The Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula
The ultimate, longer itinerary that adds the Falklands and South Georgia to a cruise that visits the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands, both of which have wildlife that you would not see on a shorter cruise.
Days 1-2: Embark and set sail towards the Falkland Islands, 300 miles east of Tierra del Fuego. This collection of about 420 islands lies 300 miles east of South America. There are high concentrations of fauna and flora, much of it endemic, particularly off West Falkland. The capital, Port Stanley, is a town of brightly painted houses. Along the rocky shores you can see oyster-catchers, geese and endemic Steamer ducks.
Days 3-4: Exploring the outer islands of the Falklands (such as Carcass and New islands), where one can see Magellanic, Gentoo and Rockhopper penguins, and black-browed albatrosses. Peale’s and Commerson’s dolphins are often seen alongside the ships.
Days 5-10: After two days at sea you arrive at the remote South Georgia islands. Visits usually include Salisbury Plain (King penguins), Prion Island, Gold Harbour and Grytviken, the site of Shackleton’s grave.
South Shetland Islands
Days 11-13: Two further days at sea, accompanied by an impressive variety of sea birds, bring you to the South Shetland Islands, a haven for wildlife with vast penguin rookeries and also southern elephant seals. Elephant Island, where Shackleton and his men spent considerable time on their epic journey, is visited on some cruises.
Days 14-16: A zodiac cruise in Paradise Bay allows you to drift through crunching ice, surrounded by snowy peaks and glaciers, while penguins float by on small bergs. The reflections encountered while sailing through the Neumayer Channel brings everyone out on deck. A zodiac trip around the huge tabular bergs in Pleneau Bay gives one a true understanding of the vastness of these huge blocks of ice.
Cape Horn and the Drake Passage
Days 17-18: Bid farewell to Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Between bird and whale-watching, enjoy final lectures and presentations and review the adventures of the past week.
Day 19: Arrive in Ushuaia and disembark.
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- Akademik Ioffe
- Akademik Sergey Vavilov
- M/V Ortelius (previously M/V Marina Svetaeva)
- M/V Plancius
Includes all meals on board. Activities and sites visited do vary slightly depending which boat you travel on: some cruises operate in the opposite direction and they are all subject to change due to daily weather conditions.