This 20-day expedition cruise aboard the MV Plancius 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 unparalled with opportunities to observe at least six species of penguin, 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.
Meet at least six penguin species during the expedition
Visit historical sites from expeditions of the past
Explore the volcanic islands of the South Shetlands
Observe a variety of seabirds along the Drake Passage crossing
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.
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 offers 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 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. Alternatively you may attempt a landing in Shingle Cove on Signy Island.
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. The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist, but do offer subtle pleasures. There is a nice variety of flora (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna, such as gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins and southern giant petrels. On Half Moon Island you can find chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals often haul out on the beach near the Argentinean station Camara.
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 Whaler's Bay. This voyage opens the opportunity to sail further down the western Antarctic Peninsula. In Neko Harbour or Paradise Bay you have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers calving at sea level. Enjoy the landscape surrounded by alpine peaks. In this area you have good chances to see humpback whales and minke whales.
After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, hope to get a chance to visit the old British research station, now living museum and post office at Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy you may also land on Jougla Point with gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags. In the early hours of your last landing day hope to land at Cuverville Island with the several thousand gentoo penguins in the largest gentoo rookery of the Antarctic Peninsula.
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
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
- Free use of rubber boots
- 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 program
- Comprehensive pre-departure material
- Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights
- Pre- and post land arrangements
- Transfers to the vessel in Ushuaia and Ascension and from the vessel in Ascension and Praia
- 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)
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.
The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.