South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula: Penguin Safari
This itinerary is the fastest way to get to the seldom visited South Georgia Island while also setting foot on the 7th continent. Beaches teeming with king penguins and elephant seals greet us on this fabled island, where we'll pay our respects to famed explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Highlights include: Sailing the historic Beagle Channel, the fertile breeding grounds of South Georgia, exploring historic sites, discovering majestic and natural environments by zodiac and on foot, get up close and personal with penguins, whales and other wildlife.
Your Ship: The Quark Expeditions fleet never exceed more than 200 passengers , which gives guests the best polar experience on a smaller ship. Their ice strengthened vessels are built for challenging polar environments, which takes you to places ordinary cruise companies wouldn't dream of going.
Ultramarine: The newest ship in the fleet and equipped with two twin-engine helicopters, offering a robust portfolio of activities and and the most spacious suites in its category. Features include breathtaking public spaces, and more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than other ships its size.
World Explorer: This all-suite, all-balcony, ice-class ship offers plenty of space inside and out including observation deck & lounge, library and explorer lounge. Health and wellness facilities include outdoor running track, small gym and spa, plus an outdoor swimming pool.
Ocean Diamond: Both a comfortable and capable ship with all rooms enjoying exterior views, TV, fridge, and one double or two single beds, with some suites sporting a private balcony. Soak in the scenery from the panoramic observation lounge.
Ocean Adventurer: A long been a favourite among guests with ample outdoor deck space, numerous cosy spots to socialize onboard, plus the outdoor jacuzzi.
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port at the tip of South America. It's the ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy handcrafted chocolate at a café in town.
Day 2: Ushuaia, Argentina and Embarkation Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel, which transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart!
Days 3 to 6: At Sea There are many activities to keep you engaged while you are at sea. Learn to identify seabirds that glide alongside the ship, or attend dynamic presentations by your Expedition Team. You will be prepped on safety procedures for Zodiac cruises and shore landings, and also be given instructions for getting the most out of your optional sea kayaking adventures (extra cost), a truly intimate way to experience Antarctica.
If conditions are right, the first indication that you are approaching South Georgia is the sight of birds around a group of rocky spires called Shag Rocks. Have your binoculars and cameras ready to capture these rocky spires rising out of the icy ocean waters. Shags and prions often rest here, and due to nutrient rich upwellings around the rocks it can be a good place to keep a lookout for whales.
Days 7 & 8: South Georgia After enjoying South Georgia from a distance, we'll head toward its numerous beaches to find a bay for your first excursion. Landing sites are varied, largely determined by the weather conditions of your voyage. Whichever sites we visit, they'll provide you with wildlife encounters unrivaled anywhere else on earth. South Georgia is one of the most fertile breeding grounds in the world for sub-Antarctic wildlife, with beaches blanketed with penguins and seals. It won't take you long to realize that you are in a bird paradise, as burrowing seabirds, albatross and petrels can be seen in abundance.
You'll find that South Georgia, once a popular base for whalers and sealers, is also scattered with abandoned relics and evidence of human activity from centuries gone by. Your Expedition Team will help bring those days to life while you visit old whaling stations and enjoy presentations on the South Georgia of then and now. One of the most significant sites you will visit on the island is Grytviken. This settlement is the first whaling stations established in sub-Antarctic waters. Many travelers find that this place has a special appeal, as it is the site of the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton, one of the most famous Antarctic explorers.
Days 9 & 10: At Sea Say goodbye to the king penguins, as your next destination is Antarctica! Your days at sea are filled with presentations and workshops led by your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife and landscapes that will surround you upon your arrival.
Days 11 to 13: Antarctic Peninsula The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words, since few places are as untouched and enduring as Antarctica. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes. At one moment you'll be overcome with a feeling of complete isolation and silence, and at the next moment you'll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into a brilliant blue sea or a penguin waddles by to inspect your footwear.
Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each excursion, whether you are Zodiac cruising, visiting a historical site or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Keep a lookout for Antarctic whales, such as minkes, while on a Zodiac cruise. Each day and each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy. As exciting as the Zodiac excursions and landings are, perhaps you'll treat yourself to an extra-special Antarctic experience by partaking in an optional paddling excursion (at an extra cost) or cast reason aside and jump into Antarctic waters for the Polar Plunge!
Days 14 & 15: Crossing the Drake Passage After more than a dozen days of unique wildlife encounters and remarkable landscapes, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage. Spend time on deck watching for seabirds and whales, enjoy presentations by your Expedition Team, or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.
Day 16: Disembark in Ushuaia You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning, which allows for you to continue your adventure onward or catch your flights home.
*Cruises itineraries aboard Ultramarine commence with a hotel stay in Buenos Aires then a flight to Ushuaia, returning to Buenos Aires at the end. A mandatory transfer package is an additional cost on this cruise.
Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy - and excitement - of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.
• Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board • All shore landings per the daily program • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled • Photographic journal documenting the expedition • Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings • An official Quark Expeditions parka to keep • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program • All luggage handling aboard ship • Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person • One night's hotel accommodation Buenos Aires or Ushuaia
Pricing (per person) $USD
5, 20 Nov
4, 5, 7 Dec
2023 19 Feb
5, 20 Nov
Booking conditions • Single travellers will be matched with another traveller of the same gender and pay share twin price.
• Single travellers who wish to have their own cabin, please enquire.
• Single travellers will be matched with another traveller of the same gender and pay share twin price. • Single travellers who wish to have their own cabin, please enquire.
Not included • Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary
• Passport and visa expenses
• Government arrival and departure taxes
• Any meals ashore unless otherwise specified
• Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance
• Excess baggage charges
• Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
• Telecommunications charges
• The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
• Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary • Passport and visa expenses • Government arrival and departure taxes • Any meals ashore unless otherwise specified • Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance • Excess baggage charges • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified • Telecommunications charges • The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
Gratuity Gratuities are voluntary and can be given at the end of your cruise. We recommend that you budget US$10 to US$15 per person per day, if you are pleased with the service on board.
Gratuities are voluntary and can be given at the end of your cruise. We recommend that you budget US$10 to US$15 per person per day, if you are pleased with the service on board.