Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands

Vast Colonies of King Penguins, Breathtaking Scenery, Historic sites, Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Photography, Dedicated Solo Cabins
20 Days   |   Departure: 10/13/17   |   From $8,760


Testimonials  |  Ship types

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: $8,760 - $15,800
Rates are per person and based on double or triple occupancy according to the cabin.
Premier single cabin:
$17,050
Charter Air
(Santiago / Ushuaia): From $890 per person
Shared solo - shared accommodation available, please contact us for details.

Ship - Ushuaia - Research Ship
Passengers: 88

Introduction

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.








Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland

Itinerary

Day 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 Falkland Islands
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 sea.
J. Gunnar Andersson, 1902 - describing South Georgia

Days 8 - 10: South Georgia
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 on earth.

  • 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 marine mammals.
  • 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 platforms.

  • 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.

  • 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 11-12: 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 13: 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 14: At Sea
Your expedition team will prepare you for you experience on the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands.

Days 15-17: Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
In the area of the Antarctic Sound, you may visit the following sites:

  • 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 Sound.

  • 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 Adélie Penguin population.

  • 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 Nordenskjöld. 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. Nordenskjöld´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.

    Your plan is to sail through the Gerlache Strait into the Northwest Antarctic Peninsula 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.


Notes:

This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to have emergency medical evacuation travel insurance coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The policy provider, policy number and emergency contact phone number must be provided prior to departure date. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for Antarctic trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.

Included:
Voyage as indicated in the itinerary; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by zodiac; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; comprehensive pre-departure material; detailed post-expedition log. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
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; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (strongly recommended, please contact ExpeditionTrips); 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 voyages (guidelines will be provided); fuel surcharge may apply.

Antarctica Ross Sea Region Cruise

South Georgia / Falkland Islands / Antarctica - Sample Cruises - 2017 / 2018

Trip Highlights Prices USD* Days
Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands Vast Colonies of King Penguins, Breathtaking Scenery, Historic sites, optional kayaking $23,790 -
$41,910
24
Antarctica and South Georgia Two great destinations, anticipate penguins, whales, seabirds and seals as well as scenic highlights $8,760 - $15,800 20
Notes

* 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.