- Antarctic cruise including the wildlife hotspots of South Georgia and the Falklands
- Five-star Antarctic expedition ship, the RCGS Resolute gives comfort and expertise at a great price
- Experienced crew of Polar experts plus our extra hosts Stephen Venables, Sue Flood and Wade Davis
- Ultimate travel experience - towering ice cliffs, gigantic glaciers, bergs the size of skyscrapers
If you have a love of wildlife and wild places, an expedition voyage to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula is the ultimate travel experience. Nothing quite prepares you for the epic scale or the amazing sense of space. Towering ice cliffs, gigantic glaciers, bergs the size of skyscrapers – little wonder that Roald Amundsen wrote of Antarctica that “the land looks like a fairy-tale”.
Antarctic itinerary with a difference
South Georgia is famed for its stunning scenery and spellbinding wildlife. It would be remiss of us to allow you to travel so far south and not visit this staggering island. Huge numbers of fur seals and the larger elephant seals can be found on the dark, volcanic sandy beaches. Seabirds are abundant. However, it is the vast penguin colonies that are perhaps the most enthralling – the visual spectacle of hundreds of thousands of king penguins is extraordinary.
Added to the landscape and wildlife of South Georgia is its history. In particular that of Shackleton and his remarkable crossing of South Georgia.
The Falkland Islands are also full of history. So too wildlife with a variety of penguins from gentoo to rockhopper, from macaroni to Magellanic. However, it is as a birding destination that the Falklands should be best known with large, easily accessible colonies of some of the world's rarest and most enchanting birds, in particular, the black-browed albatross.
The Antarctic Peninsula is breathtakingly beautiful. Such magnificence is best epitomised by Paradise Bay. Wildlife on the peninsula is remarkable and at this time of year chinstrap, gentoo and Adelie penguins can be seen rearing young chicks. Marine wildlife is also rich in this area with humpback, minke and orca whales frequently seen.
Steppes Travel’s Antarctic expertise
We know what makes a fantastic holiday to Antarctica. We have been arranging expeditions and cruises to Antarctica for over 15 years and the team has visited 11 times so far.
Our Antarctic charter in 2017 was a huge success with 98% of our clients rating the trip as ‘excellent’. For our Antarctica cruise in 2019, we have made a few refinements to give you the very best Antarctic experience.
Does this trip offer value for money?
There are of course cheaper ways to travel to Antarctica but we are confident our voyage offers excellent value for money. This cruise offers a comprehensive 19-day Antarctic package which includes not only the Antarctic Peninsula but also the mountainous wildlife hotspot of South Georgia and the rugged beauty and history of the Falkland Islands. We are offering the excitement of an expeditionary style cruise, where you get off the boat and get snow on your boots but travel in the comfort of a luxury boat. Complimentary use of expedition gear (jacket, trousers and boots), binoculars, trekking poles and waterproof backpacks are also included.
In addition to the regular experts on board which include expedition leaders, naturalists, historians, ornithologists, marine biologists, photographers and artists you will also have, exclusive to Steppes Travel, three additional experts - Stephen Venables, mountaineer and South Georgia expert: Wade Davis, anthropologist and ethnobotanist; and wildlife photographer and filmmaker, Sue Flood.
Your Antarctic vessel
The RCGS Resolute is an ice-strengthened luxury ship. With two separate bar and lounge areas featuring 180-degree views, she has space and facilities to maximise your comfort on board. The cabins are spacious and all have a comfortable seating area and ample storage. There is a choice of two dining rooms, one offers a popular bistro menu with quick and easy meals so you can spend more time out on deck. Other facilities include a theatre-style presentation room, gymnasium, wellness centre, hot water spa, sauna and steam room and saltwater pool.
Your onboard Antarctic Expertise
The team and crew of the Resolute have years of experience. They are experts in operating safe, informative and exhilarating Antarctic experiences. On board, they will delight you with a fascinating programme of talks and lectures, ranging from natural history to the history of polar exploration.
Expeditionary cruising is about making the most of every opportunity; stopping to see wildlife when it appears and changing the order of landing sites to better suit weather and sea conditions. The emphasis on our Antarctic cruise is to get you off the ship as much as possible, to get Antarctic snow on your boots. We aim to get you off the ship at least twice a day when not at sea. Zodiac safaris, hiking, kayaking, camping on the ice and polar plunges are all possible on our Antarctic cruise.
January-February: The best time to visit Antarctica
Travelling to Antarctica in late January/early February is the best time to visit:
- Heightened whale activity - at the very beginning of the season the whales are only intent on feeding and so sightings are less frequent. As the season progresses the whales become more inquisitive, making for memorable sightings and exceptional photographic opportunities.
- Reduced sea ice - by late January, the sea ice is less thick making access to some of Antarctica's more secluded sites possible. The bigger bergs are visible all year round and are a favourite subject for photography.
- Penguin chicks are active - the chicks are gaining in strength and confidence by this time in the season and so are very mobile and active. Interaction with parents and other chicks makes for great sightings.
- Good time for seeing massive numbers of king penguins - by the time our Antarctic charter reaches South Georgia, the king penguin colonies will be heaving as the birds will have all returned from feeding in the Southern Ocean. Some will already have chicks while others will be mating.
- Beaches in South Georgia are more accessible - elephant seals mate during November and December and so at this time, access to South Georgia's beaches can be a challenge. When our Antarctic charter anchors off South Georgia the mating should be over and so access to the rugged beaches will be less hazardous - it is not advisable to get in between a two-tonne elephant seal and the object of his affection.
For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.