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March 10 - April 11, 2018

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

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Explore Remote Atlantic Islands

This epic 33-day expedition to the world’s most remote islands gives avid birders and nature lovers a chance to encounter rare wildlife and cross dozens of endemic species off their lifelists.

You'll explore unique natural habitats with renowned experts as your travel companions, including historians, naturalists, biologists, and geologists, as well as world-renowned birder Noah Strycker.


Travel with Noah Strycker

On this voyage, passengers will share their experience with the prolific Noah Strycker, who set a record for his Big Year in 2015, having seen 6,042 species of birds (over half the birds on Earth) in one calendar year.

Noah will act as expedition guide and onboard lecturer to enrich the experience of passengers interested in bird watching, be they new to the thrill or veteran birders.

Learn more about Noah »


Other Special Guests


Historian & Guide

David has a keen interest in polar history, stemming from reading accounts of early expeditions to Antarctica. He has been exploring the polar regions since 2010 and earned his Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge’s Scott Polar Research Institute in 2013. Trained in glaciology and glacial marine geomorphology, he has focused his research on reconstructing past ice flow around the Svalbard archipelago and has contributed to a new Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms. Now focused primarily on polar history, David spends his time researching those who have gone before us.



Marine Biologists & Guide

Sam has over 20 years of experience working on marine conservation research programs in Antarctica and the Arctic, with a special interest in the foraging ecology of top-end marine predators. With over 11 seasons working as a researcher and polar guide across various regions of the Arctic, Sam brings an intimate knowledge and great love of the Polar Regions to his work, which, along with a positive energy and attitude, allows him to share his experiences with passengers aboard our expedition ships.



Ornithologist & Guide

Fabrice’s polar experiences began in 1989, when he spent 18 months working as a field researcher studying the seabirds and marine mammals of the remote Kerguelen Islands. He is the author of Animals of the Polar Regions and co-author with Frank S. Todd, of the highly acclaimed Birds and Mammals of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean. More recently, he has published two books on seabird ecology. When he is not traveling in the Polar Regions, Fabrice conducts field research on birds with Paris’s Museum of Natural History and spends time on his small farm in the French countryside.



Geologist/Glaciologist & Guide

An earth scientist from New Zealand, Yvonne has a PhD in Antarctic geology and has worked in Antarctica since 1990. In addition to conducting geological research, she has been involved with projects examining ice shelf response to Antarctica’s changing climate, as well as habitat diversity in the Dry Valleys. For many years, she ran the multidisciplinary post-graduate Antarctic studies course at New Zealand’s University of Canterbury. She is also the co-editor and co-author of the accompanying course text, Exploring Antarctica: An Introduction to the Last Continent.


See the Rare Birds of the Atlantic

Expedition Highlights

  • Travel with and learn from famed ornithologist and bird man, Noah Strycker, who will be guiding expeditions and giving onboard lectures
  • View dozens of unique bird species, such as northern rockhopper penguins, Tristan albatrosses and Ascension frigate birds, plus marine life like whales and dolphins
  • Experience several remote British overseas territories, each with its own history, and some with their own currency and postage stamps (a bonus for collectors!)
  • Visit both active and extinct volcanic islands that provide insight into our planet’s past
  • Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gough Island and Inaccessible Island
  • Cruise in a Zodiac to get up close to wildlife


Expedition in Brief

Days 3 and 4

Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

See Native Bird Species »

Become familiar with this rugged archipelago via Zodiak excursions, and hike through its history-rich landing sites and settlements. Wildlife sightings may include three species of penguins, plus two endemic bird species (Cobb’s wren and the Falkland steamer duck). Viewing black-browed albatross is almost guaranteed, as 70 percent of the global population lives here.

Days 7 and 8

South Georgia

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On your way to South Georgia, you will cross the Antarctic Convergence—a nutrient rich area that attracts humpback whales, blue whales, fin whales and southern right whales.

A paradise for birders, South Georgia is home to 30 species of breeding birds. Beaches are dotted with Antarctic fur seals and southern elephant seals, waddling amongst King and Gentoo penguins, whose rookeries can number in the hundreds of thousands!

South Georgia is also home to one of the most historical sites of this voyage, Grytviken, where travelers can visit the grave of the great Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, who famously escaped here with his crew after his ship became trapped in pack ice during his 1914–17 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, considered the last major expedition of the Historic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

Days 14 to 17

Tristan da Cunha Islands

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The most remote archipelago in the world, the Tristan da Cunha Islands are 1,510 miles (2,430 km) from the nearest inhabited land, Saint Helena. This group of small volcanic islands—two of which are wildlife reserves—is home to 29 species of birds, including several that are endemic to the archipelago.

Gough Island and Inaccessible Island comprise two wildlife reserves and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making them the most undisturbed islands in the South Atlantic. Zodiac excursions off the ship will take travelers past towering cliffs where bird lovers will marvel at the variety of unique species. With the sheer range of birdlife here, it’s no wonder that much of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha has been identified by BirdLife International as Important Bird Areas!

Just a short cruise away, Nightingale Island awaits. Although only one square mile (3.2 sq. km), this active volcano, which last erupted in 2004, is such a prolific breeding ground for more than a million seabirds, as well as endemic land birds, that it’s almost completely occupied by wildlife.

Day 23

Saint Helena Island

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This remote island was famously the site of Napoleon Bonaparte’s exile from 1815 until his death in 1821. History buffs can explore Napoleon’s residence and visit his former tomb.

Birders especially will want to keep their eyes peeled for the island’s unofficial national bird: the Saint Helena plover. Locals call this endemic species the wirebird, in reference to its thin, wire-like legs. Saint Helena is also them home of the world’s oldest living land animal, a 184-year-old giant tortoise named Jonathan.

Days 26 and 27

Ascension Island and Boatswain Bird Island

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This rocky outcrop is also the most important seabird breeding site in the tropical Atlantic, supporting more than 400,000 birds from 11 species.

Day 33

Cape Verde

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Crossing the equator on the way to Cape Verde, near Senegal, passengers may spot the Cape Verde shearwater, which only breeds on the archipelago.

With a reputation for morabeza (“hospitality” in Creole), Cape Verde offers many activities, restaurants and hotels for passengers itching to explore more.