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ANTARCTICA, SOUTH GEORGIA & FALKLAND ISLANDS

 

 A rare opportunity to explore these three unspoiled regions at the beginning of the austral summer 

 

Heading south this early is extremely exciting, especially since most other expedition vessels will still be completing their seasons in other destinations.  It will be like having the place to yourself.  

 

Passengers will be among the first of the year to witness the breeding cycle of penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula, Adelies, gentoos, and raucous with feverish males furiously vying for their mating partners.  Rookeries will be in their most pristine state with female penguins beginning to build their nests.

 

In South Georgia, passengers will encounter a wildlife sanctuary harboring thousands of king penguins, as well as gentoo, chinstrap, and macaroni penguins.  Hikes will be offered into the snowy landscape to the breeding site of the wandering albatross, the largest of all flying birds.  Here, passengers will have rare encounters with 250-day-old juveniles, known as "goonies", all set against a backdrop of glacier-clad peaks.  These down-feathered goonies will be of special interest because they will be close to taking their first flight out over the ocean.  Expect to see them exercising their huge wings as they practice short runs with take-offs and landings on the tussock-covered hillsides of South Georgia.

 

The timing of the expedition's visit to South Georgia will also offer the only window of opportunity to see harems of elephant seals at the end of their breeding season.  Beachmasters will be gallantly defending their bands of females against so-called "sneaky copulators", resulting in awesome battles as the four-ton creatures rear back onto their tails then slam chest-to-chest, pummeling each other with the sheer power of their weight.

 

The voyage begins and ends in the Falkland Islands.  Isolated in the South Atlantic, the Falklands archipelago is home to unique fauna and flora, which includes six species of penguins and some of the largest albatross colonies in the world.

 

An outstanding team of naturalists and lecturers with a wealth of knowledge and experience will accompany passengers. 

 

For more information about this 20-day journey aboard the legendary M/S Explorer, departing October 30 - November 18, please call 800-261-3487

 

 

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