ANTARCTICA

South Georgia via the Falklands

King penguins on Salisbury Plain, South Georgia
from £6780 14-18 nights | Oct-Mar Exc. flights See price details
  • Departs:
  • Oct-Mar

Overview

Deep in the South Atlantic, east of the continent of South America and just north of the convergence zone with the Southern Ocean, lie two of Britain’s most remote and unique territories, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. With a wealth of history and an even richer abundance of wildlife, the regions combine in this phenomenal itinerary to create a truly special journey which offers a perfect alternative to an Antarctic expedition.

Highlights

  • Spend several days exploring South Georgia's majestic beauty and amazing wildlife.
  • Witness huge colonies of king penguins; with over 200,000 at Salisbury Plain alone.
  • Visit the Falklands to view nesting albatross, penguins and a host of endemic birds found nowhere else in the world.
  • Learn about early polar exploration and whaling history, including a visit to the burial site of Sir Ernest Shackleton.
  • Watch the antics of fur and elephant seals

This expedition-style voyage encompassing many of the islands of the Falkland and South Georgia archipelagos offers the chance to immerse yourself in some of the world’s most extraordinary scenery and wildlife.

Daily shore excursions and cruises by Zodiac will offer access to remote coastlines and isolated animal colonies. Sightings of up to 5 different penguin species, including enormous groups of up to 200,000 king penguins, are possible, along with numerous other birds and marine mammals. This region also has an intriguing history, with British cultural influences in strong evidence.

During your voyage the on-board expedition team will educate and entertain you, sharing their expertise and in-depth knowledge of the local history, wildlife and remote communities, and ensuring you get the most out of your time in these very distinctive regions of the British Empire.

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1 Fly from Punta Arenas to Stanley
Transfer to Punta Arenas Airport and fly to the Falkland Islands. On arrival, transfer to Stanley, where there is some time to explore the town, before embarkation in the afternoon.
Days 2-3 At sea towards South Georgia
This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in its bio-diversity and showcases an abundance of astonishing wildlife. You will likely be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross, giant petrels and Cape petrels. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and a photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Throughout these days the on-board experts will give a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history of the locations you will visit on the coming journey.
Days 4-5 King Haakon Bay and the Northwest Coast
Majestic snow-covered mountains will greet you on arrival in South Georgia during the mid-afternoon. Begin with a visit to the very historic location of King Haakon Bay. It was here that Shackleton and his men made landfall in their small lifeboat – the James Caird, after completing the perilous ocean crossing from Elephant Island, over 100 years ago. From here, they set off to cross the mountainous spine of South Georgia – a feat never before attempted. This is a very dramatic place, visited by just a handful of ships each season.

From here, travel round to the protected waters of the north-eastern coast. Elsehul Bay allows for great Zodiac cruising and will be a possible location for kayaking. One of the most anticipated sites in South Georgia is Salisbury Plain. The black sand beaches and tussock covered dunes are home to a staggering abundance of king penguin adults and their young. This is just one of several such king penguin rookeries on South Georgia. At the height of the breeding season, the rookeries are believed to have more wildlife per square foot than any other place on the planet. The regal ‘Kings’ are not the only wildlife on display as you cruise the rugged coastline. Fur seals can be seen poking their heads above the water, elephant seals enjoy lazing about the beach, and skuas, albatross and giant petrels fill the skies above.
Days 6-7 Fortuna Bay, Stromness, Grytviken and Central North Coast
The adventure continues to Fortuna Bay, a majestic three-mile long and one-mile wide fjord. It was named after the ship Fortuna, one of the original vessels of the Norwegian-Argentine whaling expedition which established the first permanent whaling station at Grytviken, further down the coast. In the bay you can expect to see king penguins and elephant seals.

From 1912 until the 1930’s, Stromness (and nearby Leith and Husvik), operated as whaling stations and the rusted and ghostly remnants of these old outposts seem out of place in such a pristine environment. This area is key to the Shackleton story, as it was here, in 1916, that Shackleton and his companions, Worsley and Crean arrived after their epic crossing from King Haakon Bay and were finally able to alert the outside world to their plight. If the weather co-operates, you may be able to hike the last few miles across the saddle separating Fortuna Bay from neighbouring Stromness, in the footsteps of Shackleton and his men.

As you journey further to the southeast you will enter the broad expanse of Cumberland Bay. At the head of the bay lies Grytviken – the largest of the old whaling stations on South Georgia. A highlight here is a visit to the gravesite of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his loyal right hand man, Frank Wild.
Days 8-9 St Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour and Eastern Coast
The next few days will take you to St Andrew’s Bay and Gold Harbour - places that are teeming with wildlife including fur seals, elephant seals and massive colonies of colourful king penguins. Gold Harbour is so called because the sun's rays make the cliffs yellow with their light in the morning and evening. It’s an exhilarating location and one that will not be forgotten.
Day 10 Godthul and Prion Island
The exploration of South Georgia is far from over as you meander your way back along the northern coastline. There are a few gems still to come - including the old whaling shore depot at Godthul where there is a terrific hike up to a beautiful lake, and Prion Island – yet another spectacular location and some would argue, the jewel in the crown of the islands. Prion has been designated as a ‘Specially Protected Area’ by the South Georgia Government, due to its breeding wandering albatross colonies.
Days 11-13 At sea towards the Falkland Islands
These days at sea are spent catching up on journal entries, or perhaps downloading and reviewing photos in the multi-media lab with the photography expert. For some, it’s a chance to catch some well-earned rest after a busy few days of exploration. The educational presentations will continue, as will the frequent sightings of albatross, petrels and other seabirds as they soar above the ship on the winds of the Southern Ocean.
Day 14 Sea Lion Island
Approaching Sea Lion Island, note the very barren and windswept landscape, exposed to the prevailing weather that originates in the Drake Passage. The Zodiacs will be launched and go ashore to view the incredible diversity of wildlife found at this location. Three species of penguin including gentoo, magellanic and rockhopper, as well as southern elephant seals and South American sea lions are known to inhabit the area. King cormorants and striated caracaras are just some of the bird species you can expect to see.
Day 15 Disembark in Stanley and fly to Punta Arenas
In the early morning, navigate through the narrows and into the harbour of Port Stanley. A transfer will take you to the airport for your return flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile.
Notes

Itinerary Variations

2017/18 Season

Sea Spirit - 20 Oct 2017

Day 1 Overnight in Puerto Madryn (Argentina)
Day 2 Embarkation in Puerto Madryn and sail Golfo Nuevo
Days 3-4 South Atlantic Ocean
Day 5 Falkland Islands
Days 6-7 Southern Ocean
Days 8-13 South Georgia
Days 14-15 Southern Ocean
Days 16-17 Falkland Islands
Day 18 Beagle Channel
Day 19 Disembarkation in Ushuaia

Polar Pioneer - 24 Mar 2018

Day 1 Fly from Santiago or Punta Arenas to Stanley and embark ship
Day 2 Steeple Jason, Saunders and Carcass Islands
Days 3-4 At sea
Days 5-12 South Georgia
Days 13-14 At sea
Day 15 Disembark in Stanley and fly onwards to Punta Arenas or Santiago

2018/19 Season

Akademik Vavilov - 17 Nov 2018

Day 1 Fly from Punta Arenas to Stanley and embark ship
Days 2-3 At sea
Days 4-6 King Haakon Bay & NW coast of South Georgia
Days 7-9 Fortuna Bay, Stromness and Grytviken
Days 10-13 St Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour & east coast
Days 14-16 At sea
Day 17 Disembark in Ushuaia

Ocean Adventurer - 22 Nov 2018

Day 1 Overnight in Ushuaia
Day 2 Embarkation in Ushuaia
Day 3 At sea
Days 4-5
Falkland Islands
Days 6-7 At sea
Days 8-13 South Georgia
Days 14-17 At sea
Day 18
Disembark in Ushuaia

M/V Plancius - 31 Mar 2019

Day 1 Embarkation in Ushuaia
Days 2-5 At sea towards South Georgia
Days 6-10 South Georgia exploration
Days 11-15 At sea towards Montevideo
This voyage does not visit the Falkland Islands
 
All voyage itineraries are intended as a guideline only - embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy of expedition travel. Actual routes and landings will be dependent on weather, sea and ice conditions. A degree of flexibility is essential in the polar and sub polar regions!

Accommodation Options

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

  • Grade:
  • Type: Expedition Ship

Taking up to 92 passengers, this ice-strengthened vessel…

Polar Pioneer

  • Grade:
  • Type: Expedition Ship

Our smallest ship, Polar Pioneer offers traditional expe…

Sea Spirit

  • Grade:
  • Type: Expedition Ship

This ship couples adventure with unsurpassed comfort and…

M/V Plancius

  • Grade:
  • Type: Expedition Ship

The M/V Plancius accommodates 116 passengers to explore …

Sea Adventurer (known as Ocean Adventurer from 2017)

  • Grade:
  • Type: Expedition Ship

This attractive ice-strengthened vessel is a comfortable…

Excursions

Photography Workshops

Learn how to get the most out of your equipment in polar co…

Prices & Dates

2017/18 season

Prices are per person, based on a twin cabin - please contact us for details of triple, single and superior cabins.

Departure Date

Activities

Duration

Vessel

Prices from

20 Oct 2017 19 days Sea Spirit £9,716
21 Oct 2017 * 15 days Akademik Vavilov £8,400
04 Nov 2017 15 days Akademik Vavilov £8,400
24 Mar 2018 P 15 days Polar Pioneer £9,135

* This voyage will feature a shipboard photography symposium - open to all guests. Contact us for full details.

Please see itinerary page for voyage route variations

Activity options:
P Photo Workshop is available on this voyage: Prices on request on the Polar Pioneer
≠ Kayaking is available on this voyage: £654pp on the Sea Spirit; £612pp on the Akademik Vavilov

Inclusions and exclusions

Polar Pioneer

Inclusions Flight from Santiago or Punta Arenas to Stanley • Transfer from Mount Pleasant Airport to ship on day of embarkation • Transfer from ship to Mount Pleasant Airport on day of disembarkation • Flight from Stanley to Punta Arenas or Santiago • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during the voyage • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises • Educational lectures and guiding services from the expert team • Access to on board doctor and basic medical services • Loan of gumboots during the voyage • Comprehensive pre-departure information • Aurora Expeditions waterproof jacket • A printed photo book produced with imagery from your voyage (one per booking) • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.

Exclusions Return airfares from the UK • Any additional pre or post voyage accommodation/land arrangements (if required) - please contact our team should you require assistance • Airport arrival or departure taxes • Visa, passport, and vaccination charges • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Excess baggage charges • Optional excursions not included in the itinerary • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for Hospitality Team members, ship’s crew and Expedition Team members (guidelines will be provided) • All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, and email or phone charges.

Sea Spirit

Inclusions 1 night pre-voyage accommodation in Puerto Madryn • Group transfer from hotel to ship for embarkation • Group transfer to airport or central town location upon disembarkation in Ushuaia • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage • Coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock • Welcome and farewell cocktails • Leadership throughout the voyage by an experienced Expedition Leader • All Zodiac transfers, cruising and shore landings as per the daily program • Formal and informal presentations by the Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled • Digital photographic journal documenting the voyage • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings • A Poseidon Expeditions Parka to keep • Comprehensive pre-departure materials • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program • All luggage handling aboard the ship.

Exclusions All airfares • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Airport arrival or departure taxes • Any additional pre or post voyage accommodation/land arrangements (if required) - please contact our team should you require assistance • Excess baggage charges • Waterproof trousers - required for shore landings • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for Hospitality Team members, ship’s crew and Expedition Team members (guidelines will be provided) • All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, and email or phone charges • Travel insurance

Akademik Vavilov

Includes: Return flights between Punta Arenas and Stanley • Return transfers between Stanley Airport and the ship • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage • Leadership throughout the voyage by the experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities • All shore landings per the daily program • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program • Formal and informal presentations by the Expedition Team as scheduled • Comprehensive pre-departure materials • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program • All luggage handling aboard ship • Loan of boots, jacket and waterproof trousers - must be requested at time of booking

Excludes: Return airfares between the UK and Punta Arenas • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Government arrival and departure taxes • Any additional pre or post voyage accommodation/land arrangements (if required) • Excess baggage charges • Alcoholic and soft drinks,l telecommunication charges, laundry costs and other charges of a personal nature • Travel insurance • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for Hospitality Team members, ship crew and Expedition Team members (guidelines will be provided)

We would be pleased to quote for the best available airfares and comprehensive travel insurance to suit your specific holiday requirements.

2018/19 Prices and Dates

2018/19 season

Prices are per person, based on a twin cabin - please contact us for details of triple, single and superior cabins.

Departure Date

Activities

Duration

Vessel

Prices from

03 Nov 2018 15 days Akademik Vavilov £8,766
17 Nov 2018 17 days Akademik Vavilov £9,423
22 Nov 2018   18 days Ocean Adventurer £11,115
31 Mar 2019 ~   16 days M/V Plancius £6,780

~ This voyage embarks in Ushuaia and disembarks in Montevideo. It does NOT visit the Falkland Islands.

Please see itinerary page for voyage route variations

Activity options:
≠ Kayaking is available on this voyage: £612 on the Akademik Vavilov

Inclusions and exclusions

M/V Plancius

Includes: Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage • Coffee, tea and cocoa • Leadership throughout the voyage by an experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities • All shore landings per the daily program • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program • Formal and informal presentations by the Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program • Comprehensive pre-departure material • Loan of rubber boots during voyage

Excludes: Return airfares • Admission fees to local attractions • Any additional pre or post voyage accommodation/land arrangements • Additional airport or airline security charges • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Government arrival and departure taxes • Excess baggage charges • Alcoholic and soft drinks, telecommunication charges, laundry costs and other charges of a personal nature • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for Hospitality Team members, ship’s crew and Expedition Team members (guidelines will be provided) • Travel insurance

Ocean Adventurer

Includes: Airport-hotel transfer on arrival in Ushuaia • One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast, in Ushuaia • Group transfer from hotel to ship • Group transfer on disembarkation in Ushuaia from ship to airport • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage (includes soft drinks) • Coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock • Selected wine and beer with evening meal (restrictions apply) • Leadership throughout the voyage by an experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities • All shore landings and Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program • Formal and informal presentations by the Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled • Online photographic Album, documenting the voyage • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings • A Quark Expeditions parka – yours to keep • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program • All luggage handling aboard ship • Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for Hospitality Team members, ship’s crew and Expedition Team members

Excludes: Return airfares to Ushuaia (please contact our team for your tailor-made quotation and best fares available at time of booking) • Additional airport or airline security charges • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Government arrival and departure taxes • Any additional pre or post voyage accommodation/land arrangements (if required) • Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation • Excess baggage charges • Alcoholic drinks not mentioned in inclusions, telecommunication charges, laundry costs and other charges of a personal nature • Travel insurance • Waterproof trousers are not included - passengers must bring clothing suitable for water landings

Akademik Vavilov - 03 Nov 2018

Includes: Transfer from central meeting point to airport in Punta Arenas • Return flights between Punta Arenas and Stanley • Return transfers between Stanley Airport and the ship • Transfer from airport to downtown Punta Arenas post-voyage • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage • Leadership throughout the voyage by the experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities • All shore landings per the daily program • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program • Formal and informal presentations by the Expedition Team as scheduled • Comprehensive pre-departure materials • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program • All luggage handling aboard ship • Loan of boots, jacket and waterproof trousers - must be requested at time of booking

Excludes: Any airfares not specified in inclusions • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Government arrival and departure taxes • Any additional pre or post voyage accommodation/land arrangements (if required) • Excess baggage charges • Alcoholic and soft drinks,l telecommunication charges, laundry costs and other charges of a personal nature • Travel insurance • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for Hospitality Team members, ship crew and Expedition Team members (guidelines will be provided)

Akademik Vavilov - 17 Nov 2018

Includes: Transfer from central meeting point to airport in Punta Arenas • Flight from Punta Arenas to Stanley • Transfer from Stanley Airport to the ship • Transfer from ship to airport post-voyage • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage • Leadership throughout the voyage by the experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities • All shore landings per the daily program • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program • Formal and informal presentations by the Expedition Team as scheduled • Comprehensive pre-departure materials • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program • All luggage handling aboard ship • Loan of boots, jacket and waterproof trousers - must be requested at time of booking

Excludes: Any airfares not specified in inclusions • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Government arrival and departure taxes • Any additional pre or post voyage accommodation/land arrangements (if required) • Excess baggage charges • Alcoholic and soft drinks,l telecommunication charges, laundry costs and other charges of a personal nature • Travel insurance • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for Hospitality Team members, ship crew and Expedition Team members (guidelines will be provided)

We would be pleased to quote for the best available airfares and comprehensive travel insurance to suit your specific holiday requirements.

Useful Information

Scott Expedition Photos

Take a glimpse into history as two polar ships are transformed into exclusive floating galleries, with photographs from Scott’s final Antarctic expedition to be exhibited at sea for the first time.

Until March 2018 guests on board the Akademik Sergey Vavilov and Akademik Ioffe can view limited edition platinum prints of the iconic photographs taken by Herbert Ponting during Captain Scott’s British Antarctic Expedition of 1910-13.

The photographs are one of the most famous, beautiful and compelling visual records in the history of exploration. Ponting documented all facets of Scott’s expedition, including photographs of the men, their ship (the Terra Nova), daily life in their hut at Cape Evans, scientific research, Antarctic wildlife and the frozen landscapes of Ross Island.

Handmade from Ponting’s original glass plate negatives, now owned and conserved by the Scott Polar Research Institute, the prints were produced using the platinum printing process, a photographic technique first introduced in the19th century.

Passengers will have the opportunity to buy the limited edition prints during their voyage, with half of the proceeds going to the Scott Polar Research Institute to contribute to its environmental research and heritage activities.

Prints to be displayed on board the Akademik Ioffe

1. Ref 42. In the ice pack from the maintop of the Terra Nova (Gran, Taylor and Wright). December 22nd 1910
2. Ref 135. The Terra Nova and a berg at ice foot. January 16th 1911
3. Ref 341. Capt, Scott in his den. October 7th 1911
4. Ref 447. Adelie penguins track and sledge track crossing.
5. Ref 510. A. Cherry-Garrard on return from Barrier. January 29th 1912
6. Ref 348. The Matterhorn Berg profile with Erebus. October 8th 1911
7. Ref 344. The pressure ridges of the ice crack from the Barne Glacier to Inaccessible, looking to Cape Royds (Capt. Scott). October 8th 1911

Prints to be displayed on board the Akademik Sergey Vavilov

1. Ref 13. The Terra Nova held up in the pack. December 13th 1910
2. Ref 109. Beautiful broken ice, reflections and Terra Nova. January 7th 1911
3. Ref 251. Capt Scott. April 13th 1911
4. Ref 331. Huge ice bastions of the Castle Berg (Clissold). September 17th 1911
5. Ref 352. The Tenements bunks in hut of Lieut. Bowers, Mr Cherry-Garrard, Capt Oates, Mr Meares and Dr Atkinson. October 9th 1911
6. Ref 45. Capt. Oates and some of the ponies.
7. Ref 250. Captain Scott and group taken on return of the Southern Party. April 13th 1911

iceland birdlife arctic tern rth

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