Your Guide to Antarctica: Which Trip is Best for Me?
Wild Women Expeditions offers three unforgettable ways to experience Antarctica. If you’re wondering which itinerary is best suited for you, we take a deep dive below and tell you what’s different about each adventure. Yes, some faces and places appear in all three navigations. Each voyage begins and ends in the most southerly city in the world, Ushuaia, Argentina. That means you can taste-test alfajores (Argentina’s beloved dulce de leche cookies) coming and going on all three trips! You can also experience the historic Beagle Channel, the iconic Drake Passage (which splits the tip of the Antarctic peninsula from the southernmost tip of South America) and the polar plunge, if you dare, on every trip.
Aboard the 128-passenger Ocean Adventurer you’re encouraged to join the dynamic “Floating U” and participate in workshops that focus on photography, wildlife behavior, marine biology, ornithology, geology, glaciology (yes, there’s a lot of ‘ology’) and Antarctic history. All ship expeditions include Zodiac excursions, shore landings and optional add-on activities like kayaking. Plus, you get a fancy new expedition parka to strut your stuff in!
Now, for the polar plunge! This is just the tip of the iceberg of course! Here’s what you need to know with a tune to set the mood.
Soundtrack: “Southern Cross” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
The skinny: November 14–December 3, 2023 (18 days)
What’s great about it?
This is the only voyage that visits the Falkland Islands. You’ll see the crazy juxtaposition of undulating GREEN hills, talcum-white sand beaches AND have the opportunity to order genuine fish and chips in the British outpost of Stanley.
Expect fur and elephant seal pups and King penguins fit for a Queen (this is the largest colony of Kings on the planet!). You’ll see the greatest concentration of wildlife on the planet in South Georgia–count on chinstrap, gentoo and Adélie penguins too. Over 30 million birds congregate here including the wandering albatross.
In Grytviken, the settlement that surrounds the first whaling station ever established in sub-Antarctic waters, you’ll visit Shackleton’s grave and understand his desperate quest even more.
Consider this: If you’re crazy about penguins, you’ll see the Magellanic and southern rockhoppers on this one as well! For penguins and pints, this adventure offers both! You’ll also have the opportunity to see Southern giant petrels, endemic Falkland steamer ducks, kelp and dolphin gulls and Shag Rocks (bird mecca!).
Soundtrack: “Rock the Boat” by Hues Corporation
The skinny: February 5–20, 2024 (16 days)
In February, the seal pups of South Georgia are older and more playful. It’s like one big non-stop recess and wrestling match. You’ll see biodiversity at its best in the midst of the deafening bird colonies, barking seals and chatty penguins.
Note: Just like the Explorers and Kings itinerary (above), you’ll be in the ghostly company of Shackleton in Grytviken. Boo! Fret not, you won’t miss out on Shag Rocks either (Mother Nature permitting). Shags are a cormorant family member and they like to hang out with the prions (also known as whalebirds), a small petrel. Both are found in very healthy populations on the six islets of Shag Rocks.
Consider this: This one is 100% thrills and krill!
Soundtrack: “Wide Open Spaces” by The Chicks
The skinny: December 2–12, 2023 (11 days)
What’s to brag about?
It’s short and sweet but this one packs a penguin punch!
You’ll see chinstrap, gentoo and Adélie penguins and four seal species: Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Humpbacks and minkes love to tease the visitors as do the orcas (occasionally).
Consider this: Due to the shorter navigation route, you may not see all the penguin, seal and bird species but the up close and personal encounters you will have are everything! You won’t see Shackleton’s grave either but you will see the albatross, and that’s a biggie. It has the longest wingspan of any bird on the planet.
The Unofficial but Overriding White Continent Disclaimer: We don’t like to blame Mother Nature but she has her off days and weather conditions can change in a snap and affect arrival times. Airline schedule changes have also been known to occur in Argentina too so pack a little patience with your extra granola bars.
And a friendly reminder…
Embracing the unexpected is an integral part of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something you must bring to a voyage (this doesn’t mean you have to demonstrate a downward dog to participate!). There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned in these itineraries may be changed to other destinations equally as riveting if necessary.
Oh, and one last thing before you book and snag an early bird deal:
Our small ship adventures are not exclusive Wild Women Expeditions or 100% women-only trips. The Wild Women group size on the Ocean Adventurer (capacity 128 guests) can range from 10 to 40 women. In addition, the ship’s staff and crew (87) will also be co-ed, just like the penguins.
Learn more by speaking to one of our Polar Experts at email@example.com or call us at 1-888-993-1222.