Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Antarctica - Mega Colonies

Resolute Antarctic Cruise Ship
Resolute
146 Passengers
Adventure Options

Antarctica and remote islands of the South Atlantic are home to some of the largest wildlife colonies found anywhere on Earth. On the dark sand beaches and in the tussock covered dunes of South Georgia, king penguin colonies contain more than 100,000 adult birds and their young. To the south, in the remote Weddell Sea region of Antarctica, we find Adelie penguin rookeries of a similar size and scale. These ‘mega colonies’ are the focus of this unique voyage – a world first in polar expedition travel.

In March 2018, scientists from the esteemed Stony Brook University and their international colleagues announced the discovery of a previously unknown penguin colony, estimated to contain more than a million Adelie penguins. Studying detailed satellite imagery of the remote Danger Islands, researchers visited and confirmed the astonishing find. These islands sit at the remote and little-visited northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

While the mega fauna colonies are a highlight of this voyage, history can be found at every turn and we visit several important locations containing relics from early exploration and the whaling era. The waters are full of life and we anticipate encounters with both whales and seals. Every day we explore off the ship, in the Zodiac boats, by sea kayak and by hiking on shore, all in the company of expert guides who interpret and educate us about our fantastic surroundings. We invite you to join us on what promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime voyage.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Santiago, Chile to Stanley, Falkland Islands
Days 2 & 3 At Sea – Towards South Georgia
Days 4 to 6 Exploration of South Georgia
Days 7 to 9 At Sea – Towards Antarctica
Days 10 to 12 Danger Islands and the Weddell Sea
Days 13 to 15 South Shetland Islands and Gerlache Strait
Days 16 & 17 Drake Passage – Return to South America
Day 18 Arrive Ushuaia, Argentina

Day 1 — Santiago, Chile to Stanley, Falkland Islands

We depart Santiago this morning on our special charter flight direct to Stanley, the small capital of the Falkland Islands. We are met on arrival and transfer from the airport into town. There is time to explore the town or enjoy a guided visit to nearby Gypsy Cove which provides our first opportunity for observing the local wildlife, including nesting Magellanic penguins and other sea birds. Making our way to the port, we board our expedition ship, RCGS Resolute in the afternoon. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail celebrating the arrival of a new year, and cast off to explore one of the most remote regions on Earth.

Days 2 & 3 — At Sea – Towards South Georgia

We chart a south-easterly course bound for South Georgia. The seabirds join us in the Southern Ocean and follow in the updrafts created by the ship. Our educational presentations continue and are always popular. History is a key theme of this voyage and the epic story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition is central to any trip to South Georgia. Perhaps you will pick up some valuable tips from our onboard photographic guide, learning about image composition, the subtle polar light and all the basics of good camera craft. We will also learn about Polar conservation, a theme particularly close to the hearts of our guides and crew.

Day 4 to 6 — Exploration of South Georgia

South Georgia has often been called the ‘Serengeti of the Southern Ocean’, and as we approach the deep bays of this rugged, rocky outcrop, you will begin to see why. Launching the Zodiacs, we begin our exploration of the island, in the vicinity of Elsehul Bay. Large numbers of fur seals and the much larger elephant seal will line the dark sand beaches. Living in the tussock grass, king penguins and their chicks may number up to 100,000 birds in some locations, including Salisbury Plain, St Andrews Bay and Gold Harbor. The island is also home to large numbers of nesting albatross as they fill the skies above, coming and going from the nest.

South Georgia is a thrilling location for history lovers and the rusting relics of the early whaling industry are all around us. We hope to observe several of the old stations at locations including Leith, Husvik and Stromness. A highlight is a visit to Grytviken, the largest of the whaling stations, situated at the head of Cumberland Bay. It is here we visit the gravesite of Sir Ernest Shackleton. For many, being in the presence of the great explorer will be a highlight of the trip. An excellent museum at Grytviken, maintained by the South Georgia Heritage Trust and the restored church built by the original Norwegian whalers provides a fascinating glimpse into the past.

Days 7 to 9 — At Sea – Towards Antarctica

Weather and ice will dictate our crossing of the Scotia Sea from South Georgia to Antarctica. Onboard experts keep us busy with fascinating presentations and lead lively discussions throughout the day. The great pelagic seabirds are sure to keep us company and we anticipate excellent sightings of albatross and giant petrels soaring on the winds of the South Atlantic Ocean. As we edge ever closer to the frozen continent, large icebergs announce our arrival in Antarctic waters. Excitement grows as the low-lying Danger Islands appears on the horizon. Situated at the extreme northern point of the Antarctic Peninsula, offshore from the larger Joinville Island, we cannot help but be excited about the days ahead.

Day 10 to 12 — Danger Islands and the Weddell Sea

Our excursions today will be dictated by the prevailing weather. Strong currents flow out of the Weddell Sea bringing variable ice conditions to the archipelago. We launch the Zodiacs to explore the waters around the island groups and plan to make shore landings at several locations. We will be struck by the immense scale of the Adelie penguin rookeries here. These are the smallest (and most comical) of Antarctica's penguins, resplendent in their black and white plumage. They are fascinating to observe, coming and going from fishing forays, and sitting on the nest raising their precious chicks. Our guides will be keen to share their knowledge of the penguin life-cycle and tell of the recent scientific research at this location.

We notice an increase in the huge, flat-topped tabular icebergs as we navigate into the Weddell Sea and always anticipate exciting ice navigation. This region of Antarctica is rich in history. The early Swedish explorer – Otto Nordenskjold and companions spent several years here in a remarkable yet little-known tale of survival. Just over a decade later, Sir Ernest Shackleton and the survival of his crew from the Imperial Trans- Antarctic Expedition (HMS Endurance), 1914-17, grabbed the imagination of the entire world. To this day, Shackleton’s journey remains one of the great tales of polar exploration and survival.

Along with the Danger Islands, the region is home to a number of other sizable penguin rookeries at locations which include Paulet Island and Gourdin Island. Nearby Vega Island is home to some of the most fascinating paleontology found in all of Antarctica. Fossils here tell the story of Gondwanaland, of giant penguins and other dinosaur species and early plant life on Earth. Brown Bluff and d’Urville Monument are other landing possibilities in the area.

Days 13 to 15 — South Shetland Islands and Gerlache Strait

Approaching the South Shetland Islands as we navigate south, we may aim for a shore landing at Half Moon Island, home to a boisterous colony of nesting chin strap penguins. A short hike brings us to elephant seal haul out. These are fascinating animals to observe as the naturalist guides explain the unique family dynamics and behavior. There are several other nearby locations, including Yankee Harbor or Hannah Point which we may choose as alternative landing sites. A thrill for many will be sailing the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island. At Whalers Bay, the remains of a rusting old whaling station provide a glimpse into history. There are a couple of excellent hiking routes here, one up to a high point overlooking the entire bay, another to the far end of the black-sand beach where an old aircraft hangar can be viewed. It’s from here, the very first flight in Antarctica took to the air.

Places such as Cierva Cove or Mikkelson Harbor allow for some great excursions on shore and in the Zodiacs and it’s a good place to look for leopard seals on the ice floes. The remote Spert Islands provide a fascinating lesson in geology. The island group is criss-crossed by narrow channels and coves and cruising in the Zodiacs or sea kayaking here is a real thrill. Seabirds nest on the cliffs above, while seals can be found resting along the shoreline.

We enter the maze of islands and waterways along the Antarctic Peninsula and enjoying shore landings, Zodiac cruises and kayak excursions several times per day. Ship cruising into the Errera Channel, we have a couple of great landing sites to consider including Cuverville Island with its sizable gentoo penguin rookery. Neko Harbor is another possibility for a landing. A very active glacier can be heard creaking and groaning, and it is common to observe large slabs of ice calving from the glacier face into the dark waters.

Days 16 & 17 — Drake Passage – Return to South America

As we make our way back to South America, the educational presentations continue, and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our expedition leader. Join our photography experts in the multimedia room and download and back up your precious images. If weather conditions allow, we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the captain of the ship.

Day 18 — Arrive Ushuaia, Argentina

In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travelers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home. It will be possible to connect to flights through to Buenos Aires or other destinations in South America. Otherwise enjoy a night in town or venture further afield to explore the highlights of Patagonia.

ABOUT OUR ITINERARY: Polar exploration can be unpredictable. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a ‘guide only’ and may change. The ship’s captain in conjunction with the expedition leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and Zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavy ice may hinder our planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Rates Antarctica 2019-20
Triple
Twin
Superior
Superior Plus
Shackleton Suite
One Ocean Suite
Charter
Air
Photography, Kayak
Ushuaia - South Georgia
Falklands ✈ Santiago

- Photography Symposium -

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Camp, Kayak
Santiago ✈ Falklands ✈ Santiago

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Santiago ✈ Falklands ✈ Santiago

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Kayak
Santiago ✈ Falklands ✈ Santiago

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Kayak
Santiago ✈ Falklands
Antarctica - Ushuaia

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Ushuaia - Antarctica - Ushuaia

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Ushuaia - Antarctica ✈ Punta Arenas

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Camp, Kayak
Punta Arenas ✈ Antarctica
Falklands ✈ Santiago

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Kayak
Santiago ✈ Falklands ✈ Santiago

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Kayak
Santiago ✈ Falklands
Antarctica - Ushuaia

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Kayak
Ushuaia - Valparaiso

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Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Rates are per person, based on twin-share.

The Single supplement is 1.5x the published twin rate for Twin & Superior Cabins.
Single supplement is 2x the published twin rate for suites.
Single supplement is not available in triple cabins.
No single supplement applies for passengers willing to share in Twin & Superior Cabins.

Costs for standard adventure options: Photography - Free of charge, Photography Symposium (Nov 7th) has limited availability so please pre-book, Snowshoeing - Free of charge, Camping - Free of charge (limited to 80 participants, pre-booking advised), Kayaking (must be pre-booked, maximum 30 participants) – $795.
Please note - camping is less likely to happen on the longer voyage to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica itinerary or on March voyages. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

Mandatory Emergency Evacuation insurance is required on all trips.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

DeckPlan_Resolute

   One Ocean Suites
The One Ocean Suites are situated on Deck 6 and offer an indulgent amount of space. Sleeping quarters feature a queen size bed with upgraded linen/pillows. Included is a comfortable sectional lounge with matching club chairs, a large desk, expansive floor to ceiling cabinetry, and spacious washroom facilities with both a shower and bathtub. A flat screen entertainment system is also included. These suites provide easy access to the ship’s bridge, the bistro and outdoor observation spaces. The panoramic observation lounge and recreation facilities are located nearby on Deck 7. (475 sq.ft./44m²)
   Shackleton Suites
The Shackleton Suites are situated on Deck 6. Suites include the comfort of a sectional lounge, writing desk, substantial floor to ceiling cabinetry, and washroom facilities with shower. A flat screen entertainment system is also included. Sleeping quarters feature the option for either a queen or two single beds with upgraded linen/ pillows. These Suites provide easy access to the ship’s bridge, the bistro and outdoor observation spaces. The forward panoramic observation lounge and recreation facilities are also located nearby on Deck 7. (235 sq.ft./22m²)
   Superior Plus Cabins
Superior Plus cabins are located midships on Deck 5. They are spacious and well appointed with the option for either a queen or two single beds. A comfortable lounge is placed by the large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample floor to ceiling cabinet storage and private washroom facilities with shower. A flat screen entertainment system is also included. Centrally located on the ship, these cabins provide easy access to the aft observation lounge featuring 180 degree views and the ship’s dining areas. (235 sq.ft./22m²)
   Superior Cabins
Located forward on Deck 5 the Superior cabins have the option for either a queen or two single beds. Features include a comfortable lounge adjacent to the large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities with shower. A flat screen entertainment system is also included. These cabins provide easy access to the forward stairs leading up to the bridge on Deck 6 and the forward observation lounge located on Deck 7. (235 sq.ft./22m²)
   Twin Private Cabins
Spacious and well appointed, these cabins are situated on Deck 4 and have the option for either a queen or two single configured beds. Features include a comfortable lounge adjacent to the large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities with shower. A flatscreen entertainment system is also included. These cabins provide easy access to the main dining room on the ship as well as the gift shop. (235 sq.ft./22m²)
   Triple Private Cabins
These cabins are a popular choice for solo travellers willing to share, a family, or a group of friends travelling together. Located on Deck 3, cabins feature three single beds, one of which can convert to a convertible sofa and lounge during the day. These cabins feature writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities. A flatscreen entertainment system is also included. These cabins provide easy access to the expedition room and gangway. (235 sq.ft./22m²)
Cabin and Voyage Inclusions            
Outside view with panoramic windows (triple private cabins have portholes)
Complimentary use of Expedition Gear Package (jacket, pants, boots)
Complimentary use of binoculars, trekking pole and waterproof backpack
Custom blend natural Canadian-made washroom amenities
Canadian-made linen + ‘Dream-Sleep’ package
100% Cotton bathrobe
Hair Dryer
Digital clock with media connector
In-room tea and coffee station
Flat-screen entertainment system + onboard intranet
Welcome package and stainless-steel water bottle
In-room snack menu
In-room mini-bar replenished daily (non-alcoholic)
Resolute Adventure Concierge service
Deluxe custom blend natural Canadian-made washroom amenities    
Complimentary Resolute voyage notebook    
Resolute Expeditions Wildlife/Field Guide    
In-room mini-bar replenished daily (incl. beer/wine)    
In-room bistro menu    
Deluxe in-room Resolute Adventure Concierge service    
In-room private reference library      
In-room iPad preloaded with reference and fictional content      
Exclusive check-in service on day of embarkation        
Deluxe welcome package (as above plus wine, fruit basket + snacks)        
Single brew coffee machine (Nespresso)        
Mini stereo        
Private in-room Resolute Adventure Concierge service        
In-room dining menu        
Early morning in-room café service        
Evening après dinner drink service        
Premium in-room mini-bar replenished daily (incl. spirits)        
Complimentary 1-hour massage/spa experience