Crossing the Circle via Falklands & South Georgia 2014-15

Animals that can survive in Antarctica are a specialised bunch. They're the Bear Grylls' of the animal kingdom.
The epic icebergs and landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula
Shop for fine wool in Stanley
The albatross; bird-watching in the Falklands
The suave, tuxedo-clad penguins of Antarctica
Touring icebergs by kayak
Antarctica’s seabirds
The king penguins of Salisbury plains
The rolling hills ‘camp’ of the Falklands
The breeding grounds of South Georgia
Penguin pandemonium
Seals and seabirds of the Beagle Channel
South Shetland Islands
  • If you want to ‘do it all’ on your Antarctic adventure, then this is the voyage for you. Not only will you cross the Antarctic Circle and travel further south than traditional Antarctic cruises, you’ll also visit the wildlife playgrounds of the Falklands (Malvinas) and South Georgia. This journey is for anyone who appreciates a wide variety of landscapes, unprecedented wildlife viewing opportunities and a healthy mix of historic landing sites.


    Day 1 - Ushuaia

    Get prepped for your Antarctica expedition in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost town. Relax in the hotel, tuck into some fondue or a crab omelette at Moustacchio Restaurant, hike Martial Glacier or stay up all night in the casino. That last one’s probably not such a good idea, actually. Don’t do that.

    • Arrive in Ushuaia - the gateway for your Antarctic expedition
    • Perhaps explore the many shops, museums, cafes and restaurants before your voyage
    • Why not visit the nearby national park and Martial Glacier

    Day 2 - Ushuaia - Embarkation Day

    Get prepped for your Antarctica expedition in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost town. Relax in the hotel, tuck into some fondue or a crab omelette at Moustacchio Restaurant, hike Martial Glacier or stay up all night in the casino. That last one’s probably not such a good idea, actually. Don’t do that.

    • Trade your land legs for sea legs, meet and greet your fellow travelers and get acquainted with your ship
    • Set sail towards Antarctica
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 3 - At Sea

    Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Spongebob Squarepants, that’s who. Unfortunately he’s not here, so you’ll have to make do with all the incredible birdlife soaring overheard. Be sure to pick the brains of the Expedition Team too, these guys know their frozen continents.

    • Learn to identify seabirds that glide alongside the ship
    • Attend illustrated presentations by the Expedition Team
    • Prepare for procedures on your Zodiac cruises and shore landings
    • Receive instructions for getting the most out of your optional kayaking adventures
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4-5 - Falkland Islands

    The Falkland Islands have had a turbulent history. The British say they found it in the16th century and claim it belongs to them. The Argentines disagree, and invaded the island in 1982 to get it back. The British won, and to this day the Falklands remain a British Overseas Territory. That aside, this place has some world-class wildlife. 

    • View the abundant wildlife and rugged coastline of the Falklands
    • Explore the East and West island's by Zodiac excursions and daily landings
    • Visit Port Stanley - unique British town complete with a bit of a ramshackle charm
    • Enjoy free time to explore the town, grab a pint at the local pub, or visit numerous churches and museums
    • Spot Magellanic, gentoo, rockhopper and - if you're lucky - king penguins
    • Expect to see black-browed albatross and two endemic species; Cobb’s wren and the Falkland’s flightless steamer duck
    • Be educated on the local flora and fauna by the Expedition Team
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 6-7 - At Sea

    You’re officially in Antarctica when you cross the Antarctic Polar Front. Although you’ll have no idea exactly when this happens because all of the sea looks the same. Luckily, your clued-up Expedition Team will let you know. Until then, just enjoy the sights, sea-breeze and sangria. Just kidding, there’s no sangria on this ship. 

    • Officially enter Antarctic waters by crossing the invisible biological boundary called the Antarctic Convergence
    • Experience the abundance of krill and marine life that attracts whales and seals to this part of the world
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 8-11 - South Georgia

    Viewing the abandoned whaling stations at South Georgia is weird. It’s like, dude, people actually hunted whales and elephant seals, thereby causing a massive decline of the wild populations of these animals? Yeah, that happened. Visit the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton and reaffirm your faith in humanity.

    • Visit South Georgia and see remnants of old whaling stations and other abandoned outposts
    • Stop by the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton, at the settlement of Grytviken - also home to an old whaling station, a museum, gift shop, church and a research station of approximately 20 scientists and support personnel
    • Learn the history of South Georgia and experience the captivating wildlife
    • Perhaps see rookeries with a hundred thousand pairs of king penguins waddling on the beach one day, and  housands fur seals with reindeer grazing in the background the next
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 12-13 - At Sea

    Set sail for Antarctica and get schooled by your crew on what lies ahead at this other-wordly part of the…world. You’ll be excited, nervous and perhaps a little tired of spending so much time on a boat, but it’s all worth it when you think about what’s to come.

    • Say goodbye to the king penguins and press on to Antarctica
    • Attend seminars from your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife that will be greeting you upon arrival in Antarctica
    • Spend time chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the ba
    • If conditions allow, perhaps attempt landfall on the South Orkney Islands, which are officially in Antarctica
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 14-17 - South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

    Prepare to be smacked in the face (not literally) by the unbridled wonder of Antarctica. Set foot on the continent and hike up a glacier, visit a research station and hang out with colonies of penguins. If you feel a little light-headed it’s because your body isn’t used to this much awesome.

    • Arrive in Antarctica - an experience difficult to put into words
    • Experience trekking up a glacier, visiting a research station or consorting with penguin colonies
    • Perhaps spot surious whales, such as minkes, that are often attracted to Zodiacs
    • Each day and every landing will present a new collection of creatures to entertain and keep camera shutters busy
    • Why not partake in an an optional  kayaking excursion or go for a swim in the Antarctic
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 18 - The Antarctic Circle

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 19-20 - Northbound Along the Peninsula

    If you haven’t had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you’ll surely be satisfied by the time we return to the Drake Passage. You’ll continue to journey onto land and out by Zodiac twice daily. Your expedition team will also be on the lookout for any species of penguins, seals and whales that may have eluded you on the journey south.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 21-22 - Crossing the Drake Passage

    Take it from us: Drake Lake is better than a Drake Shake. Pray for the former as you head across this notorious stretch of water back towards dry land. Recount your experiences with companions, perhaps have a little cry and be humbled by the last few weeks of your life. We reckon they’ll stay with you for a while.

    • After more than two weeks of endless wildlife encounters, the journey home begins
    • Crossing the Drake Passage is an unofficial rite of passage, completing the Antarctic adventure
    • Enjoy some final moments mingling with your fellow travelers
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 23 - Disembarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina

    After breakfast aboard the ship, it is time to part ways and say goodbye to your Expedition Team and fellow travellers. We will transfer you to the airport for your homeward flight.

    • The trip ends today after breakfast aboard the ship
  • What's Included

      • One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia as indicated in the itinerary. (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)
      • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping.
      • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage. (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
      • All shore landings per the daily program.
      • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities.
      • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program.
      • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled.
      • Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage.
      • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings.
      • An official Quark Expeditions parka to keep.
      • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock.
      • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin.
      • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader.
      • A group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the local airport.
      • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
      • All luggage handling aboard ship.
      • Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $100,000 per person.
      • Group transfers in Ushuaia from the airport to any local hotel.
      • Group transfers from a designated location in Ushuaia to the ship on embarkation day
      • Snowshoes available on loan for shore excursions on designated voyages.
      • Headsets available on loan for listening to staff presentations and commentary.
      • Access the world’s largest floating collection of polar books and DVD’s in many languages.
      • A comprehensive photography program that includes the services of a resident photography instructor, a program of lectures on photography and digital image manipulation, photography focused excursions at landing sites.

    Not Included

      • Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
      • Passport and visa expenses.
      • Government arrival and departure taxes.
      • Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation and lunch on specified Fly and Cruise programs.
      • Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance.
      • Excess baggage charges.
      • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified.
      • Telecommunications charges.
      • The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew.
      • Massage services are available for onboard purchase.

    Safety Information

    Safety is paramount on a Gecko's voyage. Due to new International Security Regulations, you will not be able to approach the ship on your own. You will have to arrive with the rest of the group, accompanied by a Gecko's representative. Full details of embarkation/disembarkation procedures will be supplied with your final documentation. On board you will be asked to participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. We will also conduct important briefings on landing procedures and Zodiac operations.

  • Trip Dates and Prices

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  • Our Ships

    Ocean Diamond

    Ocean Diamond

    Sail aboard the Ocean Diamond, a modern, stable super-yacht and experience Quark's Antarctica. Carrying a maximum of 189 passengers, this outstanding vessel features numerous adventure options plus onboard amenities such as a massage and wellness program and a well-stocked polar library. The Ocean Diamond is staffed with experienced captains, officers, expedition leaders, and guides.

23 days
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Expedition cruise ship, Zodiac
21 nights Expedition Voyage, 1 night Comfortable hotel

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