One of the grandest wild experiences the planet offers
The ultimate Southern Ocean experience, this expedition takes you into majestically spectacular wildness. Not even the vast migrations of Africa can rival the awesomeness of seeing a king penguin colony of tens of thousands individuals stretching as far as the eye can see. Or albatross colonies that fill the windward edges of the remote islands they call home. You’ll have other rare sightings here too: massive, in both senses of the word, herds of elephant seals: and a wandering albatross stretching its 11-foot wings. It’s the impossible beauty of Antarctica exponentially increased by unimaginable numbers of animals. A not-be-missed polar experience, for those with the luxury of time.
For most travelers, visiting Antarctica is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So, for those with the luxury of time, optimizing your time and interest by including South Georgia and the Falklands makes sense. And makes for a genuine experience-of-a-lifetime. This voyage has it all.
Incomparable wildlife experience
Only the plains of the Serengeti during the migrations can compare to the wildlife spectacles offered by both South Georgia and the Falklands. In South Georgia you’ll see a single rookery with tens of thousands of king penguins—an astonishing sight and an indelible memory. In the Falklands, you’ll see rockhopper penguins in great number in their “hobbit shire” of the tussock grass. And, in both, you’ll have the rare opportunity to see albatross in great numbers—wandering albatross with their impressive 11-foot wing spans; and beautiful black-browed albatross—in colonies that fill the windward ledges of these southernmost islands. These, plus elephant and fur seals, pelagic birds in great numbers, and various species of whales feasting on the Southern Ocean’s seasonal bounty create unprecedented wildlife viewing experiences for you.
Add the human dimension to the ice
From the ghostly remnants of the whaling stations that once peopled South Georgia, to the warmly welcoming ranchers of Port Stanley on the Falklands, and the penguin-adapted researchers of Port Lockroy, a picturesque science station off the otherwise unpeopled Weddell Sea coast, you’ll experience the contrast between the majestic, uninhabited wildness of Antarctica, and the unique human incursions into the land of the ice.
Every day is active and engaging
You’ll get out on adventures every day we’re in Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands. The Falklands are ideal for walking adventures, with some hikes ending in a “cream tea” served in the parlor of a welcoming farmhouse. In all locations, your expedition leader will enable daily Zodiac cruises and kayak expeditions too, sometimes twice a day—creating the opportunity for you to experience the wonders with all your senses, at water-level or eye-level. You’ll have a choice of activities plus your choice of naturalists to join—for a movable feast of personalities, insights, and interests. Choice also includes opting to relax, too. Enjoy the view from behind Explorer’s panoramic glass windows. Or visit the fitness center with its generous views of the ice vistas, or ease into the sauna or a massage in the wellness center. See what it’s like.
Cross-country ski & snowshoe the seventh continent
Join your naturalist on a snowshoe hike or cross-country ski outing, across the frozen sea ice—or use them to blaze your own trail. Weather permitting, available only aboard National Geographic Explorer on November 2017 voyages. These tools for exploration let us venture further afield and offer a taste of what travel was like here for the earliest explorers.
Informal ambience, relaxed attitude
Explore under the sure guidance of an expedition leader, eight veteran naturalists, a National Geographic photographer, plus a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, an undersea specialist, and a wellness specialist. Their knowledge and passion for the fascinating Antarctic and sub-Antarctic region is the key to your extraordinary experience. Meet the team.
NOTE: This itinerary runs in "reverse" on some departures.