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Epic Antarctica: Crossing the Antarctic Circle via Falklands and South Georgia

Epic Antarctica: Crossing the Antarctic Circle via Falklands and South Georgia

Trip Details:

Operator:   Quark Expeditions
Price From: 13,195 USD
Ideal Age Range: 19 to 30, 31 to 50, Over 51
Fitness Needs: Light Impact
Program duration: 23 days

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About this program

Spend 23 action-packed days exploring the 7th Continent alongside expert expedition guides, lecturers, polar specialists and like-minded travelers.

Marvel at the incredible geology, wildlife, and history of Antarctica, while gathering a wealth of knowledge to share on your return. Discover South Georgia, the “Galapagos of the Poles”, which is home to more than 30 breeding species of birds and other wildlife. Take pause at the graveside of Sir Ernest Shackleton, the infamous polar explorer, honoring him and his efforts. 

This exciting itinerary will take you across the Antarctic Circle, where so few have had the opportunity to visit and toast to the pioneering explorers who made it possible for you to be here. Take some time to explore the town of Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, which bears a population of fewer than 3000 people.  Explore old whaling and sealing stations that completely decimated populations of whales and seals in the area, which luckily, have since replenished. Experience the overwhelming silence as you stand in the middle of what seems like endless ice, underneath the midnight sun. 

Each day will bring new and exciting opportunities to step foot on the most mysterious continents on the planet. Fuel your inner explorer and join this adventure which will offer stories for years to come!

Itinerary

Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina

Start your adventure in Ushuaia, a small and lively port town at the very tip of South America. This town is a perfect place for you to explore the south of Argentina and the southernmost part of Patagonia, and to get ready for your upcoming adventure!

Take a trek through the mountains or sip a delicious handmade chocolate in town!

Day 2: Embarkation Day

The scheduled departure is in the late afternoon and you'll begin your adventure to the Antarctic! Today you'll pass through Beagle Channel, named after the famous ship that once carried Charles Darwin! The channel offers many great opportunities to take photos and watch the seabirds as they fly overhead.

 

Day 3: At Sea

Today at sea, you'll have the chance to enjoy a variety of activities. The library is stocked with fantastic books, enjoy a chat with the others onboard, check out the bar, or head out to the deck watching the sea!

There will also be a series of interesting presentations which will help you get familiar with how to prepare for the upcoming zodiac cruises and landing on shore!

 

Days 4 and 5: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

You've arrived at the Falkland Islands! The archipelago is home to two main islands, East & West Falkland. You'll have the chance to explore them by hopping into a Zodiac and zipping over the cool seas! The islands are rather rugged, and give the overall feeling of arriving at a Frontier.

The largest settlement is Stanley, which has an interesting vibe and appears as a British outpost. Take some time to wander around. 

Always have your camera on hand! The wildlife sightings you're likely to have in the Falklands will likely include 3 different species of penguin, Cobb's Wren and the Flightless Steamer Duck, native to the Falklands. 

You'll receive some education about the local wildlife and plants, so you can keep a watchful eye out!

Days 6 and 7: At Sea

Spend the next two days at sea, en route to South Georgia. Along the way, you'll cross the Antarctic Convergence, which is an invisible biological boundary. This is totally unique to Antarctica and what attracts humpback whales and other cetaceans to the area due to the marine life and abundance of krill.

Days 8-11: South Georgia

Spend the next few days exploring South Georgia, an island that still reflects the evidence of the old sealing and whaling industry. Once upon a time, whale and seal populations were completely decimated in the area, however, today, their populations are strong.

 

You'll have an opportunity to visit the gravesite of the famous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. He is buried at Grytviken settlement, also the location of an old whaling station and research facility. This excursion is a reminder to those of what it must have been like to be one of the first explorers of this stunning and unforgiving environment. 

South Georgia is often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles and the wildlife you will see here is exceptional. Each day you'll discover something completely new and exciting, making this one of the favorite stops along the journey. See rookeries of thousands of king penguins on the beach, or a beach littered with elephant seals. In the grasses and mountainsides, watch for various bird species. It's a wildlife lover's paradise!

Days 12 and 13: At Sea

The next two days will be spent at sea, as Antarctica awaits your arrival. Enjoy quiet time, presentations, getting to know your shipmates and more.

 

 

Days 14 to 16: South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

Often the most common reaction to arriving in Antarctica is complete awe. The White Continent is a vast land of extremes. Never have you experienced such utter silence one minute, and the next you'll be overcome with laughter at the playful penguins. 

Enjoy hikes along glaciers, visits to the research bases, and watching seals and penguins as they go about their days. Watch for the Leopard Seal, Minke Whales, and other impressive sea life. 

No two days are the same, so brace yourself for the adventure of a lifetime. 

Days 17 and 18: Antarctic Circle

The next couple of days involve crossing the Antarctic Circle. This impressive feat is unique as most expeditions do not come this far south. As long as weather conditions permit, you'll have the opportunity to raise a glass of champagne with your shipmates and toast the first explorers who made it that far. You'll instantly become one of the few that have been to this part of the world!

 

Days 19 and 20: Northbound Along the Peninsula

As you approach the Drake Passage watch the towering icebergs and wildlife that surrounds you. Youll venture on land twice per day as you venture back north along the western Antarctic Peninsula. Watch for penguins, seals, and whales that you may have missed as you went south.

 

Days 21 and 22: Crossing the Drake Passage

The next two days you'll begin the journey back home. You'll cross the Drake Passage, the final stamp on your Antarctic Adventure.

 

 

Day 23: Disembark in Ushuaia

You will disembark the ship today, say goodbye to your shipmates and the crew, and head home or wherever your next destination may be.

 

Country Fast Facts

Argentina

Flag Flag_of_Argentina
Continent:South America
Official Language(s)Spanish
Capital:Buenos Aires
Population43,417,000 (2015 estimate)
Climate(s)Desert (Warm/Cold), Semi-arid (Warm/Cold), Mediterranean, Oceanic (Warm/Temperate/Cool), Tundra, Humid Subtropical
Major Airport(s):Ezeiza International Airport (EZE), Malvinas Argentinas International Airport (USH)
Economic Driver(s):Agriculture, Industry, Tourism, Energy, Foreign Trade/Investment.

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