The ultimate whale watching and wildlife expedition.

By March, the short Antarctic summer is drawing to a close. Penguin chicks are almost fully-grown and quickly shedding their downy coats in preparation to take to the sea before the long winter. March is a time of great activity in and under the water where we have historically encountered a high concentration of whales, in particular Humpback and Minke. Crabeater, Weddell and Leopard seals also often grace us with their presence, as they rest and store energy that will sustain them over the cold months ahead.

Please note: The Expedition does not include any international or local airfare.

Highlights


• Encounter large numbers of whales and observe important scientific field research

• Outstanding wildlife observation on shore, while Zodiac cruising and from the ship

• Visits to historic sites and science stations

• Learn about the environment, wildlife and ecology of Antarctica from polar experts

We depart Santiago this morning on our special charter flight direct to Stanley, the small capital of the Falkland Islands. We are met on arrival and transfer from the airport into town. There is time to explore the town or enjoy a guided visit to nearby Gypsy Cove which provides our first opportunity for observing the local wildlife, including nesting Magellanic penguins and other sea birds. Making our way to the port, we board our expedition ship, RCGS Resolute in the afternoon. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off to explore one of the most remote regions on Earth.
We chart a southerly course for Antarctica. The Scotia Sea is rich in bio-diversity and showcases a great abundance of wildlife. We are joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Photographing these magnificent birds takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, the wildlife and history of the locations we hope to visit in the coming days. There is great excitement when the dark cliffs of Elephant Island appear on the horizon. This is one of Antarctica's most important historic locations and a fitting introduction. On the rocky beach at Point Wild, Shackleton and his men camped here for many months under their three upturned life boats, having lost their ship, HMS Endurance in the thick sea ice, far to the south in the Weddell Sea in 1915. It was from this location that Shackleton and five companions set off on the rescue mission to South Georgia, aboard the tiny lifeboat, James Caird. To this day, the epic ocean crossing and crossing of South Georgia on foot is considered one of the greatest tales in polar history. If weather conditions permit, we aim for a Zodiac cruise to view the site from close proximity. This is a thrilling location for history buffs and sets the scene for an exciting expedition.
We head south overnight, navigating into the Bransfield Strait, wondering about the days of exploration ahead. The coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula provides literally a hundred or more sites for potential shore landings and excursions. The expedition team will be looking forward to showcasing some of the wellknown locations, and visiting a few hidden gems we have discovered over the years. Approaching the South Shetland Islands on our way south, we may aim for a shore landing at Half Moon Island – home to a boisterous colony of nesting chin strap penguins. A short hike brings us to elephant seal haul out. These are fascinating animals to observe as the naturalist guides explain the unique family dynamics and behavior. There are several other nearby locations, including Yankee Harbour or Hannah Point which we may chose as alternative landing sites. A thrill for many will be sailing the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island. At Whalers Bay, the remains of a rusting old whaling station provide a glimpse into history. There are a couple of excellent hiking routes here – one up to a high point overlooking the entire bay. Another to the far end of the black-sand beach where an old aircraft hanger can be viewed. It’s from here, the very first flight in Antarctica took to the air. It’s an awe-inspiring site as we approach with glacier covered mountains stretching as far as the eye can see. We enter the maze of islands and waterways and enjoy shore landings, Zodiac cruises and kayak excursions several times per day. Willhelmina Bay is always an impressive location and one we often find large pods of humpack whales. Ship cruising into the Errera Channel, we have a couple of great landing sites to consider including Cuverville Island – with its sizeable Gentoo penguin rookery. Nearby Danco Island, has a fantastic hike to the snow-covered summit, providing staggering views. Neko Harbour is another possibility for a landing and maybe our very first opportunity to step foot on the actual continental landmass of Antarctica. A very active glacier can be heard creaking and groaning, and it is common to observe large slabs of ice calving from the glacier face into the dark waters.
While we’re enjoying the fabulous surroundings and revelling in our busy activity program, the research team will be out in the Zodiac’s observing and recording the movements of the migrating whales. This is done through non-invasive tags which attach to the animals using suction cups for around 12-24 hours. The digitally recorded data provides great insight into the feeding behavior, dive profiles and migration patterns of several whale species. The science team will share their observations and findings once back on board the ship and are happy to discuss their important work. It provides a fascinating insight into the current scientific field research happening in Antarctica. As we push further south we have a few more glorious locations to explore. Paradise Harbour provides us with another opportunity for a continental landing. A climb to the top of hill above the old Argentine refuge reveals another spectacular viewpoint. Zodiac cruising under the cliffs here allows us to observe nesting imperial cormorants, and after a short distance we come to Skontorp Cove. This narrow body of water is surrounded by immense glaciers on three sides – one guest likening it to a ‘heavenly ice cathedral’. It's easy to see why. We continue to push further south, hoping that ice conditions allow for a transit of the Lemaire Channel. Snow covered cliffs tower about the Lemaire on both sides and slowly navigating on the ship through here is a thrilling experience. At Pleneau Island, we visit and observe a substantial gentoo penguin rookery. In the shallow waters nearby, we witness a vast field of icebergs which have run aground after drifting on the current and the winds. For many, a Zodiac cruise here will be a highlight of the trip. A working science station is located in the vicinity and a visit to the base provides an intriguing insight into the life of permanent residents in Antarctica. The station staff welcome us ashore and provide a tour of the facilities and explain the important climate change research work taking place. Nearby Winter Island allows for an excellent hike over a snowy saddle to an old historic hut. As we return to the ship, we cast our gaze back to the north towards the soaring peaks of Mount Shackleton and nearby Mount Scott. This is an impressive sight. The time has come for us to weigh anchor and commence our return journey to South America.
As we make our way back to South America, the educational presentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join our photography experts at the multimedia stations and download your precious images. If weather conditions allow, we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It is a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.
In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home. It will be possible to connect to flights through to Buenos Aires or other destinations in South America. Otherwise enjoy a night in town or venture further afield to explore the highlights of Patagonia.
Itineraries are subject to change.

Triple Private

$ 11295 USD pp
Triple Private
Located on deck 3 these cabins feature the option for a double or two single configured beds and a convertible sofa lounge to a lower berth. A sectional lounge is placed by the portholes, writing desk/chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities. These cabins are spacious and well appointed.

Twin Private

$ 12995 USD pp
Twin Private
Located on deck 4 these cabins feature the option for either a double or two single configured beds. A sectional lounge is placed by the large picture windows, writing desk/chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities. These cabins are spacious and well appointed.

Superior

$ 14095 USD pp
Superior
Located forward on deck 5 these cabins feature the option for either a double or two single configured beds. A sectional lounge is placed by the large picture windows, writing desk/chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities. These cabins are spacious and well appointed.

Superior Plus

$ 14395 USD pp
Superior Plus
Located forward on deck 5 these cabins feature the option for either a double or two single configured beds. A sectional lounge is placed by the large picture windows, writing desk/chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities. These cabins are spacious and well appointed.

Shackleton Suite

$ 15395 USD pp
Shackleton Suite
Located on deck 6 these cabins offer ample space (22m2) including the comfort of a sectional lounge, a large desk, expansive soft close cabinetry, washroom facilities including both a shower & bathtub. Sleeping quarters feature the option for either a double or two single configured beds with upgraded linen/ pillows. Included are a night light, region specific iPad, mini stereo, coffee maker, fully stocked mini bar, iPod alarm clock with audio line, private flora and fauna library all to enjoy amidst the large picture windows overlooking either the port or starboard side of the vessel.

One Ocean Suite

$ 17795 USD pp
One Ocean Suite
Located on deck 6 these cabins offer ample space (44m2) including the comfort of a sectional lounge with matching club chairs, a large desk, expansive soft close cabinetry, washroom facilities including both a shower & bathtub. Sleeping quarters feature the option for either a double or two single configured beds with upgraded linen/ pillows. Included are a night light, region specific iPad, mini stereo, coffee maker, fully stocked mini bar, iPod alarm clock with audio line, private flora and fauna library all to enjoy amidst the large picture windows overlooking either the port or starboard side of the vessel.

Additional charges:

Charter Flights: 495 USD pp

RCGS Resolute

Vessel Type: Polar Expedition Vessel

Passenger Capacity: 146

Built: 1993

Named after the HMS Resolute, a British Royal Navy Arctic exploration vessel, as well as the Inuit town of Resolute in Canada’s Nunavut Territory, RCGS Resolute will arrive in Canada in November 2018 for its inaugural polar voyage. RCGS Resolute also carries the name of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS), since we are exclusive education, environmental science, and expedition partners in Canada’s north. This longstanding partnership works to the benefit of our guests, who have the opportunity to learn from and interact with world-renowned educators, researchers, naturalists, marine biologists, artists, historians and photographers.

With an unsurpassed ice classification, a proven track record for stability and safety, large indoor and outdoor viewing platforms, and exceptional maneuverability, RCGS Resolute is ideally equipped to guide guests through the world’s most pristine regions, further expanding our expertise in exploration and discovery. RCGS Resolute will carry a maximum of 146 passengers in unparalleled comfort, with an array of luxury amenities, educational opportunities and activities tailored to guests’ particular interests, and individual, personalized service. 

Superb Design and Layout. Throughout the ship there are spaces ideally suited to every need. Spacious outer decks provide 360 degree viewing platforms perfect for photography, wildlife watching, birding and appreciating expansive views.  The salt water plunge pool, large relaxation deck, hot water jacuzzi are all located aft of the wellness centre (massage therapy, Finnish Sauna, steam room) and well equipped gymnasium.  Inside there are multiple areas to explore ranging from our well appointed theatre style presentation room, aft observation lounge and bar, forward observation lounge and bar, and both dining rooms. Add in the One Ocean Expeditions multimedia room, and mobile laboratory and the opportunities are endless. 

Six Different Cabin Categories. All cabins feature outside viewing ranging from deck three traditional with port holes, up to decks 4 through 6 offering expansive panoramic windows.  Cabins all have lower berths that have the ability to be single beds, or 1 double bed depending on our guests needs.  Extensive renovations have provided new carpets, high quality cabinetry with soft close drawers, contemporary and spacious bathroom design, all paired with soft accent lighting offering options dependant on our guests daily activities and mood. All cabins offer modern sectional lounge quarters, providing a quiet nook to read or catch up on journalling.  Space is exceptional as each cabin offers 22M squared living space, whilst the One Ocean Suites are absolutely palatial offering 44M squared with enough room to entertain or do back - flips (your choice)!

Enjoy Great Dining? So do we. At One Ocean Expeditions, the priority is on the expedition.  However with every activity, option, event, or excursion we find we build up incredible appetites to indulge in superb and extensive menu options.  Our bistro dining room provides early birds the option to get their social caffeine or smoothy start to the day, accompanied by light breakfast style snacks.  Full meal service includes buffet breakfast and lunches incorporating an international flare.  For those with special dietary requirements - no problem, we can accommodate that too.  Dinner is a great opportunity to catch up about the day’s events, as well as look to where we expect to explore next.  Five course menu options are offered a la carte, and seating is open in our business casual dining room featuring 180 degree sweeping views.  There’s also an excellent wine list featuring a range of international wines and other beverages of choice. 

Join us on the Bridge. There is an open-bridge policy and guests are welcome to meet the navigating crew at virtually any time of day; there’s always something to learn from the officers on watch and the bridge is one of the best places on the ship for spotting whales and sea birds.  The bridge is closed during times of tricky navigation, pilotage, or weather.

Operational Safety. There are no compromises here. The expedition staff and crew onboard RCGS Resolute have the deepest respect for changeable weather in the polar regions and the varying sea and ice conditions. That respect is apparent in every decision made throughout the voyage. The ship carries the most extensive inventory of safety equipment on all excursions and require leaders to undergo vigorous and effective safety training programs. Your expedition team are well prepared, so you can relax and enjoy your voyage.

Cabin layout for RCGS Resolute

Sea Kayaking in Antarctica (795.00 USD)

RCGS Resolute
Antarctic Peninsula ExpeditionExpedition
11 Days from
$ 11295 USD pp

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0800 945 3327

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1800 107 715

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