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South Georgia to Cape Verde: Secret Islands, Rare Birds, and Legendary Explorers

King Penguins of South Georgia Island

Wildside is partnering with Quark Expeditions, who are now expanding beyond the polar regions to introduce an incredible new expedition to visit 9 remote islands in the Atlantic, where exploration and scientific history was written many years ago.

Birders and naturalists will be thrilled for the chance to travel alongside famed birder, Noah Strycker—who set a world record for seeing 6,042 species of birds in one calendar year.

On this trip we will:

  • Explore some of most remote islands on the planet — the Falklands, South Georgia, Saint Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan de Cunha.
  • See dozens of endemic bird species in their habitat and experience incredible biodiversity unique to these islands.
  • Absorb expert insights off-the-ship and onboard education while travelling alongside ornithologist Noah Strycker.
  • Explore historical sites and the fascinating stories of Ernest Shackleton, Napoleon Bonaparte and Charles Darwin

Great photo and birding opportunities abound!

  • Tour Cost
  • 2018 COST

     

    Main Deck Twin with Large Window
    $12,895 per person, shared

     

    Captain's Deck Superior Twin
    $15,395 per person, shared

     

    Tour begins in Ushuaia, Argentina :: Tour ends in Praia, Cape Verde

     

    Financial Requirements

    Deposit of $2500 required to reserve space. Final payment due 180 days prior to trip departure.

     

    Tour costs included

    All accommodations and meals while on the ship.

     

    Tour costs NOT included

    Flight costs not included nor are trip insurance, accommodations and meals in Ushuaia or Praia, fishing license, alcoholic beverages, optional tips, phone calls, laundry, or items of a personal nature.

     

    Travel Insurance

    We highly recommend purchasing travel Insurance. In the event that you need to cancel your trip due to medical or other reasons, this insurance will protect you.

  • Itinerary
  • Day 1 — Embarkation Day in Ushuaia, Argentina
    At the southernmost tip of South America, the quaint city of Ushuaia is the gateway for your voyage, offering a range of museums, shops, cafés and restaurants to explore before you embark your ship this afternoon. Once aboard, we’ll sail through the scenic Beagle Channel, looking out for seals, sea lions and seabirds. Be sure to be out on deck, ready to take it all in as your Atlantic adventure begins.

     

    Day 2 — At Sea
    While you’re at sea, dynamic presentations by our on-board experts will prepare you for all the excitement that lies ahead.

     

    Days 3 and 4 — Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
    Upon arrival in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), you’ll be greeted by a feeling of rugged remoteness. Here, your camera will be put to work capturing the abundant wildlife and vibrant landscape. The archipelago contains two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, which you will experience up close by Zodiac and during shore landings.

     

    Days 5 and 6 — At Sea
    Sailing to South Georgia, you’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence, an invisible biological transition region encircling Antarctica. This meeting of oceans, where the cold Antarctic waters mingle with the warmer waters of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, is what creates the abundance of krill and marine life that attracts several species of whales (including humpback, blue, fin and southern right whales) to the area. Your Expedition Team will also keep an eye out for the Falkland skuas, thin-billed prions, and three species of petrels (southern giant, Wilson’s storm and common diving) that frequent the region.

     

    Days 7 and 8 — South Georgia
    South Georgia was a popular stop for many Antarctic expeditions and was once the world’s largest whaling center, and where elephant and furs seals were hunted nearly to extinction. As you’ll witness firsthand, wildlife populations have rebounded, but you’ll still see remnants of old whaling stations and other abandoned outposts scattered across the island.

     

    Days 9 to 13 — At Sea
    Your next few days at sea can be as busy or as relaxing as you like. You can attend presentations, peruse the books in our polar library or chat with your shipmates in the lounge, but we’ll bet you’ll want to enjoy the expansive ocean views from the bridge, spotting whales and seabirds. As we move to warmer waters, we might see our first subtropical species like the sooty albatross, spectacled petrel or great-winged petrel.

     

    Days 14 to 17 — Tristan da Cunha Islands
    With a long history of early oceanic exploration, the Tristan da Cunha archipelago has seen its share of shipwrecks. The most famous was the British Blenden Hall, destroyed in 1821 en route to Bombay (now Mumbai). Fortunately, all but two aboard survived. Isolated and with a rugged, volcanic terrain, most of these small islands host an abundance of birdlife and remain uninhabited to this day.

     

    Days 18 to 22 — At Sea
    We offer many activities to keep you engaged and entertained while at sea. Whatever you do—or don’t do!—take a moment to reflect on the amazing creatures you’ve encountered so far. Be sure to keep a lookout for the dolphins and seabirds that inhabit these subtropical waters.

     

    Day 23 — St. Helena Island
    The most inhabited of the islands we’ll visit, with 4,500 people living in the capital of Jamestown, St. Helena boasts a wealth of military history and was a major port of call for ships sailing to Europe from Asia and South Africa. Although the island was discovered in 1502 by the Portuguese, it remained “hidden” to the English until 1588, when Sir Thomas Cavendish visited to stock up on supplies for his return from a round-the-world voyage (it’s believed, however, that Sir Francis Drake likely located it earlier, during his 1577–80 global circumnavigation).

     

    Days 24 and 25 — At Sea
    These sea days take you to the islands farthest north in the British overseas territory of St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Britain’s second-oldest remaining colony. Seabird sightings may include Madeiran storm and Bulwer’s petrels.

     

    Days 26 and 27 — Ascension Island and Boatswain Bird Island
    At first glance, Ascension may seem stark and completely barren (Charles Darwin, on a brief visit in 1836, famously called it arid and treeless). Indeed, most of the island’s 34 square miles (88 sq. km) are surreal, covered with lava flows and cinder cones, but you’ll spot several surprises along the coast: sandy beaches dramatically tucked in between mounds of striking black volcanic rock. The biggest of these is Long Beach, in the capital of Georgetown. Unsuitable for swimming, the beach is a major nesting site for thousands of giant green turtles, who journey from their feeding grounds in Brazil. Wildlife lovers will marvel as we try to view, from a safe distance, some of the females laying their eggs in the sand.

     

    Days 28 to 32 — At Sea
    Bid adieu to your South Atlantic adventure, as your final destination, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde), awaits! As your ship surges north, crossing the equator, take a moment to swap stories and photos with your shipmates. Time spent out on deck may reward you with sightings of whale pods and dolphin pods.

     

    Day 33 — Disembark in Praia, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)
    After breakfast aboard the ship, it’s time to part ways with your Expedition Team and newfound friends. With a reputation for morabeza (“hospitality” in Creole), Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) offers many activities, restaurants and hotels for passengers itching to explore more. Eager to experience North Africa or return to the comforts of home? From here, you can catch flights to a number of international destinations.

  • Accommodations
  • Quark Expeditions Ocean Adventurer

    As of June 2017, Quark Expeditions’ much beloved polar expedition ship the “Sea Adventurer” will be undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation and be officially renamed the “Ocean Adventurer”.

     

    The new and improved Ocean Adventurer is designed to carry 132 travelers in comfort to the most remote corners of the world. Originally built in Yugoslavia in 1976, this nimble, ice-strengthened ship has become a passenger favourite over the years and underwent refurbishments in 1999 and 2002 with the most significant being in 2017.

     

    With the latest rounds of refurbishments guests will enjoy:

    • A refreshed, contemporary new look and feel throughout the ship.
    • The addition of six new twin cabins and three new suites.
    • All existing cabins will be furnished with all new soft furnishings and brand new bathrooms.
    • Main common areas such as the Lounge and Dining Room will be remodeled as well as the Bar.
    • Major technical enhancements – include two new Rolls Royce engines, which will significantly increase fuel efficiency and minimized carbon footprint.