Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Antarctica
An extraordinary voyage following the footsteps of past Antarctic explorers aboard the Ocean Albatros Antarctica Cruises
Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Antarctica
Conquer the infamous Drake Passage
Immense icebergs and glaciers
Ernest Shackleton's Grave
The Polartours experience
Free photo workshop
Expert guides answer all questions
Your trip is 100% carbon offset
Departing from Ushuaia in Argentina, you'll cross the mighty Drake Passage en route for the South Shetland Islands. Here you will make Zodiac landings at penguin rookeries, research stations and fascinating viewpoints. Continuing southward, you will explore the Antarctic Sound with its impressive icebergs and enter the Weddell Sea in search for wildlife. Get a glimpse into the famous cruise passage made by explorer, Shackleton. You'll sail between Elephant Island and South Georgia, one of the world's greatest natural wonders, in search of wildlife.
Towards the end of the expedition cruise, you will pay a visit to the incredible Falkland Islands. The capital of Port Stanley with its quaint English architecture will be our first stop before venturing further west for Zodiac landings and wildlife observations on pristine and sheltered beaches.
We compensate all 3.07 tons of CO2 that this trip will cause.
Your ship: Ocean Albatros
Welcome aboard the brand new Ocean Albatros. This stunning, purpose-built polar cruise ship will be deployed to a large selection of expedition cruise destinations, Antarctica, the Arctic, and a variety of exciting new destinations in between.
Ocean Albatros offers a total of 95 comfortable staterooms and suites, all with unobstructed sea view, and most with their own balcony. Like her sistership, the Ocean Victory, her amenities include two restaurants, a wellness area, the “Albatros Nordic Bar”, an open deck dining facility, a modern lecture lounge, and other state-of-the-art amenitie … Read more about Ocean Albatros
Keep in mind this is an expedition cruise, so your itinerary will depend greatly on the weather, amount of ice and wildlife breeding behavior.
The end of the world. The beginning of everything.
Arrive and embark in Ushuaia, Argentina - the world’s southernmost town. Explore the quaint city or local countryside. Alternatively, consider a day trip off the beaten path to the raw, natural archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. It's a hiker's paradise with rugged snow-capped mountains, glaciers, flower-filled meadows and boggy quagmires. Afterwards we embark the ship Ocean Albatros, our home for the coming days.
Our journey begins as we navigate through the calms of Beagle Channel, a strait in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago.
Sail to the Falkland Islands
The Falklands Passage is the name given to the stretch of the Southern Ocean between mainland South America and the Falkland Islands. This is usually a 2-day sailing.
During this time, your naturalist guides will hold a series of informative and exciting talks and lectures about the wildlife and the geology that makes the Falklands and the Southern Ocean so remarkable.
Your guides will also be available to help you spot the various species of seabirds you will encounter, as well as using their expert eye to spot whales and other cetaceans in the water as you make your way to your next destination.
Port Stanley & the Falkland Islands
Lying 300 miles off the Patagonian coast, and 750 miles from the Antarctic Peninsula, the Falkland Islands (also known as Islas Malvinas in Spanish) is a far-flung British overseas territory.
Consisting of two major islands and over 770 smaller islands and islets, they are home to a hardy resident population of about 3,400 islanders. With a chequered history of disputed sovereignty, the islands were uninhabited until the 1700s.
With an economy that was traditionally driven by whaling, then fishing and farming, the islands have more recently diversified into sustainable tourism. With an abundance of wildlife, particularly birds - including some species found nowhere else - the islanders have been restoring natural habitats previously lost to grazing, as well as farming in ways that are more environmentally friendly.
There are a variety of sites to visit where you can see endemic and migrant birds, as well as several colonies of penguins and seals. Whales and dolphins are frequently spotted in the Sound and off the shoreline around the islands.
You will also see the historic capital, Stanley, which visitors often remark reminds them of how England used to be 50 years or more ago…
Sail to South Georgia
The passage to South Georgia to or from the Falklands or South America is usually a 2-day sailing. On your way to the magnificent yet remote South Georgia, your expert guides will enthrall you with a range of talks and lectures all about the remarkable concentrations of Antarctic wildlife that can be found on the island.
As well as the huge numbers of breeding birds and sea mammals, you'll also learn about the geology and human history of the island, and its importance in the exploration (and exploitation) of the Southern Ocean.
On deck, your guides will help you to identify the bird species that frequently follow the ships, as well as spotting cetaceans and other marine life you can spot en route.
This remote and mountainous island might seem to be barren at first, given that it has no trees and is snow-covered for much of the year. However, appearances can be deceptive, and South Georgia is teeming with life!
Not only is it home to important breeding grounds for fur seals, elephant seals, and king penguins, it is also the only known habitat of the South Georgia Pipit - the Antarctic's only songbird - and the South Georgia Pintail duck.
High, rugged mountains and stunning coastal fjords make cruising the coast of South Georgia a spectacle you will remember.
Used as a base for early-20th century sealers, there are relics of this industry at various places around the island - a reminder of the human history of exploitation of Antarctica and its natural resources.
At sea towards Antarctica. Lectures and bird watching
The next days are spent travelling on the South Atlantic Sea's southern waters, crossing the 60th parallel south and from hence on, we are in the Southern Ocean's swells.
During our time at sea, a variety of activities will be arranged on board and it provides the perfect opportunity to socialize with fellow travelers.
As the white shimmer of Antarctica looms on our horizon, the presence of wildlife multiples by tens of thousands with many species of lively penguins, inquisitive seals, nesting birds and the spray of marine mammals.
Antarctic Sound & Weddell Sea
A spectacular destination, the Antarctic Sound is the gateway to the Weddell Sea and is always home to many beautiful icebergs.
This 30-mile stretch of water cutting through the base of the Antarctic Peninsula offers remarkable vistas as you sail past Joinville Island.
Only visited by expedition cruises since 2005, the Sound is often nicknamed "iceberg alley" and can sometimes be blocked to cruises in years where the surrounding ice shelves calve in large numbers.
With towering, imposing icebergs and stunning glaciated mountains, the Antarctic Sound is a photographer's delight and offers some of the most breathtaking sights in the Peninsula.
The Drake Passage
The Drake Passage is the name given to the infamous stretch of open ocean between the tip of South America and the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.
It usually takes 2 or 3 days to cross the Drake Passage, and this is a great time to learn from your expert Antarctic naturalist guides. Through a series of fascinating talks and lectures, you'll begin to learn more about the remarkable wildlife and awe-inspiring geology of the Antarctic continent.
Your guides are always on hand to help you identify the sea bird species that always follow the ships, as well as spotting whales and other cetaceans that can be seen en route to the Antarctic Peninsula or the South Shetland Islands.
Your unforgettable Antarctic cruise comes to an end in Ushuaia
Beaver watching (opt.)
Dinghy tour to Lapataia Bay
This morning, we arrive back in Ushuaia for the conclusion of our voyage, where you can continue your adventures or begin your return home.
Dates & Prices
Preferred date unavailable? Contact us
Single Cabin Supplement
When booking online, you can choose the option to "Upgrade to single occupancy". This will guarantee you the whole cabin to yourself, for an additional fee. If you don't select this option, then another traveler of the same sex might be placed into the same cabin with you.
19-day cruise with accommodation in a shared double stateroom featuring en suite facilities
All Zodiac landings and excursions as per itinerary
Rubber boots provided for entire voyage
Guiding and lectures by your experienced expedition leader and team
English-speaking expedition team
Free photo workshop from experienced photographer onboard
Full board on the ship - breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks
Free tea and coffee 24 hours daily
Welcome and farewell drinks
Online visual journal access after your voyage with photos, species list, log and more!
Taxes and port fees
What's not included
Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
Single room supplement and stateroom upgrades
Meals not on board the ship
Beverages (other than coffee and tea)
Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 14 per person per day)
Credit Card charges may apply
A fuel surcharge may apply at a later stage. More info
Should I Cross the Drake Passage by Ship or Fly to Antarctica?
When it comes to traveling to Antarctica, one of the first questions that often arises is, "Can I fly to Antarctica?". The answer is: Yes, you can. Most trips start in Patagonia (Ushuaia and Punta Arenas) and cross the Drake Passage by ship, but there are also trips that use planes to cross that infamous sea passage. Here are the Pros and Cons for each method:
Flying to Antarctica:
Pros: Flying to Antarctica is the quickest way to reach the continent. It offers convenience and is often the choice for those with very limited time.
Cons: There are limited commercial flights to Antarctica, and these are primarily reserved for research and expedition purposes. Tourist accessibility is limited, and it can be costly. Also, as not many trips include flights, you'll be limiting your choice a lot if you decide to only look for such trips.
Crossing the Drake Passage by ship:
Pros: If you choose to cross the Drake Passage by ship, you embark on an incredible adventure. This journey is not just a means of transportation; it's an expedition in itself. The crossing takes 1.5 - 2 days, which are filled with scientific lectures that prepare you for the experience. You'll witness diverse wildlife, including penguins and whales, as your anticipation starts building up. To us, the crossing is a quintessential experience of a true Antarctic explorer.
Cons: Crossing the Drake Passage takes some time, and the seas can be rough. It's not the quickest way to reach the continent, and you need to allocate more time for your expedition.
In conclusion, when it comes to traveling to Antarctica, you have these two choices. Flying offers efficiency and direct access, perfect for specific purposes. Crossing the Drake Passage by ship provides an unmatched adventure and connection with Antarctica's unique environment. Consider what truly matters to you, and you'll find the Antarctic transportation choice that suits your goals and spirit of exploration.
What activities can I expect on a Polar Cruise?
All cruises in the polar regions operate to itineraries that are more-or-less fixed. We say "more or less", because wildlife (breeding, seasonality) and weather always play an important role in routing. Most cruises will offer a range of land-based and water-based activities that you will enjoy at various points in your cruise, including:
- Land excursions (including hiking trails, visitor centers, time relaxing on beaches, observing animals, etc.)
- Bird Watching
- Snorkeling (from ship or beaches)
- Dinghy rides
- Diving (on ships with diving itineraries)
- Naturalist presentations. These usually take place every evening - on board the bigger ships also with help of projectors, microscopes etc.
All boats carry English speaking, scientifically trained guides. They will lead you on your excursions, allowing you to learn as much as possible about the unique wildlife and habitats of the Polar Regions.
How to choose the right ship?
Choosing the right ship for a cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic seems difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Our fleet is over 30 vessels, we are sure that there is the perfect one for you. Please, follow these simple steps, and you will be able to find your ideal ship:
- Determine your budget and desired level of comfort: Are you looking for luxury or more budget-friendly options? On our website you can set the price range.
- Consider ship size: Large ships offer more amenities and facilities, but they can also feel crowded and impersonal. Smaller ships offer a more personal experience, but may not have as many amenities.
- Look at the cabins: Although you probably won’t spend much time in your cabin, look at the photos and read the descriptions to make sure you're happy with the one you choose.
- Consider the activities on board: Are you interested in kayaking, camping, diving or a photography workshop? Or maybe you want to take part in a Citizen Science Program? These activities can enhance your overall experience. See what our ships have to offer.
- Read customer reviews: Learn about other travelers' experiences by reading reviews.
- Ask your Polar Specialist: Feel free to contact your Polar Specialist. They are happy to share their knowledge and are always ready to help.
In addition: We work with responsible partners who provide a great experience for their passengers. All of our providers are committed to sustainability and to preserving the beauty of the polar regions. You don’t need to worry about the impact of your cruise, because we’ve already taken care of it.
What is the booking process for a Polartours Cruise?
We love to help people find their dream vacation to the Arctic and Antarctic. Whether you give us a call, contact us via email, or use our website inquiry form, one of our Polar travel experts will be more than happy to answer any questions, recommend ships and itineraries, and walk you through the whole process!
Step 1: Find your perfect trip. If you have already started looking for Polar Cruises, you will have quickly noticed that the sheer amount of options can be quite overwhelming. To help you navigate the countless departures and itineraries that our fleet offers, we have put together a great filter page for Antarctic and Arctic Expedition Cruises. Use this page to filter all trips by price, date, ship category, and even destinations you wish to visit. We update all dates, prices, and availabilities daily, and are proud to host what is doubtlessly the world's most complete collection of information.
Step 2: Found something you love? We'll hold your spaces, free of charge! If you find a cruise you like, you can either inquire directly with us or make an unbinding booking online. We will then reach out to the shipowners to put a hold on your spaces for a limited time, free of charge. Once we have confirmed your block with the ship, we will send you a written confirmation of your reservation and include full payment details in an invoice. Typically, we are able to hold unpaid reservations for up to 1 week*. This gives us time to clarify all your remaining questions, and also ensures that no other passengers can book your spaces, while we continue our conversation.
Step 3: Confirm your booking. In order to confirm your booking, we ask for a deposit payment. You can pay via bank transfer or credit card. Keep in mind, that we can only hold your spaces for a limited amount of time. If we don't receive your payment after this time, we can no longer guarantee that the places will be available or that the price won't increase. To prevent disappointment, we will automatically cancel your reservation if we don't receive your deposit by the due date stated on your booking reservation.
Step 4: Booking confirmation & Payment. As soon as we have received your deposit and a completed passenger information form, we will be pleased to send your booking confirmation and updated invoice, along with your trip itinerary, important information, and other great tips for your cruise.
Step 5: Final payment. In your initial invoice, we will define a final payment date by when you need to pay us the remaining amount of your trip. Once we have received your final payment we'll send you your cruise documents and voucher. As your trip approaches, we make sure to pass along all necessary information, so you feel super prepared and stress-free.
*For last-minute bookings, we might not be able to hold your spaces for so long. We will also require the full payment of your cruise upon booking.
When is the best time to book?
An expedition cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic is a big deal! Most people plan for this type of trip at least 8 months in advance. This means the earlier you book, the better chance you'll have to reserve your prefered cabins. Early bird discounts are also popular and a great way to get 10-30% off your cruise.
Most expedition cruises offer optional activities like camping and kayaking, but the spaces are limited. A cruise with 120 passengers can have only 10-15 spaces for kayaking. These are reserved on a first come first served basis. The earlier you book, the higher your chance of grabbing a spot.
Even though last minute deals do occur, keep in mind that the airline prices will be much higher if you purchase them last minute. You may save a few hundred on your cruise, but you may end up paying the most for airfare.
What can i do to avoid seasickness?
If you are prone to motion sickness then here are a few hints to help you.
Firstly, book a cabin in the middle of the ship. The middle of the ship will move less, both in roll and in pitch. Secondly, chose a larger ship. Bigger vessels typically are more stable, and some of them are even equipped with "stabilizers", fins under water that remove the rolling in the swells. Thirdly, take medical advice on anti-seasickness medication. Some traditional remedies are said to be very effective, such as taking ginger or using commercially-available acupressure wristbands.
Watch this informative video about life onboard an expedition ship and seasickness from our expert guide and Polartours Brand Ambassador, Kevin.
Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Antarctica
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