebone at the Anglican Cathedral, and visit the Falkland Islands Museum. Hike and kayak along rocky coasts, spotting Magellanic penguins burrowing in tussock grass, herds of enormous elephant seals, and the largest albatross colony in the world.
Day 22 -- At Sea
On our final day at sea, enjoy one last chance to view the marine life of these southern waters. Toast our epic voyage at a festive farewell dinner tonight.
Days 23 & 24 -- Ushuaia, Argentina/Buenos Aires, Argentina (National Geographic Explorer) or Santiago, Chile (National Geographic Orion)
Disembark in Ushuaia with time to explore before our charter flight to Buenos Aires or Santiago. Continue on an overnight flight to the U.S.
All prices are per person, double occupancy, subject to availability and are quoted in U.S. Dollars. These pages are not endorsed or supported by the tour
operator in any way. All information presented is based on promotional material
provided by the tour operator. All prices, itineraries, accommodations and dates
are subject to change without notice and at any time by the tour operators.
Availability is limited and must be reconfirmed at time of booking. The prices
on this website are not guaranteed. We are not responsible for errors,
omissions, or changes in pricing. Please call us toll free at 1-800-942-3301 to
confirm availability and pricing.