Exclusive South Georgia
Aboard MV Plancius
*Save 10% on 17 Oct 2012 Sailing aboard Plancius plus receive a free high-quality Swarovski binoculars (8 x 30) with a retail value of USD1,200
Embark: Montevideo, Uruguay
Disembark: Ushuaia, Argentina
- 18 days 17 Oct - 3 Nov 2012*
- 23 days 01 Nov - 23 Nov 2013
In the afternoon, we embark in Montevideo and set sail to South Georgia.
Across the Southern Atlantic Ocean, in the Westerlies the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels. At sea, on our way to South Georgia we will cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature will drop by as much as 10 degrees C in the time span of only a few hours. Near the Convergence we will see a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship; several species of Albatrosses, Shearwaters, Petrels, Prions and Skuas. Depending on progress (weather) we might have South Georgia in sight on day 6, which might also allow us to do our first landing.
An exciting expedition with two adventure options: the normal sea voyage for “sea explorers” (with zodiac excursions and hiking options) and a land expedition for “ski explorers”. The sea explorers will explore the coastlines of the Island while at the same time the ski explorers will attempt to traverse the Island on a self supplied ski trek from the South coast (King Haakon Bay) to the North coast (Fortuna Bay) in 4 days.
Ski trek across South Georgia: A group of up to 12 ski explorers and 2-3 mountain guides will attempt to traverse on an unsupported and self supplied trek across the island with skis hauling pulkas (sledges). The skiers will cover a total distance of 40 km retracing sections of the historic Shackleton route, which he covered in 36 hours.
On arrival day at King Haakon Bay, the expedition members will spend their first night further inland. The expedition will then embark on their trek across alpine passes and glaciers aiming for reunion with the ship at Fortuna or Stromness Bay. After both expeditions have rejoined, all passengers will then continue to enjoy the latter part of the South Georgia cruise itinerary.
Sea voyage: The sea explorers who remain on board will say their goodbyes to the skiers at Pegotty Bluff, the historic camp site. It was from there on the 19th May 1916 that Shackleton, Crean and Worsley set off across the Island to Stromness in a 36 hours marathon trek. The same day, Plancius, will stop over at Cape Rosa, where we intend to make a landing. Shackleton’s James Caird landed at Cape Rosa after an epic 16 days voyage from Elephant Island. Truly a historic day!
The ship will be positioned around the Northwest corner of South Georgia. One of the highlights is the visit to Prion Island, where we will witness the breeding efforts of the huge Wandering Albatross and enjoy watching their displays. At Salisbury Plain, the second largest King Penguin colony in South Georgia, we will also see elephant seals.
In Fortuna Bay, the ship will most likely re-unite with the ski explorers. The beaches are inhabited by King Penguins and seals. We might even see reindeer! Both, sea explorers and ski explorers can follow the final section of Shackleton’s route to Stromness, the abandoned whaling village.
At Grytviken we will also see an abandoned whaling village, where King Penguins now walk in the streets and seals have taken over the buildings. At Grytviken we’ll also offer a visit to the Whaling History Museum as well as to Shackleton’s grave near by.
During the next few days the expedition will explore the beaches of Ocean Harbour, Godthul, Cobblers Cover, Gold Harbour, Drygalski Fjord, Larsen Harbour, Cooper Bay, St. Andrews Bay,Possession Bay, Right Whale Bay and Elsehul. The sites that we visit give us a good opportunity to see a wide spectrum of landscapes and wildlife, like King and Macaroni Penguins, Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Fur Seals, Elephant Seals and the introduced reindeer.
Drygalski Fjord is a great scenic place for zodiac cruising. There will be opportunities for walkers in the group to hike at Godthul and Gold Harbour hikes will be guided and vary in length with approx. 2 – 4 hours, 5 – 10 km. All hiking excursions are subject to weather and landing site availability.
The voyage in South Georgia ends at Elsehul and the ship will take course to Ushuaia/Argentina in the evening.
On our way to Ushuaia we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Southern Atlantic.
We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.