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Hiking up high for spectacular views

Falkland Islands - South Georgia - Antarctic Peninsula

Example 22 Day Cruise aboard Ortelius
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Experience all the best of the sub-Antarctic highlights on this 22-day Antarctic expedition. Meet at least six penguin species, visit Port Lockroy, and pay your respects at Shackleton's grave on this polar voyage voted #1 to observe Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands. This cruise includes four days on South Georgia, probably the most beautiful place on earth. Plan a visit to Orcadas station on South Orkney Islands and If the ice permits sail into the Weddell Sea through the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Ushuaia | Embark
Day 2 : At Sea
Days 3-5 : Falkland Islands
Days 6-7 : At Sea
Days 8-12 : South Georgia
Day 13 : At Sea
Day 14 : South Orkney Islands
Day 15 : At Sea
Days 16-19 : Antarctic Peninsula
Days 20-21 : At Sea
Day 22 : Ushuaia | Disembark

Highlights

  • View shipwrecks, wildlife & war monuments that bring the Falklands to life
  • Witness the greatest concentration of Antarctic wildlife
  • Discover the dark mountains & big blue icebergs of the South Orkney Islands
  • Prepare to walk on the white continent

Ship

Ortelius

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Hiking up high for spectacular views Penguin photo opp in Antarctica Zodiac excursion in the Antarctic Penisula A young seal warms itself on the ice

Day 1 Ushuaia | Embark

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.

Day 2 At Sea

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

Day 3-5 Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
The Falkland (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 a 1982 war between the UK and Argentina. The capital of the Falklands and center of its culture, 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 Stanley. Feel free to wander at will, though be aware that admission fees to local attractions are not included in the voyage.

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

West Point Island – Thick with black-browed albatrosses and rockhopper penguins.

Grave Cove – Nesting gentoo penguins and excellent hiking opportunities abound here.

New Island, Coffin’s Harbour – This location is a reasonable walk from the landing site at the New Island South Wildlife Reserve, providing views of nesting black-browed albatrosses and rockhopper penguins. A more strenuous hike to Landsend Bluff may also show you some South American fur seals. The site of the only land-based whaling station on the Falkland Islands is south of the landing beach.

New Island North Nature Reserve – Landing here requires a special permit. If received, you can make a farewell visit to the black-browed albatrosses (among other bird species) and South American fur seals that make the Falklands their home.

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 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 6-7 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
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.

Day 8-12 South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners
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 wandering albatross breeding season (November 20 – January 7). From January on, the breeding adults have found their partners and are 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, 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 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 your 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 you might be able to see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave.

Cobblers Cove, Godthul – At Cobblers Cove aim for Rookery Point to see macaroni penguins. Light-mantled sooty albatrosses nest along the coastline and giant petrels can be observed as well. Godthul (Norwegian for “good cove”) was named by Norwegian whalers and seal-hunters and remains such as bones can still be found along the shore line. Beaches are the home of gentoo penguins.

Cooper Bay – Offers the largest chinstrap penguin population and gentoo and also macaroni penguins are present. Antarctic terns, white-chinnes petrels, blue-eyed shags and light-mantled sooty albatrosses can be spotted too.

Day 13 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 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.

Day 14 South Orkney Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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.

Day 15 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 16-19 Antarctic Peninsula

  • 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. 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.

Sail further in the Antarctic Peninsula. Sites you may visits are:

Wilhelmina Bay – A likely spot to see feeding humpback whales. If conditions allow, you may even embark on a Zodiac cruise to the ghostly wreck of the Guvernøren, a whaling vessel that caught fire here in 1915. 

Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, Neko Harbour offers opportunities for a Zodiac cruise and landing that afford the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks.

Paradise Bay – You may be able to take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters, where there’s a good chance you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales.

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

Day 20-21 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 22 Ushuaia | Disembark

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

Ortelius

Per person starting at
$15,500
Twin porthole cabin
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Quadruple Porthole
4 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
Triple Porthole Cabin
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Triple Porthole
2 triple cabins with bunk beds and private facilities. These cabins are spacious with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.
Twin Porthole on the Ortelius
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Twin Porthole
23 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.
Twin Window on the Ortelius
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Twin Window
10 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
Twin Deluxe on the Ortelius
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Twin Deluxe
6 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
Superior Suite on the Ortelius
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Superior
1 suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy.
- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate.
- 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 Ortelius - including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance.

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.

Fares include:
- 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

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)
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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