South Georgia has been called ‘the most staggering wildlife show on earth’. After our in-depth exploration, we are certain you will agree. This seldom-visited corner of the planet is a place we know intimately and cherish sharing with our guests every season.

Our October departure is timed to coincide with the arrival of spring, as South Georgia emerges from the long and icy winter. This marks the beginning of the wildlife migration and breeding cycles for many species. The late January departure visits at the height of the polar summer. Days are long and the wildlife will be relaxed after the earlier breeding frenzy in spring. Both voyages feature a shipboard photography symposium open to all guests. For lovers of remote, small-ship expedition cruising, this voyage ticks every box you could possibly imagine.

Please Note: 21 Oct - 4 Nov 2017 & 4 Nov - 18 Nov 2017 departures are 15 days long, they start and end in Stanley. Voyages commencing/ending in Stanley (Falkland Islands) or King George Island (Antarctica) include flights from Punta Arenas (Chile). The cost of these flights is INCLUDED in the voyage price.

Highlights


• Wildlife Identification. An activity everyone can participate in! Join us as we work through our wildlife list identifying markers and checking off even the most elusive species.

• Photographer in Residence. On each and every departure our Photographer in Residence provides presentations, critiques, informal instruction and a photographer zodiac to assist you in your photographic goals.

• Education. Ornithology, marine biology, geology, & history make up the backbone of our educational program. Our educators are part of our expedition team travelling alongside you from the zodiac to the dinner table.

• Enhanced Photography. In addition to our Photographer in Residence we incorporate an additional professional photographer on staff effectively doubling your access to custom feedback and skill development throughout the voyage.

• Fitness & Yoga. Offered at various times throughout the day, as well as by private schedule, our fitness/yoga instructors/trainers offer a full suite of active movement programs for you to either stay fit, or start a new regime.

• Photography Symposiums. Join a team of five professional photographers offering insight, education, critique and feedback. These itineraries are custom built to maximize excursions during times of preferred light onshore.

• Trekking/Hiking. Where possible we tailor the options to offer our contemplative walk for those wanting to stay close to shore and not hike up slope, our mid range hike and our longer hikes. The longer hikes can range from two to three hours in duration, and may involve challenging terrain without the assistance of trails.

• Whale Watching. Experience the ultimate wildlife show from your front row seat. While sailing and exploring on the ship or cruising through the shallow waters of the coastal area, you will be surprised by the gracious movements of those majestic animals.

• Zodiac Cruising. Heavy duty mark V zodiac inflatables paired with yamaha 60HP four stroke engines and a trained guide/driver provide a brilliant platform for small group cruising.

Our journey commences this morning in Punta Arenas. Here we board our scheduled flight to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. After a short 90-minute journey we are met on arrival and transferred to the pier. Stanley is home to just over 2,000 residents and is reminiscent of a rural town in coastal Britain. It is charming with brightly colored houses, pretty flower-filled gardens, a quaint cathedral and several local pubs. There is time to explore the town before embarkation. Excitement is in the air as we cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
We chart a course bound for South Georgia. This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in its bio-diversity and showcases an abundance of astonishing wildlife. We will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as we make our way south. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days.
Majestic snow-covered mountains greet us on arrival in South Georgia. We hope to navigate the ship into the historic location of King Haakon Bay. It was here that, 100 years ago, Shackleton and his men made landfall in their small lifeboat, the James Caird, after completing the perilous ocean crossing from Elephant Island. This dramatic location is visited by just a handful of ships each season. One of the most anticipated sites in South Georgia is Salisbury Plain. The black sand beaches and tussock covered dunes are home to a staggering 100,000 ing penguin adults and their young. This is just one of several such king penguin rookeries on South Georgia. Fur seals can also be seen poking their heads above the water; the elephant seals will enjoy lazing about the beach, while the skuas and giant petrels fill the skies above. Meanwhile, the albatross - our constant companion on this journey - is never far away.
History comes into sharp focus as we visit Stromness and Grytviken. From 1912 until the 1930’s, these locations acted as whaling stations. Today, the rusted and ghostly remnants seem out of place in such a pristine environment. If the weather co-operates, we hope to be able to hike the last few miles across the saddle separating Fortuna Bay from neighboring Stromness, following the footsteps of Shackleton, Crean and Worsley. As we journey further to the southeast we enter the broad expanse of Cumberland Bay. At the head of the bay lies Grytviken – the largest of the old whaling stations on South Georgia. A highlight of our landing here is a visit to the gravesite of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his loyal right hand man, Frank Wild.
Our next few days will take us to St Andrew’s Bay and Gold Harbor - places that are teeming with wildlife including fur seals, elephant seals and massive colonies of the colorful king penguins. We will explore as much as you desire on foot. Gold Harbor is so called because the sun's rays make the cliffs yellow with their light in the morning and evening. It’s an exhilarating location. Drygalski Fjord at the far eastern extremity of the island is another spectacular site in South Georgia.
Our final days are spent catching up on journal entries, or perhaps downloading and reviewing photos in the multi-media room with our photography expert. A highlight of our return journey will be frequent sightings of the majestic albatross, petrels and other seabirds as they soar above the ship on the winds of the Southern Ocean.
In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home.
Polar exploration can be unpredictable. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a 'guide only' and may change. The ship's Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximise our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavy ice may block out planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.

Triple Share

$ 10295 USD pp
Triple Share
Located on Deck 3 these cabins have bunk beds and a sofa bed. Facilities are shared. There is a washbasin with cold/hot water in the cabin, a writing desk/chair, in-room clock radio with ipod connector kit, and ample storage space. All cabins have a porthole. Additional features and amenities: Bathrobes

Twin Semi-Private

$ 12495 USD pp
Twin Semi-Private
Located on Deck 4 these cabins have one lower berth and one sofa bed, a writing desk,in-room clock radio with ipod connector kitand ample storage. Facilities are semi-private (one bathroom between two cabins). All cabins have a window which opens. Additional features and amenities: Toiletry kit Hairdryer Coffee/tea maker Bathrobes

Twin Private

$ 12795 USD pp
Twin Private
These cabins are located on Deck 4 and 5. All cabins have two lower berths, a writing desk/chair, in-room clock radio with ipod connector kit and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window. Additional features and amenities: Toiletry kit Hairdryer Coffee/tea maker Bathrobes

Superior

$ 14695 USD pp
Superior
Located on Deck 3 these cabins have two lower berths, a sofa, a writing desk/chair, in-room clock radio with ipod connector kit and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window. Additional features and amenities: Toiletry kit Hairdryer Coffee/tea maker Vanity kit Upgraded bed linen/duvets

Shackleton Suite

$ 16695 USD pp
Shackleton Suite
These cabins are located on Deck 4 and 5. All cabins have one double berth, one sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters, a writing desk/chair, ipad with polar literature and access to various media, IPod Dock Alarm Clock. Facilities are private and all cabins have windows, which can be opened. Additional features and amenities: Upgraded bed linen/duvets CD player/mini stereo system with connection for Ipod™/mp3 player Use of our CD selection Mini bar/ice bucket Hairdryer Coffee/tea maker Toiletry kit Vanity kit Organic cotton luxury logoed bathrobes Arrival gift basket with healthy snacks and a bottle of wine Binoculars and wildlife reference book

One Ocean Suite

$ 18495 USD pp
One Ocean Suite
Located on Deck 5 this cabin has a double berth, one sofa bed and separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, ipad with polar literature and access to various media, IPod Dock Alarm Clock and IPod Speaker System for main room. Facilities are private and have a bathtub. This cabin has windows overlooking the bow, which can be opened. Additional features and amenities: Upgraded bed linen/duvets CD player/mini stereo system with connection for Ipod™/mp3 player Use of our CD selection Mini bar/refrigerator Hairdryer Coffee/tea maker Toiletry kit Vanity kit Organic cotton luxury logoed bathrobes Arrival gift basket with healthy snacks and a bottle of wine Binoculars and wildlife reference book

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Vessel Type: Ice - Strengthened

Length: 117 metres

Passenger Capacity: 92

Built: 1988

Stability and Strength. Our ship was purpose built to conduct sensitive hydro-acoustic research and science in the polar regions. The original design brief dictated that the vessel offers a very high level of stability. This is achieved through a sophisticated internal trimming system, controlled via a series of gyroscopic sensors around the vessel. This stability feature is something you will greatly appreciate should you encounter less than ideal sailing conditions.

Maneuverable, Quiet and Fast. With both bow and stern thrusters and twin reversible propellers, the ship can spin on its own axis – greatly assisting embarkation of the zodiacs in windy conditions. You will notice there is little – if any – ambient noise or vibration, which makes for a quiet ship. The ship is fast, with a top speed of 14.5 knots in open water. Unmatched stability, coupled with superior speed allows for more time at your destination (rather than ‘at sea’) and more flexibility with itinerary planning – a critical factor in polar waters where ice and weather conditions sometimes dictate our daily itinerary.

Superb Design and Layout. Throughout the ship there are spaces ideally suited to every need. Spacious outer decks provide 360 degree views of the stunning polar landscapes – as well as a great place for an outdoor barbecue, which usually happens once on every voyage. Inside there are comfortable presentation spaces for lectures and film screenings and there’s a multimedia computer lab with several large screen workstations where guests can download and back up photos.

Six Different Cabin Categories. All cabins feature outside windows allowing ample natural light to filter in. Cabins all have lower berths (some triple share cabins have one upper/lower bunk scenario and feature port holes). Akademik Sergey Vavilov carries a maximum of just 92 guests – making for true, small-ship expedition cruising. This is particularly important in Antarctica where visitor guidelines dictate that no more than 100 people can be on shore at any one time. We fall under this limit and that equals maximum time ashore at all locations. Ships carrying more than 100 guests compromise your time ashore.

Enjoy Great Dining? So do we. The exciting schedule of onshore excursions, zodiac cruises and onboard activities are guaranteed to work up a serious appetite. Although the ship operates in some of the most remote locations in the world, you can expect an exceptional variety of tasty meals, prepared by a team of professional international chefs. Breakfasts are usually buffet style. Lunches offer a great choice of light meals - as well as more substantial options for those who are hungry - and each evening there is a hearty three-course meal offering both variety and choice. There’s also an excellent wine list featuring a range of international wines. You can get a cup of tea or coffee at any time of the day or night and we always offer afternoon tea with cakes and biscuits. Guests with dietary restrictions or special meal requirements are also well catered for.

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.

Operational Safety. There are no compromises here. The expedition staff and crew onboard Akademik Sergey Vavilov 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.

Relax — You're on Holiday. The ship also features a Finnish dry-heat sauna, a plunge pool, a hot water Jacuzzi, a small gymnasium and day spa with massage therapist.

An expedition gear package is included. An expedition cruise requires a fair bit of planning and some special items of clothing and equipment are needed. You will have use of an expedition wet weather gear package free of charge, which includes a quality waterproof/windproof jacket and bib-pants as well as insulated, comfortable rubber boots designed for extended walking. A set of expedition binoculars and a walking pole are also available for the duration of your voyage. This saves you buying expensive items you may only ever use once and eliminates the need to carry such cumbersome gear all the way to the ship. If you do have your own gear, of course you are welcome to bring it. Make sure it is wind and waterproof. If you have questions about gear, feel free to ask.

Cabin layout for Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Sea Kayaking (795.00 USD)

As a pre-booked activity, our group of sixteen paddlers and three guides gears you up with the best kit in the industry to experience one of the best paddling destinations in the world. Both single and double kayaks are available.

17 Days from
$ 10295 USD pp

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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