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Mingling with the locals in the Falkland Islands

The Falklands and South Georgia In-Depth

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Sergey Vavilov
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Journey to the jewels of the South Atlantic Ocean on this 15-day Falkand Islands and South Georgia cruise. Incredibly remote and wild, the islands are home to an abundance of wildlife. Called 'the most staggering wildlife show on earth,' the islands delight their guests with pristine landscapes and ultimate photography opportunities. Days are long and the wildlife is relaxed after the earlier breeding frenzy in spring. Penguin chicks are playful, their parents coming and going from the sea with bellies full of krill to feed their young. The fur seal pups are especially curious and the sea birds are always soaring in the skies above – a constant on any voyage to South Georgia. Enjoy epic hiking opportunities ashore and visit the rusting historic sites of South Georgia.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Punta Arenas | Port Stanley | Embark
Days 2-3 : At Sea towards South Georgia
Days 4-5 : King Haakon Bay | Northwest Coast
Days 6-7 : Fortuna Bay | Stromness | Grytviken | Central North Coast
Days 8-9 : St. Andrew's Bay | Gold Harbour | Eastern Coast
Day 10 : Godthul and Prion Island
Days 11-13 : At Sea - towards Falkland Islands
Day 14 : Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands
Day 15 : Port Stanley | Disembark | Fly to Punta Arenas

Highlights

  • Begin your adventure in the charming and colorful Stanley, Falkland Islands
  • Explore Salisbury Plain's black-sand beaches and tussock-covered dunes
  • Visit several of South Georgia's king penguin rookeries
  • Discover the largest of the old whaling stations on South Georgia

Ship

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Mingling with the locals in the Falkland Islands Nesting Black-Browed Albatross on the Falkland Islands South Georgia Island, Shackleton walk In touch with nature in Stromness An old ship rusts in a Falkland Islands harbor

Day 1 Punta Arenas | Port Stanley | Embark

Meet your group at the airport in Punta Arenas and fly to Stanley in the Falkland Islands (included in the price of your voyage). After a short 90-minute journey meet your fellow travelers on arrival and transfer to the pier. Stanley is home to just over 2,000 residents and is reminiscent of a rural town in coastal Britain. It is charming with brightly-colored houses, pretty flower-filled gardens, a quaint cathedral, and several local pubs. There is time to explore the town before embarkation. Settle in to your cabin and explore the ship, then meet your expedition team and fellow passengers. Enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off for South Georgia.

Day 2-3 At Sea towards South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Chart a southeasterly course for South Georgia and spend two days at sea. This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in its biodiversity and showcases an abundance of astonishing wildlife. Be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as you make your way south. Throughout the day onboard experts educate you with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife, and history of the locations you visit in the coming days.

Day 4-5 King Haakon Bay | Northwest Coast

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Arrive in South Georgia and marvel at the majestic snow-covered mountains as you cruise the protected waters of the northeastern coast. Navigate the ship into the historic location of King Haakon Bay. It was here that, 100 years ago, Shackleton and his men made landfall in their small lifeboat, the James Caird, after completing the perilous ocean crossing from Elephant Island. This dramatic location is visited by just a handful of ships each season.

From here, make your way around to the protected waters of the northeastern coast. You can now indulge in an in-depth exploration, navigating the ship into the bays and harbors the entire length of the island. Elsehul Bay allows for great zodiac cruising and is a possible location for kayaking.

One of the most anticipated sites in South Georgia is Salisbury Plain. The black-sand beaches and tussock-covered dunes are home to a staggering 100,000 king penguin adults and their young. This is just one of several such king penguin rookeries on South Georgia. Fur seals can also be seen poking their heads above the water; the elephant seals enjoy lazing about the beach, while the skuas and giant petrels fill the skies above. Meanwhile, the albatross - your constant companion on this journey - is never far away.

Day 6-7 Fortuna Bay | Stromness | Grytviken | Central North Coast

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Sail to Fortuna Bay, a majestic three-mile long and one-mile wide fjord. It was named after the ship Fortuna, one of the original vessels of the Norwegian-Argentine whaling expedition which established the first permanent whaling station at Grytviken, further down the coast. In Fortuna Bay expect to see king penguins and elephant seals.

History comes into sharp focus as you visit Stromness and Grytviken. From 1912 until the 1930s, these locations acted as whaling stations. Today, the rusted and ghostly remnants seem out of place in such a pristine environment. If the weather cooperates, hope to be able to hike the last few miles across the saddle separating Fortuna Bay from neighboring Stromness, following the footsteps of Shackleton, Crean, and Worsley.

As you journey further to the southeast, enter the broad expanse of Cumberland Bay. At the head of the bay lies Grytviken – the largest of the old whaling stations on South Georgia. A highlight of your landing here is a visit to the gravesite of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his loyal right hand man, Frank Wild.

Day 8-9 St. Andrew's Bay | Gold Harbour | Eastern Coast

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Spend the next few days exploring St Andrew’s Bay and Gold Harbor - places that are teeming with wildlife including fur seals, elephant seals and massive colonies of the colorful king penguins. Explore as much as you desire on foot. Gold Harbour is so called because the sun's rays make the cliffs yellow with their light in the morning and evening. It’s an exhilarating location.

Drygalski Fjord at the far eastern extremity of the island is another spectacular site in South Georgia. If it is calm enough you can hear the glacier calving large chunks
of ice, reminders of what early sealers, whalers, and vessels needed to pay close attention to.

Day 10 Godthul and Prion Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your exploration of South Georgia is far from over and the ship meanders its way back along the northern coastline. There are few gems to visit, including the old whaling shore depot at Godthul. There is a terrific hike here up to a beautiful lake. Nearing the end of your visit to South Georgia, enjoy a shore landing at Prion Island, yet another spectacular location and some would argue, the jewel in the crown.

Situated in the breathtaking Bay of Isles, Prion Island has been designated as a 'Specially Protected Area' by the South Georgia Government, due to the breeding wandering albatross colonies at this location. Boasting the largest wingspan of any living bird, typically ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 m (8ft to 11ft), they spend most of their life in flight, landing only to breed and feed.

Feel exceptionally lucky to be able to attempt a landing here as the site is closed to visiting ships between November and mid January due to the massive concentration of fur seals on the beaches. The boardwalks provide access to several observation platforms where you can view nesting wandering albatross at close quarters. A visit to this exceptional location is a fitting way to complete your exploration. 

Day 11-13 At Sea - towards Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Spent this day catching up on journal entries, or perhaps downloading and reviewing photos in the multi-media room with a photography expert. For some, it's a chance to catch some well-earned rest after several days of exploration. The wonderful lounge and bar on your ship provides fantastic panoramas and is a great place to sit with a book and a hot drink.

The educational presentations continue and you can enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by the Expedition Leader. A highlight of your return journey are the frequent sightings of the majestic albatross, petrels and other seabirds as they soar above the ship on the winds of the Southern Ocean. Take the time to enjoy a quiet moment on the outer deck and reflect on a truly remarkable journey to the farthest reaches of the planet.

Day 14 Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up into the sight of landfall in the Falklands. Approaching Sea Lion Island, note the very barren and windswept landscape, exposed to the prevailing weather that originates in the Drake Passage. Launch the zodiacs and go ashore to view the incredible diversity of wildlife found at this location. Three species of penguin including gentoo, Magellanic and rockhopper, as well as southern elephant seals and South American sea lions are known to inhabit the area. King cormorants and striated caracaras are just some of the bird species you can expect to see. As you cruise along the coast of the Falklands, bound for Stanley, enjoy a special dinner attended by the ship's Captain.

Day 15 Port Stanley | Disembark | Fly to Punta Arenas

  • 1 Breakfast
In the early morning, navigate through the narrows and into the harbor of Port Stanley. A transfer takes you to the airport for your return flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile (this flight is included in the price of your voyage). It is possible to connect flights to Santiago or other destinations in Chile. Otherwise enjoy a night in Punta Arenas, or venture further afield to explore the highlights of Patagonia.

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

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The Triple Cabins.
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Triple Share
Bunk beds and a sofa bed. Facilities are shared and there is a washbasin in the cabin, writing desk, porthole.
Twin Private Cabins.
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Twin Semi-Private
1 lower berth, 1 sofa bed and semi-private (one bathroom between two cabins) facilities. Writing desk, window.
Twin Private Cabin.
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Twin Private
1 sofa bed, 1 lower berth and private facilities. Writing desk, window.
The Superior Cabins.
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Superior
2 lower berths, sofa and private facilities. Writing desk, window.
The Shackelton Suite.
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Shackleton Suite
1 double berth, 1 sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters and private facilities, up-graded bedding. Fridge, TV, VCR, writing desk, windows.
One Ocean Suite.
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One Ocean Suite
1 double berth, 1 sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters and private facilities, up-graded bedding. Fridge, TV, VCR, writing desk, windows.

Notes

- Single Supplement: 1.5x for twin and superior cabins and 2x for suites. Single supplement is not available in the triple cabin category.

- Child and Youth Prices: 25% discount for young people aged up to 17 years, and 20% off for those aged from 18-21 years who can prove they are in full-time education.

Please note: Polar exploration can be unpredictable, which regularly causes variations to itineraries. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a 'guide only' and is subject to change.

Included in Cost:
- Flight from/to Punta Arenas to/from Port Stanley 
- Transfers from/to designated meeting points to/from the ship
- Luggage transfer from designated locations to/from your cabin
- All meals during the voyage
- Welcome reception & welcome dinner
- Farewell dinner hosted by the Captain
- Daily afternoon tea with fresh snacks
- Coffee, tea & hot chocolate available anytime
- Access to wellness area (Finnish Sauna, Plunge Pool filled with sea water, Hot Tub)
- Natural essential oil amenities
- Services of English-speaking medical officer
- Use of multimedia room
- Use of on-board expedition rubber boots & wet weather gear
- All zodiac and landing excursions
- Zodiac cruising, hiking, guided walks, photography workshops, fitness & yoga
- Camping (subject to weather and ice conditions)
- Educational presentations
- Photography advice and instructions from the resident photographer
- Expedition guides, naturalist staff, and hospitality staff

Not Included in Cost:
- International and national airfares
- Visa and passport fees, airport taxes
- Pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodation in arrival/departure cities
- Meals & transfers in arrival/departure cities
- Personal expenses
- Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
- Massages from registered therapist
- Personal laundry charges
- Postage, telephone calls & email set up
- Medical expenses such as fees, prescriptions or medications
- Travel medical insurance including medical evacuation (mandatory)
- Trip interruption / cancellation insurance
- Gratuities to staff and crew

Included

  • 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 14 Dinners
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Kassandra Miller
Kassandra M

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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