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 – 5: Path of the Polar Explorers — Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you catch a taste of life from the perspective of the polar explorers who first braved these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling waves, maybe even a fin whale blasting up a column of sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer subantarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too: A variety of albatrosses and petrels show up, along with Cape pigeons and southern fulmars.
Day 6 – 8: South Georgia Journey — Your aim is to visit some of the world’s top king penguin rookeries. This time of year you have a good chance of seeing these animals nesting on eggs, their chicks close by. The rookeries are overflowing, with waddling rush-hour traffic to and from the beach.
Possible visits include:
Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour – Here you see not only the massive king penguin colony, but also elephant seals and limitless fur seal pups playing in the surf.
Prion Island – A great location to watch wandering albatrosses.
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.
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 9 – 13: Once More to the Sea — A pleasant tailwind often accompanies the vessel through the westerlies, and on both sides of the Convergence fly vast numbers of Antarctic and Subantarctic seabirds.
Day 14: The Quest Continued — You first approach Gough Island for a Zodiac cruise in Quest Bay, weather permitting. Northern rockhopper penguins and Subantarctic fur seals are often seen here. In previous years it has been possible for the vessel to circumnavigate all but four miles of the 33-mile circumference of the island, taking in the scenery and unrivalled abundance of wildlife.
Day 15 – 18: Tristan da Cunha — These islands are famed for their bird population, which includes rockhopper penguins, several species of albatross, petrels, skuas, terns, and many others. Your aim is to visit the settlement on the west side of this archipelago’s main island but the planned four days here may also allow us to land in Seal Bay on the south side or possibly at Sandy Point on the east side of Tristan da Cunha.
Here we may encounter wildlife such as Yellow-nosed albatrosses and Sub-Antarctic fur seals and otherwise explore a very rarely visited spot. We aim to land at Nightingale and Inaccessible islands, with views of seabirds ranging from yellow-nosed albatrosses to brown noddies.
Two day is reserved in case of bad weather, but please remember that nature determines the itinerary here: Since beginning the Atlantic Odyssey cruise in 1998, adverse weather led to the cancellation of 35% of Tristan da Cunha landings. It is not impossible, but it is difficult.
Day 19 – 22: Subtropical Seas — Seabirds and dolphins indigenous to this region often follow the vessel.
Day 23 – 25: St. Helena Highlights — After landing at Jamestown, you have many opportunities to enjoy the local culture, pleasant climate, and endemic birds of this remote island. One such activity is a visit to Longwood House, where Napoleon died in exile. You also have the chance to explore the island on your own – and snorkel the shallows, seeing multitudes of tropical and subtropical fish.
Disembarkation and a flight to Europe is possible from here.
In the evening, the vessel departs for Ascension Island and Praia, Cape Verde via where you may also disembark.
Make sure to book voyage PLA36-20 in order to catch your outbound flight from Praia.
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.