Fly & Cruise - Antarctica, South Georgia & Falklands

18 days
from
£19,080
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Trip code: 
PRR
Activity:
Polar
Max group size:
146
Min age:
18

An in-depth exploration of Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands

The towering peaks and immense glacial systems of the Antarctic Peninsula are home to a great abundance of wildlife which we observe on shore, from the Zodiacs and the ship. Large penguin rookeries are found at several locations and we encounter seals and whales in the iceberg filled waterways. Opportunities to visit historic huts and active science stations add further interest. We explore on shore through guided walks which may last up to several hours. Or if you prefer to sit and observe the penguins as they come and go from the water - why not?

Our journey continues as we 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 explore the northern coastline of South Georgia, home to 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. We then head for the Falkland Islands and aim to spend one final day exploring the wildlife-rich Falkland Islands. Our voyage comes to an end in Stanley – the small capital of the Falkland Islands. 

Highlights

  • Fantastic glaciated scenery of the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia
  • Visits to historic sites and wilderness experiences
  • Incredible wildlife viewing including seabirds, penguins, seals and whales
  • Travel on a small expedition vessel
  • Accompanied by extremely qualified Expedition Staff

Key information

  • 16 nights on the ship
  • Expedition cruising in comfortable conditions
  • Countries visited: Chile, Antarctica, South Georgia, Falkland Islands

What's included

  • All meals while on the ship
  • Beer and wine during dinner (except departures on Akademik Ioffe)
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Full complement of qualified Expedition Staff
  • We can include flights from the UK.  Please contact us for a quote.

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Punta Arenas (Chile)

    Upon arrival in Punta Arenas, Chile, where our Antarctic journey commences, make your way to our signature hotel for an included pre-voyage stay. This evening, we encourage you to visit the welcome desk set up in the lobby of the hotel to check in with the One Ocean Expeditions' representative and to collect luggage tags for your voyage. Punta Arenas is the gateway to Chilean Patagonia, facilitating easy exploration of the region pre-voyage

  • Day 2

    King George Island, Antarctica

    Our journey begins this morning with a transfer to the airport for the two-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Antarctica. Upon arrival at King George Island, we embark our ship via Zodiac. After settling into our cabins and exploring our new surroundings, we meet our Expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome refreshment and set sail. No doubt, everyone will be looking forward to the adventure ahead.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 3-4

    Gerlache Strait & Antarctic Peninsula Exploration

    Take a deep breath and venture out on deck as the towering peaks of the Antarctic continent are laid out before us. This is the moment you have been waiting for. For the next two days we have a varied itinerary exploring the Gerlache coastline. We may aim for Paradise Harbour and an opportunity to step foot on the continental land mass of Antarctica. For many, this is the fulfillment of a life-long goal. A superb hike here leads up to a high point affording incredible views of the glaciers and mountains. This is a good location to observe nesting Imperial cormorants on the cliffs. While Zodiac cruising or paddling the kayaks into nearby Skontorp Cove are other memorable activities – the small cove is surrounded by towering glaciers on all three sides.

    Our activity program is in full swing by now, and each day we enjoy guided walks on shore, visits to wildlife colonies, and Zodiac cruising among the ice with our expert guides providing insight and interpretation. We have been exploring this section of Antarctica’s coastline for many years and we have a few special locations in mind. The Errera Channel has several such spots – including Danco Island – a dome-shaped sentinel providing some great hiking options. Cuverville Island is another favourite – with its substantial gentoo penguin rookeries. We may navigate north through the Gerlache Strait towards Spert Island - a little visited rocky outcrop with remarkable geology. The island is criss-crossed by narrow channels which makes for fantastic Zodiac cruising and sea kayaking. The cliffs are home to numerous nesting bird species and we often encounter whales here. Nearby Mikkelson Harbour also allows for another potential off-ship excursion. After several busy days of exploration we head north, bound for the South Shetland Islands. This is an important whale migration corridor and we expect sightings of Humpbacks, or the resident Orca group that inhabit this area.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    South Shetlands

    Having crossed the Bransfield Straight overnight, we arrive in the South Shetland Islands. If the weather conditions allow, we may sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic place and history is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with the rusted old boilers and dilapidated wooden huts. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar. This is where Australian, Sir Hubert Wilkins made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928. There is also an outstanding hike here, high up onto the rim of the crater.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Antarctic Sound

    Situated at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctic Sound is about 10 miles wide and separates the Antarctic Peninsula from Joinville Island. Our gateway to the Weddell Sea, Antarctic Sound is also an exciting destination in its own right. Home to science stations, Adelie penguin rookeries and tabular icebergs, we will experience many of the different faces of Antarctica. While visiting Antarctic Sound, we may visit sites such as Brown Bluff, Hope Bay, or Gourdin Island.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 7-9

    Scotia Sea - towards South Georgia

    Point Lookout on the southern tip of Elephant Island is home to an impressive Chinstrap penguin colony. Macaroni penguins also breed here and are a species we have yet to encounter to date. Both southern Elephant seals and Fur seals are hauled out on the rocky beaches. If conditions permit, we may visit the fabled location of Point Wild on the north coast of Elephant Island. It is here that Shackleton and his men were encamped under their upturned life boats, before the six men set off on a rescue mission to South Georgia in their tiny lifeboat – the 'James Caird'. We then chart a southeasterly course bound for South Georgia.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 10-13

    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 Harbour. The island is also home to large numbers of nesting albatross as they fill the skies above, coming and going from the nest.

    Dotted along the coastline are the rusting relics of the early whaling era. The largest of these locations is Grytviken. Here we find a fascinating museum and a beautifully restored Norwegian Lutheran Church. Adjacent to the old whaling station lies a small cemetery. This is the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton – who was laid to rest here in 1922. For many onboard, being in the presence of the great explorer is a highlight of the trip. We continue our journey along the coastline, hoping to visit Stromness – another former whaling station – and the final destination of Shackleton and companions Frank Worsley and Tom Crean having made the near impossible traverse across the interior of South Georgia after their epic boat trip from Antarctica a century ago.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 14-16

    At Sea - towards the Falklands

    By now we are in sensory overload, our cameras full of images and our journey towards the Falkland Islands commences. The spectacular seabirds including several albatross and petrel species are our constant companions as they soar above the ship. The onboard educational program continues, and our experts recap our remarkable journey to date. These days provide a good opportunity to catch up on journal entries, sort through your images at the multimedia stations and catch some rest after several busy days of activity.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 17

    Falkland Islands

    We wake to the sight of landfall in the Falkland Islands. Situated in the Scotia Sea more than 250 nautical miles off the coast of South America, the Falklands Islands are situated in relatively shallow and very rich waters for marine life. As such, the Falklands are host to an amazing array of Antarctic and subAntarctic species as well as many species from neighbouring South America. It is entirely possible to see a striated caracara, known locally as a Johnny Rook, stalking Gentoo penguin chicks, with Black-browed albatross soaring overhead. This amazing juxtaposition of Antarctic and South American wildlife is one of the many great surprises of the Falkland Islands.

    Our choice of landing sites in the Falkland Islands will depend in many respects on our crossing from South Georgia. Our transit speed will be dependent on the weather systems coming through the Drake Passage, which will in turn dictate our arrival time and place in the Falklands. We may choose to visit the East Falklands or push on to the West Falklands for a day of excursions prior to disembarkation in Port Stanley. Possible excursion sites include Bleaker Island in the East Falklands or West Point Island in the West Falklands. Either offer excellent wildlife opportunities with Magellanic penguins, potentially Rockhopper penguins and a number of bird species endemic to the Falkland Islands. In the waters around the islands, we may be fortunate to see Commerson’s and/or Peale’s dolphins.

    While the wildlife of the Falkland Islands is certainly an attraction for many, there is a vibrant history and an engaging Camp or countryside lifestyle. As we visit the Falkland Islands and are hosted by land owners, we will learn much about life in this isolated outpost of the United Kingdom.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 18

    Disembark in Stanley, Falkland Islands; fly to Santiago, Chile

    This morning we find ourselves in the port of Stanley. We say goodbye to our crew and make our way to the airport for our return private air charter to Santiago.  On arrival in Santiago our journey comes to an end. Onward regional and international flight connections may be possible this evening. A transfer is provided to a downtown location for those choosing to stay and explore Santiago and the delights of Chile.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Group Information

The RCGS Resolute takes a maximum capacity of 146 passengers.The Exodus group forms part of the ship’s complement, enjoying the relaxed, intimate and informal atmosphere, which breaks into smaller groups to facilitate the frequent excursions. We offer these cruises in conjunction with One Ocean Expeditions, and Exodus participants will join an international group, not all of whom have booked through Exodus. Occasionally some of these may be younger than 18 years old, the Exodus' stated minimum age for this trip.

Visas

Chile

British, most European and most other nationalities, including Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders, do not require visas. All other nationalities should contact the nearest Chilean Embassy if in doubt. Citizens of Australia pay a fee on first entry into Chile by air (cash US Dollars only, no credit cards or cheques) $95 - valid for only 90 days). There is no fee for other nationalities at the time of writing. The one-time charge is valid for the life of your passport so keep the stub stapled in.

Antarctica

No visa required for British passport holders.

South Georgia

No visa required for British, US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and most EU passports.

Falkland Islands

No visa required.

Vaccinations

Chile

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Antarctica

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All meals while on the ship included.

Typical Meals

The ships galley offers good quality service and cuisine throughout, with excellent chefs preparing international menus including vegetarian dishes, accompanied by a wide variety of drinks on sale from around the world.

Breakfast: Buffet style – unlimited tea and coffee, a selection of fruit juices, hot options including bacon and eggs or omelettes, a selection of bread and toast and jam/honey/marmalade, fruit and cereal.

Lunch: Three course set meal, or the occasional buffet or BBQ.

Dinner: Three or four courses with a starter of soup and/or salad, a choice of mains with at least one vegetarian option and a dessert, with tea and coffee.

Weather

Late Spring and Early Summer - October & November

The start of the season and the most adventurous time to travel. You’ll encounter truly breathtaking, exquisitely sculpted icebergs emerging from their frozen hibernation. Many of these blue bergs house courting, nesting and brooding penguins. In the Falklands flowers are coming into bloom.

High Summer - December, January & February

Close to the solstice you’ll experience almost perpetual daylight. These are the mildest months when the first Adelie and Gentoo penguin chicks are hatched. It’s also the time to encounter seal pups on South Georgia. As the water warms the whale sightings also improve.

Late Summer - February & March

This is the time for some incredible encounters with whales, especially Minkes and Humpbacks. The receding ice allows for further exploration and penguin colonies are very active with adults feeding their chicks.

Is this trip for you?

Travelling Conditions

The voyages are designed to be as flexible as possible, taking advantage of circumstances and events as they occur, as well as passengers' wishes and particular interests wherever possible. The atmosphere onboard is relaxed and friendly with expedition staff, including naturalists and polar experts, on hand and the opportunity to mingle with people from all over the world. The ship is kept warm, clean and comfortable with a wet/mud room in which to hang gear and store boots ready for the next adventure.

On the Zodiac cruises you are sitting still for most of the time with the potential for some sea spray and a cold headwind - if you are not dressed appropriately you will get cold. On the shore excursions, the majority of landings are 'wet' which means that the Zodiacs beach and you are helped to slide into the ankle deep shore break before walking up onto dry land (wellington boots are issued to all passengers). There are, of course, no paths, so be prepared for slippery, rough terrain and sometimes fairly deep snow. Back on board the cosy ship after each adventure, you can have a sauna and/or a hot shower and then relax with a tea, coffee, hot chocolate or something stronger from the bar.

Sea kayaking option

On some of our Antarctica, Falklands & South Georgia voyages there is the chance for some members of the party to take regular sea kayak excursions in place of the Zodiac excursions. There are a limited number of kayaks on each ship, and you must book and pay for this option in advance. All kayak trips are expertly guided, and are subject to suitable locations and weather conditions. Should the kayaking not be possible, a place on a Zodiac is always available. Basic kayak competence is required.

Polar Itineraries

All Polar itineraries should be treated as a guide only - it is possible that, amongst other things, the capricious nature of wind, visibility and ice, intelligence from previous sailings, changes in local landing regulations or the expert opinion of the crew onboard may lead to adjustments to the route published.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

RCGS Resolute

RCGS Resolute is a Polar Adventure Ship named after the HMS Resolute, a British Royal Navy Arctic exploration vessel, as well as the Inuit town of Resolute in Canada’s Nunavut Territory.

Designed for comfort, RCGS Resolute is modern, well appointed, safe and ice-strengthened. From small group sessions to briefings for all passengers, she has public spaces onboard the ship ideally suited for each and every need. Two separate bar and lounge areas featuring 180-degree views and a wonderfully stocked library provide ideal places to relax or catch up on some reading. The sumptuous meals prepared for you by our culinary team are enjoyed in either of our two dining rooms, one of which features our popular bistro menu offering quick and easy meals for those prioritizing time out on deck. Both dining rooms have ample and open seating paired with modern furnishings and large picture windows with 180-degree views. Other facilities include our theatre-style presentation room, gift-shop, gymnasium, wellness centre, hot water spa, sauna and steam room and salt water pool.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 020 8772 3936