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2by2 for holidays that will change your life
2by2 for holidays that will change your life
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Antarctica Expedition Cruise: Ushuaia, Argentina + Falklands + Shetlands

Argentina: Buenos Aires + Falklands + Antarctica Cruise
AYO27B
27 NIGHTS
FROM £14,795
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Antarctica Expedition Cruise Ushuaia Argentina Falklands Shetlands

This thrilling Antarctica Expedition Cruise offers a higher level of luxury, sailing from Ushuaia in Argentina via the Falklands, South Georgia, Elephant Island - the site of Shakelton's remarkable rescue effort - and the Shetlands to the Antarctic Peninsula. Photography & videograpy workshops on board, was well as wildlife lectures. One departure per year (February). All transfers & excursions included.

Antarctica Expedition Cruise Ushuaia Argentina Falklands Shetlands
• 
Buenos Aires
• 
Antarctica Expedition Cruise
• 
Falklands Islands
• 
South Georgia Islands
• 
Elephant Seals & Marine Birds
• 
South Shetlands Islands
• 
Gentoo & Chinstrap Penguins
• 
Elephant Island
• 
Antarctica Peninsula
• 
Ushuaia, Argentina
• 
Buenos Aires
• 
Antarctica Expedition Cruise
• 
Falklands Islands
• 
South Georgia Islands
• 
Elephant Seals & Marine Birds
• 
South Shetlands Islands
• 
Gentoo & Chinstrap Penguins
• 
Elephant Island
• 
Antarctica Peninsula
• 
Ushuaia, Argentina
Day 1
You will be met at Buenos Aires Airport and transferred to your hotel in this exciting city, situated on the estuary of the Río de la Plata - the 'River of Silver'.
 
Check in and relax in this capital of Argentina, known for its wonderful architecture, tango dancing and rich culture, including the highest concentration of theatres in the world.
Day 2
Today enjoy a half day shared coach tour of Buenos Aires - a cosmopolitan city that has been influenced by the many immigrants who helped form it and offering beautiful architecture, history and culture.
 
Our tour starts at the Plaza de Mayo, the historical, political and cultural centre of the city. Here you can see the Pink House (Presidential Palace), the Pyramid de Mayo and Metropolitan Cathedral. We continue down Avenida de Mayo, with its wide avenues and spacious green areas, past the Obelisk to the neighbourhood of San Telmo, one of the oldest in the city with cobbled streets and colonial houses. Every Sunday an antiques fair takes place here around the Plaza Dorrego. The vibrant area is the centre for most of the tango parlours, restaurants and bars of the city.
 
Going further south, we visit the Italian port neighbourhood of La Boca, with its colourful houses in Caminito Street and many 'cantinas' (small restaurants). Also the trendy modern neighbourhood of Puerto Madero, where the old piers have been converted into upmarket offices, apartments and restaurants with views of the Rio de la Plata. We visit the residential neighbourhood of Palermo with its elegant mansions surrounded by spacious parks, before arriving in glamorous Recoleta, where there is the option to visit the famous cemetery where Eva Peron is buried, with its rich architecture (pay locally). Next to the cemetery is the church of Our Lady of Pilar, the Recoleta Cultural Centre (originally a convent) and the Palais de Glace exhibition centre.
 
Note: Shared day tours have a maximum of 25 people.
Day 3
At leisure to explore the city of Buenos Aires independently.
 
Alternatively enjoy a full day optional excursion to Santa Susana Ranch to admire the skills of the Argentinian gauchos (cowboys) who live in these fertile pampas grasslands about 2-hours from the city. With a distinctive culture that combines their European and Native American heritages, gauchos play an important role in regional cultural tradition - including folk songs, dancing and equestrian shows of traditional gaucho skills, such as ring races, 'cuadreras' (horse races) and 'entrevero de tropillas' (horse games).
 
Note: The ranch is closed on Mondays.
Day 4
Transfer to Aeroparque Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Ushuaia Airport and transferred to your hotel.
 
Surrounded by the spectacular mountains and fjords of Patagonia, Ushuaia is located on the shores of the Beagle Channel on the tip of the island of Tierra del Fuego (or 'Land of Fire') and is the southernmost city in the world.
 
Regarded  by Argentinians as the true capital of the Malvinas (the Falkland Islands), here you can visit the memorial to their citizens who lost their lives fighting in the Falklands War.
Day 5
Morning is at leisure to explore Ushuaia or enjoy an optional catamaran ride to Bird and Sea Lion Islands.
 
In the afternoon you will be transferred to the cruise office for check in. Board your Antarctica Expedition Cruise and enjoy a welcome drink and an introduction to the crew and expedition staff, as we set out across the Beagle Channel towards the remote Falklands Islands.
 
As the lights of Ushuaia disappear, we sail along the south coast of the island of Tierra del Fuego and into the Atlantic Ocean.
 
Note: You need to be relatively fit to enjoy an expedition cruise in Antarctica, as you will be embarking and disembarking by inflatable zodiac, accessed by steep gangway. All sightseeing with naturalist guides, marine fees and medical care aboard the boat are included, but not the cost of medicines. Rubber boots & snow shoes will be provided. Children < 12 years are not allowed on an expedition cruise.
 
Ensure you pack suitably for Antarctic conditions - including waterproof jacket & waterproof trousers (these are essential, as you will be sitting on the inflated sides of open zodiac boats), warm hat, scarf, gloves, good walking shoes & socks. Dress in layers & don’t forget your binoculars, sunglasses & sunscreen.
 
Please be aware that this itinerary is provided for guidance only. The daily program may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, and to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. The on-board expedition leader will determine the daily itinerary, which in some instances is subject to permission to land granted by the relevant national authorities.
Day 6
A full day at sea today as we sail towards the Western Falklands, known for their rugged beauty and wealth of seabirds and waterfowl.
 
Watch for marine life and enjoy the views of the open ocean. These waters are home to many interesting group of seabirds, such as albatrosses and petrels, which often ride the currents created in the wake of the ship. You can also join the expedition staff and naturalists on deck, searching for seabirds and marine wildlife, such as orcas and dolphins.
 
An interesting selection of lectures will help us prepare for our first excursions in the Falkland Islands (or the 'Malvinas' as they are known by Argentina).
Day 7
Subject to favourable weather conditions, today we disembark with our naturalists for our first shore excursion on West Falkland Island.
 
West Point Island lies off the most northwesterly point of mainland West Falkland. This attractive settlement sits on the edge of a small harbour on the eastern side of the Island, in the lee of Black Bog Hill and Michael´s Mount. The valley between these two peaks rolls over the centre of the island to the dramatic Devil´s Nose, one of the Island´s main attractions. From here visitors are treated to splendid views of Cliff Mountain, the island´s highest point at 1,250 ft (381 m) and the highest cliffs in the Falklands. This is where we will encounter a vast colony of Rockhopper penguins and Black-browed albatrosses, nesting closely together.
 
Saunders Island also lies to the northwest of the Falklands archipelago. Here you can see the black-browed albatross and its sometimes clumsy landings, along with breeding imperial shags and rockhopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and gentoos are also found here.
 
Overnight we sail around the northern islands of the archipelago, travelling in easterly direction towards the capital of Stanley.
Day 8
This morning hours we disembark on East Falkland Island to explore the quaint little town of Stanley with its wonderful museum, souvenir shops and pubs.
 
Established in the early 1840´s the isolation and extreme weather conditions made life hard, so progress was gradual - punctuated by the extremely eventful involvement in two world wars and the 10-week Falklands War of 1982, when Argentina unsuccessfully attempted to take over this British Overseas Territory.
 
For those interested in the outstanding wildlife this island has to offer, you do not have to leave town to enjoy it. Southern giant petrels often fly close to shore, endemic Falkland steamer ducks abound along the shoreline and Kelp gulls can often be seen flying together with Dolphin gulls. Other less obvious but frequent visitors to Stanley include Black-crowned night herons, Red-backed hawks and Peregrine falcons. Turkey vultures are regularly seen on top of any prominent building. Many pairs of Upland geese frequent the park and if you stroll around the gardens of the town you will also see and hear some singing birds.
 
In the early afternoon we set sail again, this time heading for South Georgia.
Days 9 To 10
We spend the next two days at sea, with an extensive lecture program on offer - as expert photographers and naturalists share their knowledge of the wildlife and unique ecosystems we will encounter throughout our voyage.
 
As we cross the Antarctic Convergence, temperature cools considerably within the space of a few hours and nutritious water rises to the surface of the sea, due to colliding water columns. This phenomenon attracts a multitude of seabirds near the ship, including several species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas.
 
South Georgia is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and inspiring places on earth, with more wildlife than virtually anywhere else on our planet. It is such a remote group of islands that a visit is a real privilege. It is easy to think 'small' with islands, but South Georgia is quite different, with spectacular mountain ranges that offer a beguiling landscape. There are sheltered valleys with meltwater streams, tussac grass covered moraines and outstanding close-up encounters with wildlife. Glaciers cover the mountains and huge tabular icebergs from the shelves of the far south thump along South Georgia´s shore to become a feature of its many great landscapes.
 
One of the highlights of South Georgia is the large number of Fur seal pups found on all the beaches. In January the seals are not as fiercely territorial as at the beginning of the breeding season and females begin a series of foraging trips at sea that lasts for several days. In between, they are ashore for one to several days to nurse their pups. The dark brown youngsters will hang out in groups and be very inquisitive of visitors.
 
King penguins are also around. As this species has an odd breeding cycle of 14 months, there are always huge groups of King penguins in the breeding process, no matter what time of year you visit. And there will be Macaroni penguins busy with their offspring as well. Their red eyes and golden crests make these small 28-inch birds quite spectacular. Their efforts at leaping out of angry seas onto slippery rocky ledges and then climbing high up a dauntingly steep hillside with stumpy bright pink legs will fill you with admiration for their tenacity.
 
Black-browed albatross, Grey-headed albatross and Light-mantled sooty albatross are also tending to their nests. The Wandering albatross would have been breeding since the previous year, so the chicks will be sitting on their nests and waiting for their parents to come and feed them.
Days 11 To 14
The British Overseas Territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands comes in sight today. Although extremely isolated, it has amazing scenery ranging from high mountains and mighty glaciers to deep fjords and low-lying grasslands. If the weather is favourable, we aim to visit the following sites over the next few days:
 
Prion Island is a beautiful tussac grass covered islet that is the most important breeding site for the Wandering albatross, which has the largest wingspan of any bird in the world. If we are lucky, we will get the opportunity to see a breeding colony on the top of the islet. We climb up to the summit on a wooden boardwalk, which takes us close to their nests and offers a comfortable viewing platform to experience this extraordinary site. This site is closed during the early part of the breeding season (late November to early January).
 
Fortuna Bay has beaches inhabited by various penguins and seals. You can also the chance to follow the final leg of Shackleton’s route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness. This path cuts across the mountain pass beyond Shackleton’s Waterfall and, as the terrain is partly swampy, be prepared to cross a few small streams.
 
Salisbury Plain is a wildlife site without parallel and is sometimes called the 'Serengeti of the South'. Several large glaciers provide a dramatic backdrop for the tens of thousands of King penguins that nest in the tussac grass of this remarkable ecosystem. The wide beach makes for excellent walking as we visit the colony, where we are literally surrounded and delightfully outnumbered by throngs of curious, gentle penguins. Fur seals also abound, as well as Southern giant petrels and the occasional wandering Gentoo penguin. Millions of Fur seals breed on South Georgia during December and January. By February the young are curious and playful and will want to engage with you as they play at the waterfront, whilst large elephant seals come to the beaches to molt.
 
The surf beaten coastline at St. Andrews Bay runs north-south in a 1.9 mile (3 km) long uninterrupted sweep of fine dark sand, covered in penguins and seals and bounded in the interior by the Cook, Buxton and Heaney Glaciers. The bay hosts the biggest colony of King penguins in South Georgia. In the heights of summer, the beach is also carpeted with Fur seals. Such a large assemblage of wildlife attracts an entourage of persistent and voracious scavengers. Sheathbills dart in and around the penguin colony and Cape petrels nest in a small number on the cliffs north of the bay. Leopard seals patrol the rocks at this end of the beach, hunting for penguins along the edge of the kelp beds. A few White-chinned petrels and Light-mantled sooty albatrosses nest on the tussac slopes. Brown skuas and Antarctic terns breed on the outwash plain and scree slopes at the north end of the beach, defending their nests with their characteristic noise and vigor.
 
Grytviken lies within King Edward Cove, a sheltered harbour tucked between Hope Point and Hobart Rock on the western shore of Cumberland East Bay. The rusting ruins of the Grytviken whaling station are situated on a level plain at the head of the cove, backed by steep hills and mountains. Now the site of the South Georgia Museum, the station remains a focal point of interest for many visitors, as does Sir Ernest Shackleton´s grave in the nearby whaler´s cemetery and his memorial cross on Hope Point. The scenery in this area is exceptionally beautiful even by South Georgia standards. The glaciers and snow covered peaks of the Allardyce Range – Mt. Sugartop, Mt. Paget, Mt. Roots, Nordenskjöld Peak, Mt. Kling and Mt. Brooker – form a magnificent backdrop to the cove and the views from King Edward Point in particular, must be among the finest on earth.
Day 15
Another day at sea today as we head towards South Orkney, with photography and videography workshops as well as wildlife lectures by naturalists.
 
There may be sea ice on this route and at the edge of the ice, some South polar skuas and Snow petrels could join the other seabirds trailing the vessel south.
Day 16
Today enjoy the scenic vistas of South Orkney.
 
Depending on conditions, today we might visit the Orcadas Base, an Argentine scientific station on Laurie Island in the South Orkney archipelago. The personnel here will happily show you their facility, where you can enjoy expansive views of the surrounding glaciers. If a visit isn’t possible, we may instead land on Coronation Island’s Shingle Cove.
Day 17
We hope to have a chance to visit enigmatic Elephant Island today. If you look at the shape of this island on a map, you will understand its name.
 
Sir Ernest Shackleton fans will need no introduction to this windswept island. In 1916 he was forced to leave 22 of his men stranded on these shores, while he and five others embarked on an unbelievable last-ditch rescue attempt. What followed is one of the greatest rescue stories of all time. Every passenger will return with a greater knowledge of this gripping tale of adventure in a truly remarkable part of the world.
 
Conditions on Elephant Island are severe. The coastline is mostly made up of vertical rock and ice cliffs highly exposed to the elements. If possible we will take the Zodiacs to Point Wild, where the marooned members of Shackleton’s expedition miraculously managed to survive.
Day 18
We spend today sailing towards the Antarctic Peninsula.
 
If ice conditions permit, we will sail into the Antarctic Sound at the northwestern edge of the Weddell Sea. Here colossal tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern edges of the Antarctic Peninsula. Brown Bluff is a potential location for a landing, where you may get the chance to set foot on the continent.
Day 19
The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often cloaked in mist, but they do offer a wide variety of flora (mosses, lichens, flowering grasses) as well as much fauna, including Gentoo penguins, Chinstrap penguins and Southern giant petrels.
 
At Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. Here you find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and thousands of Cape petrels – along with Kelp gulls, Brown and South polar skuas and Antarctic terns. A good hike is a possibility in this fascinating and desolate volcanic landscape.
The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and Southern elephant seals make every day spent in this amazing island group unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is breathtaking.
 
King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, features colonies of nesting Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins, Kelp gulls, Blue-eyed cormorants, Antarctic terns and Southern giant petrels and is home to scientific bases of many different countries. Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins as well as Elephant seals await you at Livingston Island.
 
Our expedition team will prepare us to explore the Antarctic Peninsula, whose remarkable history provides the type of excitement normally associated with early explorers. You will have plenty of time to enjoy the amazing scenery - a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, with an incredibly wide variety of wildlife. Apart from penguins and seabirds, you are very likely to see Weddell seals, Crabeater seals and Leopard seals, as well as Minke whales, Killer whales (orca) and Humpback whales at close range.
 
Depending on ice conditions we hope to navigate some of its beautiful waterways, such as the Gerlache Strait - a region of mountainous islands, broad straits, protected bays and narrow channels that offer moments of solitude. A profusion of tall peaks humans have never climbed and vast glaciers flowing inexorably seaward are the main physical features. We also hope to sail through the Neumayer and Lemaire Channels, narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers.  
 
We plan to make at least two landings per day. Paradise Bay is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world, as we attempt a landing on the continent proper. After negotiating the iceberg strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adélie penguin colony (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and Blue-eyed cormorant colony on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1903. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins.
 
Further exploration may take us to the Melchior Island group and Cuverville Island, which lies in the scenic Errera Channel in the centre of the Gerlache Strait. A well-defined raised beach forms a nesting site for many Gentoo penguins. We may also visit Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and if ice conditions permit, Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo penguins.
 
Note: Weather conditions will determine our exact itinerary and departure times.
Days 20 To 24
Our expedition team will prepare us today to disembark on the Antarctic Peninsula.
 
Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and unique polar wildlife below and above welcome you into the otherworldly expanse of Antarctica. You enter the area around Gerlache Strait, venturing into one of the most beautiful settings Antarctica has to offer. Sites we may visit here include:
 
Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, with the opportunity for a zodiac cruise and landing that affords the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks.
 
Paradise Bay – \We may be able to take a zodiac cruise in these sprawling ice-flecked waters, where there is a good chance you will encounter Humpback and Minke whales.
 
Pléneau & Petermann Islands – If the ice allows it, we could sail through the Lemaire Channel in search of Adélie penguins and Blue-eyed shags. There is also a possibility that we will encounter Humpback and Minke whales here, as well as Leopard seals.
 
We then head south to Crystal Sound and the Antarctic Circle. We may be able to land at Detaille Island and visit an abandoned British research station, taking in the limitless landscape. Afterward we venture back into the area around Lemaire Channel and the Gerlache Strait.
 
Note: Weather conditions will determine our exact itinerary and departure times.
Days 25 To 26
We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage for the next two days.
 
Join our naturalists on deck, as we search for more seabirds and whales. Also enjoy on-board presentations by the expedition team, as we celebrate the incredible experiences we have shared in exploring Antarctica.
Day 27
We arrive back in Ushuaia in the early morning at the end of our thrilling Antarctica expedition cruise.
 
Disembark and transfer to Ushuaia Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Aeroparque Airport in Buenos Aires and transferred to your hotel in this sophisticated capital city.
Day 28
Transfer to Buenos Aires Airport for your flight home.