rcgs resolute south georgia antarctica cruise christmas cruise

Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Islands

  • Overview

    SPRING IS A TIME OF INTENSE WILDLIFE ACTIVITY IN THE SOUTHERN OCEAN


    This voyage is specifically timed to coincide with the arrival of spring as the region emerges from the long and frigid winter. This is an incredibly dynamic time to experience the Antarctic eco-system. It is our most far-reaching polar expedition and includes visits to three different locations. Having crossed from South America, we commence our journey in Antarctica, finding the ice and snow cover in pristine condition. Penguins are returning and busy establishing their rookeries. Seals are on the move and busy feeding as the sea ice breaks up. Early season, whales are starting to return. Several of the most important historic sites in Antarctica feature on this voyage, including Deception Island, Elephant Island, Stromness and Grytviken.


    The early season also marks the beginning of the wildlife migration and commencement of the breeding cycle. In South Georgia, scenes of male elephant seals battling for control of the beaches (and the female harems), and the intimate and beautiful courtship rituals of the albatross, will have you believing you are ‘on the set’ of your very own wildlife documentary. Indeed, it is no surprise that many of the famous wildlife documentaries of the region are filmed at this time of year. There is just so much going on.


    Over 19 days you will explore on shore in the company of expert guides – including naturalists, marine biologists, ornithologists and adventurers, as well as our resident photography professional. Cruising in our inflatable Zodiac boats is another memorable activity

    Duration: 19 days
    Passengers: 146 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Punta Arenas, Chile
    Disembarkation Point: Santiago, Chile
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Mandatory extra flight
    Single Supplement: 1.5x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Punta Arenas: Embarkation Day

      Our journey commences in the southern Chilean port city of Punta Arenas. We gather at a central meeting point and transfer to the wharf where we embark our expedition ship. After settling in to our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet the expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air and we enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner. We chart a course through the Straits of Magellan and are on our way, bound for Antarctica – and what promises to be an incredible adventure.

      IMPORTANT JOINING INSTRUCTIONS
      This trip commences in Punta Arenas (Chile). We recommend arriving in Punta Arenas at least one day prior to the scheduled voyage departure. This gives you a buffer in the event of any unexpected travel delays between home and voyage embarkation. Here we board our expedition ship,
      charting a course for Antarctica. At the conclusion of the trip, we fly from Stanley (Falkland Islands) to Santiago (Chile). A transfer is provided from the airport to a central downtown location. This return flight arrives in the late afternoon and onward international flight connections may be possible.
      Full joining instructions are provided in your final travel documentation. If you have questions before this time, please ask us.

    • Day 2/3 - At sea

      The Drake Passage is rich in bio-diversity and showcases a great abundance of wildlife. We will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as make our way south. Photographing these magnificent birds takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our modern expedition vessel. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, the wildlife and history of the locations we hope to visit in the coming days. As we approach the coastline of Antarctica, we encounter more icebergs and anticipate our first whale sightings.

    • Day 4/6 - SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS AND ANTARCTIC PENINSULA

      Excitement is in the air as the magnificent snowy peaks of the South Shetland Islands are laid out before us. Depending on ice and weather conditions, we enter the South Shetlands via the McFarlane Strait, with an objective of Half Moon Island, or nearby Yankee Harbour. Arriving on shore, a sizeable rookery of chinstrap penguins act as a very noisy welcoming committee and we hope to observe our first substantial elephant seal colony here. There are some good hiking options along the rocky beach to a high point. Otherwise observe the chinstraps at close proximity as they establish their nests.

      Overnight we cross the Bransfield Strait and are now along the coastline of continental Antarctica. Our itinerary is deliberately flexible to account for early season ice conditions, and to take advantage of optimal snow conditions at several of our favourite landing sites. Our planned exploration starts in the vicinity of Mikkelson Harbour and neighbouring Cierva Cove – both beautiful locations and the perfect introduction to Antarctica. Both spots provide excellent Zodiac cruising and it is fascinating to observe the very beginning of the penguin breeding cycle and the courtship rituals that take place. We keep our eyes out for the powerful leopard seal, which we frequently find hauled out on the ice-floes around here.

      We continue our journey and are now on our way to Antarctic Sound - the gateway into the icy Weddell Sea. Depending on the seasonal ice conditions, we visit a number of outstanding locations on the way into the Weddell. Our plan is to sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic place and history is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with the rusted old boilers and dilapidated wooden huts. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar. This is where Australian, Sir Hubert Wilkins, made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928. There is also an outstanding hike, high up onto the rim of the crater. The Aitcho Islands provide some great hiking routes showcasing the colourful mosses and lichens found on the island. Gentoo and chinstrap penguins nest here and on the beaches, we usually encounter seals coming and going from the surrounding waters. Fort Point situated on Greenwich Island is another possible location for a visit.

    • Day 7/8 - ANTARCTIC SOUND, WEDDELL SEA AND ELEPHANT ISLAND

      Our next objective is to enter the icy Weddell Sea, through the broad channel that separates the continent of Antarctica from Joinville Island. At first, we are awe-struck by the sheer size of the tabular icebergs in this area and their presence always makes for exciting navigation on the ship. This region is also home to some of the largest Adelie penguin rookeries found in Antarctica. After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetlands and Antarctic Sound, we head for Elephant Island – a location forever connected to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition a century ago. On the windswept north coast, exposed to the swells of the South Atlantic is Point Wild. It was here that Shackleton and his exhausted men camped under their upturned boats more than a century ago – pondering their chances of survival. Shore landings here are often notoriously tricky due to strong winds and pounding surf on the rocky beach. This is a thrilling location for anyone with a passion for polar history.

    • Day 9 - Scotia Sea Crossing

      As we depart Elephant Island we cannot help but ponder the journey made by Shackleton and his four companions – as they attempted the near impossible – navigating 800 nautical miles in a 30 foot converted lifeboat across the tempestuous Scotia Sea to South Georgia.

      We make a much easier time of the crossing in our state of the art expedition ship. Onboard experts keep us busy with fascinating presentations and lead lively discussions throughout the day.

      The great pelagic seabirds are sure to keep us company – and we anticipate excellent sightings of albatross and giant petrels soaring on the winds of the South Atlantic Ocean. Anticipation builds as the mountainous peaks appear on the horizon, marking our arrival at South Georgia.

    • Day 11 - SCOTIA SEA – TOWARDS SOUTH GEORGIA

      As we depart Elephant Island we cannot help but ponder the journey made by Shackleton and his four companions – as they attempted the near impossible – navigating 800 nautical miles in a 30 foot converted lifeboat across the tempestuous Scotia Sea to South Georgia. We make a much easier time of the crossing in our modern expedition ship. Onboard experts keep us busy with fascinating presentations and lead lively discussions throughout the day. The great pelagic seabirds are sure to keep us company – and we anticipate excellent sightings of albatross and giant petrels soaring on the winds of the South Atlantic Ocean. Anticipation builds as the mountainous peaks appear on the horizon, marking our arrival at South Georgia.

    • Day 12/14 - EXPLORATION OF SOUTH GEORGIA

      We spend the next three days exploring the coastline of South Georgia. Dark sand beaches, tussock covered hinterland and a backdrop of towering peaks and glaciers are a feast for all the senses. South Georgia has often been called the greatest wildlife show on Earth. Seals cover the beaches, seabirds fill the skies and living in rookeries of immense sizes are the majestic king penguins. Our aim is to visit a number of these vast colonies – where naturalists estimate that more than 100,000 adult and juvenile penguins live in close proximity. Locations could include Gold Harbour, Royal Bay, St Andrews Bay and Salisbury Plain.

      Dotted along the coastline are the rusting relics of the early whaling era. The largest of these locations is Grytviken. Here we find a fascinating museum and a beautifully restored Norwegian Lutheran Church. Adjacent to the old whaling station lies a small cemetery. This is the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton – who was laid to rest here in 1922. For many onboard, being in the presence of the great polar explorer is a highlight of the trip. We continue our journey along the coastline, hoping to visit Stromness – another former whaling station – and the final destination of Shackleton and companions Frank Worsley and Tom Crean, having made the near impossible traverse across the interior of South Georgia against all odds.

    • Day 15/17 - AT SEA – TOWARDS THE FALKLANDS

      By now we are in sensory overload, our cameras full of images and our journey towards the Falkland Islands commences. The spectacular seabirds, including several albatross and petrel species, are our constant companions soaring above the ship. The onboard educational program continues, and our experts recap our remarkable journey to date. These days provide a good opportunity to catch up on journal entries, sort through your images at the multimedia station and catch some rest after a busy two weeks of activity.

    • Day 18 - FALKLAND ISLANDS

      We wake to the sight of landfall in the Falkland Islands. Approaching Sea Lion Island, we first note the very barren and windswept landscape, exposed to the prevailing weather that originates in the Drake Passage. We launch the Zodiacs and go ashore to view the incredible diversity of wildlife found
      at this location. Three species of penguin including gentoo, Magellanic and rockhopper, as well as southern elephant seals and South American sea lions, are known to inhabit the area. King cormorants and striated caracaras are just some of the bird species we expect to see. As we cruise along the coast of the Falklands, bound for Stanley, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the ship’s Captain.

    • Day 19 - STANLEY: Disembarkation & return to Santiago, Chile

      This morning we pass through ‘the Narrows’ and into the port of Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands. We say goodbye to our crew and after some free time to explore the town, make our way to the airport for our special charter flight to Santiago - Chile's stylish capital city. On arrival in Santiago our journey comes to an end. Onward regional and international flight connections may be possible this evening. Discuss the options with your booking agent. A transfer is provided to a downtown location for those choosing to stay and explore Santiago and the delights of Chile.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your Captain and Expedition Leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Kayaking

    Gear up with the best kayaking gear in the industry, to experience one of the best paddling in the world for intimate experiences.

    USD 795 per person

    Photography

    Photographer in residence provides presentations, critiques, informal instruction and assists on Zodiacs and shore landing to help you get the best shots!

    Included

    Christmas &/or New Year voyage

    What better place to wake up on Christmas morning and check if Santa has found you in Antarctica! Christmas in Antarctica is extra special and many of our voyages are family friendly.

    South Georgia; Wildlife Mecca

    One of the true wildlife experiences on our planet, often the wildlife displays here are referred to as the greatest on Earth. Set amongst awe inspiring scenery and home to King penguins, Wondering albatross and Elephant seals, it’s hard to imagine how early pioneers survived in this harsh landscape.

    Falkland Islands

    Boasting rugged scenery and excellent wildlife opportunities, including the Black-browed albatross, Elephant seals and a number of penguin species not found in Antarctica.

    Fly/Cruise voyage

    Our Fly/Cruise programs an excellent choice to navigate the Drake Passage quickly. This expedition comprises of 1 or 2 charter flights across the Drake Passage, so you need not worry about crossing the passage by sea. These expeditions are great options and often allow for an increased amount of time around the continent.

  • Inclusions

    Expedition Gear Package

    A complementary expedition package is provided on a loan basis, upon boarding. Your package will include;

    - Windproof / waterproof expedition jacket and bib pants
    - Waterproof backpack
    - Comfortable insulated rubber boots
    - Water resistant binoculars
    - Trekking poles

    Photographer & Digital Media Lab

    On board photographer will provide polar photography advice and assist in the multimedia room where you can download images to Lightroom, Adobe, Photoshop and card readers are available for use on MAC and PC computers

    Charter Flights

    This expedition includes charters flight to arrive at or depart from your voyage. Charter flights are provided as per stated in your itinerary document

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - All on board educational presentations
    - All meals onboard
    - Fitness & Yoga
    - Hiking & guided walks
    - Zodiac and shore excursions
    - Photography advice from experienced professionals
    - Extensive pre-departure information package
    - Hot beverages

    Not included in your Expedition

  • Map
    Map coming soon
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    RCGS RESOLUTE

    Designed for passenger comfort, RCGS Resolute is modern, well appointed, safe and ice-strengthened. Take a look at some of the superb facilities aboard, including numerous passenger areas designed for relaxation and our onboard educational programming. Quite simply, she is one of the most comfortable and capable expedition ships in the world today. Built in Rauma Finland in 1993, RCGS Resolute offers a Lloyds 1AS ice class (the highest ice rating possible for passenger ships), external stabilizers, incredible comfort and a variety of spacious interior and exterior viewing areas. The most recent refurbishment of the vessel included a complete cabin redecoration featuring new carpet and furniture throughout. One Ocean Suites feature queen beds. In all other cabins, the bed configuration is available in either a queen or two single beds (triple cabins feature two single beds and an additional lower single berth). All cabins include: private washroom, ample storage, writing desk and chair, fridge, flat screen entertainment system with in-house intranet, sectional corner lounge, 100% cotton OOE bathrobes, custom blend natural Canadian made amenities, black out blinds, complimentary water bottle and in room tea and coffee station. Superior cabins and above feature additional inclusions. For all guests, a full expedition gear package is included and features a waterproof jacket and pants, rubber boots, Nordic trekking pole, binoculars and water proof backpack.

    Features & Facilities
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 5
    Guests #: 146
    Crew #: 100
    Ice Class: 1A Super
    Speed: 16
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 1993
    Length: 112m
    Width: 17
    Draft: 4
    Tonnage: 6752
    Registry:
    Elec Outlets: 2 Round Plugs
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise triple cabin

Triple Private Cabin

20 Oct 2019 - 07 Nov 2019
These cabins are a popular choice for solo travellers willing to share, a family, or a group of friends travelling together. NOTE: Please consider our cabin prices are inclusive of the mandatory charter flights.
USD 15,490pp
USD 14,290pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise twin private cabin

Twin Private

20 Oct 2019 - 07 Nov 2019
Spacious and well appointed, these cabins are situated on Deck 4. NOTE: Cabin price is inclusive of the required charter flight supplement.
USD 19,990pp
USD 18,790pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise superior cabin

Superior Cabin

20 Oct 2019 - 07 Nov 2019
Located forward on Deck 5 the Superior cabins have the option for either a queen or two single beds. NOTE: Cabin price is inclusive of the charter flight supplement.
USD 21,390pp
USD 20,190pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise superior plus cabin

Superior Plus

20 Oct 2019 - 07 Nov 2019
Located on deck 5 these cabins are spacious and well appointed with the option for either a queen or two single beds. NOTE: Cabin price is inclusive of the charter flight supplement.
USD 21,890pp
USD 20,690pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise Shackleton Suite cabin

Shackleton Suite

20 Oct 2019 - 07 Nov 2019
Suites include the comfort of a sectional lounge, writing desk, substantial floor to ceiling cabinetry, and washroom facilities with shower. NOTE: Cabin price is inclusive of the charter flight supplement.
USD 23,490pp
USD 22,290pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise one ocean Suite cabin

One Ocean Suite

20 Oct 2019 - 07 Nov 2019
The One Ocean Suites are situated on Deck 6 and offer an indulgent amount of space. NOTE: Cabin price is inclusive of the charter flight supplement.
USD 25,690pp
USD 24,490pp