Spirit of Shackleton - Expedition
If you're looking for an active trip on a simpler ship with an enthusiastic crew, the Expedition offers great value for the itinerary we think is the best in the region: one that includes South Georgia.
Antarctica: Drink It In
Welcome Aboard the
Experience vast penguin rookeries and seal colonies on this awe-inspiring voyage to Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands. This 21-day voyage illuminates Ernest Shackleton’s legend and recounts his courageous exploration of Antarctica. You’ll visit historical sites of past explorers, as well as Shackleton’s final resting place — the wildlife-rich island of South Georgia. Antarctica is beyond comprehension and sure to amaze any traveler seeking a true adventure to the world’s most remote wilderness.
- • Kayaking and camping are both offered on the Expedition. Or you can take it easy too.
• This ship has a very happy and enthusiastic expedition staff!
• Travel with an operator who has been a pioneer in promoting sustainable travel.
Travel Curator’s Insights:
From $16,999 per person
Cancel and rebook your trip with no added costs closer to the time of departure. Policies and protocols provided before you book.
Jan 11-31, 2023
Jan 11-31, 2024
Ask us for later dates.
Hover here for specific dates
Trip Sustainability Awards
ChildSafe certified and upholds a strict Child Welfare Traveler Code of Conduct
Works closely with The Jane Goodall Institute avoid harming and exploiting wildlife
Has launched the Plastics Partnership Project to eliminate the use of single-use plastics
Day 1: Ushuaia
Arrive in Ushuaia at any time. Arrival transfer included. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the world's most southerly city.
Accommodation: Albatros Hotel (or similar)
Day 2: Ushuaia/Drake Passage
Enjoy a free morning in Ushuaia. Do any last minute shopping, explore the town, or visit the surrounding countryside. Embarkation on the Expedition begins in the afternoon at the port in Ushuaia. Enjoy the evening sailing through the Beagle Channel.
Optional Activity: Tierra del Fuego National Park Visit, Ushuaia
Explore this stunning coastal national park extending 630 sq km. We'll take care of the transport, the park entrance fee, and take you to scenic lookouts in the southern portion of the park. Pass Valle Rio Pipo on the way to Austral Fueguino train station. Opt to take the End of the World train (not included in price) before visiting Lago Roca and Bahía Lapataia. Keep an eye out for a variety of birdlife and spectacular colors in the fall. (Please note: The entirety of this activity including the End of the World train can only be booked on the ground locally.)
Days 3–4: Drake Passage/South Shetland Islands
The adventure begins with an 1000km (600mi) crossing of the passage named in honor of the 16th-century English sea captain and privateer, Sir Francis Drake. Take in daily lectures from the expedition team and keep an eye out for the first sightings of icebergs, whales and albatross following in the Expedition's wake.
Days 5–9: South Shetland Islands/Antarctic Peninsula
Experience some of the most unique wildlife and awe-inspiring scenery in the world while setting foot on the Antarctic continent. Weather and ice conditions permitting, our goal is to attempt memorable shore landings daily and encounter Gentoo, Chinstrap, and Adélie penguin rookeries; Weddell, crabeater, and leopard seals; and orca, humpback, and minke whales in the cold Antarctic waters. The peninsula also has a remarkable human history.
Welcome to the Great White Continent! Over the next few days, the Expedition will navigate southwards making stops in the South Shetland Islands then through the Bransfield Strait and to the Antarctic Peninsula. Our goal is to attempt shore landings daily while we navigate through the area but our itinerary and daily schedule will be based on the local weather and ice conditions that we encounter. The Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands abound with wildlife activity. Take plenty of time to enjoy the sheer beauty and the breathtaking scenery of ice-choked waterways, blue and white icebergs, impressive glaciers and rugged snow-capped mountains. The Peninsula also has a remarkable history and, during the voyage, opt to learn about some of the most important and dramatic expeditions to this remote corner of the world.
Days 10–11: Antarctic Peninsula/Scotia Sea
Sail for two days, retracing Shackleton's route from Elephant Island and the Antarctic Peninsula towards South Georgia. These waters are rich with nutrients and the long summer days provide the ingredient that is missing most of the year. The result is a complex food chain topped by several species of whales, seals, and seabirds.
Days 12–15: Scotia Sea/South Georgia
Home to many interesting sights (including the grave of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton), South Georgia has several former whaling stations and boasts plenty of wildlife. Visiting a huge colony of king penguins is a major highlight of this part of the journey. Weather permitting, spend four full days exploring the island. Observe a large colony of King penguins, the second largest species of penguin that stand almost 100cm (3 ft) tall. Nearby islands are the nesting grounds for Wandering albatross, a species of albatross that only stays on land to breed and eat. Hopefully in the four days in the area the group will get a chance to spot one of these majestic sea birds during the small amount of time it spends on land. South Georgia is also the best place in the world to observe the southern elephant seal, the largest breed of seal. The island is home to over half of the world's population of these animals.
Days 16–17: South Georgia/Southern Ocean
Sailing west, set course for the Falkland Islands. Days at sea are filled with lectures to prepare for landings. Watch for the many whales that inhabit these waters.
Days 18–19: Southern Ocean/Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
The Falkland Islands provide a rare opportunity to witness the biological diversity and extraordinary scenery of the southern islands. Penguins are abundant here, and the Falklands have the largest black-browed albatross colony in the world. In Stanley, meet the hardy local inhabitants whose colourful houses provide contrast to the long, dark winters.
Day 20: Falkland Islands/Beagle Channel/Ushuaia
Reflect on a memorable adventure and take in some final lectures en route back to Ushuaia. Review the highlights of the Antarctic experience with the lecturers and staff.
Day 21: Ushuaia
Our adventure comes to a close. Have a final breakfast on the ship before saying goodbyes before disembarking in Ushuaia in the morning. (Includes breakfast)
Please Note: Expedition travel can be full of surprises! While it is our intention of adhere to the itinerary as described, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. On the first day onboard, the Expedition Leader will give an expedition overview outlining what the specific plans are for the trip.
Pre-Cruise Hotel Night: The first night in Ushuaia is on twin share basis. If you're travelling solo or have an odd number of travelers in your group and have not purchased a private cabin, you will be paired with another solo traveler of the same gender.
Travel Style: Marine. Small-ship adventures on the world’s great seas, rivers, and other places only accessible by boat.
Activity Level: Moderate. Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Age requirement: 10+. All travelers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Antarctica Camping - From $379pp
Follow in the footsteps of bold explorers and experience this land’s awe-inspiring splendours first-hand. Our Antarctica camping experience includes time to enjoy the beauty of Antarctica near your campsite with ample photography options. Experience the sounds of heaving ice, the fresh scent of the sea, and the stars at night. Nothing gets you closer to the humbling forces of nature than spending a night ashore! This activity is offered on select departures and must be booked prior to your trip. Ask your Travel Curator for more information.
Antarctica Kayaking - From $1,499pp
Weather permitting, you will head out in kayaks on days where zodiac landings are also available. Kayaking as part of a group led by experienced and skilled leaders allows an opportunity to experience these remote regions from another vantage point. No other activity gets you as close to the natural environment! This activity is offered on all departures and must be booked prior to your trip. Ask your Travel Curator for more information.
The Expedition has multiple large public areas to enjoy during sea crossings and in between land excursions. Amenities include: all cabins with private en suite baths and outside views, a gear shop, a dining room that accommodates all passengers in one sitting, a large aft deck with barbecue facilities, a forward deck viewing platforms, a fitness center/sauna, and a large fleet of Zodiacs with 4-stroke engines. Not only will the Expedition steer you closer to some of our planet’s most amazing places, this ship's professional and highly-skilled team of on-board experts will offer keen insight, unique perspectives, and hands-on attention not found in a guidebook. Make your next trip a voyage you’ll remember the rest of your life. Return home a different person than when you left after traveling on the Expedition.
• Capacity: 134 Guests
• Cabins: 67 Cabins
• Specialists: Credentialed Experts, 1:10 Staff to Guest Ratio
USA Today "10 best Reader's Choice 2019 - Best Adventure Travel Company"
Gold Travvy Awards "Best Escorted Tour Operator 2019"
Travel Weekly Globe Travel Awards "2019 Best Adventure Operator"
"The Expedition is a much-loved vessel with simple cabins and amenities much like a college dorm. She has a very enthusiastic crew and expedition staff. This ship is spacious and highly functional with quad and triple cabins along with the opportunity for solo travelers to share with a same-sex roommate at the twin, triple or quad rate. She was originally a car ferry that was turned quite intentionally into an expedition vessel. The extra space allowed this operator to be one of the first to add a mud room for boots and gear which later became the fashion on many expedition vessels. One of the pioneers in sustainable travel, this operator protects the environment in countless ways and gives back to communities across the globe. If you're active, are fine with casual surroundings, and like to travel with happy people, the Expedition will provide you with a wonderful experience."
Life On Board
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I've had many happy clients return from adventures on the Expedition with rave reviews. The key is for me to make sure you're just right for, and know exactly what to expect on this fun yet simple ship.
Joy Martinello, Founder
What’s Included & Cancellation Policy: