An exclusive Steppes charter on a state of the art ship – the Magellan Explorer
Four days in South Georgia and five days on the Antarctic peninsula including Elephant Island
Prolific wildlife against a spectacular backdrop combined with the history of Shackleton
Save on time by flying back to Chile from the Antarctic peninsula
Days 2 - 4
Day 5 - 8
Day 9 & 10
Sailing to the Antarctic Peninsula
Day 12 - 15
Fly Antarctica to Punta Arenas
In the afternoon, transfer to the pier, where you will be welcomed aboard your expedition ship the Magellan Explorer.
Days 2 - 4
As you sail towards South Georgia there will be a number of educational presentations on the wildlife, ecology and history of the area, as well as the epic stories of Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Day 5 - 8
Cruise the protected waters of South Georgia, perhaps landing at sites like Cooper Island and St Andrew’s Bay. Visit a rookery comprising of 150,000 king penguins or the nesting home of thousands of black-browed albatrosses are spectacular wildlife experiences.
Day 9 & 10
Sailing to the Antarctic Peninsula
As the ship heads to Antarctica and anticipation builds for your arrival to the Antarctic Peninsula, the programme of expert-led on board presentations continues.
Visit Elephant Island, known for providing refuge to the shipwrecked crew of Shackleton’s Endurance. While stormy conditions rarely allow for a shore landing, you will still see the historic island from the ship.
Day 12 - 15
Cruise between the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, sailing along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs. Each day, disembark by Zodiac for landings and cruises to explore the landscape together with expert polar guides.
Fly Antarctica to Punta Arenas
Upon reaching King George Island, disembark at Fildes Bay and bid farewell to Antarctica as you board the flight back to Punta Arenas.
After breakfast, transfer to the Punta Arenas airport for your onwards flight.
We are proud to be partnering with New Scientist Discovery Tours who provide science-inspired tours across the globe, with experts on-board and in the company of fellow travellers who enjoy the discovery of science.
MV Magellan Explorer is the first small passenger ship purpose-built for Antarctica in the last 14 years. She has been designed to carry 100 passengers but our Steppes Travel private charter will be limited to a maximum of 69 clients. With a minimised carbon footprint, including state-of-the-art low emission engines, Magellan Explorer is renowned for its eco-credentials.
The bow of the ship is accessible to guests to offer expansive views during exploration, and there is also a gym and a sauna. Off-ship activities include zodiac cruising and optional activities such as kayaking and snowshoeing.
Begin in Ushuaia, crossing to South Georgia, renowned for its magnificent scenery, rich history and boundless wildlife. Originally uninhabited, it was claimed by Captain Cook in 1775, first becoming an important source of sealskin and then the world’s largest whaling centre by the beginning of the twentieth century. However, for many, it’s best known for its part in Shackleton’s extraordinary rescue journey following the loss of the ship Endurance in 1916.
From here, continue south to Elephant Island, known as the temporary home of Ernest Shackleton’s fateful Endurance crew. From here, sail onwards to Antarctica. With towering icebergs and a huge variety of wildlife, the Antarctic has a rich history dating back to the early explorers.
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 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.
At the end of the epic voyage fly from King George Island in the South Shetland Islands to Punta Arenas in Chile. Fly in around two hours rather than the conventional two-day sail across the idiosyncratic waters of the Drake Passage. This trip will appeal to those wanting to make the most of their time on the peninsula, or without good sea legs.
Steppes Travel is a member of IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators) and complies by the organisation’s guidelines in promoting and practicing safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic. IAATO, in cooperation with ship operators, has established extensive procedures and guidelines that ensure appropriate, safe and environmentally sound travel to the Antarctic.
Why travel with Steppes Travel to Antarctica?
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.
What happens on a typical day on an expedition cruise in Antarctica?
Trying to outline a typical day in Antarctica is not easy – every day is different which is what makes an Antarctic holiday so special. There is no average day onboard an expeditionary boat as the day’s activities will be very much determined by the prevailing weather conditions, ice and the wildlife encountered. Flexibility here is the key, wherever possible we want to be off the ship twice a day either on landings or zodiac cruising.
Excursions may include exploring by Zodiacs, where you might cruise alongside magnificent glaciers with birds swirling overhead and rafts of penguins porpoiseing alongside. Shore excursions may find you exploring bird colonies, historic sites or just to stretch your legs amongst a colony of penguins.
Is November a good time to travel to Antarctica?
In South Georgia, the spring flowers bloom and the fur seals will also be courting. Male elephant seals, the heavyweights of Antarctica, slug it out for mating rights on the beaches of South Georgia – a brutal yet awesome spectacle. The Antarctic Peninsula will be at it’s most pristine, Adelie, gentoo and chinstrap penguins will be amassing for the short breeding season.
Is this expeditionary cruise accompanied by an onboard polar experts team?
The team and crew of the Magellan Explorer have years of experience. They are experts in operating safe, informative and exhilarating Antarctic experiences. Onboard, they will delight you with a fascinating programme of talks and lectures, ranging from natural history to the history of polar exploration.
How rough will the seas be?
This is a tricky one as the crossings can be anything from a millpond to a force nine hurricane, the latter being the less common. Ultimately, it’s down to a little luck, but most people find that their own experience wasn’t as bad as they thought it would be.
For those still worried, fear not, as part of this Antarctic fly-cruise, only a one-way sailing is required, as the return from Antarctica is taken by a two-hour flight to Punta Arenas in Chile, rather than undertaking an additional two-day sea journey.
Do I have to be physically fit to join this expeditionary cruise?
This is an active cruise with optional daily walking excursions over uneven terrain and to be able to get the most out of it you should be in good general health. In order to join the excursions, you must be able to easily get up and down the gangway from the ship to the water level and to be able to get in and out of the awaiting zodiacs, which can be awkward, particularly in choppy seas. Staff will be on hand to assist all passengers, so don’t worry about this, it’s just something to be aware of.
Does this expeditionary cruise 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 17-day Antarctic package which includes not only the Antarctic Peninsula but also the mountainous wildlife hotspot of South Georgia. 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.
Do I need specialist clothing?
You do not need to by specialist kit for this expedition a good waterproof coat and waterproof over-trousers are essential and under this layer up with thermals and fleece. The adage is dress like an onion with plenty of thinner layers which you can add to / take away to regulate your temperature, a full suggest kit list will be provided.
The ship is very informal and there is no need to dress up for dinner, comfort and practicality is the dress code
Haven’t found what you’re looking for?
Travelling on your own? Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places provides security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour expert.
To allow flexibility, our group tours do not include international flights as standard. We can arrange international flights on your behalf, please get in touch with our travel experts for a quote. All international flights from the UK are ATOL protected.
We have been running insightful and groundbreaking group tours since our inception in 1989. We have worked with institutions such as the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum and run wildlife tours in conjunction with conservation agencies such as Fauna & Flora International, Wildlife Conservation Society, the Orangutan Foundation, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the Jane Goodall Institute.
Steppes Travellers are like-minded people; interesting, interested and curious. Our group tours, usually consisting of eight to ten travellers, aim to create an easy and informal atmosphere – we have a lot of fun on our tours and many friendships have been formed.
When you travel on one of our group tours, you will be looked after by our local agents and your tour expert with the back-up of our 24-hour emergency number and duty manager. All our holidays are fully bonded and protected – our ATOL number is ATOL 6495.
We have developed an enviable pool of expertise from which to choose our tour experts, who we carefully select based on their knowledge, companionship and personality. Often, these experts can use their influence to facilitate private access to sites not typically open to the public.
For further information about any of these tours please call 01285 601 784
|Start date||End date||Days|
|Single Supplement||Tour Expert||Group Size||Status|
|17/11/21||03/12/21||17 days||£13,250 ex. flights||£8,245||Paul Rose||70 Max||AVAILABLE||Reserve place|
Our travel experts have a wealth of first-hand knowledge, so if you have any questions about this expert-led group tour, please get in touch. They would love to help. We hope you can join us on this tour.01285 601 784
Send us an enquiry
Send us a message and one of our travel experts
will get right back to you.
Our experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure