South Georgia in Depth aboard RCGS Resolute

 

The greatest wildlife show on earth!

Nothing can prepare you for the sight of the largest King penguin rookery on the planet.  This adventure spends eight full days exploring South Georgia from the grandeur of Salisbury Plain to the sheltered coves and inlets where seabirds nest and seals raise their pups.

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South Georgia wildlife

King Penguins are the star of the show, but Southern elephant seals and a host of seabirds compete for photos.

Each year, tens of thousands of King penguins converge across the Salisbury Plain sandwiched between Grace and Lucas glaciers. This is the largest King penguin rookery on the planet. But South Georgia also is home to the largest breeding population of Southern elephant seals, as well as a host of seabirds ranging from the Great wandering albatross to skuas and giant petrels.

The polar expedition ship RCGS Resolute

Spacious staterooms with all the amenities, RCGS Resolute provides comfort, stability and the highest ice rating.

Spacious, comfortable and stable. RCGS Resolute offers generously sized staterooms, a variety of public spaces with panoramic views and choices for traditional dining or lighter bistro fare.  More about RCGS Resolute »

Your Itinerary

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Day 1 | Arrive Santiago

Arrive in Chile’s capital and transfer to your hotel, where early check-in has been arranged. 

Enjoy an afternoon of leisure. A variety of optional half day tours are available to pre-book (see options below).

Hotel:  Holiday Inn Santiago Airport

Day 2 | To Port Stanley (Falkland Islands)

An early morning charter flight will take you to Port Stanley, the quaint capital of the Falkland Islands. On arrival, you will be transferred into town. You’ll have the option of exploring the town on your own, or joining a guided tour to Gypsy Cove, your first opportunity to observe local wildlife, including Magellanic penguins and other sea birds. In the afternoon, you’ll board RCGS Resolute and meet your expedition team and fellow passengers. Enjoy a welcome cocktail as the ship gets underway and your adventure begins!

Ship: RCGS Resolute, BLD

Days 3 - 4 | At sea 

Charting a south-easterly course, you’ll be joined by Giant and smaller Cape Petrels as you make your way to South Georgia. Photography experts will be on hand to provide pointers and techniques to photograph these magnificent birds.

Members of the expedition team will present informative talks on the environment, wildlife and history of the sites planned for your visit. History looms large as the epic story of Ernest Shackleton features heavily in this voyage.  

Ship: RCGS Rsolute, BLD

Days 5 - 6 | King Haakon Bay and the Northeast Coast of South Georgia

Majestic snow-covered mountains greet your arrival in South Georgia. Weather permitting, you’ll begin your exploration at King Haakon Bay, a site of significant importance, as it was where Shackleton and his men made landfall in their small lifeboat after completing their perilous 800 mile journey across open ocean.

From King Haakon Bay, the ship will navigate to the more sheltered Northeast Coast to begin zodiac explorations of the entire length of the island.

One of the most anticipated sights is that of Salisbury Plain. Black sand beaches are home to Southern elephant seals, while tussock-covered dunes are home to an estimated 100,000 King penguins and their chicks. This is just one of several massive rookeries on South Georgia. At the height of breeding season, it is estimated that the wildlife density is greater per square foot than any place else on the planet.

Ship: RCGS Resolute, BLD

Days 7 - 8 | Fortuna Bay, Stromness, Grytviken and Central North Coast

Fortuna Bay is a three-mile long fjord named after the ship Fortuna, one of the original vessels of a whaling expedition that established the first permanent whaling station at Grytviken. From 1912 until the 1930s, whaling stations operated up and down the coast. The rusted remains can still be seen against the backdrop of wildlife who have reclaimed the land.

It was here in 1916, that Shackleton and his men finally arrived, crossing the mountainous spine of South Georgia from their landing site in King Haakon Bay. If the weather co-operates, it may be possible to hike in Shackleton's footsteps the last few miles across the saddle separating Fortuna Bay from neighbouring Stromness.

Anchoring off Grytviken, the largest of the old whaling stations on South Georgia, a highlight of your landing is a visit to the grave site of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his loyal right-hand man, Frank Wild.

Ship: RCGS Resolute, BLD

Days 9 - 10 | St. Andrew’s Bay, Gold Harbor, and the Eastern Coast

Over the next two days, you’ll explore St. Andrew’s Bay and Gold Harbor, filled with King penguins and beaches lined with Southern elephant seals and fur seals. Drygalski Fjord at the far eastern edge of the island is where Risting Glacier spawns massive icebergs into the South Atlantic Ocean.

Ship: RCGS Resolute, BLD

Day 11 | Godthul and Prion Island

Navigating back along the northern coastline. There are additional sites to explore including the old whaling depot at Godthul where there is an opportunity to hike up to a beautiful lake.

Weather permitting, a shore landing at Prion Island is the perfect way to end your visit to South Georgia. Prion Island has been designated as a ‘Special Protected Area’ by the South Georgia Government due to the breeding wandering albatross colonies. Boasting the largest wingspan of any living bird, typically ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 m (8ft to 11ft), albatross spend most of their life in flight, landing only to breed and feed. Distances traveled each year are hard to measure, but one bird was recorded traveling almost 4000 miles in just twelve days. The site is closed to visiting ships between late November and early January, due to the concentration of fur seals on the beaches. The boardwalks provide access to several observation platforms where you can view nesting wandering albatross in close proximity.

Ship: RCGS Resolute, BLD

Days 12 - 14 | At sea

Crossing back north towards the Falkland Islands, take time to enjoy more educational presentations and a voyage recap by your expedition leader. Frequent sightings of albatross, petrels and other seabirds will provide one last chance to capture spectacular photographs with the assistance of the photo experts. Take time to reflect on an exceptional adventure to the farthest reaches of the planet.

Ship: RCGS Resolute, BLD

Day 15 | Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands

This morning, you’ll approach Sea Lion Island, a barren and windswept landscape exposed to the prevailing weather originating in the Drake Passage. Go ashore to view the incredible diversity of wildlife found here including Gentoo, Magellanic and Rockhopper penguins, as well as southern elephant seals and South American sea lions are known to inhabit the area. King cormorants and striated caracaras are among the bird species frequently seen. As the ship cruises along the coast of the Falklands bound for Stanley, you’ll enjoy a special dinner attended by the ship’s Captain.

Ship: RCGS Resolute, BLD

Day 16 | To Santiago

It's time to say goodbye to your crew. After some free time in town, you'll be transferred to the airport for your return charter flight to Santiago.

Onward regional and international flight connections may be possible this evening. For those wishing to stay on and explore Santiago and more of Chile, please give us a call to explore your options.

Dates and Prices

All prices are per person, double occupancy unless otherwise specified.

Departure Twin Private Superior Superior Plus Shackleton Suite One Ocean Suite
20 Nov - 01 Dec 2019
charter flight
pre-cruise hotel
Total
 
$14,995
$995
$110
$16,100
$15,995
$995
$110
$17,100
$16,395
$995
$110
$17,500
$18,095
$995
$110
$19,200
$19,995
$995
$110
$21,100
Early Booking Specials:  Must book and deposit by May 31st, 2019
$1200 per person travel credit + complimentary pre-cruise hotel

Optional arrival day sightseeing in Santiago

  • Half day Santiago city sightseeing: $85 per person (min 2 guests)

  • Half day Santiago bicycling tour: $100 per person (min 2 guests)

  • Half day Colchagua Valley wine tour: $385 per person (min 2 guests)


Included

Booking Documentation

  • Extensive pre-departure information package

  • Onboard information folder

  • Personalized Services

  • Educational presentations from experienced guides such as ornithologists, glaciologists, historians, geologists, naturalists and marine mammals experts

  • Photography advice and instructions from the resident photographer. Extended photography workshops available on select departures

Activities

  • All zodiac and landing excursions

  • Zodiac cruising, hiking, guided walks, photography workshops, fitness & yoga

  • Optional overnight camping, including high quality equipment. No pre-registration required. Camping can be affected by itinerary and weather conditions.

Board and Lodging

  • All meals during the voyage prepared by One Ocean expeditions chefs

  • Welcome reception & welcome dinner

  • One Ocean Expeditions Farewell dinner hosted by the Captain

  • Daily afternoon tea with fresh snacks

  • Coffee, tea & hot chocolate available anytime

  • Access to wellness area (Finnish sauna, plunge pool filled with sea water, hot tub)

  • Natural essential oil amenities

Expedition Gear Package for duration of the voyage

  • Windproof/waterproof jacket and bib pants

  • Comfortable insulated rubber boots

  • Water resistant binoculars

  • Waterproof backpack

  • Trekking poles available on shore

Onboard Physician

  • Services of English speaking medical officer

  • Access to ship's infirmary

Transfers

  • From/to designated meeting points to/from the ship

  • Required flights to/from the ship

  • Luggage transfer to/from your cabin

Multimedia Room

  • Use of multimedia room to download images Lightroom, Adobe, Photoshop and card readers are available for use on MAC and PC computers


Optional Extras

Single Supplement

  • Single guests wishing exclusive use of a stateroom pay 50% of the second berth. Otherwise, single guests are welcome to book as “willing to share” without any single supplement.

Sea Kayaking

  • An extra cost of US$795 per person. Pre-registration required at time of booking. Confirmed access to kayak at any offered excursion. Limited to 30 passengers per voyage. Includes high quality kayaking equipment (dry suits, booties, pogies, paddles, PFD and single or double kayaks)


Not Included

Trip price does not include

  • International and national airfares, except where noted

  • Visa and passport fees, airport taxes

  • Pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodation in arrival/departure cities, except where noted

  • Meals & transfers in arrival/departure cities

  • Personal expenses

  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages

  • Massages from registered therapist

  • Personal laundry charges

  • Postage, telephone calls & email set up

  • Medical expenses such as fees, prescriptions or medications

  • Travel medical insurance including medical evacuation (mandatory)

  • Trip interruption / cancellation insurance

  • Gratuities to staff and crew

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to go?

The Antarctic season runs from late November through early March, with the best weather during December, January and February, which also coincides with breeding season for most penguin species.  Of course weather in Antarctica can be unpredictable, but routes are flexible to maximize your time at the destination.

What will I will see? 

You will get your first glimpse of penguins when you arrive in the Falkland Islands. Colonies of Rockhopper, Gentoo and King Penguins nest throughout the Falklands. All along the way, you'll also encounter a variety of sea birds including several species of Albatross, Petrel and Skua.  Entering Antarctic waters, whales abound with the possibility of sighting Southern Right, Minke, Humpback, and if you're lucky, Blue and Sperm whales.

How can I be sure this is the right trip for me?

Antarctica is the trip of a lifetime. Shore excursions are designed for anyone with reasonable mobility.  Walks with small uphill sections are optional, but a reasonable level of fitness will guarantee greater enjoyment. For the more active, sea-kayaking is also available.

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