Explore recently discovered penguin mega-colonies in the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica.
This 17-night Mega Colonies cruise takes advantage of the direct South American flight from Santiago to Mount Pleasant in the Falkland/Malvinas Islands. On this voyage we prioritise the region’s largest penguin colonies, including St Andrew’s Bay and Salisbury Plain on South Georgia; Paulet Island and Bailey Head and also the Danger Islands, to experience the newly discovered mega-colony of Adelie penguins.
Duration: 18 days
Embarkation: Stanley, Falkland/Malvinas
Disembarkation: Ushuaia, Argentina
Language: English speaking voyage
Santiago, Chile to Stanley, Falkland Islands
We depart Santiago this morning on our special charter flight direct to Stanley, the small capital of the Falkland Islands. We are met on arrival and transfer from the airport into town. Making our way to the port, we board our expedition ship in the afternoon. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail celebrating the arrival of a new year.
Days 2 - 3
At Sea - Towards South Georgia
We chart a south-easterly course bound for South Georgia. The seabirds join us in the Southern Ocean and follow in the updrafts created by the ship. Our educational presentations continue and are always popular. History is a key theme of this voyage and the epic story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition is central to any trip to South Georgia.
Days 4 - 6
Exploration of South Georgia
South Georgia has often been called the ‘Serengeti of the Southern Ocean’ – and as we approach the deep bays of this rugged, rocky outcrop, you will begin to see why. Launching the Zodiacs, we begin our exploration of the island, in the vicinity of Elsehul Bay. Large numbers of fur seals and the much larger elephant seal will line the dark sand beaches. Living in the tussock grass, king penguins and their chicks may number up to 100,000 birds in some locations, including Salisbury Plain, St Andrews Bay and Gold Harbour. The island is also home to large numbers of nesting albatross as they fill the skies above, coming and going from the nest. South Georgia is a thrilling location for history lovers too and the rusting relics of the early whaling industry are all around us. A highlight is a visit to Grytviken, situated at the head of Cumberland Bay. It is here we visit the gravesite of Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Days 7 - 9
At Sea - Towards Antarctica
Weather and ice will dictate our crossing of the Scotia Sea from South Georgia to Antarctica. Onboard experts keep us busy with fascinating presentations and lead lively discussions throughout the day. The great pelagic seabirds are sure to keep us company – and we anticipate excellent sightings of albatross and giant petrels soaring on the winds of the South Atlantic Ocean.
Days 10 - 12
Danger Islands and the Weddell Sea
Our excursions today will be dictated by the prevailing weather. Strong currents flow out of the Weddell Sea bringing variable ice conditions to the archipelago. We launch the Zodiacs to explore the waters around the island groups and plan to make shore landings at several locations. We will be struck by the immense scale of the Adelie penguin rookeries here. These are the smallest (and most comical) of Antarctica's penguins, resplendent in their black and white plumage. They are fascinating to observe, coming and going from fishing forays, and sitting on the nest raising their precious chicks. Our guides will be keen to share their knowledge of the penguin life-cycle and tell of the recent scientific research at this location.
Days 13 - 15
South Shetland Islands and Gerlache Strait
Approaching the South Shetland Islands as we navigate south, we may aim for a shore landing at Half Moon Island – home to a boisterous colony of nesting chinstrap penguins. A short hike brings us to elephant seal haul out. These are fascinating animals to observe as the naturalist guides explain the unique family dynamics and behaviour. There are several other nearby locations, including Yankee Harbour or Hannah Point which we may choose as alternative landing sites. We enter the maze of islands and waterways along the Antarctic Peninsula and enjoying shore landings, Zodiac cruises and kayak excursions several times per day. Ship cruising into the Errera Channel, we have a couple of great landing sites to consider including Cuverville Island – with its sizeable gentoo penguin rookery.
Days 16 - 17
As we make our way back to South America, the educational presentations continue, and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join our photography experts in the multimedia room and download and back up your precious images. If weather conditions allow, we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn.
In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home. It will be possible to connect to flights through to Buenos Aires or other destinations in South America
Complimentary use of wet weather gear
Complimentary use of wellington boots
Complimentary use of waterproof backpack and binoculars
Complimentary water bottle
In room coffee & tea station
An extensive pre-departure information package
Onboard Information Folder
Educational presentations from experienced guides such as ornithologists, glaciologists, historians, geologists, naturalists and marine mammals experts
Photography advises and instructions from the resident photographer. Extended photography workshops available on select departures
All zodiac and landing excursions
Zodiac cruising, hiking, guided walks, photography workshops, fitness & yoga.
Board and Lodging
All meals during the voyage prepared by One Ocean Expeditions chefs
Welcome reception & welcome dinner
One Ocean Expeditions Farewell dinner hosted by the Captain
Daily afternoon tea with fresh snacks
Coffee, tea & hot chocolate available anytime
Access to wellness area (Finnish Sauna, Plunge Pool filled with sea water, Hot Tub)
Natural essential oil amenities
Services of English speaking medical officer.
Use of multimedia room to download images. Lightroom, Adobe, Photoshop and card readers are available for use on MAC and PC computers
Expedition Gear Package for the duration of the voyage - valued at US$1,000
Windproof / waterproof jacket and bib pants
Comfortable insulated rubber boots
Water resistant binoculars
Trekking poles available on shore.
From/ to designated meeting points to/from the ship
Additional transfers in welcome/departure cities (only applicable on certain departures)
Luggage transfer from designated locations to/from your cabin
International and national airfares
Visa and passport fees, airport taxes
Pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodation in arrival/departure cities
Meals & transfers in arrival / departure cities
Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
Massages from a registered therapist
Personal laundry charges
Postage, telephone calls & email set up
Medical expenses such as fees, prescriptions or medications
Travel medical insurance including medical evacuation (mandatory)
Trip interruption / cancellation insurance
Gratuities to staff and crew
• The prices are per person expressed in US Dollars.
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THE POLAR TRAVEL COMPANY LLC
8175 NW 12 ST #130
Doral, FL 33126
Miami - Dade, Florida
Tel: +1 786 352 8686
Bulnes 1319, Buenos Aires.
Tel: +54 9 11 62532677
4° C, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego.
Tel: +54 9 249 457 3920
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