Antarctica and South Georgia
16 nights
Chin strap penguin
King penguins taking in the view, South Georgia
Summer evening in Antarctica
Adelie penguins
Leopard seal resting on an ice flow

Celebrate the New Year in Antarctica and follow the footsteps of Shackleton to South Georgia!

Antarctica and South Georgia 

Expedition Ship: Akademik Ioffe
Length: 16 Nights


This new voyage takes place at the height of the Antarctic summer. We enjoy extended daylight hours at this time of the season, the wildlife colonies are busy and as the sea ice continues to break up, allowing a range of landing sites to explore as well as making a stop at one of the greatest wildlife spots on the planet.

We cross the Drake Passage arriving in Antarctica to celebrate the New Year! We explore the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands and then follow the course taken by Sir Ernest Shackleton whose epic small boat journey, from Elephant Island across the Scotia Sea to South Georgia, remains one of the greatest feats of navigation in history.

We commence our exploration at the remote southeastern tip of the island, and then spend the following days exploring the northern coastline. Here are some of the largest king penguin colonies on earth. The shores are covered in wildlife – including nesting albatross, fur seals and elephant seals. Rusting relics from the old whaling era sit silent and provide a dramatic contrast to the green tussock grass, and snowy peaks that surround us.


Itinerary in Brief

Day 1           Ushuaia, Argentina

Day 2- 3       Drake Passage

Day 4-5        Antarctic Peninsula

Day 6-7        South Shetland Islands, Deception Island and Elephant Island

Day 8-9        Scotia Sea

Day 10-12    South Georgia Island

Day 13-15    Southern Ocean

Day 16         Sea Lion Island and Falkland Islands

Day 17         Stanley, Falkland Islands and Punta Arenas, Chile


Detailed Itinerary

Day 1              Ushuaia, Argentina

Our journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, in southern Argentina. We gather at our central meeting point and transfer to the pier where we embark our expedition ship. 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, dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.

Day 2–3        Drake Passage

Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days. Sailing south towards Antarctica we will be joined by hundreds of seabirds as we transit the Drake Passage. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our modern research vessel.

Day 4–5        Antarctic Peninsula

We awaken today and the magnificent snowy peaks of continental Antarctica are laid out before us. This must surely be one of the most spectacular locations in the world to bring in the New Year! We spend the next several days navigating through icy waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula. We make several off-ship excursions each day, exploring on shore, or cruising in the Zodiacs. As well as exploring the offshore islands along the coastline, we hope to step foot on the actual continent of Antarctica.

Day 6–7        South Shetland Islands, Deception Island and Elephant Island

After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula, we head for the South Shetland Islands. If the weather permits, we sail into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. To the north, lies Elephant Island – forever connected to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition a century ago. This is a thrilling location for history buffs.

Day 8–9        Scotia Sea

As we depart Antarctica we cannot help but ponder the journey made by Shackleton and his four companions – as they attempted the near impossible – navigating 800 nautical miles in a 30 foot converted lifeboat across the tempestuous Scotia Sea to South Georgia. We make a much easier time of the crossing in our state of the art expedition ship. Anticipation builds as the mountainous peaks appear on the horizon, marking our arrival at South Georgia.

Day 10–12    South Georgia

South Georgia has often been called the most staggering wildlife show on earth. Rounding the remote southeastern end of South Georgia, we spend the next three days thoroughly exploring the coastline. Dark sand beaches, tussock covered hinterland and a backdrop of towering peaks and glaciers are a feast for all the senses. Seals cover the beaches, seabirds fill the skies and living in rookeries of immense size, you will discover the majestic king penguins. Locations we hope to visit include Gold Harbour, Royal Bay, St Andrews Bay and Salisbury Plain. Dotted along the coastline are the rusting relics of the early whaling era. The largest of these locations is Grytviken. This is the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton – who was laid to rest here in 1922.

Day 13–15    Southern Ocean

By now we are in sensory overload, our cameras full of images and our journey towards the Falkland Islands commences. Much of our time is spent scanning the horizon in search of whales and other marine mammals. The spectacular seabirds including several albatross and petrel species are our constant companions as they soar above the ship.

Day 16            Sea Lion Island and Falkland Islands

After several days crossing, Sea Lion Island marks our arrival into the Falkland Islands. This windswept location situated in the southern archipelago provides one further day of activity. We launch our Zodiacs and go ashore to view the remarkable wildlife colonies found here. Three species of penguins including gentoo, magellenic and rockhopper exist in the vicinity. Southern elephant seals and South American sea lions are found hauled out on the beaches.

Day 17            Port Stanley, Falkland Islands and Punta Arenas, Chile

Stanley is currently home to just over 2,000 residents and is reminiscent of a rural town in coastal England or Scotland. It is charming with brightly coloured houses, pretty flower-filled gardens, a quaint cathedral and several local pubs. There is time to explore the town, before we make our way to the airport for our return flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile.



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