Overview

Antarctica is surely the ultimate destination! The scenic settings are as magnificent as any on earth, and the scale of nearly everything is grand to say the least. Complimenting these astounding vistas are vast colonies of majestic penguins, brash skuas, giant petrels, weird sheathbills, somnolent seals and feeding whales that all add life to the region’s stark and amazing beauty. Our birding cruise traverses some of the most interesting areas in the Southern Ocean; notably the Falkland and South Georgia Islands, both of which are renowned as among the richest of all Subantarctic islands. South Georgia’s rugged beauty is worthy of Antarctica itself, while the Falkland Islands are better known as the battlegrounds for the 1982 Anglo-Argentine War. Several days are spent at sea, cruising from one island group to the next until we find ourselves at the very tip of the icy continent itself. These crossings provide thrilling pelagic birding, with huge numbers of albatrosses, petrels, prions, skuas and other seabirds making a daily appearance. Cetaceans are also regular, ranging from the largest whales to the striking Hourglass and Commerson’s Dolphins. This journey to Antarctica is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and cannot come more highly recommended!

Tour Price is dependent on selected and/or available cabins.

Tour Facts Top Birds
King, Emperor, Gentoo, Adelie, Chinstrap, Southern Rockhopper, Macaroni & Magellanic Penguins; Flying, Fuegian & Falkland Steamer Ducks; Upland, Kelp & Ruddy-headed Goose; Yellow-billed Pintail; Wandering, Southern Royal, Northern Royal, Light-mantled, Black-browed & Grey-headed Albatrosses; Wilson's, Grey-backed & Black-bellied Storm Petrels; Southern & Northern Giant Petrels; Southern Fulmar; Antarctic, Cape, Snow, Blue, White-headed, White-chinned, Kerguelen & Great-winged Petrels; Antarctic, Slender-billed & Fairy Prions; Sooty & Great Shearwaters; Magellanic, South Georgia & Common Diving Petrels; Rock, Imperial, South Georgia & Antarctic Shags; Snowy Sheathbill; Magellanic & Blackish Oystercatchers; Two-banded & Rufous-chested Plovers; Dolphin Gull; Chilean, South Polar & Brown Skuas; Striated Caracara; Blackish Cinclodes; Dark-faced Ground Tyrant; Grass & Cobb's Wren; Austral Thrush; Correndera & South Georgia Pipits; Black-chinned Siskin; Long-tailed Meadowlark; White-bridled & Black-throated Finches.
Top Mammals
South American & Antarctic Fur Seals; South American Sea Lion; Leopard, Weddell, Crabeater & Southern Elephant Seals; Burmeister's Porpoise; Southern Bottlenose, Long-finned Pilot, Killer, Antarctic Minke, Sei, Fin & Humpback Whales; Peale's, Hourglass & Commerson's Dolphins.
Habitats Covered
coastal and pelagic waters, sub-Antarctic islands & Antarctic Peninsula, pack ice
Expected Climate
temperate to subzero, sunny and calm to gale force conditions can be expected
Max Group Size
up to 40 with 2 Tour Leaders / 41 to 76 with 4 Tour Leaders / A number of expert expedition staff in additions
Tour Pace & Walking
easy pace, mostly undemanding walks
Accommodation
comfortable expedition cruise ship
Ease of Birding
easy
Number of Species Expected
80+
Other Attractions
spectacular sub-Antarctic scenery, the most remote continent, icebergs and pack ice, nesting albatrosses, vast penguin colonies
Photographic Opportunities
incredible
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

This tour was extraordinary, very well organized despite vagaries of the weather at times. The ship crew were very well trained and experienced helping people get on and off the zodiacs. Very smooth operation. The guides Adam and Dan were phenomenal and very helpful in locating fast moving seabirds from a heaving deck! Niki was quietly working behind the scenes making sure everyone was enjoying the cruise.

An expedition of a lifetime well worth every penny! As a member of the Survivors of 2019 Club it was a very special tour. From the outstanding service by the expedition staff and crew on the extremely comfortable Quark Ocean Diamond to the always fabulous Rockjumper guides including Glen and Keith Valentine and Mark Beevers, it was the trip of a lifetime. The totally unexpected closeup sightings of Emperor Penguins and the tens of thousands of the six other penguin species was so much fun. Fur Seals and Elephant Seals sunbathed on the beaches as the many species of seabirds flew overhead. The trip to the Black-browed Albatross nesting sight was like something you only expect to see on tv. I felt the Quark crew and the Rockjumper guides went out of their way to make sure everyone had the perfect and safe trip.

Adam and Daniel made this trip extra enjoyable. The quality and diligence of their attention to all of the Rockjumper clients was simply phenomenal. I cannot use enough superlatives to describe the entire Rockjumper Team. The Ocean Victory seemed to be a perfect fit, with excellent staff and a sometimes-wearying dedication to safety.

This long-awaited culmination of the cruise-that-first-failed satisfied everything I had hoped to experience. The Quark staff did a fantastic job (after that first sit-down meal), and the Rockjumper guides were always around and available to point out birds and things of interest. I am so happy to have this one "under-the-belt" so I now feel more free to make other plans. I truly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know all the Rockjumper guides in a more personal and relaxed mode than we seem to have on regular tours. They all continue to amaze me with their knowledge, wide interests, and willingness to share this lore with others.

This trip with the guides, Adam and Daniel goes to my top three best trips I have ever taken. The leaders were oh so wonderful, the ship and staff were excellent, and the travel down and back while grueling , occurred without a hitch. As for all the detailed pretrip arrangements, hats off to Sarah who was beyond the pale excellent” in her support and help in “ getting it all done” . Can’t thank everyone enough for all the help, kindness and over riding expertise in making this a once in a life time trip for me!

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2023 DEPARTURES
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