ATLANTIC ODYSSEY incl. antarctica
Argentina - Antarctica - Argentina - South Georgia - Gough Island - Tristan da Cunha - Nightingale Island - Inaccessible Island - Saint Helena
31 NIGHTS/32 DAYS
Start: Ushuaia, Argentina / Finish: Jamestown,Saint Helena
2020/21 Dates: No departures
2021/22 Dates: Jassonius: 1 departure in March
From 10,800 Euros
The Atlantic Odyssey is a bird-watcher’s delight as we cross paths with the migratory routes of species such as the Artic Tern & the Long-tailed Skua. We visit some of the most remote islands in the world while crossing the Atlantic and the Equator.
POSSIBLE ROUTE MAP
A humpback whale in Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctica
For more photos of Antarctic locations that may be visited on this voyage please see our Classic Antarctica itinerary
King Penguins at Salisbury Plain, South Georgia.
For photos of other sites this voyage may visit in South Georgia please see the Falklands-South Georgia-Antarctic voyage itineraries
The South African weatherstation on Gough Island, Tristan de Cunha
The m/v Plancius approaches the main island of Tristan da Cunha which is an active strato-volcano
Edinburgh of the Seven Seas is the capital of Tristan da Cunha and the only settlement
The lava flow from the 1961 volcanic eruption that caused the population of Tristan da Cunha to be evacuated to the UK
Inaccessible Island, Tristan da Cunha
Shearwaters near Inaccessible Island, Tristan da Cunha
Nightingale Island, Tristan da Cunha
Atlantic yellow-nosed albatrosses on Nightingale Island, Tristan da Cunha
A dolphin leaping from the water as the ship arrives at Saint Helena
The top of the 699-step Jacob's Ladder looking down on Jamestown the capital of Saint Helena
Plantation House is the official residence of the British Governor of Saint Helena. In the foreground is Jonathan the tortoise, he is a Seychelles giant tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea hololissa). He was brought to Saint Helena from the Seychelles in 1882 when he already about 50 years old.
Longwood House the final residence of exiled Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte of France
To make a booking, or to ask any questions you have about the voyage and its suitability for you, please contact us. James has guided on this voyage before and will be happy to discuss all aspects of the trip with you.
James at Tristan da Cunha
PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. The on-board expedition leader determines the final itinerary. Itineraries may mention places that require permission to land, which must be granted by the relevant national authorities. Such permission is not granted prior to the publishing of these itineraries. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed of m/v Janssonius 10.5 knots.
Day 1: End of the World, Start of a Journey
Your voyage begins where the world drops off: Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego – nicknamed “The End of the World” – and sail the scenic, mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the rest of the evening.
Day 2 – 3: Path of the Polar Explorers
Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you catch a taste of life from the perspective of the polar explorers who first braved these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling waves, maybe even a fin whale blasting up a column of sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer subantarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone.
Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too: A variety of albatrosses and petrels show up, along with Cape pigeons and southern fulmars. Then, near the South Shetlands Islands, the first icebergs flash into sight.
Day 4 – 7: Enter the Antarctic
Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and dramatically different wildlife below and above. You first pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands.
Possible sites you may visit include:
Wilhelmina Bay – A likely spot to see feeding humpback whales. If conditions allow, you may even embark on a Zodiac cruise to the ghostly wreck of the Guvernøren, a whaling vessel that caught fire here in 1915.
Cuverville Island – Stabbing up between Rongé Island and the Antarctic Peninsula, Cuverville houses a colony of several thousand gentoo penguins as well as pairs of breeding brown skuas.
Danco Island – Activities here may focus on the gentoo penguins nesting on the island, in addition to the Weddell and crabeater seals that may be found nearby.
Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, Neko Harbour offers opportunities for a Zodiac cruise and landing that afford the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks.
Paradise Bay – You may be able to take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters, where you have a good chance of seeing humpback and minke whales. You have the chance to land on the Continent here too.
Booth, Pléneau & Petermann Islands – You may sail through the Lemaire Channel in search of Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. There’s also a good chance you’ll encounter leopard seals as well as humpback, minke, and fin whales here. You may also visit Booth Island’s Port Charcot.
Melchior Islands – A beautiful landscape rich with icebergs. Leopard seals, crabeater seals, and whales are found here, and there are excellent opportunities for kayaking and diving.
You depart at noon, depending on conditions on the Drake Passage.
Day 8 – 9: Familiar Seas, Familiar Friends
While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.
Day 10: New Friends, New Destinations
New passengers join you in Ushuaia before you push back through the Beagle Channel.
Day 11 - 13: Path of the polar explorers
Today we are en route to South Georgia. After passing the Antarctic Convergence, which is a natural boundary formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic waters, we enter the
circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change the bird life changes, too: A variety of albatrosses and petrels show up, along with Cape pigeons and southern fulmars. On clear nights, you can observe the stars of the southern sky as well as the Magellanic Clouds, the small neighbours of our own galaxy.
Day 14 – 16: South Georgia sights
Our aim today is to visit some of the world’s top king penguin rookeries. This time of year you have a good chance of seeing these animals nesting on eggs, with their chicks nearby. The rookeries are sometimes overflowing, with penguins traveling to and from the beach.
Possible visits in this region include:
Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour – Here you can see not only the massive king penguin colony, but also elephant seals and limitless fur seal pups playing in the surf.
Prion Island – This is a great location to watch for wandering albatrosses.
Grytviken – We also have the opportunity to check out this abandoned whaling station, where king penguins walk the streets and elephant seals lie around like they own the place – because they basically do! You might also see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave here.
Cooper Bay – This is a fine place for a Zodiac cruise, and this bay also houses a rookery of macaroni penguins. King penguins, pintails, and giant petrels may also appear here.
Moltke Harbour – Located in Royal Bay, this scenic spot gives you the chance to see the huge king penguin colony that lives here. This bay was also the site of the astronomical station where a German expedition using the vessel SMS Moltke observed the Venus transit in 1882.
Day 17– 20: Once more to the sea
A pleasant tailwind often accompanies the vessel through the westerlies, and on both sides of the Antarctic Convergence, you might see large numbers
of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic seabirds. If the conditions are right, you can also observe the stars changing position as we travel north.
Day 21: The quest continues at the great Gough Island
Today we plan to approach Gough Island for a Zodiac cruise in Quest Bay, if the weather permits. Here you might see northern rockhopper penguins and sub-Antarctic fur seals. In previous years, it has been possible for us to circumnavigate most of Gough Island’s 33-mile circumference, taking in this area’s splendid scenery and abundant wildlife.
Day 22– 25: Tristan da Cunha and all the pretty birds
The remote islands of Tristan da Cunha are famed for their plentiful bird populations, which include rockhopper penguins, several species of albatross, petrels, skuas, terns, and many others. Our goal during this stage of our voyage is to visit the small settlement on the west side of the main island, but we might also land at Seal Bay on the south side of Tristan da Cunha or at Sandy Point on the east side. In these stunning locations, you could encounter such exotic wildlife as yellow-nosed albatrosses and sub-Antarctic fur seals, all while exploring a rarely visited spot. We also intend to land at Nightingale Island and Inaccessible Island, both of which offer great views of beautiful seabirds ranging from yellow-nosed albatrosses to brown noddies. Two days are reserved at Tristan da Cunha in case of bad weather, but please remember that nature determines our itineraries here: Since beginning the Atlantic Odyssey cruise in 1998, adverse weather led to the cancellation of 35% of Tristan da Cunha landings. If we have to divert for safety reasons, we will find good alternatives.
Day 26 – 29: Subtropical seas and seabirds
Seabirds and dolphins often follow our vessel in this area, where you may also be able to see how the constellations are changing again. As we sail, the northern constellations start to appear while the Magellanic Clouds sink low to the horizon.
Day 30 – 32: St. Highlights of Saint Helena
After we land at Jamestown on Saint Helena Island, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the area’s local culture, pleasant climate, and endemic bird life. You can pay a visit to Longwood House, where Napoleon died in exile; walk the 699-step Jacob’s Ladder, if you’re feeling ambitious; or snorkel the shallows offshore, seeing multitudes of tropical and subtropical fish. We also plan to visit the location where English astronomer Edmond Halley observed the southern sky, describing nearly 400 stars and their constellations during the 17th century.
Please note: You have the option to disembark and fly home from Jamestown, if flights are available. In the evening, we will depart for Ascension Island and Praia, Cape Verde, where you can also disembark. Make sure to book St Helena to Cape Verde voyage if you want to fly out from Praia.
Our astronomical program: -
During the voyage described above, we will travel in both the Southern and Northern Hemispheres, assembling on the aft deck to observe how stars and constellations change as we travel north. Southern constellations like the Southern Cross, with its so-called “jewel box” of stars, will be visible if the weather permits. We might also see the large globular cluster, Omega Centauri, as well as the Magellanic Clouds, which are “satellite clouds” of our own galaxy, first reported by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521.
On the South Georgia leg of our voyage, we plan to visit Moltke Harbour in Royal Bay. On top of being the location of a great king penguin colony, this is also the site of an astronomical station where a German expedition using the vessel SMS Moltke observed the Venus transit in 1882. As we sail north across the Atlantic, new constellations will appear over the north-eastern horizon. Weather and time permitting, we also intend to climb the hill at Saint Helena Island, where English astronomer Edmond Halley (discoverer of Halley’s Comet) investigated the southern sky and described nearly 400 stars in their constellations during the 17th century. When we cross the equator, you will notice the moon looks different in its phases in the Southern Hemisphere as opposed to the Northern. Some of the stars we will look for, like Epsilon Eridani, have planets around them, which can inspire discussions about the likelihood of extra-terrestrial life. We will offer optional workshops in astronomical navigation with sextants during our sea days. These fascinating workshops are limited in the number of people who can participate, however, and reservations are required. You can practice calculating a position at sea while also learning about the Huygens clock, Mercator projection, and other related topics.
In addition, we will provide a workshop about astrophotography (also limited, reservations required) that will focus on the photography you can do with your own equipment. The focus on board will be the theoretical background and image processing techniques, since conditions on a moving ship will most likely not allow astrophotography. But if weather and time allow, we may practice some photography on Saint Helena.
Our Green Promise
If you book this expedition cruise through us we will pay your carbon offset for you and provide a certificate on completion of your expedition.
PER PERSON CARBON DIOXIDE GENERATED BY THIS EXPEDITION
32 DAYS = 22.3 T
It is your responsibility to book your travel to and from the start and finish of the expedition. This is normally a flight. If you would like to carbon offset this cost please use our carbon offset calculator here.