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Falklands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula

Wildlife riches of the Sub-antarctic

MLT21     03 November – 22 November, 2009 (19 days) aboard Professor Multanovskiy
PLA23     03 December - 21 December, 2009 (19 days) aboard Plancius
PLA24     21 December 2009 – 08 January, 2010 (19 days) aboard Plancius
MOL25     05 January – 23 January, 2010 (19 days) aboard Professor Molchanov
PLA25     08 January – 26 January, 2010 (19 days) aboard Plancius
MOL28     12 February – 02 March, 2010 (19 days) aboard Professor Molchanov

aboard the Professor Multanovskiy, Professor Molchanov and Plancius.

A wonderful introduction to the amazing scenery and wildlife of Antarctica and the beautiful sub-Antarctic islands and oceans.

Map of Falklands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula

Antarctica and the Sub-Antarctic Islands are some of the last truly unspoilt regions of the world. The mysterious White Continent, with its multi-coloured ice caps, glistening glaciers and towering snow-capped mountains, offers unparalleled scenery and photographic opportunities. Enormous numbers of penguins, whales, seals and seabirds congregate in the food-rich waters along the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic shores. The future of Antarctica is crucial to the climate and ecology of the world and on most of our cruises we have an opportunity to visit one of the many scientific bases.

Our small, specially designed expedition ship journeys south, taking full advantage of the 24 hours of daylight during the austral summer. Ice-strengthened hulls and state-of-the-art equipment allow us to navigate safely through the pack ice and narrow waterways. Our zodiac excursions, guided by foremost Antarctic experts, offer the freedom to explore remote locations and observe Antarctica’s abundant wildlife.

The Falklands were discovered in 1592. Port Stanley has a few shops, hotels and pubs. Island stamps can be purchased and there is an excellent small museum. On New Island you can visit a unique colony with Black-browed Albatrosses, Rockhopper Penguins and Blue-eyed Cormorants all nesting together, and you may see many of the other 60 breeding species of birds, which abound.

We will cross to South Georgia, 1,300 kms (800 miles) east-south-east, first sighted in 1675 and later visited by Captain James Cook in 1775. South Georgia has more than 160 glaciers coming down to the sea and is home to millions of seabirds including the beautiful King Penguins and the enormous Wandering Albatrosses. Abandoned whaling stations bear testimony to a less environmentally conscious era, but now Elephant Seals and Fur Seals can be seen on many beaches. Sir Ernest Shackleton was buried at Grytviken in 1922.

In the Antarctic Peninsula, you can land on Paulet Island where tens of thousands of Adelie Penguins nest. At Hope Bay or Brown Bluff you can set foot on the Antarctic mainland and, depending on ice and weather, as always, we will sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel, where large numbers of whales seek the shelter of the protected waterways. In the South Shetlands, we will land at some of the many famous sites including Deception Island and Hannah Point, which have wonderful wildlife.

Note: Please note that this itinerary is for guidance only. The exact program may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.


Day 1
In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located in the shadow of the Andes and right at the Beagle Channel shore. We’ll sail through this scenic waterway during the afternoon (Puerto Madryn on MLT21).

Day 2 (day 2 & 3 on MLT21)
At sea, in the wester lies the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.

Day 3
In the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) we plan to spend the whole day on the fascinating western side of the archipelago. A hike along the shore of Carcass Island will give us instead views of Magellanic and Gentoo-Penguins, as well as close encounters with water fowl and Night herons. In addition, on Saunders we will be able to observe Rockhopper Penguins, Black-browed Albatrosses and King Cormorants.

Day 4
In Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, we can experience Falkland culture, which has some South- American characteristics as well as Victorian charm. In Stanley and surrounding area we can see a quite important number of stranded clippers from a century ago. Especially for the birders, we will also offer a three hours excursion outside Port Stanley.

Day 5 & 6
At sea, on our way to South Georgia we will cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature will drop 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.

Day 7- 10
In South Georgia we shall visit the bay of Elsehul, with it´s very active fur seal breeding beach, and then take course to Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, Gold Harbour and Cooper Bay to give you a good opportunity to see a wide spectrum of landscapes and wildlife, like the introduced Reindeer, Elephant seals, King and Macaroni Penguins. At Fortuna Bay we might try to follow in the footsteps of the great British Explorer Ernest Shackleton and hike over to Stømness Bay. There and at Grytviken we’ll see and abandoned whaling village, where King Penguins now walk in the streets and seals have taken over the buildings. At Grytviken we´ll also offer a visit to the Whaling History Museum as well as to Shackleton´s grave near by. One of the highlights might be our visit to Prion Island, where we will witness the breeding efforts of the huge Wandering Albatross and enjoy watching their displays.

Day 11
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 Maccormick Skua, Snow Petrel and the elusive Emperor Penguin.

Day 12
We are aiming for a visit at Orcadas station, an Argentinean base located in the South Orkney Islands. The friendly base personnel will show us their facilities and we can enjoy the wonderful views of the surrounding glaciers.

Day 13
At sea

Day 14 - 16
We will sail into the Weddell Sea through the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound. Huge tabular icebergs will announce our arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. We plan to visit Paulet Island with a million pairs of Adelie Penguins and the remains of the Nordenskiöld expedition. At Brown Bluff we can put our feet on the continent. At Deception Island, we will try to land at Baily Head home to a colony of ten thousands of Chinstrap Penguins. Deception itself is a sub ducted crater, which opens into the sea, creating a natural harbour for the ship. Here we find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape Pigeons and many Dominican Gulls, Brown and South Polar Skuas and Antarctic Terns. Wilson’s Storm Petrels and Black-bellied Storm Petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. Good walkers may hike from Baily Head over the ridge of the crater into Whalers Bay, while our ship braves its entrance into the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellow into the ring of Deception Island. In the afternoon we may land at Half Moon Island, where we can obsereve Elephant, Weddell and Fur Seals as well as Chinstrap Penguins, Blue-eyed Shags, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Kelp Gulls, Snowy Sheatbills, Antarctic Terns and Antarctic Brown Skuas. On our way West, we sail to Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula. It contains a large colony of Gentoo Penguins and breeding pairs of Brown Skuas. From there we sail to Neko Harbour in Andvord Bay and through Paradise Bay with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, while having chances of seeing large Whales. We will have opportunities for zodiac cruising between the icebergs in the inner parts of the fjords.

Day 17- 18
On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.

Day 19 (day 20 on MLT21)
We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.

N.B.: On voyage PLA23 we will offer an exclusive programme for birders. This voyage is also suitable for non-birders, but the cruise schedule has been primarily designed to meet the requirements and demands of birders.

M/v Professor Molchanov & M/v Professor Multanovskiy

  • Length 71,6 metres (236 feet)
  • Breadth 12,8 metres (42 feet)
  • Draft 4,5 metres (15 feet)
  • Speed 12,5 knots
  • Passengers capacity 52
  • 20 Russian crew
  • 3 international expedition staff
  • 3 international hotel & catering staff and 1 emergency doctor
The ships are modern, ice–strengthened research vessels, built in Finland for the Russian Academy of Science. They are under long–term contract to Oceanwide Expeditions and have been converted for passenger use and are ideally suited to expedition cruising in polar areas. They comply with the highest international safety and environmental regulations, as well as the Arctic and Antarctic Shipping guidelines. The passengers are accommodated in triple, twin, superior cabins or a suite. All cabins are ‘outside’ and most cabins have private facilities. The public areas are comfortable and cosy and include a dining room which could also act as the lecture room, a bar with reference books, a small infirmary and a sauna. The best viewing places on board for spotting wildlife are the bridge (where passengers are welcome) and the open–deck areas. The ships carry a full complement of Zodiac crafts, for both cruising and landing ashore. Usually on our voyages the Chef will organize a Polar barbecue on deck. Surrounded by an impressive landscape and accompanied by your fellow–travellers, staff members and the Russian crew members, this event is one to remember.

'Professor Molchanov ' deckplan

M/v 'Plancius' started her life in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy and was named 'Hr. Ms. Tydeman'. In June 2004, the vessel was taken out of active service and was purchased by Oceanwide Expeditions in December 2006.
Still under construction, but available for Polar expeditions in June 2009, the vessel shall be completely rebuilt as a 112-passenger vessel and shall comply with the latest SOLAS-regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea), is classed by Lloyd’s Register in London and will fly the Dutch flag. The vessel will be comfortable and nicely decorated, but is not a luxurious vessel. Our voyages in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are and will still be primarily defined by an exploratory educational travel programme, spending as much time ashore as possible. This vessel will fully meet our demands to achieve this. M/v 'Plancius' can accommodate 112 passengers in 54 passenger cabins with private toilet and shower in 4 triple private cabins, 40 twin private cabins (ca. 15 square meters) and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square meters).

The vessel is manned by 30 international crew members (inc. 10 stewardesses/cabin cleaners), 6 hotel staff (4 chefs, 1 purser and 1 steward-barman), 6 expedition staff (1 expedition leader and 5 guides-lecturers) and 1 doctor.

Plancius deckplan

M/v Plancius Deckplan - click for larger image

Accommodation: Cabins as described above subject to availability.

Travel: We can arrange flights and overnight accommodation for you if necessary. Please contact us for prices and availability.

Leaders: Guides from Oceanwide Expeditions

Prices per person: MLT21
Triple not en suite £ 6,045
Twin not en suite £ 7,230
Twin en suite £ 8,265
Superior twin en suite £ 9,500
Suite £ 10,410
Deposit : 20% of cost

Prices per person:

Triple Private £ 7,410
Twin Private £ 8,500
Superior £ 9,775
Deposit : 20% of cost

Prices per person:

Triple Private £ 8,500
Twin Private £ 9,680
Superior £ 11,230
Deposit : 20% of cost

Prices per person:

Triple not en suite £ 7,135
Twin not en suite £ 8,500
Twin en suite £ 9,680
Superior twin en suite £ 11,230
Suite £ 12,320
Deposit : 20% of cost

Please enquire for single supplements.

The prices are per person, and are fully inclusive of the cruise, meals during the voyage, shore excursions by Zodiac and activities throughout the voyage, lectures and leadership by expedition staff, taxes and port charges and pre–departure information.

The prices exclude return flights UK/Ushuaia (please allow approximately £1500.00), overnight accommodation in Ushuaia, transfers in Ushuaia, travel insurance, meals ashore, optional tips to leaders and crew, drinks, and other personal expenses.

Please allow two days either side of the cruise dates for travel and an overnight at each end of the cruise in case of any delays.

Please note that we can arrange optional extensions in Ushuaia (see our Patagonia itinerary for details), or anywhere else in Argentina. You can also opt to leave the UK a day earlier and spend a day in Buenos Aires to break the long journey south.