South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey
featuring the South Sandwich Islands
24 Days - Sylvia Earle
On this epic voyage, not only will you explore the famed white continent, enjoy two days discovering the Falklands~Malvinas, encounter the wildlife haven in South Georgia, you will also sail to the South Sandwich Islands, a chain of seldom-visited volcanic islands located 740 km (460 miles) south-east of South Georgia. Simply reaching these wild, far-flung islands is an adventure.
from USD $28895pp
Home » 24 Day Sylvia Earle: South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey featuring the South Sandwich Islands
- Experience the magnificent wildlife and hear tales of the fascinating history of South Georgia.
- Spend two days discovering the rich history and birdlife in the Falklands~Malvinas.
- Become one of the very few to reach the South Sandwich Islands – a corner of the world rarely visited by travellers.
- Enjoy Zodiac excursions in secluded bays and quiet coves filled with brash ice and photograph enormous glaciers and spectacularly shaped icebergs in various shades of blue.
Itinerary in Brief:
- Day 1: Arrival in Ushuaia
- Day 2: Embark the Sylvia Earle in Ushuaia
- Day 3: At Sea
- Day 4-5: Falkland Islands - Malvinas
- Day 6-7: At Sea
- Day 8-11: South Georgia
- Day 12-13 At Sea
- Day 14-15 South Sandwich Islands
- Day 16-17 At Sea
- Day 18-21: Antarctic Peninsula
- Day 22-23 Drake Passage
- Day 24: Disembark in Ushuaia
Day 1: Arrival in Ushuaia
Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a local representative and transferred to your downtown hotel (preferred flights only).
Day 2: Embark the Sylvia Earle in Ushuaia
This morning, please ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Your luggage will be collected from your hotel and transferred directly to the port for clearance and delivered to your cabin ahead of your arrival on board. Please keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day. Enjoy free time after check-out, meeting back in the hotel lobby at 2.00 pm to commence a short sightseeing tour of Ushuaia.
Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego is located at the shores of the Beagle Channel and surrounded by the Martial Mountains giving you a unique landscape in Argentina, which is the combination of mountains, sea, glaciers and forests. On this brief introductory tour, you will visit “La Mision” neighbourhood, the old Government House, and the upper area of the city, which offers beautiful panoramic views of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel. During the excursion you will see the antique houses that belonged to the first families settled in Ushuaia. The excursion ends with a visit to the Old Prison Museum before transferring to the pier for embarkation at approximately 4.00 pm.
If you choose to not participate in the sightseeing tour, you will need to make your own way to the Prison Museum carpark by 3.45 pm to re-join the group for the transfer to the pier for embarkation.
After embarkation, you will have time to settle into your cabin before our important mandatory briefings. As the ship pulls away from port, we will gather on the deck to commence our adventure with spectacular views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego.
Day 3: At Sea
As we commence our trip across the South Atlantic Ocean, we make the most of our time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Our expedition team prepare you for our first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures and start our lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment.
Our wildlife experiences begin as we enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following in our wake. They rise and fall skilfully, using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.
Day 4-5: Falkland Islands - Malvinas
The Falklands~Malvinas comprises two large islands (East and West Falkland), with over 700 islands scattered off the coast. All but seven of these are uninhabited, with windswept coastlines, white sand beaches and crystal clear water. These beautifully barren islands are true wildlife havens, sheltering an impressive diversity of birdlife, including the largest black-browed albatross colony on earth. The cold, nutrient-rich waters surrounding the islands make this a prime location for spotting marine life. There are many beautiful areas to explore across the Falklands~Malvinas, each offering a unique perspective on this magnificent archipelago. Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing winds, weather and wildlife opportunities. We generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. Even though we’re north of the Antarctic Convergence it can be quite chilly here, so you’ll want to layer up before joining Zodiac cruises into rocky coves or along sea cliffs, keeping watch for seals, sea lions, dolphins and porpoising penguins. Zodiacs will also transport you from the ship to land, where you may be able to visit albatross colonies, penguin rookeries and perhaps even have a traditional English ‘tea and scones’ at a local cottage. We also aim to land in historic Stanley, the capital of the Falklands~Malvinas. This charming town has a distinctly British character, with terraced town houses, pioneer cottages and even an iconic red telephone box! Colourful buildings house cosy cafes, English pubs, souvenir shops, a post office and the fascinating Historic Dockyard Museum, with displays on the maritime history of the Falkland Islands, natural history and links to Antarctica.
Day 6-7: At Sea
Between the Falklands~Malvinas and South Georgia, you will be entranced by the ceaseless flight of the many seabirds that follow our wake, skillfully using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum. On this leg, we are usually travelling into the prevailing weather so it is difficult to estimate our precise arrival time in South Georgia. Our lecture program will continue highlighting all of the incredible sights we have witnessed over the past few days. You will have ample time to enjoy observing the seabirds, whale-watching from the observation areas, or simply relaxing with a book.
If time and weather conditions permit, we may pass close to Shag Rocks, a fascinating group of jagged rocky islets protruding from the sea, in the proximity of South Georgia.
Day 8-12: South Georgia
As you near the rugged island of South Georgia, spare a thought for Captain James Cook, who arrived here in 1775 and believed it to be the northern tip of a great southern continent! In fact, it is a small island only 176 km (110 mi) long, but with a 3,000 m (9,842 ft) snow-capped mountain range, some of the world’s largest congregations of wildlife and a truly fascinating human history, South Georgia is an island of incredible riches. On approach, jagged mountain peaks rise steeply, while seabirds are often spotted soaring around the ship. You’ll sail down the east coast, taking in the spectacular glaciated scenery and enjoying a little shelter from the prevailing westerly winds. This enchanting coastline is yours to explore!
Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their local knowledge to plan your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, sea state and wildlife opportunities. We generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. Make sure you layer up before joining Zodiac cruises around craggy coves and along the rocky coastline in search of nesting penguins, seal haul-outs and bird cliffs. Remember to keep an eye out for South Georgia’s kelp forests as well - these remarkable underwater ecosystems are quite mesmerising as their fronds sway back and forth on the water’s surface. Zodiacs will also transport you from ship to shore, where you can visit some of the largest king penguin colonies on earth, take a guided walk among fur seals and elephant seals (making sure you listen to your guides and keep your distance!) and wander along pebbled streams and grassy glacial outwash plains. We also hope to visit the remnants of South Georgia’s thriving whaling stations and pay our respects to Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose incredible voyage of survival is synonymous with this island. If you have chosen an optional activity, you’ll have the option to do that whenever conditions allow. In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, we may ship cruise through fjords with towering cliffs of ancient stone, or into deeply indented bays towards dramatic glacier fronts. This is a great time to find a comfy spot in the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge to enjoy uninterrupted views of South Georgia’s majestic coast.
Day 13: At Sea
En route to the Antarctic Peninsula, we’ll head across the Scotia Sea, following the route that Shackleton and five of his men took in order to find help for the rest of their crew. On 24 April 1916, they piled into the James Caird, the most seaworthy of their open boats, to attempt this perilous journey to South Georgia - some 1,290 km / 801 mi. distance. Shackleton hoped to reach South Georgia in two weeks. There he would enlist the help of the whalers to return to Elephant Island and rescue the men who had been left behind. As excitement builds for our arrival to Antarctica, be out on the deck or from the open bridge to spot a large iceberg.
Day 14-15: South Sandwich Islands
On Captain James Cook’s second voyage of discovery (1772–1775), he circumnavigated the globe in high southern latitudes, without seeing land, casting doubt on the existence of the Antarctic continent, which at that time was still unknown. It was during this voyage Cook discovered the South Sandwich Islands and landed on South Georgia Island, describing them as, ‘Lands doomed by Nature to perpetual frigidness: never to feel the warmth of the sun’s rays; whose horrible and savage aspects I have not words to describe.’
He named the South Sandwich Islands for Lord Sandwich, they are considered together with South Georgia, as a UK Dependent Territory (see above), and are uninhabited. Although Cook sighted a number of the islands, several more were not discovered until Bellingshausen visited in 1819.
Located about 740 km (460 mi) southeast of South Georgia, the islands form a chain some 350 km (220 mi) long, comprising 11 large and several smaller islands with a total area of about 600 sq. km (230 sq. mi). Most are ice-capped, and the tallest peak, on Montagu Island, reaches 1,370 m (4,500 ft). The climate is cold, with frequent snow and strong winds.
The islands are volcanic in origin and some remain active. The island of Zavodovski, for instance, appears in constant eruption and reeks of rotten eggs (the volcano itself is named Mt. Asphyxia), while the islands of Visokoi, Candlemas, Saunders, and Bellingshausen all show definite signs of activity. Bristol, Cook, and Thule islands are heavily glaciated and show no signs of warmth or activity. All the islands are steep sided above the water and fall away rapidly into deep water - more than 1,500 m (5,000 ft).
In this wild environment, nature determines what we are able to do and see. If conditions allow, we hope to explore the dramatic coastline of some the islands. Little is known about these islands, although the British Antarctic Survey has undertaken some limited biological and geological work there, mainly in the 1960s. Vegetation is very sparse. But there’s at least one extraordinary wildlife spectacle: Zavodovski Island supports a chinstrap penguin colony that numbers around one million penguins on its steep volcanic slopes. Those who have seen this massive penguin colony speak of it with awe.
Day 16-17: At Sea
Reflect over a few drinks on the adventures of the last few days spent in the wild South Sandwich Islands and hear tales of exploration and discovery from our team of onboard experts as we prepare for our exciting days ahead in the Antarctic Peninsula.
Day 18-21: Antarctic Peninsula
It’s almost impossible to describe the feeling of arriving in Antarctica. Spotting your first iceberg and taking a deep breath of some of the most fresh, crisp air on earth is an experience that will stay with you forever. Because we are so far south, we will experience approximately 18-24 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish.
Enjoy Zodiac cruises along spectacular ice cliffs or among grounded icebergs, keeping a close watch for whales, seals and porpoising penguins. While ashore we aim to stretch our legs, wandering along pebbly beaches or perhaps hike up snow-covered ridgelines to vantage points with mountains towering overhead and ice-speckled oceans below. We may encounter penguin colonies and remember that they have right of way here!
Keen polar plungers will have the chance to fully immerse themselves in polar waters - conditions permitting!
We will also ship-cruise some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to watch whales travelling or feeding. Enjoy uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendour from one of the observation lounges with a warm beverage in hand. Keep an ear out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve their way from summit to sea. Take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of the incredible White Continent.
Day 22-23: Drake Passage
Enjoy a final morning landing in the South Shetland Islands before we enter the Drake Passage for our return journey to South America.
With lectures and film presentations to complete our Antarctic experience, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the magic of the Southern Ocean and the life that calls it home. There is time for reflection and discussion about what we have seen and experienced. We hope you become ambassadors for Antarctica telling your family, friends and colleagues about your journey to this magical place, advocating for its conservation and preservation so that they might one day visit the region to experience what you have been lucky to see and do here.
As we approach the tip of South America, our Captain may sail close to legendary Cape Horn, weather and time permitting.
Day 24: Disembark Ushuaia
During the early morning, we cruise up the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, where we will be free to disembark around 8.00 am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow passengers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to Ushuaia airport or to your hotel is included in the voyage fare.
NOTE: At the conclusion of the voyage, we do not recommend booking flights departing Ushuaia prior to 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation in case of delays.
Day 13: At Sea
|19 Jan 2024 - 11 Feb 2024||USD $28895pp|
|Aurora Triple Stateroom||USD $28895pp||Contact us|
|Aurora Superior Stateroom||USD $31495pp||Contact us|
|Balcony Stateroom (C)||USD $32295pp||Contact us|
|Balcony Stateroom (B)||USD $33995pp||Contact us|
|Balcony Stateroom (A)||USD $36595pp||Contact us|
|Superior Balcony Stateroom||USD $39995pp||Contact us|
|Junior Suite||USD $50195pp||Contact us|
|Captain's Suite||USD $59495pp||Contact us|
**Prices are per person based on twin / shared accommodation.
**Single supplements may apply
Aurora Triple Stateroom
22.67m2 (244ft2) located on deck 3, 2 single beds, private en-suite bathroom, porthole window, desk area, closet space, room-controlled thermostat, safe & 42" flat-screen TV.
Aurora Superior Stateroom
20.1-22.3sqm, located on deck 7, french balcony, double bed, private en-suite bathroom, desk area, 42" flat screen TV, room-controlled thermostat, safe, closet space.
Balcony Stateroom (C)
21 - 24.8sqm (cabin + balcony), located on deck 4 & 6, twin or double bedding, private en-suite bathroom, floor to ceiling window, desk space, closet space, private balcony, room-controlled thermostat, safe & 42" flat screen TV.
Balcony Stateroom (B)
21 - 24.8sqm (cabin + balcony), located on deck 4 & 6 (fore and aft), twin or double bedding, private en-suite bathroom, floor to ceiling window, desk area, closet space, private balcony, room-controlled thermostat, safe & 42" flat screen TV.
Balcony Stateroom (A)
21 - 24.8sqm (cabin + balcony), located on deck 4 & 6 (close to internal stairs/elevator), twin or double bedding, private en-suite bathroom, floor to ceiling window, desk area, closet space, private balcony, room-controlled thermostat, safe & 42" flat screen TV.
Superior Balcony Stateroom
30.5 - 40.2sqm (cabin + balcony), located on deck 4, twin or double bedding, private en-suite bathroom, full size window, desk area, closet space, private balcony, room-controlled thermostat, safe & 42" flat screen TV.
38.9sqm (cabin + balcony), located on deck 7, twin or double bedding, private en-suite bathroom, full size window, desk area, closet space, private balcony, room-controlled thermostat, safe, 42" flat screen TV & separate lounge area.
44.5sqm (cabin + balcony), located on deck 4, twin or double bedding, private en-suite bathroom, full size window, desk area, closet space, private balcony, room-controlled thermostat, safe, 42" flat screen TV & separate lounge area.
Sylvia Earle Deckplan
- Cabins: 71
- Number of passengers: 132
- Decks: 8
- Length: 104m
- Year Built: Launching in 2021
- Speed: 10-12 knots
All airport transfers mentioned in the itinerary.
• One night’s hotel accommodation including breakfast, in Ushuaia on Day 1.
• Half-day tour in Ushuaia on Day 2.
• Onboard accommodation during voyage, including daily cabin service.
• All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage.
• Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner.
• Captain’s Welcome and Farewell receptions including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages.
• All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises.
• Educational lectures and guiding services provided by Expedition Team.
• Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consultation).
• One 3-in-1 waterproof, polar expedition jacket.
• Complimentary use of Muck Boots during the voyage.
• Comprehensive pre-departure information.
• Port surcharges, permits and landing fees.
• Gratuities for ship’s crew.
What’s not included?
• International or domestic flights – unless specified in the itinerary.
• Transfers – unless specified in the itinerary.
• Airport arrival or departure taxes.
• Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination fees and charges.
• Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges.
• Hotel accommodation and meals – unless specified in the itinerary.
• Optional excursions and optional activity surcharges.
• All items of a personal nature, including but not limited to alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, wi-fi, email or phone charges.
In true expedition style we encourage exploration and adventure, offering flexibility in challenging environments in a way that puts you among the action to see and do as much as possible. This itinerary is only a guide and subject to change due to ice and weather conditions.
- Sea kayaking
A USD$15 - $25 per person per day gratuity for the crew is automatically added to your onboard account. It is at your discretion if you would like to remove the tip (or increase/decrease the amount) when you settle your bill. It is not necessary to tip the expedition team members.