ocean diamond epic antarctic cruise south georgia and antarctic circle

Epic Antarctica: Crossing the Circle via Falkland Is & South Georgia

  • Overview
    Explore Ushuaia before embarking on the cruise portion of your once in a lifetime adventure. In this diverse expedition, you’ll experience the spectacular flora and fauna of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) before immersing yourself in the unique history and exquisite, rare wildlife of South Georgia. Whether you’re visiting Antarctic research stations, witnessing a sudden minke whale breach from your Zodiac, sharing a magical moment with king penguins, or celebrating crossing the Antarctic Circle with like-minded travelers and crew, you’ll know this experience will live on in you forever.
    Duration: 23 days
    Passengers: 189 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Disembarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.7x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Ushuaia, Argentina

      You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port town at the tip of South America. This Argentine town is an ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy handcrafted chocolate at a café in town.

    • Day 2 - Embarkation Day

      As the ship sets sail in the late afternoon, you will begin your Antarctic journey, passing through the Beagle Channel. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities to capture seabirds hovering overhead.

    • Day 3 - At Sea

      There are many activities to keep you engaged while we’re at sea. You can take advantage of the library of books available on your ship, chat with your shipmates at the bar, or spend time out on deck, admiring the sea. Your Expedition Team will also conduct a series of presentations to familiarize yourself with how to prepare for Zodiac cruises and shore landings.

    • Day 4/5 - Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

      The Falkland archipelago contains two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, which you will explore thanks to Zodiac excursions and daily landings. These rugged islands have a frontier feel to them. This is especially true of the largest settlement, Stanley, an interesting British outpost–type place, where you could just as easily wander into a pub as you could a church or museum.

      Have your camera handy, as your wildlife sightings in the Falklands (Malvinas) should include at least three species of penguins, plus two endemic bird species—Cobb’s wren and the Falkland’s flightless steamer duck.

      Your team of lecturers and specialists will be sure to educate you on the local flora and fauna so that you have the most memorable time.

    • Day 6/7 - At Sea

      En route to South Georgia, you’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence, an invisible biological boundary unique to Antarctica. This meeting of oceans is what creates the abundance of krill and marine life that attracts large cetaceans, such as humpback whales, to the area.

    • Day 8/11 - South Georgia

      Evidence of the old whaling and sealing heyday is still found throughout the island. You’ll be surprised to learn that whale and seal populations were once decimated here. Today, their populations are strong, with massive rookeries to be seen.

      One significant and historic site that will be of interest is the grave of the great explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Your visit to his gravesite at the Grytviken settlement, also home to an old whaling station and a research station, is a day for reflecting on what it must have been like to be one of the first explorers of this unforgiving yet beautiful environment.

      Although South Georgia’s history is an important attraction to the island, it is the wildlife that you and your shipmates will likely find most captivating. Often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles, South Georgia contains an exceptional quantity of wildlife. Each landing you make on the island will open your eyes to a new wonder: one day you may see rookeries with hundreds of thousands of pairs of king penguins waddling on a beach; the next day you may visit another beach dotted with thousands of fur or elephant seals.

      The grasses, mountains and beaches of South Georgia all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different bird and animal species. Your Expedition Team will be happy to share its knowledge of how these vulnerable relationships all play out on the island.

    • Day 12/13 - 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 your Expedition Team, who will cover everything from the history and geology of Antarctica to tips on identifying different species and what makes each of them unique.

    • Day 14/16 - South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

      The experience is hard to put into words, but the most common reaction upon reaching 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, and the next moment 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 every day. Perhaps you’ll catch sight of the fearless penguin eater, the leopard seal, or maybe you’ll come eye to eye with a curious minke whale while you are cruising in 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); if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, a little shock therapy courtesy of a Polar Plunge might be what you need!

    • Day 17/18 - Antarctic Circle

      Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula do not come close to reaching this far south.

      As you toast the first explorers who ventured here, you can raise a glass of champagne and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, where there is the potential for fantastic iceberg sightings.

    • Day 19/20 - Northbound Along the Peninsula

      If you haven’t had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you’ll surely be satisfied by the time you return to the Drake Passage. You will continue to journey onto land by Zodiac twice daily as you travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula.

      Your Expedition Team will always be on the lookout for species of penguins, seals and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south.

    • Day 21/22 - 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 approval on your Antarctic adventure.

    • Day 23 - Disembark in Ushuaia

      Today you’ll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and fellow travelers, disembarking in the morning to catch your homeward flights.

    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

    Camping

    Not very many people have the opportunity to say they’ve camped on the 7th Continent. This is one of the best ways to experience Antarctica in a more intimate manner, and take your expedition to the next level.

    Camping is available on most Antarctic voyages and has a limited number of spots. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided.

    AUD 410 per person

    Kayaking

    Kayaking is probably one of the most intimate and inspiring ways you can explore the rugged coastlines and calm bays of the Polar regions.

    Kayaking in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent, however we guarantee at least one outing throughout your voyage, but your kayak guides will take you out as many times as possible throughout your voyage.

    AUD 1,370 per person

    Wandering Albatross

    Spectacular in flight and on the ground, with the largest wingspan of any bird on the planet; gracefully and effortlessly glides for thousands of kilometres across the Southern Ocean to their nesting site on South Georgia.

    South Georgia; Wildlife Mecca

    Walk amidst tens of thousands of king penguins on a single beach. Hike in the footsteps of ‘the Boss’, Sir Ernest Shackleton and hear his tale of survival.

    The great Antarctic Safari

    No matter which itinerary you choose to undertake, you are destined to spot a wonderful array of wildlife, including sea elephants and sea lions, Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals, and Minke, killer and humpback whales and the magnificent wandering albatrosses.

  • Inclusions

    Expedition Gear

    Comfortable expedition boots and a high quality expedition parka, specifically designed for the polar regions.

    Transfers & Accommodation

    You arrival and departure transfers are included in your expedition, as is the first nights accommodation at the cruise hotel

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Comprehensive pre-departure information
    - Emergency evacuation insurance up to USD$100 000 per person
    - All services and port taxes
    - Photographic journal
    - Accommodation and all meals on board
    - Pre-cruise accommodation at the starting point of your itinerary
    - All shore excursions and lectures
    - Hot beverages

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Massage services
    - Gratuities
    - Internet and Wifi expenses
    - Bar expenses
    - Laundry expenses
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Passport and Visa expenses
    - Airfares unless stated in the itinerary
  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 05 at 3.44.35 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    OCEAN DIAMOND

    The Ocean Diamond is a modern, stable super-yacht, and one of the largest of our small expedition ships. Carrying a maximum of 189 passengers, and with two stabilizers and an ice-strengthened hull, this outstanding vessel is ideal for polar expeditions. As one of the fastest, and most eco-friendly ships in Antarctica, it is also one of the most comfortable. There are 101 elegantly designed cabins and suites, all with exterior views, and expansive common spaces, a club lounge, and a spacious restaurant. The ship offers numerous adventure options, plus on-board features such as interactions with photography instructors. After a full day of exploration, passengers can relax, browse books or DVDs in the well-stocked polar library, or enjoy stunning polar scenery from the sun-lit, panoramic observation lounge.

    Features & Facilities
    • Elegantly appointed
    • Eco-friendly ship
    • Lounge/ Dining Room
    • Theatre-style auditorium
    • Massage therapy
    • Library
    • Internet/Wifi
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 4
    Guests #: 189
    Crew #: 144
    Ice Class: 1D
    Speed: 15
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 124m
    Width: 16
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 8282
    Registry: Bahamas
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates

Triple Cabin

17 Dec 2017 - 08 Jan 2018
Features 1 x Upper and 2 x Lower bunks, private facilties and a porthole
AUD 18,600pp
AUD 18,600pp

Twin Obst' View

17 Dec 2017 - 08 Jan 2018
Twin or double bedding, private facilities and a window
AUD 27,500pp
AUD 27,500pp

Twin Window

17 Dec 2017 - 08 Jan 2018
Twin or double bedding, private facilities and a window
AUD 28,700pp
AUD 28,700pp

Suite

17 Dec 2017 - 08 Jan 2018
Twin or double bed, private facilities and 2 windows
AUD 31,900pp
AUD 31,900pp

Single Obst View

17 Dec 2017 - 08 Jan 2018
1 double bed, private facilities and a window
AUD 34,300pp
AUD 34,300pp

Single Porthole

17 Dec 2017 - 08 Jan 2018
2 double bed, private facilities and a window
AUD 34,300pp
AUD 34,300pp

Balcony Suite

17 Dec 2017 - 08 Jan 2018
Twin or double bed, private facilities, window and private balcony
AUD 36,800pp
AUD 36,800pp