Tailor-Made Holiday

Fly & Cruise - Antarctica, Weddell Sea & Falklands

12 days

from £10,595pp (excluding flights)

This 11 night Antarctica cruise combines the beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula, the ice-choked Weddell Sea and the wildlife rich Falkland Islands. With flights in both directions to meet the ship, this voyage maximises time spent exploring Antarctica rather than spending up to five days at sea.

  • Fly from Chile to the South Shetland’s and immediately begin exploring. 
  • Sail through the Antarctic Sound into the Weddell Sea home to huge tabular icebergs.
  • Explore the Antarctic Peninsula both on foot and by zodiac
  • Attempt a landing at Elephant Island, made famous by Shackleton
  • See up to eight species of penguins, including the impressive emperors
  • Sail with just 70 passengers aboard a vessel designed for over 100.

This Antarctic cruise begins with a charter flight from Punta Arenas, Chile to King George Island in the South Shetlands, a two and a half hour flight to reach Antarctica rather than the more usual two days at sea. Upon arrival board the ship which will be home for the next 11 nights, and set off on the exciting adventure.

Antarctic Peninsula

The first few days will be spent in the South Shetland Islands visiting chinstrap and gentoo penguin rookeries as well as areas where the huge southern elephant seal can be found. There is also the opportunity to hike to the top of a volcanic crater, a spectacular walk and a chance to further explore the white continent. Continue the journey into the waters along the Antarctic Peninsula, an area rich in marine life with its deep bays, pristine coves and small islands. Days will be spent in small groups of 10-12 going on guided walks to admire the snow and ice covered mountains and glaciers, visiting gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguin rookeries and cruising the icy waters by zodiac. During the trip there is the option to explore by kayak, an amazing experience to get closer to the sea and ice.

Weddell Sea

Sail around the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and enter the Weddell Sea, it is here massive tabular icebergs and sea-ice can be seen. Time is maximised in the zodiacs and on shore, visiting the Weddell and elephant seals as well as the huge Adelie penguin rookeries. In this area it is also possible to spot the impressive emperor penguins, the largest of the penguins.  Weather permitting, set foot on land and spend a night camping on the snow, a really special and memorable experience. This area also has a rich history, it was in the Weddell Sea that Shackleton and his men drifted in the pack ice before abandoning their ship the Endurance. Upon leaving the Weddell Sea pass by Elephant Island, another location made famous by Shakleton, if conditions allow a landing will be made. The southern tip of the island has an impressive macaroni penguin colony as well as Antarctic fur seal and gentoo penguins.

Falkland Islands

This Antarctic cruise ends on the Falkland Islands, visiting the wildlife rich Saunders Island. It is here that gentoo, rockhopper, magellanic and king penguins can all be found. Also visit nearby West Point Island which is home to an incredible colony of black browed albatross. After 11 nights disembark the ship and fly back to Chile, again avoiding more days at sea.

This trip provides fantastic diversity in a relatively short voyage of just 12 days with an anticipated nine days of off-ship excursions on shore.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 10595 £ 1100

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Madrid

Fly Madrid to Santiago overnight

Day 2

Fly Santiago to Punta Arenas

Situated at the foot of The Andes with striking views across the Straits of Magellan to Tierra Del Fuego, Punta Arenas is Patagonia's liveliest and most interesting city. Made rich by the wool boom following the importation of sheep from The Falklands in the 19th century, vestiges of the town's heyday remain today in the form of fine colonial architecture and interesting history. The town itself is compact with everything within walkable distance. A visit to the extraordinary Palacio Sara Braun and the manicured cemetery are strongly recommended.

You will be staying at Hotel Cabo de Hornos, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Punta Arenas Chile to King George Island, Antarctica
The journey commences this morning in the southern Chilean port city of Punta Arenas. Gather at a central meeting point and transfer to the airport for the two-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Antarctica. Upon arrival at the Chilean Antarctic base on King George Island, embark via zodiac.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 4

Antarctic Peninsula
Overnight navigate the Bransfield Strait to arrive at the Antarctic Continent. Spend the days exploring the Gerlache coastline, if conditions allow cruise through the Lemaire Channel. The landings and excursions will be determined by weather but may include Pleneau Island and the Penola Strait; Petermann Island which is home to a sizable Adelie and Gentoo penguin rookery; the old British Antarctic Survey Hut of Wordie House and one of the modern research stations.

Returning north past Mount Scott and Mount Shackleton a coastline that is heavily glaciated and permanently ice covered. Expedition stops may include Paradise Harbour, Orme Harbour, Andvord Bay or cruise through the Errera Channel to visit Cuverville Island and Wihlemina Bay, renowned for its humpback whale pods.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 5

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 6

South Shetland Islands
Head north towards the Antarctic Sound the gateway to the Weddell Sea. Along the way it is hoped to visit Deception Island. It weather conditions permit sail into the volcanic caldera. This is a dramatic place and home to several penguin rookeries along its black sand beaches. Explore the old whaling station with its rusty relics and dilapidated wooden structures which are often used as shelter by the fur seals. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar where Australia Sir Hubert Wilkins made the first flight in Antarctica in 1928. There is an excellent hike up to Neptune's Window high on the crater rim with views into the Caldera and across to the Antarctic Peninsula.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 7

Antarctic Sound and the Weddell Sea
At about 25 nautical miles long and about 10 nautical miles wide, the Antarctic Sound separates Joinville Island from the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Sailing into the sound witness the vastness and majesty of the Antarctic icecap, an awe-inspiring sight. Heading into the Weddell Sea there will be a significant increase in the number of huge tabular icebergs and the presence of sea ice. These massive icebergs break from the huge ice shelves to the south and drift north on the currents which makes for exciting navigation.
This region is home to Adelie penguin rookeries of staggering size. Weather permitting, excursions may include Paulet Island, Brown Bluff and even the southerly Snow Hill Island, home to Weddell and elephant seals, skuas and other seabirds as well as a staggering abundance of penguins.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 8

Exploration in the Weddell Sea
Spend more time exploring the Weddell Sea with the expert guides. The plan is to set foot on the continent in this vicinity and, if the weather allows, some may choose to camp ashore overnight. Sailing among the islands of the Weddell Sea, in the realm of the emperor penguin, the largest of the penguins, and keep a lookout as juvenile emperors are sometimes sighted riding the ice floes.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 9

Exploration in the Weddell Sea
The region features a rich exploration history. It is hoped to visit Nordenskjöld's winter hut on Snow Hill Island that was built in 1902 and remains intact. The Shackleton story also features strongly and it was here that he and his men drifted north on the ice after their ship had been lost in the ice months earlier. Heading north and out of the Weddell Sea leaving Antarctica behind, pause to consider the bravery and/or foolhardiness of those early explorers who travelled these waters a hundred years before.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 10

Elephant Island
Approach Elephant Island from the south. Point Lookout, on the southern tip of the island, is home to an impressive macaroni penguin colony. Gentoo penguins are also known to nest here and there are often sizeable numbers of Antarctic fur seals hauled out on the beaches. Shore landings at the fabled Point Wild on the north coast of Elephant Island, where Shackleton and his men were encamped under their upturned life boats, are notoriously difficult due to the surging ocean currents and pounding surf on the rocky beach. If conditions are right, attempt a landing. This is a thrilling location and a major highlight for history buffs.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 11

Sailing towards the Falkland Islands
While sailing across to the Falkland Islands onboard polar experts will recap on the Weddell Sea adventures and prepare for the days ahead. Much time is spent scanning the horizon in search of whales and other marine mammals.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 12

Sailing to the Falklands
During the sea crossing to the Falkland Islands, the spectacular seabirds including several albatross and petrel species are constant companions as they soar above the ship.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 13

West Point & Saunders
Arriving into the Falkland Islands overnight, explore the islands of West Point and Saunders, both in the West Falklands archipelago. West Point is known for its sizeable rookeries of rockhopper penguins and nesting black browed albatross. While nearby Saunders Island, with its white sand beaches, features no less than four penguin species including gentoo, magellanic and rockhopper - and the ultimate goal for the Falkland Island visit, the impressive king penguin.

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 14

Port Stanley, Falkland Islands
In the early morning, navigate through the narrows and into the harbour of Port Stanley. Transfer to the airport for the flight to Punta Arenas.

It will be possible to connect to flights through to Santiago or other destinations in Chile however we would suggest a night in Punta Arenas to allow for any delays.

You will be staying at Hotel Cabo de Hornos, Bed & Breakfast

Day 15

Fly Punta Arenas to Santiago

Fly Santiago to Madrid

Day 16

Fly Madrid to London

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Antarctica

James Armitage, Travel Expert

"The help and great knowledge James offered really made the holiday special"

"James listened and managed our expectations and therefore made sure we were prepared for all eventualities when going on our holiday to Brazil"

"James was brilliant and all the advice was spot on."

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John Faithfull, Travel Expert

"Personalised service. Seemed to really want to get it right for us. Very impressed when I first called and John spent 40 minutes finding out what we wanted to do and tailoring it for us."

"The expertise that John has really gave us faith in where we were going, the regions, the hotels, the trips. John knew about it all, he described them in detail, and when we asked for different regions he was straight in there with suggestions and ideas. The way the whole trip was planned and presented to us, never any pressure to book or any problem to change plans /ideas."

"John Faithful was wonderfully helpful and conscientious in arranging the itinerary and was always ready to suggest alternatives or rearrange matters without any hesitation; this and his detailed knowledge gave one great confidence."

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Sue Grimwood, Travel Expert

"It was tremendously helpful to be able to speak to someone who had been to Antarctica before - Sue had been on the ship we had booked, so was able to give us some very useful information. We felt that at every stage of the booking process that we were in safe hands. "

""I was uncharacteristically worried about this trip - neurotic some might say - and I was given 110% support and help with everything. I had been disappointed by not being able to get a space on the 2014 trip and so Sue was stuck with me for 2 years - a testament to her patience and professionalism. I was confident in Sue - she knows Antarctica and speaks from experience, that is worth a huge amount. Emails, which I would send were responded to almost immediately.""

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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