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Falkland Islands - South Georgia - Antarctica

Example 19 Day Cruise aboard MV Plancius
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Visit all the sub-Antarctic highlights on this 19-day voyage aboard the M/V Plancius, with spectacular landing sites on the Falkland Islands and encounters with black-browed albatrosses and rockhopper penguins. This voyage also includes four days on beautiful South Georgia. Be prepared for tens of thousands of king penguins and their chicks, sea lions on the beaches, elephant seals, wandering albatrosses and gentoo penguins. In addition, explore great historical sites including the trails of British Polar explorer Ernest Shackleton.
Hiking through the Falkland Islands.View of the arctic.The sun sets over polar mountains
Highlights
  • Hike along the shore of Carcass Island & view Magellanic & gentoo penguins
  • See multitudes of southern seabirds while crossing the Antarctic Convergence
  • Visit the historic Grytviken where Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried
  • Enjoy wonderful glacier views on the South Orkney Islands
  • Zodiac cruise through a world of giant icebergs, humpback whales, and seals
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark

The voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening. 

Day 2: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
While at sea in the westerlies the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.

Day 3: Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Islands offer an abundance of wildlife that is easily approachable, though caution is always advised. These islands are largely unknown gems, the site of the 1982 war between the UK and Argentina. Not only do various species of birds live here, but chances are great to see both Peale's dolphins and Commerson's dolphins in the surrounding waters. 

During this segment of the voyage, visit the following sites: 

Carcass Island - Despite its name, this island is pleasantly rodent-free and hence bounteous with birdlife. Anything from breeding Magellanic penguins and gentoos to numerous waders and passerine birds (including Cobb's wrens and tussock-birds) live here. 

Saunders Island - On Saunders Island, see the black-browed albatross and its sometimes clumsy landings, along with breeding imperial shags and rockhopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins and gentoos are also found here. 
 

Day 4: Stanley, Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, experience Falkland culture, which has some South American characteristics as well as Victorian charm. In Stanley and the surrounding area you can 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).

Day 5-6: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Cross the Antarctic Convergence on the way to South Georgia. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature may drop significantly in the time span of only a few hours. Near the Convergence see a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship, including several species of albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels, prions and skuas.

Day 7-10: South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Today, arrive in South Georgia. Please keep in mind that weather conditions in this area can be challenging, largely dictating the program. 

Over the next several days, have the chance to visit the following sites: 

Prion Island - The location is closed during the early part of the wandering albatross breeding season (November 20- January 7th). From January on, the breeding adults have found their partners and ares sitting on eggs or nursing their chicks. Enjoy witnessing the gentle nature of these animals, which possess the largest wingspan of any birds in the world. 

Fortuna Bay - Near beaches inhabited by various penguins and seals, have the chance to follow the final leg of Shackleton's route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness. This path cuts across the mountain pass beyond Shackleton's Waterfall and as the terrain is partly swampy, be prepared to cross a few small streams. 

Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour - These sites not only house the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia, they're also three of the world's largest breeding beaches for Antarctic fur seals. Literally millions breed on South Georgia during December and January. Only during the mid-season do they peak in their breeding cycle. Watch the large bulls keep a constant vigil (and occasionally fight) over territories where dozens of females have just given birth or are about to deliver. Watch a step and stay cool when walking the beaches during this time. 

Grytviken - In this abandoned whaling station, king penguins walk the streets and elephant seals lie around like they own the place because they basically do. Here, have the chance to see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton's grave. 

Day 11: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the day at sea, where the ship is again followed by a multitude of seabirds. At some point, the ship might encounter sea-ice and it is at the ice-edge where you might have a chance to see some high-Antarctic species. 

Day 12: South Orkney Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Depending on the conditions, visit Orcadas Base, an Argentine scientific station on Laurie Island in the South Orkney archipelago. The personnel here will happily show their facility, where visitors can enjoy expansive views of the surrounding glaciers. If a visit isn't possible, land in Coronation Island's Shingle Cove instead. 

Day 13: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend today at sea and enjoy the amenities aboard the cruise ship.

Day 14-16: Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
If the ice conditions permit, sail into the Weddell Sea. Here colossal tabular icebergs herald the arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Paulet Island, with its large population of Adelie penguins, is a possible stop. Also, visit Brown Bluff, located in the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound, where there's a chance to set foot on the Antarctic Continent itself. 

If conditions aren't favorable to enter the Weddell Sea from the east, the ship will set course for Elephant Island and head into the Bransfield Strait, between South Shetland Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. Here, attempt to access the Antarctic Soung from the northwest. 

The breathtaking scenery continues in the southern Gerlache Strait, and if ice conditions allow, possibly even reach Lemaire Channel. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure. 

Day 17-18: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
On the way north, again be followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.

Day 19: Ushuaia | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark. Transfer to the airport for flights home.

Ship/Hotel

MV Plancius

MV Plancius
MV Plancius

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$15,750 2-3 travelers
Quadruple Porthole
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Quadruple Porthole
4 cabins with private facilities, 2 bunk beds. (ca. 15 m2)
Quadruple Porthole
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Triple Porthole
4 cabins with private facilities, 2 bunk beds. (ca. 15 m2)
Twin porthole cabin
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Twin with Porthole
9 twin private cabins with porthole. Two Lower berths. (ca. 15 m2)
Twin with window
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Twin with Window
26 twin private cabins with window. Two Lower berths (ca. 15 m2)
Twin Deluxe
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Twin Deluxe
2 twin private deluxe cabins. Lower berths - two single beds.(ca. 15 m2)
Superior
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Superior
10 twin superior cabins. Lower berth - double bed. (ca. 21 m2)

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double or triple occupancy. Request the Twin or Triple Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.
- Single occupancy: All cabins 1.7 times the share twin price
-Children between the ages of 3-15 will be discounted 40% in triple or quad cabins, one child per cabin.
- Due to the extreme nature of itinerary destinations, travel insurance is mandatory for all cruises aboard the Plancius - including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance.
Included
  • 18 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches, 18 Dinners
  • 18 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • All Miscellaneous Service Taxes and Port Charges Throughout the Program
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
  •  Luggage Transfer from Pick-up Point to the Vessel on the Day of Embarkation in Ushuaia
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation)
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Pre- and Post Land Arrangements
  • Fuel Surcharge - to be invoiced separately
  • Meals ashore
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • Medical travel insurance, including emergency medical attention and evacuation coverage with a minimum of $100,000 of evacuation coverage is required.
  • Parkas are not provided on your cruise. Please bring your own windproof, waterproof, insulated parka with you. You will want to make sure it is roomy enough to fit warm layers underneath. Click here for information about parka rental.

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