Antarctica – Elephant Island – Falkland Islands – Birding

13 nights / 14 days

Every Antarctic traveler experiences some of the adventure known to the historic polar explorers, but this voyage takes it to the next level. Touring both Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic, you’ll travel part of Shackleton’s legendary route, enjoying glacier-filled surroundings and exotic wildlife: numerous species of seal, whale, and seabird, penguins not the least.

Birding – We will have at least one dedicated expedition guide in our team who will share their expert knowledge about bird species and who will be available to help you identify, photograph on deck and learn more about the birds that we see. In addition to outdoor sessions, our guide will focus on species and related information on the birds of the Antarctic in re-caps and lectures onboard.

ITINERARY

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, is 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 mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.

Day 2 – 3: Path of the polar explorers

Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. Wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels, and Antarctic petrels are a few of the birds you might see.

Day 4 – 6: Entering Antarctica

Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and dramatically different wildlife below and above. You first pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands.

Sites you may visit include:

Cuverville Island – Stabbing up between Rongé Island and the Antarctic Peninsula, Cuverville houses a massive colony of gentoo penguins as well as pairs of breeding brown skuas.

Danco Island – Activities here may focus on the gentoo penguins nesting on the island, in addition to the Weddell and crabeater seals that can be found nearby.

Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow. Opportunities for Zodiac cruising provide you the closest possible view of the ice-crusted alpine peaks.

Paradise Bay – You may be able to take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters, where you have a good chance of seeing humpback and minke whales.

You may sail into the Weddell Sea via the Antarctic Sound. Here huge tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Day 7: Legendary Elephant Island

You‘ve now completed roughly the same route (albeit in the opposite direction) as Sir Ernest Shackleton did using only a small life boat, the James Caird, in spring of 1916. Watching Elephant Island materialize on the horizon after crossing all that water, it’s hard not to marvel at how he and his five-man crew accomplished that feat.

The purpose of Shackleton’s crossing was to rescue 22 shipwrecked members of his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, also known as the Endurance Expedition, who were stranded on Elephant Island. For four and a half months, Shackleton undertook this legendary rescue.

Conditions on Elephant Island are severe. The coastline is mostly made up of vertical rock and ice cliffs highly exposed to the elements. If possible you will take the Zodiacs to Point Wild, where the marooned members of Shackleton’s expedition miraculously managed to survive.

Day 8 – 9: Sea Life, Sea Birds

Though you’re now at sea, en-route to the Falkland Islands, 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 10 -11: Finding the Falklands

The Falkland 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:
New Island, Coffin’s Harbour – This location is a reasonable walk from the landing site at the New Island South Wildlife Reserve, providing views of nesting black-browed albatrosses and rockhopper penguins. A more strenuous hike to Landsend Bluff may also show you some South American fur seals. The site of the only land-based whaling station on the Falkland Islands is south of the landing beach.

Carcass Island – Despite its name, this island is pleasantly rodent-free and hence bounteous with birdlife. 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 rockhopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and gentoo penguins are also found here.

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 the wind and waves. Weather and swell conditions dictate the journey here.

Day 12 – 13: Familiar seas, familiar friends

Your return voyage is far from lonely. While sailing to Puerto Madryn, 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 14: There and back again

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Puerto Madryn, 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 local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The on-board expedition leader will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

Itinerary details

Voyage: Antarctica – Discovery and learning voyage

Duration: 13 nights / 14 days

Embarkation: Ushuaia, Argentina

Disembarkation: Puerto Madryn, Argentina

Vessel: M/V Hondius

Falkland Islands - South Georgia - Antarctica

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SEASON 2021/2022

CodeDateQuadruple PortholeTriple PortholeTwin PortholeTwin WindowTwin Deluxe SuperiorJunior SuiteGrand Suite with
private balcony
HDS32-22Mar 13, 2022
Mar 26, 2022
US$8,050US$9,100US$9,950US$10,400US$11,000US$11,900US$12,600US$14,450

FARES INCLUDE

  • 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 program.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.

NOT INCLUDED

  • 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).

All rates are quoted per person, based on twin occupancy. 5% discount will be granted for bookings for one or more consecutive voyages (except on legs within the Atlantic Odyssey).

SINGLE TRAVELLERS

Single travellers can choose between “single occupancy” at a supplement of 1,7 x the Twin or Superior cabin rate , or “sharing basis” in Twin, Triple or Quadruple category at no additional cost.

CHILDREN DISCOUNT

Upon request (some voyages may be excluded), children under 16 with parents may receive 40 % discount in Superior, Triple (sharing with 2 parents / adults) and Quadruple Cabins (sharing with 3 parents / adults).

INSURANCE

Passengers are required to be adequately covered by a travel insurance policy that covers aero-medical evacuation from Antarctica as a result of a medical emergency during the trips, including emergencies related to pre-existing health conditions.

RESERVATIONS AND PAYMENT

A deposit of 20% of the cruise fare is required per person to confirm reservations with final payment due 60 days prior to departure.
Payments can be made by wire transfer or by PayPal. Payments by PayPal are subject to a 4,5% fee.

Itinerary details

Voyage: Antarctica – Discovery and learning voyage

Duration: 13 nights / 14 days

Embarkation: Ushuaia, Argentina

Disembarkation: Puerto Madryn, Argentina

Vessel: M/V Hondius

Falkland Islands - South Georgia - Antarctica

Contact Us