Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula
Ushuaia return or
Buenos Aires - Ushuaia
LAST MINUTE SPECIAL: Save 40% on the 3 November 2012 departure aboard MV Plancius.
That's a 20 day cruise from only USD6,870!
Aboard Plancius, Polar Pioneer or Sea Spirit
- 17/19/20/22 days November - january
South Georgia’s remote, untamed landscape is simply stunning. Marvel at the haunting cries of light-mantled sooty albatross, adorable fur seal pups learning to swim and herds of reindeer cantering across lush, grassy flats. Hike up tussock-covered slopes, past mossy streams for magnificent views of macaroni penguins, courting albatross and glaciated mountain peaks.
Scattered across the mighty Southern Ocean, the tiny arc of windswept islands and harbours are some of the world’s greatest wildlife sanctuaries. Famed for its abandoned whaling stations and Shackleton’s heroic journey, South Georgia is home to literally millions of fur seals and penguins, wallows of elephant seals, and nesting albatross. This remarkable voyage also includes time to explore the Antarctic Peninsula.
Ushuaia - Beagle Channel
In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the picturesque southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through the Beagle Channel.
At sea, in the westerlies the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.
In the Falkland Islands we plan to spend the whole day on the fascinating western side of the archipelago. On New Island we'll witness how heavy Black-browed Albatrosses try to land and take off in a colony they share with the sturdy Rockhopper Penguins. A hike along the shore of Carcass Island will give us instead views of Magellanic and Gentoo-Penguins, as well as close encounters with water fowl and Night herons.
In Port Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, we can experience Falkland culture, which has some South-American characteristics. In Port Stanley and surrounding area we can see a quite important number of stranded clippers from a century ago.
At sea, on our way to South Georgia we will cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature will drop as much as 10°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.
In South Georgia we shall visit Grytviken with the abandoned whaling village, where King Penguins now walk in the streets, and King Edwards Point with a British garrison and the grave of Shackleton. Fortuna Bay and Bay of Isles with breeding Wandering Albatrosses on Albatross Island, and Salisbury Plain with a large colony of King Penguins are other highlights of the South Georgia program. We may also visit Elsehul, Right Whale Bay, Possession Bay, Gold Harbour and Drygalski Fjord to give you a good opportunity to see a wide spectrum of landscapes and wildlife, like the introduced Reindeer, Fur Seals, Elephant Seals, Gentoo Penguins, Macaroni Penguins, Grey-headed Albatrosses, Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Northern and Southern Giant Petrels, White-chinned Petrels, several species of prions and storm petrels, Brown Skuas, Dominican Gulls, Antarctic Terns, sheathbills and the endemic South Georgia Pintail.
At sea, where the ship is again followed by a multitude of seabirds.
In the South Orkneys we plan to call at Laurie Island and may visit the friendly Argentine base, in which vicinity we can see breeding Southern Giant Petrels. With permission of the base personnel we may also visit Punta Cormoran which has an Adelie Penguin colony.
At sea when we approach the sea-ice, we may have a chance to see some high-Antarctic species like Maccormick Skua, Snow Petrel and the elusive juvenile Emperor Penguin. Chances to encounter Minke Whales are also increasing when we approach the ice.
Our landings in the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula may include Paulet Island featuring the remains of polar expeditions from the beginning of the 20th century, and a colony of hundreds of thousands of Adelie Penguins. Here at the tip of the Weddell Sea we see the magnificent table icebergs. At Brown Bluff we may set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a beautiful volcanic area. At Mikkelsen Harbour at the south end of Trinity Island we can observe a Gentoo Penguin colony and Weddell and Fur Seals hauled out on the beach. In the beautiful Charlotte Bay we may again set foot on the Antarctic Continent at Portal Point, where Crabeater Seals have often been seen. Here in the Gerlache Strait we often see Humpback Whales and Minke Whales. We try to land at Baily Head (Deception Island), where we are surrounded by 100.000 Chinstrap Penguins like in an amphitheatre. From here good walkers can walk to Whalers Bay. In Whalers Bay, we can observe the remains of the Hektor whaling station from the beginning of the 20th century. We intend to visit Hannah Point, one of the best wildlife spots in the South Shetlands, with Giant Petrels, Cape Pigeons, Blue-eyed Shag, Gentoo Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins, a few Macaroni Penguins and Elephant Seals.
On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.
We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.
Please note that all of our itineraries are at the mercy of weather conditions and not all landings are guaranteed. Our itineraries are flexible and will change voyage to voyage, allowing the best chance to make the most of surprising wildlife displays and unexpected opportunities. Some itineraies run in the reverse order and have an option to fly from Stanley to Punta Arenas rather than sail the final leg to Ushuaia.