"Yes, you read it, a chance to visit Antartica! The chance to learn, throw yourself into polar exploration and visit the Antarctic capital of South Georgia Island!"
Get the full Antarctic experience on this extended cruising expedition to the ‘White Continent’. Experience the peerless beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula, meet the penguin ‘kings of the Antarctic’ on rugged South Georgia Island, and set foot on the vast and remote continent itself as you enjoy the adventure of a lifetime. Board the Sea Spirit at Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and the starting point for most Antarctic voyages, including your epic three week-long tour. Sail along the Beagle Channel to get your first taste of the region’s incomparable scenic beauty, with mountains lining the horizon, majestic glaciers drifting serenely across icy waters, and numerous penguin and sea lion colonies scattered across imposing rock faces.
Whilst at sea, you’ll enjoy unique wildlife-watching opportunities, as a wide variety of seabirds and other Antarctic wildlife follow your ship – watch them from the deck, and learn more about the different species from on-board expert naturalists and lecturers. Visit the richly biodiverse Falkland Islands, home to five of the world’s seventeen penguin species, before continuing to South Georgia Island for a wonderful few days of exploration. The island’s coastline is strewn with icebergs and glaciers, and you’ll observe a whole host of wildlife including Fur seals and King penguins. Next, sail through the scenic waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, home to Minke and Humpback whales, before returning to Ushuaia via the Drake Passage.
Chimu Adventures aims to minimise its impact on the environment and support local communities in any way possible. The company strives to source guides, meals and transport from the communities it operates in rather than importing. Chimu Adventures prides itself on the fact that all operations for this tour are carried out by locally-owned companies, and they select locally-owned hotels which share their values in terms of social and environmental responsibility. The company's guides are highly experienced and qualified, and are paid above the minimum wage; since they are local, travellers are able to gain a more authentic insight into the communities and environments they visit.
Travellers are encouraged to minimise their carbon footprint whilst touring with Chimu Adventures, and are provided with information and advice on responsible waste disposal and how to offset carbon emissions. This ensures that guests are equipped with the knowledge necessary to help them protect the diverse ecosystems they visit. The company also practices what it preaches, with sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company/staff vehicles, and processes to help create paperless offices and reduce waste. Chimu’s ‘Pass it On’ programme empowers local people, providing funding to help Latin American communities develop their own infrastructure. Finally, Chimu Adventures also offers travellers the chance to make a positive impact by visiting community projects.
Ushuaia: Once you’ve arrived at your hotel in Ushuaia, you’ll have the rest of the day to relax and explore. The world’s southernmost city, Ushuaia is the starting point for most voyages to Antarctica. Get used to your new surroundings as you admire views of the Andes Mountains and the Beagle Channel, and see some of the city’s best sights including the lively Avenida San Martin, the award-winning Maritime and Prison of Ushuaia Museum and the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park. Be sure to visit the leather markets, and try a tasty succulent lamb dish for which the Patagonia region is famous!
Embarkation: Set sail about the ‘Sea Spirit’ in the afternoon. Meet the Expedition Team and the ship’s officers, and receive a safety and orientation briefing before the Captain’s welcome dinner. Later, relax and admire the scenic mountains in the distance as you sail along the Beagle Channel, passing by colonies of penguins, rock cormorants and sea lions.
At Sea: Observe different species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels from the ship’s bridge or decks.
The Falkland Islands: Home to the world’s largest population of Gentoo penguins, the Falkland Islands are a small country of rugged coastlines and rolling moors. Elephant seals battle for territory on the islands’ beaches, Sea lions and Fur seals can be found in abundance, and as many as a million penguins nest in the Falklands each summer. Port Stanley, the capital, contains many reminders of the islands’ British heritage – keep an eye out for iconic red phone boxes!
At Sea: Enjoy plenty of wildlife-watching opportunities as you sail towards South Georgia, Antarctica’s wildlife ‘capital’. Learn about the island’s fascinating history and abundant wildlife as you listen to on-board presentations.
South Georgia: Travel down South Georgia’s leeward coast, where icebergs punctuate a rugged coastline, and glaciers and mountains loom on the horizon. Visit the Bay of Elsehul, home to an active Fur seal breeding beach, and admire the changing landscapes and wildlife of Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, Gold Harbour and Cooper Bay. Follow in the footsteps of the legendary British explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton as you hike to Stomness Bay.
Scotia Sea: Enjoy informative presentations on Antarctic wildlife, geology and history from invited experts, to prepare yourself for exploration of the wildest parts of the ‘White Continent’.
Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland: Your Expedition Leader and Captain will create a flexible itinerary based on the weather and ice conditions. Navigate through some of the Antarctic Peninsula’s most picturesque bays and channels, with stops at penguin rookeries, bird colonies and whale feeding areas as well as important scientific and historic sites. Depending on ice conditions, you may visit the scenic Antarctic Sound, and active scientific bases. Minke and Humpback whales are frequently sighted in the area, and penguins and seals abound!
At Sea: Travel north to cross the Drake Passage, most likely followed by a variety of seabirds!
Disembarkation in Ushuaia: Arrive into Ushuaia in the morning for disembarkation. Take some time to explore Ushuaia itself, or travel to Buenos Aires. Be sure not to book any flights out of Ushuaia before noon on the day of disembarkation!