Antarctica and Elephant & Falkland Islands
M/V Hondius
From Ushuaia to Puerto Madryn

Cruise to Antarctica departing from the port of the city of Ushuaia, on the Big Island of Tierra del Fuego. We sail south through the Drake Passage to enter the Antarctic Peninsula on the fourth day, our main objective of this Antarctic adventure. The most important places of interest in the peninsula are Cuverville Island, Danco Island, Neko Port and Paradise Bay. We say goodbye to the peninsula to go to the mystical Elephant Island famous for the heroic expedition of the great English navigator Ernest Shackleton. On the way back we visit the Falkland Islands, getting to know New Island, Coffin's Harbor, Rosario Island, Trinidad Island and Steeple Jason. Finally we start the return to the mainland by the Argentine Sea to the city of Puerto Madryn in the New Gulf. A different itinerary than classic trips to Antarctica.

Antarctica and Elephant & Falkland Islands in the MV Hondius

Antarctica and Elephant & Falkland Islands in the MV Hondius

This cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula is the only trip that departs from the port of Ushuaia and returns to the South American continent to reach Puerto Madryn in the New Gulf, in the province of Chubut. But not only the return trip is different from the rest of the trips to Antarctica, since this program, in addition to getting to visit the classic places of the peninsula, then goes to an unusual destination on cruises that go to the Antarctica: Elephant Island. This island is special for its mythical history that leads us to remember the feat achieved by the English navigator Ernest Shackleton, a true one off the charts. The return does not have as destination Ushuaia, but Puerto Madryn, therefore, we make an important stop in the Falkland Islands knowing its different attractions at the end of the trip, then the seabirds will guide us to Puerto Madryn by the Argentine Sea. It is undoubtedly a very particular and interesting itinerary to Antarctica.

14 days 13 nights

Day 1 - Ushuaia

The trip begins at the southern tip of South America, on the island of Tierra del Fuego, more precisely, in Ushuaia, the city closest to Antarctica. In the afternoon of the first day, embarkation begins at the port of the homonymous city in order to set sail at sunset in a southerly direction through the waters of the Beagle Channel.

Day 2 to 3 - Going through the Drake Passage

During the next two days in the Drake Passage, we were informed of the experience that the famous explorers who came to these latitudes of the planet had to define the first cartographies of these Antarctic areas: We find very moving seas, salty and fresh breezes and in the presence of a whale to accompany us on the tour. It crosses the Antarctic Convergence, defined as the Antarctic biological limit, since the temperate waters of the sub-antarctic seas are mixed with the icy waters of the antarctic ocean. You also begin to see the transformation of marine fauna and birds. We begin to see wandering albatrosses, gray-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled albatrosses, checkerboard petrels, storm petrels, blue petrels and antarctic petrels.

Day 4 to 6 - Entering Antarctica

During the course of these days we will arrive in Antarctica. The Antarctic Peninsula is the most important geographical accident on the White Continent. Located in the western region of Antarctica, in front of South America, in the west surrounded by the Bellingshausen Sea and in the east by the Weddell Sea. The landscape is made up of snow-covered gray mountains, cracked ice towers of whitish blue, and very dissimilar marine fauna with respect to the sub-antarctic area. We leave behind the snowy peaks of the Melchior Islands and the Schollaert Channel to navigate between the Brabant and Anvers Islands.

Some of the sites you can visit include:

  • Cuverville Island It is located on the Errera Channel, between Rongé Island and the Arctowski Peninsula, on the western shore of the Land of Graham. Cuverville is home to a massive colony of gentoo penguins. It is usually called Cavelier de Cuverville Island, it was discovered by the Belgian Adrien de Gerlache and it owes its name to a French sailor.
  • Danco Island On this island we can see the Papua penguins that nest in this area, but they are not alone, we also see Weddell seals and crabs that inhabit the island.
  • Puerto Neko The landscape takes us, the fantastic snow-covered glaciers that look like carved by the wind are truly epic. In Puerto Neko you can navigate in Zodiac boats to disembark near the alpine peaks.
  • Paradise Bay In this bay we can sail in the Zodiac boats and have a good chance of observing humpback whales and Minke whales.
  • Port Lockroy Once we cross the Neumayer channel, we visit the historic english base, which is currently a museum and works as a postal mail, located on Goudier Island. It is contemplated to carry out activities in the vicinity of the island, in Punta Jougla, to spot Papua penguins and blue-eyed cormorants. This area is ideal for kayaking and also for camping, and if conditions permit us you can go trekking with snowshoes along the coast of the island.

Day 7 - The legendary Elephant Island

In the previous days we have tried to follow the steps that made Ernest Shackleton, seeking to make the same route, although in the opposite direction. Sir Ernest Shackleton made the route using only a small lifeboat, the James Caird, in the spring of 1916. Seeing Elephant Island appear on the horizon after navigating so many miles from the South Georgia, it is hard not to marvel at the thought of how he and his five-man crew accomplished this feat. The purpose of such a feat was to rescue the rest of the twenty-two crew members who were shipwrecked from the Trans-Antarctic Imperial Expedition, also known as the Endurance expedition, who were stranded on Elephant Island. For four and a half months Shackleton committed to this legendary rescue. The conditions on Elephant Island were severe. The coast of Elephant Island has vertical rock walls and ice cliffs extremely exposed to the elements. If possible, we will approach the Zodiac boats to Punta Wild, where the abandoned members of the Shackleton expedition miraculously managed to survive.

Day 8 to 9 - Road to the Falkland Islands

We sail on the way to the Falkland Islands, we are accompanied by several species of birds that follow the boat to the southeast, such as albatrosses, storm petrels, shears and diving petrels.

Day 10 to 11 - Falkland Islands

We will arrive to the Falkland Islands with the purpose of dedicating all day on the west side of the archipelago, which offers an abundant wildlife, where not only observe different species of birds but also you can see southern dolphins. We visited 2 islands: Isla del Rosario and Isla Trinidad. We will hike along the shores of Carcass Island, where we will see Magellanic and Gentoo penguins, as well as having an encounter with birds and herons at night. On the Island of Saunders we can see Rockhopper Penguins, black-faced albatross and King cormorants.

During this part of the trip you can visit the following places:

  • New Island, Coffin’s Harbour This location is a reasonable walk from the landing site in the New Island South Wildlife Reserve, offering nesting views of black-browed albatrosses and rockhopper penguins. A more strenuous hike to Landsend Bluff may also show you some South American fur seals. The site of the only land whaling station in the Falkland Islands is south of the landing beach.
  • Carcass Island (Isla del Rosario) This island is characterized by an abundance of birds, thanks to the fact that there are no rodents, we can see Magellanic penguins and Gentoo penguins, shorebirds and passerines. We find animals such as the common martinete, the witch heron, as well as seals and penguins. In Puerto Patterson there are different exotic plants, such as fuchsia, canine rose and dark lupine. The name in English of the island is in honor to the ship HMS Carcass pertaining to the British navy, that crossed the island in 1766.
  • Saunders Island (isla Trinidad) In this island of 120 km ² that is to the north of the Great Malvina Island, it is characterized by the ovine production, we see black-browed albatross, imperial cormorants and yellow-crowned penguins, in less proportion, we can get to find king penguins, magellanic and of papúa.
  • Steeple Jason (Wild West Island) On this island there is the largest black-browed albatross colony on earth, with more than 100 thousand birds, it is a wild island and practically not visited by tourism due to strong winds and waves. We depend on the weather conditions when arriving in this region. In Spanish it is known as the Wild Island of the West and is located northwest of the Falkland Islands archipelago, integrating the Los Salvajes Islands and is smaller in area than the eastern island Wild East. Until the end of the 20th century it was used for fattening sheep and there is a research station that was created at the beginning of the 21st century to protect the native fauna.

Day 12 to 13 - Turn south towards Puerto Madryn

We sail north towards the city of Puerto Madryn in the Golfo Nuevo. His return trip is far from solitary, since we are accompanied by seabirds as we navigate the Argentine Sea.

Day 14 - Puerto Madryn

 We disembarked in the port of Madryn in the early hours of the morning. Every adventure, no matter how big, must eventually end. Now is the time to disembark in Puerto Madryn, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure is. End of the Antarctic journey.

Map of Route

 Antarctica and Elephant & Falkland Islands in the MV Hondius


Services included:
  • The trip on board the ship mentioned as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All meals during the trip on board the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All excursions and activities in Zodiac boats during the trip.
  • Conference program dictated by naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition team.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Transfer of luggage from the hotel to the ship on boarding day, in Ushuaia.
  • Group transfer with prior notice from the ship to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarking).
  • All service and port taxes during the program.
  • Informative reading material before embarking.
Services not included:
  • Regular or charter air flights.
  • Procedures before or after the start of the trip.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals not included in the trip.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (highly recommended).
  • Excess baggage charges and all personal items such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunications charges.
  • The tip at the end of the trip for the waiters and other on-board service personnel (guidelines will be provided).

Contact-Us Booking Form