Atlantic Odyssey
from Ushuaia to Cape Verde
aboard the M/V Orfelius or the M/V Hondius

Travel to Antarctica and the Atlantic Ocean to Cape Verde. It is one of the two options of the Antarctic-Atlantic Odyssey cruises, unlike the other route that reaches Saint Helena, this trip ends its journey in Cape Verde in Antarctica, visiting South Georgia Island and then sailing north. towards the Atlantic. The other Antarctic-Atlantic program touches other destinations on the white continent, it is more complete than the days spent in Antarctica, touring the Antarctic Peninsula. and Peterman Islands, Guillermina Bay and Guvernøren, Neko Harbour, Danco Island and South Georgia Island.

Atlantic Odyssey from Ushuaia to Cape Verde
aboard the M/V Orfelius or the M/V Hondius

Atlantic Odyssey from Ushuaia to Cape Verde <br>aboard the M/V Orfelius or the M/V Hondius

34 days - 33 nights

Day 1 - Start of the second part of the trip

We leave from the port of Ushuaia to undertake the expedition to South Georgia Island and then towards the Atlantic Ocean towards the Island of Saint Helena.

Day 2 to 4 - By the sea crossing the Antarctic Convergence towards South Georgia Island

We continue our navigation route to the west, crossing the antartic convergence, watching lots of antartic and sub-antartic sea birds. The antartic convergence is also called frontal polar area in the Antartic, it is a line which defines a natural limit and it is not imposed by man, it separates the cold waters of the Antartica from the mild waters in the sub-antartic region. It divides two areas with different climates and also sea life. We hope to be lucky to be able to navigate north towards the Atlantic Ocean. On both sides of the Antarctic Convergence, we observe many species and a large number of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic seabirds.

Day 5 to 7 - South Georgia Island, Salisbury Plain: King Penguin & Wandering Albatross

These days we begin our visit to South Georgia Island. We go in search of the main colonies of king penguins of Antarctica. The end of the season is a perfect time to see the king penguins with their newborn pups. The movement of the colonies is just at this time of year, something that is noted by the great movement from the beach to the sea. The Salisbury Plain is the right point to observe this unique natural setting. The great colony of king penguins is accompanied by sea elephants and a host of young wolves of hair that surf in the waves.

On Prion Island, closed to tourism during mating season that is from late November to early January we can see wandering albatross offspring. We are also going to make time to get to know the old whaling settlement in Grytviken, where its inhabitants are currently the penguins that roam the streets. In Grytviken today we find a small museum and it is the place where the tomb of Sir Ernest Shackleton is found that is buried here with his trusted friend and companion Frank Wild. We also seek to disembark in Puerto del Oro and St Andrews Bay whose fantastic landscapes leave us perplexed and the high density of Antarctic fauna is unimaginable, although as the name of the king penguins are truly masters of the place. Finally we cannot leave the Georgias while contemplating that perfect natural work, such as the Dryglaski fjord.

The weather conditions determine which areas we visit in South Georgia and where we can carry out activities. The destinations to visit can be:

  • Salisbury Plain, St Andrews Bay, Gold Harbor These areas not only house the three largest colonies of king penguins in South Georgia, but also three of the largest breeding beaches of Antarctic fur seals in the world. In the true sense of the word, millions of seals from Antarctica breed in southern Georgia in December and January. Only in the mid-season they reach their peak in the reproductive cycle. Watch as large wolves constantly monitor (and occasionally fight) areas where dozens of women have just given birth or are about to give birth. Watch your steps and stay cool as you walk the beaches during this time.
  • Grytviken At this abandoned whaling station, King penguins roam its streets and the elephant seals inhabit their surroundings as if they were the owners of the place - basically because they are. Here it is possible to visit the South Georgia museum and Shackleton's tomb.
  • Cooper Bay It is a small bush-covered island located southeast of San Pedro Island, in the south of the South Georgia Island, just 3 km long, north of the entrance to the Drygalski Fjord. The Cooper Channel is navigable and separates the island of the same name from San Pedro Island. A rodent-free area has been selected as a special protection area by a wide variety of seabirds such as the giant petrel, albatross, piquidorados ducks, Gentoo penguins and especially, the presence of an important colony of macaroni penguins. It is a favorable area for sailing in Zodiac boats.
  • Port Moltke Port Moltke is located in Royal Bay (in Spanish it is called Bahía Paz), this picturesque place gives you the opportunity to observe an important colony of king penguins that chose this beautiful place as their natural habitat. Paz Bay is between Cape Charlotte and Harcourt, in the southeast of San Pedro Island, which makes up the South Georgia Islands archipelago. Not only do king penguins live there, we also find gentoo penguins and imperial cormorants. James Cook discovered said bay in 1775, the port is named after the German ship SMS Moltke that in 1882 entered San Pedro Island on an expedition corresponding to the International Polar Year.

Day 8 to 12 - At sea

Now, in the sea, we will enter into sub-tropical waters surrounded by sea birds and dolphins.

Day 13 - Gough Island & Quest Bay

We will try to get to Gough Island so we can go along if we have good weather conditions. Some years ago, we circunnavigated everything, except for 4 miles of a circunference of 33 miles of the island in the ship, watching an exceptional landscape and lots of wild life. We will feel really privileged for being the few visitors who can have the experience to be in the Gough Island and, particularly, for seing it so close and in really good conditions. We will expect to be lucky and repeat this unique experience with you. It is also known as Gonçalo Alvares, the origin of this islands is volcanic and its higher peak is the Edinburgh Peak which is close to the 1000 metres of altitude.

Day 14 to 17 - Tristán da Cunha

In the Tristán da Cunha archipelago we get to a settlement which is located in the west area of the main island. We will also try to disembark in Nightingale Island with millions of sea birds, in which the albatrosses thin beak, an endangered species, stresses here. We will be covered with this days just in case it is a bad weather and we can have one day to take advantage. This archipelago is a british sovereignty and it is formed by several isles, the bigger one is Tristán da Cunha, another important island is Nightingale and the rest are directly inaccessible and they are uninhabitated.

Note: We consider taking a reservation day in case of bad weather. Keep in mind that we will try to disembark, however, due to weather conditions it is not always possible. Since we started this Atlantic Odyssey Expedition in 1998 we could not land 30% of the trips in the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, due to the unfavorable weather.

Day 18 to 21 - In the sea by subtropical waters

Now we enter subtropical waters surrounded by seabirds and dolphins.

Day 22 to 24 - St. Elena Island

We are going to Santa Elena Island because it is possible to anchor and it is an ideal place to stop. We are going to have many opportunities to enjoy the local culture in this island, we expect to have very good weather conditions, surrounded by endemic plants and authoctone birds. We are going to visit the place where Napoleon lived in exile. There will be many opportunities to explore the island by ourselves and we will be able to dive if we wish, doing snorkel, apart from surf. It is a place where we can find a great quantity of fishes.

Santa Elena belongs to the same territory as Ascensión Island and the Tristán da Cunha archipelago, all the volcanic islands slope steepy, where the higher peak is the Queen´s Mary with over 2.000 metres in Tristán da Cunha. The weather conditions in Santa Elena is tropical - mild thanks to the sea influence, unlike Tristán da Cunha which is less mild. In the afternoon, the cruise leaves for the second stage of the trip: Ascension Island and Praia in Cape Verde, where you can also disembark. Those who do not continue the trip disembark to take the flight back to Europe.

Day 25 - From St. Helena Island to Ascensión Island

We begin the trip in the Jamestown City, with a privileged location and its english culture and an ideal tropical climate and surrounded by endemic birds typical of the volcanic island. You can get to know the Longwood house, where Napoleon died in 1821, you can also ascend the 699 steps of Jacob's ladder. If we have more time you can go for walks in the city or snorkel with tropical and subtropical fish.

It is one of the most remote inhabited islands on earth and though is known for hosting Napoleon when he was exiled, living his last years of life, this island keeps interest. In 1502 Joao da Nova traveled back to Portugal on a mission to the Portuguese crown, discovered this volcanic island and put Helena by Helena de Constantinopla. It is located 2,789 miles from the West African coastat the level of Angola. It is a desolate place excessively quiet and full of friendly people who greet us with a smile. Unlike Tristan da Cunha St. Helena Island has a good anchorage and accessible place to land ashore. On the island we will have several opportunities to enjoy the local culture, pleasant climate, endemic plants and birds. We will visit the place where Napoleon lived in exile. There is also the chance to explore the island in particular.

Day 26 to 27 - By the Mesoatlantic Dorsal

We sail along the mesoatlantic dorsal, the underwater mountain range that runs about 16,000 kilometers (10,000 miles) from the Arctic Ocean to almost the southern tip of Africa.

What is the mesoatlantic dorsal? It is an underwater boundary between tectonic plates that extends along the Atlantic Ocean, in other words, it is a mountain range below the sea. In the north the plates of North America are separated with the plate of Europe and in the south the plate of South America with the plate of Africa. The dorsal goes from Greenland to Bouvet in the South Atlantic. Despite being below water, it has elevations above sea level, such as Iceland.

Day 28 to 29 - Towards Ascension Island

Today we arrive at Ascension Island, it is a volcanic island with a moist soil rich in vegetation, with forty-four asleep but latent craters (not dead). We spot an important colony of Sooty Tern, also called a dark tern, of more than 1 million breeding pairs, known as Tern, is typical of the tropical region of Ecuador, very characteristic of Polynesia. We will trek on the Island, whose highest mountain measures about 900 meters, is the Green Mountain. It is possible to visit the coast since in its beaches you can see green turtles.

Ascension is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, midway between America and Africa, 1,287 km northwest of St. Helena. There are small islands that complement such as Boatswain Bird Island as and Bird Rock to the east, the rock Tartar in the West and White Rocks to the south. It is not habited by Indians, its roughly 1,000 people are the vast majority coming from the neighboring island of St. Helena and the rest is made up of English and American. The most important places, are: Georgetown, harbor and capital of Island; Cat Hill is the American military base, Traveller's Hill is the residence of the people working in the Royal Air Force and Two Boats Village where the upper class society lives. The rural area is located on Green Mountain.

Day 30 to 33 - For Ecuador

Navigating in the direction of Ecuador, to cross it, during the trip we are witnessing how the birds that go north are migrating in spring, such is the case of the Arctic terns and long-tailed skuas or arctic seagulls.

Day 34 - Praia, Cape Verde

In the early morning we will arrive to Praia and the estimated time of disembarkation will be around 9:00 PM. Once landed the Antarctic-Atlantic expedition to remote locations of our planet earth will end, we live on a very unique and private experience, as very few people were able to discover these almost virgin and remote destinations in the daily world in which dwell the vast majority of human beings.

Praia is the capital of the islands of Cape Verde and the largest population, about 125,000 inhabitants. It is a major export port for coffee, sugar cane and tropical fruits. Charles Darwin visited Praia on his journey with MS Beagle, he dazzled with tropical vegetation and tasted the first bananas in his life. Its colonial monuments are in the Praca Alexandre Albuquerque, this is a beautiful square in the old town. Outsands the Presidential Palace dating from the nineteenth century Igreja Nossa Senhora da Graca (church) and the Palace of Culture. A panoramic view of the bay and Ilheu Santa Maria is a tiny rock where centuries ago worked a leprosarium, is admire from typical fort of the city. We found an active Fruits and Vegetables Market where you can buy local products of the island, such as bananas.

Those who take the night flight can enjoy an excursion in Praia de Sao Tiago. You can visit Cidade Velha, an exquisite town marked by history. At the top of the hill stands a huge fortress, built to deter english pirates at the time that the Spanish and Portuguese crowns were united and ruled over these colonies. At that time, the islands were easy targets for privateers like Drake and Raleigh. You can also see the ruins of the Cathedral, the oldest Catholic church in the Tropics, and the site where the slave trade post worked, in the main square. The town has a lush environment with sugarcane plantations, which are the input for the manufacture of local rum, and also serves as a habitat for several bird species. During the walk you can enjoy the musical culture (folklore) of the island that invites to be heard in each bar next to a glass of rum.

Map of Route

 Atlantic Odyssey from Ushuaia to Cape Verde <br>aboard the M/V Orfelius or the M/V Hondius


Services included
  • Transfer from the airport to the hotel.
  • Accommodation night the day before departure.
  • Half-day city tour in Ushuaia before boarding (lunch not included)
  • Luggage transfer from the Ushuaia hotel to the ship
  • Transfer from the pier to the city center or to the airport, when you disembark.
  • Onboard accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
  • Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team
  • Free access to our onboard doctor for consultations relating to sea-sickness. A standard fee of US $60.00 (reclaimable through your travel insurance provider) applies for medical consultations not related to sea-sickness
  • A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
  • Complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees
Services not included
  • International or domestic flights to or within South America, unless specified
  • Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination charges
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
  • Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
  • Optional excursions not included in the itinerary
  • Optional activity surcharges
  • All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges

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