Home » RCGS Resolute: Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Antarctica ex. Ushuaia
Join one of the most far-reaching polar expeditions toward Antarctica over 19 action-packed days. Spend your days exploring ashore in the company of expert guides - including naturalists, marine biologists, ornithologists as well as photography professionals. As you reach the Antarctic Peninsula, your journey will truly be a one-in-a-lifetime experience!
Duration: 18 Days
Our journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, Argentina. We gather at our central meeting point and transfer to the pier and embark our expedition ship. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail, dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
Sailing south towards Antarctica we will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross will be our constant companions as we transit the Drake Passage.
Photographing these magnificent birds takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge, or relax in the spacious observation lounges and outer decks. Throughout the day our on-board experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days.
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 three days we have a varied itinerary exploring the Gerlache coastline and South Shetland Islands. We aim for Paradise Harbour and an opportunity to step foot on the contintal land mass of Antarctica. For many, this is the fulfilment 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 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 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.
If weather conditions permit, we sail the ship right into the middle of a volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic place and home to several penguin rookeries along the black sand beaches. History is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with the rusted relics and dilapidated wooden buildings. Fur seals gather among the old structures seeking protection from the elements. 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 an outstanding hike here to a location known as ‘Neptune’s Window’ - high up onto the rim of the crater.
After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetlands, we head for Elephant Island – a location forever connected to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition a century ago. 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 hope to 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 for several months in 1917, before five men set off on a rescue mission to South Georgia in their tiny lifeboat – the 'James Caird'.
Departing Elephant Island we cannot help but ponder the journey made by Shackleton and his four companions – as they attempted the near impossible – navigating 800 nautical miles in a 24-foot converted lifeboat across the tempestuous Scotia Sea to South Georgia. We make a much easier time of the crossing in our state-of-the-art expedition ship. On-board experts keep us busy with fascinating presentations and lead lively discussions throughout the day. The great pelagic seabirds are sure to keep us company – and we anticipate excellent sightings of albatross and giant petrels. Anticipation builds as the mountainous peaks appear on the horizon, marking our arrival at South Georgia.
Having arrived in South Georgia we spend the next three days exploring the coastline. Dark sand beaches, tussock covered hinterland and a backdrop of towering peaks and glaciers are a feast for all the senses. South Georgia has often been called the 'greatest wildlife show on earth'.
Seals cover the beaches, seabirds fill the skies and living in rookeries of immense size, are the majestic king penguins. Our plan is to visit several of these huge colonies – where naturalists estimate that more than 100,000 adult and juvenile penguins live in close proximity. Locations may include Gold Harbour, Royal Bay, St Andrews Bay and Salisbury Plain. 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 on-board, 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.
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 on-board 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 weeks of activity.
We wake to the sight of landfall in the Falkland Islands. Approaching Sea Lion Island, we first note the very barren and windswept landscape, exposed to the prevailing weather that originates in the Drake Passage. We launch the Zodiacs and go ashore to view the incredible diversity of wildlife found at this location. Three species of penguin including gentoo, magellanic and rockhopper, as well as southern elephant seals and South American sea lions are known to inhabit the area. King cormorants and striated caracaras are just some of the bird species we expect to see. As we cruise along the coast of the Falklands, bound for Stanley, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the ship’s Captain.
In the early morning, arrive into Stanley and bid farewell to the expedition team and fellow travellers. Charter flights to Santiago are available at an extra cost.
|28 Jan 2020 - 14 Feb 2020||$21195 USD||US$800 travel credit!|
|Main Deck Triple Cabin||$21195 USD||US$800 travel credit!|
|Twin Private Cabin||$25595 USD||US$800 travel credit!|
|Superior Cabin||$26995 USD||US$800 travel credit!|
|Superior Plus Cabin||$27395 USD||US$800 travel credit!|
|Shackleton Suite||$28795 USD||US$800 travel credit!|
|One Ocean Suite||$29995 USD||US$800 travel credit!|
Located on Deck 3, two single beds, sofa lounge (that can convert into an additional single bed), writing desk and chair, ample storage, private washroom facilities and flat screen entertainment system.
Located on Deck 4, two single beds or a queen bed, comfortable lounge adjacent to a large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample storage, private washroom facilities with shower and flat screen entertainment.
Located on Deck 5, two single beds or a queen bed, comfortable lounge adjacent to a large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample storage, private washroom facilities with shower and flat screen entertainment.
Located on Deck 5, two single beds or a queen bed, comfortable lounge, large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample floor to ceiling cabinet storage, private washroom facilities with shower and flat screen entertainment system.
Located on Deck 6, two single beds or queen bed, sectional lounge, writing desk, substantial floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, washroom facilities with shower, flat screen entertainment system, upgraded linens and pillows.
Situated on Deck 6, queen size bed, upgraded linens and pillows, comfortable sectional lounge with club chairs, large desk, expansive floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, spacious washroom facilities with shower and bathtub and flat screen entertainment system.
*Expedition gear package
Included in the expedition, you will have free use of essential gears needed for the trip. This package includes quality waterproof/windproof jacket, insulated rubber boots, and a set of binoculars.
Camping in Antarctica is included in the price of your voyage (subject to weather conditions and availability). Please contact us for more information.