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20-Day Antarctica, South Georgia, and Falklands Expedition

Antarctica, South Georgia, and Falklands Expedition -- Trip Photo of Antarctica tour  Antarctica map

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Itinerary

Day 1 : Embark from Ushuaia

Visiting: Ushuaia, Argentina

This afternoon, make your way to the port and board the ship. We embark from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.

*** Please note that we strongly recommend you fly into Ushuaia the day before your expedition and overnight. There are a number of 3-star and higher properties to choose from.

  • Meals: D
  • Budget Lodging: Ushuaia
  • Ship: Ortelius, Plancius or Sea Spirit
  • Luxury Lodging: Sea Adventurer / Ocean Adventurer, Ocean Endeavour, Ocean Diamon

Day 2 : Sail towards the Falkland Islands / At Sea

Visiting: Falkland Islands

While at sea, our knowledgeable Expedition Staff will provide lectures about the regional wildlife, geology, climate, and other salient features of the region. As we sail onward, we will learn more and more about the birds we're observing, including various species of albatross, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels gliding alongside our ship.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Ship: M/V Plancius or M/V Ortelius

Day 3 : Falkland Islands

Visiting: 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 water fowl and Night herons and passerines. In addition, on Saunders we will be able to observe four species of breeding penguins (Gentoo, King, Magellanic and Rockhopper), Black-browed Albatrosses and King Cormorants.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Ship: M/V Plancius or M/V Ortelius

Day 4 : Stanley, Falkland Islands

Visiting: Stanley, 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. In Stanley and the surrounding area we can see quite an important number of stranded clippers from a century ago. All passengers are free to wander around on their own. We recommend a visit to the local church and museum (admission fees not included).

  • Meals: BLD
  • Ship: M/V Plancius or M/V Ortelius

Day 5 : Sailing to South Georgia / At Sea

Visiting: South Georgia

On our way to South Georgia we will cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature will drop by as much as 10 degrees C in the time span of only a few hours.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Ship: M/V Plancius or M/V Ortelius

Day 6 : Continuing our journey to South Georgia.

Visiting: Cruising

Near the Convergence we will see a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship; several species of Albatrosses, Shearwaters, Petrels, Prions and Skuas. Your Expedition Leader & fellow guides will provide lectures about the climate and culture of South Georgia, while ship staff keep a close lookout for whales.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Ship: M/V Plancius or M/V Ortelius

Day 7 : South Georgia / Bay of Elsehul

Visiting: South Georgia

This afternoon, we arrive at our first landing site in South Georgia. We might visit the bay of Elsehul, with its very active fur seal breeding beach, and then set course to Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, Godthul, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour, Cooper Bay and Drygalski Fjord to give you a good opportunity to see a wide spectrum of landscapes and wildlife, like the introduced Reindeer, Elephant seals, Fur seals, King and Macaroni Penguins. One of the highlights might be our visit to Prion Island, where we will witness the breeding efforts of the huge Wandering Albatross and enjoy watching their displays (the island is closed for visitors during breeding season from 20 Nov – 07 January). At Fortuna Bay we might try to follow in the footsteps of the great British Explorer Ernest Shackleton and hike over to Stømness Bay. There and at Grytviken we’ll see an abandoned whaling village, where King Penguins now walk in the streets and seals have taken over the buildings. At Grytviken we’ll also offer a visit to the Whaling History Museum as well as to Shackleton´s grave near by. We will depart from South Georgia in the afternoon of day 10.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Ship: M/V Plancius or M/V Ortelius

Day 8 : South Georgia / (Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, Gold Harbor, Cooper Bay

Visiting: South Georgia

Cruise to Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, Gold Harbor and Cooper Bay where we will see some of the most varied landscape and wildlife of the trip. Reindeer, elephant seals, king and macaroni penguins all call South Georgia home.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Ship: M/V Plancius or M/V Ortelius

Day 9 : South Georgia / Fortuna Bay, Grytviken, Stromness Bay

Visiting: South Georgia

Conditions allowing, we will have the opportunity to hike the path of the British explorer, Ernest Shackleton from Fortuna Bay to Stromness Bay. The abandoned whaling villages at Stromness Bay and Grytviken are now home to countless king penguins and seals who walk the streets and inhabit in the buildings. We may also visit the Whaling History Museum in Grytviken and Shackleton's grave nearby.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Ship: M/V Plancius or M/V Ortelius

Day 10 : South Georgia / Prion Island

Visiting: South Georgia

Our visit to Prion Island may be a highlight of the trip for birdwatchers and non-birdwatchers alike. Wandering albatross, the largest flying birds on the planet, come here to breed. Enjoy watching the energetic displays and breeding efforts of these incredible animals.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Ship: M/V Plancius or M/V Ortelius

Day 11 : Sailing to South Orkney Islands / At Sea

Visiting: South Ocean

The ship will again be followed by numerous seabirds as we make our way through the sea-ice and towards the ice-edge. 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 McCormick Skua and Snow Petrel.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Ship: M/V Plancius or M/V Ortelius

Day 12 : South Orkney Islands / Orcadas Argentinean research base

Visiting: South Orkney Islands

Arriving in the South Orkney Islands, we will visit Orcadas, an Argentinean research base, and the first permanent research station in Antarctica. The friendly personnel will show us their facilities and answer questions about their topics of research, including glaciology, seismology, sea-ice-zone glaciology and meteorological observations. The base also offers stunning views of the beautiful surrounding glaciers.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Ship: M/V Plancius or M/V Ortelius

Day 13 : Sailing to Antarctic Peninsula / At Sea

Visiting: Antarctica

At sea, the Expedition Leader will offer lectures about the upcoming sights and activities on the Antarctic continent. Seabirds and perhaps even humpback whales may be spotted along side the ship as we continue our journey.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Ship: M/V Plancius or M/V Ortelius

Day 14 : Explore Antarctica / Weddell Sea

Visiting: Antarctica

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 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.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Ship: M/V Plancius or M/V Ortelius

Day 15 : Explore Antarctica / Charlotte Bay

Visiting: Antarctica

Charlotte Bay on the west coast of Graham Land was discovered by Adrien de Gerlache during the 1897–99 Belgica expedition and named after the fiancée of Georges Lecointe, Gerlache's executive officer, hydrographer and second-in-command of the expedition. The topography of the surrounding area is mountainous, with nunataks rising through the ice. Charlotte Bay is often filled with icebergs. Mostly we see seals on floes in Charlotte Bay, and occasional, kelp gulls, skuas, shags, or penguins. In Wilhelmina Bay we will admire the rugged ice coated mountains of the Arctowski Pensinsula.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Ship: M/V Plancius or M/V Ortelius

Day 16 : Explore Antarctica / Deception Island

Visiting: Antarctica

At Deception Island our ship braves into the entrance of the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellow into the ring of Deception Island. 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 Pigeons and many Dominican 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. We leave from here and sail through the Shetland Islands (Half Moon) to the open sea with direction Ushuaia.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Ship: M/V Plancius or M/V Ortelius

Day 17 : Sailing the Drake's Passage / At Sea

Visiting: South Atlantic

We will begin to sail northward, passing the South Shetland Islands and crossing the Antarctic Convergence. Large whales may appear alongside the ship to accompany us.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Ship: M/V Plancius or M/V Ortelius

Day 18 : Sailing the Drake's Passage / At Sea

Visiting: South Atlantic

Take advantage of the crew's expertise and knowledge to ask questions as we continue our journey across the Drake Passage. Seabirds such as wandering albatross, grey headed albatross, black-browed albatross, light-mantled sooty albatross, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson's storm petrels, blue petrels and Antarctic petrels may follow us as we sail.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Ship: M/V Plancius or M/V Ortelius

Day 19 : Sailing the Drake's Passage / At Sea

Visiting: South Atlantic

  • Meals: BLD

Day 20 : Disembark in Ushuaia

Visiting: Ushuaia

We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.

  • Meals: B

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