We can think of no better place to experience the total solar eclipse, than Antarctica, a place most people are lucky to see once in a lifetime. This solar eclipse voyage gives you the chance to catch this moving celestial event in one of the most amazing locations on Earth.
Falklands, South Georgia, Antarctic Peninsula
The voyage includes visits to some of the most picturesque locations in the Southern Hemisphere. You’ll make landings in the Falkland Islands, a florally and culturally rich photographer’s paradise featuring more exotic seabirds than you can point a camera at. You’ll tour South Georgia, where you’ll have a hard time deciding what you love more: all the beautiful penguins, seals, and seabirds, or all the breath-taking mountains, bays, and beaches. And then onwards to the iconic icescapes of the Antarctic Peninsula, taking in vistas unlike any on the planet.
Aqua-Firma Antarctic Expertise
The Aqua-Firma team have been exploring Antarctica for over a decade; guiding, driving zodiacs, delivering inspiring onboard lectures and inspiring guests of the magnificent but fragile beauty of Antarctica. It is this in-depth, on location knowledge and expertise which can assist with your choice of voyage to best match your timing, interests and budget.
A full complement of Zodiac craft (rigid inflatable boats) facilitate the small group expert-led landings and close encounters with wildlife. Onboard lecture programmes span subjects such as: wildlife, birdlife and marine life as well as human history, geology, and polar conservation.
Polar expertise and optional adventures
Your guides are the key to inspire and enrich your knowledge of the unique polar environment. Aqua-Firma marine scientists, guides, polar divers and kayakers have many years of in-depth on-location experience.
Our promise and your protection
Polar voyages are a major commitment for most travellers. We offer a personal and professional service with a promise that for any experience which is directly comparable, our prices are never beaten. Detailed information is provided throughout your booking and preparation process and with our first hand experience we are always available to answer any questions, no matter how small, giving 24 hour support before you depart and whilst away.
Flights, hotels and extending your trip
Although our voyages can be enjoyed as stand alone experiences, we are a fully ATOL bonded travel company and happy to provide flights and accommodation before and after your voyage.
Aqua-Firma have the expertise to extend your travel plans and are a specialist at tailor made travel within Argentina and other parts of Latin America.
Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctic Peninsula
In the Falkland Islands you may enjoy close encounters with colonies of black-browed albatross, rockhopper, magellanic, gentoo and king penguins. Even from Stanley, one can see steamer ducks ‘powering’ their way down the inlet, while pods of delightfully playful Commerson's dolphins ride the bow wave of any moving boat they can find, which could include your zodiac.
Sailing onwards your next stop is South Georgia, often quoted as the highlight of an Antarctic experience and the burial place of Sir Ernest Shackleton, his grave found in the hills above Grytviken. Glaciers are easily viewed along the coastline as they sparkle with dangerous beauty above the blue oceans and green valley’s below.
This is an island renowned for its extraordinary abundance of wildlife. Over half the world’s population of elephant seals congregate here who, with much noise and energy, claim their territories and parade for their harems. Here you can explore the spectacle of one of the World’s largest colonies of King penguins, dotted along the shore as far as the eye can see.
You then head South to the dramatic ice scenery of the Antarctic Peninsula for an exploration of its bays and penguin rookeries. This entire area promises excellent whale and seal sightings with minke, fin and humpback whales and Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals often found.
In the South Shetlands we may land at other famous sites such as Deception Island, which has spectacular wildlife and some voyages may even offer the chance for an Antarctic swim; a fitting end to a truly spectacular journey!
The below itineraries are sample only. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Team and is influenced by local conditions, like ice and weather - in particular actual or anticipated headwinds affecting crossings of the Drake Passage.
In the afternoon, you embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located in the shadow of the Andes and right at the Beagle Channel shore. You will sail through this scenic waterway during the afternoon.
Day 2: Into the Westerlies
At sea, in the westerlies the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.
Day 3: Finding the Falklands
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.
Day 4: Exploring Port Stanley
The capital of the Falklands, Port Stanley has some South American traits mixed in with a little Victorian charm: colourful 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.
Day 5 & 6: Once more to the sea
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.
Day 7- 10: South Georgia journey
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:
Fortuna Bay – Near beaches inhabited by various penguins and seals, you have the chance to follow the final leg of Shackleton’s route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness. This path cuts across the mountain pass beyond Shackleton’s Waterfall, and as the terrain is partly swampy, be prepared to cross a few small streams.
Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour – These sites not only house the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia, they’re also three of the world’s largest breeding beaches for southern elephant seals. Only during this time of year do they peak in their breeding cycle. Watch the four-ton bulls keep a constant vigil (and occasionally fight) over 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 – In this abandoned whaling station, king penguins walk the streets and elephant seals lie around like they own the place – because they basically do. Here you might be able to see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave.
Cooper Bay – A Zodiac cruise in Cooper Bay offers a great opportunity to see macaroni penguins below a large rookery. Numerous fur and elephant seals are found on the beach, while majestic light-mantled albatrosses can be seeing gracefully gliding above.
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.
Day 12: Weddell Sea pack ice & total solar eclipse (Dec 4, early morning)
The ship positions itself in the centre of the shadow of the moon, and if possible, some distance into the Scotia Sea drift ice. The ice edge will be about 60°S, 41°W.
Some coordinates for the path of the moon’s shadow:
7.06 UTC: 58.47.7 S – 42.45.2 W, 1.39 minutes, 8 degrees above horizon
7.08 UTC: 60.42.4 S – 40.59.8 W, 1.42 minutes, 9 degrees above horizon
7.10 UTC: 62.22.3 S – 39.48.0 W, 1.44 minutes, 11 degrees above horizon
Day 13 – 14: Last Push to Antarctica
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.
Day 15 – 17: Awe-inspiring Antarctica
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 favourable 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
The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often cloaked in mist, but they nonetheless offer many subtle pleasures. A wide variety of flora (mosses, lichens, flowering grasses) and fauna (gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, southern giant petrels) live here.
On Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. If a landing here is possible, you will find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and thousands of cape petrels. A number of kelp gulls, brown skuas, south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns can be spotted here too.
Your last activities before venturing into the Drake Passage are likely to find you around the northern Gerlache Strait. One option is Cierva Cove and the rugged, ice-gripped mountains of the Davis Coast. Mikkelsen Harbour on the south coast of Trinity Island is another alternative. Here you may enjoy a gentoo penguin rookery as well as some fine scenic cruising.
Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
Day 18 – 19: North by sea
Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re greeted by a vast array of seabirds. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.
Day 20: Disembark in Ushuaia
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.
Welcome to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and starting point of our expedition. Upon your arrival at the airport we provide a transfer to your hotel, which has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the voyage. For the rest of the day you are free to explore the city. Take advantage of souvenir shopping and a variety of dining options in the city centre.
In the afternoon there will be a group transfer to the pier, after which you will be welcomed aboard your luxury expedition ship. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Savor the anticipation of your Antarctic dreams coming true as you sail toward a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as you sail through the Beagle Channel on your first evening is wonderful and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters.
Day 3: South Atlantic Ocean
After transiting the. Keep a lookout for dolphins and whales. The ship’s stabilizing fins provide comfort in the event of rough seas. Presentations by our experts prepare you for your arrival in the Falkland Islands.
Day 4 - 6: Falkland Islands
The remote and sparsely-populated Falkland Islands are a birders’ paradise. You can anticipate spending two days in the remote outer islands where large colonies of penguins and albatross are easily accessible. The Falklands are also a great place to observe marine mammals. Fur seals and elephant seals can be found on sandy beaches while the waters around the archipelago are home to cetaceans such as Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins. Your exact route and exploration opportunities are dependent on weather among these isolated and windswept islands.
You may also visit the port of Stanley, the charmingly British capital of the Falkland Islands. Attractions within pleasant walking distance along the waterfront promenade include the Falkland Islands Museum, the governor’s house, a cathedral with impressive whalebone arch outside, a war memorial, quality gift shops, pubs, and views of shipwrecks in the harbour.
Day 7 - 8: Southern Ocean
From the Falkland Islands you head east toward South Georgia, passing the remote, seabird-covered pinnacles known as Shag Rocks on the way. You also cross the Antarctic Convergence, the biological boundary of the Southern Ocean. Briefings, bio-security procedures, and lectures from the onboard experts prepare you for your arrival in South Georgia.
Day 9 - 13: South Georgia Island
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic. Your route and exploration opportunities in South Georgia are heavily dependent on the weather conditions you encounter. Your experienced captain and expedition leader decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. You can be sure that the best possible advantage will be taken of the circumstances presented to us by nature in this wild and remote corner of the world. Every safe opportunity to go ashore in this amazing place is sought.
South Georgia is a scenic wilderness and an unrivaled paradise for subantarctic wildlife viewing. The islands are said to host upwards of 100 million seabirds, including numerous species of albatross, penguins, prions, petrels and terns. On beaches such as those at Salisbury Plain and St. Andrews Bay, over 100,000 elephant seals and three million fur seals jostle for space among innumerable penguins including stately king penguins and sprightly macaroni penguins. The recently completed rat eradication program is sure to make this wilderness even more pristine and rich with birdlife.
The bountiful waters surrounding South Georgia are also inhabited by an increasing number of whales. The historical whaling station of Grytviken is now home to the excellent South Georgia Museum managed by the South Georgia Heritage Trust. Grytviken is also the final resting place of Ernest Shackleton, the legendary polar explorer.
Your days in South Georgia are filled with memorable excursions, sumptuous meals, presentations by the onboard experts, and enough incredible scenery and wildlife to fill your camera and overwhelm your emotions.
Day 14-15: Total Solar Eclipse in the Scotia Sea
As the time of the eclipse nears, you leave South Georgia and proceed southwest across the Scotia Sea toward Antarctica. The goal now is to get into perfect position for observing a total solar eclipse. To accomplish this remarkable feat, the captain will navigate the ship precisely onto the narrow path of totality—the relatively small area from which one can see the sun’s light become totally obscured by the moon—at the precise time of the predicted eclipse.
Essentially, you will try to meet the center of the moon’s shadow as it moves swiftly across the Scotia Sea during its rare and brief appearance in Antarctica. This may well bring you within sight of the Weddell Sea pack ice, adding a great polar ambiance to this amazing celestial event. With the advantage of sophisticated ice charts and meteorological forecasts—and a little luck—you will gather on deck in the early morning of Friday, December 4th, under clear skies to observe a total eclipse of the Antarctic sun in the most pristine wilderness on Earth.
Day 16 - 17: Southern Ocean
After the mesmerizing spectacle of the solar eclipse, you continue west toward the Antarctic Peninsula. Pelagic seabirds including the majestic albatross are common in these waters and can readily be viewed from panoramic open decks or from exterior stateroom windows and balconies. You may also encounter enormous tabular icebergs drifting north from the Weddell Sea.
Day 18-20: South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula
The Antarctic Peninsula region contains some of the world’s most impressive scenery and some of Antarctica’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Protected bays and narrow channels are surrounded by towering mountain peaks covered in permanent snow and immense glaciers. Icebergs of every size and description complete an image of incomparable beauty. Waters rich with krill are home to a variety of whale and seal species. The whole area is alive with penguins foraging at sea and forming large nesting colonies at special places on land. The area is also home to Antarctic research stations of various nationalities, some with a gift shop and post office.
The South Shetland Islands are the northernmost islands in Antarctica and will likely be your first sighting of land. This wild and beautiful island chain contains numerous landing sites with abundant wildlife and historical significance. Among them is Elephant Island, where men from Shackleton’s famous Endurance expedition spent the winter.
Farther south, on the Antarctic Peninsula, the gorgeous Gerlache Strait area contains sheltered bays, accessible wildlife, and stunning scenery. Places with names like Paradise Bay are the epitome of everything Antarctic: glaciated mountains, towering icebergs, feeding whales, seals on ice floes, and bustling penguin colonies. At the southern end of Gerlache Strait is the famous Lemaire Channel, also known as “Kodak Gap” because of the photogenic way the mountainous sides of the narrow channel are reflected in calm waters strewn with icebergs.
The wilderness of Antarctica is subject to unpredictable weather and ever-changing ice conditions, which dictate your route and exploration opportunities. This is a real expedition. You will exploit every opportunity to experience excellent wildlife viewing, amazing scenery and excursions via Zodiac.
From Antarctica you head north through the Drake Passage toward South America. Presentations and workshops by the expedition staff, as well as the range of onboard recreation facilities, ensure that these days at sea are not idly spent. This is also the time for our End of Voyage ceremonies including slideshow and farewell dinner.
Day 23: Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina
After breakfast you will say farewell in the city of Ushuaia, where you started. A group transfer to the airport or to the town center will be provided.
Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a local representative and transferred to your downtown hotel (preferred flights only).
This morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before exploring Ushuaia on a half-day city tour.
Ushuaia, capital city of the province of Tierra del Fuego, is located on the shores of the Beagle Channel and it is surrounded by the Martial Range, which offers a unique landscape as a result of the combination of mountains, sea, glaciers and forest. The city tour will visit The Mission, Brown and Solier neighbourhoods, where you can see old houses belonging to the first families in Tierra del Fuego, such as the Beban, the Pastoriza, and the Ramos. Head 11 kilometres (6.8 miles) out of town to Martial Glacier. The ride in the chair lift to the trails leading up to the glacier provides wonderful regional views and of Ushuaia town, the Beagle Channel and its islands. Afterwards, continue to the End of the World Museum with exhibitions explaining the history of Tierra del Fuego.
Transfer to the pier where your expedition team will warmly welcome you on board the ship at approximately 4.00 pm (final embarkation time will be provided in your final documentation). As your ship pulls away from port, you’ll gather on the deck to commence your adventure with spectacular views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings.
As you commence the Drake Passage crossing, make the most of your time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Your expedition team prepare you for your first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures and start the lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment.
Your wildlife experiences begin as you enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following in the ship's wake. They rise and fall skillfully, using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.
Day 4: Drake Passage & South Shetland Islands
Nearing the tip of the South Shetland Islands on day four, the excitement is palpable with everyone converging on the bridge watching for your first iceberg. The ocean takes on a whole new perspective once you are below the Antarctic Convergence and are surrounded by the surreal presence of floating ice sculptures. The memory of your first big iceberg sighting is likely to remain with you for a lifetime. Weather permitting, you may attempt our first landing in Antarctica by late afternoon.
Day 5-9: Antarctic Peninsula
Over the next few days a host of choices are open to you, and depending on ice and weather conditions, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula is yours to explore. The experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design our voyage from day to day. This allows you to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.
Because you are so far south, you will experience approximately 18-20 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish. You will generally try for two landings or Zodiac excursions each day; cruising along spectacular ice cliffs; following whales that are feeding near the surface; and landing on the continent and its off-shore islands to visit penguin rookeries, seal haul outs, historic huts, and a few of our other favourite spots along the peninsula. There will be plenty of time for sleep when you get home!
There are many exciting places to potentially visit and your itinerary is deliberately flexible to allow you to pick the best spots on the day based on ice and weather conditions.
A sample of some of the types of places where you may cruise through, land, hike, photograph or view spectacular wildlife include:
Beautiful protected bays around the Antarctic Peninsula surrounded by magnificent peaks and spectacular glaciers, areas that are havens for whales as you keep your eyes open for humpbacks, orcas, minkes, and crabeater seals, as you explore bays in Zodiacs.
Wildlife-rich islands where glaciers and mountains dominate the vista and you can see large chinstrap penguin colonies tucked in between basaltic turrets coloured by yellow and orange lichens, and where often fur seals and elephant seals are hauled out on the pebble beaches.
Harbours home to gentoo penguins, and that regularly host Weddell seals. The scenery is dramatic towering peaks and calving glaciers surround the harbour. The thundering crack of the glaciers as they calve is sure to stop you in your tracks.
Lemaire Channel - If ice conditions allow, standing on the observation deck of the Greg Mortimer quietly as the ship sails along the narrow Lemaire Channel could certainly be one of the highlights of your voyage. Cliffs tower 700 metres / 2,296 feet straight out of the ocean on either side of the ship. The water can sometimes be so still that perfect reflections are mirrored on the surface and it is clear to see why this Channel is often called “Kodak Alley”. Gigantic icebergs may clog the channel, creating navigational challenges for our Captain and crew; occasionally they may even obstruct your passage.
Day 10: Elephant Island, Weddell Sea
This morning, if weather permits, you set course for Elephant Island, a half-submerged mountain cloaked with an ice sheet at the outer limits of the South Shetlands. You’ll learn the story of Shackleton and hear how his ship, the Endurance, was crushed in pack ice in the Weddell Sea, before him and his men climbed into three open boats, spending 16 months at sea, before finally making landfall on this tiny toe of rock and ice in the vastness of the Southern Ocean on 14 April, 1916. The plan is to sail past Cape Valentine to see the beach where the men first put ashore over 100 years ago. Weather permitting; you can hope to follow the coastline 9.65 km/6 miles west to Point Wild, where the men eventually set up camp under two of their upturned open boats and some old tents. If weather permits, you’ll attempt to make a landing on historic Point Wild, Elephant Island.
You then begin to position our ship in prime location for the eagerly awaited solar eclipse.
According to NASA, the optimum position to experience the solar eclipse is well into the Weddell Sea. The eclipse is visible from the following geographic regions: Antarctica, South Africa, south Atlantic, but the full eclipse will only be visible in Antarctica.
The instant of greatest eclipse takes place on Dec 04 at 07:34:38 TD (Terrestrial Dynamical Time) or (07:33:28 UT1).
Historically, early December would be considered too early to visit South Orkney Islands because of extensive sea ice. However, conditions have been changing every year and it may be possible to get into the South Orkneys on 04 December, 2021 – the unknown is part of what makes the experience even more thrilling.
The eclipse belongs to Saros 152 and is number 13 of 70 eclipses in the series. All eclipses in this series occur at the Moon’s descending node. The total solar eclipse of 2021 Dec 04 is preceded two weeks earlier by a partial lunar eclipse on 2021 Nov 19. These eclipses all take place during a single eclipse season. An eclipse season is a period during which the Sun appears close enough to one of the Moon’s nodes to permit an eclipse to occur. Each season lasts approximately 34 days and repeats at about 173-day intervals.
En route for South Georgia you’ll head across the Scotia Sea, following the route that Shackleton and five of his men took in order to find help for the rest of their crew. On 24 April, 1916, they piled into the James Caird, the most seaworthy of their open boats, to attempt this perilous journey to South Georgia, some 1290 km (802 miles) distant. Shackleton hoped to reach South Georgia in two weeks. There he would enlist the help of the whalers to return to Elephant Island and rescue the men who had been left behind. As excitement builds for South Georgia, catch up with fellow expeditioners in the bar, keep watch for wildlife alongside your naturalist from the open bridge, or learn more of the Shackleton story from the historian.
Day 14 - 17: South Georgia
Over the next few days, marvel at South Georgia’s incredible scenes such as enormous and bustling king penguin colonies, fur seals jostling for space on the beach, jaw-dropping mountain landscapes and learn of Shackleton’s epic rescue journey. On Zodiac-cruises, discover bays filled with raucous and playful fur seals, and land on pebble beaches to meet curious penguins. Challenge yourself on hikes and enjoy dazzling pristine landscapes seen by few. South Georgia is a place where you can truly feel like you’ve really escaped from your normal daily life.
South Georgia is one of the world’s most amazing natural environments. Just a speck in the vastness of the South Atlantic Ocean, and lying wholly within the Antarctic Convergence, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are a life-sustaining haven to some of the world’s largest congregations of wildlife. The surrounding sea is one of the most productive areas on Earth and supports the life of millions of seals, whales, penguins and other seabirds. A mountain range forms the spine of this long, narrow island. Between the mountains, shattered glaciers carve their way through tussock grass to the deeply indented coastline – a landscape that is synonymous with the epic expedition of survival by Shackleton, Worsley, and Crean. Abandoned rusting whaling stations and remnants of explorers reflect a time of long ago, while summer workers conduct scientific and regeneration projects.
As you explore South Georgia, you will have the opportunity to reflect on Shackleton’s epic journey. If conditions permit, the plan is to follow in Shackleton, Worsley, and Crean’s footsteps and complete the final leg of their walk from Fortuna Bay to Stromness. On this expedition, you will make a special stop at King Haakon Bay to drop off the Mountaineers to start their 3-day crossing of South Georgia.
A sample of some of the places where we may land in South Georgia include:
Grytviken - originally a Norwegian sealing and whaling station, it was finally closed in 1965. Sir Ernest Shackleton’s body was laid to rest at Grytviken.
St Andrews Bay - the long black sandy beach fronts a broad valley that stretches well back from the sea. This valley shelters the largest king penguin colony on South Georgia.
Godthul - imagine indented bays lined with bleached whale bones, teeming with fur seals and penguins just ‘hanging about’. A careful descent leads us to a magnificent Macaroni penguin rookery.
Salisbury Plains - Salisbury Plain has one of the largest king penguin colonies on South Georgia. With about 100,000 pairs, the shore and beach can be completely crammed with penguins. Along the beach you will also find fur and elephant seals in the mix.
Fortuna Bay & Stromness - Fortuna Bay is surrounded by high mountains with glaciers pushing down from the high country to terminate in the open valley that is home to a small king penguin colony. This is where Shackleton, Worsley, and Crean descended from the treacherous glaciers of the interior on their way to Stromness whaling station.
Day 18 - 19: Sea Crossing
En route to the Falklands~Malvinas, you will be entranced by the ceaseless flight of the many seabirds that follow in the ship's wake, skillfully using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum. On this leg, you may be travelling into the prevailing weather so it is difficult to estimate our arrival time in the Falklands~Malvinas. The lecture program will continue and highlight all of the amazing sights you have witnessed over the past few days. You’ll have ample time to enjoy the rest of your time observing the sea birds, whale watching from the bridge, or simply relaxing with a book.
Located 477 kilometres/296 miles east of southern Argentina, the Falklands are a unique mix of wildlife hotspot and inhabited outpost. An archipelago of over 700 islands, but consisting of two main islands, East and West, only seven of the islands are inhabited. The cold nutrient-rich waters surrounding the islands makes them a prime location for marine life including seabirds and seals. Your time in the Falkland~Malvinas includes a short walk in historic Stanley town, and Sealion Island located in East Falkland’s south, where you can get insight into the unique experience of Sealion Island Nature Reserve. You will discover how the raw beauty and solitude of the island makes it a haven for wildlife and visitors alike. In 2009, Sealion Island was officially declared a National Nature Reserve, with no introduced predators living on the island.
Tussac grass covers much of the island providing an ideal habitat for elephant seals and sea lions that can be found on many of the island’s spectacular beaches. A plethora of birds such as thrushes, finches, tussac birds and Magellanic penguins also inhabit the tussac. Pods of orcas, Peale’s dolphins and leopard seals are regularly seen in the waters around the island.
The island’s southern giant petrels, with a wingspan of two metres, act as a welcoming party to ships as they approach Sealion Island. Rockhopper, gentoo and Magellanic penguins come to Sealion Island to breed. Macaroni, king penguins and Striated and Crested Caracaras are also common seen on the island.
You may choose to spend the sea days returning to Ushuaia editing your photos, enjoying the onboard facilities, or listening to an informative lecture. Celebrate the end of an unforgettable voyage with newfound friends at a special Captain’s farewell dinner.
Day 22: Disembark in Ushuaia
Upon disembarkation, transfer to Ushuaia airport to continue on your onward journey.
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Our prices include
Voyage as indicated in draft itinerary
Flights between Punta Arenas and Port Stanley where stated.
All meals, snacks, coffee and tea
All shore excursions and zodiac activities
Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
All miscellaneous services taxes and port charges throughout the programme
Comprehensive pre-departure material
Polar boots for trip duration
Polar jacket on certain departures only
Aqua-Firma automatically offsets the Carbon Emissions of your polar voyage
Airfares except where stated.
Pre and post land arrangements (unless otherwise stated)
Transfers to and from the vessel.
Cancellation and personal insurance.
Passports and visas.
Arrival and departure tax.
Items of a personal nature (alcohol, laundry etc).
Activity Level Low
A fuel surcharge of £16 / €18 per day may apply on certain departures should the price of Brent crude rise above US$120 barrel 90 days before the voyage
Single supplement Single occupancy price is between 1.6 - 1.85 times the per person cabin price depending upon date and vessel. However this does not apply if you are prepared to share a cabin with another passenger of the same gender.