Take $500 per person off on board the M/V Plancius and contact us for further discounts with this Cruise Company.
This Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctic Peninsula Cruise on board m/v Plancius 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. On this expedition cruise, you can meet at least six penguin species.
Start & End Dates:
- 3 Nov – 23 Nov, 2018
- Dec 03—Dec 22, 2018
- Jan 9—Jan 28, 2019
- Deb 16—Mar 7, 2019
|Day 1||Arrival Ushuaia, and Embarkation.|
|Day 2||Winged Life of the Westerlies|
|Day 3||Falklands Found|
|Day 4||Seat of Falklands Culture|
|Day 5 to 6||Once More to the Sea|
|Day 7 to 10||South Georgia Journey|
|Day 11||Southward Bound|
|Day 12||South Orkney Sights|
|Day 13||Last Push to the Antarctic|
|Day 14 to 17||Awe-Inspiring Antarctica|
|Day 18 to 19||North by Sea|
|Day 20||There and Back Again|
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, shearwaters, 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. A hike along the shore of Carcass Island may show you anything from breeding Magellanic and gentoo penguins to numerous waders and passerine birds (including Cobb’s wren and the tussock-bird) live here. And 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 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: colourful 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 are free to wander at will – through 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 shearwaters, 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 breeding season (November 20 – January 7). 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 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 does 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). 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. But the terrain here is partly swampy, so be prepared to cross some small streams along the way. 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 see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave. Cooper Bay – A great place for a Zodiac cruise, this bay also houses a rookery of macaroni penguins. King penguins, pintails, and giant petrels may also appear here.
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 may join the other seabirds trailing the vessel south.
Day 12: South Orkney Sights
Depending on how friendly the weather and ice is, 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 great 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 occurs 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 have the chance to set foot on the Continent. In good conditions, your time in the Weddell Sea may be extended. The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often cloaked in mist, but they do offer subtle pleasures: There’s a wide variety of flora (mosses, lichens, flowering grasses) and no small amount of fauna (gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, southern giant petrels). Chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals often haul out onto the beach near Cámara Base, an Argentine scientific research station on Half Moon Island. In Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. Here you find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and thousands of cape petrels – along with a number of kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns. Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels also nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. This extended voyage provides you with the chance to sail even farther down the ice-sculpted western Antarctic Peninsula. In Neko Harbour or Paradise Bay, you may be able to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in an epic landscape of alpine peaks and mammoth glaciers calving at sea level. Humpback whales and minke whales are also spotted in this area. 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. Cuverville Island is a potential stop in the early hours of your last landing day. Here you can pick around the rocks (if the snow is not too deep) and enjoy the morning in good company: The largest gentoo penguin rookery of the Antarctic Peninsula lives here. You depart at noon, depending on conditions on the Drake Passage.
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.
PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on the 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 for m/v Plancius is 10,5 knots.
- 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 programme.
- Comprehensive pre-departure material.
- During our “Basecamp” departures, all offered activities (including camping (in Antarctica only), kayaking, snowshoe/hiking, (ski)mountaineering, photo workshops as well as our standard included shore excursions and zodiac cruises) are free of charge, except for scuba diving
- International and national flights.
- Items of personal nature.
- 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.
- Meals not listed above
- Tips to the drivers, guides & porters
Travel Just 4U has competitive South America Flights to get you to the starting point of your chosen Holiday. Contact one of our Travel Consultants for a full quotation including airfares, stopovers and any additional travel you wish to organize.