- Seek out one of the world’s largest and most spectacular marine mammals—the southern right whale—in one of its annual breeding grounds off Argentina’s eastern coast.
- Experience traditional gaucho culture and cuisine at splendid estancias in Uruguay and Argentina.
- Capture the windswept beauty of the Falkland Islands—and the albatross, penguins, and sea lions that inhabit this remote archipelago—with guidance from a National Geographic photographer.
- Trace the spellbinding story of Shackleton’s fateful expedition on South Georgia, and walk a beach thronged with tens of thousands of stately king penguins.
Travel aboard the new National Geographic Endurance to the rarely visited shores and isles of the South Atlantic—places of stunning beauty that harbor a mesmerizing array of marine creatures. Enjoy a unique opportunity to experience Argentina’s rugged—and lesser explored—eastern coast, seeking out secluded ports, wildlife-filled estuaries, and the whale-rich waters of UNESCO World Heritage–listed Península Valdés. Hike the rocky shores and atmospheric moors of the Falkland Islands among fur seals and the world's largest colony of black-browed albatross. Then get immersed in a sea of black and white amid tens of thousands of king penguins on a remote beach in South Georgia.
This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.
Fly overnight to Buenos Aires and check in to our hotel. Set out on a tour of the city’s beaux arts architecture; the bohemian neighborhoods of La Boca and San Telmo; and the balcony immortalized by Argentina’s iconic first lady, Eva Perón. Later, set sail on the National Geographic Endurance.
Alvear Icon Hotel or similar; National Geographic Endurance for the entire voyage
Arrive in Montevideo—Uruguay’s vibrant capital city—and discover its elegant mix of architectural styles ranging from Spanish colonial to art deco. Or opt to join a bird-watching excursion in nearby wetlands. Later, travel outside the city to a family-owned estancia, or ranch. Here, vintage vehicles take us to the Río de la Plata, or River of Silver, where we enjoy a traditional asado barbecue lunch accompanied by gaucho music and dancing.
As the National Geographic Endurance sails south along the Argentinian coast, hear talks from our onboard naturalists and visit the ship’s open bridge to learn about navigation. Unwind with a massage in the spa or a session in the fitness center, get lost in a book in the library, or simply soak up the views from the rooftop observation deck or one of the outdoor infinity hot tubs.
Dock in the port city of Bahía Blanca. Travel into the hills to enjoy a barbecue lunch at a splendid ranch, and discover the flora and fauna of the Argentinean pampas on a guided hike. Then sail to Bahía San Blas and explore its mangrove islands by Zodiac and kayak. Continue along the coast to the mouth of Río Negro. Visit the seaside village of Balneario el Cóndor, or La Boca as it is known locally, home to the world’s largest colony of burrowing parrots. Scan the cliffs to see thousands of the colorful birds that make their nests here.
Spend two days exploring the coastal wonderland of Península Valdés. Granted World Heritage status as a marine sanctuary in 1999, Península Valdés is one of the world’s most important breeding grounds for southern right whales. Our arrival coincides with the height of whale season, optimizing our chances for spotting these magnificent creatures in their natural environment. Set out by local boat to seek out whale calves and their often-curious mothers, which can grow up to 50 feet long. Step foot on secluded beaches frequented by southern elephant seals, nesting Magellanic penguins, and frolicking sea lions. Scan the shores for orcas, which are known to beach themselves here to hunt for prey. During walks and hikes, keep an eye out for terrestrial wildlife such as the guanaco, armadillo, and rhea—a distant relative of the ostrich.
Travel in small boats into the Reserva Natural Ría Deseado, a submerged estuary that is home to the small black-and-white Commerson’s dolphin, as well as some of the only rockhopper penguins in Patagonia. Seek out these rare marine species, and discover the reserve’s unique geology. Later, at a local museum in Puerto Deseado, learn about the famous explorers who passed this way and peruse a collection of well-preserved artifacts retrieved from the shipwrecked H.M.S. Swift, a British sloop-of-war that sank in 1770. Spend the afternoon sailing Argentina’s southern coast.
Discover the remote South Atlantic archipelago of the Falklands Islands, also known as the Islas Malvinas, where several hundred islands each offer a distinct variation on rugged, coastal beauty. White-sand beaches, soaring cliffs, windswept moors, and swaying tussock grass set a stunning natural backdrop to encounters with thriving wildlife—from thousands of gentoo, rockhopper, and Magellanic penguins to black-browed albatross, colonies of elephant and fur seals, and sea lions hauled out on rocks. Enjoy a variety of excursions with our naturalists and take in sweeping views at every turn.
As we journey across these southern waters, deepen your understanding of this far-flung region. Learn about the history of Antarctic exploration, and join our naturalists on deck to identify seabirds soaring overhead.
Spend several incredible days exploring the spectacular coastlines and abundant wildlife of South Georgia. Our schedule is flexible, and we anticipate opportunities to walk, hike, kayak, or explore by Zodiac most days. Take in unforgettable wildlife spectacles: the antics of elephant seals, leopard seals, and fur seals; cliffs inhabited by hundreds of nesting albatross; and shores peppered with tens of thousands of king penguins. Our stops may include visits to 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; as well as Stromness Bay, where Shackleton, Tom Crean, and Frank Worsley finally reached help after a year and a half stranded in Antarctica.
After a final morning of exploration in South Georgia, set sail once again, and spend the following day at sea. We then arrive back at the fascinating Falkland archipelago. Stroll around the lively town of Stanley—the largest and most populated city in the Falklands—and mingle with islanders at a local pub in this remote outpost.
As we sail back to Ushuaia, an albatross or two may join the escort of seabirds that cross our bow and follow in our wake. Soak up final vistas of these southern waters, share photos with fellow travelers, and toast our epic voyage at a farewell dinner.
Disembark in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Take a charter flight to Buenos Aires and connect with your overnight flight home.