Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula

20 Days/19 Nights

From $13,100 per person

(Quad. Occupancy, Not Incl. Airfare)

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Overview

Explore the Falkland Islands and South Georgia en route to the Antarctic Peninsula on this fascinating journey. The Falkland Islands are located 310 miles east of Argentina, and are a haven for wildlife, including five species of penguins, elephant seals, sea lions, and killer whale. The tour includes a free day to experience Stanley, the capital city, on your own. On South Georgia Island, one of the highlights will be a visit to the breeding grounds of the Wandering Albatross on Prion Island.

Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 19 nights (19 nights aboard the Plancius), and 56 meals (19 breakfasts, 18 lunches, and 19 dinners).

Best Time to Go: November-March.

Destinations: Argentina and Antarctica.

Interests: Adventure, Culture & History, Expedition Cruising, Scuba Diving, and Wildlife Viewing.

Places Visited: Ushuaia & Tierra del Fuego, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island, the Weddell Sea, the Antarctic Peninsula, and the South Shetland Islands.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

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.  Overnight aboard the ship.  (D)

Note: We advise all passengers to plan to arrive in Ushuaia one night before the cruise departure.

Several species of albatross follow the vessel into the westerlies, as well as storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels.  Overnight aboard the ship.  (B,L,D)

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.  During this part of the voyage, you may visit the following sites:

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.  Overnight aboard the ship.  (B,L,D)

The capital of the Falklands, Port Stanley has some South American traits mixed in with a little Victorian charm: colorful 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’re free to wander at will – though admission fees to local attractions are not included.  Overnight aboard the ship.  (B,L,D)

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.  Overnight aboard the ship.  (B,L,D)

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 wandering albatross breeding season (November 20 – January 7).  From January on, the breeding adults have found their partners and are sitting on eggs or nursing their chicks.  Enjoy witnessing the gentle nature of these animals, which possess the largest wingspan of any birds in the world.

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.  The terrain here is partly swampy, so be prepared to cross some small streams along the way.

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 do 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).

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.  Overnight aboard the ship.  (B,L,D)

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.  Overnight aboard the ship.  (B,L,D)

Depending on the weather and ice, 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 expansive views of the surrounding glaciers.  If a visit here isn’t possible, you might land in Signy Island’s Shingle Cove instead.  Overnight aboard the ship.  (B,L,D)

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 is here. Overnight aboard the ship.  (B,L,D)

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 may get the chance to set foot on the Continent.  If conditions aren’t favorable to enter the Weddell Sea from the east, you set course for Elephant Island and head into the Bransfield Strait – between South Shetland Island and the Antarctic Peninsula.  Here you attempt access to the Antarctic Sound from the northwest.  This extended voyage provides you the chance to sail even farther down the ice-sculpted western Antarctic Peninsula.

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.  After this, other visits might be possible.  In Neko Harbour or Paradise Bay, you may be able to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in an epic, otherworldly landscape of alpine peaks and mammoth glaciers calving at sea level.  Humpback whales and minke whales are also known to be spotted in this area.  Cuverville Island is a potential stop in the early hours of your last landing day.  Here you can pick around the rocks, enjoying the morning in good company: The largest gentoo penguin rookery of the Antarctic Peninsula lives here.  Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.  Overnight aboard the ship.  (B,L,D)

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.  Overnight aboard the ship.  (B,L,D)

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.  You will be transferred to the airport in Ushuaia for your return flight to your final destination.  (B)

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Itinerary Map

M/V Plancius - Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula Itinerary Map

Prices & Dates

Price per Person

CategorySingleDoubleTriple
Quad Cabin$13,100$13,100$13,100
Triple Porthole$14,350$14,350$14,350
Twin Porthole$27,030$15,900n/a
Twin Window$28,305$16,650n/a
Twin Deluxe$30,260$17,800n/a
Superior$32,555$19,150$17,133
** The prices shown above are in U.S. Dollars. See the cost of this tour in your currency here.

Notes:

  1. The above prices are for the December 3, 2018 Departure. Call for prices of the other departures.
  2. The single supplement is 1.7 times the Twin/Superior price.
  3. Singles willing to share a cabin pay the Twin/Triple/Quad price.

Departure Dates

December 3 and 22, 2018; January 9, 2019.

What's Included

Price Includes

  • South American Vacations’ expert pre-departure planning services and documentation.
  • Accommodations on board the M/V Plancius.
  • All meals scheduled on board, including snacks, coffee, and tea.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • Zodiac expeditions conducted by English-speaking naturalist guides.
  • Use of rubber boots.
  • Evening briefings and lectures.

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare.
  • Domestic airfare.
  • Hotel nights before/after the cruise.
  • Transfers to/from the vessel before/after the cruise.
  • Meals not indicated on the itinerary.
  • Gratuities to ship crew and guides (Suggested $8-10/per/day for the naturalist guides and crew).
  • Bar, gifts, and personal items.
  • Travel insurance.

We will be happy to quote the cost of airfare and travel insurance and to make these arrangements for you.

Accommodations

Antarctica

Plancius, Antarctica Cruise Ship

Plancius

Additional Details

Group/Private: All services included in this tour are operated on a group basis.

Elevations: N/a.

Passport/Visa: U.S., Australian, Canadian, and EU citizens require a valid passport (for the duration of your visit) and return ticket for stays of up to 90 days. Australian and Canadian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity fee of $100 and $75 respectively (subject to change without notice due to currency fluctuations or other reasons) online, and must show proof of payment prior to arrival. The reciprocity fee for U.S. citizens has been suspended until further notice. For citizens of Australia, this fee covers unlimited entries to Argentina for 10 years, while citizens of Canada are charged the fee every time they enter the country (or $150 for multiple visits within five years). The fee can be paid online at ProvinciaNet.com.ar. You will need to register in order to make the payment. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the embassy of Argentina in their country before traveling.

Travel Insurance: In order to protect your travel investment from unforeseen circumstances that may arise before or during your trip, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. We offer Allianz Global Assistance’s Classic Comprehensive and other plans. The Benefits and Coverage Limits are summarized on our Travel Insurance page. Call your travel counselor if you have any questions or to purchase a plan. The operator of the ship requires that you purchase Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance (minimum recommended amount is $100,000).

To Book This Trip: Call or email us to confirm the availability of this ship for your desired dates of travel. For reservations made more than 90 days prior to departure, the required deposit is between $3,000 and $4,100 per person, and may be higher for single passengers. The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.