Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Antarctica
from Puerto Madryn
aboard the M/V Plancius - M/V Ortelius - M/V Hondius

We travel from the Golfo Nuevo in Puerto Madryn to the Falkland Islands, to its capital Puerto Argentino, and then continue our navigation towards the South Georgia Islands, passing the Antarctic Convergence first. Later we will disembark in the Orkney Islands, anchoring on Laurie Island, to go to the Argentine base (Orkneys station). Near this area we find a colony of southern giant petrels. In Punta Cormorán you can visit a colony of Adelie penguins. Then we continue to the Larsen Ice Shelf and later advance through the Weddell Sea towards the Antarctic Peninsula. A cruise through the Subantarctic Islands and Antarctica, visiting the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Orkney and South Shetland.

Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Antarctica
from Puerto Madryn
aboard the M/V Plancius - M/V Ortelius - M/V Hondius

Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Antarctica <br>from Puerto Madryn <br>aboard the M/V Plancius - M/V Ortelius - M/V Hondius

The Antarctica, Falkland Islands and South Georgia Islands itinerary is one of the most complete trips to Antarctica that exist in this number of days, since it not only visits the Antarctic Peninsula, but also the famous Falkland Islands, Georgias of the South and South Orkneys that in the classic Antarctic programs you do not sail to these islands. Unlike the vast majority of cruises to Antarctica, which depart from the port of the city of Ushuaia on the Island of Tierra del Fuego, this program departs from Puerto Madryn, from the Golfo Nuevo to sail through the Argentine Sea towards the Islands. Falkland. The first two days of the navigation route are destined to sail towards our first landing: The Falkland Islands. After spending 2 days in Port Stanley, we continue our journey towards the Antarctic Convergence, this will take us the next 2 days to finally reach our second landing: South Georgia Islands...

In the South Georgia Islands there is a lot to see, so we will spend 3 days visiting Bay of Elsehul, with its permanent seal breeding, and then we go to Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, Gold Harbor and Cooper Bay, seeing lots of wildlife, such as elephant seals, Gentoo, King and Macaroni penguins, different albatrosses and in the Drygalski Fjord, we will be able to see an invasive animal: The Reindeer, is no longer from these latitudes, it was brought from the North Pole. We have already consumed half of the trip and we are sailing through frozen seas towards the South Orkney Islands, our third Antarctic destination. An Argentine scientific base will be waiting for us, for this we will anchor at Laurie Island, we will also visit Punta Cormorán in order to closely observe a colony of Adelie penguins.

We leave the Orkney Islands to go towards our next meeting point: Wedell Sea. To achieve this purpose we must cross the Ice Barrier, where we see other different species such as the sperm whale or petrels that we have not seen until now such as the Snow Petrel or even the emperor penguin. With the goal achieved, sailing through the Wedell Sea, we will visit the Paulet Islands, Decepción and Puerto Neko, in the 2 most intense days of this trip through Antarctica. Then the return to the American continent awaits us, towards the Port of Ushuaia, on the Island of Tierra del Fuego.

21 days - 20 nights

Day 1 - Golfo Nuevo, Puerto Madryn

In the afternoon we begin the trip to Antarctica from the city of Puerto Madryn, heading south through the Argentine Sea we head towards the Falkland Islands. The Golfo Nuevo is known worldwide for the winter arrival of southern right whales.

Day 2 to 3 - Sailing alongside albatrosses and petrels.

Sailing through the Argentine Sea, on the west side, several species of albatrosses and petrels follow the ship, such as the diving petrel.

Day 4 - Falkland Islands

On the fourth day we will arrive at the Falkland Islands with the purpose of spending the entire day on the west side of the archipelago, which offers abundant wildlife, where we not only observe different species of birds but you can also see dolphins. and southern dolphins. We visited 2 islands: Rosario Island and Trinidad Island. We will take a walk along the shores of Carcass Island, where we will see Magellanic and Gentoo penguins, in addition to having an encounter with birds and herons at night. On Saunders Island we can see Rockhopper Penguins, Black-fronted Albatrosses and King Cormorants.

During this part of the trip you may visit the following sites:

  • Steeple Jason IslandThis area is the habitat of the largest colony of black-browed albatrosses on the planet, around 110,000 birds. Steeple Jason is a very wild island that receives very few visits from tourists, it is very punished by the wind and waves. Getting to visit it depends on the weather and wave conditions prevailing at the time of arrival.
  • Carcass Island (Isla del Rosario) This island is characterized by the abundance of birds, thanks to the fact that there are no rodents, we can see Magellanic penguins and gentoo penguins, coastal birds and passerine birds. We find animals such as the common kingfisher, the witch heron, as well as seals and penguins. In Puerto Patterson there are different exotic plants, such as fuchsia, dog rose and dark lupine. The English name of the island is in honor of the ship HMS Carcass belonging to the British navy, which toured the island in 1766.
  • Saunders Island (Trinidad Island) On this 120 km² island located north of the Great Falkland Island, it is characterized by sheep production, we see black-browed albatrosses, imperial cormorants and penguins with rockhoppers, to a lesser extent, we can find king, Magellanic and gentoo penguins.

Day 5 - Port Stanley

We will walk through the capital of the Falkland Islands, Port Stanley, we can experience the culture of the inhabitants of the Falklands, which has some South American characteristics as well as Victorian charm, such as the color of their houses or the neatness of their gardens or the English style bars. In Stanley and its surroundings, we can see a significant number of stranded sailing ships dating back a century. The town museum is small but has interesting things to see such as the history of the first settlements.

Stanley, is located on Soledad Island and is still known to the British by its old name of Puerto Stanley and, to Argentines, as Puerto Argentino. Currently it is the administrative center of the archipelago. About 2,500 people live there (three quarters of the islands' total population). Originally, Stanley was a small town, which from the 19th century and early 20th century grew thanks to the importance it had in the repair of sailboats that sailed to Cape Horn.

Day 6 to 7 - Sailing towards South Georgia, passing the Antarctic Convergence

Once again we will sail on the high seas, on our way to South Georgia, we will cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature will drop by about 10°C in the space of a few hours and the waters are rich in nutrients that rise to the surface as a result of the waters meeting. Already close to the convergence, the water favored by nutrients attracts a multitude of birds, close to the boat that will accompany us on the tour, several species of albatrosses, petrels, skuas, gulls, prions, shearwaters among other species of birds.

Day 8 to 11 - South Georgia Island

We will arrive at South Georgia, where we must visit Elsehul Bay, with its active breeding of beach seals, and then continue to Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, the Gold Harbor and Cooper Bay will give you the great opportunity to see a wide range of landscapes and wildlife, such as elephant seals, gentoo penguins, King penguins and Macaroni penguins, grey-headed albatrosses, dusky albatrosses, pigeons Antarctic and even the introduction of a non-native animal such as the reindeer in the Drygalski Fjord.

One of the places we plan to visit is Prion Island, chosen by wandering albatrosses to nest and raise their chicks. In Fortuna Bay we will try to retrace the steps taken by the legendary British explorer Ernest Shackleton and continue the journey to Stromness Bay. At this point and in Grytviken the ruins of the abandoned whalers' village still stand, now inhabited by king penguins and seals that roam the streets and buildings. The Grytviken whaling history museum and the nearby tomb of Shackleton are other treasures from the past that we will visit.

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

  • Salisbury Plain, St. Andrew's Bay, Gold Harbor These areas are not only home to the three largest colonies of king penguins in southern Georgia, but are also home to three of the largest breeding beaches. largest Antarctic fur seals in the world. Literally millions of Antarctic fur seals breed in southern Georgia during December and January. Only during the shoulder season do they reach their peak in their breeding cycle. Watch large wolves constantly monitor (and occasionally fight) over territories where dozens of females have just given birth or are about to give birth. Watch your step and stay cool when walking the beaches during this time.
  • Fortuna Bay A beautiful drainage plain of the Fortuna Glacier is home to large numbers of king penguins and seals. Here you may also have the opportunity to follow the final leg of Shackleton's route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness. This path leads over the mountain pass beyond Shackleton Falls, and as the terrain is partly swampy, be prepared to cross some small streams.
  • Grytviken In this abandoned whaling station, King penguins roam its streets and elephant seals inhabit its surroundings as if they owned the place – basically because they do. Here it is possible to visit the South Georgia Museum and Shackleton's Tomb.

In the afternoon of the 11th, the ship will head towards our next destination.

Day 12 - Crossing the frozen sea.

We will continue sailing through the sea, where the boat is followed again by a multitude of sea birds. At some point we will encounter frozen sea, and the ship is on the edge of the ice where we may have the opportunity to see species such as the Mac-Cormick skua, snow petrel and the elusive Emperor penguin.

Day 13 - South Orkney Islands: Laurie Island

We will aim to visit the Orcadas station, an Argentine base located in the South Orkney Islands. The base staff is very hospitable and they will show us their facilities. Very close to them is a colony of southern giant petrels and we can enjoy the wonderful views of the glaciers that surround us. Upon arriving in Orkney we will seek to anchor on Laurie Island. We can go to Punta Cormorán (Cormoran Point) to go see an important colony of Adelie penguins. If landing on Laurie Island is impossible due to weather conditions, we can, as another option, reach Signy Cove to descend on Signy Island.

Day 14 to 15 - Entering Antarctica

Once again we will continue our navigation route on the high seas to get closer to the ice barrier (huge icebergs), we will be able to observe species from high Antarctica such as snow petrels or the emperor penguin. We may encounter fin whales and southern sperm whales, since their presence begins to be noticed as we approach the ice barrier.

Day 16 to 18 - Antarctic Peninsula: Wedell Sea, Paulet Island, Deception Island, Neko Port.

If the ice conditions allow us, we sail towards the Weddell Sea. The presence of immense tabular icebergs indicates that we are approaching the eastern sector of the Antarctic Peninsula. It is very likely to visit Paulet Island, where we can discover an important population of Adelie penguins. Brown Bluff is another destination to visit, located in the Antarctic Strait, obstructed by ice, where you will have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic continent, perhaps we will set foot on Antarctic land for the first time. But if the weather conditions do not favor us to enter the Weddell Sea, we change course to turn towards Elephant Island, entering the Bransfield Strait, between the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.

The South Shetland Islands of volcanic origin are punished by strong winds and fog occurs frequently. On this island there is a large amount of flora, such as mosses, lichens and flowering grasses and the fauna is represented with gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, and southern giant petrels. On Half Moon Island, chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals often come to the beach near Cámara Base, an Argentine scientific research station.

On Deception Island, the ship passes through the bellows of Neptune and enters the flooded caldera. Here you can find an abandoned whaling station and thousands of checkered petrels. Several kelp gulls, brown skuas, Antarctic skuas and Antarctic terns can also be seen. Wilson's petrels and black-bellied petrels also nest in the ruins of the whaling station at Whalers Bay. Alternatively, you can take part in activities near Telefon Bay, further inside the caldera. This extended voyage gives you the opportunity to sail even further along the frozen coast of the Western Antarctic Peninsula. There are several opportunities for big landings where you could set foot on the Antarctic continent, surrounded by an epic landscape of alpine peaks and gigantic glaciers disintegrating to sea level. Gentoo penguins, leopard seals, Weddell seals, humpback whales and minke whales are often seen here. The stunning scenery continues into the Bransfield Strait and, conditions permitting, further south into the Gerlache Strait. Conditions in the Drake Passage determine the exact departure time.

Day 19 to 20 - Return south towards Drake Passage

On our way north we will again be followed by a large number of seabirds crossing the Sea and Drake Passage.

Day 21 - Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego Island

We will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning and disembark.

Map of Route

 Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Antarctica <br>from Puerto Madryn <br>aboard the M/V Plancius - M/V Ortelius - 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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