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Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falklands

Primary Itinerary
February 15 - March 10, 2014 (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.
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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.
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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.

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Days 11 & 12 — At Sea

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