Visit all the sub-Antarctic highlights in one voyage on this 21-day expedition cruise. Land on the Falkland Islands for spectacular scenery and encounters with black-browed albatrosses and rockhopper penguins. This voyage also includes time in South Georgia, one of the most beautiful places on earth. Be prepared for tens of thousands of king penguins and their chicks, sea lions on the beaches, elephant seals, wandering albatrosses, gentoo penguins, and great historical sites including the trails of British Polar explorer, Ernest Shackleton.
Experience Falkland culture with a visit to Port Stanley
Observe the distinctive breeding behaviors of the wandering albatross
Spot fin whales from the ship while cruising past large icebergs
Visit the volcanic and windswept islands of the South Shetlands
Embark your ship in Puerto Madryn in the afternoon, your prow aimed for the Falkland Islands. Golfo Nuevo is renowned for its visiting southern right whales, so you have a good chance of spotting one as you sail toward the open ocean.
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 gives views of Magellanic and gentoo penguins, as well as close encounters with waterfowl, night herons, and passerines. In addition, on Saunders observe four species of breeding penguins (gentoo, king, Magellanic and rockhopper), 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 the 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 are recommended.
At sea, on your way to South Georgia, cross the Antarctic Convergence. 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.
Arrive at the first landing site in South Georgia. You might visit the bay of Elsehul, with its very active fur seal breeding beach, and then set course to Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, Godthul, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour, Cooper Bay and Drygalski Fjord to give you a good opportunity to see a wide spectrum of landscapes and wildlife, like the elephant seals, fur seals, and king and macaroni penguins. One of the highlights might be your visit to Prion Island, where you can 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. Depart from South Georgia in the afternoon of day 10.
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 show you their facilities with wonderful views of the surrounding glaciers. Alternatively you may attempt a landing in Shingle Cove on Signy Island.
Sail into the Weddell Sea through the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound as huge tabular icebergs announce your 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 more time may be spent in the Weddell Sea. Potential landing sites include:
Half Moon Island
Aim for Half Moon Island in the South Shetland Islands for a visit to a Chinstrap penguin rookery and the usually non-occupied Argentinean Camara station. Often Weddell seals haul out on the beaches here.
Venture to Deception Island through Neptune's Bellows. 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 Dominican 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 Whalers Bay.
Neko Harbour or Paradise Bay
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 offer a landing 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.
1 suite with 2 windows (minimum), 1 double bed, 1 single (sofa) bed, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Hairdryer, ample storage space.
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 and snowshoes aboard the Ortelius
- Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation
- 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
- 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)
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!