rcgs resolute fly cruise falkland islands south georgia and antarctica expedition cruise

South Georgia in Depth (Photography Symposium)

  • Overview

    SOUTH GEORGIA – EXPERIENCE THE MOST STAGGERING WILDLIFE SHOW ON EARTH.

     

    South Georgia has rightly been called ‘the greatest wildlife show on Earth’ and after our in-depth exploration of this remote island in the South Atlantic, we are certain you will agree. This seldom-visited corner of the planet is a place we know intimately and look forward to visiting every season. Even our experienced expedition staff, some with more than 100 journeys into the polar regions, cherish every visit to South Georgia. It really is that remarkable.


    Traditionally, our visits to South Georgia last only three or four days and are part of a much longer itinerary that also includes Antarctica. However, after many years of careful preparation and planning, we now offer the unique
    opportunity to spend eight full days of exploration. This is more than double the time traditionally spent exploring South Georgia.


    This particular departure is timed to coincide with the arrival of spring in the Sub-Antarctic region. Early November marks the beginning of the wildlife migration and commencement of the breeding cycle for many species. Scenes of male elephant seals battling for control of the beaches (and the female harems), the intimate and beautiful courtship rituals of the albatross and antics of the young penguin chicks, will have you believing you are 'on the set' of your very own wildlife documentary. While the soft light in the mornings and evenings adds to the colour palette for the photographers at this time of the season. For lovers of remote, small-ship expedition cruising, this voyage ticks all the boxes.

    Duration: 15 days
    Passengers: 146 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Santiago, 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 - Santiago, Chile: Embarkation day

      We depart Santiago this morning on our special charter flight direct to Stanley, the small capital of the Falkland Islands. We are met on arrival and transfer from the airport into town. There is time to explore the town, or enjoy a guided visit to nearby Gypsy Cove which provides our first opportunity for observing the local wildlife, including nesting Magellanic penguins and other sea birds. Making our way to the port, we board our expedition ship, RCGS Resolute in the afternoon. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off to explore one of the most remote islands on Earth.

      IMPORTANT JOINING INSTRUCTIONS
      This trip commences in Santiago – Chile’s elegant capital city. We recommend you arrive in Santiago at least one day prior to the scheduled voyage departure date. This gives you a buffer in the event of any unexpected travel delays between home and trip departure time. From Santiago we fly south to Stanley in the Falkland Islands via a special charter flight service. We transfer into town and have time to explore or enjoy a visit to Gypsy Cove prior to ship embarkation.

      At the conclusion of the trip, we fly from Stanley back to Santiago. 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

      We chart a course bound for South Georgia. This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in its bio-diversity and showcases an abundance of astonishing wildlife. We will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as we make our way south. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days.

    • Day 4/7 - South Georgia

      Days 4-5: KING HAAKON BAY AND THE NORTHWEST COAST OF SOUTH GEORGIA
      Majestic snow-covered mountains greet us on arrival in South Georgia. Weather permitting, we begin our exploration on the southern coastline. We hope to navigate the ship into the very historic location of King Haakon Bay. It was here that Shackleton and his men made landfall in their small lifeboat – the 'James Caird', after completing the perilous ocean crossing from Elephant Island, a century ago. This is a very dramatic place, visited by just a handful of ships each season. From here, we make our way around to the more protected waters of the north-eastern coast.

      We can now indulge in an in-depth exploration, navigating into the bays and harbours the entire length of the island. Elsehul Bay allows for great Zodiac cruising and will be a possible location we will launch the kayakers for a paddle. One of the most anticipated sites in South Georgia is Salisbury Plain. The black sand beaches and tussock covered dunes are home to a staggering abundance of king penguin adults and their young. The rookery is estimated to have a population of up to 100,000 adult and juvenile penguins. This is just one of several such king penguin rookeries on South Georgia. At the height of breeding season, the rookeries are believed to have more wildlife per square foot than any other place on the planet. The majestic ‘Kings’ are not the only wildlife on display as we explore the rugged coastline. Fur seals can be seen poking their heads above the water, the elephant seals enjoy lazing about the beach, while the skuas and giant petrels fill the skies above. Meanwhile, the albatross – our constant companion on this journey – is never far away.

      Days 6-7: FORTUNA BAY, STROMNESS, GRYTVIKEN AND CENTRAL NORTH COAST
      Fortuna Bay is a majestic three-mile long fjord. It was named after the ship 'Fortuna' – one of the original vessels of the Norwegian–Argentine whaling expedition which established the first permanent whaling station at Grytviken - further along the coast. History comes into sharp focus as we continue west to Stromness and onto Grytviken. From 1912 until the 1930’s, Stromness (and nearby Leith and Husvik), operated as whaling stations and the rusted and ghostly remnants of these old stations seem out of place in such a pristine environment. This area is key to the Shackleton story and it was here in 1916, that Shackleton and his companions, Frank Worsley and Tom Crean arrived after their epic mountain crossing from King Haakon Bay on the south coast. This is after having completed their 800-mile journey by small boat from Elephant Island in Antarctica.

      If the weather co-operates, we hope to hike in Shackleton's footsteps, the last few miles across the saddle separating Fortuna Bay from neighbouring Stromness. Eventually we enter the broad expanse of Cumberland Bay, anchoring off Grytviken – the largest of the old whaling stations on South Georgia. A highlight of our landing here is a visit to the grave site of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his loyal right hand man, Frank Wild.

    • Day 8/10 - Exploring South Georgia

      Days 8-9: St Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour & Eastern Coast
      Our next few days take us to St Andrew’s Bay and Gold Harbour – places that are teeming with wildlife including fur seals, elephant seals and massive colonies of the colourful king penguins. As with all of our landings we will exercise every opportunity to explore on foot with our experienced guides.
      Gold Harbour is so called because the sun's rays make the cliffs yellow with their light in the morning and evening. It’s an exhilarating location. Drygalski Fjord at the far eastern extremity of the island has been called one of the most spectacular sites in South Georgia and we think you will agree.

      Day 10: Godthul & Prion Island
      Our exploration of South Georgia is not over and we navigate our way back along the northern coastline. There are few special locations we have in mind – including the old whaling depot at Godthul. There is a terrific hike here up to a beautiful lake. Nearing the end of our visit to South Georgia, we hope to enjoy a shore landing at Prion Island – which many consider the jewel in the crown. This location has been designated as a ‘Special Protected Area’ by the South Georgia Government due to the breeding wandering albatross colonies at this location.

      Boasting the largest wingspan of any living bird, typically ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 m (8ft to 11ft), albatross spend most of their life in flight, landing only to breed and feed. Distances travelled each year are hard to measure, but one bird was recorded travelling 6000 km in just twelve days. We are
      exceptionally lucky to be able to attempt a landing here as the site is closed to visiting ships between late November and early January, due to the concentration of fur seals on the beaches. The boardwalks provide access to several observation platforms where we view nesting Wandering albatross in close proximity. As we depart South Georgia, we pause to reflect on our time in this spectacular location and chart our return course towards the Falkland Islands.

    • Day 11/13 - At Sea

      Our final days are spent catching up on journal entries, or perhaps downloading and reviewing photos in the multi-media room with our photography expert. A highlight of our return journey will be frequent sightings of the majestic albatross, petrels and other seabirds as they soar above the ship on the winds of the Southern Ocean.

    • Day 14 - Falkland Islands

      We wake to the sight of landfall in the Falklands. 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 here. 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 15 - Santiago, Chile: Disembarkation day

      This morning we find ourselves back in the port of Stanley. We say goodbye to our crew and after some free time in town, make our way to the airport for our return charter flight to Santiago. 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

    Charter Flights

    This voyage includes charter flights to operate the itinerary. Please refer to the voyage itinerary for which flights are included in this specific itinerary.

    Included

    Kayaking

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

    AUD$ 1,144 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

    Snowshoeing

    Offer the ability to push farther on those hikes limited by heavy snow pack.

    Included

    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.

    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   8
  • 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
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Ready to book your expedition?

We understand that the trip of a lifetime takes planning, so we make the financial commitments easy to manage.

  • Confirm your booking today with just AUD$ 1,000 per passenger.
  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise triple cabin

Triple Private Cabin

07 Nov 2019 - 21 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.
AUD$ 20,145pp
AUD$ 20,145pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise twin private cabin

Twin Private

07 Nov 2019 - 21 Nov 2019
Spacious and well appointed, these cabins are situated on Deck 4. NOTE: Cabin price is inclusive of the required charter flight supplement.
AUD$ 23,025pp
AUD$ 23,025pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise superior cabin

Superior Cabin

07 Nov 2019 - 21 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.
AUD$ 24,465pp
AUD$ 22,737pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise superior plus cabin

Superior Plus

07 Nov 2019 - 21 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.
AUD$ 25,041pp
AUD$ 25,041pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise Shackleton Suite cabin

Shackleton Suite

07 Nov 2019 - 21 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.
AUD$ 27,345pp
AUD$ 27,345pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise one ocean Suite cabin

One Ocean Suite

07 Nov 2019 - 21 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.
AUD$ 30,225pp
AUD$ 30,225pp