In the afternoon, embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located in the shadow of the Andes and right at the Beagle Channel shore. Sail through this scenic waterway during the afternoon.
At sea, in the westerlies the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.
In the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) plan to spend the whole day on the fascinating western side of the archipelago. A hike along the shore of Carcass Island will give views of Magellanic and gentoo penguins, as well as close encounters with waterfowl and night herons. In addition, on Saunders observe rockhopper penguins, black-browed albatrosses, and king cormorants.
In Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, experience Falkland culture, which has some South American characteristics as well as Victorian charm. In Stanley and surrounding area see quite an important number of stranded clippers from a century ago. All passengers are free to wander around on their own - a visit to the local church and museum is recommended (admission fees not included).
Cross the Antarctic Convergence on your way to South Georgia. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature may drop significantly in the time span of only a few hours. Near the Convergence you will see a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship, including several species of albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas.
In South Georgia visit the bay of Elsehul, with its very active fur seal breeding beach, and then take course to Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, Godthul, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbor, Cooper Bay, and Drygalski Fjord with good opportunities to see a wide spectrum of landscapes and wildlife, such as the introduced reindeer, elephant seals, and king and macaroni penguins. One of the highlights might be your visit to Prion Island, where you may witness the breeding efforts of the huge wandering albatross and enjoy watching their displays.
At Fortuna Bay, try to follow in the footsteps of the great British Explorer Ernest Shackleton and hike over to Stromness Bay. There and at Grytviken see an abandoned whaling village, where king penguins now walk in the streets and seals have taken over the buildings. At Grytviken visit the Whaling History Museum as well as Shackleton´s grave nearby.
Spend the day at sea, where the ship is again followed by a multitude of seabirds. At some point you might encounter sea-ice, and it is at the ice-edge where you might have a chance to see some high-Antarctic species like the McCormick skua and snow petrel.
Visit Orcadas station, an Argentinean base located in the South Orkney Islands. The friendly base personnel provide a tour of their facilities, and you can enjoy the wonderful views of the surrounding glaciers.
Spend today at sea and enjoy the amenities aboard the cruise ship.
If the ice permits sail into the Weddell Sea through the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound. Huge tabular icebergs announce the ship's arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Plan to visit Brown Bluff, where you may set foot on the continent. In good sailing conditions the expedition may extend its time in the Weddell Sea.
You may visit Cierva Cove, in a world of icebergs well-suited for an exploratory Zodiac cruise in search of fantastic photo opportunities. Crabeater seals and leopard seals are often seen here and a small rookery of chinstraps are found on a small island in the bay. The landscape is typical Antarctica with huge glaciated mountains all around. Mikkelson Harbour on the southern side of Trinity Island was discovered by the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1901-04. Gentoo penguins nest on the island and Weddell seals often haul out on shore. Find remains of the early 20th Century Whaling period and an Argentinean refuge hut.
In Deception Island the ship braves into the entrance of the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellow into the ring of Deception Island. Deception itself is a subducted crater, which opens into the sea, creating a natural harbor for the ship. Here find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape petrels and many kelp 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. Leave from here and sail through the Shetland Islands, attempting to land at Half Moon Island with a large chinstrap penguin rookery and the usually non-occupied Argentinean Camara station. From here head to the open sea with direction Ushuaia.
On your way north you are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.
Arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark. Transfer to the airport for flights home.
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All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
• Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
• All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
• All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
• Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes aboard ‘Plancius’.
• Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
• Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
• All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
• Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post land arrangements; transfers to the vessel; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
Please Note: It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed US $120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure, the MV Plancius reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US $25 per passenger per night.