Antarctica  Falkland Islands – South Georgia – Antarctic Peninsula OTL25-17

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Tripcode: OTL25-17 | Duration: 18 nights / 19 days

Description:
All (sub-)Antarctic highlights in one voyage. Meet at least six penguin species during this Antarctic and South Atlantic expedition voyage.

Day 1: In the afternoon we embark our vessel m/v Ortelius in 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, en-route to the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
At sea, in the westerlies the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.

Day 3:
On the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). A hike along the Shore of Carcass Island will give us views of MagellanicPenguins
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 views of Magellanic and Gentoo-Penguins, as well as close encounters with water fowl and Night herons and passerines. In addition, on Saunders we will be able to observe four species of breeding penguins (Gentoo, King, Magellanic and Rockhopper), Black-browed Albatrosses and King Cormorants.

Day 4:
Port Stanley, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). Here we can see quite a number of stranded clippers from a century ago
n 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 the surrounding area we can see quite an important number of stranded clippers from a century ago. All passengers are free to wander around on their own. We recommend a visit to the local church and museum (admission fees not included).

Day 5 – 6:
At sea on our way to South Georgia we will cross the Antarctic Convergence
On our way to South Georgia we will cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature may drop significantly 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:
South Georgia! We might visit the bay of Elsehul, with its very active fur seal breeding beach
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 Elephant seals, Fur seals, King and Macaroni Penguins. 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 (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 nearby. We will depart from South Georgia in the afternoon of day 10.

Day 11:
At sea where we might have a chance to see some high-Antarctic species like the McCormick Skua and Snow Petrel
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, where we plan a visit to Orcadas station
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 towards Antarctica
At sea towards Antarctica

Day 14 – 16: Antarctic Peninsula! We plan to visit Brown Bluff where we may set foot on the Continent
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.

Day 17 – 18: At sea en-route to Ushuaia
On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.

Day 19:
The end of our voyage. We disembark m/v Ortelius in the morning in Ushuaia
We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark after breakfast.