Our South Georgia and Antarctica: Penguin Safari itinerary is the fastest way to get to the seldom visited South Georgia Island while also setting foot on the 7th continent. As we set sail, photograph massive albatross and beautiful pintado petrels as they swoop and soar around the ship, guiding us toward South Georgia. Beaches teeming with king penguins and elephant seals greet us on this fabled island, where we’ll pay our respects to famed explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Antarctica awaits, with its soaring peaks and staggering expanse. Go further into the Antarctic sea on a Zodiac, experience the rugged peninsula from a sea kayak, undertake an exhilarating hike up a sparkling glacier, or share an endearingly comical moment with an inquisitive gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguin. In these ways and countless others, Antarctica will amaze, surprise and delight.
• Hiking in the polar regions differs from your typical trail experience. Here, in a tree-less terrain, you are the tallest figure on the landscape as you walk over spongy tundra, crusty snow or sandy beaches in remotes parts of the Arctic and Antarctica.
• The Polar Plunge is scheduled once during each voyage. Throughout the journey, the Expedition Leader and Captain constantly monitor conditions in order to choose the optimal time and location. The Polar Plunge sometimes takes place onshore or, in many cases, from the gangway or Zodiac.
• Zodiacs are used for transferring you ashore, transporting your luggage when necessary and for taking you ocean-level cruising among icebergs, whales and seabirds. During the expedition, you will visit remote and isolated sites that are accessible only by Zodiac.
Vessel Type: Expedition
Length: 124 metres
Passenger Capacity: 224
Built / refurbished: 1974 / 2012
The 224 passenger vessel was completely refurbished in Norway in 2012 and is perfect for our exploration being large enough to provide stability, speed, spacious cabins and ample public space, yet small enough to manoeuvre in remote areas. The vessel is outfitted with the most current navigational and communications technology as well as with retractable stabilisers for smooth sailing. The vessel is ice strengthened and features 18 Zodiacs for our forays ashore.
Your Cabin/Suite With a maximum of 224 passengers, the Ocean Diamond offers cabins across its five decks. There a range of cabins and suites available and all feature outside views (porthole, window or balcony), full private en-suite bathrooms featuring bathtub and shower, a writing desk, individual temperature control, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite phone access, hairdryer and flat-screen television and DVD player. Cabins range in size from 17 square metres to 30 square metres.
Your Space The Ocean Diamond features spacious public areas and ample deck space from where you can admire the beautiful passing landscapes. Public areas and facilities include an observation lounge with bar, a fitness centre, pool with bar, sun deck, lecture threatre with state of the art audio visual equipment, library and lounge. The restaurant serves all passengers in one, open seating and cuisine onboard is international. There is also a gift shop, clinic and a spa onboard.
Your Dining The single sitting restaurant is located on the Lower Deck and is both spacious and light. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style and dinner is served to your table. All meals include a vegetarian option. Afternoon tea also served daily around the afternoon excursions and coffee, tea and water are available complimentary around the clock. Weather permitting, there will be the opportunity to dine outside on occasion.
Life Onboard The atmosphere onboard is focused on exploration and discovery with all the creature comforts you would expect from a vessel of this calibre. The onboard crew offer excellent service and in addition the expedition team will enrich your experience with their knowledge of the region. Through a lecture programme and shore expeditions, they will share their expertise and passion with you. After a day of exploration ashore, you will return to the comfort of a sophisticated ship with a friendly crew and informal atmosphere. A fleet of Zodiacs are used for landings and nature cruises, and during your voyage you will have the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to learn more about your journey, further fostering the expeditionary nature of our voyage.
Day 1 Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina:
You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port at the tip of South America. It’s the ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy handcrafted chocolate at a café in town.
Day 2 Embarkation Day:
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel, which transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart!
Days 3 to 6 At Sea:
There are many activities to keep you engaged while you are at sea. Learn to identify seabirds that glide alongside the ship, or attend dynamic presentations by your Expedition Team. You will be prepped on safety procedures for Zodiac cruises and shore landings, and also be given instructions for getting the most out of your optional sea kayaking adventures (extra cost), a truly intimate way to experience Antarctica.If conditions are right, the first indication that you are approaching South Georgia is the sight of birds around a group of rocky spires called Shag Rocks. Have your binoculars and cameras ready to capture these rocky spires rising out of the icy ocean waters. Shags and prions often rest here, and due to nutrient rich upwellings around the rocks it can be a good place to keep a lookout for whales.
Days 7 and 8 South Georgia:
After enjoying South Georgia from a distance, we’ll head toward its numerous beaches to find a bay for your first excursion. Landing sites are varied, largely determined by the weather conditions of your voyage. Whichever sites we visit, they’ll provide you with wildlife encounters unrivaled anywhere else on earth.South Georgia is one of the most fertile breeding grounds in the world for sub-Antarctic wildlife, with beaches blanketed with penguins and seals. It won’t take you long to realize that you are in a bird paradise, as burrowing seabirds, albatross and petrels can be seen in abundance.You’ll find that South Georgia, once a popular base for whalers and sealers, is also scattered with abandoned relics and evidence of human activity from centuries gone by. Your Expedition Team will help bring those days to life while you visit old whaling stations and enjoy presentations on the South Georgia of then and now.One of the most significant sites you will visit on the island is Grytviken. This settlement is the first whaling stations established in sub-Antarctic waters. Many travelers find that this place has a special appeal, as it is the site of the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton, one of the most famous Antarctic explorers.
Days 9 and 10 At Sea:
Say goodbye to the king penguins, as your next destination is Antarctica! Your days at sea are filled with presentations and workshops led by your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife and landscapes that will surround you upon your arrival.
Days 11 to 13 Antarctic Peninsula:
The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words, since few places are as untouched and enduring as Antarctica.You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes. At one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete isolation and silence, and at the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into a brilliant blue sea or a penguin waddles by to inspect your footwear.Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each excursion, whether you are Zodiac cruising, visiting a historical site or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Keep a lookout for Antarctic whales, such as minkes, while on a Zodiac cruise. Each day and each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy.As exciting as the Zodiac excursions and landings are, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to an extra-special Antarctic experience by partaking in an optional paddling excursion (at an extra cost) or cast reason aside and jump into Antarctic waters for the Polar Plunge!
Days 14 and 15 Crossing the Drake Passage:
After more than a dozen days of unique wildlife encounters and remarkable landscapes, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage. Spend time on deck watching for seabirds and whales, enjoy presentations by your Expedition Team, or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.
Day 16 Disembarkation in Ushuaia:
You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning, which allows for you to continue your adventure onward or catch your flights home.
Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.
Approximately 200 sq. ft. (19 sq. m) in size, this cabin has a two twin beds and an upper bed, and two portholes. Located on the Lower Deck, these cabins have a private bathroom with shower. A refrigerator, TV, and DVD player are included in each cabin. Please note that porthole covers may be closed during sea days or during inclement weather as a safety precaution.
Approximately 200 sq. ft. (19 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double bed or two twin beds, and a picture window (the view is obstructed). Located on the Captain’s Deck, these cabins have a private bathroom with shower. A refrigerator, TV, and DVD player are included in each cabin.
Between 183 and 200 sq. ft. (17 and 19 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double bed or two twin beds, and a picture window. Located on the Upper, Main and Captain’s Decks, these cabins have a private bathroom with shower. A refrigerator, TV, and DVD player are included in each cabin.
Approximately 200 sq. ft. (19 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double bed, and a picture window (the view is obstructed by the lifeboats). Located on the Captain’s Deck these cabins have a private bathroom with shower. A refrigerator, TV, and DVD player are included in each cabin.
Approximately 200 sq. ft. (19 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double bed and two portholes. Located on the Lower Deck, these cabins have a private bathroom with shower. A refrigerator, TV, and DVD player are included in each cabin. Please note that porthole covers may be closed during sea days or during inclement weather as a safety precaution.
Approximately 400 sq. ft. (37 sq. m) in size, these suites have one double bed or two twin beds, and two picture windows. Located on the Main Deck, these suites have two private bathrooms, and a separate sitting area with a sofa, chair, and small table. Two refrigerators, TVs, and DVD players are included in each cabin.
Approximately 325 sq. ft. (30 sq. m) in size, including the balcony, this suite has one double bed or two twin beds, and a full-size window with a sliding glass door that leads to a private deck with chairs. Located on the Observation Deck, this suite has a private bathroom with shower. A refrigerator, TV, and DVD player are included in each cabin.
Call: 1300 669 780
(1300 669 780)
Visit: 222A Barry Parade
(PO Box 132)
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
We're on the corner Barry Parade and Gipps Street, next door to Rocksports Indoor Climbing