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Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Antarctic Peninsula - 21 Days

Overview

This is a 21 day expedition starting in Puerto Madryn, Argentina and ending in the Argentinean city of Ushuaia. Over 3 weeks, we will sail first to the Falkland Islands, then South Georgia and finally to the Antarctic Peninsula. A completely in-depth journey, we will discover myriad wildlife species, fascinating maritime history and outdoor exploration. We will experience nature's elements at their most powerful from the comfort of our sturdy, ice-strengthened vessel. 

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACTSFSAN

Location: Antarctica

Ship: Plancius

CRUISE ITINERARY

In the afternoon, we embark in Puerto Madryn and sail towards the Falkland Islands. Golfo Nuevo is world renowned for their visiting Southern Right whales and we have a good chance to see them as we head towards Open Ocean.

We embark our vessel in Puerto Madryn

The ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.

At sea - Day 2 & 3

We spend this day in the Western parts of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). If the weather conditions allow, we hope to land on the rarely visited Steeple Jason Island in the early morning. Here we find the largest Black-browed albatross colony in the world is located (app. 113.000). As an alternative, we would take a walk along the Coast of Carcass Island. Here we may encounter breeding Magellanic and Gentoo penguins, but also numerous waders and passerine birds are present. On Saunders Island, we can see the majestic Black-browed albatross and their sometimes-clumsy landings near their nesting site along with breeding Imperial shags and Rock hopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and Gentoo penguins are also present here.

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, colourful houses, well-tended gardens, and English style pubs. In Stanley and the surrounding area, we can see quite a number of stranded clippers from a century ago. They bear witness to the hardships of sailors in the 19th Century. The small, but very interesting museum is well worth a visit featuring an exhibition covering the early days of settlement up to the Falklands War of 1982. Approximately 2,100 people live in the small capital in which all passengers are free to wander around on their own (admission fees to local attractions are not included).

Stanley, Falkland Islands

On our way to South Georgia we will cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic currents, the temperature will drop considerably in the time span of only a few hours. Nutritious water surfaces due to colliding water columns, which brings a multitude of seabirds near the ship: several species of albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels, prions and skuas.

At sea - Day 6 & 7

In the early afternoon of day 8 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 (the island is closed for visitors during the early part of the breeding season from 20 Nov – 07 January), where the previous summer’s fully-grown chicks of the huge Wandering Albatross are almost ready to fledge and adults are returning to seek their old partner after a year and a half at sea. Salisbury Plain, St Andrews Bay and Gold Harbour do not only house the three largest King penguin colonies in South Georgia but are also three of the largest breeding beaches for Southern Elephant seals in the world. Only at this time of the year they peak in their breeding cycle. Watch the incredible spectacle of large 4-ton bulls who have to keep a constant vigil and occasionally fight over territories of dozens of females who have just given birth or are just about to deliver. The beaches are packed with Elephant seals! 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.

South Georgia - Day 8 to 11

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.

At sea

Weather and ice depending we hope to visit 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.

South Orkney Islands

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.

At sea towards Antarctica

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. The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist, but do offer subtle pleasures. There is a nice variety of flora (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna, such as Gentoo Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins and Southern Giant Petrels. On Half Moon Island we will find Chinstrap Penguins and Weddell Seals often haul out on the beach near the Argentinean station Camara. In Deception Island, our ship braves through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. 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. Alternatively, we will offer activities near Telefon Bay further inside the flooded caldera. The 20 night’s voyage opens the opportunity to sail further down the western Antarctic Peninsula. In Neko Harbour or Paradise Bay we hope to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers calving at sea level. We enjoy the landscape surrounded by alpine peaks. In this area, we have good chances to see Humpback Whales and Minke Whales. After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, we hope to get a chance to visit the old British research station, now living museum and post office at Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy, we may also offer activities around Jougla Point with Gentoo Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. If ice conditions allow we may opt to venture as far south as the Lemaire Channel to explore opportunities for activities. In the early hours of our last landing day, we hope to conduct our activities at Cuverville Island with the several thousand Gentoo penguins in the largest Gentoo rookery of the Antarctic Peninsula. We depart to the Drake Passage around noon of day 18 through the Melchior Islands.

Antarctic Peninsula - Day 15 to 18

On our way north a great selection of seabirds will follow the ship while crossing the Drake Passage.

At sea - Day 19 & 20

We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.

Disembark in Ushuaia
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Pricing & date

Departing Ending Duration
01 Nov 2020 21 Nov 2020 21
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Important Information

  • 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

    Exclusions

    Airfares to/from disembarkation city 
    Visa fees (if applicable)
    Travel insurance
    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)

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

GUIDANCE FOR VISITORS TO THE ANTARCTIC

RECOMMENDATION XVIII-1, ADOPTED AT THE ANTARCTIC TREATY MEETING, KYOTO, 1994

Activities in the Antarctic are governed by the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 and associated agreements, referred to collectively as the Antarctic Treaty System. The Treaty established Antarctica as a zone of peace and science.

In 1991, the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties adopted the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, which designates the Antarctic as a natural reserve. The Protocol sets out environmental principles, procedures and obligations for the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment, and its dependent and associated ecosystems. The Consultative Parties have agreed that as far as possible and in accordance with their legal system, the provisions of the Protocol should be applied as appropriate. The Environmental Protocol was ratified in January 1998.

The Environmental Protocol applies to tourism and non-governmental activities, as well as governmental activities in the Antarctic Treaty Area. It is intended to ensure that these activities, do not have adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment, or on its scientific and aesthetic values.
This Guidance for Visitors to the Antarctic is intended to ensure that all visitors are aware of, and are therefore able to comply with, the Treaty and the Protocol. Visitors are, of course, bound by national laws and regulations applicable to activities in the Antarctic.


PROTECT ANTARCTIC WILDLIFE

Taking or harmful interference with Antarctic wildlife is prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by a national authority.

Do not use aircraft, vessels, small boats, or other means of transport in ways that disturb wildlife, either at sea or on land.
Do not feed, touch, or handle birds or seals, or approach or photograph them in ways that cause them to alter their behavior. Special care is needed when animals are breeding or molting.
Do not damage plants, for example by walking, driving, or landing on extensive moss beds or lichen-covered scree slopes.
Do not use guns or explosives. Keep noise to the minimum to avoid frightening wildlife.
Do not bring non-native plants or animals into the Antarctic, such as live poultry, pet dogs and cats, or house plants.


RESPECT PROTECTED AREAS

A variety of areas in the Antarctic have been afforded special protection because of their particular ecological, scientific, historic, or other values. Entry into certain areas may be prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by an appropriate national authority.
Activities in and near designated Historic Sites and Monuments and certain other areas may be subject to special restrictions.

Know the locations of areas that have been afforded special protection and any restrictions regarding entry and activities that can be carried out in and near them.
Observe applicable restrictions.
Do not damage, remove, or destroy Historic Sites or Monuments or any artifacts associated with them.

RESPECT SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

Do not interfere with scientific research, facilities or equipment.

Obtain permission before visiting Antarctic science and support facilities; reconfirm arrangements 24-72 hours before arrival; and comply with the rules regarding such visits.
Do not interfere with, or remove, scientific equipment or marker posts, and do not disturb experimental study sites, field camps, or supplies.
BE SAFE

Be prepared for severe and changeable weather and ensure that your equipment and clothing meet Antarctic standards. Remember that the Antarctic environment is inhospitable, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous.

Know your capabilities and the dangers posed by the Antarctic environment, and act accordingly. Plan activities with safety in mind at all times.
Keep a safe distance from all wildlife, both on land and at sea.
Take note of, and act on, the advice and instructions from your leaders; do not stray from your group.
Do not walk onto glaciers or large snow fields without the proper equipment and experience; there is a real danger of falling into hidden crevasses.
Do not expect a rescue service. Self-sufficiency is increased and risks reduced by sound planning, quality equipment, and trained personnel.
Do not enter emergency refuges (except in emergencies). If you use equipment or food from a refuge, inform the nearest research station or national authority once the emergency is over.
Respect any smoking restrictions, particularly around buildings, and take great care to safeguard against the danger of fire. This is a real hazard in the dry environment of Antarctica.

KEEP ANTARCTICA PRISTINE

Antarctica remains relatively pristine, the largest wilderness area on Earth. It has not yet been subjected to large-scale human perturbations. Please keep it that way.

Do not dispose of litter or garbage on land. Open burning is prohibited.
Do not disturb or pollute lakes or streams. Any materials discarded at sea must be disposed of properly.
Do not paint or engrave names or graffiti on rocks or buildings.
Do not collect or take away biological or geological specimens or man-made artifacts as a souvenir, including rocks, bones, eggs, fossils, and parts or contents of buildings.
Do not deface or vandalize buildings or emergency refuges, whether occupied, abandoned, or unoccupied.​​