Southern Oceans & Eclipse with Richard Polatty

 

The ultimate Antarctic wildlife adventure…with a TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE!

Join INCA's lead naturalist, Richard Polatty, for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Combine the exceptional wildlife of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula with the chance to see a Total Solar Eclipse over the Scotia Sea.

WILDLIFE  |   SHIP  |   ITINERARY  |   DATES & PRICES  |   BROCHURE  |   FAQs

Richard Polatty will host an exclusive select group of INCA guests on a cruise aboard the polar expedition ship RCGS Resolute to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula, including an opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse.

Richard Polatty

Richard Polatty

Follow the footsteps of Shackleton and chart a course to the epicenter of Antarctic wildlife. Leading experts and passionate guides will help you discover some of the world's most unspoiled wildlife and terrain. Richard has been guiding expeditions in Antarctica for 30 years. He has been an expedition leader on four different ships and is a veteran of over 60 round trips to the Antarctic. Additionally, he has done research with the Antarctic Site Inventory for Oceanites (funded by the National Science Foundation). More about Richard »

The wildlife

Each year, tens of thousands of King penguins converge across South Georgia to create the largest rookery on the planet. It is a once in a lifetime sight to behold. Combined with the wealth of seabirds to be found in the Falkland Islands and the marine mammals of the Antarctic Peninsula, this trip is the ultimate adventure for wildlife enthusiasts.

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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Nov 21st 2021 | Arrive Ushuaia

Fly to Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world. Your overnight at five-star Arakur Resort and Spa will start your epic journey to Tierra del Fuego, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica. Meet Richard Polatty and your INCA travel companions. Arakur is located on a bluff inside Cerro Alarkén Nature Reserve and is surrounded by stunning views of the Beagle Channel and native forests. Enjoy the spa, walk the trails, and soak up the views.

Hotel:  Arakur Resort and Spa

Nov 22nd 2021 | Ushuaia

Explore Tierra del Fuego National Park and experience the rich forest and wildlife of the tip of Patagonia, picnic lunch included. The stage will be set for the transition from South America through the Falklands to Antarctica.

Hotel: Arakur Resort and Spa, BL

Nov 23rd 2021 | Embarkation Day

Your epic journey begins this afternoon as you board RCGS Resolute. After settling into your cabin, you can explore the ship, meet the expedition team and fellow passengers. The excitement is in the air as you enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner, then cast off for the adventure of a lifetime.

Ship:  RCGS Resolute, BD

Nov 24th 2021 | At sea towards Port Stanley (Falkland Islands)

Sailing northeast towards the Falkland Islands, you’ll be joined by hundreds of seabirds, including the Wandering Albatross, who you’ll come to know well on this journey. Giant Petrels and smaller Cape Petrels are constant companions. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and the resident photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of your modern research vessel.

Throughout the journey, onboard experts present a series of talks about the environment, wildlife, history and locations, as well as interesting details about the upcoming solar eclipse.

Ship: RCGS Resolute, BLD

Nov 25th - 26th 2021 | The Falkland Islands

The Falkland Islands are a perfect first stop as the rugged land is home to flora and fauna that form a link between Patagonia and Antarctica. The remotest portion of the islands are farms where sheep graze alongside colonies of sea birds. As many as a million penguins nest in the Falklands, including Gentoo, King, Magellanic, Macaroni and Rockhopper.

Having arrived in the Falkland Islands overnight, you’ll enjoy your first shore excursion in the morning to explore the West Falkland archipelago. These remote islands are home to a proliferation of seabirds an migratory birds including the stunning Black-Browed Albatross. Your first penguin sighting will be on West Point Island with its bustling rookeries of Rockhoppers. On Carcass Island, you’ll observe nesting Magellanic penguins as well as Oystercatchers, gees and the Striated Caracara—a bird of prey.

The following morning, you’ll arrive in Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands and the southernmost outpost of Britain. As you wander through the charming streets of brightly painted houses, you’ll learn how this quiet harbor was once a major port in the 19th century for ships rounding the fabled Cape Horn. There are several interesting activities to enjoy today. Stanley has an excellent museum that outlines the historic events that took place during the conflict with Argentina in 1982. The waterfront memorial built to commemorate the lives of the British servicemen killed during the war is a sobering reminder of recent history. Stanley’s famed philatelic museum with its impressive collection of historic stamps is another interesting diversion.

Ship: RCGS Resolute, BLD

Nov 27th - 28th 2021 | At sea towards South Georgia

Charting a south-easterly course, you’ll be joined once again by seabirds as you make your way to South Georgia. Members of the expedition team will continue 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 and the HMS Endurance expedition is central to any voyage to South Georgia.  Perhaps you’ll pick up further valuable tips from the onboard photographic expert, learning about image composition, the subtle polar light and all the basics of good camera craft. You’ll also learn about Polar conservation - a theme particularly close to the hearts of the expedition guides and crew.

Ship: RCGS Resolute, BLD

Nov 29th - Dec 2nd 2021 | Exploration of South Georgia

As you explore the shores of South Georgia, you’ll be greeted by large numbers of fur seals and Southern elephant seals lining the black sand beaches, while tussock-covered dunes are home to an estimated 100,000 King penguins who converge on South Georgia to create the largest rookery on earth. 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, stretching across the Salisbury Plain, St. Andrew’s Bay and Gold Harbour. The island is also home to large numbers of nesting albatross.

South Georgia is also a destination for history lovers; where rusting remains of whaling stations serve to remind visitors of the island’s past legacy. The island is also the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton, the heroic explorer who led 6 men across 800 miles of open ocean in a lifeboat to rescue the remainder of his crew left behind on Elephant Island.

Ship: RCGS Resolute, BLD

Dec 3rd 2021 | At sea towards the Eclipse Path

The departure from South Georgia is carefully timed to have you in position for the eclipse. Prevailing weather conditions will determine the precise schedule in the coming days. The captain will position the ship taking into consideration the optimal viewing conditions underneath the path of totality. Presentations by Richard Polatty and the expedition team will help prepare you for the eclipse early tomorrow morning.

Ship: RCGS Resolute, BLD

Click to enlarge, print or download (opens in a new window)

Click to enlarge, print or download (opens in a new window)

Dec 4th 2021 | Witness the Total Solar Eclipse

Having carefully monitored the weather, the captain will position the ship in the best location to view the eclipse. The path of totality is scheduled to cover the ship’s position around 4:00 a.m. so prepare to bundle up as you venture onto the outer observation decks.

What makes this event particularly unusual is that the path is east to west, the opposite direction to most eclipse paths in the lower latitudes. This phenomenon is only possible in polar regions. The duration of the eclipse lasts just a few minutes, but the memory of witnessing it in such a wild and remote corner of the planet is sure to last a lifetime.

Ship: RCGS Resolute, BLD

Dec 5th 2021 | At sea towards Antarctica

You’ll have a full day at sea as the ship sails for the continent of Antarctica. Ice conditions at this time of the season will dictate the course. You can spend time on the outer decks soaking up the scenery and observing the great seabirds of the Southern Ocean, and throught the day, there are interesting presentations by your expert guides. Alternatively, just relax in the observation lounge with a good book and a hot beverage.

Ship: RCGS Resolute, BLD

Dec 6th - 9th 2021 | Antarctic Peninsula

Approximately 60 miles off the cost of the Antarctic mainland, you’ll find the South Shetland Island chain. Possible landing sites could include King George Island, Half Moon Island or Yankee Harbour. Weather conditions permitting, the ship will sail into the flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island. There are some outstanding hikes and an old whaling station and aircraft hanger beg further exploration.

After so much anticipation, you’ll enter the icy waters of the Antarctic Peninsula in the vicinity of Mikkelson Harbor or Cierva Cove. Snow-covered mountains soar from the dark waters. An incredible abundance of wildlife lives along the shoreline in the bays and harbors of the Peninsula. Large rookeries are home to Chinstrap, Gentoo and Adelie penguins. Seals live on the ice floes, including the powerful leopard seal. Gulls, skuas and cormorants are also found nesting and feeding at many sites along the Peninsula. Whales are often sighted in transit.

You’ll explore by Zodiac boat and ashore where a range of activities await. Join the photographic guide taking pictures of stunning icebergs or enjoy a hike to the top of a snowy mountain saddle with one of the adventure guides. If weather conditions allow, visit a science base or an old historic hut. The sea kayakers may range up to several miles from the ship for a truly memorable experience.

Ship: RCGS Resolute, BLD

Dec 10th - 11th | At sea crossing the Drake Passage

Crossing back north, 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. As the ship nears the entrance to the Beagle Channel, you’ll enjoy a special dinner attended by the ship’s Captain.

Ship: RCGS Resolute, BLD

Dec 12th | Disembark in Ushuaia

It's time to say goodbye to your crew. Guests will be transported to the airport for flights home. For those wishing to stay on and explore Ushuaia and more of Argentina, please give us a call to explore your options.

Dates and Prices

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

Departure Main Deck Triple Twin Private Superior Superior Plus Shackleton Suite One Ocean Suite
21 Nov - 12 Dec 2021 $21,900 $24,900 SOLD OUT $29,300 $32,250 $34,400
Optional Sea Kayakaing $895

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

Pre-Cruise Accommodations and Activities

  • Airport transfer to the hotel

  • Two nights accommodations at Arakur Resort and Spa

  • Breakfast daily

  • Half day excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park with lunch

Shipboard Accommodations and Meals

  • 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

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.

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

  • 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 70% 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$895 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

Brochure

Click image to download brochure

Click image to download brochure

Download the brochure of the Southern Oceans and Total Solar Eclipse brochure aboard the polar expedition ship RCGS Resolute

 

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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