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Subantarctic Safari - M/V Sylvia Earle

Argentina, Falkland Islands - Trip code SESS Polar
Days 17
Deposit From £1445
Price from £14453
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

This epic voyage takes you on a incomparable journey visiting enigmatic subantarctic islands. Discover the fascinating history of the Falkland islands and encounter the spectacular birdlife found there. Feel awed in the presence of South Georgia's king penguin colonies, some of the largest on earth and immerse yourself in the serene grandeur of the Antarctic Peninsula as you embrace the true spirit of exploration and adventure.

  • Photograph nesting black browed albatross - spot elusive macaroni penguin in the Falklands
  • Watch penguin couples - taking turns incubating their precious eggs
  • Witness elephant seal in their natural habitat - with their newly weaned pups
  • Soak up the rich history of this frozen land - enjoy extra time in the Falklands
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 15

    Lunch: 14

    Dinner: 15

  • Trip staff

    Expedition Crew

    Naturalist(s)

  • Transport

    M/V Greg Mortimer

    Zodiac

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    Accommodation

    15 nights premium boat

    2 nights comfortable hotel

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    Trip pace:

    Relaxed

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Join trip in Santiago

Upon arrival into Santiago Airport (SCL), please collect your luggage and look for a representative in the Arrivals Hall, holding a sign with your name on it. If you have booked your flights independently and are on the preferred flights, please make sure that you have advised us of your arrival flight details into Santiago, so that a transfer is booked for you. Be sure to keep all of your important documents - i.e. passport and travel insurance, and also your medication in your hand luggage, as your main luggage will be transferred separately to the hotel. There will be a voyage briefing in the early evening, where you will be able to meet your fellow expeditioners. The evening is at leisure for you to enjoy the local cuisine at one of Santiago's many restaurants.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: None

Day 2 - Fly to Stanley. Embark the M/V Sylvia Earle

This morning, please ensure that your luggage is clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Please take your luggage down to the hotel reception before breakfast. You will be transferred to the airport after breakfast for your flight to Stanley, the capital of the Falklands-Malvinas.

Stanley is a charming town with a distinctly British character, which you will discover on a panaramic tour. The town features terraced town houses, pioneer cottages and even an iconic red telephone box. Colourful buildings house cosy cafes, English pubs, souvenir shops, a post office and the fascinating Historic Dockyard Museum, offers informative displays on the maritime history and Stanley's links to Antarctica. The tour ends at the pier, where you will board the vessel. After embarkation, you'll have time to settle into your cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship, before the safety briefings out on deck.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Dinner

Day 3 - Falklands - Malvinas

The Falklands~Malvinas comprises of two large islands (East and West Falkland), with over 700 islands scattered off the coast. All but seven of these are uninhabited, with windswept coastlines, white sand beaches and crystal clear water. These beautifully barren islands are true wildlife havens, sheltering an impressive diversity of birdlife, including the largest black-browed albatross colony on earth. The cold, nutrient-rich waters surrounding the islands make this a prime location for spotting marine life. There are many beautiful areas to explore across the Falklands, each offering a unique perspective on this magnificent archipelago. Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing winds, weather and wildlife opportunities.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4 - Falklands - Malvinas

We generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. Even though we're north of the Antarctic Convergence it can be quite chilly here, so you'll want to layer up before joining Zodiac cruises into rocky coves or along sea cliffs, keeping watch for seal, sea lion, dolphin and porpoising penguin. Zodiacs will also transport you from the ship to land, where you may be able to visit albatross colonies, penguin rookeries and perhaps even have a traditional English 'tea and scones' at a local cottage.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5 - Falklands - Malvinas

There are many beautiful areas to explore across the Falklands-Malvinas, each offering a unique perspective on this magnificent archipelago. Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6 - Falklands - Malvinas

Enjoy a further day exploring this wildlife-rich archipelago, before we set sail towards South Georgia.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7 - At Sea

En-route to South Gerogia, we'll head across the Scotia Sea, enjoying more informative lectures from the expedition crew. Between Falklands~Malvinas and South Georgia, you will be entranced by the ceaseless flight of the many seabird that follow our wake, skilfully using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum. Our lecture program will continue highlighting all of the incredible sights we have witnessed over the past few days. You will have ample time to enjoy observing the seabird, whale-watching from the observation areas, or simply relaxing with a book.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8 - At Sea

As you near the rugged island of South Georgia, spare a thought for Captain James Cook who arrived here in 1775 and believed it to be the northern tip of a great southern continent. In fact, it is a small island only 176 km long, but with a 3,000 m snow-capped mountain range, some of the world's largest congregations of wildlife and a truly fascinating human history, South Georgia is an island of incredible riches. On approach, jagged mountain peaks rise steeply, while seabird are often spotted soaring around the ship. Take a deep breath and marvel at the spectacular glaciated scenery and perhaps enjoy some shelter from the prevailing westerly winds. This enchanting island is yours to explore.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 9 - South Georgia

South Georgia lies within the Antarctic Convergence and it can be quite chilly. Make sure you layer up before joining Zodiac cruises around craggy coves and along the rocky coastline in search of nesting penguin, seal haul-outs and bird cliffs. Remember to keep an eye out for South Georgia's kelp forests as well - these remarkable underwater ecosystems are quite mesmerising as their fronds sway back and forth on the water's surface.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 10 - South Georgia

Zodiacs will also transport you from ship to shore, where you can visit some of the largest king penguin colonies on earth, take guided walks among fur seals and elephant seals, carefully clamber up tussock grass steps not fully knowing what or who lies ahead, and wander along pebbled streams, grassy glacial outwash plains. We also hope to visit the remnants of South Georgia's thriving whaling stations and pay our respects to Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose incredible voyage of survival is synonymous with this island. If you have chosen an optional activity, you'll have the opportunity to do that whenever conditions allow.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 11 - South Georgia

In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, we may cruise by ship through fjords with towering cliffs of ancient stone, or into deeply indented bays towards dramatic glacier fronts. This is a great time to find a comfy spot in the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge to enjoy uninterrupted views of South Georgia's majestic coastline. Please note that in November and December, the extraordinary volume of fur seal populations can limit landings at some sites.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 12 - South Georgia

Enjoy your final landings in South Georgia, enjoying king penguin rookeries 100,000-strong. We also hope to visit the remnants of South Georgia's once thriving whaling stations and pay our respects to Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose incredible voyage of survival is synonymous with this island.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 13 - At Sea

As we sail away from splendid South Georgia, enjoy further presentations from the expedition team. Perhaps you may want to practise your photo editing skills, stay active in the gym, or simply watch seabirds frolic alongside the ship as we spend time at sea.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 14 - At Sea

As we commence the Drake crossing, make the most of the time on board the ship, reflecting on your incredible adventure in the subantarctic islands.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 15 - At Sea

Spend time out on deck, watching and photographing the many seabird, including the majestic albatross and giant petrel, who follow in our wake.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 16 - At Sea

We have one more day at sea to enjoy the ship facilities and the company of our expeditioners and crew.

Accommodation:

Grade: Premium Boat

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 17 - Trip ends in Ushuaia

During the early morning, we cruise up the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia. The trip ends after breakfast on board the ship. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart at any time after 12 pm. For those on earlier flights, a transfer will take you directly to Ushuaia City Airport (USH). For those on later flights, you will be transferred to downtown Ushuaia and given time to explore the city, before continuing on to the airport in time for your flight.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Climate and country information

Argentina

Climate

Argentina has a climate that ranges from subtropical in the north to cold in the temperate south. The Andes has erratic rainfall and flash floods from December to May. From June to September spring like sunny days temper the cold nights.

Time difference to GMT

-3

Plugs

3 Pin Flat

Religion

Predominantly Roman Catholic.

Language

Spanish is the main language throughout this region, along with a number of indigenous dialects, of

Falkland Islands

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


Whilst landings are included in the cost of your trip as per the outline itinerary, some departures aboard the MV Greg Mortimer have additional optional excursions which can be pre-booked with the ship operator directly. These will be charged at an additional fee, depending on the excursion and we recommend booking these in advance to ensure availability. Please speak to a member of our Polar team who will advise you on the booking process.

Clothing


Parkas
You should look for a lightweight, roomy, wind and water-resistant parka with some insulation. Bright colors are more visible - and thus safer - in polar environments.
Gloves
Keeping your hands warm and dry can be a challenge. Thin polypropylene gloves can be worn underneath warm outergloves. This allows you some protection from the cold when removing your gloves to operate your camera etc. We strongly recommend that you bring more than one pair of gloves, in case one gets wet (or lost).
Hat/Cap
Warm, woollen hat/cap to protect your ears, as well as a scarf, neck gaiter or other face protection, such as a balaclava.
Trousers
Water-resistant trousers of coated nylon or, even better, Gore-Tex® are essential for your comfort. They can be worn over your regular clothes to keep you warm and dry. We suggest that you purchase trousers a few sizes larger than you normally wear as you will be wearing them over other clothing. Gore-Tex® or similar fabrics are excellent for keeping out wind and water without trapping excess heat. Rain gear and Gore-Tex® products can be found in any outdoor sport clothing store. In addition to your waterproof trousers, warm ski pants are suggested if you have them. Warm trousers such as jeans, corduroys etc are also good.
Socks
Warm wool socks worn over a thin pair of silk, polypropylene socks should provide enough warmth and insulation for your feet. Bring several pairs of socks, since you will inevitably get your feet wet.
Outer Clothing Woollen, knit or cotton sweaters/tops, polar fleece tops (medium weight), several cotton turtlenecks and T-shirts for layering on and off the ship.
Underclothing
Thermal underwear is highly recommended as it will keep you warm without adding bulk. Most polar travellers prefer a lightweight version.

Footwear

Complimentary waterproof boots will be supplied on-board. However, if you have extra small or large feet, you are advised to bring your own. Also ensure you take good walking boots and trainers for relaxing.

Luggage

15Kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so
don't overload yourself.

Please note that a 15kgs luggage weight limit is sporadically enforced on the internal flight to Ushuaia, occasionally charges may be levied against passengers taking luggage in excess of 15kgs.

Equipment

Sunglasses and sun cream
Insect repellant
Personal toiletries
A refilllable water bottle
Books/reading material
Camera and memory cards
Seasickness remedy
Walking poles

Tipping

Local crew
Gratuities are included in the cost of your voyage.

Argentina

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£11
Dinner price
£20
Beer price
£3-4
Water price
£2
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Argentine Peso (ARS)
Recommended Currency For Exchange
You can choose to either change your money in advance or on arrival at the airport. Here you will find both ATMs and Bureau de Change. The exchange rate with the ARS is approximately ARS 57 to the British Pound, but do check for the most up to date rate prior to your trip. You may wish to take additional USD cash in order to pay for optional excursions, which is not dispensed by ATMs in Argentina.
Where To Exchange
Your Tour Leader will advise you on arrival.
ATM Availability
Available in Buenos Aires. In Patagonia some cards with Chip and Pin do not work in the ATM machines. Always have some cash as back-up as they are not always reliable
Credit Card Acceptance
Credit card are widely accepted in many shops and restaurants but some may be subject to a service charge
Travellers Cheques
We do not recommend Travellers Cheques

Falkland Islands

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Foreign Exchange
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

M/V Greg Mortimer, Zodiac

Ship description

The Sylvia Earle is a purpose-built expedition vessel and is the sister ship to the M/V Greg Mortimer. Built with the same revolutionary Ulstein X-Bow design, which allows the ship to comfortably navigate the ice, the Sylvia Earle features a distinctive glass atrium lounge at the bow of the vessel which offers stunning panoramic views. Other features include a swimming pool and Jacuzzi, from which you can soak up the passing scenery. With just 120 passengers, guests can enjoy spacious stateroom cabins and suites, a large mud room and easy boarding access at water level. The ship also has a library and multimedia room, gym, sauna and spa.

Cabins

The lead-in prices on our website are based on triple outward facing, Stateroom cabins. All staterooms have private bathrooms, ample storage, with twin beds. Many of the stateroom categories, have floor to ceiling windows that offer prime observation opportunities around the clock. Additionally, there are private balconies in most of the staterooms, allowing you to watch the world float past and take in the salty air of the open ocean. A full layout of the deck plan can be found under the Polar Ships section on our website. Your confirmed cabin type will appear on your Booking Confirmation, which will be sent on receipt of your deposit payment.

Ship dining

Meals are served in the large, spacious dining room with an open seating arrangement, perfect for swapping stories with your extended expedition family. A range of courses is offered at each meal time and you can enjoy a variety of house wines, beers and soft drinks which are included with your evening meal. Complimentary coffee, tea and snacks are available throughout the day and any additional drinks can be purchased at the fully-stocked bar.

On the last day of your trip, the team on the MV Greg Mortimer will provide a special farewell four-course

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.

Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.

 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related issues with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.

USA (If flights transit): you will need to apply for an ESTA if you are transiting the USA as you will have to disembark and clear immigration before re-boarding for the onward flight.

Citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and passport holders from several EU countries can enter the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) - where you apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), which applies if you enter the country by sea or by air. This must be done on line - https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov no later than 72 hours prior to travel.
Travellers who have not registered before their trip are likely be refused boarding. When completing an application for transit you should enter the words 'In Transit' with your final destination location in the address line

You must have an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner. UK passports which are biometric feature a small gold symbol (camera) at the bottom of the front cover.

If you have visited Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan in the past five years or are dual nationals of these countries, you cannot travel under the Visa Waiver Programme. Instead you will need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. If you are unable to provide a valid visa before boarding flights to the US, or entering via another method, you may not be permitted to travel.

For further information please check out the US embassy website.
Visa applications - http://london.usembassy.gov/niv/apply.html


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Argentina

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, polio and hepatitis A. Please consult your travel clinic for the latest advice on Malaria, Dengue and Zika Virus. Please take preventative measures to avoid mosquito bites - these include mosquito repellent as well as long trousers and long sleeve shirts to cover up when necessary. Please note many countries in Central America, South America and the Caribbean require a yellow fever vaccination certificates if travelling from infected areas. A detailed list of these countries can be found on the NaTHNaC website - http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries. Also on the NaTHNaC site there is a list of Countries (and specific areas within a country) which are at risk of infection and a vaccination is therefore recommended. Yellow fever is only recommended for those travelling to Iguazu falls. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Falkland Islands

Polar information
Ship information
The Sylvia Earle is a purpose-built expedition vessel and is the sister ship to the M/V Greg Mortimer. Built with the same revolutionary Ulstein X-Bow design, which allows the ship to comfortably navigate the ice, the Sylvia Earle features a distinctive glass atrium lounge at the bow of the vessel which offers stunning panoramic views. Other features include a swimming pool and Jacuzzi, from which you can soak up the passing scenery. With just 120 passengers, guests can enjoy spacious stateroom cabins and suites, a large mud room and easy boarding access at water level. The ship also has a library and multimedia room, gym, sauna and spa.

Dates, prices and booking

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
Fri 4 Nov 2022 - Sun 20 Nov 2022
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£14453
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Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 

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