South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula Penguin Safari

Ushuaia to Ushuaia

Antarctica, South Georgia
January - March
17 Nights

Choose Your Cruise Date

Ushuaia to Ushuaia
Jan 6 - Jan 23 2025
17 Nights

Price from per person

£16,050
South georgia king penguin safari
Small Ship
Ushuaia to Ushuaia
Feb 16 - Mar 05 2025
17 Nights

Price from per person

£14,031
Small Ship
Ushuaia to Ushuaia
Jan 24 - Feb 10 2026
17 Nights

Price from per person

£14,031
Ushuaia to Ushuaia
Feb 1 - Feb 18 2026
17 Nights

Price from per person

£15,116
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Cruise Overview

This small-ship expedition cruise is perfect for wildlife lovers and photographers looking to explore the natural wonders of South Georgia and Antarctica in an intimate group with a team of expert polar guides. 

As our voyage begins, you'll have the chance to capture the grace of massive albatrosses and the beauty of pintado petrels as they glide and circle the ship, leading us towards South Georgia. Upon arrival, we're welcomed by shores bustling with king penguins and elephant seals, offering a moment to honour the legendary explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Then, as we approach Antarctica, the landscape transforms with towering peaks and vast icy expanses. Dive deeper into the Antarctic experience with Zodiac excursions, sea kayaking adventures, thrilling glacier hikes, or perhaps a heartwarming encounter with curious gentoo, chinstrap, and Adélie penguins. Each experience in Antarctica promises to astonish, captivate, and enchant in endless ways.

South Georgia and Antarctic peninsula Penguin Safari

Cruise Highlights

Cruise Highlights

  • Marvel at the diverse array of wildlife of South Georgia; the island is a haven for over 30 species of breeding birds, including an impressive seven different types of penguins.
  • Trace the historic journey of Sir Ernest Shackleton across South Georgia, where you'll have the opportunity to pay your respects at his gravesite.
  • Explore the Antarctic Peninsula by ship, Zodiac and on the shore with our team of expert polar guides.
  • Dive into engaging talks given by our onboard experts in wildlife, history, glaciology, and geology, designed to enrich your understanding of the polar regions.
  • And for those seeking a closer connection with the icy wilderness, opt for a paddling excursion to experience the Antarctic's serene beauty from the water.

Itinerary

Itinerary

An immersive small ship expedition cruise to explore South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Ushuaia harbour in Argentina
Day 1

Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina

 

Ushuaia, Argentina, serves as the starting point for this grand adventure. Nestled in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Ushuaia may seem like a quaint small town at first glance. Still, it's alive with various shops, museums, cafés, and restaurants waiting to be explored before you set sail. For those with a thirst for adventure, the surrounding Tierra del Fuego National Park and Martial Glacier present numerous outdoor activities, including hiking, to immerse yourself in the region's stunning natural beauty.

Beagle Channel in Chile
Day 2

Embark

 

The excitement builds as you begin your journey. It's time to swap your land legs for sea legs, introduce yourself to fellow adventurers, and familiarize yourself with your new home at sea. Each journey to Antarctica brings unique opportunities and experiences, making the embarkation day thrilling for you and your Expedition Team. On board, the team will look after your comfort and safety and work tirelessly to turn your wildlife aspirations into reality.

sunset over the Drake Passage Antarctica
Days 3 - 6

At Sea

As you journey across the sea, your days will be enriched with engaging presentations from the Expedition Team, covering topics from photography and wildlife to glaciology and history. When you're not soaking up new knowledge, take the opportunity to scan the horizon for wildlife from the deck or enjoy some camaraderie over drinks at the bar with your fellow travellers.

ing-Penguins-South-Georgia-Credit
Days 7 - 9

South Georgia

This far-flung island, with its rugged mountains, was once a bustling hub for early Antarctic explorers and a centre for whaling and seal hunting. Nowadays, while the wildlife is making a remarkable comeback, the island still bears the scars of its past, with the ruins of old whaling stations and deserted outposts dotting the landscape.

One of the most poignant places you'll encounter in South Georgia is the final resting place of the legendary explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. His grave is in Grytviken, a settlement featuring the remnants of a whaling station, alongside a museum, gift shop, church, and a modest research station.

While South Georgia's historical significance is undeniable, the island's extraordinary wildlife will truly mesmerise you. Often described as the "Galapagos of the Poles," each visit to South Georgia presents a new spectacle of nature. One day, you might find yourself amidst vast colonies of king penguins stretching as far as the eye can see. Another day could bring you face to face with beaches thronged by scores of fur or elephant seals. The island's vegetation, mountains, and sandy stretches are crucial for the reproduction and survival of these species. Your Expedition Leaders will enrich your experience by shedding light on the intricate and delicate balance that sustains this rich tapestry of life.

Albatross in flight over the Drake Passage
Days 10 - 11

At Sea

It's time to bid farewell to the king penguins because Antarctica is on the horizon! As you navigate the seas towards your next awe-inspiring destination, your days will be packed with informative presentations, interactive workshops, and plenty of social activities, all hosted by your dedicated Expedition Team.

Antarctica on a small ship expedition cruise
Days 12 - 15

Antarctic Peninsula

Describing the experience of arriving at the Antarctic Continent is a tall order, but awe and deep respect are often the first emotions that come to mind. In Antarctica, you'll find yourself moving between extremes—the profound silence and isolation one moment, and the next, you're chuckling at the sight of a penguin's playful behaviour.

 

Your days will be filled with adventure, from Zodiac cruises that bring you up close to the icy landscape to visits at historical points of interest and, of course, memorable encounters with seals and penguins. You might even lock eyes with a leopard seal, known as the penguin predator, or find yourself in a face-off with an Antarctic minke whale during a Zodiac journey. Every day offers a new set of wonders, ensuring your camera and sense of wonder are always engaged.

For those seeking even more thrilling experiences, consider an optional kayaking expedition (be sure to book in advance). Or, if you're feeling particularly bold, take part in the Polar Plunge—a refreshing dive into icy waters that's sure to be an unforgettable highlight of your trip!

Albatross in flight over the Drake Passage
Days 16 & 17

Crossing the Drake Passage

After over two weeks of unique wildlife sightings and breathtaking landscapes, it's time to start the journey home. The Drake Passage, known for its unpredictability and exhilaration, is an adventure all its own. As our expert onboard staff ensures your comfort and safety, you'll have ample opportunity to watch the ocean, capture photos of seabirds gliding by the ship, and ponder the unforgettable Antarctic experiences you've had.

Ushuaia harbour in Argentina
Day 18

Disembark in Ushuaia

The moment arrives to bid farewell to your Expedition Team after a final breakfast together on the ship. Airport transfers will be arranged for those catching the earliest flights back home. If your flight leaves later, you'll be transported to the town centre instead, marking the end of our shared journey.

Activities

Activities

Zodiac Cruising and Shore Landings

Zodiac cruising with whale close by

Zodiac inflatable boats are integral to every expedition and perfect for exploring the polar wilderness. Zodiacs are used to ferry you to the shore and mini explorations amidst icebergs, whales, and seabirds. Throughout your expedition, they enable you to reach secluded spots only accessible by these sturdy watercraft.

Driven by our expert team of knowledgeable polar guides, we will explore the Zodiac daily as part of your expedition. 

Hiking

hiking in Antarctica

Immerse yourself in the thrill of hiking across the polar wilderness, led by our seasoned polar guides. Wander the vast tundra, marvel at the majestic glaciers, and breathe in fresh air amongst the natural scenery. It's an adventure that brings you into the heart of the untamed beauty of the polar regions. 

Polar Plunge

polar plunge activity on an expedition cruise

During each voyage, we carve out a special moment for the Polar Plunge, a thrilling dive into the icy waters, scheduled just once for those daring enough to leap. Our Expedition Leader and Captain are always on the lookout, assessing the weather and sea conditions to pick the perfect spot and moment for this exhilarating experience. Whether it's from the shore, off the gangway, or the edge of a Zodiac, participants, clad in tethered harnesses for safety, leap into the chilly embrace of the polar sea amid the cheers and encouragement of their fellow adventurers and the Expedition Team.

Safety is our top priority during the Polar Plunge. The onboard physician is always present to oversee the event, ensuring everyone's well-being. Additionally, our guides, suited in survival gear, patrol the waters in Zodiacs, ready to assist as guests make their splash into the frigid waters, whether it's a bold jump or an adventurous cannonball.

Sea Kayaking*

Sea kayaking Activity in Antarctica

Experience the beauty of the polar regions from the intimacy of a sea kayak. The onboard Sea Kayak Program gathers adventurers with a shared passion to explore the stunning landscapes of fjords, glacial fronts, or intricate sea ice formations together.

This program welcomes both novices and experienced kayakers to discover the polar regions from a distinctive vantage point. Depending on weather and operational conditions, the goal is to get kayaking as frequently as possible. Sea kayaking adventures typically begin with a Zodiac boat transferring participants from the ship to an optimal launch site. After exploring the waters, kayakers are brought back to the ship via Zodiac. 

For safety, a Zodiac operated by a dedicated driver remains close at hand to provide help if needed. These kayak trips usually last from one and a half to three hours, blending adventure with unparalleled natural beauty.

*An extra cost is applicable. Please enquire about costs and availability at the time of reservation. Please note places on sea kayaking do sell out in advance, so forward booking is essential.

Your Ship

Your Ship

Ocean Explorer

Ship Highlights

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Small Ship That Delivers Epic Adventures

Embark on an authentic expedition with the Ocean Explorer, a small expedition ship accommodating 138 guests per voyage. Designed for an exclusive experience, this ship is ideal for guests eager to maximize their time off the ship, exploring remote areas through Zodiac excursions and shore landings.
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A Great Choice For Activities

Due to its small size, Ocean Explorer is an excellent option for those seeking additional polar activities. Led by a team of polar experts, guests can partake in thrilling adventures such as kayaking, camping and trekking, enhancing the overall expedition experience
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Excellent Zodiac to Guest Ratio

Enjoy the freedom of Zodiac excursions in the raw nature that can accommodate all guests simultaneously. Thanks to the Ocean Explorer's large fleet of Zodiacs and speedy boarding platforms, guests have more time for exploration, creating unforgettable moments in the vast wilderness.
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State of The Art Design

Immerse yourself in the Ocean Explorer's cutting-edge X Bow design, presenting a breathtaking viewing lounge at the ship's bow. This modern design enhances stability and ensures fuel efficiency, enabling swift and comfortable sailing through challenging seas during sea passages.
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Pinnacle of Sustainability and Safety

Pioneering sustainability, the Ocean Explorer features a fuel-efficient design. Employing GPS anchoring instead of traditional anchors in sensitive areas, the ship also converts waste to energy fur, thus helping to reduce its impact on the polar regions.
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Outstanding Onboard Living Spaces

Indulge in a realm of comfort with well-appointed cabins featuring private balconies, an observation lounge with stunning views, and rejuvenating amenities like on-deck jacuzzis, a sauna, and a gym. The Ocean Explorer ensures high comfort levels, complemented by the intimacy of travelling in a small, exclusive group.
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Industry Leading Guides

With a stellar reputation for hosting an exceptional team of guides and polar specialists, the Ocean Explorer is recognized as a trailblazer in small ship expeditions. Whether for activities, wildlife observation, or exploration, the ship's industry-leading guides guarantee an unparalleled and unforgettable experience. (Reasons To Choose This Ship)

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Our friendly and knowledgeable Travel Experience Team is ready to assist you.

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