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: 17 days
    Passengers: 96 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Punta Arenas, 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 - 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 4/6 - 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 the ship 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.

    • Day 7/9 - Fortuna Bay, Stromness, Grytviken & 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. Frank Wild’s lifelong wish was to be buried beside Shackleton. However his wish never materialized due to the outbreak of WWII, a week after Wild’s passing in South Africa. Our voyage falls exactly five years following the transport of Wild’s ashes to South Georgia aboard our ship, and some 97 years after his last voyage with Shackleton in 1921.

    • Day 10/13 - 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.
      Locations may include the old whaling depot at Godthul. There is a terrific hike here up to a beautiful lake. 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. If it is calm enough you can hear the glacier calving large chunks of ice, reminders of what early sealers, whalers and vessels needed to pay close attention to. Our visit to this breathtaking place is a fitting way to complete our journey. Reflecting on ten epic days of exploration, we chart a course for South America and our final destination - Ushuaia.

    • Day 14/16 - At Seat towards Ushuaia, Argentina

      Our final days are spent catching up on journal entries, or perhaps downloading and reviewing photos in the multi-media lab with our photography expert. For some, it’s a chance to catch some well-earned rest after a busy eight days of exploration. The wonderful lounge and bar on our ship provides
      fantastic panoramas and is a great place to sit with a book and a hot drink. A particular 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. The educational presentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Take the time to enjoy a quiet moment on the outer deck and reflect on a truly remarkable journey to the farthest reaches of the planet.

    • Day 17 - Arrive Ushuaia, Argentina; Disembarkation

      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

    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
    725
  • 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
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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.
akademik ioffe triple cabin

Triple

17 Nov 2018 - 03 Dec 2018
Triple berth cabin with shared facilities
AUD$ 15,256pp
AUD$ 13,816pp
akademik ioffe twin semi private cabin

Twin Semi-Private

17 Nov 2018 - 03 Dec 2018
Twin cabin with semi-private facilities
AUD$ 18,568pp
AUD$ 17,128pp
akademik ioffe twin private cabin

Twin Private

17 Nov 2018 - 03 Dec 2018
Twin cabin with private facilities.
AUD$ 20,440pp
AUD$ 19,000pp
akademik ioffe twin superior cabin

Superior Twin

17 Nov 2018 - 03 Dec 2018
Twin cabin with private facilities
AUD$ 21,736pp
AUD$ 20,296pp
akademik ioffe shackleton suite cabin

Shackleton Suite

17 Nov 2018 - 03 Dec 2018
Double cabin with private facilities.
AUD$ 24,616pp
AUD$ 23,176pp
akademik ioffe one ocean suite cabin

One Ocean Suite

17 Nov 2018 - 03 Dec 2018
Suite with double bed, private facilities and a host of luxuries.
AUD$ 27,352pp
AUD$ 25,912pp