Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctic Peninsula: Ortelius
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South Georgia is called an Antarctic oasis because of the huge numbers of penguins and seals that breed here. This expedition on board the Ortelius will take your breath away due the stunning scenery and massive amounts of wildlife surrounding you. Check out the Falkland Islands and the sheer beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula on this trip of a lifetime!
*This cruise also operates on a 20-day itinerary where passengers will spend one extra day in the Antarctic Peninsula. For more information, please visit the Dates tab.
Day 1: Departure from Ushuaia
the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the
southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail
through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.
Day 2: At Sea
In the Westerlies the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.
Day 3: Falkland Islands
In the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) we plan to spend the whole day on the fascinating western side of the archipelago. On Carcass Island we may encounter breeding Magellanic and Gentoo penguins, but also numerous waders and passerine birds are present. On Saunders Island, we can see the majestic Black-browed albatross and their sometimes-clumsy landings near their nesting site along with breeding Imperial shags and Rock hopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and Gentoo penguins are also present here.
Day 4: Port Stanley, Falkland Islands
In Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, we can experience Falkland culture, which has some South American characteristics as well as Victorian charm, colourful houses, well-tended gardens, and English style pubs. In Stanley and the surrounding area, we can see quite a number of stranded clippers from a century ago. They bear witness to the hardships of sailors in the 19th Century. The small, but very interesting museum is well worth a visit featuring an exhibition covering the early days of settlement up to the Falklands War of 1982. Approximately 1300 people live in the small capital in which all passengers are free to wander around on their own. Admission fees to local attractions are not included.
Day 5 and 6: At Sea
On our way to South Georgia we will cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic currents, the temperature will drop considerably in the time span of only a few hours. Nutritious water is brought to the surface by the colliding water columns, which brings a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship: several species of albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels, prions and skuas.
Day 7 - 10: South Georgia
During day 7 we arrive at our first landing site in South Georgia. We might visit the bay of Elsehul, with its very active fur seal breeding beach, and then set course to Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, Godthul, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour, Cooper Bay and Drygalski Fjord to give you a good opportunity to see a wide spectrum of landscapes and wildlife, like the Elephant seals, Fur seals, King and Macaroni penguins.
The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist, but do offer subtle pleasures. There is a nice variety of flora (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna, such as Gentoo Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins and Southern Giant Petrels. On Half Moon Island we will find Chinstrap Penguins and Weddell Seals often haul out on the beach near the Argentinean station Camara.
In Deception Island our ship braves into the entrance of the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellows. Deception itself is a sub-ducted crater which opens into the sea creating a natural harbour for the ship. Here we find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape Petrels and many Kelp Gulls, Brown and South Polar Skuas and Antarctic Terns. Wilson’s Storm Petrels and Black-bellied Storm Petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay.
On our last landing before we venture into the Drake Passage we are likely to sail towards the northern parts of Gerlache Strait (in case the above mentioned Weddell Sea extension is not possible). One option is Cierva Cove where can admire the rugged ice coated mountains of the Davis Coast. Mikkelsen Harbour on the south coast of Trinity Island is another option. He we may see a Gentoo penguin rookery and some great scenic cruising. We depart for the Drake Passage around noon.
Day 17-18: At Sea
On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.
Day 19: Arrival in Ushuaia and Disembark
We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.