Mammals & Birds Species Checklist
The scenic settings are as magnificent as any on Earth
Cetaceans seen on these passages range from the striking Hourglass Dolphin to the mighty Blue whale
This is a true once-in-a-lifetime epic adventure
South Georgia’s rugged beauty and vast Penguin colonies
Venture to the tip of this icy and most remote continent amongst icebergs and pack ice
Marvel at nesting Albatrosses
Most travel is by sea on a cruise from the ports of Ushuaia (Argentina) or Punta Arenas (Chile) to the Antarctic Peninsula. Some travellers depart from Tasmania or New Zealand, voyaging across the Ross Sea. There are also options by air to temporary land-based camps.
For your first visit to Antarctica we would strongly recommend putting time aside and embarking on a circuit that includes the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. The first of these destinations break the journey at sea and offer sensational wildlife. The Falklands includes spectacular colonies of Southern Rockhopper Penguin and Black-browed Albatross and in terms of wildlife South Georgia rivals even the white continent itself. This is a 3 week trip. We do offer shorter “Antarctica express” trips for those who really don’t have the time.
Ideally you want to be on a category 1 expedition vessel (13-200 passengers) – this gives you the comfort not afforded by small sailing vessels, but a broad range of possible landing sites (larger ships are more limited in their landing sites, and those with more than 500 passengers are not allowed to land at all).
For wildlife it is best to visit in late December or after New Year. January is ideal. During December/ January seal pups can be seen on the beaches of South Georgia. In November and early December whale sightings are less reliable and these peak in February/ March.
Antarctica does not have a government and is not owned by any country, therefore no visa is required. However, it is managed through the Antarctic Treaty originally signed by 12 nations (now including 48). The treaty designates the entire continent as a “natural reserve devoted to peace and science”. Thankfully this means that there is a ban on military use, disposing of radioactive waste materials, and any kind of nuclear testing. Under the treaty, tourism is considered to be a legitimate activity. You might need a visa for the country you are embarking from – usually Argentina or Chile.
No, however the remote location, ice and unpredictable weather is a logistical challenge. That is why we only work with experienced and knowledgeable boats, who are able to provide the trip of a lifetime, whilst also keeping you safe and promoting environmentally responsible travel.
South GeorgiaLearn More
Described as the “Alps of the South Atlantic”, South Georgia is the diamond of the string of islands visited on our epic 3 week expedition to Antarctica, and surpasses even the white continent itself in terms of wildlife. South Georgia’s glacier-sculpted fjords and mountain-framed valleys serve as a spectacular backdrop to the world’s largest colonies of King Penguin.
The reality is that Antarctica defies description, like an otherworldly dream that you fumble to provide a narrative for, knowing all at once that any attempt will be in vain. Demanding silence, it is a place that quite simply needs to be experienced to be understood, it cannot be framed by language.