Attention wildlife lovers: The folks at Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic want you to know about a one-time-only cruise spotlighting two wildlife-packed islands – the Falklands and South Georgia – way down off the tip of South America. The 19-day tour starts March 7, 2014, and if you book it by the end of 2013 they'll cut you a special deal on the price (more about that later).
The adventure kicks off with a couple of days of sightseeing in Buenos Aires, after which you'll fly to Ushuaia at the southern end of Argentina. From there you'll sail to the Falkland Islands on the 148-passenger National Geographic Explorer, your cruise ship for the rest of the tour.
Waiting for you on the Falklands – besides grazing sheep, tea and crumpets in a scene right out of the English countryside – are thousands of gentoo, rockhopper and Magellanic penguins along with herds of fur seals and enormous elephant seals. You'll hoist a few at a local pub and stroll around the remote Victorian town of Port Stanley before leaving for your next island adventure.
South Georgia Island (named in honor of English King George II) welcomes you with the wildlife spectacle of 200,000 stately king penguins on a single beach. While there you'll see all kinds of other penguins moseying around, plus seal herds left over from the island's early days when it was a regional base for sealers and whalers. You'll also be able to zip around the shores of this mostly glacier-covered island in Zodiac rubber boat excursions.
From there it's back to Ushuaia by way of a stop at the Falklands, then a hop back to Buenos Aires to connect to your flight back to the States.
Rates for the trip start at $14,990 ppdo (per person, double occupancy), and if you sign up by Dec. 31 Lindblad will foot the bill for your airfare on the Miami-Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires-Ushuaia segments (both ways) of your trip. After Dec. 31, you're on your own for the air hops.
Details of the tour: Visit Lindblad Expeditions.