South Georgia via the Falklands

from £7136
excluding flights *
14–17 nights Nov, Mar, Oct

Overview

Deep in the South Atlantic, east of the continent of South America and just north of the convergence zone with the Southern Ocean, lie two of Britain’s most remote and unique territories, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. With a wealth of history and an even richer abundance of wildlife, the regions combine in this phenomenal itinerary to create a truly special journey which offers a perfect alternative to an Antarctic expedition.

Highlights

  • Spend several days exploring South Georgia's majestic beauty and amazing wildlife.
  • Witness huge colonies of king penguins; with over 200,000 at Salisbury Plain alone.
  • Visit the Falklands to view nesting albatross, penguins and a host of endemic birds found nowhere else in the world.
  • Learn about early polar exploration and whaling history, including a visit to the burial site of Sir Ernest Shackleton.
  • Watch the antics of fur and elephant seals

What's Included

  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
  • Shore landings & Zodiac cruises
  • Experienced Expedition Team
  • Presentations on board
  • Loan of rubber boots during voyage

Full description

This expedition-style voyage encompassing many of the islands of the Falkland and South Georgia archipelagos offers the chance to immerse yourself in some of the world’s most extraordinary scenery and wildlife.

Daily shore excursions and cruises by Zodiac will offer access to remote coastlines and isolated animal colonies. Sightings of up to 5 different penguin species, including enormous groups of up to 200,000 king penguins, are possible, along with numerous other birds and marine mammals. This region also has an intriguing history, with British cultural influences in strong evidence.

During your voyage the on-board expedition team will educate and entertain you, sharing their expertise and in-depth knowledge of the local history, wildlife and remote communities, and ensuring you get the most out of your time in these very distinctive regions of the British Empire.

Contact our Falkland Islands specialists now
worldwide team erin glennie bw
Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates *

Offers

Airfares are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

2018/19 Departures

Departure Duration Vessel Activities Prices from (pp)
03 Nov 2018 15 days Akademik Vavilov £9,227
17 Nov 2018 17 days Akademik Vavilov £9,919
22 Nov 2018 18 days Ocean Adventurer £11,700
31 Mar 2019 ~ 16 days M/V Plancius £7,136
26 Oct 2019 15 days Akademik Vavilov £9,612

~ This South Georgia Explorer voyage embarks in Ushuaia and disembarks in Montevideo. It does NOT visit the Falkland Islands.

Activity Key:
Kayaking
Photography

What's Included

  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
  • Tea & coffee available around the clock
  • All Zodiac transfers, cruising & shore landings
  • Presentations by the Expedition Team and guest speakers
  • Loan of rubber boots during voyage
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee

NOTES

  • A pre-voyage night in a hotel in Ushuaia is included on voyages aboard the Ocean Adventurer
  • A flight from Punta Arenas to Stanley is included on voyages aboard the Akademik Vavilov
  • Expedition jackets are NOT provided on the Plancius. A jacket is loaned for the duration of the voyage on the Akademik Vavilov. On all other ships you will be provided with an expedition jacket to keep.

Please contact us for full details and to discuss the options best for you.

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1 Fly from Punta Arenas to Stanley

Transfer to Punta Arenas Airport and fly to the Falkland Islands. On arrival, transfer to Stanley, where there is some time to explore the town, before embarkation in the afternoon.

Days 2-3 At sea towards South Georgia

This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in its bio-diversity and showcases an abundance of astonishing wildlife. You will likely be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross, giant petrels and Cape petrels. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and a photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Throughout these days the on-board experts will give a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history of the locations you will visit on the coming journey.

Days 4-5 King Haakon Bay and the Northwest Coast

Majestic snow-covered mountains will greet you on arrival in South Georgia during the mid-afternoon. Begin with a visit to the very historic location of King Haakon Bay. It was here that Shackleton and his men made landfall in their small lifeboat – the James Caird, after completing the perilous ocean crossing from Elephant Island, over 100 years ago. From here, they set off to cross the mountainous spine of South Georgia – a feat never before attempted. This is a very dramatic place, visited by just a handful of ships each season.

From here, travel round to the protected waters of the north-eastern coast. Elsehul Bay allows for great Zodiac cruising and will be a possible location for kayaking. One of the most anticipated sites in South Georgia is Salisbury Plain. The black sand beaches and tussock covered dunes are home to a staggering abundance of king penguin adults and their young. This is just one of several such king penguin rookeries on South Georgia. At the height of the breeding season, the rookeries are believed to have more wildlife per square foot than any other place on the planet. The regal ‘Kings’ are not the only wildlife on display as you cruise the rugged coastline. Fur seals can be seen poking their heads above the water, elephant seals enjoy lazing about the beach, and skuas, albatross and giant petrels fill the skies above.

Days 6-7 Fortuna Bay, Stromness, Grytviken and Central North Coast

The adventure continues to Fortuna Bay, a majestic three-mile long and one-mile wide fjord. It was named after the ship Fortuna, one of the original vessels of the Norwegian-Argentine whaling expedition which established the first permanent whaling station at Grytviken, further down the coast. In the bay you can expect to see king penguins and elephant seals.

From 1912 until the 1930’s, Stromness (and nearby Leith and Husvik), operated as whaling stations and the rusted and ghostly remnants of these old outposts seem out of place in such a pristine environment. This area is key to the Shackleton story, as it was here, in 1916, that Shackleton and his companions, Worsley and Crean arrived after their epic crossing from King Haakon Bay and were finally able to alert the outside world to their plight. If the weather co-operates, you may be able to hike the last few miles across the saddle separating Fortuna Bay from neighbouring Stromness, in the footsteps of Shackleton and his men.

As you journey further to the southeast you will enter the broad expanse of Cumberland Bay. At the head of the bay lies Grytviken – the largest of the old whaling stations on South Georgia. A highlight here is a visit to the gravesite of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his loyal right hand man, Frank Wild.

Days 8-9 St Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour and Eastern Coast

The next few days will take you to St Andrew’s Bay and Gold Harbour - places that are teeming with wildlife including fur seals, elephant seals and massive colonies of colourful king penguins. Gold Harbour is so called because the sun's rays make the cliffs yellow with their light in the morning and evening. It’s an exhilarating location and one that will not be forgotten.

Day 10 Godthul and Prion Island

The exploration of South Georgia is far from over as you meander your way back along the northern coastline. There are a few gems still to come - including the old whaling shore depot at Godthul where there is a terrific hike up to a beautiful lake, and Prion Island – yet another spectacular location and some would argue, the jewel in the crown of the islands. Prion has been designated as a ‘Specially Protected Area’ by the South Georgia Government, due to its breeding wandering albatross colonies.

Days 11-13 At sea towards the Falkland Islands

These days at sea are spent catching up on journal entries, or perhaps downloading and reviewing photos in the multi-media lab with the photography expert. For some, it’s a chance to catch some well-earned rest after a busy few days of exploration. The educational presentations will continue, as will the frequent sightings of albatross, petrels and other seabirds as they soar above the ship on the winds of the Southern Ocean.

Day 14 Sea Lion Island

Approaching Sea Lion Island, note the very barren and windswept landscape, exposed to the prevailing weather that originates in the Drake Passage. The Zodiacs will be launched and go ashore to view the incredible diversity of wildlife found at this location. Three species of penguin including gentoo, magellanic and rockhopper, as well as southern elephant seals and South American sea lions are known to inhabit the area. King cormorants and striated caracaras are just some of the bird species you can expect to see.

Day 15 Disembark in Stanley and fly to Punta Arenas

In the early morning, navigate through the narrows and into the harbour of Port Stanley. A transfer will take you to the airport for your return flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile.

Notes

  • All voyage itineraries are intended as a guideline only - embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy of expedition travel. Actual routes and landings will be dependent on weather, sea and ice conditions. A degree of flexibility is essential in the polar regions!
  • The above sample itinerary is based on the 15-day voyage on the Akademik Vavilov. Other departures may vary in duration and routing, including alternative embarkation or disembarkation ports. Please contact us for specific details.

 

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

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Grade: Standard

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One of our fastest and most stable ships, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov delivers excellent service levels with a focus on well-being and learning.

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M/V Plancius

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Grade: Simple

Type: Expedition Ship

The M/V Plancius is a traditional ex-research vessel, with proven experience in icy waters.

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Ocean Adventurer

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Grade: Standard

Type: Expedition Ship

An attractive ice-strengthened vessel, the Ocean Adventurer features plenty of outside deck space making this a great choice for a polar adventure.

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