Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctic Islands

Valid for all trips departing October 1st, 2014 - April 30th, 2016 Last Updated:
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Introduction

Challenge. Desolation. Unlimited wonder. It’s not difficult to grasp what attracted the great explorers to Antarctica. Get a personal appreciation for the struggle to tame the bottom of the world on this 22-day adventure to the land than entranced Ernest Shackleton and countless others since. Down here, you’ll explore the Falkland Islands, encounter abandoned whaling stations on South Georgia Island, and pay your respects at Shackleton’s grave. Elsewhere, you’ll catch up with penguins (king, chinstrap, and gentoo varieties) and learn all about them through daily lectures, get close to whales and cavorting seals from a Zodiac boat, and keep an eye peeled for towering icebergs and massive glaciers. Prepare to be astonished.

  • Meet hardy locals and seeing unique wildlife in the Falkland islands
  • Explore abandoned whaling stations and visiting Shackleton’s grave
  • Walk quietly amongst king penguins and watching them surf into the beach
  • Learn about the environment and ecology from industry experts
  • Spot whales and seals while cruising through icebergs on Zodiacs
  • Set foot on the continent of Antarctica
Duration: 22 days
Start/Finish City: Montevideo to Ushuaia
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: Marine

Small-ship adventures on the world's great seas and rivers The poles of the Earth, the wonders of the Galápagos, the mysteries of the Amazon, out-of-the-way Greek Islands and other great places are best (and sometimes only) accessed by boat. Marine trips get you there aboard small ships, exclusive yachts and catamarans.

Itinerary

Route map for Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctic Islands (XVGFSX)

Day 1 Arrive Montevideo

Today is an arrival day, an arrival transfer will meet you at the airport to take you to the hotel. There are no planned activities so you have time to enjoy the city. There will be a group meeting in the early evening to discuss the plans for tomorrow.

Day 2 Depart Montevideo (1B,1D)

Today we embark on the M/S Expedition. The group will leave the hotel together in the early afternoon. The morning is free for you to do any last minute shopping or visit one of Montevideos colorful neighborhoods. The evening is spent onboard the ship sailing southwards towards the Falkland Islands.

Please note while it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. On the first day on board, your Expedition Leader will give you an expedition overview.

Day 3-5 At Sea (3B,3L,3D)

As we make the passage south you have time to become acquainted with the ship and our onboard staff and crew. Spend time on deck spotting wildlife including albatross and always keeping our eyes pealed for whales and dolphins. We also introduce our lecture and educational sessions about the extraordinary human and natural history of the Antarctic region begin.

Day 6-7 The Falkland Islands (2B,2L,2D)

The Falkland Islands provide a rare opportunity to witness the biological diversity and extraordinary scenery of the southern islands. Nesting Albatross and penguins are abundant. Port Stanley provides an opportunity to meet the hardy local inhabitants whose colourful houses provide contrast to the long dark winters.

The islands consist of 700 small and mostly uninhabited islands and 2 main islands - East and West Falklands. Located 490 km east of Patagonia, the Falklands have always been a land of hot debate. Officially discovered on August 14, 1592 by John Davis they remained uninhabited until 1764 when the French built a garrison at Port Louis disregarding the Spanish claim to the islands. From that moment on there have been many disputes between Spain, France, Britain and Argentina over the next 200 plus years until the end of the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina in 1982 brought the islands firmly under Britain’s control. Now with a human population of only 2,491, the islands are the first stop in our journey. Here we hope to catch our first glimpses of penguins, including the Magellanic, rockhopper, and gentoo penguins. With a little luck we may also see sea lions, king cormorants, black-browed albatross, skuas, night herons, giant petrels, striated caracaras and of course sheep.

Day 8-9 At Sea (2B,2L,2D)

Sailing east now we’ll set course for South Georgia Island. Our lecture series resumes to prepare us for South Georgia and we will have plenty of time on deck to identify the abundant sea birds of the south ocean. We keep our eye peeled for the whales that inhabit these waters.

Day 10-13 South Georgia (4B,4L,4D)

South Georgia Island is home to many marvels including Shackleton’s grave, former whaling stations, incredible scenery and prolific wildlife. Weather permitting we will have 3-4 full days to explore this island. A huge colony of king penguins is the highlight of this part of the journey. On nearby islands we’ll hope to spot wandering albatross in their nesting grounds.

Known for its brutal whaling and exploratory history, this 170 km long and 40 km wide island is considered the first gateway to Antarctica and was the centre of the huge Southern Ocean whaling industry from 1904 to 1966. The famous captain James Cook was the first to land on South Georgia on January 17, 1775 and named the island after King George III. During the 62 years of whaling activities, any number between 183 whales the first year and the record 7825 whales in 1925-26 season were killed annually for their oil. Whales weren’t the only animals hunted for their oil at that time. A total of 498,870 seals - mostly giant elephant seals - were also slaughtered. Since the end of whaling activities 40 years ago, wildlife has slowly returned to the island.

Today the Island’s wildlife is extraordinary, not only in its variety, but also for its sheer abundance. South Georgia is home to roughly 300,000 elephant seals, 3 million fur seals, and 25 species of breeding birds, including wandering albatrosses. The gravel beach at St. Andrews Bay has a king penguin rookery of 100,000. The British explorer Sir Ernest H Shackleton landed at King Haakon Bay on the southwest coast after the 800-mile journey in a 20-foot open boat from Elephant Island. They proceeded to hike the ice covered mountainous terrain, arriving to Stromness whaling station on May 20, 1916. Shackleton returned to South Georgia in 1922 for one last assault on Antarctica but passed away after suffering a major heart attack while in his cabin. He was buried at the whaler’s cemetery at Grytviken station at the request of his wife.

Day 14-15 At Sea (2B,2L,2D)

Plotting as southwesterly course across the Scotia Sea, we sail for two days the legendary Elephant Island in the South Shetland Islands. The waters are rich with nutrients and the long summer days provide the ingredient that is missing most of the year. The result is a complex food chain topped by several species of whales, seals, and seabirds.

Day 16-19 South Shetland Islands, Antarctica (4B,4L,4D)

Experience some of the most unique wildlife viewing and inspiring scenery in the world as we explore the islands of the Antarctic. Attempt two shore landings per day (weather conditions permitting), and encounter gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguin rookeries, Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals, and orca, humpback and minke whales in the cold Antarctic waters. The peninsula also has a remarkable human history. During the voyage we will learn about some of the most important and dramatic expeditions to this remote corner of the world.

The South Shetland islands and further south the Antarctic Peninsula contrast between stark austere ice covered landscape and rich wildlife activity. At this time of year the sea ice is just breaking up and prevents wildlife like penguins and humans alike from entering many of the nooks and crannies of the islands and peninsula. Adelie, Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins struggle across the frozen sea and climb snow and ice covered landscape to return to the exact same nesting sites they have used over and over again. If the snow is too high, they simple hunker down and wait for summer warming to melt away the winters piles. Keep a look out for whales as we cruise Bransfield Strait, it is early for large numbers of them to be present but there are always a few that spend their winters in Antarctica. Antarctic petrels are sometimes seen with their near cousin the Cape petrel in the early season.

This time of year is perfect time to keep a look out for pup Weddell seal females pupping and nursing. You may even see a male quietly swimming the coast line waiting for an opportunity to breed. The sea ice is a destination all in itself. It surrounds the continent in winter expanding the size of Antarctica nearly twice of what the land mass covers. This ice rests on water that is -2 degrees Celcius (28F). All the ice seals give birth on the ice, crabeaters and leopard are two for us to keep a look out for!

But wind and storm systems will determine if we can approach to the continent.

The continent itself is roughly circular with a spindly arm, called the Antarctic Peninsula, reaching northwards towards Tierra del Fuego. South America is the nearest landmass, some 600 miles away. Considerably larger than either the United States or Europe, and twice the size of Australia, the continent is surrounded by a frozen sea that varies in area from one million square miles in summer to 7.3 million square miles in winter. Ninety-five percent of the continent of Antarctica is ice covered and contains the freshest water on earth - about 70 percent of all fresh water on earth in fact. The highest point in Antarctica is Vinson Massif, with an altitude of 16,864 feet above sea level; the lowest point is the Bentley Subglacial Trench at 8,200 feet below sea level, located in West Antarctica. Antarctica has the highest average elevation of all the continents at about 7,500 feet about sea level.

Antarctica is a continent of superlatives. It is the coldest, windiest, driest, iciest and highest of all the major landmasses in the world. It is the continent with the longest nights and the longest days. The coastal areas we visit have some of the greatest concentrations of wildlife on the continent. It is also one of the last true wilderness, also the largest wilderness areas left on earth – largely unchanged since the first sealers, whalers, and early explorers first landed on its inhospitable shores less than two centuries ago. The lowest temperature ever recorded anywhere on earth, -89.2°C, was recorded on July 21, 1983, at Vostok Station. Winds have been recorded at 200 mph in the interior of the continent and the average annual water precipitation in the interior is only about 50 mm.

Whales
Thanks to the abundance of the small, shrimp like krill as the basis of the food chain, many species of whales make the water south of the Antarctic Convergence their summer home. Some of the species found in the frigid southern waters include: the Humpback Whale who consumes over a ton of krill each day; the Southern Right Whales easily identified by the whitish callosities on the jaws and forehead; the Sperm Whales made famous in Moby Dick; the Killer Whale which is actually not a whale at all but the largest of the dolphin family; the Sei Whale which can achieve speeds up to 55 km/h over short distances; the playful Minke Whales very common in the peninsula area; and the Fin Whale who can attain a length of 25 to 27 meters making them the second largest whales.

Penguins
Adapted for a life at sea, this flightless bird of the southern hemisphere is known commonly as penguins. Penguins have been grouped into 18 species and 6 genera, with most making their homes in Antarctica and the sub Antarctic islands, though others are native to the coasts of Australia, South Africa, South America, and the Galapagos Islands. Penguins are speedy and agile swimmers but awkward when walking on land, when going through breeding cycles. The regions we visit aboard MS Expedition are inhabited by 6 different species including the giant King Penguin who can grow up to 1 meter in height (found on South Georgia Island); the Adelie Penguin named after French explorer Dumont d’Urville’s wife; the Chinstrap Penguin identified by the distinctive black line connecting the black cap to below the chin; the Gentoo Penguin with its orange bill and white flash above and behind its eyes; while most numerous it is the most difficult to see the Macaroni Penguin (Only on South Georgia Island) who number roughly 12 million and are easily identified by the orange tassels meeting between the eyes; and the Rockhopper Penguin (we will see only in Falkland Islands) who are similar to the Macaroni in appearance but slightly smaller and have yellow tassels.

Historical Figures
Some of the bravest and best known explorers have sailed south in search of adventure and recognition. James Cook, the most travelled explorer of his time, was the first to circumnavigate Antarctica and the first to cross the Antarctic Circle. Roald Amundsen, who led the first expedition to reach the South Pole and reached the pole on December 14, 1911. Captain Robert Scott, famous for being 35 days late, arriving at the South Pole on January 17, 1912 only to find the dark green tent and a note left by Amundsen. All 5 men in the Scott expedition perished on their way back from the pole. The best-known adventurer would have to be Sir Ernest Shackleton. On his attempt at the South Pole his ship, Endurance, was captured by pack ice in the Weddell Sea on January 19, 1915. The ship was destroyed by heavy ice, forcing he and his men to travel over the ice and sea to Elephant Island. However, because the island was uninhabited, Shackleton and 5 others made the 1300 km voyage for help to South Georgia, amazingly arriving at Stromness Harbour whaling station on May 20, 1916.

Day 20-21 The Drake Passage (2B,2L,2D)

Turning north we embark upon the 400 mile crossing of the passage that bears the name of the 16th century English explorer Sir Francis Drake. The M/S Expedition is at home in this part of the Southern Ocean, known for the unimpeded never ending fetch of the winds that encircle the Antarctic. At some point on the first day we will cross the Antarctic Convergence, a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer sub-antarctic water moving in the opposite direction. It is the largest biological barrier on earth and is marked by a change in temperature, salinity and nutrient levels. The north flowing Antarctic waters predominantly sink beneath southward moving sub-antarctic waters. While further south associated areas of mixing and upwelling create an ocean very high in marine productivity.

Wandering, Black-browed and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Prion's and Cap Petrels are among some of the species of seabirds that may join us in our journey as we head back towards the South American continent.

Day 22 Depart Ushuaia (1B)

Our adventure comes to a close. Have a final breakfast on the expedition ship before saying our goodbyes as we disembark in Ushuaia in the morning. You are free to fly out of Ushuaia anytime from noon onwards.

What's Included

20 nts on board the MS Expedition. Arrival transfer from airport in Montevideo for flights arriving on Day 1. Departure transfer to Ushuaia airport depending on disembarkation day. 1 nt accommodation with breakfast in Montevideo. Zodiac cruises and shore landings with our expert expedition team. Lecture and educational programs. Waterproof boots supplied for men's USA sizes 8-14 and women's USA sizes 3-9. Expedition parka. Antarctica destination guidebook.

Highlights

Meet hardy locals and seeing unique wildlife in the Falkland islands, explore abandoned whaling stations and visiting Shackleton’s grave, walk quietly amongst king penguins and watching them surf into the beach, learn about the environment and ecology from industry experts, spot whales and seals while cruising through icebergs on Zodiacs, set foot on the continent of Antarctica

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. When packing your luggage please note that the weight restriction on the domestic flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires to is only 15 to 23 kg (33 to 50 lbs) per person, depending on the airline. Please note that the airlines will generally charge for excess baggage. You are able to leave luggage that you do not need at the hotel in Buenos Aires.

2. Medical questionnaires are required for all passengers traveling to Antarctica.

3. The Expedition is an adventure Expedition ship and does not offer an elevator

Group Leader Description

A carefully chosen team will lead our voyage. Our expedition ships boast an international team of professional naturalists and lecturers. Their goal is to provide an informed and balanced interpretation of the destination, accomplished through stimulating lectures, day-to-day briefings, and informal discussions. Your lecturers and Expedition Leader will cover all aspects of the voyage including ornithology, marine biology, geography, geology, history and the environment, as well as practical things like photography. The expedition staff work conscientiously with you on deck and in the field, improving your observational skills to allow you to experience all that the destination has to offer. Their strong sense of ethics and ecological knowledge make for stimulating and mindful conversation whether onshore or at the dinner table. The expedition staff will pilot the Zodiac landing craft used for shore landings and Zodiac cruises; they are experienced drivers who operate the Zodiacs in a responsible manner.

Group Size Notes

Max 134 aboard the MS Expedition.

Meals Included

All meals included aboard the MS Expedition. Breakfast included at the hotel.

Meals

Onboard our expedition ships you’ll find a diversity of gourmet international cuisines prepared and catered by professional chefs; all meals are included in the price of your expedition. Dining is casual, tables are unassigned and the dining room is capable of seating the entire passenger compliment at one time. There is always a selection of different meals available, and vegetarians will find plenty of options. Special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice, please advise us at time of confirmation. Coffee, tea and water are all provided free of charge. All other beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic are not included and can be purchased in the dining room, pub, or lounge.

Transport

MS Expedition, Zodiac, private bus.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Twin-share hotel (1 nt), aboard the MS Expedition in quad-, triple-, twin-share cabins, or suites (all with en suite bathrooms and porthole or window) (20 nts). Please note that all cabins consist of twin-size berths and are ocean-facing. Suites have 1 queen-size bed.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect and problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to arrive into Buenos Aires before embarkation time (usually 4pm) of Day 2 please use the emergency contact details in this dossier. If you are delayed in arriving to prebooked accommodations please contact the hotel to advise them when you will arrive. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your booking agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

CONTACT NUMBERS

G Adventures Office Buenos Aires, Argentina
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
>From outside Argentina: +54 11 5252 3602
>From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 011 5252 3602

After hours Emergency number
>From outside Argentina: +54 9 11 3425 0380
>From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 15 3425 0380

Finishing Point Instructions

Upon completion of the 8:00 am disembarkation in Ushuaia, passengers will receive a complimentary transfer to either the airport or a central location where luggage can be stored.

For those on morning flights, the 8:00 am transfer will bring them directly to Ushuaia airport (USH). The rest of the passengers will be transferred to the luggage storage point and given time to explore the city. These passengers should then return to retrieve their luggage and board a second transfer to Ushuaia airport at 12:30 pm or 4:30 pm, depending on their flight times. Please note that the transfer times are subject to change according to flight schedules.

What to Take

Most airlines allow one checked bag and two carry-on per person. To avoid any problems at check-in and with possible excess baggage charges, please consult the airline for specific restrictions. For storage on board the expedition ship soft compactible luggage makes storage much easier.

Dress on board is informal. Plan to bring comfortable, casual clothing for all activities. Bring wind and waterproof outer layers. waterproof pants as they are mandatory for all Antarctic landings. Beware of tight clothing that leaves no room for trapped air, which is an excellent insulator. Wool, silk and some of the new synthetic fibers, like polar fleece, retain heat better than cotton. When packing, we suggest that you do not weigh yourself down with too many clothes or too much gear. Select informal, practical attire that can be worn in layers.

In the worlds most remote destinations that the G Expedition travels to we cannot offload our plastics, glass or tin waste for recycling. Therefore, we try to reduce what single use items that we use. You will see on the ship that every effort is being used to stop the use of single use plastic containers, bags and other items. In an effort to prevent plastic waste for entering the waste stream, we are asking for your help. We offer exceptional drinking water on the ship with refilling stations for your re-useable water containers. So bring your favorite water bottle! Plastic Items such as single use shampoo/conditioner plastic containers cannot be recycled, so please plan to bring any plastics back to your home countries for recycling. Please do not bring single use items that you intend to leave behind such plastic bags and throw away razors. Your participating in helping to prevent pollution and promote recycling is greatly appreciated.

Checklist

GENERAL EXPEDITION CHECKLIST

ACCESSORIES:
Binoculars
Camera and Accessories
- Memory card
- Extra battery
- Something to protect your camera from water
Plug adaptor
- Onboard is 220AC electrical outlets with European 2 pin round holes as well as 110 volt shaving sockets for electric razors only
Sunglasses
Sunblock
At sea distractions
- Personal entertainment
- Laptop computer
- Books/games/movie
Water bottle

PERSONAL ITEMS:
Personal toiletries
Personal medication, vitamins
If you are prone to seasickness please consult your doc and bring medication
- Homeopathic and natural options

DOCUMENTATION:
Money (cash/travelers checks)
Credit Card
Visas
Passport
Airline tickets
Travel insurance documents
Trip details information

ONBOARD CLOTHING:
Comfortable and informal clothing onboard
Non-slip footwear for wet decks

BOOTS FOR ZODIAC LANDINGS:
Complementary used waterproof boots will be supplied for the following sized:
- Men’s USA size 8-14
- Women’s USA size 3-9
Guest must bring their own if they are:
- Men’s USA size 7 or smaller
- Men’s USA size 15 or larger
- Women’s USA size 2 or smaller
- Women’s USA size 10 of larger
Rubber, waterproof boots that are just below your knees (12-16” high or 30-41cm) with a strong, ridged non-skid sole are essential for wet landings via Zodiac. You usually have to step from the Zodiac into water, which can be up to 1 ft or 30 cm high on most landings. Do not bring heavy, cumbersome boots that make it difficult to walk. Do not bring boots with metal cleats as they cannot be used for the landings. Try out your boots before your voyage.


TRIP SPECIFIC CHECKLIST

OUTDOOR CLOTHING:
The goal is to dress for many different temperatures and weather conditions. We recommend bringing clothing in layers as the weather can vary between warm and sunny to very cold and snowing.
Waterproof pants
Warm hat
Gloves
Scarf
Warm socks to be worn inside wellington boots
Fleece
Long underwear

OPTIONAL CLOTHING:
Ski goggle for wet Zodiac rides
Walking poles

Suggested Reading

ANTARCTICA
Suggested Reading List
There are several dozen books on Antarctica that could be recommended, books dealing with various explorers and expeditions, scientific studies, etc.
________________________________________
Amundsen, Roald. The South Pole. John Murray, 1912.

Antarctica: Great Stories from the Frozen North. Reader’s Digest, 1985. Natural history, explorers, atlas and other miscellaneous information.

Asimov, Isaac. The Ends of the Earth. Weybright and Talley, 1975. General narrative of the polar regions of the world.

Bond, Creina and Roy Siegfried. Antarctica: No Single Country, No Single Sea. Mayflower Books, 1979. Photos by Peter Johnson.

Byrd, Richard E. Alone. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1938.

Campbell, David. Crystal Desert. Houghton Mifflin, 1992.

Cherry-Garrard, Apsley. The Worst Journey in the World. Constable, 1922.

Chester, Jonathan. Antarctica: Beauty in the Extreme. Michael Friedman Publishing, 1991. Limited copies available from Mountain Travel-Sobek.

Fiennes, Ranulph. To the Ends of the Earth: the Transglobe Expedition. Arbor House, 1983.

Fuchs, Vivian and Edmund Hillary. The Crossing of Antarctica. Little, Brown, 1958. The Common wealth Trans-Antarctica Expedition 1955-1958.

Halle, Louis J. The Sea and the Ice: A Naturalist in Antarctica. Houghton Mifflin, 1973. Account of a journey on an icebreaker to Antarctica with an emphasis on bird observations.

Harrington, Richard. Richard Harrington’s Antarctic. Alaska Northwest Publishing Co., 1976.

Harrison, Peter. Seabirds. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1885.

Huntford, Roland. Scott and Amundsen. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1980. Story of the two great rival explorers.

Huntford, Roland. Shackleton. Fawcett Columbine, 1985.

Huxley, Elspeth. Scott of the Antarctic. Atheneum, 1978.

King, Judith E. Seals of the World. Cornell University Press, 1983.

Lansing, Alfred. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. McGraw-Hill, 1959.

May, John. The Greenpeace Book of Antarctica. Doubleday, 1988.

Mear, Roger and Robert Swan. A Walk to the Pole: To the Heart of Antarctica in the Footsteps of Scott. Crown, 1987.

Moss, Sanford. Natural History of the Antarctic Peninsula. Columbia University Press, 1988.

Peterson, Roger Tory. Penguins. Houghton Mifflin, 1979.

Porter, Elliot. Antarctica. Dutton, 1978. Narration of his experiences on an NSF expedition to Antarctica; wonderful photographs.

Pyne, Stephen J. The Ice: A Journey to Antarctica. Ballantine, 1988. Geophysical examination of Antarctica and essays on the history and landscape of this continent.

Ralling, Christopher, ed. Shackleton. British Broadcasting Corp., 1983.

Ray, G. Carleton and M.G. McCormick-Ray. Wildlife of the Polar Regions. Harry N. Abrams, 1981.

Riedman, Marianne. The Pinnipeds: Seals, Sea Lions, and Walruses. University California Press.

Scott, Robert F. Scott’s Last Expedition. Dodd, Mead 1913. The personal journals of Captain R.F. Scott on his journey to the South Pole.

Shackleton, Ernest. South: The Story of Shackleton’s 1914-1917 Expedition. Heinemann, 1970.

Siple, Paul. 90 South. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1959.

Stonehouse, Bernard. Animals of the Antarctic: The Ecology of the Far South. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972.

Watson, George. Birds of the Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic. American Geophysical Union, 1975.

Watson, Lyall and Tom Ritchie. Sea Guide to Whales of the World. Hutchinson, 1981.

Worsley, F.A. Shackleton’s Boat Journey. W.W. Norton, 1977.


Others:
Safina, Carl. Eye of the Albatross / Song for the Blue Ocean

Herzel, David. Sailor on Ice: Tom Crean with Scott in the Antarctic 1910-1913
Also available in: Kindle and Nook
http://www.amazon.com/Sailor-Ice-Antarctic-1910-1913-ebook/dp/B00AEU1K6Y
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/245578

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. Aboard the M/S Expedition laundry facilities are provided at a nominal charge.

Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.


ARGENTINA'S "RECIPROCITY FEE":
Effective January 7, 2013 all US, Canadian and Australian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity tax in order to enter Argentina. This reciprocity tax must be paid in advance online with a credit card. Cash at the border or airport is not accepted. *Note: the fee can be paid in country ONLY when arriving in Buenos Aires at the International Airport, Ezeiza, or the national airport, Aeroparque.

ONLINE PAYMENT FORM:
https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/

INSTRUCTIONS:
http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/pdf_varios/reciprocidad/Online_payment_instructions.pdf

COSTS:
US citizens: 160USD, valid for 10 years
Australian citizens: 100USD, valid for 1 year
Canadian citizens: 75USD for one entry and re-entries from bordering countries within 3 months; OR 150USD for a multiple entry visa valid for 5 years.

Detailed Trip Notes

Experience Counts
Accompanying the voyage is our dedicated and experienced team of expedition staff, naturalists and lecturers who share with us their knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment to the environment. Our ship is manned by officers and crew, all highly experienced in ice navigation.

Environmental Policy
We are dedicated to minimizing the impact of our expedition on wildlife and sensitive natural habitats. We operate environmentally responsible cruise and expeditions and follow all internationally agreed regulations of conduct ashore. We are all privileged visitors – and committed to the future of these extraordinary, icy realms.

Safety First
Although expedition cruising is adventurous by nature, the safety of our passengers and staff is paramount. Our ship is equipped and maintained to cope with the most challenging conditions and is manned by experienced and conscientious officers, crew and expedition staff. The Zodiac landing craft used for shore landings are rugged and versatile and are operated by experienced drivers in a responsible manner. Onboard you will be fully briefed on safety issues and our environmental policy and you will receive appropriate and detailed briefings before every landing.

Expedition Staff and Lecturers
A carefully chosen team will lead our voyage. They are chosen not only for their local knowledge and wealth of experience but also for their great love of the Antarctic. With formal lectures, as well as informal briefings and discussions, your lecturers and Expedition Leader will cover all aspects of the voyage including ornithology, marine biology, geography, geology, history and the environment, as well as practical things like photography.

Tips for Travellers
We are all privileged visitors to these extraordinary, icy realms. As a traveller, it is your responsibility to help ensure your impact on Antarctica’s flora and fauna is minimal.

The following are excerpts from the GUIDANCE FOR VISITORS TO THE ANTARCTIC:

Respect wildlife
Do not feed, touch, or handle birds or seals, or approach or photograph them in ways that cause them to alter their behavior. Special care is needed when animals are breeding or molting. Keep a minimum distance of 5 meters (15 feet) from all wildlife.

Respect vegetation
Do not damage plants, by walking or landing on extensive moss beds or lichen-covered scree slopes. They are fragile and take generations to grow.

Respect the environment
Do not collect or take away biological or geological specimens or artifacts as souvenirs, and do not dispose of litter or garbage on land.

Take photos with care
Keep low as you will appear less threatening to animals and it will also yield better photographs. Do not try to make an animal react for a photograph. If an animal’s behavior changes you are too close.

Stay Safe
Take note of, and act on, the advice and instructions from your leaders, and do not stray from your group.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

Before and after the cruise, credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work overseas. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollars cash, and credit cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

While on board our Expedition ship, cash and most major credit cards (VISA, Mastercard and AMEX) are accepted to clear incidental bills at the end of the cruise by the ship's Purser (ie. bar bills, laundry etc.).

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

USD $5.00 from Ushuaia
USD $18.00 from Buenos Aires

Tipping

Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. It is an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your expedition. The industry standard and suggested amount is USD $10 - 15 per person per day spent on board. Of course, tipping is a personal choice and the suggested amount is set only as a guideline. The money is collected by the Hotel Manager at the end of the voyage and distributed amongst the crew and Expedition Staff. The Officers choose not to participate in the tipping pool.

Optional Activities

Please note that extra time is required in Buenos Aires to take part in these activities:
Tango Show 330 ARS
Tigre tour 175 ARS
Interactive Culinary Experience $65
Coastal train 16 USD
Teatro Colón 110 ARS
City tour $20-25
Fiesta Gaucha 350 ARS
Hop on Hop off Bus 70 ARS

Health

Please consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We require all passengers traveling to Antarctica to complete and submit our medical questionnaire. The questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/online_medical_form


Passengers with preexisting medical conditions are required to submit a medical form signed by a physician to their booking agent. It is very important that we are advised of any special meal requirements, food allergies, or prescribed medication when you confirm your tour. The ship is equipped with a small infirmary with typically required medications and limited equipment. The ship's doctor is available for visits during the day and is available 24 hours per day for emergencies.

In case of an emergency, please also bring with you a signed and dated letter from your physician (to be given to our doctor on board, as well as for any medical authorities) stating any health problems and dosage requirements. International health regulations do not currently require any inoculations for the countries that you will visit on our voyage. We suggest that you confer with your own physician to be sure your routine immunizations, such as tetanus, diphtheria and hepatitis A, are up-to-date before traveling. Older travelers, in particular, may wish to consider preventive measures against influenza and pneumonia.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

We recommend that you wear minimal jewelry and that you keep valuable items safely stored in our complimentary safety deposit box, which is located at the Purser's Desk.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Trip Specific Responsible Travel

OUR COMMITMENT TO RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL IN ANTARCTICA

As a leader in Sustainable Tourism, we are committed to ensuring that all of our marine expeditions operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. All expeditions aboard the expedition ship meet and exceed all environmental regulations and protocols in the regions that we visit.

The International Association of Antarctic Operators (IAATO)
G Adventures holds Full Membership Status with IAATO, an organization that advocates, promotes and ensures safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic. All operations aboard our ship adhere to IAATO’s strict rules, regulations and guidelines for operating in Antarctica. For more information visit www.iaato.org

Staff & Crew:
Our crew and expedition team act as stewards of the environment and are well versed in the strict environmental protocols on board and on land. All of our travellers are thoroughly briefed in these protocols before being allowed to participate in excursions and are always supervised by our team when on shore.


4-Stroke Outboard Engines:
In an effort to drastically reduce environmental pollutants 4-stroke outboard engines have been installed on all of our zodiacs. Our 4-stroke outboard motors use less fuel and produce less noise pollution than 2-stroke engines. Since there is no mixing of oil and gas the exhaust is intrinsically much cleaner and friendlier to the environment.

Planeterra Foundation
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports local community projects and international charities around the world.

Sea Chart Auction:
At the end of each Antarctica departure, the Captain’s Sea Chart is auctioned and all proceeds are donated to international organizations through Planeterra.

Our end goal is to minimize the potential negative impact of tourism in the areas we operate while maximizing the positive impact of instilling a widened understanding and appreciation of these regions. During our voyages, we ask all our passengers that they see their visit to these areas as a privilege and that they share their newfound knowledge and experiences with others when they return home. We also hope that by bringing people to these regions that they continue to act as ambassadors and stewards of these areas.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Associated Planeterra Project

PPlaneterra Foundation, G Adventures' non-profit, is working with our Marine Team to support an Ocean's Health Fund. Our mission is to help support education, research, and take action in the global clean-up and protection of our planets's oceans by restoring natural habitats and supporting projects that eliminate waste such as plastic from our waterways.

Through our partners, we are raising funds to restore habitat preservation in Antarctica. We are working to eradicate the invasive rat population on the island of South Georgia. South Georgia is known for its rich diversity of wildlife and is home to over 100 million breeding birds, including the albatross. Through the introduction of Norway rats brought over by whaling and sealing vessels, severe damage to the island's ecosystem has deteriorated the habitat of hundred of thousands of these birds. We are working to eradicate the rat population on this island, supporting helicopter baiting techniques that has so far cleared the most populated 12,800 hectares, and the area of the island most inhabited for bird breeding. Through your donations, we have started Phase 2 which will clear 1,000 square kilometres and return the island to it's native form.

Working with research scientists,we are also raising funds to support an oceans cleanup program in the Pacific Gyre. Using sailing vessels to remove pollution directly from the ocean and to conduct research on fish and marine organisms we hope to help restore the oceans environments we love to explore.

For more information on these projects and/or to make a donation please visit our website at www.planeterra.org or contact us at info@planeterra.org

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletter_signup

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.

Keeping in Touch on the M/S Expedition

Internet and phone onboard the M/S Expedition

The Expedition receives internet reception in Antarctica, but is sporadic in the Arctic. There is wifi in the public areas on Deck 4 & 5, and in the Deck 4 cabins (Categories 4 and 5). Passengers can bring their own laptop, sign out one of the 2 iPads on board, or use one of the 2 desktops. Your Cell Phone, for calling, will not work in Antarctica.

Internet
Onboard the M/S Expedition we use a BGAN satellite system for internet and phone, which allows passengers to surf the web and make international calls while on their voyage. Please remember that internet speeds are NOT like the speeds you have at home. We operate with a satellite so speeds can be similar to dialup. To log-on, passengers purchase an internet voucher from the Reception Desk. Once you have the internet voucher, web surfers can log-on through our internet café or with their own wireless laptop. A wireless laptop can pick up a signal anywhere in the public areas on Deck 4, Reception, Discovery Lounge, Library, and Deck 5, Polar Bear Bar.
Charges are based on the megabyte downloaded. An amount of 10 megabyte of data would be the equivalent of 5 to 10 web pages. A very graphics intensive web page might be as high as 2-3 megabytes. For example, if a web surfer were to do a Hotmail session of e-mailing, it might generate 3 megabytes in total.

Internet Packages & Prices:

10MB $20.00
30MB $50.00
100MB $130.00

E-mail:
Passengers may take the opportunity to set up an onboard e-mail account. This will be of interest to those who need to stay in touch, but are not interested in surfing the web. Passengers will have their own unique email account including email address, username and password. E-mail accounts may be accessed either through our public computers in the Internet Room, or passenger may access their account through their wireless laptop in the common areas of Deck 4 and 5, in the Polar Bear Bar. $35.00 includes set up and use of the account for the entire trip and unlimited messages. Messages over 200KB in size will be charged at a rate of .03 cents per KB exceeded.

Telephone
On board we have a telephone room on Deck 4, where calls can be made in private to any destination in the world. Telephone cards are available at reception.
Prices will change each year.
Satellite: $22.00 phone cards are available at reception, roughly 25 to 30 minute per phone card.


Fun tip
Tell your friends and family to Tweet at @G_MSExpedition and hash tag #MSExpedition while your onboard. We'll posts these for your to see!