Arrive early and enjoy some tango and empanadas in Argentina's capital. After exploring this vibrant city of South America on your own, an evening meeting with the Quark representative will get you ready for the expedition ahead.
Morning is free to explore Buenos Aires as the transfer to the ship takes place in the afternoon. Once on board there is a get together for introductions to the expedition team, to learn about the ship and its layout, talk about the itinerary for the next 10 days and participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. Departure is normally around 6:00 p.m, and we set sail in the early evening.
Day 3 - 5
Days will be spent on deck identifying seabirds, or taking in lectures by the Expedition Team or chatting. Days at sea can be as busy or as relaxing as you desire. During these first few days the Expedition Team will inform you on procedures for your Zodiac cruises and shore landings.
Day 6 - 7
Upon arrival in the Falklands we'll be greeted by abundant wildlife and a feeling of rugged remoteness. The Falkland archipelago is great for exploring by Zodiac excursions and daily landings so we'll get to it right away.
One landing that will surely stick out in memory is at Port Stanley. This unique British outpost has a ramshackle charm to it with plenty of churches and museums to explore, as well as some friendly locals willing to chat over a drink at the local pub.
If you're itching for some wildlife photography opportunities then how do Magellanic, Gentoo and Rockhopper penguins sound? Or, perhaps you'll even spot some king penguins here as well. Other impressive birds we can expect to see here include Black-browed albatross and two endemic species; Cobb's wren and the Falkland's flightless Steamer duck.
With such a smattering of interesting flora and fauna in the Falklands, the team of lecturers and specialists will be sure to educate on our surroundings and answer any questions about the sights and species we've seen.
Day 8 - 9
Once we cross the invisible, moving, line called the Antarctic Convergence you'll know you've officially reached Antarctic waters. Encircling the continent, cold northward-flowing Antarctic waters meet and mix with the warmer waters of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, creating the abundance of krill and microscopic marine life that attracts hungry whales and other species.
Day 10 - 13
With a rich history of exploration in the Antarctic, South Georgia has many stories to tell. The original inhabitants here arrived to hunt whales and Fur and Elephant seals to perilously low levels, but thankfully populations have rebounded and whaling and sealing ceases to exist today. You will see many remnants of these days gone by; including several whaling stations and other abandoned outposts. Perhaps the most historic and famous site on the island is the grave of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. We can visit his grave at the settlement of Grytviken, which is also home to a museum, small gift shop, church and an active scientific research station. South Georgia is sometimes called the Galapagos of the Poles as it is home to a captivating number of inquisitive and curious creatures. Indeed, the number of animals seen here will rival that of all the other days of the voyage combined. Each landing we make on South Georgia will open your eyes to a new wonder of wildlife; one day may be a beach filled with a hundred thousand pairs of King penguins, the next may present some close encounters with massive Elephant seals or the smaller Fur seals. Different penguin and bird species utilize the island landscape differently here, making it a fascinating destination teeming with wildlife from the shoreline to the top of the highest grassy hills.
Day 14 - 15
Antarctica awaits, along with its own penguin and seal species. While at sea, we can enjoy some quiet time or take in presentations by the Expedition Team, which will cover everything from the history and geology of Antarctica to tips on identifying different species and what makes them each unique. With good weather conditions, a landing at the South Orkney Islands may mark our official landing on Antarctica.
Day 16 - 19
Arriving in Antarctica is often a surprisingly emotional moment, filled with a sense of reverence and awe. No other place on earth is like Antarctica, which is a land of extremes. Complete silence in the middle of the day is something we're unaccustomed to in our busy lives, so Antarctica puts many people into a contemplative mood. But not for too long, as a calving glacier may break the silence or a penguin comes waddling by to inspect your footwear.
Trekking up a glacier, visiting a research station or going on a Zodiac cruise amongst massive icebergs will become daily activities. It won't take long to be able tell the difference between Weddell, Fur, Crabeater and Leopard seals either, which are all found in this part of Antarctica. Curious whales, such as Minkes, are often attracted to Zodiacs as well, giving the chance to get close to these majestic animals. Every journey is full of surprises, even for our experienced Expedition Team, which means each journey will be unlike any before, or after it. This is untamed, unscripted nature at its best!
Day 20 - 21
Leaving the Antarctic Peninsula overnight our ship heads back across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage. The crossing is completed with the rounding of Cape Horn, weather permitting.
Disembark and end in Ushuaia.