Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falklands

National Geographic Orion Cruise Ship
National Geographic Orion
106 Passengers

The ultimate Southern ocean experience, this expedition takes you into majestically spectacular wildness. Not even the vast migrations of Africa can rival the awesomeness of seeing a king penguin colony of some 200,000+ individuals stretching as far as the eye can see. Or albatross colonies that fill the windward edges of the remote islands they call home. You’ll have other rare sightings here too: massive, in both senses of the word, herds of elephant seals: and a wandering albatross stretching its 11-foot wings.  It’s the impossible beauty of Antarctica exponentially increased by unimaginable numbers of animals. A not-be-missed polar experience, for those with the luxury of time.

For most travelers, visiting Antarctica is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So, for those with the luxury of time, optimizing your time and interest by including South Georgia and the Falklands makes sense. And makes for a genuine experience-of-a-lifetime. This voyage has it all.
- The impossible beauty of Antarctic ice: tabular bergs, the haunting Lemaire Channel
- Massive wildlife spectacles in South Georgia and the Falklands
- Three distinct regions to experience
- Superlative photos ops and on-board photo assistance

Incomparable wildlife experience
Only the plains of the Serengeti during the migrations can compare to the wildlife spectacles offered by both South Georgia and the Falklands. In South Georgia you’ll see a single rookery with over 200,000 king penguins—an astonishing sight and an indelible memory. In the Falklands, you’ll see rockhopper penguins in great number in their “hobbit shire” of the tussock grass. And, in both, you’ll have the rare opportunity to see albatross in great numbers—wandering albatross with their impressive 11-foot wing spans; and beautiful black-browed albatross—in colonies that fill the windward ledges of these southernmost islands. These, plus elephant and fur seals, pelagic birds in great numbers, and various species of whales feasting on the Southern ocean’s seasonal bounty create unprecedented wildlife viewing experiences for you.

Add the human dimension to the ice
From the ghostly remnants of the whaling stations that once peopled South Georgia, to the warmly welcoming ranchers of Port Stanley on the Falklands, and the penguin-adapted researchers of Port Lockroy, a picturesque science station off the otherwise unpeopled Weddell Sea coast, you’ll experience the contrast between the majestic, uninhabited wildness of Antarctica, and the unique human incursions into the land of the ice.

Every day is active and engaging
You’ll get out on adventures every day we’re in Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands. The Falklands are ideal for walking adventures, with some hikes ending in a “cream tea” served in the parlor of a welcoming farmhouse. In all locations, your expedition leader will enable daily Zodiac cruises and kayak expeditions too, sometimes twice a day—creating the opportunity for you to experience the wonders with all your senses, at water-level or eye-level. You’ll have a choice of activities plus your choice of naturalists to join—for a movable feast of personalities, insights, and interests. Choice also includes opting to relax, too. Enjoy the view from behind Explorer’s panoramic glass windows. Or visit the fitness center with its generous views of the ice vistas, or ease into the sauna or a massage in the wellness center.

Please note that although international airline tickets are not included in the trip cost the dates of this trip include your travel dates (based on USA/USA travel).

Brief Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 U.S./Fly To Santiago, Chile/Overnight
Day 3 Santiago/Ushuaia, Argentina/Embark Ship
Day 4 At Sea
Days 5 to 10 Antarctica
Days 11 & 12 At Sea
Days 13 to 17 South Georgia Island
Days 18 & 19 At Sea
Days 20 & 21 Falkland Islands
Day 22 At Sea
Days 23 & 24 Ushuaia/Disembark/Santiago/U.S.

Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Santiago, Chile/Overnight

Most flights to Santiago are overnight flights. Cost of international airfare is not included in the trip price.

Santiago is nearly surrounded by the Andes, which form an inspiring backdrop to our afternoon guided overview of this vibrant city. We explore the Plaza de Armas, the main square, and nearby Presidential Palace, enjoying wonderful views from the many hills that dot the city.

Day 3 — Santiago/Ushuaia, Argentina/Embark Ship

This morning’s charter flight offers some rare views of Patagonia en route to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city. Take a catamaran cruise through Patagonia’s scenic Beagle Channel before embarking our ship.

Day 4 — At Sea

Awake well into our journey across the Drake Passage—a milestone in any adventurer’s personal travel history—with time to hear talks preparing you for the exciting days ahead.

Days 5 to 10 — Antarctica

With long hours of daylight, we make the most of our days exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and surrounding islands. Our schedule is flexible, allowing us to take advantage of the unexpected. We’ll sail through the incomparable Lemaire Channel and land on the “White Continent,” exploring via Zodiac, kayak and on foot, and using our arsenal of tools for exploration.

Depending on weather and sea conditions, we plan to make some or all of the following stops:
Paradise Bay
The bay is aptly named because the surrounding mountains look as though they rise straight to heaven. Stretch your legs on a hike to a nearby summit for a breathtaking view, or slip into a kayak to quietly paddle along a cliffside rookery in search of blue-eyed shags.

Lemaire Channel and Petermann Island
Cruise through the narrow Lemaire Channel between towering snow-covered mountains and spectacular blue icebergs. Step ashore at Petermann Island to the cries of thousands of gentoo penguins that stand along the coast as if awaiting your arrival.

Neko Harbor
Drop anchor in beautiful Neko Harbor. Enjoy an up close encounter with the penguins on the beach or climb high onto an ice field for a panoramic vista of untouched peaks surrounding this idyllic bay.

Historic Port Lockroy
The great French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot named Port Lockroy a century ago. In 1944 the British government instituted the top-secret expedition code-named Operation Tabarin, creating a series of base stations in Antarctica. Base A, at Port Lockroy, was the first and now serves as a museum and Antarctica's only public post office where we can send mail to be postmarked in Antarctica.

Days 11 & 12 — At Sea

As we voyage, head up to the Bridge to watch for icebergs and observe expert navigation at work as our skilled Captain and officers sail these historic waters. Our naturalists will prepare us for the exciting days ahead with presentations on the wildlife of South Georgia, and, of course, the inspiring story of Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance.

Days 13 to 17 — South Georgia Island

This is the final resting place for explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and we’ll hoist a toast at his gravesite. Teeming wildlife and breathtaking scenery greet our ship. Hundreds of Antarctic fur seals are on hand as our Zodiacs make landfall. And at a vast penguin colony you’ll be surrounded by 300,000 king penguins!

Depending on weather and sea conditions, we plan to make some or all of the following stops:
King Haakon Bay
This is the site of Shackleton's landfall after his rigorous voyage in the 23-foot lifeboat, James Caird. The untouched beaches, headlands, mountains, glaciers, and nesting wandering albatrosses are a great introduction to the wilds of South Georgia.

Grytviken/Shackleton's Grave
Wander on foot, visiting the ruins of the abandoned whaling station of Grytviken and its fine museum about whaling and the island's natural history. A host of seabirds, penguins, and marine mammals can be seen as we hike along the coast to the cemetery where Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried.

Salisbury Plain/Elsehul Bay
At the height of breeding season, the northern tip of South Georgia is said to have more wildlife per square foot than any place else on Earth. We are likely to be greeted by thousands of king penguins. Visit a colony of wandering albatrosses and see colorfully crested macaroni penguins, fur and elephant seals, and gray-headed and black-browed albatrosses on their nests.

Right Whale Bay
Land on black-sand beaches, inhabited by southern fur seals, elephant seals, and king penguins, plus dozens of other bird species.

St. Andrews Bay
St. Andrews Bay is teeming with wildlife. Hike past fur and elephant seals and a colony of more than 200,000 king penguins.

Gold Harbor
Gold Harbor is home to elephant seals, thousands of fur seals and tens of thousands of penguins, including a colony of aristocratic king penguins.

Cooper Bay
Whalers once sought shelter in this small bay. Here we are likely to encounter king, gentoo, and macaroni penguins; prions; petrels; and terns; and perhaps Weddell seals.

Stromness Bay
Stromness offers views of cliffs and glaciers that legendary captain Ernest Shackleton and his companions descended to complete their famed crossing with the Endurance in 1916. Shackleton and a crew of five men had set sail in a 22-foot wooden sailboat on a 700-mile voyage across the Southern Ocean—a journey that became one of the most incredible stories of survival at sea. Explore the glacier's ice face by Zodiac. Walk along a pebble beach, passing king and gentoo penguins, and hundreds of fur seals.

Days 18 & 19 — At Sea

Whales beneath, birds above, as you head to the Falkland Islands. There’ll also be time to enjoy a massage in the wellness center, workout in the gym, and browse in the library. Each day our naturalists offer talks that add depth to your experience.

Days 20 & 21 — Falkland Islands

The Falklands boast the largest albatross colony in the world, irresistible Magellanic penguins in their burrows amid the green tussock grass and herds of enormous elephant seals. Stroll the photogenic tin-roofed, Victorian-style houses of Port Stanley. Visit the Anglican Cathedral with its organic archway of whalebones, and the Falkland Islands Museum.

Day 22 — At Sea

As we sail back to Ushuaia, an albatross or two may join the escort of seabirds that cross our bow. There’s time to share photos with our resident photographer, catch up on the book you haven’t had a minute to read, and write emails home, saying “don’t want this to end.”

Days 23 & 24 — Ushuaia/Disembark/Santiago/U.S.

Disembark in Ushuaia with time to explore before our charter flight to Santiago.

Most flights to the US are overnight flights. Cost of international airfare is not included in the trip price.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
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Rates 2015-2016
Cat 1
Oval Window
Cat 2
Main Deck
Cat 3
Suite
Cat 4
Deluxe Suite
Cat 5
Balcony Suite
Cat 6
Owners Suite
Cat 1
Solo
Cat 3
Solo
Charter
Air
Photography
- Very Limited Availability -

Free R/T Int'l Air:
Miami-Santiago-Miami
Expires Jun 30th 2015
$12,970Full$13,940Full$15,460Full$18,550Full$21,250Full$24,740Limited$19,450Full$23,180Full$850
Photography
- Very Limited Availability -
$13,990Full$15,050Full$16,700Full$20,030Full$22,950Full$26,720Full$21,010Limited$25,030Limited$850
Photography
- Very Limited Availability -
$13,990Full$15,050Full$16,700Full$20,030Full$22,950Full$26,720Full$21,010Full$25,030Limited$850
Photography
- Full -
$12,970Full$13,940Full$15,460Full$18,550Full$21,250Full$24,740Full$19,450Full$23,180Full$850
Photography
- Full -
$22,430Full$24,030Full$26,340Full$32,320Full$37,300Full$43,250Full$33,590Full$39,510Full$850
Photography
- Full -
$22,430Full$24,030Full$26,340Full$32,320Full$37,300Full$43,250Full$33,590Full$39,510Full$850
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Dates shown are USA/USA however international airfare is NOT included in trip price.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates 2016-2017
Cat 1
Oval Window
Cat 2
Main Deck
Cat 3
Suite
Cat 4
Deluxe Suite
Cat 5
Balcony Suite
Cat 6
Owners Suite
Cat 1
Solo
Cat 3
Solo
Charter
Air
Photography

Free R/T Int'l Air:
Miami-Santiago-Miami
Expires Jun 30th 2015
$23,100$24,750$27,130$33,290$38,420$44,550$34,650$40,690$990
Photography

Free R/T Int'l Air:
Miami-Santiago-Miami
Expires Jun 30th 2015
$23,100$24,750$27,130$33,290$38,420$44,550$34,650$40,690$990
Photography
$14,430$15,500$17,190$20,510$23,630$27,520$21,650$25,790$990
Photography
$14,430$15,500$17,190$20,510$23,630$27,520$21,650$25,790$990
Photography
$13,360$14,360$15,920$18,990$21,880$25,480$19,990$23,880$990
Photography
$13,360$14,360$15,290$18,990$21,880$25,480$19,990$23,880$990
Photography
$23,100$24,750$27,130$33,290$38,420$44,550$34,650$40,690$990
Photography
$23,100$24,750$27,130$33,290$38,420$44,550$34,650$40,690$990
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Dates shown are USA/USA however international airfare is NOT included in trip price.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.


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