Day 1: End of the world, start of a journey
Your voyage begins at Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city on the planet. Starting in the afternoon, you embark and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.
Day 2: The winged life of the westerlies
Several species of albatross follow the vessel into the westerlies, along with storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels.
Day 3: Finding the Malvinas
The Malvinas Islands offer an abundance of wildlife that is easily approachable, though caution is always advised. These islands are largely unknown gems, the site of a 1982 war between the UK and Argentina.
Not only do various species of bird live here, but chances are great you’ll see both Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins in the surrounding waters.
Day 4: The seat of Malvinas culture
The capital of the Malvinas and center of its culture, Puerto Argentino, has some Victorian-era charm: colorful houses, well-tended gardens, and English-style pubs are all to be found here. You can also see several century-old clipper ships nearby. The small but interesting museum is also worth a visit, covering the early days of settlement up to the Malvinas War. Feel free to wander at will, though be aware that admission fees to local attractions are not included in the voyage.
Day 5 – 6: Once more to the sea
En route to South Georgia, you now cross the Antarctic Convergence. The temperature cools considerably within the space of a few hours, and nutritious water rises to the surface of the sea due to colliding water columns. This phenomenon attracts a multitude of seabirds near the ship, including several species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas.
Day 7 – 10: South Georgia Journey
Today you arrive at the first South Georgia activity site. Please keep in mind that weather conditions in this area can be challenging, largely dictating the program. Over the next several days, you have a chance to visit the following sites:
* Prion Island – This location is closed during the early part of the wandering albatross breeding season (November 20 – January 7). Enjoy witnessing the gentle nature of these animals, which possess the largest wingspan of any birds in the world.
* Fortuna Bay – Near beaches inhabited by various penguins and seals, you have the chance to follow the final leg of Shackleton’s route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness.
* Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour – These sites not only house the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia, they’re also three of the world’s largest breeding beaches for southern elephant seals.
* Grytviken – Here you might be able to see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave. Find king penguins and elephant seals
Day 11: Southward bound
There may be sea ice on this route, and at the edge of the ice some south polar skuas and snow petrels could join the other seabirds trailing the vessel south.
Day 12: The scenic vistas of South Orkney
Depending on the conditions, you might visit Orcadas Base, an Argentine scientific station on Laurie Island in the South Orkney archipelago. The personnel here will happily show you their facility, where you can enjoy expansive views of the surrounding glaciers. If a visit isn’t possible, you may instead land in Signy Island’s Shingle Cove.
Day 13: Last push to the Antarctic
Enormous icebergs and a fair chance of fin whale sightings ensure there’s never a dull moment on this last sea voyage south. Also, your best chance to spot Antarctic petrels is here.
Day 14 – 16: Awe-inspiring Antarctica
If the ice conditions permit, you now sail into the Weddell Sea. Here colossal tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Paulet Island, with its large population of Adélie penguins, is a possible stop. You might also visit Brown Bluff, located in the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound, where you could get the chance to set foot on the Antarctic Continent itself.
If conditions aren’t favorable to enter the Weddell Sea from the east, the ship will set course for Elephant Island and head into the Bransfield Strait, between South Shetland Island and the Antarctic Peninsula.
Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
Day 17 – 18: Familiar seas, familiar friends
While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south
Day 19: There and back again
We disembark on Ushuaia on the morning.