rcgs resolute falkland islands south georgia and antarctica cruise

Falklands Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica - Mega Colonies

  • Overview

    EXPERIENCE SOME OF THE LARGEST WILDLIFE COLONIES ON THE PLANET


    Antarctica and the remote islands of the South Atlantic are home to some of the largest wildlife colonies found anywhere on Earth. On the dark sand beaches and in the tussock covered dunes of South Georgia, king penguin colonies contain more than 100,000 adult birds and their young. To the south, in the remote Weddell Sea region of Antarctica, we find Adelie penguin rookeries of a similar size and scale. These ‘mega-colonies’ are the focus of this unique voyage – a world first in polar expedition travel.


    In March 2018, scientists from the esteemed Stony Brook University and their international colleagues announced the discovery of a previously unknown penguin colony, estimated to contain more than a million Adelie penguins. Studying detailed satellite imagery of the remote Danger Islands, researchers visited and confirmed the astonishing find. These islands sit at the remote and little-visited northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.
    While the 
    megafauna colonies are a highlight of this voyage, history can be found at every turn and we visit several important locations containing relics from early exploration and the whaling era. The waters are full of life and we anticipate encounters with both whales and seals. Every day we explore off the ship, in the Zodiac boats, by sea kayak and by hiking on shore – all in the company of expert guides who interpret and educate us about our fantastic surroundings. We invite you to join us on what promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime voyage.

    Duration: 0 days
    Passengers: 146 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Santiago, Chile
    Disembarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    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 – TOWARDS SOUTH GEORGIA

      We chart a south-easterly course bound for South Georgia. The seabirds join us in the Southern Ocean and follow in the updrafts created by the ship. Our educational presentations continue and are always popular. History is a key theme of this voyage and the epic story of Sir Ernest Shackleton
      and the HMS Endurance expedition is central to any trip to South Georgia. Perhaps you will pick up some valuable tips from our onboard photographic guide, learning about image composition, the subtle polar light and all the basics of good camera craft. We will also learn about Polar conservation - a theme particularly close to the hearts of our guides and crew.

    • Day 4/6 - Exploration of South Georgia

      South Georgia has often been called the ‘Serengeti of the Southern Ocean’ – and as we approach the deep bays of this rugged, rocky outcrop, you will begin to see why. Launching the Zodiacs we begin our exploration of the island, in the vicinity of Elsehul Bay. Large numbers of fur seals and the much larger elephant seal will line the dark sand beaches. Living in the tussock grass, king penguins and their chicks may number up to 100,000 birds in some locations, including Salisbury Plain, St Andrews Bay and Gold Harbour. The island is also home to large numbers of nesting albatross as they fill the skies above, coming and going from the nest.

      South Georgia is a thrilling location for history lovers and the rusting relics of the early whaling industry are all around us. We hope to observe several of the old stations at locations including Leith, Husvik and Stromness. A highlight is a visit to Grytviken – the largest of the whaling stations, situated at the head of Cumberland Bay. It is here we visit the gravesite of Sir Ernest Shackleton. For many, being in the presence of the great explorer will be a highlight of the trip. An excellent museum at Grytviken, maintained by the South Georgia Heritage Trust and the restored church built by the original Norwegian whalers provides a fascinating glimpse into the past.

    • Day 7/9 - AT SEA – TOWARDS ANTARCTICA

      Weather and ice will dictate our crossing of the Scotia Sea from South Georgia to Antarctica. 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. As we edge ever closer to the frozen continent, large icebergs announce our arrival in Antarctic waters. Excitement grows as the low-lying Danger Islands appears on the horizon. Situated at the extreme northern point of the Antarctic Peninsula, offshore from the larger Joinville Island, we cannot help but be excited about the days ahead.

    • Day 10/12 - DANGER ISLANDS AND THE WEDDELL SEA

      Our excursions today will be dictated by the prevailing weather. Strong currents flow out of the Weddell Sea bringing variable ice conditions to the archipelago. We launch the Zodiacs to explore the waters around the island groups and plan to make shore landings at several locations. We will be struck by the immense scale of the Adelie penguin rookeries here. These are the smallest (and most comical) of Antarctica's penguins, resplendent in their black and white plumage. They are fascinating to observe, coming and going from fishing forays, and sitting on the nest raising their precious chicks. Our guides will be keen to share their knowledge of the penguin life-cycle and tell of the recent scientific research at this location.

      We notice an increase in the huge, flat-topped tabular icebergs as we navigate into the Weddell Sea and always anticipate exciting ice navigation. This region of Antarctica is rich in history. The early Swedish explorer – Otto Nordenskjold and companions spent several years here in a remarkable yet little-known tale of survival. Just over a decade later, Sir Ernest Shackleton and the survival of his crew from the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (HMS Endurance), 1914-17, grabbed the imagination of the entire world. To this day, Shackleton’s journey remains one of the great tales of polar exploration and survival.

      Along with the Danger Islands, the region is home to a number of other sizable penguin rookeries at locations which include Paulet Island and Gourdin Island. Nearby Vega Island is home to some of the most fascinating palaeontology found in all of Antarctica. Fossils here tell the story of Gondwanaland, of giant penguins and other dinosaur species and early plant life on Earth. Brown Bluff and d’Urville Monument are other landings possibilities in the area.

    • Day 13/15 - SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS AND GERLACHE STRAIT

      Approaching the South Shetland Islands as we navigate south, we may aim for a shore landing at Half Moon Island – home to a boisterous colony of nesting chin strap penguins. A short hike brings us to elephant seal haul out. These are fascinating animals to observe as the naturalist guides explain the unique family dynamics and behaviour. There are several other nearby locations, including Yankee Harbour or Hannah Point which we may choose as alternative landing sites. A thrill for many will be sailing the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island. At Whalers Bay, the remains of a rusting old whaling station provide a glimpse into history. There are a couple of excellent hiking routes here – one up to a high point overlooking the entire bay. Another to the far end of the black-sand beach where an old aircraft hangar can be viewed. It’s from here, the
      very first flight in Antarctica took to the air.

      Places such as Cierva Cove or Mikkelson Harbour allow for some great excursions on shore and in the Zodiacs and it’s a good place to look for leopard seals on the ice-floes. The remote Spert Islands provide a fascinating lesson in geology. The island group is crisscrossed by narrow channels and coves and cruising in the Zodiacs or sea kayaking here is a real thrill. Seabirds nest on the cliffs above, while seals can be found resting along the shoreline.

      We enter the maze of islands and waterways along the Antarctic Peninsula and enjoying shore landings, Zodiac cruises and kayak excursions several times per day. Cruising into the Errera Channel, we have a couple of great landing sites to consider including Cuverville Island – with its sizeable
      gentoo penguin rookery. Neko Harbour is another possibility for a landing. A very active glacier can be heard creaking and groaning, and it is common to observe large slabs of ice calving from the glacier face into the dark waters.

    • Day 16/17 - At sea

      As we make our way back to South America, the educational presentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join our photography experts in the multimedia room and download and back up your precious images. If weather conditions
      allow, we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.

    • Day 18 - Ushuaia, Argentina: Disembarkation day

      In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home. It will be possible to connect to flights through to Buenos Aires or other destinations in South America. Otherwise enjoy a night in town or venture further afield to explore the highlights of Patagonia.

    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.

    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

    Charter Flight (To Stanley)

    This voyage includes a charter flight from Santiago, Chile to Stanley on the Falkland Islands where you'll join the RCGS Resolute.

    Included

    King Penguins

    Among the many types of penguin species we hope to see on the Falkland Islands include; King penguins, Rockhopper, Gentoo and Magellanic penguins.

    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.

    Whales

    Whale numbers swell in Antarctica over the southern summer. Arriving in Antarctica from November onwards, whale numbers reach their peak around December and January. Sightings and particularly breachings reach a pinnacle in February and March, when the Krill is closer to the surface. Some 10 species of whales are found in Antarctic water each summer, with the most abundant species being the Humpack.

  • 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

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Comprehensive pre-departure material
    - All meals and accommodation during the voyage
    - Transfers on embarkation and disembarkation day
    - Service taxes and port charges
    - All shore excursions and lectures in the itinerary

    Not included in your Expedition

    - International and internal flights that are not specified
    - Passport and Visa expenses
    - Pre and post-cruise accommodation
    - Items of a personal nature such as; Beverages / Laundry / Medical expenses / Gratuities / Internet & Wifi
    - Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Map
    Map   9
  • 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

31 Dec 2018 - 17 Jan 2018
These cabins are a popular choice for solo travellers willing to share, a family, or a group of friends travelling together. NOTE: Cabin prices are inclusive of the mandatory charter flights.
AUD$ 31,233pp
AUD$ 31,233pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise twin private cabin

Twin Private

31 Dec 2018 - 17 Jan 2018
Spacious and well appointed, these cabins are situated on Deck 4. NOTE: Cabin price is inclusive of the required charter flight supplement.
AUD$ 37,425pp
AUD$ 37,425pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise superior cabin

Superior Cabin

31 Dec 2018 - 17 Jan 2018
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$ 39,585pp
AUD$ 39,585pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise superior plus cabin

Superior Plus

31 Dec 2018 - 17 Jan 2018
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$ 40,161pp
AUD$ 40,161pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise Shackleton Suite cabin

Shackleton Suite

31 Dec 2018 - 17 Jan 2018
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$ 42,177pp
AUD$ 42,177pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise one ocean Suite cabin

One Ocean Suite

31 Dec 2018 - 17 Jan 2018
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$ 43,905pp
AUD$ 43,905pp