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Rockhopper penguins

Falkland Islands - South Georgia - Antarctic Peninsula

Example 20 Day Cruise aboard MV Janssonius
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This 20-day expedition cruise aboard the MV Janssonius showcases the highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula and the sub-Antarctic islands. Enjoy excursions on the Falkland Islands and South Georgia before heading across the Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula. The wildlife watching during this expedition is unparalleled with opportunities to observe at least six species of penguin, walrus, seals, whales, and a wide range of seabird species. The dramatic vistas of these icy landscapes is sure to astound every traveler and history buffs enjoy the visits Shackleton's grave and other historic sites. 
A colony of king penguins on South GeorgiaUshuaia by nightA humpback whale lifts its fluke The sun sets over polar mountainsThe pristine and remote landscape of the Falkland IslandsHiking in the South Shetland islandsWhale bones at the Grytviken whaling stationAbandoned whaling village of Stromness, South GeorgiaObserve beautiful fur sealsRockhopper penguins
Highlights
  • Meet several species of penguins during the expedition
  • Visit historical sites from expeditions of past explorers
  • Explore the volcanic islands of the South Shetlands
  • Observe a variety of seabirds along the Drake Passage crossing
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark

Your 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, you 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
Several species of albatross follow the vessel into the westerlies, along with storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels. 

Day 3: Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Falkland Islands offer an abundance of wildlife that is easily approachable, though caution is always advised. These islands are largely unknown gems, the site of a 1982 war between the UK and Argentina. Not only do various species of bird live here, but chances are great you’ll see both Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins in the surrounding waters. 
 
During this segment of the voyage, you may visit the following sites:
 
Carcass Island – Despite its name, this island is pleasantly rodent-free and hence bounteous with birdlife and many endemic species. 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, you can 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: Port Stanley, Falkland Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The capital of the Falklands and center of its culture, Port Stanley has some Victorian-era charm: colorful houses, well-tended gardens, and English-style pubs are all to be found here. You can also see several century-old clipper ships nearby, silent witnesses to the hardships of 19th-century sailors. The small but interesting museum is also worth a visit, covering the early days of settlement up to the Falklands War. Approximately 2,100 people live in Port Stanley. Admission to the museum is included. 

Day 5-6: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
En route to South Georgia, you now cross the Antarctic Convergence. The temperature cools considerably within the space of a few hours, and nutritious water rises to the surface of the sea due to colliding water columns. This phenomenon attracts a multitude of seabirds near the ship, including several species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas.

Day 7-10: South Georgia

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

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

Prion Island – This location is closed during the early part of the breeding season (November 20 – January 7). The previous summer’s wandering albatross chicks are almost ready to fledge, and adults are seeking out their old partners after a year and a half at sea.

Fortuna Bay – Near beaches inhabited by various penguins and seals, you 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 southern elephant seals. Only during this time of year do they peak in their breeding cycle. Watch the four-ton bulls keep a constant vigil (and occasionally fight) over territories where dozens of females have just given birth or are about to deliver. You can also see a substantial number of Antarctic fur seals here during the breeding season (December – January).

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 you might be able 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 there may be sea ice on this route, and at the edge of the ice some south polar skuas and snow petrels could join the other seabirds trailing the vessel south.

Day 12: South Orkney Islands

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

Day 13: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today pass by large icebergs and have a good chance of Fin whales on the way south. You also have the best chances on the trip to see Antarctic Petrels around the ship.

Day 14-17: Weddell Sea | Deception Island | Cuverville Island

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
If the ice conditions permit, you now sail into the Weddell Sea. Here colossal tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Paulet Island, with its large population of Adélie penguins, is a possible stop. You might also visit Brown Bluff, located in the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound, where you could get the 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 you can attempt to access the Antarctic Sound from the northwest.

This extended voyage gives you the chance to sail even farther down the ice-sculpted western Antarctic Peninsula. You are likely to enter the northern Gerlache Strait for your last activity before venturing into the Drake Passage. Here there are several opportunities for great landings in an epic landscape of alpine peaks and mammoth glaciers calving at sea level. Gentoo penguins, leopard seals, Weddell seals, humpback whales, and minke whales are often seen here.

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

Day 18-19: At Sea

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

Day 20: Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark

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

Ship/Hotel

MV Janssonius

MV Janssonius
MV Janssonius
MV Janssonius

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$13,550
MV Janssonius Quadruple Porthole cabin
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Quadruple Porthole
Quadruple cabins with bunk beds and private facilities (these can also be used as triple or twin cabins). Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
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Triple Porthole
Triple cabins with bunk beds and private facilities. These cabins are spacious with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.
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Twin Porthole
Twin cabins with portholes, private toilet and shower and 2 single lower berths. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.
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Twin Window
Twin cabins with windows, private toilet and shower and 2 single lower berths. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
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Twin Deluxe
Superior cabins with lower birth twin beds, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
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Superior
Suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two windows per cabin.
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Junior Suite
Suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with windows.
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Grand Suite with private balcony
Suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with 4 windows and a private balcony.

Notes

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.

Included in this voyage
  • Voyage aboard the indicated 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.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • 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).
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.


Not included:
  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights.
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • 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.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
Included
  • 19 Breakfasts, 18 Lunches, 19 Dinners
  • 19 Nights Accommodations
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Zodiac Explorations 
  • Comprehensive Pre- and Post-voyage Information Materials
     
  • All Miscellaneous Service Taxes and Port Charges Throughout the Program
     
  • Snowshoes Available on Loan for Shore Excursions on Designated Voyages
  • 24-hour Coffee, Tea, & Snacks
  • Loan of Waterproof Boots for Landings
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • 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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