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Antarctica: Through the Falklands and South Georgia

12,550

*Departure: Feb 16 – Mar 07, 2019
*Prices are based on sharing berth accommodation – additional cabin/price options listed below

20 days around Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Antarctic Peninsula

Visiting 1 country:  Antarctica 

 

This Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctic Peninsula cruise is an animal-lover’s dream come true. The expedition explores one of the last untamed areas on Earth – a land of ruggedly beautiful landscapes and amazingly varied wildlife.

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Description

PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The on-board expedition leader will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Average cruising speed of m/v Ortelius is 10.5 knots .

Day 1: End of the World, Start of a Journey

Your voyage begins where the world drops off: Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego – nicknamed “The End of the World” – and sail the scenic, mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the rest of the evening.

Day 2: Winged Life of the Westerlies

Several species of albatross follow the vessel into the westerlies, as well as storm petrels, shear waters, and diving petrels.

Day 3: Falklands Found

The Falkland (Malvinas) Islands offer an abundance of wildlife, easily approachable – with caution. These islands are largely unknown gems, primarily remembered for the war between the UK and Argentina in 1982. Not only do various species of bird live here, but chances are great you’ll see both Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins in the surrounding waters.

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

Carcass Island – Despite its name, this island is pleasantly rodent-free and hence bounteous with bird life. Anything from breeding Magellanic and gentoo penguins to numerous waders and passerine birds (including Cobb’s wren and the tussock-bird) live here.

Saunders Island – Here you can see the black-browed albatross and its sometimes-clumsy landings, along with breeding imperial shags and rock hopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and gentoo penguins are also found here.

Day 4: Seat of Falklands Culture

The capital of the Falklands, Port Stanley has some South American traits mixed in with a little Victorian charm: colorful houses, well-tended gardens, and English-style pubs. You can see several century-old clipper ships in the surrounding area, silent witnesses to the hardships of 19th century sailors. The small but interesting museum is also worth a visit, covering the early days of the settlement up to the Falkland War. Approximately 2,100 people live in the capital, where you’re free to wander at will – though admission fees to local attractions are not included.

Day 5 – 6: Once More to the Sea

En route to South Georgia, you cross the Antarctic Convergence. The temperature cools considerably within only a few hours, and nutritious water rises to the surface of the sea due to colliding water columns. This phenomenon attracts a multitude of seabirds near the ship: several species of albatrosses as well as shear waters, petrels, prions, and skuas.

Day 7 – 10: South Georgia Journey

You arrive at the first South Georgia activity site on day seven. Weather conditions here can be challenging and largely dictate 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 penguins and seals, you have the chance to follow the final section of Shackleton’s route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness. This route cuts across the mountain pass beyond Shackleton’s Waterfall. The terrain here is partly swampy, so be prepared to cross some small streams along the way.

Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour – These locations not only house the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia, they’re also three of the largest breeding beaches for southern elephant seals in the world. Only this time of year do they peak in their breeding cycle. Watch the four-ton bulls keep a constant vigil (and occasionally fight) over the territories where dozens of females have just given birth or are about to deliver. You can also see a substantial number of Antarctic fur seals here during the breeding season (December – January).

Grytviken – You have the opportunity to check out this abandoned whaling station, where king penguins now walk the streets and elephant seals lie around like they own the place – because they just about do. You might also see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave.

Day 11: Southward Bound

There may be sea ice on this route, and at the edge of the ice some south polar skuas and snow petrels could join the other seabirds trailing the vessel south.

Day 12: South Orkney Sights

Depending on the weather and ice, you might visit Base Orcadas, an Argentine scientific station on Laurie Island in the South Orkney archipelago. The personnel here will happily show you their facility, where you can enjoy expansive views of the surrounding glaciers. If a visit here isn’t possible, you might land in Signy Island’s Shingle Cove instead.

Day 13: Last Push to the Antarctic

Huge icebergs and a good chance of fin whales ensure there’s never a dull moment on this last sea voyage south. Also, your best chance to spot Antarctic petrels is here.

Day 14 – 17: Awe-Inspiring Antarctica

If ice permits, you sail into the Weddell Sea. Here colossal tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Paulet Island, with its large population of Adélie penguins, is a possible stop. You might also visit Brown Bluff, located in the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound, where you may get the chance to set foot on the Continent. If conditions aren’t favorable to enter the Weddell Sea from the east, you set course for Elephant Island and head into the Bransfield Strait – between South Shetland Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. Here you attempt access to the Antarctic Sound from the northwest. This extended voyage provides you the chance to sail even farther down the ice-sculpted western Antarctic Peninsula. After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, you get a chance to visit the former British research station – now a museum and post office – of Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. You may also be able to partake in activities around Jougla Point, meeting gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags. After this, other visits might be possible. In Neko Harbour or Paradise Bay, you may be able to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in an epic, otherworldly landscape of alpine peaks and mammoth glaciers calving at sea level. Humpback whales and minke whales are also known to be spotted in this area. Cuverville Island is a potential stop in the early hours of your last landing day. Here you can pick around the rocks, enjoying the morning in good company: The largest gentoo penguin rookery of the Antarctic Peninsula lives here. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.

Day 18 – 19: North by Sea

While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.

Day 20: There and Back Again

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Additional information

Country

Antarctica

Duration

2 Weeks +

Travel Style

EPIC JOURNEYS: ADVENTURES & EXPEDITIONS

Inclusions

  • 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.
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.

Highlights & Encounters

  • Chinstrap Penguin
  • Fortuna Bay
  • Grytviken
  • King Penguin
  • Shackleton’s grave
  • Shore-Based Walking
  • Southern Elephant Seal
  • The Shackleton walk
  • Wandering Albatross

Cabins & Prices

Quadruple Porthole

  • 1 porthole
  • 2 upper & lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space
  • This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin

Sharing berth
€ 12550
Share your cabin with others for the best price

Complete cabin
€ 50200
Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

 


Triple Porthole

  • 1 porthole
  • 1 upper berth & 2 lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space
  • This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin

Sharing berth
€ 13700
Share your cabin with others for the best price

Complete cabin
€ 41100
Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

 

Twin Porthole

  • 1 porthole
  • 2 lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space

Sharing berth
€ 14920
Share your cabin with others for the best price

Single cabin
€ 25400
Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).

Complete cabin
€ 29900
Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Additional Info

Duration: 19 nights

Ship: m/v Ortelius

Embarkation: Ushuaia

Disembarkation: Ushuaia

Language: English speaking voyage

Age range & Nationality onboard

Passengers on a typical voyage range from their 30s to their 80s – with a majority usually from 45 – 65, but a little younger on the Rembrandt van Rijn, between 30 – 55. Our expeditions attract independent-minded travellers from around the world. They are characterised by a strong interest in exploring remote regions. The camaraderie and spirit that develops aboard is an important part of the expedition experience. Many departures have several nationalities on board.

Catering

Three simple but good meals of international cuisine per day are served buffet style in the restaurant and is prepared by our cook.

Dress code

In keeping with our expeditions atmosphere, dress on board is informal. Bring casual and comfortable clothing for all activities. Keep in mind that much of the spectacular scenery can be appreciated from deck, which can be slippery. Bring sturdy shoes with no-slip soles and make sure the parka is never far away in case of the call “Whales!” comes over the loudspeaker and you have to dash outside. Wear layers since it is comfortably warm aboard the ship – and often cold on deck.

Electric Current

The electrical supply aboard the ship is 220 volt 50hz. Electrical outlets are standard European with two thick round pins. U.S. passengers may need a 220v/110v converter.

Excursions & Landings

Every day there will be excursions on land, weather and ice permitting. The landings will take three to six hours per day over untracked area. According to circumstances (the weather, the ice-situation or the passengers´ wishes) the program can sometimes be adjusted. Ample time will be devoted to wildlife, vegetation, geography and history.

Gratuities

The customary gratuity to the ship’s crew and expedition leader is made as a blanket contribution at the end of the voyage. Tipping is a very personal matter and the amount you wish to give is at your discretion. We suggest to give cash in Euros, US Dollars or Danish kroner.Non-smoking policyOn board our vessels we have a non-smoking policy. It is prohibited to smoke inside the ship. You can smoke in designated ares. Please respect the wishes of non-smokers.

The crew

The crew of the ´Rembrandt van Rijn´ consists of 9 experienced crew and 2 expedition guides and a cook. The sailors are in charge during sailing and will bring us ashore.

Your physical condition

You must be in good general health and you should be able to walk several hours per day. The expedition is ship-based and physically not very demanding. Although we spend as much time as possible ashore, you are welcome to remain aboard the ship if you like. To join most excursions, you must be able to get up and down the ladder from the ship to the water level to board the Zodiacs. Staff will assist you in and out of the boats. This will become progressively easier with practice. Ashore it can be slippery and rocky. You are travelling in remote areas without access to sophisticated medical facilities, so you must not join this expedition if you have a life-threatening condition, or need daily medical treatment.

Vessel Information

 

Ortelius was originally the Marina Svetaeva. Built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989, it served as a special-purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. Later it was re-flagged and renamed after the Dutch/Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius (1527 – 1598), who in 1570 published the first modern world atlas: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum or Theater of the World. At that time his atlas was the most expensive book ever printed. Ortelius is classed by Lloyd’s Register in London and flies the Dutch flag.

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