Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- 11 days ‘off ship’ exploring - Falklands (2), South Georgia (4), South Orkneys (1) & Antarctica (4)
- Sets sail from Puerto Madryn & finishes in Ushuaia
- Rare inclusion of the little visited South Orkney Islands (dependent on weather and sea conditions)
- Meet at least 6 penguin species
Day 1: Embark at Puerto Madryn
In the afternoon, we embark in Puerto Madryn. 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.
Days 2-3: At sea towards Falklands
The ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.
Day 4: Falkland Islands
We spend this day in the Western parts of the Falkland Islands. If the weather conditions are good, we plan a landing on the rarely visited Steeple Jason Island on which the largest Black-browed albatross colony in the world is located (app. 113.000). A true expedition landing. 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 Rockhopper penguins. King, Magellanic, and Gentoo penguins are also present here.
Day 5: Port Stanley
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 1300 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.
Days 6-7: At sea towards South Georgia
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 is brought to the surface by the colliding water columns, which brings a multitude of seabirds near the ship: several species of albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels, prions and skuas.
Days 8-11: South Georgia
In the early afternoon of day 8, we arrive at our first landing site in South Georgia. One of many highlights is a visit to Prion Island (the island is closed for visitors during 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-tonne bull's 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 be crossed along the way (hiking boots are sturdy rubber boots recommended). 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.
Day 12: At sea towards the South Orkney Islands
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 South Polar Skua and Snow Petrel.
Day 13: South Orkney Islands
We are planning on a 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.
Day 14: At sea towards Antarctica
We will pass large icebergs and have a good chance of Fin whales on the way south. Also, we have the best chances on the trip to see Antarctic Petrels around the ship.
Days 15-18: Antarctic Peninsula
If the ice permits, 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 Paulet Island with a huge number of Adelie penguins and 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. 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 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. On our last landing before we venture into the Drake Passage we are likely to sail towards the northern parts of Gerlache Strait (in case the above mentioned Weddell Sea extension is not possible). One option is Cierva Cove where we can admire the rugged ice coated mountains of the Davis Coast. Mikkelsen Harbour on the south coast of Trinity Island is another option. Here, we may see a Gentoo penguin rookery and some great scenic cruising. We depart for the Drake Passage around noon.
Days 19-20: At sea towards Ushuaia
On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.
Day 21: Ushuaia
We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark after breakfast.
NOTE: This itinerary is for guidance only as each voyage will vary depending on ice and weather conditions, and opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is key and all part of the adventure of an expeditionary cruise.
About The Ship
- A 3-4* expedition vessel for 116 guests
- Contemporary feel after 2009 re-build
- A quiet diesel-electric propulsion system
- 1D ice class rating
- Kayaking, camping, mountaineering, hiking
- Rubber boots are provided on loan
I like this ship’s modern, contemporary styling - comfortable without being fussy - and her quiet engine.
Alex Mudd Polar Specialist
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
Prices quoted below are per person based on 2 people sharing. Cabin availability changes all the time so please contact us for up-to-date details and information on specific cabin availability.
* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in EUR (€) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost €12900
Single Supplement and Child Policy
For those travelling solo and want their own cabin, the single supplement is 1.7 times the cost of a single berth, please contact us for details. However, there is no single supplement for passengers willing to share a cabin.
Children aged 10 years old or over are welcome. On select departures, children under 16 may receive a 40 % discount, please contact us for details.
- Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- Accommodation & meals during the voyage on full board
- All shore excursions and zodiac activities
- Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
- Access to an onboard doctor and basic medical services
- Loan of rubber boots for the voyage's duration
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- Port taxes & any entry fees to landing sites (except additional museum fees in Port Stanley, Falklands)
- Flights to & from points of embarkation/disembarkation
- Any additional pre/post land services, including meals
- Transfers not specified in the itinerary
- Visa, passport and any vaccination expenses
- Airport arrival or departure taxes
- Personal Travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature - laundry, beverages, etc
- Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
- Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop)