Remote. Untrammeled. Spectacular. Exploring Antarctica is one of the most exhilarating adventures on Earth. There are many reasons to go. See scores of penguins and whales. Fall under the spell of sculptural ice: an entire museum of colossal and magical ice forms defying description. And add the dashing history of the Heroic Age of Exploration. Over 50 years ago, Lars-Eric Lindblad took the first group of "citizen" explorers to Antarctica in 1966. Since then the Lindblad family has operated hundreds of Antarctic expeditions. This is a level of “institutional” experience that ensures your safety and a rich encounter with the region that no one else can offer.
We will cover your bar tab and all tips for the crew on all National Geographic Explorer,National Geographic Resolution, and National Geographic Endurance voyages.
FREE AIRFARE ON SELECT VOYAGES
Book select departures by July 31, 2021, for free round-trip economy group airfare between Miami and Buenos Aires (or Santiago); ask about other U.S. gateways. Valid for new bookings only, subject to availability, and may not be combined with other offers and pre- and post-extensions. Baggage fees may be additional. Call for details.
Epic Antarctica: From the Peninsula to the Ross Sea & Beyond
Discover four stunningly beautiful wilderness regions aboard the ultimate polar ship, which provides unprecedented access, opens up unexplored opportunities in polar environments, and makes polar travel safe, smooth, thrilling, and luxurious
See the big tabular icebergs of the Antarctic Peninsula, remote West Antarctica, and the spectacular Ross Ice Shelf
Explore seldom-seen sub-Antarctic islands of New Zealand and Australia that are wildlife havens
Paddle a kayak in pristine bays, and Zodiac cruise amid the bergs
Observe endemic royal penguins, gentoo, and southern rockhopper penguins, and 100,000 pairs of king penguins on a single beach
Exploring Antarctica, the wildness of South Georgia, and the rugged Falklands should be a pinnacle event in any traveler's life. Key to your experience is our fleet: top-tier Ice Class vessels, purpose designed and built to venture deep into the ice in comfort and safety. Go with an expedition team hand-picked for their knowledge of polar natural history and their ice skills, with state-of-the-art tools at your fingertips for unparalleled exploration. Observe the antics of penguins. Kayak ice-choked waters. Hike a hillside for a spectacular, otherworldly view of massive ice sheets. Search for whales, and see leopard seals lounging on the ice. Go with the freedom to choose how you want to explore.
Capturing Antarctica: Top Photo Tips to Get Your Best Shot
Wildlife photographer Michael S. Nolan shares some of his expert polar photo tips and his favorite shots from early season expeditions.
Very much enjoyed the presentation by the killer whale researchers, and your efforts to support their work are laudable. Photo guidance and inspiration were HELPFUL. I actually learned things I could apply to future trips! Finally, your efforts to locate and maneuver to find wildlife added immensely to the experience.
Explore with seasoned expedition teams
See, do, and learn more by going with engaging experts who have been exploring this region for decades. Go with an expedition leader, naturalists, undersea specialist, National Geographic photographer, and more.
Veteran expedition leaders are the orchestrators of your experience. Many have advanced degrees and have conducted research or taught for years. They have achieved expedition leader status because they possess the skills, the experience, and the depth of knowledge necessary to continually craft the best expedition possible for our guests.
Explore Antarctica with a diverse team of naturalists, many of them polar veterans, of a variety of specialties: zoology, biology, ornithology, geology, polar history, and more. Our guests consistently cite the expertise and engaging company of our staff as key reasons to repeatedly travel with us.
Travel and shoot with a bona fide National Geographic photographer. These top pros are at your side and at your service—providing advice, inspiration, tips, and slideshows. Access to photographers of this caliber will help you improve your skills and ensure you’ll go home with incredible photos.
Certified Photo Instructor
Every Antarctic expedition also offers an exclusive service—a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor. This naturalist is specially trained to help you become a better, more confident photographer—and to help you understand the movements of wildlife so you can create top shots.
A video chronicler accompanies every expedition and shoots vivid HD footage—with no recycled footage ever—to provide you with a professionally edited and completely authentic memento of your expedition. Working during the day and editing into the night, they have your DVD ready for preview prior to—and available to purchase at—disembarkation.
Our wellness program embodies the belief that nature is vitalizing and that wildness, as Thoreau famously said, supplies a tonic. Wellness specialists are fully accredited and experienced licensed massage therapists and are aboard every ship in the National Geographic-flagged fleet. They lead morning stretch class on the deck, aerobic walks ashore, kayak outings, and more.
It is a privilege to visit Antarctica, one of the planet’s most pristine places, and to this privilege National Geographic Endurance, National Geographic Resolution, and National Geographic Explorer add the luxury of comfort—a quality of shipboard life and a philosophy of wellness designed to relax and rejuvenate body, mind, and spirit.
Making a Difference
Join a National Geographic BioBlitz on select South Georgia & the Falklands expeditions. Defined as a limited amount of time in a defined area while trying to find as many species as possible, it’s citizen science at its coolest in one of the planet’s most wildlife-rich locations. Guests will work with naturalists to collect and upload data on sub-Antarctic species. Since these islands get relatively few visitors, these contributions will matter.
Late in the afternoon on March 15, the news from the rest of the world collided with our bubble of safety and happiness onboard
National Geographic Explorer
. We were notified that the window of opportunity for getting our guests, staff and crew home in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic was closing, and it was deemed prudent to abort our voyage and return early to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. Captain Oliver and the Bridge Team turned the ship around and we started the two-and-a-half day sea voyage across the Scotia Sea.
We made excellent use of those days – enjoying fantastic and varied presentations that included subjects ranging from an epic kayak expedition in Antarctica (from National Geographic photographer, Pete McBride), to cold water diving (by undersea specialist, Brett Garner), and an in-depth look at the role of the Southern Ocean in the world’s climate and more (by naturalist and photo instructor, David Cothran). Global Perspectives speaker, Andrew Evans, gave us another thought-provoking and fascinating talk entitled “Three Stowaways: Unexpected Visitors to Antarctica.”
Talks and videos were interspersed with fun surprises like Laundry Room Tea Time and evening entertainment featuring “The Spice Boys” and our very own naturalist and vocalist extraordinaire, Ella Potts.
Of course, our voyages don’t cease to focus on wildlife just because we are ending a bit earlier than planned! Those who were on the bow and the outer decks in the mornings were treated to excellent shows of bow-riding Peale’s and hourglass dolphins, as well as a host of soaring seabirds.
We even had time to feature talks by some of our esteemed guests. Ant Tuson gave an excellent talk about his time as a pilot working for the British Antarctic Survey. Raffle-winner, Teresa Bowers, joined us from South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI) and shared information about the organization’s work based out of the Falkland Islands.
While all of this was going on, behind the scenes, our assistant expedition leader, Stella Bohnert, worked non-stop assisting the office in rebooking all onward flights, even those that were booked independently. The office prepared a special charter flight from Stanley to Sao Paulo, one of the few South American locations still accepting transit passengers from ships. Though we had to wait a day offshore, we were luckier than many ships in being welcomed back into the Falkland Islands.
Four buses and a very dedicated team of ground logistics personnel arranged for all of the guests and staff to get to the military airport at Mount Pleasant – even providing entertaining commentary along the way. Though it was a slow process through the airport, we were soon comfortably aboard our LATAM charter flight and within 6 hours, we had collected our luggage in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and were all either on the way to an airport hotel also arranged by Lindblad, or straight onto a connecting flight.
Most of us caught our connecting flights the following day, and at this time all guests and staff are safely at their final destinations, thanks to the hard work of the teams onboard led by Russ Evans and Captain Oliver as well as the wonderful office team back in Seattle and New York. We are all eagerly awaiting the time when we can safely reboard our lovely expedition vessels and welcome you back as our guests, as we explore the world. Until then, stay well.
The day started and ended with gorgeous skies, and throughout the day we experienced one of those rare and magical confluences in South Georgia of sunny weather and calm seas. We had spent the night at anchor in the Bay of Isles and awoke early for a very short reposition to Prion Island for an opportunity to view nesting wandering albatrosses.
These birds did not disappoint, and each guest had a great opportunity to see the magnificent creatures on their nests or soaring overhead with the stunning backdrop of Lucas and Grace Glaciers on the other side of the bay. Some even had the privilege of watching one of the wandering albatrosses lumber down the grass ”runway” with their huge feet paddling away, while nearly 11 feet of wingspan flapped majestically.
After leaving the Bay of Isles, we continued southeast along the coast to Fortuna Bay to drop off our intrepid hikers for the Shackleton Walk. Under warm sunshine and unbeatable conditions, they had a tremendous experience following in the footsteps of the last portion of Ernest Shackleton’s epic winter crossing of South Georgia. In the meantime,
National Geographic Explorer
continued sailing to the abandoned whaling station at Stromness.
We had an extraordinary encounter with a southern right whale, which lazily crossed our path and swam directly under the bow for close-up views of its callosities, the rough, calcified skin patches located on top of its head. The whale was almost close enough for us to examine the lice living on those callosities!
Upon arriving at Stromness, we quickly disembarked and came ashore on the beach where piles of fur seal pups frolicked in the shallows and on the gravel shoreline. From there we hiked up to Shackleton’s waterfall and took a few photos before turning back to contemplate this fabulous day and the heroic efforts of Tom Crean, Frank Worsley and Ernest Shackleton over 100 years ago. We’ve had a perfect two days in South Georgia, but unfortunately, our voyage ends here as we will now turn back towards Stanley in the Falkland Islands.
What a fantastic way to start our exploration of the remote island of South Georgia! We found some shelter from the swell and landed in Salisbury Plains to hike to the second largest king penguin colony in the island with well over 100,000 birds present. From little chicks being fed by their parents to adults that had finished molting and were getting ready to go back to sea, we got to witness a range of milestones in the rather long breeding cycle of these penguins.
South Georgia is a beautiful, remote oasis filled to the brim with exciting wildlife and wonderful plants. But this ecosystem is fragile and needs to be protected from the introduction of invasive species. To do our part to protect this special place, today we underwent a thorough decontamination protocol. We carefully cleaned all our belongings and removed any seeds clinging to our outerwear. We are now ready for South Georgia!
Day broke across an unseasonably calm Atlantic Ocean this morning as
National Geographic Explorer
made passage eastbound for South Georgia. The early risers were greeted with stunning conditions and a variety of wildlife. Before the wake-up call this morning from our expedition leader Russ Evans, we had already spotted a right whale, a pod of sperm whales, and joined by several wandering albatross. Weather conditions look favorable for the remainder of the passage and we will likely be within sight of South Georgia tomorrow morning.
On my first visit to Antarctica, I didn’t sleep for two days—I was so mesmerized as our ship crunched through the sea ice. It was unending ice. The size, the shapes, the color.