The sun shines bright on a frozen land. A family of seals bask in its warmth despite a chill blowing ceaselessly across the ice shelf they call home. The brisk, clean air they breathe seems to sharpen the senses, as the brightness of white is framed perfectly by a vibrant blue sky.
This was the best holiday we have ever had and we hope to do it again in a couple of years time.
R & J Whittle, Gourmet Italy
Please note: on this expedition cruise the itinerary should be used as a guide only. This tour requires a moderate degree of physical fitness and may not be suitable for all our guests.
2017 marks the centenary of Ernest Shackleton’s audacious Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-1917. Over a century on we’re ready to exit our comfort zones and
take extreme steps to conquer the wilds of nature.
With LATAM Airlines, we travel to Buenos Aires via Auckland and Santiago. Crossing the International Date Line, we arrive in the Argentinian capital the same day we leave. The Alvear Palace Hotel welcomes us mid afternoon.
You would be hard pressed to find a city that stirs the soul more than Buenos Aires. Settle in for a relaxing night at the hotel or step out and explore on your own.
Perhaps enjoy a free morning to explore or simply relax until lunchtime and then we’re on the move, departing for Ushuaia. There’s no time to waste once we arrive, with a panoramic city tour before we make ourselves comfortable at Los Cauquenes Resort & Spa. Take the perfect opportunity to get to know your fellow explorers at our Welcome Dinner this evening.
Join Silver Cloud
Refreshed, we board the ‘End of the World’ steam train journey which takes in the spectacular scenery of Tierra del Fuego National Park. There’s time to take in the surrounds as we enjoy a picnic lunch in the park before a visit to the Maritime Museum. The adventure officially begins, as we embark our stunningly refurbished ship, Silver Cloud.
With a full day at sea, it’s the perfect opportunity to hear the Expedition Team present lectures about the Falkland Islands (known as Malvinas in Spanish), preparing us for the exciting adventures ahead. Keen bird-watchers should head out on deck to keep an eye out for black-browed albatross, southern giant petrels and cape petrels.
Enjoy the friendly atmosphere during a special Welcome Aboard cocktail party this evening, hosted by the Captain. He will introduce his senior officers and various members of the Silver Cloud crew.
The remote Falkland Islands await our exploration today. First up is the wildlife and nature reserve of New Island. The convenience of our Zodiacs means we’ll easily head ashore at Coffin Harbour and hike past the Barnard Memorial Museum crossing the island from east to west. The incredible array of birdlife here is astounding.
There’ s also plenty of history to discover. Our onboard historian might share stories of the wreck of Protector III — an old minesweeper used for seal hunting, grounded close to our landing site. As we enjoy a delicious lunch and continue sailing, Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins with their distinctive black and white markings can often be seen. Our Zodiacs will take us ashore for the short walk to Devil’s Nose. The winds here are so strong the albatross only have to spread their wings to take off, while the penguins have to hop from rock to rock to reach the shore.
From the red phone booths to double decker buses, there’s no denying the British flavour of Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands. Despite this, Argentine authorities have repeatedly claimed the islands as part of their own country. The War Memorial stands as a sobering reminder of the 1982 Falklands War between Britain and Argentina. Explore the town on a ‘city tour’ by bus with a local guide or stroll through the charming streets of this colourful little town, lined with quaint cottages and traditional pubs. We’ll visit the 19th-century Anglican cathedral and wander through the Falkland Islands Dockyard Museum. While avid stamp collectors will love the Philatelic Bureau. Depending on conditions we might be able to see gentoo, magellanic or king penguins at Bluff Cove or Volunteer Point.
Waking up to Christmas on the water is a surreal experience, making for a holiday celebration like no other. Rest assured that today will feature all of the trimmings you would expect. As we get into the Christmas spirit, two days of cruising the South Atlantic Ocean lie ahead. This gives us the perfect opportunity to take in lectures on the geology, history and the wildlife that makes South Georgia such an interesting and unique place. As we approach South Georgia it’s easy to see how Shag Rock got its name, thanks to the large numbers of South Georgia shags that frequent here.
It’s time to put ourselves in the shoes of the world’s most intrepid explorers, with three full days to explore seldom visited South Georgia. This breathtaking destination boasts towering snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers, low-lying grasslands and is home to an abundance of wildlife. Southern fur seals, southern elephant seals and a variety of albatross species can be found here. And who could forget the black and white uniform of thousands of king and macaroni penguins?
We may visit Grytviken, a historic whaling station that began its life in 1904. Its eerie remains include rusted hulls of abandoned ships, equipment and working-areas.
Of course our visit wouldn’t be complete without paying respects to Sir Ernest Shackleton. At his burial site we will toast the great explorer and his many accomplishments.
It’s farewell to South Georgia as Silver Cloud heads for the South Shetland Islands and on to Antarctica. En route we might encounter one of the massive tabular icebergs that tend to break off from the Larsen Ice Shelf.
This is a good chance to enjoy photography workshops or peruse an array of titles in the well-stocked library. Take a stroll on deck and enjoy the splendour of the vast sea and sky. On New Year’s Eve, enjoy the company of like minded explorers as we celebrate the arrival of the New Year in surroundings few ever have the privilege to experience.
As we head for Elephant Island, we are enlightened to the rescue of Shackleton’s crew members at Point Wild, while our marine biologist and ornithologist fill us in on the wildlife to look out for. Today we’ll find the local wildlife is responsible for the name of the island. An abundance of elephant seals welcome us as glaciers and steep cliffs form a dramatic background. The island is also home to chinstrap and macaroni penguins and weddell seals. Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, was crushed in pack ice in the Weddell Sea in late 1915, and the crew was stranded on the island for 135 days.
The pack ice becomes thicker today, and as we pass iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers, it’s hard not to be reminded of how small we are compared to nature’s wonders. The best part of an Antarctic journey is the flexibility of our itinerary. Each day the Expedition Leader and Captain will determine our best course depending on weather, ice conditions and wildlife. We may be able to visit locations like Antarctic Sound, Brown Bluff, Paulet Island and Deception Island.
Watch for seals sunbathing on slow-moving ice floes and for whales to surface from below the frigid waters. Each day we will attempt Zodiac departures and if conditions permit, we will cruise amidst icebergs or step ashore to visit a variety of penguin rookeries.
When Silver Cloud reaches the Antarctic Convergence, there is another good chance to see whales and seabirds as nutrients are pushed to the surface as the ocean currents of the South Atlantic and South Pacific meet.
Keen bird watchers will be in twitching heaven with a variety of seabirds gliding in the air currents of Silver Cloud’s wake.
Disembark Silver Cloud
Our incredible Antarctic cruise comes to a close today as we disembark Silver Cloud and transfer to Ushuaia International Airport for the return flight to Buenos Aires. Upon our arrival back in this vibrant and picturesque city, the beautiful Alvear Palace Hotel welcomes us back for another night. This evening we’ll enjoy dinner and be swept away with the passion of a traditional tango show at Rojo Tango.
Where Latin America meets Europe, and old worlds meet the new. The highlights of Buenos Aires come together in a cacophony of colour and colonial elegance on a city tour.
This afternoon, we transfer to the airport for our flight back to Australia via Santiago and Auckland.
Our incredible journey comes to a close as we touch down in Australia today. We may have left Antarctica but with amazing memories and countless photographs, this is sure to be an adventure that will stay with you forever.
Imagine a trip where you won’t have to lift a finger, or worry about bringing your wallet.
Sightseeing in each destination is included. Select Options even allow you to tailor aspects of the touring to your individual tastes when there are multiple touring options.
Silversea’s purpose-built and freshly refurbished expedition ship has been designed for navigating some of the world’s most remote destinations. A fleet of Zodiacs allow guests to visit even the most off-the-beaten path locations. An expert Expedition Team provides insight and understanding on each unforgettable voyage aboard Silver Cloud. After spending the day on a dynamic shore excursion, be pampered with butler service as you unwind in your lavish suite, or in one of the many fine public areas.
Large picture windows frame panoramic views, the perfect backdrop for breakfast in bed. Features a sitting area and a marbled bathroom with bath/shower combination.
Veranda Suites feature floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto a private teak veranda with furniture; a sitting area and a marbled bathroom with bath/shower combination.
These suites offer a sitting area, private teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors, marbled bathroom with shower and walk-in wardrobe.
Fares are based on a Vista Suite aboard Silver Cloud.
Fares include LATAM Airlines flights from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. Prices from other cities available on request.
Supplements (add to base tour cost, per person, twin share)
Veranda Suite $10,800
Deluxe Veranda Suite $12,700
For details of other suite upgrades, please contact one of our Tour Sales Consultants.
Single Suite Supplements including hotels (add to single supplement cost)
Veranda Suite $24,070
Deluxe Veranda Suite $28,740
Single suites at above prices are limited. For details of other suite upgrades, please contact one of our Tour Sales Consultants.
Patagonia Pre Tour Option
Per person, twin share $5,850
Single room supplement $1,160