Destination: Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands
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An early season voyage that includes landings on the South Sandwich Islands where we plan to visit a chinstrap penguin colony with over a million breeding pairs.Contact us about this trip Share
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In the afternoon, we embark in Puerto Madryn and set sail to the Falkland Islands.
On our way to the Falkland Islands, the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.
In the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) we plan to spend the whole day on the fascinating western side of the archipelago. A hike along the Shore of Carcass Island will give us views of Magellanic and Gentoo Penguins, as well as close encounters with water fowl and Night herons and passerines. In addition, on Saunders we will be able to observe four species of breeding penguins (Gentoo, King, Magellanic and Rockhopper), Black-browed Albatrosses and King Cormorants.
On our way to South Georgia we will cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature will drop by as much as 10 degrees C in the time span of only a few hours. Near the Convergence we will see a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship; several species of Albatrosses, Shearwaters, Petrels, Prions and Skuas.
(Arrival early morning on day 8). We visit the areas where the German explorers, von Neumayer, Drygalski, Filchner, Kohl-Larsen, have worked and put their marks ( e.g. Grytviken, Royal Bay/Moltke Harbour, Drygalski Fjord and more). The sites that we visit give us a good opportunity to see a wide spectrum of landscapes and wildlife, like King and Macaroni Penguins, Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Fur Seals, and Elephant Seals. There will be opportunities for walkers in the group to hike on South Georgia. All hiking excursions are subject to weather and landing site availability. The voyage in South Georgia ends at Drygalski Fjord, which is a great scenic place for zodiac cruising.
On our way to South Sandwich Islands we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Southern Atlantic.
At the rarely visited and uninhabited South Sandwich Islands (British Territory) we will try to land on Zavodovski Island, home to over a million pairs of breeding Chinstrap Penguins, making it one of the world's largest penguin colonies. Other landings will be pursued on the steep-sided Candlemas Island, Saunders Island and Montagu Island. These volcanic islands, discovered by James Cook in 1775, with an ice cap on the top, are windswept and often shrouded in mist and fog, but do offer subtle pleasures. There is a nice variety of flora (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna, such as Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and Southern Giant Petrels. Elephant Seals and Fur Seals also haul out at the beaches. This is the area where we meet the remains of the huge table ice bergs from the Weddell Sea of which those deep blue ice bergs remain with penguins huddling in ice grottos. Southern Thule is a huge crater with a natural harbour like Deception Island. German explorer Wilhelm Filchner visited the South Shetland Islands in November 1911 onboard the Deutschland prior to exploring the unknown Weddell Sea.
Sailing along the ice edge to the west the ship is again followed by a multitude of seabirds. At the edge of the pack-ice which extends far to the north we might have a chance to see some high-Antarctic species like the McCormick Skua and Snow Petrel. and the elusive Emperor Penguin.
If the island are not still surrounded by sea-ice we are planning on a visit to Orcadas station, an Argentinean base located in the South Orkney Islands. The friendly base personnel will show us their facilities and we can enjoy the wonderful views of the surrounding glaciers.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of expedition cruising, itineraries are subject to change due to weather, ice conditions, natural and cultural events, wildlife viewing opportunities and other logistical considerations. In general, a ship's crew will endeavor to complete the itinerary provided, but the ultimate decision lies with the ship's captain and expedition leaders.