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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.