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Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica Expedition Cruise

The most epic wildlife expedition

This epic expedition cruise combines the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula into a voyage full of exciting highlights. The Falkland Islands and South Georgia hold some of the most stunning sights in the world. Nesting albatrosses, enormous king penguins colonies, fur seals, whales, elephant seals and even leopard seals, the abundance of wildlife is simply breathtaking. 

You will explore the Antarctic Peninsula, the most accessible and wildlife-rich part of Antarctica. With deep bays and fjords where massive glaciers flank a rugged spine of snow-capped mountains. Scattered along the coast are icebergs in every shade of blue you can imagine. Sometimes with a seal, basking in the sun, or penguins seeking a safe haven from leopard seals. With some luck, you may also encounter ocean giants like humpback whales or orca’s!

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Aniek – Waterproof Expeditions
“If you ever have the chance to go on this fantastic voyage, go for it! The sights, sounds and smells will stay with you for the rest of your life.”

South Georgia is among the remotest islands on the planet. Sailing along the rugged coast you feel like you have gone back in time, to when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Narrow sheltered waterways and fjords, spectacular mountains rising directly from the sea, icebergs and active glaciers, and in the valleys, enormous penguin rookeries. Words can’t describe the beauty of South Georgia.

King Penguins in South Georgia © Scott Portelli

Elephant Seals in South Georgia

Magellanic Penguins in the Falklands © Scott Portelli

Elephant Seal Pups © Scott Portelli

Zodiac Cruise in Antarctica © Amanda Betsold

Iceberg in Antarctica
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The Falkland islands are a unique place on earth. On a sunny day it looks almost like a tropical destination. Here, penguins live peacefully among sheep, and you can enjoy scones while watching elephant seals on a beach. Birders will particularly love the Falklands, with over 60 different bird species breeding on the islands.

Programme

Every expedition is different and plans have to be changed often when you are dealing with weather and wildlife in remote locations like Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Below itinerary is only an example, we cannot guarantee any specific sightings or landings. The expedition team on board will do their utmost to provide the best possible experience. Please note that some expeditions might be executed in reverse order, starting from Ushuaia to Antarctica, following South Georgia, the Falkland Islands and back to Ushuaia.

Day 1 & 2 - Start of your expedition

Your expedition starts in Ushuaia, Argentina. Embarkation takes place in the late afternoon and once you get settled in your cabin, the voyage can begin! Sailing towards the Falkland Islands, you will quickly start seeing seabirds behind the ship. It’s always nice to spend some time out on deck with your binoculars, trying to identify the albatros and petrels. If you prefer to stay inside, you can join the whale watchers on the bridge, or just relax and read an interesting book from the library.

Day 3-5 - Falkland Islands

You likely arrive at the Falklands in the morning on day 3. Before the first landing, you will be given guidelines for keeping a safe distance to the wildlife. The animals are very approachable, but we must always remain at an appropriate distance. Most famous are the penguins, including Magellanic, Gentoo, Rockhopper and King Penguin. But you’re also likely to see albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels, striated caracaras, Falkland steamer ducks and Cobb’s wrens. The last two being endemic to the Falklands. Not only are there more than 200 bird species on the islands, you are likely to see the Peale’s and Commerson’s dolphins.
You may visit some of the following exciting places, if weather conditions and time allow:

Carcass Island offers a nice hike, starting at the right side of the bay where you can already see gentoo and the magellanic penguins. Along the way, you might see brown skuas, uppland geese, tussac birds and a striated caracara. The walk takes you across the island to the settlement where you might be welcomed with tea and biscuits.

On Saunders Island, four out of five penguin species can be found! Follow the trail across the island, passing by different gentoo rookeries, until you arrive at the beautifull beach on the other side. You are likely to see king penguis here. They are so elegent and incredibly photogenic, especially with the beach and blue ocean as a backdrop! Make sure to also have a look on the rocky cliff at the end of the beach. You might see some rockhoppers, nesting on a cliff together with black browed albatrosses.

The capital, Port Stanley, is the cultural heart of the Falklands. You’ll find Victorian buildings, red telephone boxes, well maintained gardens, and English pubs. It feels like you are in a Britsh coastal village, even though you’re at the end of the earth. The museum about the history of the Falklands is definitely worth visiting.

The southern islands of the Falklands are a haven for birders. You might get the rare chance to visit George Island or Barren Island where you will find over 40 bird species. Among them, 650 pairs of southern giant petrels.

Day 6 & 7 - At Sea

You will be at sea once more, en route to your next destination: South Georgia. When leaving the Falklands, make sure to keep an eye out for dolphins and whales. Albatros and giant petrels are likely to follow the ship, you might even spot a huge wandering albatros.

Meanwhile, the expedition team will continue the lecture programme and starts preparing you for the first landing in South Georgia. This includes cleaning all your epxedition gear and clothing to eleminate any possible bio contamination.

Day 8-11 - South Georgia

South Georgia lies wholly within the Antarctic Convergence, making the weather very unpredictable. Therfor, no landings or visits can be guaranteed. Over the next days, the expedition will attempt landings and zodiac cruises along the magnificent shores of South Georgia, if conditions allow. A selection of the exciting places you may visit:

Originally a Norwegian sealing and whaling station, Grytviken was finally abandoned in 1965. Here we must be careful to avoid stepping on sleeping elephant seals when exploring the ruins of factory buildings. Reminders of early explorers bring history to life. Sir Ernest Shackleton was laid to rest at Grytviken and you might be able to visit the cross his men erected in his memory looking out across the beautiful bay.

The sandy black beach of St. Andrews Bay is a resting place for hundreds of elephant seals that haul out on the shore to moult. Behind the beach, the sight and sound of tens of thousands of King penguins at different stages of their breeding cycle will be overwhelming. The glacial river that runs into the sea here will be lined with penguins and elephant seal pups testing their aquatic skills. If you lift our gaze from the wildlife for a moment, you will glimpse the snow-capped peaks of some of the world’s most spectacular mountains.

Imagine indented bays lined with bleached whale bones, teeming with fur seals and with penguins just ‘hanging about’. At Godthul, you might have the opportunity to clamber through the tussock to a spectacular plateau offering magnificent views across the island and the waters beyond. A careful descent leads to a magnificent Macaroni penguin rookery.

Day 12-14 | Sailing South

It’s time to head south. The further we get, the more icebergs will appear on the horizon. A peculiar sight, like giant white islands in the distance. Conditions permitting, you might visit Orcadas Base at the South Orkney Islands. Situated in a bay with giant glaciers on either side, landing here is not always possible. If a visit or zodiac cruise isn’t possible, you may instead sail to Coronation Island.

There’s never a dull moment on an expedition cruise, even while at sea. Always keep an eye on the water, whales might show up at any time.

Albatross
Albatross

Day 15-17 - Antarctic Peninsula

Once we arrive in the calmer waters off the Antarctic Peninsula, we will try to make landings, with activities and zodiac excursions, two times a day. This could be a cruise along a spectacular ice cliff, through a maze of glistering icebergs, or through deep bays in the hopes of spotting whales. Penguins we might see in Antarctica include gentoos, chinstraps and adelie penguins. Every voyage is different, some examples of places you might visit:

Paradise Harbour is a protected bay, surrounded by magnificent peaks and glaciers. The serenity of Paradise Harbour is a haven for whales and we might spot humpbacks, and minkes, orcas, as well as Crabeater seals, as we explore the bay in zodiacs. Words cannot describe this experience of seeing these animals up close.

Danco Island is a great place for a hike in snow shoes. Head all the way to the top of the island for the most spectacular view over the surrounding bay. Keep an eye out for the many penguin highways leading all the way up the hill. It’s a wonderful sight to watch the gentoos commute between the sea and the rookery.

If the ice conditions are right, you might sail into the Lemaire Channel. A breathtaking narrow channel with high mountains on both sides. Often the water here is so calm it acts like a mirror, reflecting the surroundings in the dark icy water.

Along the Antarctic Peninsula there are plenty more locations to visit. You might also go to Curtiss Bay, Cuverville Island, the Errera Channel or Wilhelmina Bay. We hope to have as much time as possible to marvel at nature’s glory up close.

Day 18-20 - Crossing the Drake Passage

Time to head back to Tierra del Fuego, with lectures and videos to complete our Antarctic education. While crossing the Drake Passage you will have plenty of time time for reflection and discussion about what you have experienced during your expedition cruise to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. As the ship approaches the tip of South America, the captain may sail close to legendary Cape Horn, weather conditions permitting.

We cruise up the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia. Disembarkation takes place after breakfast. It’s a busy time, with people saying farewell to the crew and to fellow passengers who have shared the intensity of exploring this magnificent white wilderness. You head off in different directions, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature.

Ship

Plancius

108 passengers
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Impression

Dates & Rates

Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica Expedition Cruise

A chance to see up to 6 penguin species!
Dates and duration
06 Dec - 25 Dec 2024 20 days
Plancius 108 passengers

From € 12550 per person
More info

Other dates

Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica Expedition Cruise

A chance to see up to 6 penguin species!
Dates and duration
18 Dec - 07 Jan 2025 21 days
Greg Mortimer 132 passengers

From $ 29595 per person
More info