STYLE: Small Ship Expedition Cruise
Trip Code: ACTSFSAP
DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (light adventure)
Start: Ushuaia, Argentina
Finish: Ushuaia, Argentina
This ultimate journey takes us to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula over 19 days. Embarking in Ushuaia, the world's most southerly city, we will spend some time on the open ocean before arriving at our first destination - the Falkland Islands. Hiking, history and wildlife encounters await. South Georgia is our second destination and we will cross the chilly Antarctic Convergence en route. Wild and teeming with nature, South Georgia is a truly adventurous destination. The finale of this voyage takes us to the Antarctic Peninsuala where we will hopefully have the chance to set foot on the White Continent.
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.
Entering the westerlies the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.
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. On Saunders we will be able to observe four species of breeding penguins (Gentoo, King, Magellanic and Rockhopper), Black-browed Albatrosses and King Cormorants.
Visiting 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).
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.
In the early afternoon of day 7 we arrive at our first activity site in South Georgia. Weather conditions on South Georgia can be challenging and will largely dictate the program. Sites that may be visited include: 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 the early part of the breeding season from 20 Nov – 07 January). In Fortuna Bay, penguins and seals inhabit the beaches. We may follow the final section of Shackleton’s route to Stromness, the abandoned whaling village. The route leads us across the mountain pass past the “Shackleton Waterfall”. The terrain is partly swampy and some small streams may have to be crossed along the way. At Grytviken, we will also see an abandoned whaling station, where King penguins now walk in the streets and Elephant seals have taken residency. Here we will also offer a visit to the Whaling History Museum as well as to Shackleton’s grave nearby. Salisbury Plain, St Andrews Bay and Gold Harbour house the three largest King penguin colonies in South Georgia but are also home to a substantial number of Antarctic fur seals during the breeding season (December – January). We will depart from South Georgia in the afternoon of day 10.
A multitude of seabirds will again follow the ship southwards. 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 South Polar Skua and Snow Petrel.
Weather and ice depending we hope to visit to Orcadas station, an Argentinean base located on Laurie Island in the South Orkney Island archipelago. The friendly base personnel will show us their facilities and we can enjoy the wonderful views of the surrounding glaciers. Alternatively, we may attempt a landing in Shingle Cove on Signy Island.
We will pass large icebergs and have a good chance of Fin whales on the way south. In addition, we have the best chances on the trip to see Antarctic Petrels around the ship.
If the ice permits us, we will sail into the Weddell Sea. Huge tabular icebergs will announce our arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. We hope to visit Paulet Island with a huge number of Adélie penguins and Brown Bluff located in the ice clogged Antarctic Sound, where we may set foot on the Continent. If sea ice conditions are not favourable to enter the Weddell Sea from the east, we set course for Elephant Island and head into the Bransfield Strait between South Shetland Island and the Antarctic Peninsula and attempt to gain access to the Antarctic Sound from the northwest.
On our way north a great selection of seabirds will follow the ship while crossing the Drake Passage.
We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.
M/V Plancius started life as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy. After a change of owner, the ship underwent a complete refit and refurbishment to be converted into a comfortable ice-strengthened Antarctic vessel. Accommodating up to 116 passengers, M/V Plancius has 53 cabins, all with private toilet and shower. The cabins range from quadruple, triple and twin porthole cabins to twin cabins with windows, twin deluxe cabins and twin superior cabins that are 21 square metres and feature a queen-size bed. Quadruple cabins include two bunk beds, triple cabins feature 1 bunk bed plus 1 single bed, whilst twin cabins are fitted with 2 single beds. The ship has a large restaurant/lecture room and a spacious observation lounge with bar and huge panoramic windows. There are large open deck spaces, including full walk-around possibilities on one deck, providing excellent opportunities for wildlife spotting and to feast on the spectacular scenery. The 10 Zodiacs and 2 gangways ensure a swift Zodiac operation, so no time is wasted getting you ashore to explore the stunning beauty and amazing wildlife of the Antarctic.
M/V Plancius started life as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy. After a change of owner, the ship underwent a complete refit and refurbishment to be converted into a comfortable ice-strengthened Antarctic vessel.
Accommodating up to 116 passengers, M/V Plancius has 53 cabins, all with private toilet and shower. The cabins range from quadruple, triple and twin porthole cabins to twin cabins with windows, twin deluxe cabins and twin superior cabins that are 21 square metres and feature a queen-size bed. Quadruple cabins include two bunk beds, triple cabins feature 1 bunk bed plus 1 single bed, whilst twin cabins are fitted with 2 single beds.
The ship has a large restaurant/lecture room and a spacious observation lounge with bar and huge panoramic windows. There are large open deck spaces, including full walk-around possibilities on one deck, providing excellent opportunities for wildlife spotting and to feast on the spectacular scenery.
The 10 Zodiacs and 2 gangways ensure a swift Zodiac operation, so no time is wasted getting you ashore to explore the stunning beauty and amazing wildlife of the Antarctic.
Length: 89 m / 293 feet
Breadth: 14.5 m / 47 feetMax
Speed: 12 knots
Electricity: 240 volts Passenger
View Ship Details
We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.
Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.
Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.
Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.
|Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica | Plancius from USD 13,200|
|23 Nov 2023||11 Dec 2023||19|
|16 Jan 2024||03 Feb 2024||19|
|16 Jan 2025||03 Feb 2025||19|
Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes
Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
Comprehensive pre-departure material
Airfares to/from disembarkation city
Visa fees (if applicable)
Beverages (other than tea & coffee)
Personal expenses such as laundry, on-board communication(telephone, faxes, email service)
Gratuities for the crew (recommend US$15 per person per day)
Pre and post land arrangements
Government arrival or departure taxes (if applicable)
Available upon request. Please contact us for more details. No single supplement will apply if willing to share in selected cabins.
Prices are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change at any time. Price is based on Quad Share.
Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions.
Departure Date, Fuel Surcharges, Cabin Category, Currency Fluctuations, Seasonality & Availability.