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Colony of black-browed albratross on the Falklands

Classic South Georgia

Example 20 Day Cruise aboard MV Ushuaia
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Join this amazing 20-day expedition cruise aboard the MV Ushuaia to the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), South Georgia, Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands. Throughout the voyage, watch for wildlife such as rockhopper penguins, elephant seals, black-browed albatrosses and many more!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Ushuaia
Day 2 : At Sea
Day 3 : Western Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Day 4 : Eastern Falkland Islands (Malvinas) | At Sea
Days 5-6 : At Sea
Day 7 : At Sea | South Georgia
Days 8-11 : South Georgia
Days 12-13 : At Sea
Day 14 : Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands
Day 15 : At Sea
Days 16-17 : Antarctic Peninsula | South Shetland Islands
Days 18-19 : At Sea
Day 20 : Disembark in Ushuaia

Highlights

  • Visit the Western Falkland Islands settlements
  • Search for seabirds and other local wildlife, such as orcas and dolphins
  • Explore the Eastern Falklands and the quaint little town of Stanley
  • Discover the icy plains and islands of South Georgia

Ship

MV Ushuaia

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Colony of black-browed albratross on the Falklands Travelers enjoying a zodiac cruise during an Antartctic cruise An Adelie Penguin protecting her new born. Enjoy a zodiac tour through the icebergs. A seal sits on snow.

Day 1 Embark in Ushuaia

Board the Ushuaia in the afternoon. A welcome drink and then an introduction to the crew and expedition staff follows, and you have time to get to know your new shipmates. The ship then sets sail towards the Western Falkland Islands (Malvinas), known for their rugged beauty and wealth of seabirds and waterfowl.

Day 2 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The open bridge policy on the Ushuaia welcomes the opportunity to meet the ship's officers and learn about navigation, watch for marine life, and enjoy the views of the open ocean. These waters are also home to an interesting group of seabirds, which often ride the currents created in the wake of the ship, such as albatrosses and petrels. Join the expedition staff and naturalists on deck whilst you are at sea and search for seabirds and other local wildlife, such as orcas and dolphins. An interesting set of lectures is provided to prepare passengers for the first excursion to the Western Falkland Islands (Malvinas).

Day 3 Western Falkland Islands (Malvinas)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
With favorable conditions, lecturers and naturalists accompany you on your first excursion. On the western coast you might visit the following islands:

West Point Island
West Point Island lies off the most northwesterly point of mainland West Falkland (Malvinas). The attractive settlement sits on the edge of a small harbor on the eastern side of the Island, in the lee of Black Bog Hill and Michael´s Mount. The valley between these two peaks rolls over the center of the island to the dramatic Devil´s Nose, one of the Island´s main attractions. From here visitors are treated to splendid views of Cliff Mountain, the Island´s highest point at 1,250 ft (381 m), and the highest cliffs in the Falklands (Malvinas). This is where you can encounter a vast colony of rockhopper penguins and black-browed albatrosses, nesting together in close vicinity.

Carcass Island
Carcass Island lies to the northwest of the Falklands archipelago (Malvinas). A mature tussac plantation covers much of the lower ground below Jason Hill to the east. The availability of abundant cover and the absence of cats, rats and mice throughout the island have made for a spectacularly large population of small birds, which is one of Carcass Island´s most delightful features. Gentoo and Magellanic penguins also nest here. Peale´s and Commerson´s dolphins come frequently close to the shoreline to get a glimpse of the visitors as well. At the settlement with its beautiful gardens, enjoy tea and cookies with the locals. Overnight sail around the northern islands of the archipelago in easterly direction to reach the capital, Stanley, the following morning.

Day 4 Eastern Falkland Islands (Malvinas) | At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the morning exploring the museum, park, shops, and pubs in the quaint capital of Stanley. The town was established in the early 1840s. Isolation and the weather conditions made life hard, but progress was gradual and punctuated by the extremely eventful times of involvement in two world wars. Also, enjoy opportunities to see southern giant petrels, Falkland steamer ducks, kelp gulls, upland geese, and dolphin gulls. Black-crowned night herons, red-backed hawks, and peregrine falcon may also be spotted around the island. Turkey vultures are regularly seen on top of any prominent building. Many pairs of upland geese frequent the park and it might be nice to take a stroll around the gardens of town to see some of the singing birds as well. In the afternoon, head towards South Georgia.

Day 5-6 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
These two days at sea involve an extensive lecture series with expert naturalists who share their knowledge of the wildlife and unique ecosystems encountered throughout the entire voyage.

Day 7 At Sea | South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
South Georgia comes into sight today! Though extremely isolated, it has amazing scenery ranging from high mountains and mighty glaciers to deep fjords and low-lying grassland. If the weather is favorable, aim to visit one of the following sites in the late afternoon:

Elsehul
Situated at the northwestern extremity of South Georgia on the eastern side of the knife-edged summit ridges of Parydian Peninsula, Elsehul is a beautiful little harbor. It is the only visitor site on the island, where colonies of black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses can be viewed from zodiacs within the protection of sheltered inshore waters.

Right Whale Bay
Right Whale Bay is a bay 1.5 miles (2.4 km) wide, entered between Craigie Point and Nameless Point along the north coast of South Georgia. The name dates back to at least 1922, when South Georgia was still a center for commercial whaling. Today hope to encounter a small colony of king penguins, along with giant petrels, gulls and breeding elephant seals on the black ashen beach.

Day 8-11 South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
The exact itinerary for South Georgia depends on local land and sea conditions, but the following destinations are among the possible options to explore:

Salisbury Plain
Salisbury Plain is sometimes called the “Serengeti of the South” and is a wildlife site without parallel. Several large glaciers provide a dramatic backdrop for the tens of thousands of king penguins that nest in the tussock grass of this remarkable ecosystem. The wide beach makes for excellent walking as you visit the colony, where you are literally surrounded and delightfully outnumbered by throngs of curious, gentle penguins. Elephant and fur seals also abound, as well as southern giant petrels and the occasional wandering gentoo penguin. Prepare for an awe-inspiring experience, as the elephant seals are giving birth on the beaches.

Prion Island
On the tussock-grass covered islet, visit a breeding colony of wandering albatross. Ascend to the summit on a wooden boardwalk, offering comfortable viewing platforms.

Grytviken
Grytviken lies within King Edward Cove, a sheltered harbor tucked between Hope Point and Hobart Rock on the western shore of Cumberland East Bay. The rusting ruins of the Grytviken whaling station are situated on a level plain at the head of the cove, backed by steep hills and mountains. Now the site of the South Georgia Museum, the station remains a focal point of interest for many visitors, as does Sir Ernest Shackleton´s grave in the nearby whaler´s cemetery and his memorial cross on Hope Point. The scenery in this area is exceptionally beautiful even by South Georgia standards: the glaciers and snow covered peaks of the Allardyce Range – Mt. Sugartop, Mt. Paget, Mt. Roots, Nordenskjöld Peak, Mt. Kling and Mt. Brooker – form a magnificent backdrop to the cove, and the views from King Edward Point in particular, must be among the finest on earth.

Godhul
Situated 9km east of Cumberland East Bay on the eastern shores of Barff Peninsula, Godthul is a 3km long inlet that lies between Cape George and Long Point. Gentoo penguins are abundant on the tussac plateau and light-mantled sooty albatrosses echo off the natural cliff amphitheater that encircles the harbor. A floating factory ship serviced by two whale catchers was stationed here each summer between 1908 and 1929. A small shore depot supporting the whaling operations was established close by the stream in the southeast corner of the harbor, and the rusting barrels, wooden shed and boats are fascinating relics of the whaling era, as is the impressive collection of whale and elephant seal bones scattered along the beach.

St. Andrew's Bay
The surf beaten coastline at St. Andrews Bay runs north-south in a 1.86 mile (3 km) long uninterrupted sweep of fine dark sand, covered in penguins and seals and bounded in the interior by the Cook, Buxton and Heaney Glaciers. The bay hosts the biggest colony of king penguins on South Georgia. Early in the season, the beach is also carpeted with fur and elephant seals. Such a large assemblage of wildlife attracts an entourage of persistent and voracious scavengers. Sheathbills dart in and around the penguin colony. Cape petrels nest in a small number on the cliffs north of St. Andrews Bay. Leopard seals patrol the rocks at this end of the beach too, hunting for penguins along the edge of kelp beds. A few white-chinned petrels and light-mantled sooty albatrosses nest on the tussac slopes. Brown skuas and Antarctic terns breed on the outwash plain and scree slopes at the north end of the beach, defending their nest sites with their characteristic noise and vigor.

Cooper Bay
Another highlight could be a visit in Cooper Bay at the southeast extremity of South Georgia. There is a wealth of wildlife at this site, in a spectacular setting. Chinstrap, gentoo, and macaroni penguins dot the tussock slopes and there are plenty of fur seals on the beaches. Fascinating volcanic rocks tower over small fjords, providing a stunning backdrop for a thrilling wildlife watching zodiac cruise on the waterfront.

Drygalski Fjord
Although Drygalski Fjord´s glaciers have retreated significantly in recent decades, they remain one of the most striking features of this coastline, particularly the Risting and Jenkins Glaciers. With a little luck, you might see the glaciers calve and witness the birth of a new iceberg.

Day 12-13 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Spend the next two days crossing the Scotia Sea towards the Antarctic Peninsula, offering opportunities to be out on deck, catch up on some reading, check through and edit your photos, or simply reflect on the magical experiences of the last days on South Georgia. Lectures and other activities are offered throughout these days.

Day 14 Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sir Ernest Shackleton admirers need no introduction to this historic isle. In 1916 Shackleton was forced to leave 22 of his men stranded on these shores, while he and five others embarked on an unbelievable last-ditch rescue attempt. What followed is one of the greatest rescue stories of all time. Attempt your own zodiac cruise off this historic site and return with a greater knowledge of this gripping tale of adventure in a truly remarkable part of the world.

Day 15 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the day preparing for the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands with the expedition team. Later today, hope to arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula in the area of the scenic Antarctic Sound. Here try to land at one of the following landing sites:

Argentine Antarctic Station Esperanza
Sail the passage to the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula, which traverses the Antarctic Sound and runs northwest-to-southeast. Hope Bay and the Argentine Station Esperanza are located on the western side of the Sound.

Brown Bluff
Brown Bluff, a promontory on the Tabarin Peninsula, is located south of Hope Bay. Both of them might be possible landing sites. The Weddell Sea represents the center of the Peninsula´s Adélie penguin population. 

Day 16-17 Antarctic Peninsula | South Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
In the area of the Antarctic Sound, the MV Ushuaia may visit the following sites:

Gerlache Strait
This region of broad straits, mountainous islands, protected bays, and narrow channels offers moments of solitude. A profusion of tall peaks humans have never climbed and vast glaciers flowing inexorably seaward are the physical features here.

Hydrurga Rocks
Hydrurga Rocks is a small group of islets which lie east of Two Hummock Island in the Palmer Archipelago, at the northern entrance of the Gerlache Strait. Chinstrap penguins, blue-eyed shags, and kelp gulls are confirmed breeders here.

Cuverville Island
Cuverville Island lies in the scenic Errera Channel, in the center of the Gerlache Strait. A well-defined raised beach forms a nesting site for many gentoo penguins here. On the way north the ship may explore the South Shetland Islands.

Deception Island
Deception is the largest of three recent volcanic centers in the South Shetlands. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing. Once inside, the rising slope of the black, cinder-covered volcanic rim can be walked uphill to a rather spectacular vantage point.

Half Moon Island
This crescent-shaped island, in the entrance of Moon Bay between Greenwich and Livingston Islands, is home to chinstrap penguins in breathtaking surroundings.

Day 18-19 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
While heading north across the Drake Passage, join the ship's lecturers and naturalists to watch for seabirds and whales. Enjoy some final lectures, relax, and reflect on the fascinating adventures had over the past days.

Day 20 Disembark in Ushuaia

  • 1 Breakfast
In the morning, enjoy breakfast on board before disembarking.

MV Ushuaia

Per person starting at
$8,490
Standard Plus Triple Cabin
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Standard Plus Triple
2 Standard Plus triple outside cabins with portholes or windows on Deck E, private facilities, 3 lower berths.
Standard Twin cabin on the Ushuaia
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Standard Cabin
12 Standard twin outside cabins with portholes on deck E with semi-private facilities, 2 berths (upper/lower).
Standard Plus Twin on Ushuaia (#640)
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Standard Plus
11 Standard Plus twin outside cabins with portholes or windows on deck E, private facilities, 2 lower berths. Cabin 640: 1 double bed.
Ushuaia's Category A Cabin.
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Premier Twin
6 Premier twin outside cabins with windows on upper deck G, private facilities, 2 lower berths.
Premier Single Cabin
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Premier Single
2 outside Premier single cabins with portholes (view obstructed by lifeboat) on upper Deck G, private facilities, 1 single bed.
Ushuaia's Superior Cabin.
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Superior
9 Superior twin outside cabins with windows on upper deck G, private facilities, 2 lower berths. Cabin 301: 1 double & 1 single bed.
Ushuaia's Suite.
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Suite
4 Suite outside cabins with windows on upper deck G, private facilities, 2 lower berths, lounge, TV, DVD player & fridge. Suite 201: 2 double beds. Suite 202: 1 double bed & sofa bed. Suite 204 & 207: 3 lower single beds.

Notes

- Fuel surcharge may vary: no surcharge if the price of the barrel of crude oil is $100 or lower.
- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy. Request the Twin 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.
- Twin cabins (except suites) are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the share rate. Suites may be reserved at 2 times the share rate. A third berth (sofa bed) in a few suites maybe occupied at 50% of the published twin share rate.
- Special family rates: A child (under 16 years) accompanied by two adults will be free of charge in a triple Superior cabin or triple Suite.

All rates are subject to change, especially possible fuel surcharges. However, there will be NO fuel surcharge if the price of the barrel of crude oil is US$100 or lower.

Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Your exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board.

Included in the cruise price:
  • Voyage aboard the Ushuaia as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the Ushuaia
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by zodiac
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material
  • Detailed post-expedition log
Not included in the cruise price:
  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post land arrangements
  • Transfers to / from the vessel
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Meals ashore
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as bar and beverage charges and telecommunication charges
  • Customary gratuity at the end of the voyages (guidelines will be provided)

Included

  • 19 Breakfasts, 18 Lunches, 19 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Rachel B

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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