Falklands, South Georgia - Solar Eclipse - Antarctica - Plancius

Antarctica, South Georgia, Falklands

Though you can see the total solar eclipse along a few key path locations around the globe, none of them offers as unique a “venue” as Antarctica. Combine that with everything else you’ll enjoy during this voyage and you end up with one truly exceptional adventure. Reserve your place as soon and experience that adventure for yourself!

  • Admire the Solar Eclipse near 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

Stewart's Take

A riveting cosmic event only fully experienced along a narrow terrestrial pathway

Overview

Though you can see the total solar eclipse along a few key path locations around the globe, none of them offers as unique a “venue” as Antarctica. Combine that with everything else you’ll enjoy during this voyage and you end up with one truly exceptional adventure. Reserve your place as soon and experience that adventure for yourself!
Day 1: Ushuaia Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening. Day 2: Scotia Sea Several species of albatross follow the vessel into the westerlies, along with storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels. Day 3: The Falklands 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 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 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 4: Port Stanley The capital of the Falklands and center of its culture, Port Stanley offers a little 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. Day 5 - 6: Scotia Sea On the way to South Georgia, you cross the Antarctic Convergence. The temperature gradually cools, and nutritious water rises to the surface of the sea due to colliding water columns. This phenomenon sometimes attracts a multitude of seabirds near the ship, including several species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas. Days 7 - 10: 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. You may visit the following sites over the next few days: 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. Day 11: Southward bound 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 center 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 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 - 17: Awe-inspiring Antarctica 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. 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: 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.

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Expedition Vessel: M/V Plancius

M/V "Plancius" was built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy and was named "Hr. Ms. Tydeman". The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 and was completely rebuilt as a 114-passenger vessel in 2009. M/V "Plancius" complies with the latest SOLAS-regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea), is classed by Lloyd's Register in London and flies the Dutch flag. M/V "Plancius" accommodates 114 passengers in 53 passenger cabins with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins, 9 twin porthole cabins, 26 twin cabins with window and 2 twin deluxe cabins, all (ca. 15 square metres) and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square metres).

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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