Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands
Vast Colonies of King Penguins, Breathtaking Scenery, Historic
sites, Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Photography, Dedicated
20 Days | Departure:
02/16/21 | From $14,070
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Regions: Antarctic Peninsula | South Georgia | South Shetland Islands | Falkland Islands
Highlights: This voyage has
it all: the impossible beauty of Antarctic ice, over 100,000
king penguins in South Georgia and the Falkland's human history
and amazing albatross colonies.
Shared cabin rates: $14,070 - $26,480
Rates are per person and based on double or triple occupancy according to the cabin.
Shared solo - shared accommodation available, please contact us for details.
Ship - Ushuaia -
This voyage combines the comfortable adventure cruises of Classic Antarctica with visits to the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and spectacular South Georgia. Many of the wildlife (penguins, whales, seabirds and seals) and scenic highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are included as well as the best of these two wildlife-rich sub-Antarctic islands. These expeditions are designed to include as much wildlife viewing as possible, but also include visits to scientific bases and allow plenty of time to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of icy waterways, glaciers, and icebergs.
ItineraryDay 1: Ushuaia, Argentina / Embark
In the afternoon, board your ship. A welcome drink and an introduction to the crew and expedition staff will follow, and you will have time to get to know your new shipmates. The ship sets sail towards the Western Falkland Islands (Malvinas), known for their rugged beauty and wealth of seabirds and waterfowl.
Day 2: At Sea
The open bridge policy on your vessel allows you to join officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for marine life, and enjoy the views of open ocean. These waters are also home to an interesting group of seabirds, which often ride the currents created in the wake of the ship, such as albatross and petrels. Join the expedition staff and naturalists on deck in search of seabirds and other local wildlife, such as orcas and dolphins. An interesting selection of lectures will help prepare you for your first excursions in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).
Day 3: Western
Explore the Western Falkland Islands where you may visit the following islands:
- West Point Island
West Point Island lies off the most north-westerly point of mainland West Falkland. The attractive settlement sits on the edge of a small harbor on the eastern side of the island, in the lee of Black Bog Hill and Michael's Mount. The valley between these two peaks rolls over the center of the island to the dramatic Devil's Nose, one of the island's main attraction. From here visitors are treated to splendid views of Cliff Mountain, the island's highest point at 1,250 ft (381 m), and the highest cliffs in the Falklands. This is where you will encounter a vast colony of Rockhopper Penguins and Black-browed Albatross, nesting together in close vicinity.
- Carcass Island
Carcass Island lies to the north-west of the Falkland archipelago (Malvinas). A mature tussac plantation covers much of the lower ground below Jason Hill to the east. The availability of abundant cover and the absence of cats, rats and mice throughout the island have made for a spectacularly large population of small birds, which is one of Carcass Island's most delightful features. Gentoo and Magellanic Penguins also nest here. Peal's and Commerson's dolphins frequently come close to the shoreline to get a glimpse of the visitors as well. At the settlement with its beautiful gardens, you may be invited to enjoy tea and cookies with the locals.
Overnight, sail around the northern islands of the archipelago in an easterly direction to reach the capital of Stanley the following morning.
Day 4: Eastern
Falkland Islands / At Sea
In the morning hours, enjoy time to explore the quaint little town of Stanley and its wonderful museum, souvenir shops and pubs. The town was established in the early 1840s. Isolation and the weather conditions made life hard, but progress was gradual and punctuated by the extremely eventful times of involvement in two world wars. For those who are more interested in the outstanding wildlife the islands have to offer, you do not even have to leave town to enjoy it. Southern Giant Petrels often fly close to the shoreline. The endemic Falkland Steamer Ducks abound on the shorelines while Kelp Gulls can often be seen flying together with Dolphin Gulls. The less obvious but frequent visitors to Stanley area are Black-crowned Night Herons, Red-backed Hawks and Peregrine Falcons. Turkey Vultures are regularly seen on top of any prominent building. Many pairs of Upland Geese frequent the park and it might be nice to take a stroll around the gardens of town to see some of the singing birds as well. Set sail in the early afternoon, heading for South Georgia
Days 5 - 6: At Sea
An extensive lecture program is offered during the days at sea. Expert naturalists share their knowledge of the wildlife and unique ecosystems you will encounter throughout your voyage. South Georgia is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and inspiring places on earth with more wildlife than virtually anywhere else on the planet.
Days 7: At Sea / South Georgia
South Georgia comes into sight! Though extremely isolated, it has amazing scenery ranging from high mountains and mighty glaciers to deep fjords and low-lying grassland.
Southwards, a magnificent
Alpine country, illuminated by the rising sun, rose slowly
from the sea; there were mighty fells with snowy crowns
and with sharp, uncovered teeth, around the valleys through
which enormous, broad rivers of ice came flowing to the
J. Gunnar Andersson, 1902 - describing South Georgia
Days 8 - 11:
Flexibility in this area is a must. All of your expedition leaders have been to South Georgia numerous times and, if the weather is in your favor, you may make a landing before breakfast or even after dinner. You call at some of the many islands, bays, and coves where you can see outstanding birdlife and elephant and fur seals close at hand. The following is a list of places you may visit on South Georgia.
- Salisbury Plain - Two glaciers flank
Salisbury Plain on South Georgia's north coast. Here, more
than 200,000 king penguins congregate and breed, and you
are greeted by one of the more remarkable sights and sounds
- Grytviken - You go ashore and explore
here, discovering the old ruins of this once-active whaling
station. The cemetery holds a special fascination, as it
is here that Shackleton is buried on this island he loved.
Walking along the coast, you spy seabirds, penguins, and
- Prion Island - Prion Island is a beautiful
tussock grass covered islet. You may enjoy the opportunity
to see a breeding colony of Wandering Albatross on top of
it. Climb to the summit on a wooden boardwalk, which takes
you close to their nests and offers comfortable viewing
- Godthul - Situated 9km east of Cumberland
East Bay on the eastern shores of Barff Peninsula, Godthul
is a 3km long inlet that lies between Cape George and Long
Point. Gentoo Penguins are abundant on the tussac plateau
and the cries of Light-mantled Sooty Albatross echo off
the natural cliff amphitheater that encircles the harbor.
A floating factory ship serviced by two whalers was stationed
here each summer between 1908 and 1929. A small shore depot
supporting the whaling operations was established close
by the stream in the southeast corner of the harbor, and
the rusting barrels, wooden shed and boats are fascinating
relics of the whaling era, as is the impressive collection
of whale and elephant seal bones scattered along the beach.
- Cooper Bay - Found at the southeast
extremity of South Georgia. There is a wealth of wildlife
at this site in a spectacular setting. Chinstrap, Gentoo
and maybe one or two Macaroni Penguins dot the tussac slopes
and there are plenty of fur seals on the beaches. Fascinating
volcanic rocks tower over small fjords, giving a stunning
invitation for a thrilling zodiac cruise to watch wildlife
from the waterfront.
- St. Andrews Bay - The surf beaten
coastline at St. Andrews Bay runs north-south in a
1.86-mile long uninterrupted sweep of fine dark sand,
covered in penguins and seals and bounded in the
interior by the Cook, Buxton, and Heaney Glaciers. The
bay hosts the largest colony of king penguins on South
Georgia. Early in the season, the beach is also carpeted
with fur and elephant seals. Such a large assemblage of
wildlife attracts an entourage of persistent and
voracious scavengers. Sheathbills dart in and around the
penguin colony. Cape petrels nest in a small number on
the cliffs north of St. Andrews Bay. Leopard seals
patrol the rocks at this end of the beach too, hunting
for penguins along the edge of kelp beds. A few
white-chinned petrels and light-mantled sooty albatross
nest on the tussac slopes. Brown skuas and Antarctic
terns breed on the outwash plain and scree slopes at the
north end of the beach, defending their nest sites with
characteristic noise and vigor.
- Drygalski Fjord - Located in the far south east of the island. The glaciers found in this dramatic fjord have retreated significantly in recent decades, but they still remain one of the most striking features of this coastline, particularly the Risting and Jenkins Glaciers. With a little luck, you may see the glaciers calve and witness the birth of a new iceberg from on board the ship.
Days 12-13: At Sea
The next few days at sea can be as busy or as relaxing as you desire. Go on deck to spot whales and sea birds flying overhead, or attend lectures from our on-board specialists. Whatever you choose, remember to take a moment to reflect on the amazing creatures you've met so far.
Days 14: Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands
You may have a chance to visit the enigmatic Elephant Island. Sir Ernest Shackleton fans will need no introduction to this historic windswept island. In 1916, Shackleton was forced to leave 22 of his men stranded on these shores, while he and five others embarked on an unbelievable last-ditch rescue attempt. What followed is one of the greatest rescue stories of all time. Every passenger will return with a greater knowledge of this gripping tale of adventure in a truly remarkable part of the world.
Day 15: At Sea
Your expedition team will prepare you for you experience on the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands.
- Argentine Antarctic Station Esperanza -
Attempt to sail the passage to the east side of
the Antarctic Peninsula, which traverses the Antarctic Sound
and runs northwest-to-southeast. Hope Bay and the Argentine
Station Esperanza are located on the western side of the
- Brown Bluff - Brown Bluff, a promontory
on the Tabarin Peninsula, is located south of Hope Bay.
Both of them might be possible landing sites. The Weddell
Sea represents the center of the Peninsula's Adelie Penguin
- Paulet Island - The numbers of penguins
in the region of Paulet Island are breathtaking. The region
also teems with vibrant exploration history. The most bizarre
of these tales involves the Swedish Antarctic Expedition
of 1901-03 under the command of geologist Otto Nordenskjold.
Four visitor sites have links to this expedition: Hope Bay,
Paulet Island, Snow Hill Island, and Cape Well-Met on Vega
Island. Your expedition staff will be pleased to share their
exciting story with you. Nordenskjold's
expedition was the first to overwinter in the Peninsula.
His ship the Antarctic, under the command of the famous
Norwegian whaling captain Carl Anton Larsen, was trapped
in the ice and sank, but the men survived on different locations
and even managed to carry out significant scientific research
in the area.
- Gerlache Strait - This region of broad
straits, mountainous islands, protected bays, and narrow
channels offer moments of solitude. A profusion of tall
peaks humans have never climbed and vast glaciers flowing
inexorably seaward are the physical features here.
- Hydrurga Rocks - You might visit Hydrurga
Rocks, a small group of islets, which lie east of Two Hummock
Island in the Palmer Archipelago, at the northern entrance
of the Gerlache Strait. Chinstrap Penguins, Blue-eyed Shags
and Kelp Gulls are confirmed breeders here.
- Cuverville Island - Cuverville Island
lies in the scenic Errera Channel, in the center of the
Gerlache Strait. A well-defined raised beach forms a nesting
site for many Gentoo Penguins here. On your way north, plan
to explore the South Shetland Islands.
- Deception Island - Deception is the
largest of three recent volcanic centers in the South Shetlands.
Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera
of Deception Island is truly amazing. Once inside, the rising
slope of the black, cinder-covered volcanic rim can be walked
uphill to a rather spectacular vantage point.
- Half Moon Island - This crescent-shaped island, in the entrance of Moon Bay between Greenwich and Livingston Islands, is home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.
Days 18-19: At Sea
Depart Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join your lecturers and naturalists on deck in search of seabirds and whales. Enjoy some final lectures, take the chance to relax, and reflect on the fascinating adventures you have had over the past days.
Day 20: Ushuaia
Arrive at Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark after breakfast.
This itinerary is subject to change. We are not responsible
for itinerary changes.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase emergency evacuation/repatriation insurance at a minimum coverage of $100,000. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. We strongly recommend at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for Antarctic trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. We can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Voyage as indicated in the itinerary; shipboard accommodations; shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; post-expedition log; gear on loan (rubber boots); all meals aboard the ship; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; comprehensive pre-departure material; coffee and tea throughout the day. Subject to change without notice.
Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post- land arrangements; transfers to / from the vessel; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; emergency evacuation / repatriation insurance (mandatory); baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as bar and beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyage (guidelines will be provided); fuel surcharge may apply.
South Georgia / Falkland Islands / Antarctica - Sample Cruises - 2020 / 2021
|Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands||Vast Colonies of King Penguins, Breathtaking Scenery, Historic sites, optional kayaking||$25,940 -
|Antarctica and South Georgia and the Falklands||Two great destinations, anticipate penguins, whales, seabirds and seals as well as scenic highlights||$14,070 - $26,480||20|
* Prices are based per person, the lowest price is usually for triple occupancy in a basic cabin, the highest for double occupancy in the best available suite.
Options may be at additional cost and are usually booked when the cruise is booked - it may be too late once the cruise has started.