ushuaia south georgia and antarctica cruise

Classic South Georgia

  • Overview
    This voyage will offer a special itinerary which will give you 6 days for an in-depth exploration of the unique beauty and wildlife of South Georgia including the chance to visit the most important breeding site for Wandering Albatross, Prion Island. We also plan to visit Elephant Island and one of the South Shetland Islands on the return to Ushuaia.
    Duration: 20 days
    Passengers: 88 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Disembarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.5x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Ushuaia; Embarkation Day

      In the afternoon we will board the USHUAIA. A welcome drink and then an introduction to the crew and expedition staff will follow, and we will have time to get to know our new shipmates. The ship will then set sail towards the Western Falkland Islands (Malvinas), known for their rugged beauty and wealth of seabirds and waterfowl.

    • Day 2 - At Sea

      The open bridge policy on the USHUAIA allows us to join the officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for marine life, and enjoy the views of the open ocean. These waters are also home to an interesting group of seabirds, which often ride the currents created in the wake of the ship, such as albatrosses and petrels. Join the expedition staff and naturalists on deck whilst we are at sea as we search for seabirds and other local wildlife, such as orcas and dolphins. An interesting selection of lectures will help us to prepare for our first excursions in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).

    • Day 3 - Western Falkland Islands (Malvinas)

      With favorable conditions, our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you on your first excursion on October 15, 2017. On the western coast we might visit the following islands:

      West Point Island

      West Point Island lies off the most north-westerly point of mainland West Falkland (Malvinas). The attractive settlement sits on the edge of a small harbor on the eastern side of the Island, in the lee of Black Bog Hill and Michael´s Mount. The valley between these two peaks rolls over the center of the island to the dramatic Devil´s Nose, one of the Island´s main attractions. From here visitors are treated to splendid views of Cliff Mountain, the Island´s highest point at 1,250 ft (381 m), and the highest cliffs in the Falklands (Malvinas). This is where we will encounter a vast colony of Rockhopper Penguins and Black-browed Albatrosses, nesting together in close vicinity.

      Carcass Island

      Carcass Island lies to the north-west of the Falklands archipelago (Malvinas). A mature tussac plantation covers much of the lower ground below Jason Hill to the east. The availability of abundant cover and the absence of cats, rats and mice throughout the island have made for a spectacularly large population of small birds, which is one of Carcass Island´s most delightful features. Gentoo and Magellanic Penguins do also nest here. Peale´s and Commerson´s dolphins come frequently close to the shoreline to get a glimpse of the visitors as well. At the settlement with its beautiful gardens, we are invited to enjoy tea and cookies with the locals.

      Overnight we will sail around the northern islands of the archipelago in easterly direction to reach the capital, Stanley, in the following morning.

    • Day 4 - Eastern Falkland Islands (Malvinas) - At Sea

      In the morning hours we will have time to explore the quaint little town of Stanley and its wonderful Museum, souvenir shops and pubs. The town was established in the early 1840´s. Isolation and the weather conditions made life hard, but progress was gradual and punctuated by the extremely eventful times of involvement in two world wars.

      For those who are more interested in the outstanding wildlife the Islands have to offer, you do not even have to leave town to enjoy it. Southern Giant Petrels often fly close to the shoreline. The endemic Falkland Steamer Ducks abound on the shorelines while Kelp Gulls can often be seen flying together with Dolphin Gulls. The less obvious but frequent visitors to Stanley area are Black-crowned Night Herons, Red-backed Hawks and Peregrine Falcons. Turkey Vultures are regularly seen on top of any prominent building. Many pairs of Upland Geese frequent the park and it might be nice to take a stroll around the gardens of town to see some of the singing birds as well.

      In the early afternoon it is time to set sail, heading for South Georgia.

    • Day 5/6 - At Sea

      An extensive lecture program will be offered during the days at sea. Expert naturalists share their knowledge of the wildlife and unique ecosystems we will encounter throughout our voyage. South Georgia is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and inspiring places on earth with more wildlife than virtually anywhere else on the planet.

    • Day 7 - At Sea - South Georgia

      South Georgia will come in sight! Though extremely isolated, it has amazing scenery ranging from high mountains and mighty glaciers to deep fjords and low-lying grassland. We would aim to visit the following sites:

      Elsehul

      Situated at the northwestern extremity of South Georgia on the eastern side of the knife-edged summit ridges of Parydian Peninsula, Elsehul is a beautiful little harbour. It is the only visitor site on the island, where colonies of Black-browed and Grey-headed Albatrosses can be viewed from zodiacs within the protection of sheltered inshore waters.

      Right Whale Bay

      Right Whale Bay is a bay 1.5 miles (2.4 km) wide, entered between Craigie Point and Nameless Point along the north coast of South Georgia. The name dates back to at least 1922, when South Georgia was still a centre for commercial whaling. Today we hope to encounter a small colony of King Penguins, along with Giant Petrels, gulls and breeding elephant seals on the black ashen beach.

    • Day 8/12 - South Georgia

      Our exact itinerary will depend on local land and sea conditions but the following destinations are among those that we would like to explore:

      Sometimes called the "Serengeti of the South", Salisbury Plain is a wildlife site without parallel. Several large glaciers provide a dramatic backdrop for the tens of thousands of King Penguins that nest in the tussac grass of this remarkable ecosystem. The wide beach makes for excellent walking as we visit the colony, where we are literally surrounded and delightfully outnumbered by throngs of curious, gentle penguins. Elephant and fur seals also abound, as well as Southern Giant Petrels and the occasional wandering Gentoo Penguin. Prepare for an awe-inspiring experience, as the elephant seals are giving birth on the beaches.

      Prion Island is a beautiful tussac-grass covered islet. If we are lucky we will get the opportunity to see a breeding colony of Wandering Albatross on top of it. We will climb to the summit on a wooden boardwalk, which takes us close to their nests and offers comfortable viewing platforms.

      Grytviken lies within King Edward Cove, a sheltered harbor tucked between Hope Point and Hobart Rock on the western shore of Cumberland East Bay. The rusting ruins of the Grytviken whaling station are situated on a level plain at the head of the cove, backed by steep hills and mountains. Now the site of the South Georgia Museum, the station remains a focal point of interest for many visitors, as does Sir Ernest Shackleton´s grave in the nearby whaler´s cemetery and his memorial cross on Hope Point.

      The scenery in this area is exceptionally beautiful even by South Georgia standards: the glaciers and snow covered peaks of the Allardyce Range - Mt. Sugartop, Mt. Paget, Mt. Roots, Nordenskjöld Peak, Mt. Kling and Mt. Brooker - form a magnificent backdrop to the cove, and the views from King Edward Point in particular, must be among the finest on earth.

      Situated 9km east of Cumberland East Bay on the eastern shores of Barff Peninsula, Godthul is a 3km long inlet that lies between Cape George and Long Point. Gentoo Penguins are abundant on the tussac plateau and Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses echo off the natural cliff amphitheater that encircles the harbor. A floating factory ship serviced by two whale catchers was stationed here each summer between 1908 and 1929. A small shore depot supporting the whaling operations was established close by the stream in the southeast corner of the harbor, and the rusting barrels, wooden shed and boats are fascinating relics of the whaling era, as is the impressive collection of whale and elephant seal bones scattered along the beach.

      The surf beaten coastline at St. Andrews Bay runs north-south in a 1.86 mile (3 km) long uninterrupted sweep of fine dark sand, covered in penguins and seals and bounded in the interior by the Cook, Buxton and Heaney Glaciers. The bay hosts the biggest colony of King Penguins on South Georgia. Early in the season, the beach is also carpeted with fur and elephant seals. Such a large assemblage of wildlife attracts an entourage of persistent and voracious scavengers. Sheathbills dart in and around the penguin colony. Cape Petrels nest in a small number on the cliffs north of St. Andrews Bay. Leopard seals patrol the rocks at this end of the beach too, hunting for penguins along the edge of kelp beds. A few White-chinned Petrels and Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses nest on the tussac slopes. Brown Skuas and Antarctic Terns breed on the outwash plain and scree slopes at the north end of the beach, defending their nest sites with their characteristic noise and vigor.

      Cooper Bay is found at the southeast extremity of South Georgia. There is a wealth of wildlife at this site, in a spectacular setting. Chinstrap, Gentoo and maybe one or two Macaroni Penguins dot the tussac slopes and there are plenty of fur seals on the beaches. Fascinating volcanic rocks tower over small fjords, giving a stunning invitation for a thrilling zodiac cruise to watch wildlife from the waterfront.

      Drygalski Fjord is also located in the far south east of the island. The glaciers found in this dramatic fjord have retreated significantly in recent decades, but they still remain one of the most striking features of this coastline, particularly the Risting and Jenkins Glaciers. With a little luck, we might see the glaciers calve and witness the birth of a new iceberg from on board the ship.

    • Day 13/14 - At Sea

      We spend the next two days crossing the Scotia Sea towards the Antarctic Peninsula offering opportunities to be out on deck, catch up on some reading, check through and edit our photos, or simply reflect on the magical experiences of the last days on South Georgia. Lectures and other activities will be offered throughout these days.

    • Day 15 - Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands

      We hope to have a chance to visit the enigmatic Elephant Island. Sir Ernest Shackleton fans will need no introduction to this historic windswept island. In 1916 Shackleton was forced to leave 22 of his men stranded on these shores, while he and five others embarked on an unbelievable last-ditch rescue attempt. What followed is one of the greatest rescue stories of all time. Every passenger will return with a greater knowledge of this gripping tale of adventure in a truly remarkable part of the world.

    • Day 16 - At Sea - Antarctic Peninsula: Antarctic Sound

      Our expedition team will prepare you for our experience in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands.

      Later today, we hope to arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula in the area of the scenic Antarctic Sound. Here we will try to land at one of the following landing sites:

      We will try to sail the passage to the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula, which traverses the Antarctic Sound and runs northwest-to-southeast. Hope Bay and the Argentine Station Esperanza are located on the western side of the Sound.

      Brown Bluff, a promontory on the Tabarin Peninsula, is located south of Hope Bay. Both of them might be possible landing sites. The Weddell Sea represents the center of the Peninsula´s Adélie Penguin population.

    • Day 17 - Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands

      In the area of the Antarctic Sound, depending on ice conditions, we will try to visit one of the following sites:

      Deception is the largest of three recent volcanic centers in the South Shetlands. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing. Once inside, the rising slope of the black, cinder-covered volcanic rim can be walked uphill to a rather spectacular vantage point.

      This crescent-shaped island, in the entrance of Moon Bay between Greenwich and Livingston Islands, is home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.

    • Day 18/19 - At Sea

      We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales. We will also enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures we have had over the past days.

    • Day 20 - Ushuaia; Disembarkation

      We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.

    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

    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

    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.

    Penguins

    Taking centre stage on your Antarctic Peninsula expedition, are the Brushtail penguin species. These photogenic and intriguing species include, Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie penguins. The species are in abundance across Peninsula and are always performing.

    On board voyages in our other details you may come across Rockhopper, Macaroni, Magellanic, King and Emperor penguins.

    Shoot to your shutter's content!

    For aspiring photographers, the best time to shoot the Antarctic landscape is definitely October, November and March. At these times the sun is much lower in the sky and thus creates beautiful twilight hues and shadows, which contrast the landscape magnificently.

    Of course, if it is wildlife and Antarctica’s babies you are hoping to shoot, then January and February are the best times. Alternatively, consider an early season South Georgia & Antarctica expedition for the best of wildlife and photo opportunities in Antarctica.

  • Inclusions

    All meals on board

    On board your expedition all meals are included and prepared by our chefs. Meals are prepared to a restaurant standard and to cater for most diet requirements.

    All Zodiac excursions

    During the course of your expedition, you will have direct access to our onboard expedition team. Our expedition team members are a wealth of information, they have backgrounds in exploration and adventure or science based backgrounds. Our teams will usually comprise of naturalists, historians, geologists and ornithologists.

    During your expedition these team members will expertly guide you off the ship and provide you with first hand knowledge about the geology and wildlife of the region. Back on board the vessel, the team members will hold lectures about their studies or perhaps the wildlife that was seen during the course of the day.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Detailed post-voyage log
    - Port charges
    - Comprehensive pre-departure material
    - All shore excursions and lectures
    - All accommodation and meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Gratuities
    - Internet & Wifi
    - Bar & beverage charges
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Arrival and departure taxes
    - Passport & Visa fees
    - Transfers to/from the vessel
    - Pre and post-cruise land arrangements
    - Any airfares
  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 05 at 3.41.52 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    USHUAIA

    Originally built for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), the ice-strengthened polar vessel USHUAIA is very well appointed and provides ample deck space and an open bridge policy. The full complement of inflatable landing craft ensures superb landings and wildlife viewing opportunities on the otherwise inaccessible coastline. All cabins include ample storage space. Public areas feature a large dining room (one sitting), an open-plan observation lounge / lecture room with modern multimedia equipment, bar and a well-stocked library. There is also a changing room and a small infirmary. Our expert captain, officers and crew are highly experienced in Antarctic navigation and have a great love of nature. We provide a specialist team of international expedition leaders and lecturers, all extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, helpful and dedicated to the protection of the environment. Our chefs prepare excellent cuisine including many local specialties and the bar is well-stocked with carefully selected wines and spirits.

    Features & Facilities
    • Comfortable accommodation
    • Large observation decks
    • Open bridge
    • Dining room
    • Observation lounge
    • Lecture room
    • Bar
    • Library
    • Internet
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 3
    Guests #: 84
    Crew #: 38
    Ice Class: 1C
    Speed: 12
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 84m
    Width: 15
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 2923
    Registry: Comoros
    Elec Outlets: 110V / 2 Flat Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates

Standard Plus Triple

13 Oct 2017 - 01 Nov 2017
Triple cabin with private facilities
USD 8,490pp
USD 8,490pp

Standard Twin

13 Oct 2017 - 01 Nov 2017
Twin cabin, with semi-shared facilities
USD 9,100pp
USD 9,100pp

Standard Plus

13 Oct 2017 - 01 Nov 2017
Twin cabin with private facilities and a window
USD 11,590pp
USD 11,590pp

Premier Twin

13 Oct 2017 - 01 Nov 2017
Premier cabin with twin beds, private facilities and window.
USD 13,790pp
USD 13,790pp

Superior Twin

13 Oct 2017 - 01 Nov 2017
Superior cabin with 2 lower berths, private facilities and window
USD 14,590pp
USD 14,590pp

Suite

13 Oct 2017 - 01 Nov 2017
Suite have a seperate sitting area, private facilities, windows and can accommodate up to 3 guests
USD 15,330pp
USD 15,330pp

Premier Single

13 Oct 2017 - 01 Nov 2017
A dedicate single cabin, with private facilities and window
USD 16,550pp
USD 16,550pp