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Antarctica: Expedition Through the Falklands

8,720

*Departure: Nov 03 – Nov 23, 2019  
*Prices are based on sharing berth accommodation – additional cabin/price options listed below

 

21 days exploring the deep Antarctic South

Visiting 3 countries:Argentina, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica

 

A cruise to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia & the Antarctic Peninsula. Visit some of the most beautiful arrays of wildlife on Earth. This journey will introduce you to at least 6 species of penguin and a whole lot of Antarctic fur seals!

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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. The average cruising speed of m/v Hondius is 10.5 knots.
A cruise to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia & the Antarctic Peninsula. Visit some of the most beautiful arrays of wildlife on Earth. This journey will introduce you to at least 6 species of penguin and a whole lot of Antarctic fur seals!

 

Day 1: Sandy Argentine beaches

You embark from 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.

Day 2 – 3: Sea life, sea birds

Though you’re now at sea, there’s rarely a lonesome moment here. Several species of bird follow the vessel southeast, such as albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels.

Day 4: Finding the Falklands

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. 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 segment of the voyage, you may visit the following sites:

Steeple Jason

Home to the world’s largest black-browed albatross colony (roughly 113,000), Steeple Jason is a wild and rarely visited island buffeted by wind and waves. Weather and swell conditions dictate the journey here.

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 5: The seat of Falklands culture

The capital of the Falklands and center of its culture, Port 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 Port Stanley. Feel free to wander at will, though be aware that admission fees to local attractions are not included in the voyage.

Day 6, 7: Once more to the sea

En route to South Georgia, you now cross the Antarctic Convergence. The temperature cools considerably within the space of 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, including several species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas.

Day 8 – 11: South Georgia journey

Today you 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.

Sites you might visit include:

Prion Island

This location is closed during the early part of the wandering albatross breeding season. The previous summer’s wandering albatross chicks are almost ready to fledge, and adults are seeking out their old partners after a year and a half at sea.

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 southern elephant seals. Only during this time of year do they peak in their breeding cycle. Watch the four-ton bulls keep a constant vigil (and occasionally fight) over 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).

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.

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.

Day 12: 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 13: The scenic vistas of South Orkney

Depending on the conditions, you might visit Orcadas Base, 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 isn’t possible, you may instead land in Signy Island Shingle Cove.

Day 14: Last push to the Antarctic

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

Day 15 – 18: Awe-inspiring Antarctica

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. 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 could get the chance to set foot on the Antarctic Continent itself.

If conditions aren’t favorable to enter the Weddell Sea from the east, the ship will set course for Elephant Island and head into the Bransfield Strait, between South Shetland Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. Here you can attempt to access the Antarctic Sound from the northwest.

The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often cloaked in mist, but they nonetheless offer many subtle pleasures. A wide variety of flora (mosses, lichens, flowering grasses) and fauna (gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, southern giant petrels) live here. Chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals often haul out onto the beach near Cámara Base, an Argentine scientific research station on Half Moon Island.

Deception Island

The ship plunges through Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. Here you can find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and thousands of cape petrels. A number of kelp gulls, brown skuas, south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns can be spotted too. Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels also nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. As an alternative, you can take part in activities near Telefon Bay, further inside the caldera.

This extended voyage gives you the chance to sail even farther down the icy coast of the western Antarctic Peninsula. In the Gerlache Strait are several opportunities for great landings where you might set foot on the Antarctic Continent, surrounded by an epic landscape of alpine peaks and mammoth glaciers calving at sea level. Gentoo penguins, leopard seals, Weddell seals, humpback whales, and minke whales are often seen here.

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

Day 19 – 20: Familiar seas, familiar friends

Your return voyage is far from lonely. 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 21: Earth’s southernmost city

You arrive and disembark in Ushuaia, commonly held to be the world’s most southern city. It is located on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, nicknamed the “End of the World.” But despite this stopping point, the wealth of memories you’ve made on your Antarctic expedition will travel with you wherever your next adventure lies.

Additional information

Country

Antarctica, Argentina, South Georgia, The Falklands

Duration

3 Weeks +

Travel Style

EPIC JOURNEYS: ADVENTURES & EXPEDITIONS

INCLUSIONS

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.
  • 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.

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.
  • 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).

highlights & Encounters

  • Black-browed Albatross
  • Carcass Island
  • Elephant Island
  • Grytviken
  • Hondius Acoustics Workshop
  • Hondius Photography Workshop
  • Hondius Special Activities
  • Hondius Video Workshops
  • King Penguin
  • Rockhopper Penguin
  • Salisbury Plain
  • Stanley
  • Weddell Seal

Cabins & Prices

Quadruple Porthole

  • 2 portholes
  • 2 upper & lower berths
  • Small sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flat screen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
  • Safe

This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin.

Sharing berth  8720 EUR

Complete cabin  34905 EUR (Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied).

 

Triple Porthole

  • 2 portholes
  • 1 upper berth & 2 lower berths
  • Small sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flat screen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
  • Safe

This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin.

Sharing berth  9605 EUR (Share your cabin with others for the best price).

Complete cabin  28915 EUR (Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.).

 

Twin Porthole

  • 2 portholes
  • 2 single beds
  • Small sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flat screen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
  • Safe

Sharing berth  10440 EUR (Share your cabin with others for the best price).

Single cabin  17750 EUR (Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).).

Complete cabin  20875 EUR (Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.).

Additional Info

Duration: 20 nights
Ship: m/v Hondius
Embarkation: Puerto Madryn
Disembarkation: Ushuaia
Language: English speaking voyage
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 Plancius is 10.5 knots .

Age and Nationality

Passengers on a typical voyage range from their 30s to their 80s – with a majority usually from 45 – 65. 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.

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.

Currency & payment

Refreshments from the bar and souvenirs will be charged to your cabin. The day before departure you can settle your bill with the Hotel Manager and pay by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) or cash (Euro or Dollar). We do not accept cheques of any kind. The prices and standard currency on board our vessels is the Euro. Other currencies may be accepted at the discretion of the hotel manager at prevailing rates.

Electric current

The electrical supply aboard the ship is 220v, 60Hz. Electrical outlets are standard European with two thick round pins. You may need a 220v/110v converter.

Gratuities

The customary gratuity to the ship’s service personnel is made as a blanket contribution at the end of the voyage which is divided among the crew. Tipping is a very personal matter and the amount you wish to give is at your discretion. As a generally accepted guideline, we suggest US$8 to US$10 per person per day. It is better for the crew, if you can give them cash US Dollar.

Non-smoking policy

On board our vessels we have a non-smoking policy. It is prohibited to smoke inside the ship. You can smoke in the designated smoking areas. Please respect the wishes of non-smokers.

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 steep gangway 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

m/v Hondius

Our newest, most advanced vessel is the world’s first-registered Polar Class 6 cruise ship, exceeding all the latest green requirements of the Polar Code

Hondius is the first-registered Polar Class 6 vessel in the world, meeting the latest and highest Lloyd’s Register demands for ice-strengthened cruise vessels. Hondius also exceeds the requirements of the Polar Code as adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), allowing you to enjoy the polar regions as much as possible while impacting them as little as possible. Upon completion, Hondius will be the most flexible, advanced, innovative ice-strengthened vessel in the polar regions. It is optimized for exploratory voyages that provide you the utmost first-hand contact with the Arctic and Antarctica.

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