- Tour the beautiful Falkland Islands to view huge populations of rockhopper, gentoo, and Magellanic penguins, as well as the regal black-browed albatross.
- Witness the vast penguin colonies of South Georgia—king, macaroni, gentoo, and chinstrap—as well as large numbers of elephant and fur seals crowding the beaches.
- Set foot on the Antarctic continent and revel in the incredible scenery of snowcapped peaks, mighty glaciers, and glistening icebergs—a photographer’s dream.
- Learn about early polar exploration and whaling history, including a visit to the burial site of Sir Ernest Shackleton.
To capture the true feeling of Antarctica, there are few better ways than to start with the sub-Antarctic archipelagos of the Falkland and South Georgia Islands. Strong upwelling of ocean currents and nutrients feed a prolific marine ecosystem which in turn supports a vast array of bird and mammalian life onshore.
The Falkland Islands are known for five species of penguins: the largest population of gentoos, as well as king, rockhopper, magellanic and macaroni. The Falklands harbor a prolific population of whales and Port Stanley was an important whaling center in the 18th - early 20th Centuries.
South Georgia was also a major whaling port around the same time and much of the waterfront is still lined with flensing docks and whale oil processing plants. But the real draw is the staggering numbers of king penguins at Salibury Plain. Imagine walking among these beautiful three-foot tall birds, stretching as far as the eye can see!
The trip continues on southeastward to Elephant Island, where the Shakleton overwintered after losing their ship, Endurance, to sea ice. We'll visit other islands off the Antarctic mainland, including Deception Island and Brown Bluff. Then we head further south to the glorious Antarctic Peninsula and through the magnificent Lemaire Channel with its massive mountains and glaciers.