Visit the most remote archipelago in the world on this mind-stretching adventure. Be prepared for astounding diversity: sea-lions, seals, dolphins, albatrosses and penguins are just some of the wildlife you can expect to see. Absorb the vastness of the South Atlantic Ocean with unforgettable views as the spectacular scenery unfolds before you. Your expedition will lead to one discovery after another. A complimentary programme of unique, small-group shore experiences, led by our team of expert guides and lecturers, allows you to fully experience the lands you’ll visit.
DATES: FEBRUARY 28, 2018
DURATION: 22 DAYS/11 NIGHTS
EMBARK: USHUAIA, ARG
DISEMBARK: CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
SHIP: SILVER CLOUD EXPIDITION
- Follow in the footsteps of the great Antarctic explorers and visit sites that Byrd, Charcot, Fiennes, de Gerlache, Shackleton, and Weddell explored.
- Visit one of South America’s most important paleontological museums and explore South America’s first paleontological park looking for ancient fossils.
- Visit the Valdes Peninsula, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Hike across New Island and West Point Island to see Black-browed Albatross.
- See snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers and spectacular icebergs.
- Encounter Rockhopper, Gentoo, Macaroni, Adelie, Magellanic and Chinstrap Penguins, and with some luck also King Penguins.
- Watch for Commerson’s and Peale dolphins in the Falkland Islands and Southern right whales close to the Valdes Peninsula.
- Identify different species of albatross, shearwaters and petrels.
Day 1 — Ushuaia, Argentina
Embark Silver Cloud and meet some of your fellow travelers as you become acquainted with the luxurious amenities found on board. After settling in a mandatory safety drill will have to be attended. Later your Expedition Leader will introduce some of the important crew members and your Expedition Team. While we sail out of Ushuaia you will be able to see the many snow-covered mountains lining the Beagle Channel and bid farewell to Tierra del Fuego. Enjoy the spectacular scenery while we have our sail away cocktail on the open decks.
Day 2 — At Sea
Gather in the Theatre Lounge to hear fascinating tales of adventure and to learn about the Falkland’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Our knowledgeable Lecture Staff members are experts in a variety of scientific fields. Other onboard diversions include spa treatments, a workout in the Fitness Centre, and, of course, exquisite dining experiences.
Day 3 — Steeple Jason Island, Falkland Islands; West Point Island, Falkland Islands
Steeple Jason was used for sheep-grazing until the 1980s, but never properly inhabited; therefore birdlife has been less disturbed and includes Southern Rockhopper Penguins, Magellanic Penguins, Gentoo Penguins, Slender-billed Prions, caracaras and Blackish Cinclodes (known locally as Tussac-Birds), as well as Black-browed Albatrosses. Roughly 70% of the world’s population of Black-browed Albatrosses is said the breed on the Falkland Islands and Steeple Jason has the largest colony. The Steinhart Station, a field research station, was built on Steeple Jason in 2003 to monitor wildlife. Sea lions and fur seals can be seen along the shore.
In the afternoon, watch for Peale’s dolphins and the distinctive black and white markings of the Commerson’s dolphin as the Silver Cloud approaches West Point Island. Upon arrival, photographic opportunities are everywhere as you walk across rolling moorland and admire colonies of Black-browed Albatrosses that nest side-by-side with Rockhopper Penguins. Learn about the island’s unique vegetation. The hospitable island owners are always happy to answer your questions and share their stories.
Day 4 — Stanley, Falkland Islands
Stanley has a distinct British ambience and we begin our day in the capital city of the remote Falkland Islands by boarding a local bus for a ‘city tour’ with a local guide. You can also stroll through the charming streets of this colorful little town, lined with quaint cottages and a variety of traditional pubs. Visit the 19th-century Anglican cathedral (the southernmost Anglican cathedral in the world) and wander through the Falkland Islands Dockyard Museum. For stamp collectors a visit to the Philatelic Bureau is a must. Walking along Ross Road you will come to a monument to honour the victims of the 1982 Falklands War between Britain and Argentina.
Days 5–6 — At Sea
Binoculars and camera in hand, head out on deck to watch for seabirds and whales. Attend informative lectures that will prepare you for the upcoming visits in South Georgia and the adventures that lie ahead. Peruse an array of titles and topics in the well-stocked Library, enjoy the finest cigars and cognacs at the Connoisseur’s Corner or indulge in any of the other special amenities offered aboard ship.
Days 6–10 — South Georgia
This breathtaking destination of towering snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers, and low-lying grasslands attracts an astounding concentration of wildlife: Southern fur seals, Southern elephant seals and a variety of albatross species including Black-browed, Light-mantled Sooty, Grey-headed and the spectacular Wandering Albatross, plus thousands of King and hundreds of Macaroni Penguins.
South Georgia is also linked to the early Antarctic explorers. Captain James Cook first stepped ashore in 1775, but perhaps more famous is Ernest Shackleton’s arrival in 1916 following the sinking of his ship Endurance. Visit Shackleton’s and Frank Wild’s grave and the whaling museum at Grytviken.
Here are some of the places we may visit:
Cooper Bay -Go ashore by Zodiac to see numerous breeds of penguins, such as Macaroni and Chinstrap, on the rocks and waters surrounding the island.
Gold Harbour -A large King Penguin colony can be found near Bertrab Glacier. Seals can be seen resting on ice floes and sunning on the beaches.
Grytviken -A historic whaling station, all that remains today are the rusted hulls of long abandoned whalers and working sheds. At the South Georgia Museum guests can learn about past whaling techniques and view various exhibits on exploration and discovery.
At the burial site of the famous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton we will toast the great explorer.
Salisbury Plain -A favorite breeding ground for hundreds of thousands of King Penguins; it is amazing to see how they completely cover the beaches and hills. In early March, the seal pups will be quite active and aggressive.
Days 11–13 — At Sea
As we cross the South Atlantic, leisurely days at sea are yours to enjoy. Participate in discussions and onboard activities led by the Expedition Team, relax in one of the lounges with that book you have been meaning to read, and meet up with new friends for cocktails. Before turning in for the night, take a stroll on deck to take in the solitude of the vast sea and sky.
Days 14 — Gough Island, UK (Subject to government approval)
A dependency of Tristan da Cunha and part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Gough Island was originally known as Gonçalo Álvares (the captain of Vasco da Gama’s flagship). The volcanic island covers an area of 91 km² and is uninhabited except for the personnel of a South African weather station (usually six people). It is one of the most remote places with a constant human presence.
Gough Island is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gough and Inaccessible Islands, a protected wildlife reserve and an “Important Bird Area”. If conditions allow we will offer a Zodiac cruise and look for Tristan Albatross, Atlantic Petrel, Gough Moorhen, Gough Bunting, and Northern Rockhopper Penguins -some of the many birds using this mid-Atlantic island as their nesting ground.
Day 15 — Tristan da Cunha, UK
Recognized as the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, its closest neighboring landmass is the island of St. Helena some 2,430 km away. The main island is home to 301 hardy residents (census March 2016).
Weather and landing depending, we hope to enjoy guided walks with the local inhabitants of the village while our onboard Geologist will lead a walk to the 1961 volcanic cone and lava flow. Learn how the islanders were evacuated and how it affected their lives. Once at the top, we will have a beautiful scenic view of the whole settlement – a photo opportunity not to be missed. We will meet with some of the island children and hear what Tristan life is like through their eyes during our visit to St Mary’s School. Our onboard Ornithologist will point out birdlife, hopefully including the Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross, Sooty Albatross, Tristan Thrush, and Tristan Wandering Albatross – a critically endangered species with fewer than 1,500 breeding pairs left in the world. The archipelago is also where 90% of the world’s Northern Rockhopper Penguins come to breed.
Day 16 — Nightingale Island, UK
Weather permitting; we hope to land on the uninhabited Nightingale Island, a protected wildlife reserve and World Heritage Site. You will see the most magnificent wildlife, flora and fauna all unspoilt by people. All guests will receive a certificate verifying that they have indeed visited this extremely remote world destination.
Days 17–20 — At Sea
On the last day your onboard Videographer will screen his Voyage-DVD, letting you remember all those special moments during your voyage. The Captain will invite you to his (your) Farewell Cocktail Party and the Chef and Restaurant Manager want to surprise you with the special Farewell Dinner.
Days 21–22 — Cape Town, South Africa
Arriving in the morning of Day 21 (20 March) you will be able to explore the natural wonders of Cape Town. You can choose to ascend Table Mountain by cable car and hike in the protected area, having a look at the many endemic plants and animals. Later you will travel by bus to Signal Hill for dramatic views over Table Bay and Cape Town. Or you can go on an excursion to see an African Penguin colony at Boulders Beach. The scenic drive to Boulders Beach will go along the Atlantic seaboard and later will continue through the prestigious suburbs of Bishopscourt and Constantia into the region where South Africa’s wine industry began over 3 centuries ago. At one of the local wine estates you will enjoy a formal wine tasting (paired with canapés).
Day 22 — Cape Town, South Africa
After breakfast on Wednesday, 21 March, disembark Silver Cloud.
+ Cruise aboard the Silver Cloud, with only 200 passengers.
+ Complimentary shore-side events on select voyages (an additional fee may apply to some activities/events/excursions).
+ Complimentary guided excursions ashore on Silversea Expeditions voyages
+ Welcome and farewell receptions aboard ship.
+ All meals aboard ship.
+ Complimentary beverages served throughout the ship ñ including fine wines, champagnes, spirits, beer, bottled water, specialty coffees and soft drinks.
+ In-room bar and refrigerator stocked with your preferred beverage selections.
+ You may order from the Room Service menu, where a selection of lighter fare and gourmet bites are offered.
+Oceanview suites with butler service, iPod docking station, WiFi (charges may apply), daily suite service and evening turndown service.
+ Enrichment program of lectures and discussions by accompanying study leader.
+ Complimentary transportation into town in most ports of call
+ Professional tour staff.
+ Complete pre-departure materials.
+ Fares include on-board gratuities.
NOT INCLUDED: Airfare; transfers; luggage and trip cancellation insurance; meals, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages other than those specified above; personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls, faxes, gratuities and Internet service.
Rates are date specific starting at $9675 per person, call for current rates & promotions CONTACT US TO BOOK Request more information