An early season exclusive to the Falklands, South Georgia, South Shetlands and Peninsula, with a concentration on the spectacular island of South Georgia in all its spring beauty.
Family Special - One child under the age of 16 travels FREE when sharing a triple superior or triple suite with two adults.
An accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country.
In 1981 Toni moved to Namibia with her family and from then on her love of the outdoors and all things nature grew and grew. Her father was an exploration geologist who travelled extensively around Southern Africa, living in small mining towns and managing bush camps where Toni would spend her school holidays camping in the bush, or visiting private farms and reserves. Toni’s father passed on to her his unparalleled knowledge of all things Namibia, and she carried this with her as she became a manager and guide at some of the most remote lodges in the extreme North West of Namibia. Toni has travelled expansively across Namibia and its neighbouring countries, making regular visits to all of the National Game Reserves and developing her photographic skills which she takes great pleasure in passing on to visitors to the region.
Her deep love and knowledge of the Namibia, coupled with her infectious passion and enthusiasm to want to share it, make her one of the country’s top guides and ambassadors for this beautiful country. More than just a guide who simply points from a vehicle, Toni becomes fully involved in the experiences of her fellow travellers and places a great emphasis on finding the best adventures, wildlife encounters and photo opportunities for her tour groups. As a Managing Tour Consultant she plans safaris for a wide range of interest groups but her main focus is on birding and photographic small group tours, where she delights in each visitor gaining an up-close and personal experience of all that the country she loves and knows so well has to offer.
Born in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. She spent 11 years on Sea Lion Island as Manager of the Lodge, Warden of the Nature Reserve and as the principal tour provider, meaning her knowledge of Sea Lion Island in particular is second to none. Having spent so much time here, as expected her wildlife speciality is Elephant Seals, but she is also well versed in the ways of the seabirds, penguins, whales, dolphins and sea lions that call the Falklands their home.
After her time on Sea Lion Island Jenny moved to Stanley to work for the Falkland Islands Government and became manager of a local travel firm assisting with travel arrangements for incoming visitors, before taking semi-retirement to spend more time with her family and enjoy more time further exploring the lands she knows so well. Jenny is extremely passionate about sharing the hidden nature secrets of the Falklands with those who come to visit her homeland and will be looking forward to accompanying you and passing on her unsurpassed knowledge of the areas you will be visiting.
In the afternoon we will board the USHUAIA. A welcome drink and then an introduction to the crew and expedition staff will follow, and we will have time to get to know our new shipmates. The ship will then set sail towards the Western Falkland Islands (Malvinas),known for their rugged beauty and wealth of seabirds and waterfowl.
Spend time on deck looking for marine mammals as albatrosses and petrels swoop around the ship. Enjoy the first of your informative lectures as you head towards the Falklands.
With favorable conditions, our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you on your first excursion today.
On the western coast we might visit the following islands:
West Point Island:
West Point Island lies off the most north-westerly point of mainland West Falkland (Malvinas). The attractive settlement sits on the edge of a small harbor on the eastern side of the Island, in the lee of Black Bog Hill and Michael's Mount. The valley between these two peaks rolls over the center of the island to the dramatic Devil's Nose, one of the Island's main attractions. From here visitors are treated to splendid views of Cliff Mountain, the Island's highest point at 1,250ft (381m), and the highest cliffs in the Falklands. This is where we will encounter a vast colony of Rockhopper Penguins and Black-browed Albatrosses, nesting together in close vicinity.
Carcass Island lies to the north-west of the Falklands archipelago (Malvinas). A mature tussac plantation covers much of the lower ground below Jason Hill to the east. The availability of abundant cover and the absence of cats, rats and mice throughout the island have made for a spectacularly large population of small birds, which is one of Carcass Island´s most delightful features. Gentoo and Magellanic Penguins do also nest here. Peale´s and Commerson´s dolphins come frequently close to the shoreline to get a glimpse of the visitors as well. At the settlement with its beautiful gardens, we are invited to enjoy tea and cookies with the locals.
Overnight we will sail around the northern islands of the archipelago in easterly direction to reach the capital, Stanley, the following morning. We will have time to explore this quaint little town and its wonderful Museum, souvenir shops and pubs. The town was established in the early 1840's. Isolation and the weather conditions made life hard, but progress was gradual and punctuated by the extremely eventful times of involvement in two world wars.
For those who are more interested in the outstanding wildlife the Islands have to offer, you do not even have to leave town to enjoy it. Southern Giant Petrels often fly close to the shoreline. The endemic Falkland Steamer Ducks abound on the shorelines while Kelp Gulls can often be seen flying together with Dolphin Gulls. The less obvious but frequent visitors to Stanley area are Black-crowned Night Herons, Red-backed Hawks and Peregrine Falcons. Turkey Vultures are regularly seen on top of any prominent building. Many pairs of Upland Geese frequent the park and it might be nice to take a stroll around the gardens of town to see some of the singing birds as well.
In the early afternoon it is time to set sail, heading for South Georgia.
Read More5 - 6Days
Cross the Antarctic Convergence as you approach South Georgia in the company of albatrosses and petrels. Keep an eye out for whales from the deck and listen to fascinating information on what is to come.
There is probably a greater concentration of wildlife on South Georgia than anywhere else on earth and this why, when combined with its spectacular glacier and mountain scenery, it is regarded as the jewel in the crown of the Antarctic region. We plan to visit sites such as Salisbury Plain, where tens of thousands of king penguins nest and southern giant petrels fly overhead and Prion Island, home to nesting wandering albatrosses. Many other sites too to see elephant and fur seals, other breeds of albatross, including the beautiful light-mantled sooty, the endemic South Georgia pipit and other species of penguin such as gentoo, macaroni, chinstrap and rockhopper.
The island also has a rich history as a whaling base in the 18th & 19th centuries and we will visit the old whaling settlement of Grytviken, where there is now an interesting museum and visitor centre. Here there is also the grave of the famous explorer, Ernest Shackleton and a replica of the 'James Caird', the small boat in which he navigated the Scotia Sea after the loss of his ship, 'Endurance'.
Other points we may visit include Godthul, St Andrews Bay, Cooper Bay and Drygalski Fjord.
Read More12 - 13Days
Crossing the Scotia Sea. Spend time enjoying lectures and on deck looking for wildlife.
We hope to land on this windswept island, where Shackleton left his men encamped, whilst he sailed off on his rescue mission to South Georgia.
Our expedition team will prepare you for our experience in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands. Later today, we hope to arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula in the area of the scenic Antarctic Sound. Here we will try to land at one of the following landing sites:
Argentine Antarctic Station Esperanza:
We will try to sail the passage to the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula, which traverses the Antarctic Sound and runs northwest-to-southeast. Hope Bay and the Argentine Station Esperanza are located on the western side of the Sound.
Brown Bluff, a promontory on the Tabarin Peninsula, is located south of Hope Bay. Both of them might be possible landing sites. The Weddell Sea represents the center of the Peninsula's Adélie Penguin population.
Read More16 - 17Days
Landings in Antarctica are completely dependant on weather conditions but may include:
This region of broad straits, mountainous islands, protected bays, and narrow channels offer moments of solitude. A profusion of tall peaks humans have never climbed and vast glaciers flowing inexorably seaward are the physical features here.
We might visit Hydrurga Rocks, a small group of islets, which lie east of Two Hummock Island in the Palmer Archipelago, at the northern entrance of the Gerlache Strait. Chinstrap Penguins, Blue-eyed Shags and Kelp Gulls are confirmed breeders here.
We may also go to Cuverville Island, which lies in the scenic Errera Channel, in the center of the Gerlache Strait. A well-defined raised beach forms a nesting site for many Gentoo Penguins here. On our way north we plan to explore the South Shetland Islands.
We plan to sail through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island - the largest of three recent volcanic centers in the South Shetlands - which is truly amazing. Once inside, the rising slope of the black, cinder-covered volcanic rim can be walked uphill to a rather spectacular vantage point.
Half Moon Island:
This crescent-shaped island, in the entrance of Moon Bay between Greenwich and Livingston Islands, is home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.
Read More18 - 19Days
Relax as we cross the famous Drake Passage on the way back to Ushuaia. Spend time on deck or exchange images with fellow travellers.
Arrive and disembarkSee All Itinerary