Shackleton’s Antarctica, South Georgia & Falklands Explorer

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Follow the path of Shackleton to the Great White Continent

Calling all wildlife enthusiasts, history buffs, thrill seekers and photographers – this is the adventure for you. Embark on an epic 21-day journey to discover the wonders of the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. After several days of excursions among the snow and ice of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands, follow in the footsteps of the heroic polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, tracing his route north via Elephant Island to the rugged archipelago of South Georgia. From legendary historical sites to more than 250,000 king penguins, South Georgia is sure to leave you in awe. To round out the final part of your voyage, the rolling hills and windswept albatross colonies of the Falkland Islands await on your journey home to Ushuaia.

Why you’ll love this trip

  • This expedition hits three major Antarctic hotspots – the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands – maximising chances of spotting wildlife and exploring diverse polar landscapes.
  • Discover the penguin colonies, famous sites and glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands.
  • Explore Grytviken and Elephant Island, sites written into the legend of Shackleton’s historic Antarctic voyage.
  • In the Falklands, wander the quaint British town of Stanley and explore its charming island farmsteads teeming with nesting seabirds, including numerous albatross and penguin species.
  • We carbon-offset all our trips, serve only sustainable seafood, avoid single-use plastics and more to help preserve Antarctica (and the world) for future generations.
  • Retrace the route of the legendary Sir Ernest Shackleton, who led three expeditions to the Antarctic region, and uncover the historical events of his journey.
  • Customise your trip with a wide range of optional activities on top of regular Zodiac excursions. Explore the water by kayak, sign up for a photography masterclass, rejuvenate with onboard yoga and a massage, take a bracing polar plunge or camp overnight like a true polar explorer.
  • While most polar expeditions of this kind have a crew-to-passenger ratio of ten, fifteen or twenty to one, Intrepid expeditions on the Ocean Endeavour have an expedition crew member for every eight passengers for a greater personal touch.


Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
Named after the vessel The Beagle, on which famous naturalist Charles Darwin sailed through the area, the rugged Beagle Channel will greet you from the plane window on your approach to Ushuaia. It’s here in this scenic seaside city that your journey to South Georgia and the Antarctic begins. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel to settle in before meeting your fellow passengers at a welcome briefing. If you’re arriving earlier there are plenty of activities in the area to choose from. Visit Tierra del Fuego National Park on a full day’s adventure, or perhaps take a walk around town, visiting the waterfront overlooking the Beagle Channel. The Museo Maritimo (Maritime Museum), housed in an old prison, will give you a sense of the city’s history, or enjoy a delectable combination of Argentinean Malbec and steak at a local restaurant.
Special Information

An airport transfer is included in your voyage fare if you are flying in today. Please speak to an Intrepid booking agent to organise this.

Day 2: Embarkation in Ushuaia

You will have some time this morning to shop for any last-minute items and take a final look around Ushuaia. This afternoon, you will be transferred from your hotel to the port of Ushuaia to embark on your home for the next few weeks, the Ocean Endeavour. Your expedition team will be waiting to greet you, and there will be time for you to take a tour of the ship’s amenities and services. In the evening, cast off and begin your journey south through the Beagle Channel and towards the legendary Drake Passage.

Days 3-4: At Sea, Drake Passage

Sailing south, your time at sea can be spent learning from your onboard expedition team of experts and guides through a series of talks, workshops, or casual conversation. Take to the Ocean Endeavour’s esplanade deck for panoramic views of the southern skies, while keeping your eyes peeled for the rare albatross that frequent them. These wanderers of the ocean will guide us towards Antarctica while lecturers in ornithology, geology, glaciology and biology will prepare you to understand this remote and unique wilderness. On the evening of day four, with favourable weather conditions, you can expect to arrive in the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula.

Days 5-8: South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula

Day five will see the Ocean Endeavour sailing among the icebergs and penguin colonies of the world’s last true wilderness – the Antarctic Continent. Set your eyes on the incredible terrain of the world’s most southern land. Get ready for onshore exploration over the next four days, stepping off the Ocean Endeavour and into a Zodiac and taking your first steps on the Antarctic Peninsula.

To begin the true Antarctic wildlife experience, you will immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of a gentoo or chinstrap penguin colony – a chance to marvel at these aquatic birds and witness their brief summer activities in this frozen land.

Across the following days, you will venture even further south, your captain seeking the most prized of pristine Antarctic wilderness and aiming to access such famous sites as Neko Harbour, Port Lockroy and the Lemaire Channel. Along the way, join your captain and expedition team on the Ocean Endeavour’s bridge, where you’ll scan for seals and the marine creatures that call these waters home during the austral summer.

Enjoy Zodiac cruises to get closer to marine life such as whales and seals, onshore exploration at penguin rookeries and paid adventure options such as kayaking and day paddle excursions, as well as snowshoeing and overnight ice camping on selected voyages. Wildlife encounters on the Antarctic Peninsula are likely to include Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals, gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins, and elephant seals. On board the Ocean Endeavour, the expedition team will keep the education going with a range of wildlife and history presentations and documentary screenings, or you can make the most of the onboard wellness facilities including a spa, saltwater pool, sauna and gym, or perhaps join a yoga class with the incredible backdrop of Antarctica!

An average day onboard begins with a wake-up call from your expedition leader around 7am, giving you time to prepare for the day before joining your fellow expeditioners for breakfast in the Polaris restaurant. You will usually have two excursions per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with a delicious lunch served on the Ocean Endeavour in between excursions.

Special Information

Potential excursions and landing sites are determined by weather and ice conditions and cannot be guaranteed in advance. For a list of possible landing sites in Antarctica, go to
Kayaking, snowshoeing and other optional extra excursions must be booked in advance. Additional costs apply and space is limited. Please speak to an Intrepid booking agent for more information.
Beginners interested in kayaking should take an introductory course prior to the voyage, including how to complete a wet exit. Regardless of your experience, we recommend you take part in some kayaking practice prior to the voyage to ensure that you are comfortable on the water in icy conditions. Kayaking adventures are only conducted during calm weather.

Days 9-10: Elephant Island & At Sea

Retrace explorer Ernest Shackleton’s path to South Georgia and look out for seabirds, whales and other wildlife. Listen to sessions from the onboard Antarctic experts and take in the shapes of the seascape from the comfort of your ship. You’ll head towards Elephant Island, where weather permitting, you will make a landing. Elephant Island is where Sir Ernest Shackleton left 24 of his men after being shipwrecked in 1917, then embarked on one of the greatest survival stories of all time on a mission to South Georgia. Attend lectures and presentations by the expedition team as they prepare you for what lies ahead in South Georgia, from the history and geology to the incredible wildlife. Take in panoramic views from the observation lounge and spacious decks or make the most of the onboard facilities.

Days 11-14: South Georgia

Over the next few days, explore the island of South Georgia, once the homestead of whalers and isolated explorers but now a protected area with dedicated Antarctic research teams. In South Georgia, you will explore a variety of landing sites and areas and learn about the history of Sir Ernest Shackleton, who led the British Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition between 1914 and 1916. Shackleton planned to cross Antarctica from a base on the Weddell Sea to McMurdo Sound, via the South Pole, but the expedition ship Endurance was trapped in ice off the Caird Coast, and thus began an epic story of survival for Shackleton and his men, all of whom survived. It’s on these very shores in South Georgia that Shackleton landed his crew of the James Caird in search of help for his party stranded back on Elephant Island.

In South Georgia you will spend several days retracing some of Shackleton’s steps, visiting his grave at the ex-whaling station of Grytviken located on the east side of South Georgia Island, where you will wander among hundreds of thousands of king penguins in dramatic South Georgian light. Your expedition team will help bring these days to life as you visit old whaling stations and enjoy presentations on the South Georgia of then and now. Across the island, dark volcanic beaches are backgrounded by hanging glaciers and penguin species nest among tussock grass along with hikes to alpine lakes.

Days 15-16: At Sea

Say goodbye to the wildlife of South Georgia and head west towards the isolated and sparsely populated Falklands archipelago, where the silence is broken only by the call of birds. From the outer decks, scan the horizon for seabirds and other wildlife. Prepare for the Falklands by attending presentations from the expert team, highlighting the dramatic history and wildlife encounters that await.

Days 17-18: Falkland Islands

Have your camera ready as you approach the ruggedly beautiful Falklands archipelago to capture not only the abundant wildlife but also the incredible scenery. The two main islands (East Falkland and West Falkland) have much to offer and provide a rare opportunity to witness the biological diversity, extraordinary scenery and history of the southern islands. The Falklands are a wildlife photographer’s dream and have the largest black-browed albatross colony in the world, as well as five species of penguins who breed on the islands (gentoo, king, macaroni, Magellanic and rockhopper).

Learn about the intriguing and controversial history of the Falkland Islands as you explore the quaint capital of Stanley, with its British outpost feel. Near the town, you may see southern giant petrels, the endemic Falkland steamer ducks, kelp gulls and dolphin gulls. There are also black-crowned night herons, red-backed hawks, peregrine falcons and turkey vultures.

Witness dramatic landscapes, including wetlands, lakes and some rolling peaks as you explore Saunders Island, the second-largest island in the Falklands. The Neck, a narrow peninsula with sandy beaches and subtle cliff faces is home to gentoo, Magellanic, king and rockhopper penguins. The rookery stretches along the northern slopes of Saunders Island and is one of the larger black-browed albatross nesting colonies in the Falklands, where albatross nest in the cliffs around October, with their chicks hatching approximately ten weeks later.

Special Information

Potential excursions and landing sites are determined by weather and ice conditions and cannot be guaranteed in advance. For a list of possible landing sites in Antarctica, go to

Days 19-20: At Sea

Cruise towards Ushuaia with time to reflect on the spectacular scenery and the multitude of wildlife you’ve encountered during the last three weeks, as well as on the endeavours of legendary explorers like Shackleton.

Day 21: Disembarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina

Disembark after breakfast after bidding farewell to your fellow travellers and Expedition Team. For guests travelling onwards from Ushuaia today an airport transfer to Ushuaia airport is included.
Special Information

A departure transfer to the airport is included in your voyage fare if you are flying out today. Please speak to an Intrepid booking agent to organise this.

If you are flying out today, please do not book your flight to depart Ushuaia before midday in case of any delays caused by unfavourable weather conditions.



Images Courtesy of Intrepid Group