Falkland Islands – South Georgia – Antarctica – Birding

A cruise to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia & the Antarctic Peninsula. Visit some of the most beautiful arrays of wildlife on Earth. This journey will introduce you to at least 6 species of penguin and a whole lot of Antarctic fur seals!

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

You embark from Puerto Madryn in the afternoon, your prow aimed for the Falkland Islands. Golfo Nuevo is renowned for its visiting southern right whales, so you have a good chance of spotting one as you sail toward the open ocean.

Day 2 – 3

Though you’re now at sea, there’s rarely a lonesome moment here. Several species of bird follow the vessel southeast, such as albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels.

Day 4

The Falkland Islands offer an abundance of wildlife in a stunning landscape. We may head to New Island which is situated to the Southwest of the archipelago. Home to 39 recorded bird species including King Penguins, including 13,000 pairs of Black Browed Albatross there are sizable rookeries of Gentoo, Rockhopper and Magellanic Penguins.

The island boasts a rich history and there is a small museum, the morning will be spent at the South of the island and we will re-position the ship during lunch and head to the ‘North End’ where we will hope to see Sea Lions as well as further birdlife such as Southern Caracara, tussac birds, there is also a large population of Thin Billed Prions (estimated 2 million pairs) on the island.

There is a great chance to see both Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins in the surrounding waters.

Day 5

We may visit George and Barren Islands; these are privately owned and one of the most successful farms on the island. The islands are also recognised as being a haven for wildlife and are recognised as an ‘Important Bird Area’ by Birdlife International. Boasting 42 recorded species of bird including Cobbs Wren, Correndera Pipit and Tussacbirds. The islands are home to Magellanic Penguins, Striaited Caracara and Giant Petrels and along the coast you are likely to see Southern Elephant Seals and Southern Sealions.

We will meet the May family who own the islands and will show us how they farm on an environmentally friendly basis with no chemicals or fertilizer as well as the opportunity to tour the farm and possible see the sheep being sheared and woolprepartaion and dog handling.

We may even join them for ‘smoko’ a traditional Falkland Island break to enjoy homemade cookies and cakes.

Day 6 – 7

En route to South Georgia, you now cross the Antarctic Convergence. The temperature cools considerably within the space of 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, including several species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas.

Day 8 – 11

Today you arrive at the first South Georgia activity site. Please keep in mind that weather conditions in this area can be challenging, largely dictating the program. 

Sites you might visit include:

Prion Island – This location is closed during the early part of the wandering albatross breeding season (November 20 – January 7). The previous summer’s wandering albatross chicks are almost ready to fledge, and adults are seeking out their old partners after a year and a half at sea.

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).

Fortuna Bay – A beautiful outwash plain from Fortuna Glacier is home to a large number of king penguins and seals. Here you may also 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.

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.

In the afternoon of day 11 and depending on the conditions, we will start sailing southwards in the direction of the South Orkney Islands.

Day 12

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 13

Depending on the conditions, you might visit Orcadas Base, an Argentine scientific station on Laurie Island in the South Orkney archipelago. The personnel here will happily show you their facility, where you can enjoy expansive views of the surrounding glaciers. If a visit isn’t possible, you may instead land at Signy Island’s Shingle Cove.

Day 14

Enormous icebergs and a fair chance of fin whale sightings 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 – 18

If the ice conditions permit, you now 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 could get the chance to set foot on the Antarctic Continent itself. 

If conditions aren’t favorable to enter the Weddell Sea from the east, the ship will set course for Elephant Island and head into the Bransfield Strait, between the South Shetland Island's and the Antarctic Peninsula. 

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 Half Moon Island, Chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals often haul out onto the beach near Cámara Base, an Argentine scientific research station.

On Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. Here you can find 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 too. Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels also nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. As an alternative, you can take part in activities near Telefon Bay, further inside the caldera.

This extended voyage gives you the chance to sail even farther down the icy coast of the western Antarctic Peninsula. There are several opportunities for great landings where you might set foot on the Antarctic Continent, surrounded by an epic landscape of alpine peaks and mammoth glaciers calving at sea level. Gentoo penguins, leopard seals, Weddell seals, humpback whales, and minke whales are often seen here.

 

The breathtaking scenery continues in the Bransfield Straight and, if conditions allow further South in the Gerlache Strait. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.

Day 19 – 20

Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.

Day 21

You arrive and disembark in Ushuaia, commonly held to be the world’s most southern city. It is located on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, nicknamed the “End of the World.” But despite this stopping point, the wealth of memories you’ve made on your Antarctic expedition will travel with you wherever your next adventure lies.

Please Note...

All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per IAATO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with IAATO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed for our vessel is 10.5 knots.

Cabin Information

Ship name Cabin Name Price Sale Price Departs on Returns on
m/v Janssonius Quadruple Porthole $13,350 NA Oct 22nd, 2023 Nov 11th, 2023
m/v Janssonius Triple Porthole $14,800 NA Oct 22nd, 2023 Nov 11th, 2023
m/v Janssonius Twin Porthole $16,300 NA Oct 22nd, 2023 Nov 11th, 2023
m/v Janssonius Twin Window $16,950 NA Oct 22nd, 2023 Nov 11th, 2023
m/v Janssonius Twin Deluxe $18,000 NA Oct 22nd, 2023 Nov 11th, 2023
m/v Janssonius Superior $19,350 NA Oct 22nd, 2023 Nov 11th, 2023
m/v Janssonius Junior Suite $20,450 NA Oct 22nd, 2023 Nov 11th, 2023
m/v Janssonius Grand Suite with private balcony $23,450 NA Oct 22nd, 2023 Nov 11th, 2023

Inquire about this trip.