Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula
Dates and trip codes
9-29 Nov 2017 - PLA22-17
29 Nov - 18 Dec 2017 - PLA23-17
16 Dec 2017-3 Jan 2018 - OTL25-18
19 Jan - 7 Feb 2018 - PLA27-18
2-20 Feb 2018 - OTL29-18
17 Feb - 18 Mar 2018 -PLA29-18
Stanley, Falkland Islands
Grytviken, South Georgia
Folding near Stomness, South Georgia
Drygalski Fjord, South Georgia
Wandering Albatross, Prion Island, South Georgia
King Penguins, Salisbury Plain, South Georgia
Orcadas station, South Orkney Islands
Zodiac cruising in Antarctica
Gentoo penguins in Antarctica
Antarctic fur seal at Deception Island, South Shetland Islands
Possible route map, the route can vary due to weather and ice conditions.
A typical itinerary to the Falklands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula is illustrated below. All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
Day 1: Ushuaia - In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.
Day 2: at sea - At sea, in the westerlies the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.
Day 3: Falkland Islands - In the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) we plan to spend the whole day on the fascinating western side of the archipelago. A hike along the Shore of Carcass Island will give us views of Magellanic and Gentoo-Penguins, as well as close encounters with water fowl and Night herons and passerines. In addition, on Saunders we will be able to observe four species of breeding penguins (Gentoo, King, Magellanic and Rockhopper), Black-browed Albatrosses and King Cormorants.
Day 4: Stanley, Falkland Islands - In Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, we can experience Falkland culture, which has some South American characteristics as well as Victorian charm. In Stanley and the surrounding area we can see quite an important number of stranded clippers from a century ago. All passengers are free to wander around on their own. We recommend a visit to the local church and museum (admission fees not included).
Days 5 & 6: At sea - On our way to South Georgia we will cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature may drop significantly 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.
Days 7 – 10: South Georgia - In the afternoon of day 7 we arrive at our first landing site in South Georgia. We might visit the bay of Elsehul, with its very active fur seal breeding beach, and then set course to Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, Godthul, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour, Cooper Bay and Drygalski Fjord to give you a good opportunity to see a wide spectrum of landscapes and wildlife, like the Elephant seals, Fur seals, King and Macaroni Penguins.
One of the highlights might be our visit to Prion Island, where we will witness the breeding efforts of the huge Wandering Albatross and enjoy watching their displays (the island is closed for visitors during breeding season from 20 Nov – 07 January). At Fortuna Bay we might try to follow in the footsteps of the great British Explorer Ernest Shackleton and hike over to Stromness Bay. There and at Grytviken we’ll 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 nearby. We will depart from South Georgia in the afternoon of day 10.
Day 11: At sea - Where the ship is again followed by a multitude of seabirds. At some point we might encounter sea-ice, and it is at the ice-edge where we might have a chance to see some high-Antarctic species like the McCormick Skua and Snow Petrel.
Day 12: South Orkney Islands - We are planning on a visit to Orcadas station, an Argentinean base located in the South Orkney Islands. The friendly base personnel will show us their facilities and we can enjoy the wonderful views of the surrounding glaciers.
Day 13: At sea towards Antarctica
Days 14 – 16 (14 - 17 on voyage PLA29):Antarctic Peninsula – If the icepermits we will sail into the Weddell Sea through the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound. Huge tabular icebergs will announce our arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. We plan to visit Brown Bluff where we may set foot on the Continent. In good sailing conditions we may decide to extend our time in the Weddell Sea.
In Deception Island our ship braves into the entrance of the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellows. Deception itself is a sub-ducted crater, which opens into the sea, creating a natural harbour for the ship. Here we find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape Petrels and many Kelp Gulls, Brown and South Polar Skuas and Antarctic Terns. Wilson’s Storm Petrels and Black-bellied Storm Petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. We leave from here and sail through the Shetland Islands attempting to land at Half Moon Island with a large Chinstrap penguin rookery and the usually non-occupied Argentinean Camara station. From here we head to the open sea with direction Ushuaia.
We may visit Cierva Cove were we find ourselves in a world of icebergs well suited for an exploratory Zodiac cruise in search of fantastic photo opportunities. Humpback whales, Crabeater seals and Leopard seals are often seen here and a small rookery of Chinstraps are found on a small island in the bay. The landscape is typical Antarctica with huge glaciated mountains all around. Mikkelsen Harbour on the southern side of Trinity Island was discovered by the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1901-04. Gentoo penguins nest on the island and Weddell seals often haul out on shore. We also find remains of the early 20th Century Whaling period and an Argentinean refuge hut.
Days 17 – 18 (day 18 – 19 on voyage PLA29): At sea - On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.
Day 19 (day 20 on voyage PLA29): Ushuaia - We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.