Hundreds of Magellanic penguins on the beach with blue water and green hillsides in the background on a sunny day on the South Georgia & Polar Circle Cruise.
A group of Macaroni Penguins stands beside tussock grass on the South Georgia & Polar Circle Cruise.
A seal pokes its head above calm blue waters with snowcapped peaks in the distance on a sunny day in Antarctica on the South Georgia & Polar Circle Cruise.
Humpback whale tail fluke surfacing above icy blue waters with icebergs behind on the South Georgia & Polar Circle Cruise.
A flock of gentoo penguins stand on a sandy beach with turquoise waves rolling in behind them on the South Georgia & Polar Circle Cruise.
View Photos
Polar Regions Antarctica Cruise

South Georgia & Polar Circle Wildlife Cruise

This 23-day Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula cruise aboard the 170-guest Janssonius is an animal-lover’s dream come true. The expedition explores one of the last untamed areas on Earth–a land of ruggedly beautiful landscapes and amazingly varied wildlife. Enjoy included photography and videography workshops along the way, to ensure a return with documentation of the lifelong memories forged on this small ship expedition.

Experience a large slice of Antarctic wildlife and history on this comprehensive Antarctica voyage, cruising first to the Falkland Islands and South Georgia before heading to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands with unique stops at the South Orkney Islands and Elephant Island along the way. Shackleton history comes alive at Elephant Island, where his men were marooned for months awaiting rescue, as well as South Georgia Island, where Shackleton finally found help and is commemorated. Before returning via the Drake Passage, finish the itinerary by cruising along the Antarctic Peninsula and make an attempt to cross the Polar Circle, venturing farther south than most Antarctic travelers.

Passage is Janssonius, a 170-guest, purpose-built polar expedition ship that combines performance, safety and stability with superior comfort and class. Janssonius’s forward-thinking core technology pairs guests with an efficient, sustainability-focused polar small ship, ensuring this 23-day voyage helps protect the wildlife and landscapes it features.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Antarctica cruises and South Georgia cruises.



Itinerary

Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Elephant Island, Antarctica & Polar Circle Itinerary

The South Georgia & Polar Circle Wildlife Cruise operates round-trip from Ushuaia, Argentina, featuring a plethora of wildlife along the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island, the South Orkney Islands, Elephant Island, the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula with an attempt to reach the Polar Circle.

Route map of South Georgia & Polar Circle Wildlife Cruise in Antarctica, including visits to the Falklands, South Orkney Islands, Elephant Island & the Peninsula.
Read More
Day 1
Embark Ushuaia, Argentina

In the afternoon, embark in the small resort town of Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world, nicknamed “The End of the World.” Sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.

Accommodations

Janssonius

Meals

dinner

Read More
Day 2
At Sea

Entering the westerlies, the ship is followed by several species of storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.

Accommodations

Janssonius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
Falkland Islands

In the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), take in an abundance of tame wildlife, including possible sightings of Peale’s and Commerson’s dolphins. A hike along the shore of West Point Island provides views of shore birds flying, black-browed albatrosses on nests and a rookery of rockhopper penguins. Saunders provides opportunities to see more black-browed albatross, imperial shags and four species of breeding penguins (gentoo, king, Magellanic and rockhopper).

Accommodations

Janssonius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
Port Stanley, Falklands

Visit Port Stanley, the capital of the Falklands and center of its culture with approximately 2,100 inhabitants. Port Stanley has some Victorian-era charm: colorful houses, well-tended gardens and English-style pubs are all found here. Take in several century-old clipper ships nearby, silent witnesses to the hardships of 19th century sailors. The small but interesting museum is also worth a visit, covering the early days of settlement up to the Falklands War. Feel free to wander at will, though be aware that admission fees to local attractions are not included in the voyage for the 2021-22 season; museum admission is included for the 2022-23 season.

Accommodations

Janssonius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 5 - 6
At Sea

En route to South Georgia, cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature may drop significantly in the time span of only a few hours. Near the Convergence there may be sightings of a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship, including several species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, prions and skuas.

Accommodations

Janssonius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 7 - 10
South Georgia

Today arrive at the first activity site in South Georgia. Weather conditions on South Georgia can be challenging and will largely dictate the program. Over the next few days, possible sites to visit are each fascinating in their own way. At Prion Island, hope to witness large wandering albatross sitting on eggs or nursing their chicks (note: the island is closed to visitors during the early part of the breeding season from November 20-January 7). In Fortuna Bay, penguins and seals inhabit the beaches and guests may follow the final section of Shackleton’s route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness. The route leads across the mountain pass beyond “Shackleton’s Waterfall.” The terrain is partly swampy and some small streams may have to be crossed along the way.

Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay and Gold Harbour house the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia and are also home to a substantial number of Antarctic fur seals during the breeding season of December through January. At Grytviken, see an abandoned whaling station, where king penguins now walk in the streets and elephant seals have taken residency. Opportunities may exist to visit the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave.

Accommodations

Janssonius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 11
At Sea

A multitude of seabirds follow the ship southwards. At some point, the ship may encounter sea ice and at the edge of the ice, some south polar skua, snow petrels and other seabirds may trail the vessel south.

Accommodations

Janssonius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 12
South Orkney Islands

Weather and ice depending, hope to visit Orcadas Base, an Argentinean scientific station located on Laurie Island in the South Orkney archipelago. The friendly base personnel will show their facilities from where there are expansive views of the surrounding glaciers. Alternatively, the ship may attempt a landing in Signy Island’s Shingle Cove.

Accommodations

Janssonius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 13
Elephant Island

The ship has now completed roughly the same route (albeit in the opposite direction) as Sir Ernest Shackleton did using only a small life boat, the James Caird, in spring of 1916. Watching Elephant Island materialize on the horizon after crossing all that water, it’s hard not to marvel at how he and his five-man crew accomplished that feat. The purpose of Shackleton’s crossing was to rescue 22 shipwrecked members of his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, also known as the Endurance Expedition, who were stranded on Elephant Island. For four and a half months, Shackleton undertook this legendary rescue.

Conditions on Elephant Island are severe. The coastline is mostly made up of vertical rock and ice cliffs highly exposed to the elements. Weather permitting, take the Zodiacs to Point Wild, where the marooned members of Shackleton’s expedition miraculously managed to survive.

Accommodations

Janssonius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 14
Antarctic Sound

If ice permits, cruise into the Antarctic Sound at the northwestern edge of the Weddell Sea. Here colossal tabular icebergs herald the ship’s arrival to the eastern edges of the Antarctic Peninsula. Brown Bluff is a potential location for a landing, where there may be the chance to set foot on the continent.

Accommodations

Janssonius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 15
South Shetland Islands

The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often cloaked in mist, but they do offer subtle pleasures: a variety of flora (mosses, lichens, flowering grasses) and no small amount of fauna (gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, southern giant petrels). In Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. Here, find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station and thousands of cape petrels; along with kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns. A good hike is a possibility in this fascinating and desolate volcanic landscape.

Accommodations

Janssonius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 16 - 20
Antarctic Peninsula

Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and unique polar wildlife below and above welcome the ship into the otherworldly expanse of Antarctica. Enter the area around Gerlache Strait, venturing into one of the most beautiful settings Antarctica has to offer.

Hope to visit Neko Harbour, an epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, that offers opportunities for a Zodiac cruise and landing for the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks. Possibly take a Zodiac cruise in Paradise Bay’s sprawling, ice-flecked waters, where there’s a good chance of encountering humpback and minke whales. If ice allows, sail through the Lemaire Channel in search of Adélie penguins, blue-eyed shags, humpback and minke whales, and leopard seals amongst Pléneau & Petermann Islands.

The ship aims to then cut south, reaching Crystal Sound and the Antarctic Circle. Possibly land at Detaille Island and visit an abandoned British research station, taking in the limitless landscape. Afterward, venture back into the area around Lemaire Channel and the Gerlache Strait. Depart from the Peninsula when weather and sea conditions on the Drake Passage are predicted as favorable.

Accommodations

Janssonius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 21 - 22
Drake Passage

On the journey across the Drake Passage, enjoy time looking through photos and talking with the naturalists about all the wildlife and history of Antarctica experienced on this voyage.

Accommodations

Janssonius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 23
Disembark Ushuaia, Argentina

Arrive in the morning and disembark in Ushuaia.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary; all meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea; all shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; free use of rubber boots and snowshoes; luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation; pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation); all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; comprehensive pre-departure material.

Exclusions

Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post-land arrangements; transfers to the vessel; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (strongly recommended); optional activities; excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The South Georgia & Polar Circle Wildlife Cruise begins and ends in Ushuaia, Argentina (USH). Embarkation time is between 4:00-5:00pm on day of departure. We strongly advise all passengers to arrive the night prior to departure and get a hotel in Ushuaia to avoid baggage and flight delays. The ship sails around 6:00pm on day of departure. Disembarkation is after breakfast on final day between 8:30-9:00am. Plan flights to depart Ushuaia anytime after noon on the final day. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Various optional activities may be available on the South Georgia & Polar Circle Wildlife Cruise. Hiking and photography are included. The following table details what added-fee activities may be available on each departure and their per-person cost for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons. Key: (D) polar diving $950 (2021-22) or $1,100 (2022-23). Please contact AdventureSmith to reserve activity space with your booking.

2021-22 Season:
Feb 21 – Mar 15, 2022 – Janssonius – D

2022-23 Season:
Feb 22 – Mar 16, 2023 – Janssonius – D

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 1.7x the per-person Twin or Superior listed rates. Single travelers wishing to book on a “sharing basis” may do so at no additional cost in Twin, Triple or Quadruple categories upon availability.

Families & Children

Upon request, children under 16 years old traveling with parents may receive 40% discount in Grand Suite, Superior, Triple (sharing with 2 parents/adults) and Quadruple Cabins (sharing with 3 parents/adults). Some voyages may be excluded.

Travel Insurance

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $100,000 per person. Trip cancellation insurance is optional but highly recommended. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditionswildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Antarctica expedition. Visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Feb 21 - Mar 15, 2022
Janssonius • 23 days
brown diver icon depicting diving activity
From $15200USD
Per Person
Read More
Read More
Feb 22 - Mar 16, 2023
Janssonius • 23 days
brown diver icon depicting diving activity
From $15700USD
Per Person
Read More
Read More
brown diver icon depicting diving activity Diving
Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
Janssonius

The 170-guest M/V Janssonius is being built exclusively for polar cruises in Antarctica and the Arctic. View ship info and a review from the experts at AdventureSmith Explorations.

Expert Review

Reviews From Our Experts So You Know What To Expect

Andrew Browning • December 1st, 2020
Expert Review: The South Georgia Expedition Experience

An AdventureSmith expert returns to Antarctica—this time stopping at the wildlife Mecca of South Georgia Island. Learn all about the Island's wildlife, landscape, trip highlights to differences and see if South Georgia should be part of your Antarctica expedition.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Cruise

Add to Wishlist
7 Day Land Tour
Torres Del Paine Trek

The trails amongst the famous Torres del Paine craggy mountains are among the world's classic trekking routes. By day, explore nature in its raw form while winding through these exceptional mountains to enjoy the cozy luxury of EcoCamp's unique dome accommodations by night.

From $1690USD
Jan Feb Mar Apr Oct Nov Dec
Add to Wishlist
4 - 7 Day Land Tour
Patagonia Wildlife Safari

Discover the magic at the end of the world on a 4- to 7-day Patagonia Wildlife Safari! No matter the length of your stay, you will be blown away by the unlimited beauty of the world heritage site Torres del Paine National Park.

From $1890USD
Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec
Add to Wishlist
4 - 7 Day Land Tour
Explora Patagonia

This 4-, 5-, 6- or 7-day lodge-based trip in the center of Torres del Paine National Park offers over 40 unique explorations to choose from, including Base Torres and Grey Glacier. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Paine Massif and Salto Chico waterfall from home base.

Special Offer
From $1766USD
Year Round
More to Explore

Trips You Might Also Like

Add to Wishlist
19 - 22 Day Cruise
Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica

Meet at least six penguin species along the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and Falkland Islands, aboard one of four small research vessels. Spend 19-22 days sailing the Weddell Sea to the Antarctic Peninsula, and consider polar diving!

From $12600USD
Jan Feb Oct Nov Dec
Add to Wishlist
11 - 14 Day Cruise
Polar Circle Cruise

Journey across the Antarctic Circle on this 11- to 14-day expedition aboard four small ships for the chance to experience all the Antarctic magic from Hannah Point to the southern regions of Crystal Sound. With opportunities to kayak, camp and polar dive, this unique itinerary will not disappoint!

From $7550USD
Feb Mar Apr
Add to Wishlist
11 - 13 Day Cruise
Antarctic Peninsula Including South Shetland Islands

Cruise the Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands aboard a small research vessel, with opportunities to camp, kayak and snowshoe amongst penguins, icebergs, seals, seabirds and more!

From $7250USD
Jan Feb Mar Dec
Exit Created with Sketch.

South Georgia & Polar Circle Wildlife Cruise

test message
View Wishlist