FALKLAND ISLANDS, SOUTH GEORGIA & ANTARCTICA
Start/Finish: Ushuaia*, Argentina
*The 20 night/21 day voyage starts in Puerto Madryn, Argentina but finishes in Ushuaia, Argentina
18 Nights/19 Days
Janssonius: 14 January (D, B)
Ortelius: 18 February
19 Nights/20 Days
Plancius: 23 November (eclipse, H, SS),
Hondius: 26 November (eclipse, H, SS)
Janssonius: 25 November (eclipse, H, SS)
20 Nights/21 Days
Ortelius: 25 October (B)
Hondius: 6 November (D)
21 Nights/22 Days
Ortelius: 13 December
18 Nights/19 Days
Plancius: 22 November, 14 January
Ortelius: 17 December
Hondius: 4 January
19 Nights/20 Days
Janssonius: 7 November, 23 December
Hondius: 1 February
20 Nights/21 Days
Ortelius: 25 October
Hondius: 2 November
21 Nights/22 Days
C - Camping*, D - Diving*, K - Kayaking*, B - Birding, H - hiking*, SS - snow-shoeing*
* These are optional activities
On eclipse voyages the ship positions itself in the centre of the shadow of the moon. Plancius (23 Nov) will complete the voyage in a clockwise direction, while Janssonius (25 Nov) & Hondius (26 Nov) will complete the voyage in an anti-clockwise direction so all voyages will view the eclipse in the Scotia Sea. Please contact for full details.
We will have at least one dedicated expedition guide in our team who will share their expert knowledge about bird species and who will be available to help you identify, photograph on deck and learn more about the birds that we see. In addition to outdoor sessions, our guide will focus on species and related information on the birds of the Antarctic in re-caps and lectures onboard.
These voyages take in the Falkland Islands and South Georgia as well as the Antarctic Peninsula. They are longer and more expensive voyages than those that only visit the Antarctic Peninsula, but South Georgia is a wildlife 'mecca' - the 'Galapagos of the Southern Ocean'. Many people feel that having travelled all the way to Ushuaia, and given that they are on the trip of a lifetime, they would like to see South Georgia as well. The Falkland Islands are of considerable interest too, not just a stop off point en route to South Georgia - they have amazing wildlife and the interesting history of the 1982 conflict. We also have a voyage that only visits South Georgia without visiting Antarctica. This may beof interest to people who have already visited Antarctica, but have not yet visited South Georgia and those who want an extended time in South Georgia.
Possible Route Map
Carcass Island, Falkland Islands
Rockhopper Penguins on Saunders Island, Falkland Islands
PortStanley, Falkland Islands
Wandering Albatross, Prion Island, South Georgia
A king penguin colony atFortuna Bay, South Georgia
Thousands of king penguins, atSalisbury Plain, South Georgia
King penguins, St AndrewsBay, South Georgia
Elephant Seals atGold Harbour, South Georgia
The abandoned whaling station of Grytviken, South Georgia
Orcadas station, South Orkney Islands, Antarctica
Brown Bluff, an englacial volcano, Antarctic Sound, Antarctica
Neko Harbour, Antarctica
The world's largest Black-browed Albatross colony, Steeple Jason, Falkland Islands. This site can possibly be visited on the 20 night/21 day voyage
A Macaroni Penguin with the m/v Plancius behind at Cooper Bay, South Georgia- a possible landing that an extra day in South Georgia could offer on the 21 night/22 day voyage
James leads a toast at Shackleton's grave, South Georgia
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.
18 Nights / 19 Days
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. Average cruising speed is 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, is 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 mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.
Day 2: The winged life of the westerlies
Several species of albatross follow the vessel into the westerlies, along with storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels.
Day 3: Finding the Falklands
The Falkland Islands offer an abundance of wildlife that is easily approachable, though caution is always advised. These islands are largely unknown gems, the site of a 1982 war between the UK and Argentina. Not only do various species of bird live here, but chances are great you’ll see both Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins in the surrounding waters.
During this segment of the voyage, you may visit the following sites:
Carcass Island – Despite its name, this island is pleasantly rodent-free and hence bounteous with birdlife. Anything from breeding Magellanic penguins and gentoos to numerous waders and passerine birds (including Cobb’s wrens and tussock-birds) live here.
Saunders Island – On Saunders Island you can see the black-browed albatross and its sometimes-clumsy landings, along with breeding imperial shags and rockhopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and gentoos are also found here.
Day 4: The seat of Falklands culture
The capital of the Falklands and center of its culture, Port Stanley has some Victorian-era charm: colorful houses, well-tended gardens, and English-style pubs are all to be found here. You can also see several century-old clipper ships nearby, silent witnesses to the hardships of 19th century sailors. The small but interesting museum is also worth a visit, covering the early days of settlement up to the Falklands War. Approximately 2,100 people live in Port Stanley. Feel free to wander at will, though be aware that admission fees to local attractions are not included in the voyage.
Day 5 - 6: Once more to the sea
En route to South Georgia, you now cross the Antarctic Convergence. The temperature cools considerably within the space of a few hours, and nutritious water rises to the surface of the sea due to colliding water columns. This phenomenon attracts a multitude of seabirds near the ship, including several species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas.
Day 7 - 10: South Georgia Journey
Today you arrive at the first South Georgia activity site. Please keep in mind that weather conditions in this area can be challenging, largely dictating the program.
Over the next several days, you have a chance to visit the following sites:
Prion Island – This location is closed during the early part of the wandering albatross breeding season (November 20 – January 7). From January on, the breeding adults have found their partners and are sitting on eggs or nursing their chicks. Enjoy witnessing the gentle nature of these animals, which possess the largest wingspan of any birds in the world.
Fortuna Bay – Near beaches inhabited by various penguins and seals, you have the chance to follow the final leg of Shackleton’s route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness. This path cuts across the mountain pass beyond Shackleton’s Waterfall, and as the terrain is partly swampy, be prepared to cross a few small streams.
Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour – These sites not only house the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia, they’re also three of the world’s largest breeding beaches for Antarctic fur seals. Literarally millions breed on South Georgia during December and January. Only during the mid-season do they peak in their breeding cycle. Watch the large bulls keep a constant vigil (and occasionally fight) over territories where dozens of females have just given birth or are about to deliver. Watch your step and stay cool when walking the beaches during this time.
Grytviken – In this abandoned whaling station, king penguins walk the streets and elephant seals lie around like they own the place – because they basically do. Here you might be able to see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave.
Day 11: Southward bound
There may be sea ice on this route, and at the edge of the ice some south polar skuas and snow petrels could join the other seabirds trailing the vessel south.
Day 12: The scenic vistas of South Orkney
Depending on the conditions, you might visit Orcadas Base, an Argentine scientific station on Laurie Island in the South Orkney archipelago. The personnel here will happily show you their facility, where you can enjoy expansive views of the surrounding glaciers. If a visit isn’t possible, you may instead land in Coronation Island’s Shingle Cove.
Day 13: Last push to the Antarctic
Enormous icebergs and a fair chance of fin whale sightings ensure there’s never a dull moment on this last sea voyage south. Also, your best chance to spot Antarctic petrels is here.
Day 14 - 16: Awe-inspiring Antarctica
If the ice conditions permit, you now sail into the Weddell Sea. Here colossal tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Paulet Island, with its large population of Adélie penguins, is a possible stop. You might also visit Brown Bluff, located in the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound, where you could get the chance to set foot on the Antarctic Continent itself.
If conditions aren’t favorable to enter the Weddell Sea from the east, the ship will set course for Elephant Island and head into the Bransfield Strait, between South Shetland Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. Here you can attempt to access the Antarctic Sound from the northwest.
The breathtaking scenery continues in the southern Gerlache Strait. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
Day 17 - 18: Familiar seas, familiar friends
Your return voyage is far from lonely. 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 19: There and back again
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
19 Night/ 20 Day Voyage
This voyage is the same as the 18 night/20 day voyage above except there is an extra day in Antarctica. This extra time gives the opportunity to make additional landings and to see more wildlife.
20 Night/ 21 Day Voyage
This voyage is the same as the 18 night/20 day voyage above except there is an extra day in Antarctica AND the voyage starts in Puerto Madryn, Argentina rather than Ushuaia, Argentina. This means an extra day is spent at sea before reaching the Falkland Islands. However the Golfo Nuevo near Peurto Madryn is renowned for its visiting southern right whales, so you have a good chance of spotting one as you sailtoward the open ocean. Approaching the Falklands from the north west rather than the south west also has the advantage of possibly landing in the Falkland's most remote island : Steeple Jason.
Steeple Jason – Home to the world’s largest black-browed albatross colony (roughly 113,000), Steeple Jason is a wild and rarely visited island buffeted
by wind and waves. Weather and swell conditions dictate the journey here.
21 Night/ 22 Day Voyage
This voyage is the same as the 18 night/20 day voyage above except there is an extra day in Antarctica, and an extra day in South Georgia and an extra day in the Falkland Islands.
Additional Sites you might visit in the Falklands include:
Westpoint Island – Thick with black-browed albatrosses and rockhopper penguins.
Grave Cove – Nesting gentoo penguins and excellent hiking opportunities abound here.
New Island, Coffin’s Harbour – This location is a reasonable walk from the landing site at the New Island South Wildlife Reserve, providing views of nesting black-browed albatrosses and rockhopper penguins. A more strenuous hike to Landsend Bluff may also show you some South American fur seals. The site of the only land-based whaling station on the Falkland Islands is south of the landing beach.
New Island North Nature Reserve – Landing here requires a special permit. If received, you can make a farewell visit to the black-browed albatrosses (among other bird species) and South American fur seals that make the Falklands their home.
Additional Sites you might visit in South Georgia include:
Cobblers Cove, Godthul – At Cobblers Cove we aim for Rookery Point to see macaroni penguins. Light-mantled sooty albatrosses nest along the coastline and giant petrels can be observed as well. Godthul (Norwegian for “good cove”) was named by Norwegian whalers and seal-hunters and remains such as bones can still be found along the shore line. Beaches are the home of gentoo penguins.
Cooper Bay – Offers the largest chinstrap penguin population and gentoo and also macaroni penguins are present. Antarctic terns, white-chinned petrels, blue-eyed shags and light-mantled sooty albatrosses can be spotted too.
Our Green Promise
If you book this polar expedition cruise through us we will pay your Carbon Offset for you and will provide you a Certificate on completion of your expedition.
19 DAY EXPEDITION CRUISE = 9.3 T
20 DAY EXPEDITION CRUISE = 9.8 T
(calculated at https://co2.myclimate.org/en/cruise_calculators/new )
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.