Expedition Details


Set out on an epic voyage to the remote lands made famous by Ernest Shackleton. Traveling aboard the ice-class expedition ships, National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Orion, spend six days discovering the icy wonders of the Antarctic Peninsula. Stroll through lively crowds of penguins in stunning South Georgia, and hike the rocky shores of the Falkland Islands. Experience boundless wildlife and captivating beauty as you venture into some of the planet’s most unspoiled landscapes.

Trip Highlights

  • Set out from the National Geographic Explorer or National Geographic Orion in a Zodiac or kayak to get up close to the exquisite icebergs of the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • Trace the riveting story of Shackleton’s fateful expedition on South Georgia with our team of experts, and get immersed in a sea of black and white amid thousands of king penguins.
  • Visit the pioneer outposts of Port Stanley in the Falklands and Port Lockroy in Antarctica.
  • Get hands-on instruction from a National Geographic photographer as you frame breaching whales, elephant seals, and numerous penguin species.

Itinerary - 24 Days

Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Buenos Aires, Argentina (National Geographic Explorer) or Santiago, Chile (National Geographic Orion)

Depart on an overnight flight to Buenos Aires (National Geographic Explorer) or Santiago (National Geographic Orion). Settle into the Alvear Art Hotel before seeing the city’s Beaux-Arts palaces and the famous balcony associated with Eva Peron. Or settle in to the Mandarin Oriental before our guided overview of this vibrant city backed by the inspiring Andes.

Day 3 — Ushuaia, Argentina

This morning’s charter flight offers some rare views of Patagonia en route to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city. Take a catamaran cruise through Patagonia’s scenic Beagle Channel before embarking our ship.

Day 4 — At Sea

Awake well into our journey across the Drake Passage—a milestone in any adventurer's personal travel history—with time to hear talks preparing you for the exciting days ahead.

Days 5 through 10 — Exploring Antarctica

With long daylight hours at this time of year, we make the most of our days, keeping a flexible schedule to take advantage of the unexpected— veering off course to watch killer whales perform off the bow or enjoying an after-dinner Zodiac cruise. Our route will be determined by the conditions and the ever-changing ice, and may include some of the locations indicated on the map shown here.

One day, we may take Zodiacs out to see towering icebergs at close range, walk a beach covered with bickering seals and penguins, or hike to a summit for a breathtaking view. The next, we may be kayaking amid glittering brash ice or along a cliff-side rookery in search of blue-eyed shags. And the next, we might experience a thrill of the ship crunching through the pack ice or slipping between the soaring rock walls of the Lemaire Channel.

As we encounter the volcanic isles and pristine bays of the peninsula, our team of experts will bring depth and insight to the experience, explaining the behaviors and interactions of different species, the geological and climatic forces that still shape Antarctica, the anatomy of a glacier, and even how to make beautiful photographs of the places we visit. Our undersea specialists capture images from the deep—revealing the hardy marine life beneath the ice, and our expedition leader is always on the lookout for the best way to experience everything Antarctica has to offer.


Days 11 & 12 — At Sea

Watch for whales from the ship's bridge, attend talks by our experts, and enjoy the amenities on board.

Days 13 through 17 — South Georgia Island

Spend five incredible days circumnavigating stunning South Georgia, leisurely tracing the coast past towering cliffs and beaches peppered with penguins. Our schedule is flexible, and we anticipate opportunities to walk, hike, kayak, or explore by Zodiac every day. Our stops will include the abandoned whaling station at Grytviken, which played a part in the extraordinary story of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated expedition and is now the explorer’s final resting place; as well as Stromness Bay, where Shackleton, Tom Crean, and Frank Worsley finally reached help after a year and a half stranded in Antarctica. Watch the antics of huge elephant seals hauled up on shore, and encounter a vast colony of tens of thousands of king penguins.
(B,L,D daily)

Days 18 & 19 — At Sea

Enjoy talks by our experts and National Geographic photographer, and unwind in the spa, library, or on deck.

Days 20 & 21 — Falkland Islands

Dock in Port Stanley, and stroll along the streets lined with Victorian-style houses. See an archway made of whalebone at the Anglican Cathedral, and visit the Falkland Islands Museum. Hike and kayak along rocky coasts, spotting Magellanic penguins burrowing in tussock grass, herds of enormous elephant seals, and the largest albatross colony in the world.

Day 22 — At Sea

On our final day at sea, enjoy one last chance to view the marine life of these southern waters. Toast our epic voyage at a festive farewell dinner tonight.

Days 23 & 24 — Ushuaia, Argentina/Buenos Aires, Argentina (National Geographic Explorer) or Santiago, Chile (National Geographic Orion)

Disembark in Ushuaia with time to explore before our charter flight to Buenos Aires or Santiago. Continue on an overnight flight to the U.S.

Related Trips

Special Offer

Complimentary Airfare and Amenities

Book by July 31, 2018 and receive complimentary round-trip airfare between Miami and Buenos Aires (National Geographic Explorer departures) or Santiago (National Geographic Orion departures) on any of the November 2018 or 2019 departures. We will also cover your bar tab and tips for the crew on all departures.

Offers are for new bookings only, may not be combined with other offers, and are subject to availability. Please call for details.

Expedition Team

A diverse team of experts, including naturalists, historians, and a National Geographic photographer, will accompany each expedition aboard the National Geographic Explorer. See one of the members of our extraordinary team below.

Phil Schermeister

Phil SchermeisterDuring the past 25 years, Phil Schermeister completed more than 40 major assignments for the National Geographic Book Division, National Geographic magazine and other National Geographic publications. He has photographed on assignment in more than 40 National Parks around the United States and has published six single-photographer books with National Geographic, including Range of Light, Our National Parks and America's Western Edge. Some of his other assignments have included coverage of Quechua Indians in the Andes of Peru, Tarahumara Indians in Mexico’s Copper Canyon and Native Americans across the Western United States. Phil is drawn to high-latitudes, and has photographed all types of natural landscapes from National Parks, Seashores, and Recreation Areas to Wild and Scenic Rivers and National Wildlife Refuges. In his search for “decisive moments” in nature, Phil seeks to find drama in the changing light and seasons as the forces of nature continue to sculpt an unfinished natural landscape.

Phil will join the following departure:

Nov 06 - 29, 2018


Lindblad/National Geographic Logo

This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.


  • Nov 05 - 28, 2018 [ORION] REV
  • Nov 06 - 29, 2018 [EXP] REV
  • Feb 13 - Mar 08, 2019 [ORION] REV
  • Feb 14 - Mar 09, 2019 [EXP]
  • Nov 07 - 30, 2019 [EXP] REV
  • Feb 15 - Mar 09, 2020 [EXP]
  • Feb 17 - Mar 11, 2020 [ORION] REV

[ORION] National Geographic Orion
[EXP] National Geographic Explorer
REV Indicates trip operates in reverse.

Please note: Departures on the National Geographic Orion begin and end in Santiago, Chile. Departures on the National Geographic Explorer begin and end in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

On the November 6, 2018 and November 7, 2019 departure, guests will fly by private charter one-way from Santiago, Chile to the Royal Air Force base in the Falklands to embark the National Geographic Explorer—allowing us to convert a day at sea into a day along the Antarctic Peninsula. Please call for more information.

For voyages aboard the National Geographic Explorer, add an extension in Buenos Aires or to Iguazú Falls or Easter Island. For voyages aboard the National Geographic Orion, add an extension in Santiago or to Easter Island. Please call for details.

Expedition Cost

2018/2019 Season Rates

Departures between November 2018 - February 2019

Explorer Orion
Category 1 $23,990 $24,620
Category 2 $25,740 $26,380
Category 3 $26,950 $28,450
Category 4 $28,220 $35,660
Category 5 $34,750 $41,150
Category 6 $39,990 $47,720
Category 7 $46,450 N/A
Category A Solo $32,180 $36,930
Category B Solo $33,690 $42,670

2019/2020 Season Rates

Departures between November 2019 - February 2020

Explorer Orion
Category 1 $25,120 $25,850
Category 2 $26,990 $27,700
Category 3 $28,290 $29,870
Category 4 $29,630 $37,440
Category 5 $36,490 $43,200
Category 6 $41,990 $49,990
Category 7 $48,770 N/A
Category A Solo $33,730 $38,780
Category B Solo $35,360 $44,790

Prices are per person, double occupancy, except those marked solo, which are based on single occupancy.

International airfare to/from Buenos Aires (Explorer), to/from Santiago (Orion), airfare within Argentina (Explorer) and Chile (Orion) is not included in the expedition cost. The group flight between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia (Explorer) begins at $850 and between Santiago and Ushuaia (Orion) begins at $890 (subject to change).

Featured Traveler Photo

Activity Level

Light or Moderate

Travelers can choose between a light or moderate activity level. For a light level of activity, they should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives on bumpy roads, or easy hikes.

For a moderate level, travelers should be prepared for multiple hours of physical activity (e.g. hiking, kayaking, biking) each day.

Click here for a description of all activity levels.