Falkland, South Georgia Antarctica ex Madryn: Hondius

Antarctica, South Georgia, Falklands

See many different penguin species during this comprehensive Antarctic expedition. Combine the major Antarctic highlights in one voyage. Visit the wildlife-rich Falkland islands (Carcass and Saunders) with their populations of rockhopper penguins and black-browed albatross along with majestic South Georgia, famed for its elephant seals, king penguins and breeding grounds of the wandering albatross. The expedition will also aim for a landing on the continent of Antarctica

  • Comprehensive voyage with Antarctica and sub-Antarctic Islands
  • South Georgia and its unearthy views and scenery
  • Rugged but beautiful Falkland Islands
  • Antarctic Peninsula’s magical scenery
  • Meet at least six penguin species
  • Visit Port Lockroy station
  • Pay your respects at Shackleton's grave

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Stewart's Take

If you want to visit Antarctica, don't miss the chance to see South Georgia, the greatest sub-Antarctic island on earth!

Overview

Meet at least six penguin species during this Antarctic and South Atlantic expedition voyage. Combine the major Antarctic highlights in one voyage. Visit the wildlife-rich Falkland islands (Carcass and Saunders) with their populations of rockhopper penguins and black-browed albatross along with majestic South Georgia, famed for its elephant seals, king penguins and breeding grounds of the wandering albatross. The expedition will also aim for a landing on the continent of Antarctica.
Day 1: Puerto Madryn, Argentina 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 and 3: At sea, watching the birdlife 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: Falkland Islands The Falkland Islands offer an abundance of wildlife that is easily approachable, though caution is always advised. These islands are largely unknown gems, the site of a 1982 war between the UK and Argentina. 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 segment of the voyage, you may visit the following sites: Steeple Jason Home to the world’s largest black-browed albatross colony (roughly 113,000), Steeple Jason is a wild and rarely visited island buffeted by wind and waves. Weather and swell conditions dictate the journey here. Carcass Island Despite its name, this island is pleasantly rodent-free and hence bounteous with birdlife. Anything from breeding Magellanic penguins and gentoos to numerous waders and passerine birds (including Cobb’s wrens and tussock-birds) live here. Saunders Island On Saunders Island 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 gentoos are also found here. Day 5: Stanley, Falkland Islands The capital of the Falklands and center of its culture, Port Stanley has some Victorian-era charm: colorful houses, well-tended gardens, and English-style pubs are all to be found here. You can also see several century-old clipper ships nearby, silent witnesses to the hardships of 19th century sailors. The small but interesting museum is also worth a visit, covering the early days of settlement up to the Falklands War. Approximately 2,100 people live in Port Stanley. Feel free to wander at will, though be aware that admission fees to local attractions are not included in the voyage. Days 6 & 7: At sea On our way to South Georgia we will cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature will drop by as much as 10 degrees C in the time span of only a few hours. Near the Convergence we will see a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship; several species of Albatrosses, Shearwaters, Petrels, Prions and Skuas. Days 8 – 11: South Georgia 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. 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. 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. Day 12: At sea Where the ship is again followed by a multitude of seabirds. At some point we might encounter sea-ice, and it is at the ice-edge where we might have a chance to see some high-Antarctic species like the McCormick Skua and Snow Petrel. Day 13: South Orkney Islands 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 in Signy Island’s Shingle Cove. Day 14: Towards Antarctica 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. Days 15 – 18: Antarctic Peninsula 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 South Shetland Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. Here you can attempt to access the Antarctic Sound from the northwest. South Shetland Islands 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. Chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals often haul out onto the beach near Cámara Base, an Argentine scientific research station on Half Moon Island. On Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. Here you can 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 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. Exploring the Antarctic coastline This extended voyage gives you the chance to sail even farther down the icy coast of the western Antarctic Peninsula. In the Gerlache Strait 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 southern Gerlache Strait, and if ice conditions allow, we may even reach Lemaire Channel. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure. Days 19 – 20: At sea On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage. Day 21: Ushuaia We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark. PLEASE NOTE:
  • 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 final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
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    New Expedition Vessel: M/V Hondius

    MV Hondius

    The Hondius is a new-built vessel in 2019 is ice-strengthened and specially crafted for expedition voyages.  Hondius will be the first vessel to be built to class “LR PC6”, meeting the latest and highest demands of Lloyd’s Register for “Polar Class 6” vessels, the highest Polar Class notation for ice-strengthened vessels. The vessel will also fully comply with the mandatory requirements of the Polar code, for safe ship operation and the protection of the Polar environment. Hondius offers deluxe accommodations for in total 176 passengers. One deck has been entirely reserved for (multi-language) lectures and presentations in one large observation lounge and in addition one separate lecture room. The vessel offers a deluxe standard and at the same time a distinctive cozy and informal atmosphere.

    The philosophy is to keep sea legs short and to focus on fast and effective access to shore and near shore activities for all nature and wildlife minded passengers. A powerful fleet of zodiacs will guarantee quality outings and swift landing operation for all passengers at the same time. Our main focus remains discovery, taking advantage of wildlife opportunities and the related shore activities, a product that has been very much appreciated by our current travelers for many years. A speedy zodiac embarkation is guaranteed with two separate gangways and in addition a zodiac embarkation indoor-platform which can also be used for special outdoor activities such as kayaking. While cruising, 72 crew and staff members (including expedition and hotel staff) will be at the passengers’ service. Hondius is equipped with 2 main engines and can reach a maximum speed of 15 knots.

    For full information about this vessel click here:

    Included
    • Voyage as indicated in the itinerary.
    • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
    • Free use of rubber boots.
    • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
    • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
    • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
    • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
    • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
    Excluded
    • Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights.
    • Pre- and post land arrangements.
    • Transfers to the vessel.
    • Passport and visa expenses.
    • Government arrival and departure taxes.
    • Meals ashore.
    • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
    • Excess baggage charges.
    • All items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
    • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
    Rates, Share and Sole Use policy All rates are quoted per person, based on shared twin, triple or quad occupancy. If you are travelling alone and wish to share, you will be matched with another person of the same gender at the shared rate. Twin and Superior cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the share rate. Children Upon request (some voyages may be excluded), children under 16 with parents may receive 40 % discount in Superior, Triple (sharing with 2 parents / adults) and Quadruple Cabins (sharing with 3 parents / adults). Deposits Reservations require a deposit of 20% at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 60 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments Balances are due 60 days prior to departure. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 90 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of 20 % of the total price. If cancellation is received between 89 days and 60 days prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of 50 % of the total price. If cancellation occurs less than 59 days up to and including the day of departure: 100 % of the total price. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Oceanwide Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
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