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The 354-ft M/V Silver Explorer is a world-renown luxury expedition ship, specifically designed and purpose-built for navigating the world’s most remote and remarkable environments. She was refurbished in 2008 and accommodates 132 passengers in a degree of “all-inclusive” luxury and superlative service unmatched by any expedition cruise line, while maintaining an onboard atmosphere equally unregimented and informal, true to the spirit of expedition travel. Silver Explorer has an ice-strengthened hull that enables her to safely push through ice floes with ease, and a knowledgeable and experienced Expedition Team that provides insight and understanding to each unforgettable Antarctic adventure. She travels at an average speed of 14 knots and has a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A).

 

Itinerary (Antarctic Peninsula)
DAY 1: Ushuaia, Argentina - Embark

Welcome to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located in the shadow of the Andes and right on the Beagle Channel! Enjoy a morning at leisure. You may opt for a cruise on the Beagle Channel, a trek in Tierra del Fuego National Park, or visit a nearby historical estancia and museum. Please contact us for your extension options in Ushuaia. In the late afternoon, head to the port of Ushuaia where you will embark your luxury Antarctic expedition vessel. Once onboard, you will settle in and attend a mandatory safety drill before leaving port.  Later that evening, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team as you bid farewell to the ‘Land at the End of the World’. (D)

DAYS 2-3: Drake Passage

The next two days are spent crossing the notorious Drake Passage. Time onboard will be spent on deck watching the horizon and the variety of seabirds that glide in the air currents of the ship’s wake, familiarizing yourself with your elegant ship and friendly Expedition Team, attending wildlife, geography and history discussions hosted by expert naturalists, and preparing yourself for the exciting adventures that lie ahead. As you venture south, you’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence, which marks the area where waters from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans meet, arriving into the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area you may see Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black- browed Albatrosses, Light- mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels. Once you cross the Antarctic Convergence, you will notice a change in the environment as colder temperatures surround you and the first icebergs come into view and you will know that the White Continent is approaching.  (B,L,D)

DAYS 4-8: Antarctic Peninsula

Remote and otherworldly, Antarctica is the modern explorer's final frontier - irresistible for its spectacular iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers, and for the possibility of up-close encounters with marine mammals. You will watch for seals sunbathing on slow-moving ice floes and for Humpback, Minke, and Orca whales to surface from below the frigid waters, and each day, conditions permitting, you will embark on Zodiac excursions to cruise amidst colorful icebergs or step ashore to visit a variety of penguin rookeries and perhaps scientific research stations. In the true spirit of expedition cruising, each day the Expedition Leader and Captain will determine the best course depending on weather, ice conditions and the wildlife you may encounter. Potential locations you may visit over the next few days include Aitcho and Deception Islands in the South Shetlands, Cuverville, Paulet, Pleneau, Petermann, Cuverville Islands, Paradise Bay, Brown Bluff, and Port Lockroy, amongst many other possibilities.
 
As you step off the Zodiac to explore Aitcho Island, it’s very likely you’ll be greeted by the locals…penguins! Penguin species here include Gentoos and Chinstraps. Other annual seabirds include the Southern Giant petrels. While heading back to the ship, you may have company as a Leopard seal or Southern Elephant seal follows alongside your group’s Zodiac. Nearby Deception Island is home to a collapsed volcano and an excellent example of a caldera where it is believed that the volcano’s summit collapsed with one section sinking far enough to allow the sea to flood the interior. Your Captain will attempt to sail inside this breached wall through a narrow entrance called Neptune’s Bellows, and the resident geologist will take the opportunity to explain the unique volcanic features of the area while the historian will introduce you to the whaling history of Deception Island. Still visible on the island are the boilers used to make whale oil in the early 1900s.
 
Brown Bluff, in the Tabarin Peninsula, is an ice-capped, 745-meter-high, flat-topped mountain with a prominent cliff of reddish-brown volcanic rock where you will find Adelie and Gentoo penguins, Kelp gulls, and Pintado petrels that use this as a breeding area. As you explore this area, a Weddell seal may be seen basking in the sunlight and you might see the Adelie penguins standing along the rocks, finally making their way into the surf. At Paulet Island, you may well be amazed by the sight of Adelie penguins covering the entire island. The island is home to 80-90 thousand Adelies that come here to breed, and on a nearby hill, you may also view a massive colony of Blue-eyed shags. Kelp gulls and Snowy sheathbills are also amongst the birds that breed here. Here your Expedition Team guide will tell of Otto Nordenskjold and his party that over-wintered on the island in 1912, with remnants of their hut still remaining. If time permits, a Zodiac cruise will be offered to view impossibly blue icebergs, Crater Lake and the Adelie penguins making themselves at home on the ice floes. 
 
In the Errera Channel, you may visit Cuverville Island, which was discovered by Gerlache’s Belgian Antarctic expedition of 1897–99. During Zodiac tours, hauled-out Weddell and Antarctic Fur seals may be seen, and during the landing you will find large, bare rock areas providing nesting sites for Gentoo penguins. Snow petrels and Pintado petrels also may be seen whilst Wilson’s storm-petrels nest in the higher scree of the island. At the south end of the Lemaire Channel, you will arrive at Pleneau Island which was first explored during Jean-Baptiste Charcot’s 1903–05 French Antarctic Expedition. The island was named for the expedition’s photographer, Paul Pleneau, and offers spectacular glacial and ice scenery. Amongst the common breeding birds you may see during a landing are Gentoo penguins, Kelp gulls and South Polar skuas, and you will likely find Southern Elephant seals that are often hauled-out in wallows. And at Petermann Island, (Wilhelm Archipelago), the onboard Geologist will take the opportunity to point out various geological features such as the many basaltic dikes along the shoreline, and the more granite composition of the small summit, where rock surfaces show glacial polish and some glacial grooving. During the landing, you will be able to observe rookeries of Adelie and Gentoo penguins and Blue-eyed shags. 
 
You will actually set foot on the continent of Antarctica at Paradise Bay, well named for its spectacular scenery of mountains, glaciers and icebergs. From the ship, you will observe Argentina’s Base Brown, one of many Antarctic research stations and as you view the wildlife from sea level while cruising in your Zodiac, there’s a good chance you’ll come across a Crabeater seal relaxing on a nearby ice floe, or your Zodiac driver may even locate a pod of Minke whales! At on the small island of Goudier, you will have the opportunity to visit Port Lockroy, which initially it served as a relief and repair base for whalers, but in 1944 during WWII, the British built a listening station here. It was then used as a research station in the 1950s, and since 1962 also as a museum, Post Office and gift shop. Snowy sheathbills and Gentoo penguins roam outside the museum and perhaps you will sight a whale or two on your Zodiac cruise. (B,L,D)

DAYS 9-10: Drake Passage

As the expedition nears its end in the Antarctica Peninsula, you’ll head back to the open sea and sail through the Drake Passage back to Ushuaia. As your captain navigates your return, you will again watch for seabirds and wildlife you may have missed on the first trip and additional presentations will be offered by the Expedition Team. (B,L,D)

DAY 11: Ushuaia - Disembark

In the early morning, you slip into dock in Ushuaia, Argentina, marking the end of your expedition. After breakfast, you will disembark the vessel, and transfer to the Ushuaia Airport or your nearby hotel. (B)

Key: (B)reakfast (L)unch (D)inner

Itinerary (Chilean Coast & Antarctica Peninsula)
DAY 1: Valparaíso, Chile - Embark

Welcome to Valparaíso – Chile’s principal port.  Please contact us for your pre-trip transfers, hotels and excursions in Santiago. Valparaíso's dramatic topography of 45 hills, overlooking the ocean requires the use of winding pathways and wooden funiculars to get up many of the grades. The slopes are covered by candy-color houses, most of which have exteriors of corrugated metal peeled from shipping containers decades ago. Today you will embark your luxury expedition ship and depart on your exciting adventure — “Patagonia, the Chilean Fjords & Antarctica”.  Once you’ve settled in and attended a mandatory safety briefing, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and enjoy the first of many delightful dinners in The Restaurant. (D)

DAY 2: At Sea

A leisurely day at sea is yours to enjoy. Meet some of your fellow explorers as you discover the luxurious amenities aboard your ship. Attend informative lectures and attend a Zodiac briefing led by your Expedition Team members that will prepare you for the upcoming ports-of-call and the many adventures that lie ahead. In the comfort of your suite, relax and watch a movie on the in-suite interactive television. (B,L,D)

DAYS 3: Niebla, Chile

Niebla is a small village on the banks of the Rio Valdivia where Chile’s Corral Bay meets the Pacific Ocean. Today Niebla is a beach resort, but in 1671 was a defensive fortress built by Spanish conquerors to prevent attacks from pirates and corsairs. This morning you will travel to the charming river port city of Valdivia, where you’ll find an interesting blend of influences from the native Mapuche, Spanish settlers, and German immigrants. Your destination is the Historical and Anthropological Museum Maurice Van der Maele that houses a collection of Mapuche artifacts and jewelry, as well as important pieces from Hispanic and German periods. The first German colonists arrived here in 1849 and worked hard to develop Valdivia into one of one of southern Chile’s most productive areas and their influence can be felt in every corner of this city. (B,L,D)

DAYS 4: Castro, Chiloé Island, Chile

Chiloé Island is home to an amazing collection of 150 Jesuit-carved wooden churches, houses raised up on poles out of the water, and more than 400 native plant varieties. Your Captain will drop anchor and you will go ashore via Zodiac. From Castro, you’ll head south to the picturesque village of Dalcahue. On the way, glimpse the colorful hamlet of Llaullao with houses roofed with tejuelas. After a brief ferry ride to Quinchao, you will pass through Curaco de Velez. This tiny village of approximately 500 inhabitants had its best times around 1850 when cattle raisers and whalers lived here. Today, beautiful houses remain as a testament to these better times. Another highlight of this village is the coastal avenue where it is sometimes possible to see Black-necked Swans. Just ahead, you arrive in Achao, which was founded by the Jesuits in 1743 and now has almost 2,500 inhabitants. Achao is a lively town with boats arriving every day from all the surrounding islands. While here, you will visit the Jesuit’s Achao Church, the oldest wooden structure in Chiloé and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Constructed in 1730, it contains beautiful baroque imagery. Afterwards, you cross Achao’s main square to enjoy a snack and typical local music before returning to Dalcahue. Here you will visit the well-preserved Dalcahue Church with its galvanized iron roof. Carved by Jesuits from locally grown Patagonian cypress, larch and luma trees, the detailing and precision are amazing. It was declared a World Heritage site in 2000. Alternatively, visit Chiloé National Park, located on the western coast of Chiloé Island. It encompasses an area of 430.57 km² and includes dunes, temperate rainforests, swamps, and peat bogs. The park’s warm and humid climate contributes to the existence of the evergreen forest, which is made up mostly of terebinth shrubs, coigüe, luma, myrtle, tepú and larch. The fauna includes fox, sea lion, mountain monkey, sea otter, opossum, pudú, finch, and the Patagonian woodpecker. Some of these species are endemic, due to the insular nature of this island. Your walk here will take you along the El Tepual Trail through evergreen tepú forest. (B,L,D)

DAYS 5: Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

Puerto Chacabuco is the entrance to Chile’s most isolated region, Region XI or Region Aysén del General Carlos Ibañez del Campo. The third-largest of Chile’s 15 regions, it is the least inhabited. As the border with Argentina was only clearly delineated in 1902, the settlers to the area came to exploit the regions natural resources quite late compared to the other regions. Land was given to sheep and cattle-raising companies, while coastal settlements mainly exported timber. Puerto Chacabuco is the only commercial port — it gained importance as the earlier port and town of Puerto Aysén was gradually landlocked by silt coming down the river Aysén. The bridge spanning the river is a National Monument and Chile’s longest suspension bridge. Puerto Chacabuco’s 1600 inhabitants live off fishing, cultivating seafood (mainly salmon fish-farms), and to some extent eco-tourism. Because of the predominant westerlies, the coastal area has a cool maritime climate with 3000mm of rain. The evergreen Magellanic forest is present in the vicinity of Puerto Chacabuco and during the morning you will visit an ecological park to hike and to get a closer look at the typical flora (coigue de Magallanes, leña dura, canelo, and several types of cypress and fuchsia). Pumas and Huemuls (the world’s southernmost deer — one of Chile’s heraldic animals and declared a “Natural Monument of Chile”) still exist, but are very difficult to find, considering the vast extension of the region. (B,L,D)

DAYS 6: English Narrows

Early this morning, be out on deck to watch as your ship heads towards the English Narrows. Your Captain and local Chilean Pilots expertly maneuver the ship through the slalom course of islands and channel markers. During this time, you may spot Magellanic Diving Petrels and Steamer Ducks, and if you are very lucky, you may even spot the endemic Chilean dolphin. Shy of ships, this small dolphin enjoys spending its time in narrow channels with heavy tidal rips. You should pass the English Narrows during lunch time — although you can see the Narrows from the Restaurant, you really should be out on deck. (B,L,D)

DAY 7: Pio XI Glacier, Chile

In the early morning you will visit the Pio XI Glacier. This tidewater glacier sprawled out in front of you is 4.5 km wide and a remarkable shade of brilliant blue. An outlet glacier of the South Patagonian Ice Field, the Pio XI had once extended out into the fjords whose waters you cruise today. Conditions permitting, you will board a Zodiac and dodge brash ice and bergy bits as you approach the glacier at a safe distance. Alert for signs of calving, you may see small chunks of ice falling from the glacier front. (B,L,D)

DAY 8: Chilean Fjords, Chile
Your course will take you through the vast expanse of the Chilean Fjords with mountains looming on both sides of you. You will marvel at the hardy flora trying to cling to the barren rocks may even spot the seals and dolphins that can occasionally be seen. The whole region of the fjords is so inhospitable that only one single settlement exists. The on-board historian will entertain you with tales of early Spanish exploration, or perhaps you might want to attend a talk about the region’s geology. Birders will want to see which species choose to live in this area. Further south, Andean Condors should majestically soar above the hills and mountains. Perhaps you will have the chance to see one of the tiny fishing-boats coming out of Punta Arenas, trading for some of their locally caught fish or king crab. (B,L,D)
DAY 9: Punta Arenas, Chile
Established as a small penal colony in 1848, Punta Arenas today is the capital of Chile’s southernmost region “Magallanes and Antarctic Chile”. The city has grown in the 19th century because of a gold rush and extensive sheep-farming. Before the building of the Panama Canal the Strait of Magellan was of prime importance to navigation and Punta Arenas still is the entrance for Antarctica for South America’s west coast. Depart today from the pier for an exploration of the city of Punta Arenas, stopping at the observation point of La Cruz Hill for a wide view of the city and the Strait of Magellan. Continue on to the Mayorino Borgatello Museum, founded by the Salesian missionaries, where you can view exhibits illustrating the habitat and history of Patagonia’s aboriginal people and the region’s natural history. A must for any visitor to Punta Arenas is a stop at the Plaza de Armas, not only to browse for some local products and souvenirs, but to see the imposing statue of Fernando de Magallanes and to touch the toe of the Fuegian native sitting at the base of the monument. There are several stately houses at or near the Plaza de Armas that relate to famous expeditions to Antarctica, and a local entrepreneur has even rebuilt Magellan’s ship Victoria. During the afternoon your Captain will once again take the Strait of Magellan, this time to enter the Pacific Ocean heading for the Drake Passage. (B,L,D)
DAY 10/11: Drake Passage
The next two days are spent crossing the Drake Passage, notorious for its reputation of turbulent seas due to the Antarctic Convergence, a natural boundary where cold polar water meets waters from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, and causing the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. When they meet, nutrients are pushed to the surface, often attracting a multitude of seabirds and whales. You will spend some time on deck watching the horizon and the variety of seabirds that glide in the air currents of your ship’s wake such as Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black- browed Albatrosses, Light- mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels. Once you cross the Antarctic Convergence, you will notice a change in the environment as colder temperatures surround you and the first icebergs come into view and you will know that the White Continent is approaching. During the crossing, you may visit the Bridge and meet your Captain and officers and attend wildlife, geography and history discussions hosted by the expert naturalists and guest lecturers that will prepare you for the exciting adventures that lie ahead. Have your camera ready to capture the magical color of a midnight sunset.  (B,L,D)
DAY 12-16: Antarctic Peninsula
Remote and otherworldly, Antarctica is the modern explorer's final frontier - irresistible for its spectacular iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers, and for the possibility of up-close encounters with marine mammals. You will watch for seals sunbathing on slow-moving ice floes and for Humpback, Minke, and Orca whales to surface from below the frigid waters, and each day, conditions permitting, you will embark on Zodiac excursions to cruise amidst colorful icebergs or step ashore to visit a variety of penguin rookeries and perhaps scientific research stations. In the true spirit of expedition cruising, each day the Expedition Leader and Captain will determine the best course depending on weather, ice conditions and the wildlife you may encounter. Potential locations you may visit over the next few days include Brown Bluff, Paulet, Cuverville, Pleneau and Petermann Islands, Paradise Bay, and Port Lockroy, and the South Shetlands, amongst many other possibilities.
 
Brown Bluff, in the Tabarin Peninsula, is an ice-capped, 745-meter-high, flat-topped mountain with a prominent cliff of reddish-brown volcanic rock where you will find Adelie and Gentoo penguins, Kelp gulls, and Pintado petrels that use this as a breeding area and birds such as the all-white Snow Petrel and skuas may be seen from a distance. As you explore this area, a Weddell seal may be seen basking in the sunlight and you might see the Adelie penguins standing along the rocks, finally making their way into the surf. At Paulet Island, you may well be amazed by the sight of Adelie penguins covering the entire island. The island is home to 80-90 thousand Adelies that come here to breed, and on a nearby hill, you may also view a massive colony of Blue-eyed shags. Kelp gulls and Snowy sheathbills are also amongst the birds that breed here and Wilson’s Storm-petrels are regularly spotted. Here your Expedition Team guide will tell of Otto Nordenskjold and his party that over-wintered on the island in 1912, with remnants of their hut still remaining. If time permits, hike to Crater Lake or take a Zodiac cruise to view impossibly blue icebergs and the Adelie penguins making themselves at home on the ice floes.
 
In the Errera Channel, you may visit Cuverville Island, which was discovered by Gerlache’s Belgian Antarctic expedition of 1897–99, and was named for a vice admiral in the French navy. During Zodiac tours, hauled-out Weddell and Antarctic Fur seals may be seen, and during the landing you will find large, bare rock areas providing nesting sites for Gentoo penguins. Snow petrels and Pintado petrels also may be seen whilst Wilson’s storm-petrels nest in the higher scree of the island. You will actually set foot on the continent of Antarctica at Paradise Bay, well named for its spectacular scenery of mountains, glaciers and icebergs. From the ship, you will observe Argentina’s “Base Almirante Brown”, one of many Antarctic research stations and as you view the wildlife from sea level while cruising in your Zodiac, there’s a good chance you’ll come across a Crabeater seal relaxing on a nearby ice floe, or your Zodiac driver may even locate a pod of Minke whales! At on the small island of Goudier, you will have the opportunity to visit Port Lockroy, which initially it served as a relief and repair base for whalers, but in 1944 during WWII, the British built a listening station here. It was then used as a research station in the 1950s, and since 1996 also as a museum, Post Office and gift shop. Snowy sheathbills and Gentoo penguins roam outside the museum and perhaps you will sight a whale or two on your Zodiac cruise.
 
In the Wilhelm Archipelago, you may visit Petermann Island, which was named for German geographer August Petermann and was first discovered by a German expedition in 1873-74. Your on-board geologist will take the opportunity to point out various geological features such as the many basaltic dikes along the shoreline and the more granite composition of the small summit, where rock surfaces show glacial polish and some glacial grooving. During your landing, you will be able to observe Blue-eyed Shags and Adelie and Gentoo Penguins rookeries. Pleneau Island, also in the Wilhelm Archipelago, lies at the south end of the Lemaire Channel, and was first explored during Charcot’s 1903–05 French Antarctic Expedition. The island was named for the expedition’s photographer, Paul Pleneau. Amongst the common breeding birds are Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls and South Polar Skuas. You will see the Gentoo Penguins during a landing and Southern Elephant seals that are often hauled-out in wallows as you enjoy spectacular glacial and ice scenery.
 
In the South Shetland Islands, your Captain will sail to Deception Island which is home to a collapsed volcano and an excellent example of a caldera. It is believed that the volcano’s summit collapsed with one section sinking far enough to allow the sea to flood the interior. Your Captain will attempt to sail inside this breached wall through a narrow entrance called Neptune’s Bellows, and the resident geologist will take the opportunity to explain the unique volcanic features of the area while the historian will introduce you to the whaling history of Deception Island. Still visible on the island are the boilers used to make whale oil in the early 1900s. The Aitcho Islands, also in the South Shetlands (just off the Antarctic Peninsula at the entrance to the English Strait) are home to penguin species including Gentoo and Chinstrap. As you step off the Zodiac to explore the island, it is very likely you will be greeted by these locals! Other annual seabirds include the Southern Giant Petrels. While heading back to the ship, you may have company as a Leopard seal or Southern Elephant seal follows alongside your group’s Zodiac. (B,L,D)
DAY 17-18: Drake Passage
As the expedition nears its end in the Antarctica Peninsula, you’ll head back to the open sea and sail through the Drake Passage back to Ushuaia. As your Captain navigates your return, you will again watch for seabirds and wildlife you may have missed on the first trip and additional presentations will be offered by the Expedition Team. (B,L,D)
DAY 19: Ushuaia, Argentina - Disembark
In the early morning, you slip into dock in Ushuaia, Argentina, marking the end of your expedition. After breakfast, you will disembark the vessel, and transfer to the Ushuaia Airport or your nearby hotel. (B)
 
Key: (B)reakfast (L)unch (D)inner
Itinerary (Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica)
DAY 1: Ushuaia, Argentina - Embark

Welcome to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located in the shadow of the Andes and right on the Beagle Channel! Enjoy a morning at leisure. You may opt for a cruise on the Beagle Channel, a trek in Tierra del Fuego National Park, or visit a nearby historical estancia and museum. Please contact us for your extension options in Ushuaia. In the late afternoon, head to the port of Ushuaia where you will embark your luxury Antarctic expedition vessel. Once onboard, you will settle in and attend a mandatory safety drill before leaving port.  Later that evening, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team as you bid farewell to the ‘Land at the End of the World’. (D)

DAY 2: At Sea

Today is spent at sea, settling into shipboard life, spending time on deck scanning for seabirds (notably the albatross), and listening to informal discussions from the naturalist staff to prepare you for the exciting adventures that lie ahead. (B,L,D)

DAYS 3-4: Falkland Islands

Today’s adventure introduces you to the remarkable beauty of the remote Falkland Islands. New Island is a wildlife and nature reserve, and its many birds and animals are protected by an environmental conservation group. Once ashore, you will have an opportunity to hike into the rocky cliffs, to a rookery where Rockhopper penguins and Blue-eyed shags share the same nesting area. You will observe Black-browed albatross going about their daily routines and may even spot Upland geese. The onboard historian will tell you about ‘Barnard's barn’ – a stone structure once belonging to an early settler, as well as the wreck of the Protector III – an old minesweeper used for seal hunting, now grounded just off the shore. In the afternoon, you’ll watch for Peale’s dolphins and the distinctive black and white markings of the Commerson’s dolphin as your ship approaches West Point Island. Upon arrival, photographic opportunities are everywhere as you walk across rolling moorland and admire colonies of Black-browed albatrosses that nest side-by-side with feisty Rockhopper penguins. You’ll learn about the island’s unique vegetation including the rare Felton plant, and the hospitable island owners are always happy to answer questions and share their stories.

Your second day will be spent exploring Stanley, which is the capital of the remote Falkland Islands and has a distinct British ambience. You will stroll through the charming streets of this colorful little town, lined with quaint cottages and a variety of traditional pubs, visit the 19th-century Anglican cathedral, and wander through the small local museum. You may spot some lingering reminders of the 1986 Falklands War between Britain and Argentina, though the island has settled back to its quiet business of raising sheep. (B,L,D)

DAYS 5-6: At Sea

The next two days are spent at sea as your Captain sets course for South Georgia. During this time, you will find yourself with binoculars and camera in hand, heading out on deck to watch for seabirds and marine mammals, gathering in The Theatre to hear fascinating tales of adventure or to learn about the region’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Other onboard diversions may include photography workshops, spa treatments, a workout in the Fitness Centre, and, of course, the exquisite dining experiences. (B,L,D)

DAYS 7-9: South Georgia Island

South Georgia is a breathtaking destination of towering snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers, and low-lying grasslands which attracts an astounding concentration of wildlife: Southern Fur seals, Southern Elephant seals and a variety of albatross species including Black-browed, Light-mantled sooty, Grey-headed and the spectacular Wandering albatross, plus thousands of King and Macaroni penguins. The island is also linked to the early Antarctic explorers as Captain James Cook first stepped ashore in 1775, but perhaps more famous is Ernest Shackleton’s arrival in 1916 following the sinking of his ship, the Endurance. Some exciting locations you will likely visit are Cooper Bay, where an unforgettable view of huge icebergs can be seen as you’ll approach. Here, you will enjoy a Zodiac cruise to see numerous breeds of penguins, such as Macaronis and Chinstraps, on the rocks and waters surrounding the island. In Gold Harbour, you will find a large King penguin colony between Weddell Glacier and Gold Harbour, and seals can be seen resting on ice floes and sunning on the beaches. Salisbury Plain is a favorite breeding ground for hundreds of thousands of king penguins, and you will be amazed to see how they completely cover the beaches and hills. At Grytviken, a historic whaling station, you will visit the burial site of the famous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, toast the great explorer and his many accomplishments and visit the whaling museum. (B,L,D)

DAYS 10-11: At Sea

The next two days are spent crossing the notorious Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula. As you venture south, you’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence, which marks the area where waters from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans meet, arriving into the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area you may see Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black- browed Albatrosses, Light- mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels. Once you cross the Antarctic Convergence, you will notice a change in the environment as colder temperatures surround you and the first icebergs come into view and you will know that the White Continent is approaching. (B,L,D)

DAY 12: Elephant Island

Awesome glaciers flecked with pink algae will greet you as your ship approaches Elephant Island – so named for its abundance of elephant seals. In 1916 when Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance was crushed in pack ice in the Weddell Sea, the crew was stranded here for 105 days. Elephant Island is home to several chinstrap penguin rookeries, as well as 2,000-year-old moss colonies. Weddell seals and macaroni penguins can also be found on the spit of land Shackleton’s men named ‘Point Wild’. (B,L,D)

DAYS 13-16: Antarctic Peninsula

Remote and otherworldly, Antarctica is the modern explorer's final frontier - irresistible for its spectacular iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers, and for the possibility of up-close encounters with marine mammals. You will watch for seals sunbathing on slow-moving ice floes and for Humpback, Minke, and Orca whales to surface from below the frigid waters, and each day, conditions permitting, you will embark on Zodiac excursions to cruise amidst colorful icebergs or step ashore to visit a variety of penguin rookeries and perhaps scientific research stations. In the true spirit of expedition cruising, each day the Expedition Leader and Captain will determine the best course depending on weather, ice conditions and the wildlife you may encounter. Potential locations you may visit over the next few days include Deception Islands in the South Shetlands, Cuverville, Paulet, and Cuverville Islands, Paradise Bay, Brown Bluff, and Port Lockroy, amongst many other possibilities.

Brown Bluff, in the Tabarin Peninsula, is an ice-capped, 745-meter-high, flat-topped mountain with a prominent cliff of reddish-brown volcanic rock where you will find Adelie and Gentoo penguins, Kelp gulls, and Pintado petrels that use this as a breeding area. As you explore this area, a Weddell seal may be seen basking in the sunlight and you might see the Adelie penguins standing along the rocks, finally making their way into the surf. At Paulet Island, you may well be amazed by the sight of Adelie penguins covering the entire island. The island is home to 80-90 thousand Adelies that come here to breed, and on a nearby hill, you may also view a massive colony of Blue-eyed shags. Kelp gulls and Snowy sheathbills are also amongst the birds that breed here. Here your Expedition Team guide will tell of Otto Nordenskjold and his party that over-wintered on the island in 1912, with remnants of their hut still remaining. If time permits, a Zodiac cruise will be offered to view impossibly blue icebergs, Crater Lake and the Adelie penguins making themselves at home on the ice floes.

In the Errera Channel, you may visit Cuverville Island, which was discovered by Gerlache’s Belgian Antarctic expedition of 1897–99. During Zodiac tours, hauled-out Weddell and Antarctic Fur seals may be seen, and during the landing you will find large, bare rock areas providing nesting sites for Gentoo penguins. Snow petrels and Pintado petrels also may be seen whilst Wilson’s storm-petrels nest in the higher scree of the island.

You will actually set foot on the continent of Antarctica at Paradise Bay, well named for its spectacular scenery of mountains, glaciers and icebergs. From the ship, you will observe Argentina’s Base Brown, one of many Antarctic research stations and as you view the wildlife from sea level while cruising in your Zodiac, there’s a good chance you’ll come across a Crabeater seal relaxing on a nearby ice floe, or your Zodiac driver may even locate a pod of Minke whales! At on the small island of Goudier, you will have the opportunity to visit Port Lockroy, which initially it served as a relief and repair base for whalers, but in 1944 during WWII, the British built a listening station here. It was then used as a research station in the 1950s, and since 1962 also as a museum, Post Office and gift shop. Snowy sheathbills and Gentoo penguins roam outside the museum and perhaps you will sight a whale or two on your Zodiac cruise.

In the South Shetlands, your Captain will sail to Deception Island which is home to a collapsed volcano and an excellent example of a caldera. It is believed that the volcano’s summit collapsed with one section sinking far enough to allow the sea to flood the interior. Your Captain will attempt to sail inside this breached wall through a narrow entrance called Neptune’s Bellows, and the resident geologist will take the opportunity to explain the unique volcanic features of the area while the historian will introduce you to the whaling history of Deception Island. Still visible on the island are the boilers used to make whale oil in the early 1900s. (B,L,D)

DAYS 17-18: Drake Passage

As the expedition nears its end in the Antarctica Peninsula, you’ll head back to the open sea and sail through the Drake Passage back to Ushuaia. As your captain navigates your return, you will again watch for seabirds and wildlife you may have missed on the first trip and additional presentations will be offered by the Expedition Team. (B,L,D)

DAY 19: Ushuaia - Disembark

In the early morning, you slip into dock in Ushuaia, Argentina, marking the end of your expedition. After breakfast, you will disembark the vessel, and transfer to the Ushuaia Airport or your nearby hotel. (B)

Key: (B)reakfast (L)unch (D)inner

Itinerary (Falklands, South Georgia, Tristan da Cunha & Cape Town)
DAY 1: Ushuaia, Argentina - Embark

Welcome to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located in the shadow of the Andes and right on the Beagle Channel! Enjoy a morning at leisure. You may opt for a cruise on the Beagle Channel, a trek in Tierra del Fuego National Park, or visit a nearby historical estancia and museum. Please contact us for your extension options in Ushuaia. In the late afternoon, head to the port of Ushuaia where you will embark your luxury Antarctic expedition vessel. Once onboard, you will settle in and attend a mandatory safety drill before leaving port.  Later that evening, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team as you bid farewell to the ‘Land at the End of the World’. (D)

DAY 2: At Sea

Today is spent at sea, settling into shipboard life, spending time on deck scanning for seabirds (notably the albatross), and listening to informal discussions from the knowledgeable naturalist staff to prepare you for the exciting adventures that lie ahead. You may gather in The Theatre to hear fascinating tales of adventure and to learn about the Falkland’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Other on-board diversions include spa treatments, a workout in the Fitness Centre, and, of course, exquisite dining experiences. (B,L,D)

DAYS 3-4: Falkland Islands

Today’s adventure introduces you to the remarkable beauty of the remote Falkland Islands. New Island is a wildlife and nature reserve, and its many birds and animals are protected by an environmental conservation group. Once ashore, you will have an opportunity to hike into the rocky cliffs, to a rookery where Rockhopper penguins and Blue-eyed shags share the same nesting area. You will observe Black-browed albatross going about their daily routines and may even spot Upland geese. The onboard historian will tell you about ‘Barnard's barn’ – a stone structure once belonging to an early settler, as well as the wreck of the Protector III – an old minesweeper used for seal hunting, now grounded just off the shore. In the afternoon, you’ll watch for Peale’s dolphins and the distinctive black and white markings of the Commerson’s dolphin as your ship approaches West Point Island. Upon arrival, photographic opportunities are everywhere as you walk across rolling moorland and admire colonies of Black-browed albatrosses that nest side-by-side with feisty Rockhopper penguins. You’ll learn about the island’s unique vegetation including the rare Felton plant, and the hospitable island owners are always happy to answer questions and share their stories.

Your second day will be spent exploring Stanley, which is the capital of the remote Falkland Islands and has a distinct British ambience. You will begin your day by boarding 4x4 vehicles for an “off road” adventure. Experienced local drivers will tell you and your fellow travelers about Falkland farm life en route to Bluff Cove, where you will be able to wander amid approximately 1,000 pairs of Gentoo penguins, a growing colony of King penguins and visiting Magellanic penguins from nearby East Island. The site is very photogenic with a large lagoon and a long sandy beach that is occasionally patrolled by sea lions from East Island. Dolphins are regularly seen playing in the surf where the waves break on the beach, and there are a large variety of seabirds to see such as Snowy sheathbills, Southern Giant petrels, Pied oyster catchers, White-rumped sandpipers, Two-banded plovers, Dolphin gulls and South American terns. Following your morning at Bluff Cove, you will stroll through the charming streets of this colorful little town, lined with quaint cottages and a variety of traditional pubs, visit the 19th-century Anglican cathedral, and wander through the small local museum. You may spot some lingering reminders of the 1986 Falklands War between Britain and Argentina, though the island has settled back to its quiet business of raising sheep. (B,L,D)

DAYS 5-6: At Sea

The next two days are spent at sea as your Captain sets course for South Georgia. During this time, you will find yourself with binoculars and camera in hand, heading out on deck to watch for seabirds and marine mammals, gathering in The Theatre to hear fascinating tales of adventure or to learn about the upcoming ports-of-call and the adventures that lie ahead. Other onboard diversions may include photography workshops, spa treatments, a workout in the Fitness Centre, the finest cigars and cognacs at the Connoisseur’s Corner and, of course, the exquisite dining experiences. (B,L,D)

DAYS 7-10: South Georgia Island

South Georgia is a breathtaking destination of towering snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers, and low-lying grasslands which attracts an astounding concentration of wildlife: Southern Fur seals, Southern Elephant seals and a variety of albatross species including Black-browed, Light-mantled sooty, Grey-headed and the spectacular Wandering albatross, plus thousands of King and Macaroni penguins. The island is also linked to the early Antarctic explorers as Captain James Cook first stepped ashore in 1775, but perhaps more famous is Ernest Shackleton’s arrival in 1916 following the sinking of his ship, the Endurance. Some exciting locations you will likely visit are Cooper Bay, where an unforgettable view of huge icebergs can be seen as you’ll approach. Here, you will enjoy a Zodiac cruise to see numerous breeds of penguins, such as Macaroni and Chinstrap, on the rocks and waters surrounding the island. In Gold Harbour, you will find a large King penguin colony between Weddell Glacier and Gold Harbour, and seals can be seen resting on ice floes and sunning on the beaches. Salisbury Plain is a favorite breeding ground for hundreds of thousands of king penguins, and you will be amazed to see how they completely cover the beaches and hills. In early March, you may also be able to watch adorable seal pups at play. And at Grytviken, an historic whaling station, you will visit the burial site of the famous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, toast the great explorer and his many accomplishments and visit the whaling museum. (B,L,D)

DAYS 11-14: At Sea

The next four days are spent crossing the southern Atlantic. As you venture eastward, leisurely days at sea are yours to enjoy. You may choose to participate in discussions and onboard activities led by the Expedition Team, relax in one of the lounges with that book you’ve been meaning to read, meet up with new friends for cocktails or take advantage of any number of onboard amenities your ship has available to you. Before turning in for the night, take a stroll on deck to take in the solitude of the vast sea and sky. (B,L,D)

DAY 15: Gough Island (Subject to Gov't Approval)

A dependency of Tristan da Cunha and part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Gough Island was originally known as Gonçalo Álvares (the captain of Vasco da Gama’s flagship). The volcanic island covers an area of 91 km² and is uninhabited except for the personnel of a South African weather station (usually six people). It is one of the most remote places with a constant human presence. Gough Island and Inaccessible Island are UNESCO World Heritage Sites as they are protected wildlife reserves and an “Important Bird Area”. A Zodiac-cruise will be offered to look for Tristan Albatross, Atlantic Petrel, Gough Moorhen, Gough Bunting, and Rockhopper Penguins — some of the many birds using this mid-Atlantic island as their nesting ground. During the afternoon you will continue on your voyage and watch for whales in the surrounding waters as you approach volcanic Tristan da Cunha. (B,L,D)

DAYS 16-17: Tristan da Cunha & Nightingale Island

As your ship approaches the volcanic Tristan Da Cunha island group, you will watch for whales in the surrounding waters. Recognized as the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, its closest neighboring landmass is the island of St. Helena some 2,430 km away. The main island is home to fewer than 300 hardy residents. Today you will enjoy guided walks with the local inhabitants of the village and the onboard geologist will lead a walk to the 1961 Volcanic cone and lava flow where you will learn how the islanders were evacuated and how it affected their lives. Once at the top, you will have a beautiful scenic view of the whole settlement – a photo opportunity not to be missed. You will meet with some of the island children and hear what Tristan life is like through their eyes during a visit to St Mary’s School. The onboard ornithologist will point out birdlife, hopefully including the Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross, sooty albatross, albatross, Tristan thrush, and Tristan wandering albatross – a critically endangered species with fewer than 1,500 breeding pairs left in the world. Tristan is also where 90% of the world’s Northern Rockhopper penguins come to breed.

On day two in Tristan Da Cunha, weather permitting, the plan will be to land on either the uninhabited Nightingale Islands or Inaccessible Island, a protected wildlife reserve and World Heritage Site. You will see the most magnificent wildlife, flora and fauna and all guests will receive a certificate verifying that they have indeed visited this extremely remote world destination. (B,L,D)

DAYS 18-21: At Sea

Your next two days at sea are filled with a variety of onboard activities, educational lectures and interesting entertainment options. Attend a special performance by Marty Henne or a fascinating lecture by David Guggenheim. All accommodations feature an interactive television system allowing you to watch your choice of movies or documentary films and even recorded broadcasts from The Theatre in the comfort and privacy of your suite or stateroom. (B,L,D)

DAY 22: Cape Town, South Africa

Arriving in the early evening, you will be free to enjoy the unique opportunity to explore the vibrant V & A Waterfront in Cape Town Harbour on your own. (B,L,D)

DAY 23: Disembark Cape Town

You will disembark the vessel today after breakfast, where you will continue on with your adventure in South Africa, or transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B)

Key: (B)reakfast (L)unch (D)inner

Weather

When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

Antarctica is known as the “coldest, highest, driest, windiest place on earth”. However, please keep in mind that you will not be venturing into the interior of the continent and you will be visiting during the Southern Hemisphere summer (November through March). That said, weather in Antarctica can vary dramatically from day to day, even from moment to moment. With summer temperatures ranging from 20-40° F, you may experience snow, rain, high winds, and bright warm sun all in the same day. It is best to approach an Antarctica expedition with a sense of adventure, as the climate is unpredictable. Weather may be a bit cooler early in the season (November) and late in the season (March), but there will not be a dramatic difference in temperatures throughout the tourism season. If you are used to winter in places like the northern United States, Canada, Scandinavia, and Russia, you will be more than prepared for summer temperatures at teh Antarctic Peninsula.


You may also wish to schedule your trip according to what wildlife activities you are likely to observe at different points during the season, details below:
 
o    Late October and November: The early part of the season showcases a number of highlights. Landing sites are at their most pristine. The possibility of seeing sea ice is present early on, before it breaks up later on in the season. Late October to early November sees Adélie, Chinstrap and Gentoo adult penguins and Antarctic-breeding seabirds starting to come ashore to their breeding sites where they commence courtship rituals and nest building. Shortly thereafter eggs are laid and incubated. Emperor penguins can be seen on the frozen Weddell Sea (visited occasionally by ice-strengthened expedition ships on special itineraries).

Spring flowers begin blooming in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and elephant seals are actively courting in South Georgia. South Georgia's female king penguins lay their eggs in November and the parents can be seen "carrying" eggs on their feet so that the parent can shuffle around the colony while the other adult goes out to sea to feed. "Oakum Boys" — king penguin chicks from the previous season — can also be seen in the rookeries. Fur seals litter the beaches in South Georgia with the males aggressive and ready to mate.
 
o    December and January: The increased number of daylight hours brings exceptional opportunities for photographers and non-photographers alike, and the expeditions make the most of the summer weather and continuous hours of daylight. Research activity in the Peninsula at the scientific bases is at its peak. Penguin chicks begin hatching in the Falklands (Islas Malvinas); followed by hatchings in mid- to late-December at sites in the Antarctic Peninsula. Some 30 days after hatching, penguin chicks can be found in "crèches," resembling a nursery of sorts, which leaves both adults free to replenish their food supply. An exciting time of this part of the season is when the parent returns with food and the hungry chicks are persistent in being fed, running after the parent (or any adult penguin with food) in a "feeding chase." Whale sightings of baleen and toothed whales escalate in the Peninsula area. Seal pups can be seen on the beaches in South Georgia. Sea ice is also beginning to break up which allows for the possibility to begin to access to rarely visited sites in the Weddell Sea, Ross Sea and within the Antarctic Circle.
 
o    February and March: Sightings of whales are at their peak in the Peninsula and an increasing number of fur seals can be found along the Peninsula and offshore islands. Young fur seals are also quite playful in South Georgia. Penguin colonies are very active with the penguin chicks beginning their molt - losing their fuzzy down and developing their adult plumage. During this timeframe, the parents will abandoned their chicks, and return out to sea to feed and fatten up for their own molting stage. Most colonies (Adélie, Chinstrap and Gentoo) are nearly vacated by the end of February to early March. Blooming snow algae is prevalent and receding pack ice has reached its peak for the season, allowing for easier exploration within the Weddell Sea, Ross Sea and Antarctic Circle.

Maps

Antarctic Peninsula

Pricing

**PLEASE NOTE: The below rates are for guideline purposes only. Silver Explorer rates are capacity controlled and are likely to be lowered or raised as the ship's capacity fills. Please contact us for the most up-to-date pricing.
 

DaysStart DateEnd DateAdventureExplorerViewVistaVerandaExpeditionMedallionSilverGrandOwner
1112/2/1612/12/16$10,050$10,750$12,350$12,850$15,250$18,850$21,850$23,850$26,850$28,550
             
1112/12/1612/22/16$10,550$11,250$13,550$12,750$14,650$19,550$22,550$23,950$26,950$28,550
             
111/27/172/6/17$11,350$11,950$13,050$13,650$16,050$19,850$23,050$24,050$27,550$34,350
             
112/6/172/16/17$11,350$11,950$13,050$13,650$16,050$19,850$22,950$24,450$27,550$30,650
             
112/16/172/26/17$11,350$11,950$13,050$13,650$16,050$19,850$22,950$24,450$27,550$30,650
             
112/26/173/8/17$11,350$11,950$13,050$13,650$16,050$19,850$22,950$24,450$27,550$30,650
             
1112/8/1712/18/17$10,450$11,050$12,050$12,650$14,850$18,350$21,250$22,650$25,550$28,450

-Activities offered on all departures are: Zodiac Excursions & Hiking
-All prices are PER PERSON.

Included in tour cost
  • Antarctica cruise accommodations
  • All meals onboard Antarctica cruise
  • Open bar onboard Antarctica cruise
  • 24-hour room service onboard Antarctica cruise
  • Evening entertainment & events onboard Antarctica cruise
  • All shore excursions throughout voyage by zodiac
  • All gratuities onboard Antarctica cruise (except spa & salon)
  • Expedition Parka, water-resistant backpack, and stainless steel water bottle
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • International airfare to/from Argentina and/or Chile
  • Hotel accommodations in Argentina and/or Chile - unless otherwise noted
  • Ground transportation in Argentina and/or Chile - unless otherwise noted
  • Meals in Argentina and/or Chile - unless otherwise noted
  • Medical evacuation insurance (mandatory)
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance (recommended)
  • Rubber boots and other personal gear
  • Personal expenses (airport taxes, spa services, salon services, medical consultations/prescriptions, laundry, valet services, telecommunication charges, some premium wine & spirit selections, etc.)
  • Domestic airfare within South America

Chilean Coast & Antarctica Peninsula

Pricing

**PLEASE NOTE: The below rates are for guideline purposes only. Silver Explorer rates are capacity controlled and are likely to be lowered or raised as the ship's capacity fills. Please contact us for the most up-to-date pricing.
 

DaysStart DateEnd DateAdventureExplorerViewVistaVerandaExpeditionMedallionSilverGrandOwner
1911/14/1612/2/16$19,050$20,050$21,750$22,650$26,450$32,550$36,750$39,950$44,850$49,750

-Activities offered on all departures are: Zodiac Excursions & Hiking
-All prices are PER PERSON.

Included in tour cost
  • Antarctica cruise accommodations
  • All meals onboard Antarctica cruise
  • Open bar onboard Antarctica cruise
  • 24-hour room service onboard Antarctica cruise
  • Evening entertainment & events onboard Antarctica cruise
  • All shore excursions throughout voyage by zodiac
  • All gratuities onboard Antarctica cruise (except spa & salon)
  • Expedition Parka, water-resistant backpack, and stainless steel water bottle
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • International airfare to/from Argentina and/or Chile
  • Hotel accommodations in Argentina and/or Chile - unless otherwise noted
  • Ground transportation in Argentina and/or Chile - unless otherwise noted
  • Meals in Argentina and/or Chile - unless otherwise noted
  • Medical evacuation insurance (mandatory)
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance (recommended)
  • Rubber boots and other personal gear
  • Personal expenses (airport taxes, spa services, salon services, medical consultations/prescriptions, laundry, valet services, telecommunication charges, some premium wine & spirit selections, etc.)
  • Domestic airfare within South America

Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica

Pricing

**PLEASE NOTE: The below rates are for guideline purposes only. Silver Explorer rates are capacity controlled and are likely to be lowered or raised as the ship's capacity fills. Please contact us for the most up-to-date pricing.
 

DaysStart DateEnd DateAdventureExplorerViewVistaVerandaExpeditionMedallionSilverGrandOwner
1912/22/161/9/17$22,350$23,550$28,250$29,750$30,550$43,550$48,850$53,750$58,950$59,850
             
191/9/171/27/17$17,950$19,050$20,850$21,850$25,850$34,650$37,550$40,150$45,350$50,550
             
1911/20/1712/8/17$18,450$19,450$21,250$22,250$26,050$32,250$37,350$39,850$44,850$49,850
             
1912/18/171/5/18$20,950$22,050$24,050$25,250$29,550$36,650$42,350$45,350$50,950$55,450

-Activities offered on all departures are: Zodiac Excursions & Hiking
-All prices are PER PERSON.

Included in tour cost
  • Antarctica cruise accommodations
  • All meals onboard Antarctica cruise
  • Open bar onboard Antarctica cruise
  • 24-hour room service onboard Antarctica cruise
  • Evening entertainment & events onboard Antarctica cruise
  • All shore excursions throughout voyage by zodiac
  • All gratuities onboard Antarctica cruise (except spa & salon)
  • Expedition Parka, water-resistant backpack, and stainless steel water bottle
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • International airfare to/from Argentina and/or Chile
  • Hotel accommodations in Argentina and/or Chile - unless otherwise noted
  • Ground transportation in Argentina and/or Chile - unless otherwise noted
  • Meals in Argentina and/or Chile - unless otherwise noted
  • Medical evacuation insurance (mandatory)
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance (recommended)
  • Rubber boots and other personal gear
  • Personal expenses (airport taxes, spa services, salon services, medical consultations/prescriptions, laundry, valet services, telecommunication charges, some premium wine & spirit selections, etc.)
  • Domestic airfare within South America

Falklands, South Georgia, Tristan da Cunha & Cape Town

Pricing

**PLEASE NOTE: The below rates are for guideline purposes only. Silver Explorer rates are capacity controlled and are likely to be lowered or raised as the ship's capacity fills. Please contact us for the most up-to-date pricing.
 

DaysStart DateEnd DateAdventureExplorerViewVistaVerandaExpeditionMedallionSilverGrandOwner
233/8/173/30/17$9,850$10,850$11,850$12,350$14,550$18,050$20,850$22,250$25,150$27,950

-Activities offered on all departures are: Zodiac Excursions & Hiking
-All prices are PER PERSON.

Included in tour cost
  • Antarctica cruise accommodations
  • All meals onboard Antarctica cruise
  • Open bar onboard Antarctica cruise
  • 24-hour room service onboard Antarctica cruise
  • Evening entertainment & events onboard Antarctica cruise
  • All shore excursions throughout voyage by zodiac
  • All gratuities onboard Antarctica cruise (except spa & salon)
  • Expedition Parka, water-resistant backpack, and stainless steel water bottle
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • International airfare to/from Argentina and/or Chile
  • Hotel accommodations in Argentina and/or Chile - unless otherwise noted
  • Ground transportation in Argentina and/or Chile - unless otherwise noted
  • Meals in Argentina and/or Chile - unless otherwise noted
  • Medical evacuation insurance (mandatory)
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance (recommended)
  • Rubber boots and other personal gear
  • Personal expenses (airport taxes, spa services, salon services, medical consultations/prescriptions, laundry, valet services, telecommunication charges, some premium wine & spirit selections, etc.)
  • Domestic airfare within South America

Antarctic Peninsula

Trip Dates
Availability changes constantly on Antarctica cruises. Please contact us for the most up-to-date availability.
Available

Chilean Coast & Antarctica Peninsula

Trip Dates
Availability changes constantly on Antarctica cruises. Please contact us for the most up-to-date availability.
Available

Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica

Trip Dates
Availability changes constantly on Antarctica cruises. Please contact us for the most up-to-date availability.
Available

Falklands, South Georgia, Tristan da Cunha & Cape Town

Trip Dates
Availability changes constantly on Antarctica cruises. Please contact us for the most up-to-date availability.
Available
Cabins

The M/V Silver Explorer accommodates 132 passengers in 66 expertly designed and exquisitely appointed, ocean-view suites and staterooms. Each suite and stateroom is equipped with a with an elegant ambience of unrivalled luxury, Butler service and 24-hour room service (see details below). Select suites have French balconies or large private verandas, while 22 can accommodate triples and several are also connecting.

Deck 3

  • Adventure Class (6): two twin beds or queen bed, sitting area, tub/shower combination, two portholes, 154-170 sq. ft. (14-16m2)
  • View Suite (12): two twin beds or queen bed, sitting area, tub/shower combination, view window, 230 sq. ft. (21m2)
  • Expedition Suite (4): two twin beds or queen bed, living room with sofa bed, separate shower, two view windows, walk-in wardrobe with personal safe, 2nd flat-screen TV, 460 sq. ft. (43m2)

Deck 4

  • Explorer Class (8): two twin beds or queen bed, sitting area, tub/shower combination, view window, 170-190 sq. ft. (16-18m2)
  • Vista Suite (12): two twin beds or queen bed, sitting area, tub/shower combination, large picture window, 230 sq. ft. (21m2)
  • Expedition Suite (4): two twin beds or queen bed, living room with sofa bed, separate shower, two large picture windows, walk-in wardrobe with personal safe, 2nd flat-screen TV, 460 sq. ft. (43m2)

Deck 5

  • Veranda Suite (8): two twin beds or queen bed, sitting area, tub/shower combination, French balcony with floor-to-ceiling glass doors, 230 sq. ft. (21.5m2) including French balcony 15 sq. ft. (1.5m2)
  • Silver Suite (6): two twin beds or queen bed, living room with sofa bed, separate shower, two French balconies with floor-to-ceiling glass doors, walk-in wardrobe with personal safe, vanity table, 2nd flat-screen TV, laundry service, afternoon canapés, dinner at officer's table, 460 sq. ft. (43m2) including 2 French balconies 30 sq. ft. (3m2)

Deck 7

  • Medallion Suite (2): two twin beds or queen bed, sitting area, separate shower, teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors, afternoon canapés, dinner at officer's table, 351 sq. ft. (33m2) including veranda 86 sq. ft. (8m2)
  • Grand Suite (2): two twin beds or queen bed, living room with sitting area, separate shower, teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors, walk-in wardrobe with personal safe, vanity table, 2nd flat-screen TV, two hours of worldwide phone use from your suite, laundry/dry cleaning/pressing service, four hours of Internet service, afternoon canapés, dinner at officer's table, 675 sq. ft. (63m2) including veranda 87 sq. ft. (8m2)
  • Owner’s Suite (2): two twin beds or queen bed, living room with sitting area, separate shower, large teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors, walk-in wardrobe with personal safe, vanity table, 2nd flat-screen TV, two hours of worldwide phone use from your suite, laundry/dry cleaning/pressing service, four hours of Internet service, afternoon canapés, dinner at officer's table, 626 sq. ft. (58m2) including large veranda 158 sq. ft. (15m2)

ALL SUITES/STATEROOMS INCLUDE:
Butler service, 24-hr room service, champagne upon request, refrigerator and bar setup stocked with your beverage preferences, fine bed linens and down duvets, premium firm or soft mattresses, a choice of nine pillow types, Italian marble bathroom with full-sized bath and choice of bath amenities, personal safe, flat-screen TVs with interactive video, on-demand movies, music and satellite news programming, writing desk, Direct-dial telephone, binoculars, spa robes and slippers, personalized stationery, umbrella, hair dryer, WiFi Internet and cellular service (fee applies) and daily suite service with nightly turndown.

VIEW DECK PLAN - HERE 

VIEW SUITE DIAGRAMS
 

Boat Details

Ship Amenities

  • The M/V Silver Explorer offers five passenger decks with plenty of deck space for discovering the wonders of Antarctica including a Viewing Deck on Deck 7, high atop the ship, and an expansive promenade deck with Outdoor Grill, two Whirl Pool Spas and a panoramic Observation Lounge on Deck 6. Her additional Panorama Lounge on Deck five offers comfortable seats to enjoy uninterrupted, panoramic views from the comfort of the ship’s interior, while enjoying a beverage and the accompanying music from the onboard pianist. Silver Explorer’s other many amenities include a library, a lecture theater, a full service Beauty Salon and Spa, with sauna and steam room, a boutique, fitness center, a medical center, Internet Café, ship-wide WiFi, and mobile phone service, 24-hour room service, complimentary self-service laundry facilities, and even a Connoisseur’s Corner, offering exceptional cognacs along with a premium selection of cigars for purchase. The Restaurant, sparkles with silver, crystal and candlelight, and offers a menu created by the Grands Chefs Relais & Châteaux.
  • The vessel is equipped with an onboard fleet of 8 Zodiacs to allow Silver Explorer guests to visit even the most off-the-beaten path location.

Ship Services

  • The M/V Silver Explorer is expertly manned by 117 international crew members and an Expedition Team of 11-13 which includes historians, biologists, anthropologists, geologists, botanists, ornithologists, naturalists, photographers and destination experts.


antarctica travelMarisa, we've been back a week and I'm writing to say how wonderful our trip was. Thanks you for all your guidance and planning. Buenos Aires was so interesting. Our tour guide, Alejandro, was top notch-- and very funny. The hotel was in a good location and the all-day tour in Ushuaia was memorable. The ship was well-run and the food was both interesting and plentiful. The crew was professional. The expedition leaders were kind, enthusiastic and very knowledgeable.  I can't give you credit for the fantastic weather and incredible scenery but it was an amazing trip. Thank you. - Susan Ogden/Rose Marie Wilson (Akademik Ioffe) 


The trip was fantastic of course! South Georgia is an amazing place! After docking at Ushuaia, the driver was waiting there on the pier and coordinated well with the ship and the port officials, provided me with useful materials and delivered me to the Alto Andino. I liked the Alto Andino. It was quiet, clean and has a nice secure luggage store, which I used when I arrived, as it was too early to check in. They did let me check in early, shortly after lunch, when a room became available. And, when I came back to the hotel after dinner with friends, there was a message from my driver about the pickup time for departing to the airport. The transfer at BA went without a hitch, nice driver and nice car, and being Saturday, light traffic as well! Anyway, thank you! Your planning and support is greatly appreciate and I will be sure to let my friends know about your great company! - Philip H. Walters (South Georgia In Depth onboard Akademik Sergey Vavilov)

Carrie and Jonathan, we arrived back from Antarctica over the weekend.   I just wanted to thank both of you for arranging such an outstanding trip!  The guides, hotels, and logistics were all excellent—and we thoroughly enjoyed it all.  Fortunately, despite my foot injury, I was able to fully partake in all the sightseeing and activities and didn’t feel that I had to curtail anything I wanted to do.  We’ll be sure to contact you for future trips in South America.  - Nancy Voye (Antarctic Peninsula onboard NG Explorer)

Carrie and Justin, I just wanted to send the two of you a message to thank you for all your help putting together our trip to the Antarctic.  The trip was absolutely fantastic – definitely the best trip we have ever taken! I would strongly recommend the Akademik Ioffe team to anyone that asks. The places we visited and the excursions we were able to participate in were definitely first-rate, and I would credit the staff for making this happen.  They selected great places to visit, and really made each zodiac or on-shore excursion a special experience. The Antarctic is just mind-blowing.  We did get south of the Circle – which sounds like it was a bit of an accomplishment – and had really great weather for the entire trip.  So again, thanks for making a totally fabulous trip a reality for us. -Ron & Bonnie Milzer (Antarctic Circle Voyage onboard Akademik Ioffe)
Antarctica - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: Antarctica is the trip of a lifetime, offering abundant wildlife and unique landscapes. Travelling to the end of the world is an unparalleled experience. It’s hard to go wrong with any option but for those with specific interests we recommend reviewing our guide to Antarctica Cruises found here or contacting an Adventure Travel Coordinator.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Antarctica cruise itineraries are set and cannot be changed, but you can certainly add pre/post cruise services (hotels, tours, transfers, flights, etc.) in Argentina and Chile. Southern Explorations is happy to assist with any additional services you require.
Q: When is the best time to go to Antarctica?
A: Travel to Antarctica occurs during the Austral Summer with cruise expeditions departing from late October through March. You may wish to schedule your trip according to what wildlife activities you’d like to observe, or any specific adventure activities you would like to do, such as snowshoeing, skiing, mountaineering, whale watching, and more, which are only offered on certain departures.
Q: When is the most affordable time of year to travel to Antarctica? What’s the best way to get a deal on an Antarctica cruise?
A: It is a popular misconception that the best way to obtain a deal on an Antarctica cruise is to wait until the last possible moment to book. While this works out sometimes, this scenario is rarer and rarer as Antarctica’s popularity as a tourist destination increases. A few years ago, operators had trouble filling their boats with paying passengers, so last-minute deals were common. Now, most Antarctica cruise departures sell out far in advance, so there is no reason for operators to offer last-minute deals. Currently the best way to obtain a deal on an Antarctica cruise is to book early, as many operators offer early booking discounts.
 
Generally, it is a good idea to confirm your cruise at least eight months to one year in advance. The time period around the holidays (Christmas/New Year's) tends to sell out further in advance. Fly cruises, during which you fly over the Drake Passage rather than crossing it onboard the vessel, also tend to sell out early, so it is a good idea to book more than one year in advance if you choose this type of cruise.
 
Prices are higher for travel in late December, January, and early February, as this is high season. Prices are lower early season (November/early December) and late season (late February/March).
Q: What can I expect to see at different points during the season?
A:
  • Late October and November: The early part of the season showcases a number of highlights. Landing sites are at their most pristine. The possibility of seeing sea ice is present early on, before it breaks up later in the season. Late October to early November sees Adélie, Chinstrap and Gentoo adult penguins and Antarctic-breeding seabirds starting to come ashore to their breeding sites where they commence courtship rituals and nest building. Shortly thereafter eggs are laid and incubated. Emperor penguins can be seen on the frozen Weddell Sea (visited via helicopter on special Emperor penguin voyages).

    Spring flowers begin blooming in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and elephant seals are actively courting in South Georgia. South Georgia's female king penguins lay their eggs in November and the parents can be seen "carrying" eggs on their feet so that the parent can shuffle around the colony while the other adult goes out to sea to feed. "Oakum Boys" — king penguin chicks from the previous season — can also be seen in the rookeries. Fur seals litter the beaches in South Georgia with the males aggressive and ready to mate.
 
  • December and January: The increased number of daylight hours brings exceptional opportunities for photographers and non-photographers alike, and the expeditions make the most of the summer weather and continuous hours of daylight. Research activity in the Peninsula at the scientific bases is at its peak. Penguin chicks begin hatching in the Falklands (Islas Malvinas); followed by hatchings in mid- to late-December at sites in the Antarctic Peninsula. Some 30 days after hatching, penguin chicks can be found in "crèches," resembling a nursery of sorts, which leaves both adults free to replenish their food supply. An exciting time of this part of the season is when the parent returns with food and the hungry chicks are persistent in being fed, running after the parent (or any adult penguin with food) in a "feeding chase." Whale sightings of baleen and toothed whales escalate in the Peninsula area. Seal pups can be seen on the beaches in South Georgia. Sea ice is also beginning to break up, which allows for the possibility to begin to access to rarely visited sites in the Weddell Sea, Ross Sea and within the Antarctic Circle.
 
  • February and March: Sightings of whales are at their peak in the Peninsula and an increasing number of fur seals can be found along the Peninsula and offshore islands. Young fur seals are also quite playful in South Georgia. Penguin colonies are very active with the penguin chicks beginning their molt - losing their fuzzy down and developing their adult plumage. During this timeframe, the parents will abandoned their chicks, and return out to sea to feed and fatten up for their own molting stage. Most colonies (Adélie, Chinstrap and Gentoo) are nearly vacated by the end of February to early March. Blooming snow algae is prevalent and receding pack ice has reached its peak for the season, allowing for easier exploration within the Weddell Sea, Ross Sea and Antarctic Circle.
Q: What is the weather like in Antarctica?
A: Antarctica is the highest, driest, windiest, coldest place on earth, but keep in mind that all tourism trips occur during Austral summer. The average summer temperature in the Antarctic Peninsula area is around 25 to 32°F (-4 to 0°C), although sometimes it will feel substantially colder due to the wind chill factor and water splashing up while riding in zodiacs. You can expect to encounter varied conditions including rain, snow, high winds, bright sun, and fog.
Q: What is a typical day like in Antarctica? 
A: All three meals are eaten on board the ship. After breakfast, you will head out for your morning excursion for 2 to 5 hours, then get back on board to eat lunch while the ship navigates to the next landing site. Here you will once again disembark on land for 2 to 5 hours before dinner.
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy a trip to Antarctica? 
A: You do not need to be extremely physically fit to travel to Antarctica, but should be comfortable walking short distances over uneven terrain, including snow, ice, and rock. Most ships also have a steep metal gangway that you must descend and ascend to embark/disembark the small zodiac boats that ferry passengers to shore. Your guides will always be there to assist you.
Q: While in Antarctica, will I get to get off the ship and walk around on land?
A: Yes! You will make landings every day you are in Antarctica, and the cruise staff will ensure you spend as much time on land as possible. This is true of every Antarctica cruise we offer. There is no cruise during which you stay onboard the ship the entire time.
Q: How much time do I need to visit Antarctica?
A: Standard Antarctic Peninsula cruise itineraries are 10 to 12 days long. The shortest Antarctica voyage we offer is 6 days long, with our longest being 32 days. Please inquire for details about specific voyages.
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: All Antarctica cruises have different deposit policies, with the deposit amount typically ranging from $1500 per person to 25% of the total trip costs. Final payment is usually due between 100 days and 120 days prior to travel.
 
Antarctica cruise cancelation policies vary widely from ship to ship. The cancelation penalty from the time of booking up until 90 or 120 days prior to departure can be as little as $500 per person or as much as $5000+ per person. Generally, all cruises will have a 100% cancelation penalty within 90 days of departure. Please inquire for details about cancelation penalties for specific ships. 
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: Accommodations and amenities on board Antarctica cruises vary from simple 3-star to luxury 5-star. Please inquire for details.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: Most Antarctica cruises do not include any airfare, though some include roundtrip flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, and “fly cruises” include flights from Punta Arenas, Chile to Antarctica or to the Falkland Islands. Southern Explorations is happy to arrange any flights you require within Argentina or Chile. Please inquire about airfare inclusions for specific cruises.
Q: How many people are on your tours?
A: The Antarctica cruise ships we offer range in size from a capacity of 54 to 200 passengers. “Mega ships” with thousands of passengers on board are not allowed to make landings in Antarctica, so all vessels are relatively small. 
Q: Do I need travel insurance, what all do I need, and how much does it cost?
A: All Antarctica cruises require that passengers purchase travel insurance covering emergency medical evacuation and repatriation. The cost of medical evacuation transport from Antarctica is high, and as it is the responsibility of the traveler, this coverage is imperative. Though trip cancellation insurance is not required, it is highly recommended. The cost of travel insurance varies from individual to individual and depends on many factors, such as cost of trip covered, age of traveler, where you live, etc. We recommend contacting Berkshire Hathaway or Travel Guard, or click here to compare other trip insurance companies.
Q: Where do Antarctica cruises begin and end?
A: Most Antarctica cruises begin/end in either Ushuaia, Argentina or Punta Arenas, Chile. Occasionally cruises depart directly from Buenos Aires, Montevideo, or other port cities, but this is rare. When departing from Ushuaia, you board the cruise at the pier in town and cross the Drake Passage onboard the vessel. Trips departing from Punta Arenas are "fly/cruise" programs that fly you (one-way or both-ways) by small aircraft to the South Shetland Islands, just off the Antarctic Peninsula to embark your expedition ship there. There are also some cruises that start with a flight from Punta Arenas to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. Please check your itinerary for any inclusions, or needed additions, such as pre- or post-trip hotel nights and domestic flights to your embarkation cities. Southern Explorations can book any needed pre- or post-trip hotels, domestic flights, tours and transfers, and include them within your trip costs.
Q: What can I expect while crossing the Drake Passage? Will I get seasick?
A: The Drake Passage is the body of water between Cape Horn (the southernmost tip of South America) and the Antarctic Peninsula. On most Antarctica cruise ships it will take a full two days to cross the Drake Passage.  This passage has some of the roughest recorded sea conditions in the world (the “Drake Shake”), but it can also be pristinely calm (the “Drake Lake”). Conditions in this waterway can vary at any time of year depending on weather, and it is impossible to predict how rough it will be in advance. Some passengers experience seasickness, and others do not. It is advisable to come prepared by packing motion sickness remedies. All ships also have doctors onboard, and these medical professionals are extremely adept at assisting passengers with any seasickness concerns. Once in Antarctica, sheltered waters are normally encountered with little problem for rough seas. NOTE: There are also options to do what is called a "fly/cruise" program where you fly by small aircraft to the South Shetland Islands, just off the Antarctic Peninsula and then join up with your expedition cruise ship there, thus avoiding crossing the Drake Passage onboard the vessel.
Q: Can I bring my photographic drone to Antarctica?
A: The governing body of Antarctic tourism is called the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and Southern Explorations is a member of this organization. IAATO members have agreed that they will not allow the recreational use of UAVs (drones) in the unique, and often wildlife rich, coastal areas of Antarctica. Through the unique global partnership that is the Antarctic Treaty system, the entire continent is formally designated as a 'natural reserve, devoted to peace and science'. Antarctica is regarded as the last great wilderness on our planet, still pristine with wildlife and landscapes that show little evidence of direct human activity. Visiting and operating in an environment like this comes with a responsibility to do so carefully and with minimal impact. UAVs are a relatively new phenomenon and IAATO Is therefore taking a cautionary approach, as it is possible they could have a negative impact on the environment. Also, as you can imagine, many drones flying over a penguin colony would not only be potentially detrimental to the birds (adult penguins are distracted by drones, which allows a Skua to swoop in and eat their eggs or swipe one of their chicks), but will also greatly diminish the experience of other passengers seeking to enjoy the beauty and solitude of the Seventh Continent. So, please, leave the drones at home!
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking, you will receive a link to our online trip portal which includes all of the need-to-know information that is specific to your itinerary. This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.