- Set out from the National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Endurance, or National Geographic Resolution in a Zodiac or kayak and glide among the exquisite icebergs of the Antarctic Peninsula.
- Trace the riveting story of Shackleton’s fateful expedition on South Georgia with our team of experts, and get immersed in a sea of black and white amid thousands of king penguins.
- Learn about the pioneer outposts of Port Stanley in the Falklands (Islas Malvinas) and the former military base of Port Lockroy in Antarctica.
- Get hands-on instruction from a National Geographic photographer as you frame breaching whales, elephant seals, and numerous penguin species.
Set out on a voyage to the remote lands made famous by Ernest Shackleton. Traveling aboard one of our ice-class expedition ships, National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Endurance, or National Geographic Resolution, spend six days discovering the icy wonders of the Antarctic Peninsula. Stroll through lively crowds of king penguins in stunning South Georgia, and hike the rocky shores of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) to see nesting albatross. Experience boundless wildlife and captivating beauty as you venture into some of the planet’s most unspoiled landscapes.
This trip is operated in collaboration with Lindblad Expeditions.
Depart on an overnight flight to Buenos Aires (National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Endurance) or Santiago (National Geographic Resolution). In Buenos Aires, settle into the hotel before setting out on a guided tour of the city’s Beaux-Arts palaces and parks. Visit Recoleta—the final resting place of Argentina’s iconic first lady, Eva Perón—and enjoy a private visit to El Zanjón de Granados, one of the city’s premier museums. In Santiago, check into the hotel before heading out for a guided overview of this vibrant city backed by the inspiring Andes. Discover sites like the Plaza de Armas and get a feel for the mix of old and new that makes this city so great. In the early evening, gather for an informal reception and a drink at the hotel.
Day 1: Alvear Art Hotel or Alvear Icon Hotel (Buenos Aires) or Hotel Santiago by Mandarin (Santiago); Day 2: National Geographic Explorer (Buenos Aires) or National Geographic Endurance (Buenos Aires) or National Geographic Resolution (Santiago) for remainder of voyage
Fly to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Enjoy lunch on a catamaran cruise of the Beagle Channel before embarking.
Settle into shipboard life as you set sail to the Falkland Islands. Along the way, keep a lookout for albatross that glide alongside the ship.
Upon arriving on a beach tucked into a rocky cove, explore the diverse terrain of the Falkland Islands. Hike out across a rolling green pasture to the crest of a sea cliff looking out over the South Atlantic surf at the edge of a breeding colony of black-browed albatross. Check out the thousands of gentoo, rockhopper and Magellanic penguins that congregate here, along with magnificent albatross and fur seals. Then, visit Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands that is a charming outpost of British culture tucked into a small bay on the shore. Many Falkland Islanders still live in very traditional ways, and you will have a chance to visit a small farm to see some expert sheep shearing and learn about the best techniques for cutting blocks of peat for the fire. The rocky hills and white sand beaches outside town offer some excellent hikes.
As the voyage continues northeast towards South Georgia, watch for whales from the ship's bridge, enjoy a book or a board game in the observation lounge, or opt for a spa treatment. You can also take in a presentation by our onboard experts, who will prepare you for the exciting days ahead.
Spend five incredible days exploring stunning South Georgia, leisurely tracing the coast past towering cliffs and beaches peppered with penguins. The schedule is flexible, allowing opportunities to walk, hike, kayak, or explore by Zodiac every day. Stops may include the abandoned whaling station at Grytviken, which played a part in the extraordinary story of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated expedition and is now the explorer’s final resting place; and conditions permitting Stromness Bay, where Shackleton, Tom Crean, and Frank Worsley finally reached help after a year and a half stranded in Antarctica. Watch the antics of huge elephant seals hauled up on shore, and encounter a vast colony of tens of thousands of king penguins.
As the voyage continues, head up to the Bridge to observe the Captain and officers as they guide the ship. There will also be time to enjoy the ship's amenities, including the wellness center, the gym and the library. Plus, the onboard experts and naturalists offer presentations that add depth to your experience.
With long daylight hours at this time of year, make the most of each day with a flexible schedule to take advantage of the unexpected—veering off course to watch killer whales perform off the bow or enjoying an after-dinner excursion on the water. There will be opportunities to take walks, explore by Zodiac or kayak and experience close encounters with wildlife every day. Stops will be adapted to the conditions and the ever-changing ice.
On any given day, activities may include a Zodiac excursion to see towering icebergs at close range, a walk on a beach covered with seals and penguins or a hike to a summit for a breathtaking view. There may also be opportunites to kayak amid glittering brash ice or along a cliff-side rookery in search of blue-eyed shags.
As you encounter the volcanic isles and pristine bays of the peninsula, the team of onboard experts will bring depth and insight to the experience, explaining the behaviors and interactions of different species, the geological and climatic forces that still shape Antarctica, the anatomy of a glacier and even how to take beautiful photographs of the places we visit. Plus, the undersea specialists will capture images from the deep—revealing the hardy marine life beneath the ice, while the Expedition Leader is always on the lookout for the best way to experience everything Antarctica has to offer.
The Drake Passage, a 500-mile-wide strait between the Antarctic Peninsula and South America is one of the most famous bodies of water in the world. This part of the journey is our best opportunity to see gorgeous seabirds like the wandering albatross, and if you’re lucky, you may encounter orca whales or rare species of dolphins. Visit the Bridge (a great place to spot wildlife), relax in the spa, attend a talk by onboard experts, or settle into a comfy chair in the observation lounge to look out over the waves and reflect on your incredible journey. Toast your epic voyage at a festive farewell dinner.
Disembark in Ushuaia. Fly by charter to Buenos Aires or Santiago and connect with your overnight flight home.