Falkland Islands – South Georgia – Antarctic Peninsula
» Nov 3 2018 – Nov 23 2018 (21 DAYS)
» EMBARKATION: Puerto Madryn
» DISEMBARKATION: Ushuaia
EXPEDITION IN BRIEF
- Day 1 – Embark Puerto Madryn
- Days 2 and 3 – At sea
- Day 4 – Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
- Day 5 – Stanley, Falkland Islands
- Days 6 and 7 – At sea, en route to South Georgia
- Days 8 to 11 – South Georgia
- Day 12 – At sea
- Day 13 – Orcadas Station, South Orkneys
- Day 14 – At sea towards Antarctica
- Days 15 to 18 – Antarctic Peninsula
- Days 19 and 20 – At sea, en-route to Ushuaia
- Day 21 – Disembarkation in Ushuaia
This Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctic Peninsula cruise is an animal-lover’s dream come true. The expedition explores one of the last untamed areas on Earth – a land of ruggedly beautiful landscapes and amazingly varied wildlife.
ITINERARY DAY BY DAY
Day 1 – Sandy Argentine Beaches
You embark from Puerto Madryn in the afternoon, your prow aimed for the Falkland Islands. Golfo Nuevo is renowned for its visiting southern right whales, so you have a good chance of spotting one as you sail toward the open ocean.
Days 2 and 3 – Sea Life, Sea Birds
Though you’re now at sea, there’s rarely a lonesome moment here: Several species of bird follow the vessel southeast, such as albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels.
Day 4 – The Falklands Found
The Falkland (Malvinas) Islands offer an abundance of wildlife, easily approachable – with caution. These islands are largely unknown gems, primarily remembered for the war between the UK and Argentina in 1982. Not only do various species of bird live here, but chances are great you’ll see both Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins in the surrounding waters. During this part of the voyage, you may visit the following sites: Steeple Jason – Home to the world’s largest black-browed albatross colony (roughly 113,000), Steeple Jason is a wild and rarely visited island buffeted by the wind and waves. Weather and swell conditions dictate the journey here. Carcass Island – Despite its name, this island is pleasantly rodent-free and hence bounteous with birdlife. Anything from breeding Magellanic and gentoo penguins to numerous waders and passerine birds (including Cobb’s wren and the tussock-bird) live here. Saunders Island – Here you can see the black-browed albatross and its sometimes-clumsy landings, along with breeding imperial shags and rockhopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and gentoo penguins are also found here.
Day 5 – Seat of Falklands Culture
The capital of the Falklands, Port Stanley has some South American traits mixed in with a little Victorian charm: colorful houses, well-tended gardens, and English-style pubs. You can see several century-old clipper ships in the surrounding area, silent witnesses to the hardships of 19th century sailors. The small but interesting museum is also worth a visit, covering the early days of the settlement up to the Falkland War. Approximately 2,100 people live in the capital, where you’re free to wander at will – though admission fees to local attractions are not included.
Days 6 and 7 – Once More to the Sea
En route to South Georgia, you cross the Antarctic Convergence. The temperature cools considerably within only a few hours, and nutritious water rises to the surface of the sea due to colliding water columns. This phenomenon attracts a multitude of seabirds near the ship: several species of albatrosses as well as shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas.
Days 8 to 11 – South Georgia Journey
You arrive at the first South Georgia activity site on day eight. Weather conditions here can be challenging and largely dictate the program. Sites you might visit include: Prion Island – This location is closed during the early part of the breeding season (November 20 – January 7). The previous summer’s wandering albatross chicks are almost ready to fledge, and adults are seeking out their old partners after a year and a half at sea. Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour – These locations not only house the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia, they’re also three of the largest breeding beaches for southern elephant seals in the world. Only this time of year do they peak in their breeding cycle. Watch the four-ton bulls keep a constant vigil (and occasionally fight) over the territories where dozens of females have just given birth or are about to deliver. You can also see a substantial number of Antarctic fur seals here during the breeding season (December – January). Fortuna Bay – Near beaches inhabited by penguins and seals, you have the chance to follow the final section of Shackleton’s route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness. This route cuts across the mountain pass beyond Shackleton’s Waterfall. The terrain here is partly swampy, so be prepared to cross some small streams along the way. Grytviken – You have the opportunity to check out this abandoned whaling station, where king penguins now walk the streets and elephant seals lie around like they own the place – because they just about do. You might also be able to see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave.
Day 12 – Southward Bound
There may be sea ice on this route, and at the edge of the ice some south polar skuas and snow petrels could join the other seabirds trailing the vessel south.
Day 13 – South Orkney Sights
Depending on how friendly the conditions are, you might visit Base Orcadas – an Argentine scientific station on Laurie Island in the South Orkney archipelago. The personnel here will happily show you their facility, where you can enjoy expansive views of the surrounding glaciers. If a visit here isn’t possible, you might land in Signy Island’s Shingle Cove instead.
Day 14 – Last Push to the Antarctic
Huge icebergs and a good chance of fin whales ensure there’s never a dull moment on this last sea voyage south. Also, your best chance to spot Antarctic petrels is here.
Days 15 to 18 – Antarctic Peninsula
If ice permits, you sail into the Weddell Sea. Here colossal tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Paulet Island, with its large population of Adélie penguins, is a possible stop. You might also visit Brown Bluff, located in the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound, where you may get the chance to set foot on the Continent. If conditions aren’t favorable to enter the Weddell Sea from the east, you set course for Elephant Island and head into the Bransfield Strait – between South Shetland Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. Here you attempt access to the Antarctic Sound from the northwest. The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often cloaked in mist, but they do offer subtle pleasures: a wide variety of flora (mosses, lichens, flowering grasses) and fauna (gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, southern giant petrels). Chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals often haul out onto the beach near Cámara Base, an Argentine scientific research station on Half Moon Island. On Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. Here you find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and thousands of cape petrels – along with a number of kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns. Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels also nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. As an alternative, you can take part in activities near Telefon Bay, further inside the caldera. This extended voyage gives you the chance to sail even farther down the ice-sculpted western Antarctic Peninsula. In Neko Harbour or Paradise Bay, you may be able to set foot on the Antarctic Continent – in an epic, otherworldly landscape of alpine peaks and mammoth glaciers calving at sea level. Humpback whales and minke whales are often spotted here. After sailing through Neumayer Channel, you might visit the former British research station – now a museum and post office – of Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. You may also be able to partake in activities around Jougla Point, meeting gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags. And if ice conditions work in your favor, you could even venture as far south as the Lemaire Channel. Cuverville Island is a potential stop in the early hours of your last landing day. Here you can pick around the rocks, enjoying the morning in good company: the largest gentoo penguin rookery of the Antarctic Peninsula. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
Days 19 and 20 – North by Sea
While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.
Day 21 – We disembark our vessel in Ushuaia
We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.
CABINS & PRICES
|Quadruple Porthole||From USD 12,150|
|Triple Porthole||USD 13,300|
|Twin Porthole||USD 14,550|
|Twin Window||USD 15,300|
|Twin Deluxe||USD 16,300|
All rates per person in USD
*Price per person when booking the complete cabin for two people
- Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
- All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
- Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes
- Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation, in Ushuaia
- Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation)
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme
- Comprehensive pre-departure material
- Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
- Pre- and post- land arrangements
- Passport and visa expenses
- Government arrival and departure taxes
- Meals ashore
- Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
- Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges
- The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided)