Discover the exhilarating wildlife, unspoiled scenery and rich history of South Georgia on this 16-day cruise expedition aboard the Placius, an ice-strengthened vessel ideal for polar expeditions in the Antarctic. Seet foot in one of the most amaizing places in the world and become a member of a small group of explorers who have experienced and exclusive quaility program on South Georgia. During this season life is teaming on the beaches with the constant coming and going of King penguins as well as the countless Antarctic fur seal pups playing in the surf before beginning adulthood in the open sea.
Day 1 : Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark Days 2-5 : At Sea Days 6-10 : South Georgia Days 11-15 : At Sea Day 16 : Montevideo, Uruguay | Disembark
Observe molting southern elephant seals and gentoo penguins
Spot humpback, fin and minke whales, and possibly even blue whales
Follow the final section of Shackleton’s route to Stromness
Land at Grytviken to visit an abandoned whaling station
Cross the Antarctic Convergence on your way to South Georgia. Entering Antarctic currents, the temperature drops considerably in the time span of only a few hours. Nutritious water is brought to the surface by the colliding water columns, which brings a multitude of seabirds near the ship: several species of albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels, prions and skuas are possible to see during this crossing along with several species of whales and dolphins.
Reach South Geoargia and begin an exciting expedition in one of the most amazing places in the world. The density of wildlife is second to none anywhere on Earth and the autumn spells the peak of the King penguin numbers on the island. Many King penguin chicks have newly hatched and yet many more parents are still on eggs. Life is teaming on the beaches with the constant coming and going of King penguins as well as the countless Antarctic fur seal pups playing in the surf before beginning adulthood in the open sea. Huge southern elephant seals may be seen hauled out moulting at this time of year along with the endemic species South Georgia pipit and South Georgia pintail proliferating after the island-wide rat eradication has taken hold. Macaroni penguin chicks are fledging and the gentoo penguins may be seen moulting in places. The eggs of the wandering albatrosses have started to hatch and if luck dictates that a landing at Prion Island is possible, a rare site of the white fluffy chick of this most majestic of birds, may be seen. Light-mantled albatross and grey-headed albatross also breed on the island and chances are that you can get great encounters with these birds too. Humpback whales, fin whales, minke whales, and possibly even southern right whales and blue whales may be spotted during the trip too.
Weather conditions on South Georgia can be challenging and can largely dictate the program. Sites that may be visited include: Prion Island, where you may witness the breeding efforts of the huge wandering albatrosses. In Fortuna Bay penguins and seals inhabit the beaches. You may follow the final section of Shackleton’s route to Stromness, the abandoned whaling village. The route leads you across the mountain pass past the “Shackleton Waterfall”. The terrain is partly swampy and some small streams may have to be crossed along the way. At Grytviken, you can also see an abandoned whaling station, where King penguins now walk in the streets and elephant seals have taken residency. Here a visit to the Whaling History Museum is offered, as well as to Shackleton’s grave nearby. Salisbury Plain, St Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour, and Right Whale Bay house the four largest King penguin colonies in South Georgia whereas Copper Bay offers a wide variety of wildlife including macaroni, gentoo and chinstrap penguins. Aim to depart after a pre-breakfast activity on day 10.
Once again cross the Antarctic Convergence zone and head into warmer waters. The birdlife is prolific around the ship with numerous species of tube-noses that follow the ship throughout your sea days. Keep a sharp lookout for rare species of birds and mammals on the way north. In the past fascinating encounters with rarely seen species have been logged at this time of year.
Day 16 Montevideo, Uruguay | Disembark
This morning arrive in Montevideo, Uruguay and disembark for your continued journey home.
2 cabins with private facilities, 1 bunk bed and 1 lower berth. (ca. 15 m2)
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Twin with Porthole
9 twin private cabins with porthole. Two Lower berths. (ca. 15 m2)
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Twin with Window
26 twin private cabins with window. Two Lower berths (ca. 15 m2)
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2 twin private deluxe cabins. Lower berths - two single beds.(ca. 15 m2)
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10 twin superior cabins. Lower berths (either two single beds or one queen-size bed (ca. 21 m2)
- 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
- 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.
Please Note: A typical itinerary to South Georgia is illustrated below. 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 Expedition Leader on board will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Average cruising speed of m/v Plancius is 10.5 knots.
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.
All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Excluded from this voyage
Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
Pre- and post- land arrangements.
Passport and visa expenses.
Government arrival and departure taxes.
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).
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.