Antarktis med Falklandsøyene og Sør Georgia
This Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctic Peninsula cruise is an animal-lover’s dream come true. The expedition explores one of the last untamed areas on Earth – a land of ruggedly beautiful landscapes and amazingly varied wildlife. Albatross and Rock Hopper Penguins in the Falklands, the amazing South Georgia Wildlife, Sir Earnest Shackleton's Grave plus all the icebergs and wildlife of the Antarctica Peninsula.
Day 1 – Ushuaia, Argentina
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 – At Sea
Several species of albatross follow the vessel into the westerlies, along with storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels.
Day 3 – Falkland Islands
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 waterfowl 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.
Day 4 – Stanley
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.
Days 5 & 6 – At Sea
On the way 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.
Days 7 to 10 – South Georgia
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 Strømness. 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 Harbor – These sites not only house the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia, but they are also three of the world’s largest breeding beaches for Antarctic fur seals. Literally 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 – At Sea
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 – 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 is not possible, you may instead land in Signy Island’s Shingle Cove.
Day 13 – Last push to the Antarctic
Enormous icebergs and a fair chance of fin whale sightings ensure there is never a dull moment on this last sea voyage south. Also, your best chance to spot Antarctic petrels is here.
Days 14 to 17 – 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 Adelie 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 are not 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, and if ice conditions allow, we may even reach Lemaire Channel.
Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
Days 18 – 19 – Drake Passage
Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you are 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 20 – Ushuaia
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It is now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The on-board expedition leader will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.