12 days from £14865pp plus international flights.
A visit to Antarctica is a bucket list, once in a lifetime trip for most people. This fantastic trip promises to show some of the highlights of the Antarctic Circle including some land based adventures and wildlife spotting.
Your journey begins with a night in Santiago before you take to the air and fly to Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands. This is where you'll board the RCGS Resolute, your home for the duration of the voyage. Setting sail for the chilly, yet fascinating waters of the Antarctic Circle, you will be accompanied by giant petrels and albatrosses.
Time can be spent exploring the ice floes in the ship's Zodiac boats, making shore landings where possible. All trips are accompanied by expert guides, they'll separate you into small groups depending on your interests ensuring you get the absolute most out of your trip. You'll be able to discover the remarkable wildlife, hike onshore and perhaps enjoy sea kayaking if you're feeling adventurous. It doesn't stop there, there will be visits to historic sites and scientific research locations, adding another layer to this fascinating trip.
You'll be visiting Elephant Island, where Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men trod, over 100 years ago. Explore the Weddell Sea and some well-known and also some hidden gems along the Antarctic Peninsula, saving the South Shetland Islands until last.
Throughout your voyage you'll be blessed with jaw dropping scenery and a sense of adventure in an area seldom visited. All the while you'll be accompanied by polar experts who can share their knowledge on the environment, wildlife and ecology of this special place.
On arrival at Santiago airport you are met by a local representative who greets you and accompanies you on the drive to your hotel in the city. Relax after your journey and be sure to get a good night's sleep prior to the adventure to come starting tomorrow.
Your Antarctic adventure really gets underway today as you leave Santiago in Chile for the Falkland Islands. Your charter flight arrives into Port Stanley, the capital, and there's time to explore the town or take a guided tour of nearby Gypsy Cove where you can expect to see a variety of shore birds and Magellanic penguins. Later you return to the harbour and board your home for the next few days, RCGS Resolute, a purpose built Polar expedition vessel with lots of social space and comfortable cabins. Settle in, get your bearings and enjoy a welcome cocktail as the ship casts off for the Antarctic.
Your voyage to the Antarctic commences as you set off across the Drake Passage. During the crossing you are likely to be joined by giant petrels, albatrosses and Cape petrels. Your time on board is spent watching informative presentations given by the resident naturalist guides, relaxing in the lounges and enjoying tasty meals. RCGS Resolute has an open-bridge policy and you might want to take the chance to join the captain and officers on watch to learn about the operation of the vessel.
At this stage of the voyage you enter Antarctic Sound and you cannot fail to be impressed as you appreciate first-hand the vastness of the Antarctic icecap. As you continue into the Weddell Sea you should more and more huge icebergs, formed when thy break away from the enormous ice shelves to the south. There are possible landing sites, determined by conditions, such as Gourdin Island and Brown Bluff, both of which have large rookeries of Adelie penguins. Early Polar explorers occupied this area and there are some interesting geological sites with thousands of fossils. Your guides can shed light on the wildlife and history as you explore for yourself.
Entering the Southern Gerlache Strait there are more landing sites on Anvers and Wiencke Islands. Travelling by zodiac to the shore you then break into smaller groups to set off on a hike of your preferred duration, observing penguins maybe with eggs or newly born chicks. Later RCGS Resolute crosses the Gerlache Strait to Paradise Harbour, a possible landing site and your first time ashore on the continental landmass of Antarctica. These excursions are interspersed with time on board, dining and relaxing, taking in the views and enjoying a dip in the plunge pool or indulgent soak in the jacuzzi.
If weather conditions permit Resolute sails into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. Against this dramatic backdrop you can go ashore and explore the old whaling station. If you want the chance to stretch your legs, the Aitcho Islands provide some excellent hiking routes. Stop to admire the colourful mosses and lichens, as well as to watch Gentoo and chinstrap penguins at their nesting sites and to see seals on the shore and in the water. Fort Point on Greenwich Island is another possible landing site.
The time has come to leave Antarctica, her stunning scenery and enchanting wildlife, as you head back to Drake Passage for the two day crossing back to Port Stanley. You are now completely familiar with life on board, as you take in views from the observation lounge and bar. You might want to treat yourself to a massage at the wellness centre or a workout at the gym. Before your arrival at the Falklands the expedition leader gives an entertaining and informative roundup of the voyage.
This morning RCGS Resolute docks in Stanley and it's time to say goodbye to the crew as you disembark and enjoy some free time in town. Afterwards you head back to the airport for the charter flight back to Santiago where the holiday concludes.
Guide price from (pp sharing): £14865 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: Based on 2 people sharing a lead in grade cabin: 1 Dec 2019 from £14865
Transfers including return flights from Santiago to Port Stanley. Pre cruise night in Santiago hotel on a BB basis, on board accommodation, meals, snacks, tea and coffee. Use of on board expedition gear and boots. Shore excursions and activities; guided hikes, walks, presentations by expedition guides and on board naturalists.
International flights and taxes, visas, meals not shown, drinks, items of a personal nature.
This itinerary starts and ends in Santiago, Chile.
Stunning, emerald green lakes set against a backdrop of volcanoes and vast, lush forests – the landscape in the South of Chile is amazing. German-influenced food and historic architecture add to this region’s appeal.
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Find the best time to visit Arctic and Antarctic
Time: Arctic GMT -5 Antarctic GMT -3
Flight time: Flight time approximately 22 hours to Ushuaia (Argentina) or Punta Arenas (Chile) (no direct flights from the UK)
Language: English is the most widely spoken language
Visas: Not required for British nationals for Antarctica, South Georgia or the Falkland Islands.
Health: None required but tetanus may be recommended. No other vaccinations are compulsory.