A wildlife hotspot and paradise for birders, the Falkland~Malvinas is often a stop on a longer itinerary to the Antarctic. We enjoy an in-depth, five-day exploration of the Falkland~Malvinas. In the capital, Stanley, we delve into the history of the islands, black-browed albatross, Magellanic and southern rockhopper penguins are laying eggs, and elephant seals are giving birth and suckling pups. Experience the Antarctic Peninsula in mid-Spring when it is at its most pristine and ideal for landscape photography. Zodiac cruise through maze of sea ice, tread on fresh snow and witness penguins courting, mating and on nests.
This evening, enjoy a light refreshment as you meet your fellow expeditioners at a Welcome Reception and Pre-Voyage Briefing. Afterwards, dine at your leisure (dinner not included).
Accommodation: Holiday Inn Santiago Airport Hotel.
Please ensure that your luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before walking back to the international terminal to prepare for your charter flight to Stanley, capital of the Falklands~Malvinas. In Stanley, if time permits, we plan to discover the main sights before embarking our vessel.
After embarkation, you will have time to settle into your cabin before our important mandatory briefings. As the ship pulls away from port, we will gather on the deck to commence our adventure with spectacular views over Stanley.
Falklands~Malvinas is a wildlife hotspot that attracts discerning adventurers, particularly birdwatchers, from around the world. There are 63 breeding species and 23 annual migrants. The black-browed albatross breeds here in large colonies, and another six species have been seen offshore. If seeing penguins is high on your wish list, there are no less than six species of breeding penguins found in the Falklands~Malvinas that you can hope to see.
The landscape is made up of mountain ranges, rolling moorlands, flat plains, rugged coastline that is battered and shaped by the wild Atlantic Ocean, sandy beaches and cliffs. A tall, native tussock grass that is mostly found near the coast provides an important habitat for many birds, and shelter for some seals.
In this remote wilderness, nature determines what we are able to do and see. Your expedition team will draw on their deep experience to curate your day-to-day ‘itinerary’, and to share their knowledge of the wildlife, natural environment and rich history of the region with tales of early exploration and exploits.
Between Falklands~Malvinas and the Antarctic Peninsula, you will be enthralled by the ceaseless flight of the many seabirds that follow the ship. Join our naturalist at the stern and test your skills in photographing seabirds as they gracefully glide close to our ship. Our expedition team will continue with their informative and entertaining talks on seabirds, marine wildlife, photography tips, and tales of Antarctic exploration. You may wish to spend your time staying active in the gym, borrow a book from our well-stocked library or enjoy a treatment in the wellness centre.
It’s almost impossible to describe the feeling of arriving in Antarctica. Spotting your first iceberg and taking a deep breath of some of the most fresh, crisp air on earth is an experience that will stay with you forever.
Join a privileged group of adventurers to visit Antarctica, a true final frontier. Explore the Antarctic Peninsula and be dazzled by the icy landscapes of glaciers, icebergs and towering mountains. Witness unique wildlife that thrive nowhere else but here, in this stark, desolate and unimaginably beautiful environment. Penguins are courting and mating and ice seals are breeding on ice. Zodiacs gently forge a path through sea ice to take you ashore for walks along the beach, where the wildlife is equally as curious about you as you are about them. Make sure your cameras are fully charged, they will be snapping non-stop.
Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.
We generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. You will want to rug up before joining Zodiac cruises along spectacular ice cliffs or among grounded icebergs, keeping watch for seals hauled out on ice floes and porpoising penguins. Zodiacs will also shuttle you from the ship to land, where you can visit penguin rookeries, discover historic huts and explore some of our favourite spots along the peninsula.
While ashore we aim to stretch our legs, wandering along pebbly beaches or perhaps up snow-covered ridgelines to vantage points with mountains towering overhead and ice-speckled oceans below. If you have chosen an optional activity, you will have the option to do that whenever conditions allow, and of course keen polar plungers will have the chance to fully immerse themselves in polar waters – conditions permitting!
In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, we may ship cruise some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to watch whales travelling or feeding. This is a great time to enjoy the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge (open at the Captain’s discretion) for uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendour. Keep an ear out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve into the sea. Take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of this incredible white continent.
Enjoy a final morning landing in the South Shetland Islands before we re-enter the Drake Passage for our return journey to South America.
With lectures and film presentations to complete our Antarctic experience, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the magic of the Southern Ocean and the life that calls it home. There is time for reflection and discussion about what we have seen and experienced. We hope you become ambassadors for Antarctica telling your family, friends and colleagues about your journey to this magical place, advocating for its conservation and preservation so that they might one day visit the region to experience what you have been lucky to see and do here.
As we approach the tip of South America, our Captain may sail close to legendary Cape Horn, weather and time permitting.
During the early morning, we cruise up the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, where we disembark from approximately 8.00 am. Farewell your attentive crew, expedition team and fellow passengers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to Ushuaia airport or to your hotel is included in the voyage fare.
NOTE: At the conclusion of the voyage, we do not recommend booking flights departing Ushuaia prior to 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation in case there are delays.