Akademik vavilov fly cruise falkland islands south georgia and antarctica expedition cruise

South Georgia in Depth

  • Overview

    Travel to South Georgia and visit hundreds of thousands of king penguins on this unrivalled itinerary to explore South Georgia and its staggering wildlife. South Georgia hosts the most wildlife per square meter in the world. On this expedition cruise, you can see 100,000 king penguins, fur seals, whales and albatross. Spend seven days in South Georgia, more than ever before to immerse into the 'Serengeti of the Southern Ocean'. Traditionally, our visits to South Georgia last only three or four days and are part of a much longer itinerary that 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. 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. For lovers of remote, small-ship expedition cruising, this voyage ticks all the boxes.

    Duration: 15 days
    Passengers: 96 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Punta Arenas, Chile
    Disembarkation Point: Punta Arenas, 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 this morning in Punta Arenas. Here we board our scheduled flight to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. After a short 90-minute journey we are met on arrival and transferred to the pier. Stanley is home to just over 2,000 residents and is reminiscent of a rural town in coastal Britain. It is charming with brightly coloured houses, pretty flower-filled gardens, a quaint cathedral and several local pubs. There is time to explore the town before embarkation. Excitement is in the air as we cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.

      IMPORTANT JOINING INSTRUCTIONS:
      You will need to arrive in Punta Arenas at least one day prior to the scheduled departure date. This gives you a buffer in the event of any unexpected travel delays between home and voyage embarkation and departure. From Punta Arenas we fly to Stanley (Falkland Islands) where we board the
      expedition ship and commence our journey. At the conclusion of the voyage we return to Stanley and fly back to Punta Arenas. (Flights are included). For guests staying in Punta Arenas, an arrival a transfer is provided from the airport to a central downtown location. (Onward flight connections to Santiago are available). Full joining instructions will be provided in your final 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 - Punta Arenas; Disembarkation

      In the early morning, we navigate through the narrows and into the harbour of Port Stanley. A transfer will take us to the airport for our return flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile (this flight is included in the price of your voyage). It will be possible to connect to flights to Santiago or other
      destinations in Chile. Otherwise, enjoy a night in Punta Arenas, 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

    Snowshoeing

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

    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.

    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

    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
    724
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    AKADEMIK VAVILOV

    Akademik Sergey Vavilov is the near identical sister-ship to Akademik Ioffe. Built in Rauma (Finland) these Baltic Class 1A (Canadian Type B) ice strengthened ships are the leaders in their class. They are the pride of the polar fleet featuring first class amenities catering to the demands of today’s most discerning guests. A separate lounge and bar with panoramic views, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax or catch up on some reading. A selection of movies and documentaries can also be watched in the lounge. The sumptuous meals prepared for you by our culinary team are enjoyed in our dining room, which can host all passengers in a single seating and will keep you feeling healthy and strong for the myriad of activities offered throughout the voyage. Other facilities include the theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, fitness room, massage room, hot water spa, sauna and plunge pool. There’s also a dedicated expedition ‘mud-room’ where you prepare for your off-ship excursions.

    Features & Facilities
    • Superior accommodation
    • 360 degree observation decks
    • Lounge & Bar with panoramic views
    • Theatre style presentation room
    • Wellness Centre; Gym
    • Massage services
    • Hot water spa
    • Sauna
    • Plunge Pool
    • Expedition mud room
    • Digital photography lab
    • Internet/Wifi
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 3
    Guests #: 96
    Crew #: 65
    Ice Class: 1A
    Speed: 14
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 1988
    Length: 117m
    Width: 18
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 6230
    Registry: Russia
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates
akademik vavilov triple cabin

Triple

03 Nov 2018 - 17 Nov 2018
Triple berth cabin with shared facilities
USD 9,895pp
USD 8,895pp

Twin Semi-Private

03 Nov 2018 - 17 Nov 2018
Twin cabin with semi-private facilities
USD 11,995pp
USD 10,995pp

Twin Private

03 Nov 2018 - 17 Nov 2018
Twin cabin with private facilities
USD 13,195pp
USD 12,195pp

Superior Twin

03 Nov 2018 - 17 Nov 2018
Twin cabin with private facilities
USD 14,095pp
USD 13,095pp

Shackleton Suite

03 Nov 2018 - 17 Nov 2018
Double cabin with private facilities
USD 15,995pp
USD 14,995pp

One Ocean Suite

03 Nov 2018 - 17 Nov 2018
Suite with double bed, private facilities and a host of luxuries
USD 17,695pp
USD 16,695pp