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South Atlantic Island Explorer

March 14 - April 16, 2024

Join us on this once-in-a-lifetime expedition from the world’s southernmost city to the Cape Verde Islands, the perfect escape for anyone who loves the sea, exploring remote locations, wildlife and history… and having the ultimate “me time” experience. This voyage of many thousands of miles will take you to some of the most fascinating islands in the southern Atlantic, home to rare birds, marine and other wildlife; and also rich in botany and cultural significance.

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Ushuaia

Transfer to the Arakur Resort and Spa, surrounded by stunning panoramic views, native forests, natural terraces, and green areas. Enjoy the resorts facilities and then attend an evening briefing where you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and meet some of your fellow travelers.

Day 2 Embarkation

Spend your morning exploring Ushuaia or unwinding at the resort until our mid-afternoon transfer to the ship. Our Expedition Team and ship staff will greet you on board, followed by a safety and orientation briefing and Captain’s welcome dinner.

Day 3 Scotia Sea

Wildlife spotting opportunities as we sail across the Scotia Sea will include albatross, prions, and petrels that frequently follow the ship. Our expedition team will be out on deck looking for whales and dolphins that may also be seen in the area. During our crossing to the Falkland Islands, our onboard experts will begin their presentations with informative and entertaining talks on the wildlife, history, and geology of the Southern Ocean.

Day 4-5 The Falkland Islands

The Falkland Islands (Malvinas) are isolated, windswept, and a haven for wildlife, and will be our base for a few days of exploration. Our visit in March should coincide with the end of the breeding season for the many seabirds that make these islands their summer home including Gentoo, Magellanic and Rockhopper penguins, as well as the Black-Browed albatross. Hopping in our inflatable Zodiacs, we hope to see a flurry of activity associated with fledging seabirds and adults departing the islands before autumn closes in. We also plan to call at Port Stanley, the charming capital of the Falklands (Malvinas) and discover some of the historic sites from museums to battlefields.

Day 6-7 At Sea

As we cruise towards South Georgia, the richness of these waters will be evident in the marine mammal life – especially Fur seals on fishing forays. We have a good chance of spotting Humpback and Fin whales while the birds circling our stern will be outstanding, particularly the large albatross and numerous breeds of petrels. 

Day 8-10 South Georgia

Three glorious days of expedition cruising in and around South Georgia, a paradise island with snow-clad mountain peaks rising 9000 feet and hundreds of glaciers tumbling down towards the sea. Large colonies of King penguins make South Georgia one of our planet’s greatest wonders. During our visit (in the Austral Autumn) the fluffy brown King chicks hatched in the summer, will crowd the shores like a huge kindergarten.

We hope to catch the Wandering albatross and migrating whales as the wildlife starts to prepare for the upcoming winter.

Witness incredible scenes of this unique animal paradise on walks, hikes, and Zodiac rides while our onboard team of biologists and geologists increase your knowledge of this unique natural experience. Meanwhile, in Grytviken, we will visit the old whaling station and pay our respects at the grave of ‘the boss’ – Ernest Shackleton.

Day 11-15  At Sea

Kick back and relax, keep a look-out for passing wildlife from the deck, or feed your mind and imagination at any of our ongoing lectures or workshops. We’ll be discussing Antarctica’s incredible history and the future of Antarctic tourism; and our photography coach will be hosting workshops to help you take your photo skills to a new level. This is your time to indulge – or just daydream! –  as we sail towards the most remote inhabited archipelago of islands in the world – Tristan Da Cunha.

 

Day 16-17 Tristan da Cunha

First sighted in the early 16th century and settled in the early 1800s, Tristan da Cunha was frequented by naval ships, whalers, and sealers throughout the 19th century. Today it is home to some 250 hardy souls who make their living from the sea. 

With two days here, there will be plenty of time to visit the main settlement of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas where local guides will tell us about the island’s history and culture. Take an optional hike to a volcano where we learn about its eruption in 1961 and the impact that had on the local population. End at the Thatched House Museum featuring a home preserved from that time. Other walks will include the cliffs and the potato patches where we can hear about the islanders’ subsistence farming. We also hope to visit Nightingale Island, one of the most unique wildlife strongholds in the world and home to thousands of seabirds.

Day 18-21 At Sea.

This is a great time for wildlife and bird viewing, or attending one of our lecture series, where you can learn about our upcoming visit to the richly historic St Helena, Napoleon’s final place of exile. It might me a good time to hit the gym, too, if you plan to take on the 699 steps of Jacob’s Ladder, for an excellent view of Jamestown.

Day 22-24 Jamestown, St. Helena

Discovered by the Portuguese in 1502, the island of St Helena has been both a Dutch and British possession. In the late 17th century, the island became a strategically important port of call in the British Empire and was controlled by the East India Company for over 200 years.

The island is probably best known as Napoleon’s last place of exile, where he died in 1821 after six years living at Longwood House, which we will visit.

Explore the tiny capital of Jamestown and see the courthouse, government buildings and library. Those feeling active may want to climb the 699 steps of Jacob’s Ladder with views over Jamestown. During a range of walks for all levels, there will be time to explore the surrounding countryside, experience some amazing views, and witness the prolific birdlife, including the endemic St. Helena Wirebird.

Coffee lovers may want to try the rare ‘Green Tipped Bourbon Arabica’, grown on the island since 1732. Those interested in spirits might enjoy a visit to the most remote distillery in the world with the opportunity to taste the local gin, rum, and ‘Tungi’ made from local prickly pears.

Day 25-26 Georgetown, Ascension Island

Named after the day it was discovered, and first inhabited in 1815 by a British Garrison, today Ascension Island plays an important role in supplying British forces and scientists based in the South Atlantic. 

The massive marine reserve, designed to protect the unique ecosystem, is home to huge Marlin, green turtles, and the endemic Frigate bird. We hope to take the opportunity to climb Green Mountain, explore the small capital of Georgetown, and if time and conditions allow, circumnavigate the island

Day 29-32 At Sea

Our time at sea is always a great opportunity to chill, revisit the photographs you’ve been taking, or share adventure stories with some of your newly-made friends. Our lecture series is always ongoing, too. Join us as we preview our next stop, the historic port and beautiful beaches of Cape Verde Islan

Day 33  Praia, Cape Verde

This morning we’ll be in port in Praia, the capital city of the Cape Verde Islands. We will have a full day to explore Praia’s colonial architecture, bustling markets, and beautiful beaches, before returning to the Seaventure for a sumptuous final night feast.

Day 34, (April 16) Disembarkation, Sal, Cape Verde

Disembark this morning and transfer to Amílcar Cabral International Airport, in Sal, Cape Verde. (Airport Code SID). Flight options (at your own expense) include TAP Airlines direct to Lisbon or Edelweiss Airlines direct to Zurich, where you can connect to your home airport. Or if you’re not quite ready for your adventure to end, make your own way from the ship to a local hotel and enjoy everything this island has to offer.

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