Day 1: Embarkation in Puerto Madryn In the afternoon, we embark in Puerto Madryn and sail towards the Falkland Islands. Golfo Nuevo is world renowned for their visiting Southern Right whales and we have a good chance to see them as we head towards Open Ocean. Day 2 - 3: At sea The ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels. Day 4 - 8: Falkland Islands The Falkland Islands (Malvinas) offer a wide variety of wildlife, which with caution is easily approachable. In many ways, the islands are largely an unknown selection of wildlife gems mainly known to the wider public for the war between the UK and Argentina in 1982. Not only various species of birds occur here, but chances are great to see both Peale’s dolphin and Commerson’s dolphins in the waters around the islands. Our itinerary will aim at offering the best of the Falklands and may include: The rarely visited Steeple Jason Island. It is a wild place dominated by wind and waves and the weather and swell conditions will dictate our success. Steeple Jason is the home of the largest Black-browed albatross colony in the world is located (app. 113.000). Carcass Island is rodent free and hence has a bounty of birdlife from breeding Magellanic and Gentoo penguins, to numerous waders and passerine birds including several endemics to the islands such as the Cobb’s wren and the Tussack bird. 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 Rockhopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and Gentoo penguins are also present here. West Point Island is equally inhabited by a great number of Black-browed albatrosses and Rockhopper penguins, whereas Grave Cove offers relative shelter and many nesting Gentoo penguins along with excellent hiking opportunities. The large white sandy beach at Volunteer Point is rather exposed but offers a large King penguin rookery along with a plentiful birdlife. Alternatively, Sparrow Cove/ Kidney Cove on the northeast shore of Berkeley Sound not far from Port Stanley offers a great hike to enjoy the views of Kidney Cove and Port Stanley from Mt Low (204 m/671 ft). 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 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. Approximately 2,100 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. One the northwest side of Bleaker Island we may land at Sandy Bay. Nearby, Big Pond offers excellent wildlife opportunities such as Dark-faced ground-tyrant and Magellanic snipe. There is also easy walking to both Gentoo penguins, Magellanic penguins, Rockhopper penguins, and King cormorants. Sea Lion Island is very exposed and luck is required to make landfall here. It is the home of the largest breeding colony of Southern elephant seals in the archipelago with approximately 2000 individuals on the northern beaches at this time of year. A good hike will lead to a Southern sea lion haul out. A reasonably easy walk from the landing next to site Coffin’s Harbour at the New Island South Wildlife Reserve will bring rewards such as nesting Black-browed albatrosses and Rock-hopper penguins. A more strenuous hike to Landsend Bluff may offer great views of South American fur seals. The site of only land based whaling station on the Falkland Island is located to the south of the landing beach. Landing at the New Island North Nature Reserve requires a special permit. That pending we may make an afternoon landing in this spectacular place with a last visit to Black-browed albatrosses, South American fur seal, and several other species of birds that call the Falkland Islands home. Day 9: At sea We head west towards South America followed by numerous sea birds. Day 10: We disembark in the morning in Ushuaia We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark. PLEASE NOTE: A typical itinerary to the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) is illustrated above. All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The Expedition Leader on board will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Average cruising speed of m/v Ortelius is 10.5 knots.
The ice-strengthened vessel Ortelius is an excellent vessel for Polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica, providing possibilities to adventure in remote locations such as the Ross Sea and Franz Josef Land. Ortelius was built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989, was named Marina Svetaeva, and served as a special purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. The vessel is now re-flagged and renamed Ortelius. She offers a comfortable hotel standard, with two restaurants, a bar/lecture room and a sauna. Her voyages are primarily developed to offer our passengers a quality exploratory wildlife program, trying to spend as much time ashore as possible. As the number of passengers is limited to approximately 106, flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities.