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Island Holidays
Established 1987

The Falklands, S. Georgia and Antarctic Pen.

Expedition cruise also visits the South Orkneys and Half Moon Island (South Shetlands)

Fortuna Bay

Locations in this tour typically include: Puerto Madryn (OTL 21) or Ushuaia • Beagle Channel • Falkland Islands (Carcass Island, Saunders, Stanley) • South Georgia (Elsehul, Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, Godthul, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour, Cooper Bay, Drygalski Fjord, Prion Island, Fortuna Bay, Grytviken) • South Orkneys (Orcadas Station) • Weddell Sea • Brown Bluff • Charlotte Bay • Wilhelmina Bay • Deception Island • South Shetland Islands (Half Moon Island) • Drake Passage • Ushuaia;

Route map

Falklands South Georgia Antarctic Peninsula RoutePLA22 only – Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula Route Map

PLA22 only – Route departing from Puerto Madryn

The above route/s is/are representative for this cruise and may not exactly match the itinerary of every departure available. Please check the PDF itinerary download/s for the exact route/s.

Key facts

  • The Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula
  • Antarctic expedition cruise with specialist expedition leaders
  • 2017-2018 departures:
    09 November 2017 (PLA22)
    29 November 2017 (PLA23)
    16 December 2017 (OTL25)
    19 January 2018 (PLA27)
    02 February 2018 (OTL29)
    17 February 2018 (PLA29)
  • Nights: 19 (20 on PLA22, 18 on OTL25 & OTL29)
  • View Plancius 2017-2018 prices*View Ortelius 2017-2018 prices*
  • All departures:
  • Departs: Ushuaia
  • Tour leader: Oceanwide Expeditions
  • Deposit: 20%
  • * Prices quoted are for cruise only and do not include flights or hotel accommodation. We will arrange your flights and any accommodation but as fares and rates are subject to change, prices are quoted on request.
  • Falklands South Georgia Antarctic Peninsula 2017-2018 detailed itinerary

The ships

M/v Ortelius was built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989, was originally named Marina Svetaeva, and served as a special purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. The vessel has the highest ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to 1A) and is therefore very suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice and loose multi-year pack ice. Read more about Ortelius

M/v Ortelius

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. The vessel was completely rebuilt in 2009 and complies with the latest SOLAS regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea). Read more about Plancius

M/v Plancius

Your itinerary

Please note that the itinerary below is representative and may not be that of all cruises listed under the same title, since they can vary slightly in their route, duration, destinations or activities and can be different from year to year. Note also that during the cruise the programme may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. Please check the PDF itinerary downloads above for the precise itinerary and route of your chosen season and departure date.

Day 1: Ushuaia
In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.

Day 2: At sea
At sea, in the Westerlies the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.

Day 3: Falkland Islands
In the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) we plan to spend the whole day on the fascinating western side of the archipelago. On Carcass Island we may encounter breeding Magellanic and Gentoo penguins, but also numerous waders and passerine birds are present. On Saunders Island, we can see the majestic Black-browed albatross and their sometimes-clumsy landings near their nesting site along with breeding Imperial shags and Rock hopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and Gentoo penguins are also present here.

Day 4: Stanley, Falkland Islands
In Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, we can experience Falkland culture, which has some South American characteristics as well as Victorian charm, colourful houses, well-tended gardens, and English style pubs. In Stanley and the surrounding area, we can see quite a number of stranded clippers from a century ago. They bear witness to the hardships of sailors in the 19th Century. The small, but very interesting museum is well worth a visit featuring an exhibition covering the early days of settlement up to the Falklands War of 1982. Approximately 1300 people live in the small capital in which all passengers are free to wander around on their own. Admission fees to local attractions are not included.

Days 5 & 6: At sea
On our way to South Georgia we will cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature will drop by 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.

Days 7 – 10: South Georgia
In the afternoon of day 7 we arrive at our first landing site in South Georgia. We might visit the bay of Elsehul, with its very active fur seal breeding beach, and then set course to Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, Godthul, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour, Cooper Bay and Drygalski Fjord to give you a good opportunity to see a wide spectrum of landscapes and wildlife, like the introduced Reindeer, Elephant seals, Fur seals, King and Macaroni Penguins.

One of many 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 (the island is closed for visitors during breeding season from 20 Nov – 07 January). At Fortuna Bay we might try to follow in the footsteps of the great British Explorer Ernest Shackleton and hike over to Stromness Bay. There and at Grytviken we'll see an 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. We will depart from South Georgia in the afternoon of day 10.

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 McCormick Skua and Snow Petrel.

Day 12: South Orkney Islands
We are planning on a visit to 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

Days 14 – 16: Antarctic Peninsula
If the ice permits 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 Brown Bluff where we may set foot on the Continent. In good sailing conditions we may decide to extend our time in the Weddell Sea.

We may visit Cierva Cove were we find ourselves in a world of icebergs well suited for an exploratory Zodiac cruise in search of fantastic photo opportunities. Crabeater seals and Leopard seals are often seen here and a small rookery of Chinstraps are found on a small island in the bay. The landscape is typical Antarctica with huge glaciated mountains all around. Mikkelson Harbour on the southern side of Trinity Island was discovered by the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1901-04. Gentoo penguins nest on the island and Weddell seals often haul out on shore. We also find remains of the early 20th Century Whaling period and an Argentinean refuge hut.

In Deception Island our ship braves into the entrance of the crater through the spectacular Neptune's Bellow into the ring of Deception Island. 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 Petrels and many Kelp 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. We leave from here and sail through the Shetland Islands attempting to land at Half Moon Island with a large Chinstrap penguin rookery and the usually non-occupied Argentinean Camara station. From here we head to the open sea with direction Ushuaia.

Days 17 & 18: At sea
On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.

Day 19: Ushuaia
We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.

Disclaimer: This itinerary is dependent on sea and ice conditions. The final itinerary will be decided by the ship's captain and your Expedition Leader to maximize opportunities.