This extended expedition encompasses the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, the remote Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), as well as the extraordinary beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula. You’ll experience a great diversity of environments and landscapes, which will provide unprecedented wildlife viewing opportunities. Join us for the quintessential Antarctic experience for polar travelers!
• Explore the world’s seventh continent on the Antarctic Peninsula by ship, Zodiac and on foot.
• Learn about Antarctica’s unique geology, history and wildlife with an expert team of lecturers.
• See the incredible wildlife of South Georgia, often referred to as “the Galapagos of the South.” This includes more than 30 species of breeding birds, including four species of Penguin.
• Follow in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s perilous voyages on South Georgia and pause for a moment at his graveside.
• Explore the quaint, British town of Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands.
• On board lecturers and educational presentations from Polar Specialists.
Your gateway for this expedition is Ushuaia, Argentina. Nestled within the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Ushuaia has a small-town feel yet boasts many shops, museums, cafés and restaurants that you can enjoy before your voyage. If you’re feeling adventurous, the nearby national park and Martial Glacier offer plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking.
As you embark, the anticipation grows. Trade your land legs for sea legs, meet and greet your fellow travelers and get acquainted with your ship. Since every Antarctic adventure presents new opportunities and experiences, embarkation day is just as exciting for your Expedition Team as it is for you. On board to ensure your comfort and safety, your team will also help make your wildlife dreams come true.
Your days at sea are filled with presentations and lectures led by your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife that will greet you upon your arrival. In between presentations, spend time chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar, or enjoy the fresh air and views on the outer decks.
Upon your arrival in the Falklands (Malvinas), your camera will get its first real workout capturing the abundant wildlife and rugged feel of this sub-Antarctic region. The archipelago contains two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, which you will explore during daily Zodiac excursions and landings.
Stanley, also known as Port Stanley, is often a favored landing site, as the town offers a unique British outpost feel, complete with eclectic charm. You’ll be free to explore, grab a pint at the local pub or visit numerous churches and museums.
In terms of wildlife, the archipelago is home to Magellanic, gentoo and southern rockhopper penguins. If you’re lucky, you may even spot king penguins here as well! You can expect to see black-browed albatross, plus two endemic bird species—the flightless Falkland steamer duck and possibly the elusive Cobb’s wren.
Your team of lecturers and specialists will be sure to educate you on the local flora and fauna, making the most out of your time in the Falklands.
Sailing southeast to South Georgia, you’ll officially enter Antarctic waters once you cross the Antarctic Convergence, an invisible biological boundary encircling the continent. This meeting of oceans, where the cold Antarctic waters mix and mingle with the warmer waters of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, helps create the abundance of krill that attracts whales and seals to this part of the world. Your Expedition Team will notify you when you cross this invisible yet important line, and also look out for the seabirds and marine life that frequent the area.
This remote, mountainous island was a popular stop for many historic Antarctic expeditions and was once a haven for hunting whales and seals. Today, island wildlife populations are rebounding, but you’ll still see remnants of old whaling stations and other abandoned outposts.
One significant and historic site is the grave of the great explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. You can visit his grave at the settlement of Grytviken, which is also home to an old whaling station, plus a museum, gift shop, church and small research station.
Although South Georgia’s history is an important attraction to the island, its incredible densities of wildlife make it truly memorable. Each landing you make on South Georgia, often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles, will open your eyes to the wondrous lives of new, enthralling creatures.
One day you may see rookeries with hundreds of thousands of pairs of king penguins waddling on a beach, and the next, you may visit another beach blanketed with thousands of fur or elephant seals. The grasses, mountains and beaches of South Georgia all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different species on the island. This fragile and interwoven relationship is something your Expedition Team will explain to you during your time here.
Say goodbye to the king penguins, as your next destination is Antarctica! Your days at sea are filled with presentations, lectures and workshops led by your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife that will greet you upon your arrival.
If conditions allow, we may attempt landfall on the South Orkney Islands, our first official stop in Antarctica.
The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is beyond words, since few places are as untouched and enduring as Antarctica.
You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes. At one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete isolation and silence, and at the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into brilliant blue sea or a penguin waddles by to inspect your footwear.
Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each excursion, whether you are Zodiac cruising, visiting a historical site or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. During Zodiac cruises, keep an eye out for Antarctic whales such as minkes, which may give you a chance for an intimate experience with these majestic animals. Each day and each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera busy.
As exciting as the Zodiac excursions and landings are, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to an extra-special Antarctic experience by partaking in an optional paddling excursion (at an extra cost) or cast reason aside and jump into Antarctic waters for the polar plunge!
After more than two weeks of endless wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage, completing your Antarctic adventure.
Enjoy your final moments celebrating with your fellow shipmates. The busy, populated world awaits your return, so savor the silence of the sea as long as you can.
After breakfast aboard the ship, it is time to part ways and say goodbye to your Expedition Team. Airport transfers will be provided for those departing on the first homeward flights. Other guests will be transferred to town.
Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.
20 January, 2021 to 08 February, 2021
Approximately 200 square feet (19 square meters) in size, this cabin has a two twin beds and an upper bed, and two portholes (Note: cabin 332 has three lower beds). Located on the Lower Deck, this cabin has a private bathroom with bathtub and shower.
Approximately 200 square feet (19 square meters) in size, this cabin has one double bed or two twin beds, and a picture window (the view is obstructed). Located on the Captain’s Deck, this cabin has a private bathroom with bathtub and shower. Amenities include: wardrobes, drawers, flat-screen TV, DVD player, individual temperature controls, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, and hair dryer.
Between 183 and 200 square feet (19 and 17 square meters) in size, this cabin has one double bed or two twin beds, and a picture window. Located on the Upper and Main Decks, this cabin has a private bathroom with bathtub and shower.
Between 200 and 183 square feet (19 and 17 square meters) in size, this cabin has one double bed or two twin beds, and a picture window. Located on the Upper and Main Decks, this cabin has a private bathroom with bathtub and shower.
Approximately 325 square feet (30 square meters) in size, including the balcony, this suite has one double bed or two twin beds, and a full-size window with a sliding glass door that leads to a private deck with chairs. Located on the Observation Deck, this suite has a private bathroom with bathtub and shower.
Approximately 200 square feet (19 square meters) in size, this cabin has one double bed and two portholes. Located on the Lower Decks, this cabin has a private bathroom with shower. Amenities include: wardrobes, drawers, flat-screen TV, DVD player, individual temperature controls, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, and hair dryer.
Approximately 200 square feet (19 square meters) in size, this cabin has one double bed, and a picture window (the view is obstructed by the lifeboats). Located on the Captain’s Deck, this cabin has a private bathroom with bathtub and shower.
Vessel Type: Expedition
Length: 124 metres
Passenger Capacity: 224
Built / refurbished: 1974 / 2012
The 224 passenger vessel was completely refurbished in Norway in 2012 and is perfect for our exploration being large enough to provide stability, speed, spacious cabins and ample public space, yet small enough to manoeuvre in remote areas. The vessel is outfitted with the most current navigational and communications technology as well as with retractable stabilisers for smooth sailing. The vessel is ice strengthened and features 18 Zodiacs for our forays ashore.
With a maximum of 224 passengers, the Ocean Diamond offers cabins across its five decks. There a range of cabins and suites available and all feature outside views (porthole, window or balcony), full private en-suite bathrooms featuring bathtub and shower, a writing desk, individual temperature control, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite phone access, hairdryer and flat-screen television and DVD player. Cabins range in size from 17 square metres to 30 square metres.
The Ocean Diamond features spacious public areas and ample deck space from where you can admire the beautiful passing landscapes. Public areas and facilities include an observation lounge with bar, a fitness centre, pool with bar, sun deck, lecture threatre with state of the art audio visual equipment, library and lounge. The restaurant serves all passengers in one, open seating and cuisine onboard is international. There is also a gift shop, clinic and a spa onboard.
The single sitting restaurant is located on the Lower Deck and is both spacious and light. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style and dinner is served to your table. All meals include a vegetarian option. Afternoon tea also served daily around the afternoon excursions and coffee, tea and water are available complimentary around the clock. Weather permitting, there will be the opportunity to dine outside on occasion.
The atmosphere onboard is focused on exploration and discovery with all the creature comforts you would expect from a vessel of this calibre. The onboard crew offer excellent service and in addition the expedition team will enrich your experience with their knowledge of the region. Through a lecture programme and shore expeditions, they will share their expertise and passion with you. After a day of exploration ashore, you will return to the comfort of a sophisticated ship with a friendly crew and informal atmosphere. A fleet of Zodiacs are used for landings and nature cruises, and during your voyage you will have the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to learn more about your journey, further fostering the expeditionary nature of our voyage.
Voyage in selected cabin category
Rubber boots for use throughout the voyage
Expedition Parka to keep
Experience Expedition leader and team
All shore landings and zodiac cruises as specified in the itinerary
All meals while on board the ship
Soft Drinks, Juice, Tea and Coffee while on board the ship
Beer and Wine with dinner
Lectures and presentations on board held by Expedition team and guest speakers as scheduled
Photographic journal of the expedtion
Luggage handling on board the ship
Emergency Evacuation insurance up to a maximum of USD$500,000.00 per person
All port charges/taxes
Trip specific inclusions;
Group arrival transfer in Ushuaia from airport to hotel on Day 1 (For preferred flights only)
One night hotel accommodation in Ushuaia with breakfast as per the itinerary
Group transfer from hotel to ship on embarkation day
Group transfer to airport or central location in Ushuaia on disembarkation
NOTE: Hotel Accommodation - The number of guests per room is the same as cabin occupancy on the ship. Due to limited availability, travelers who reserve a suite on board are accommodated in standard rooms at the hotel. Triple rooms may not be available.
International and Domestic airfares unless specified
Passport and Visa costs if applicable
Meals ashore unless specified
Travel insurance including cancellation insurance
Mandatory waterproof pants - required for zodiac cruises and landings
Any items of a personal nature including medical costs incurred on board
Phone and Internet charges incurred on board
Transfers other than those specified in inclusions
Pre and post voyage accommodation unless stated in the itinerary
Optional excursions (Eg kayaking where available)
Gratuities or tips are always at your discretion. We recommend that you budget $10 to $15 per person per day, if you are pleased with the service on board. Gratuities are collected anonymously at the end of each voyage. They are distributed among staff and crew. Payment can be made in cash or charged to your shipboard account.