In the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton on his final voyage aboard the Quest, 100 years on. This voyage includes the wildlife rich Falklands Islands and South Georgia with it's historical relics and ties. We continue to Elephant Island where the crew of the Endurance spent 137 days awaiting rescue before a short visit to the Weddell Sea and then to the Western side of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Shackleton's Final Quest
South Georgia + Antarctic Peninsula + Falklands, Feb '22

Cruise Antarctica, Adventure Travel With Cool Antarctica and Ice Tracks

A classic tour of some of the greatest sights in the Antarctic Peninsula region and sub-Antarctic islands.
$17,995 - $27,295 - Feb 9th - 27th, 2022, 21 days, 18 nights on board ship
Pre-voyage historical extension, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, 4 days - £1,175 per person twin, £1,390 single.

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Regions:  Antarctic Peninsula | South Georgia | South Shetland Islands | Falkland Islands


Travel to South Georgia and Antarctica

This voyage takes place almost exactly 100 years to the day after Ernest Shackleton's last expedition, the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition (1921-1922), also known as the Quest expedition from the ship's name.

It was to herald the end of the Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration with the sudden unexpected death from a heart attack of legendary Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

South Georgia is one of the most visited locations in Antarctica. There is a small scientific and governmental presence, though the great majority of visitors are tourists who all arrive by sea as there is no air-strip on the island. It is spectacularly picturesque, over half the island is permanently glaciated, wildlife is abundant, approach by sea is usually straightforward and it is steeped in the history of Antarctic exploration and the stories and relics of Antarctic whalers and sealers. There are many  landings possible in sheltered bays.

The Peninsula and South Shetland Islands are the easiest Antarctic destinations to reach from a departure port in South America, it takes less time to get there and back than any other place on the continent. There is a good variety of some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet to be seen within a relatively small area. Jagged mountain peaks clad in glaciers flowing sometimes down to the sea and sometimes spilling into mid air from an altitude of hundreds of feet or more. Huge open skies, enormous icebergs, enigmatic clouds, sudden weather changes and constant surprises from the hugely abundant wildlife you see will keep you in a constant state of awe.

The Falklands are a place that manages to maintain much of the lure and appeal of a time gone by, a place that seems somehow vaguely familiar, sometimes described as being "More British than Britain". They are a place of wide open skies where a walk along a beautiful long white sandy beaches may bring you in contact with five different types of penguin, elephant seals, sea lions an assortment of other South American and Antarctic birds such as albatrosses and petrels, if you're lucky some dolphins or whales will be swimming off shore.


South Georgia Grytviken and whalers church juvenile fur seals King penguins in the sea, South Georgia antarctica trip antarctica trip South Georgia mountains and glacier Stromness, South Georgia, abandoned whaling station King penguins on South Georgia

Open this Gigapan picture in a new window to explore it in detail King penguins in Gold Harbour South Georgia - picture courtesy Ella Derbyshire

  Highlights

  • A reception on board for the Governor of the Falkland Islands.

  • King Haakon Bay, McCarthy Island and Peggotty Bluff on South Georgia are in our sights.

  •  A special service at the Whaler's Church in Grytviken, South Georgia.

  •  Shackleton's Final Hike from Fortuna Bay to Stromness, South Georgia.

  •  Attempt to land on Elephant Island to pay tribute to the men that endured a winter under the command of Frank Wild.

  •  A visit Port Lockroy and Lambert Island.

  •  The spectacular icescapes and wonderful wildlife of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Joining the cruise will be the Hon. Alexandra Shackleton, Rear Admiral Nick Lambert and a select group of outstanding polar historians and enthusiasts.


  Itinerary

Pre-voyage historical extension - Montevideo, Buenos Aires

  • Day: 1 - Montevideo. Arrival, transfer to hotel, evening drinks reception .

  • Day: 2 - Montevideo. A private guided tour of Montevideo, we are honoured to receive an invitation from the British Ambassador to Uruguay for an early evening reception at the Embassy.

  •  Day: 3 - Colonia del Sacramento - Buenos Aires. By bus to Colonia del Sacramento one of the oldest towns in Uruguay by the Rio de la Plata, the Historic Quarter is a UNESCO world heritage site. Board the ferry to Buenos Aires, arriving in the early evening and transfer to the Madero Hotel, near the Port.

  •  Day: 4 - Buenos Aires - Ushuaia. A private guided tour of Buenos Aires followed by a flight to Ushuaia where you will be met and transferred to the lovely Arakur Hotel, located in the nature reserve of Cerro Alarken offering breathtaking views of the Beagle channel.

  • Day: 5 - Ushuaia. A guided visit to Tierra del Fuego National Park, through some of the most beautiful and impressive locations. A Shackleton Commemorative Dinner at the Arakur hotel, hosted by Ice Tracks Expeditions.

Shackletons' Final Quest Voyage
Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

  • Day: 1 - Ushuaia
    Arrive at the ship in the afternoon, after the Captain's welcome dinner watch the city lights fade in the fresh night air as we sail seaward.

  • Day: 2 - At Sea
    Our onboard polar experts will be sharing their expertise on deck, wildlife watching and giving lectures in the presentation room. Swooping seabirds will be seen around the ship including the wandering albatross, we may also be welcomed by parties of long- finned pilot whales as we approach the Falklands.

  •  Day: 3-4 - Falklands
    Explore the West Falklands, home to a profusion of seabirds and migratory birds including our first penguin sightings with bustling rookeries of rockhoppers. along with nesting magellanic penguins, oystercatchers, geese and the endemic flightless steamer duck. The next day we will make a stop in Port Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands to wander through the charming streets of brightly painted houses, where you can visit the museum and cathedral. An event to commemorate the Heroic Age will also take place today.

  •  Day: 5-6 - At Sea
    Sailing southeast for the island of South Georgia scan the horizon in search of whales and other marine mammals and seabirds. Onboard experts will be on hand giving lectures covering history, the natural world, photography and much else. The anticipation grows particularly as we cross the Antarctic Convergence and notice a dramatic drop in temperature and the presence of marine wildlife.

  •  Day: 7-8-9-10 - South Georgia
    "The Alps in Mid-Ocean". Visiting King Haakon Bay where Shackleton landed after the epic voyage of the James Caird, we may be able to see Peggotty Bluff. Shackleton's Trek and the last few miles of his legendary walk from Fortuna Bay to the abandoned whaling station of Stromness is on our itinerary, as well as a full day of events at Grytviken in Cumberland Bay.

    We will explore the old whaling station and visit the whalers graveyard where lie the remains of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Wild and the more recent resting place of Henry Worsley. A service will be held in the little Norwegian Lutheran Whalers' church, where Shackleton's and Wild's funeral took place. We will cruise the protected waters of the northern coast with the intention to visit places like Salisbury Plain and St Andrews Bay with king penguins in the hundreds of thousands, covering every inch of the shore. Fur and elephant seals will be seen poking their heads above the water or resting on the beach, ravenous skuas and giant petrels swoop and the albatross our constant companion is never far away.

  • Day: 11-12-13 - At Sea and South Orkney and Elephant Island
    Crossing the Scotia Sea and sailing ever southwards we hope to visit the South Orkney Islands, the peaks of an enormous sub-marine mountain range, which grounds giant icebergs and sea ice. Elephant Island visited as we head to the South Shetland Islands will be paramount in our expedition if conditions are suitable. It is here we will get a sense of the terrible difficulties faced by Shackleton and his crew in their efforts to survive the sinking of the Endurance. We will make every effort to land on Elephant Island, though it is notoriously difficult to make landfall here, we will hope for kind weather!

  • Day: 14-15-16-17 - South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula
    We will cruise amongst the South Shetland Islands off the Antarctic Peninsula. Dazzling wildlife sightings await us on our excursions to Half Moon, Barrientos and Livingston islands amongst others. Weather permitting, we will visit the flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island with its rugged scenery, great sites of geologic interest and an display of whaling and scientific exploration history. Finally, we will sail along the Antarctic Peninsula hoping to visit the ice filled bays along the Gerlache Strait. If possible we will set foot on the White Continent itself. Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins thrive here, as do several species of seal. It is a perfect time of the year to see the gentle humpback whale dining on krill or the shy minke whale.

  • Day: 18-19 - Drake Passage
    As we leave this magical place and make our way back, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage before rounding Cape Horn, we have no doubt that time will be spent sharing and reflecting on the wonderful experiences of the last few days. Sailing up the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our Polar expedition at a special dinner.

  • Day: 20 - Ushuaia
    In the early morning, we will arrive back in Ushuaia. It is time to say farewell to your crew. Yet, there is more. A flight to Buenos Aires and a ferry ride across the Rio de la Plata with a visit to Montevideo the city that gave Shackleton a hero's funeral. Here, our sightseeing will give us insight into how Montevideo honoured the Boss.

  Inclusions and Exclusions

Included in the price of this voyage:

Prior to Departure

  • Two pre-voyage hotel nights in Ushuaia for all departures which embark in Ushuaia
  • Transfer from airport in embarkation city to group hotel if arriving on Day 1 of itinerary, and providing we have your confirmed air itinerary at least 90 days prior to departure
  • Transfer from group hotel to ship for embarkation

 

On Board MS Seaventure:

  • Shipboard accommodations
  • All scheduled Landings / excursions
  • All meals onboard Coffee/tea/cocoa 24 hours daily
  • House wine / beer / soft drinks with meals
  • The Shackleton Legacy Expedition jacket (yours to keep)
  • A pair of boots for your use during the voyage
  • WiFi from the public computers in the library
  • 200 MB WiFi card (for use on your personal devices)
  • Daily international news service
  • All port fees
  • All landing fees
  • Digital Voyage Log
  • In Owner's Suite, Penthouse, Veranda, Deluxe and Promenade categories: champagne and chocolates on arrival, and complimentary mini-bar. Mini-bar is restocked once daily.

Excluded in the price of this voyage:

  • Any airfare or travel expenses not mentioned as part of the voyage
  • Transfer from airport to group hotel, unless arriving on Day 1 of the itinerary
  • Pre or post voyage expenses
  • Laundry and personal expenses incurred on board
  • Onboard communication charges such as outgoing phone calls, WiFi from personal devices in excess of the 200 MB provided
  • Staff gratuities


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Departures from late October to early March

Dozens of trips - unique combinations of ship + itinerary

Choice of ships - 108 to 139 passenger capacity

$8,050 to $40,000

10 to 33 days

ice berg, antarctica
gentoo penguins

Antarctica Ross Sea Region Cruise

South Georgia / Falkland Islands / Antarctica - Sample Cruises - 2021 / 2022

Trip Highlights Prices USD* Days
Shackleton's Final Quest Vast Colonies of King Penguins, Breathtaking Scenery, Historic sites, 100 years after the death of Shackleton at South Georgia signaling the close of the Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration. Optional 5 day pre voyage historical extension to Montevideo. $17,995 -
$27,295
20
Epic Antarctica, South Shetlands, Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands All the major Antarctic highlights, anticipate penguins, whales, seabirds and seals as well as magnificent scenery. $18,545 - $129,592 23
Antarctica, South Shetlands, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands All the major Antarctic highlights, anticipate penguins, whales, seabirds and seals as well as magnificent scenery. $12,600 - $31,495 19
South Georgia in depth with the Falkland Islands A spring trip to South Georgia and Falklands when breeding and inwards migration are at a height, South Georgia hosts the most wildlife per square meter in the world. $15,446 - $27,596 17
Notes

* Prices are based per person, the lowest price is usually for triple occupancy in a basic cabin, the highest for double occupancy in the best available suite.

Options may be at additional cost and are usually booked when the cruise is booked - it may be too late once the cruise has started.
Picture credits: Satellite pictures provided courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory