plancius south georgia and antarctica cruise

Falkland Is, South Georgia and Antarctica Peninsula - departing Puerto Madryn

  • Overview
    All (sub-)Antarctic highlights in one voyage, with spectacular landing sites on the Falkland Islands and encounters with black-browed albatrosses and rockhopper pinguins. You’ll have the chance to meet at least six different penguin species. You’ll explore the transition from the sub-Antarctic to the Antarctic Polar Region, experiencing how the drop in temperature can make a huge impact on the colours of the surrounding landscapes; from the warmer tones of the sub-Antarctic side to the icy rugged beauty of the true Antarctic. Witness how those few degrees of difference in the transition zone can make the difference between an animal or plant species choosing to live on one side of the Antarctic Convergence (the Polar Front) or the other. This cruise includes also four days on South Georgia, probably the most beautiful place on earth. Be prepared for ten thousands of king penguins and their chicks, sea lions on the beaches, elephant seals, wandering albatrosses and Gentoo penguins and great historical sites including the trails of British Polar explorer Ernest Shackleton. We plan a visit to Orcadas station on South Orkney Islands and 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.
    Duration: 21 days
    Passengers: 116 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Puerto Madryn, Argentina
    Disembarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.7x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Puerto Madryn; Embarkation Day

      In the afternoon, we embark in Puerto Madryn and sail towards the Falkland Islands. Golfo Nuevo is world renowned for their visiting Southern Right whales and we have a good chance to see them as we head towards open ocean.

    • Day 2/3 - At sea

      The ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.

    • Day 4 - Falkland Islands

      We spend this day in the Western parts of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). If the weather conditions allow, we hope to land on the rarely visited Steeple Jason Island in the early morning. Here we find the largest Black-browed albatross colony in the world is located (app. 113.000). As an alternative, we would take a walk along the Coast of Carcass Island. Here 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 5 - 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 2,100 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).

    • Day 6/7 - At sea

      On our way to South Georgia we will cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic currents, the temperature will drop considerably in the time span of only a few hours. Nutritious water surfaces due to colliding water columns, which brings a multitude of seabirds near the ship: several species of albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels, prions and skuas.

    • Day 8/11 - South Georgia

      In the early afternoon of day 8 we arrive at our first activity site in South Georgia. Weather conditions on South Georgia can be challenging and will largely dictate the program. Sites that may be visited include: Prion Island (the island is closed for visitors during the early part of the breeding season from 20 Nov – 07 January), where the previous summer’s fully-grown chicks of the huge Wandering Albatross are almost ready to fledge and adults are returning to seek their old partner after a year and a half at sea.

      Salisbury Plain, St Andrews Bay and Gold Harbour do not only house the three largest King penguin colonies in South Georgia but are also three of the largest breeding beaches for Southern Elephant seals in the world. Only at this time of the year they peak in their breeding cycle. Watch the incredible spectacle of large 4-ton bulls who have to keep a constant vigil and occasionally fight over territories of dozens of females who have just given birth or are just about to deliver. The beaches are packed with Elephant seals! In Fortuna Bay, penguins and seals inhabit the beaches. We may follow the final section of Shackleton’s route to Stromness, the abandoned whaling village. The route leads us across the mountain pass past the “Shackleton Waterfall”. The terrain is partly swampy and some small streams may have to be crossed along the way.

      At Grytviken, we will also see an abandoned whaling station, where King penguins now walk in the streets and Elephant seals have taken residency. Here we will also offer a visit to the Whaling History Museum as well as to Shackleton’s grave nearby.

    • Day 12 - At sea

      A multitude of seabirds will again follow the ship southwards. 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 South Polar Skua and Snow Petrel.

    • Day 13 - South Orkney Islands

      Weather and ice depending we hope to visit Orcadas station, an Argentinean base located on Laurie Island in the South Orkney Island archipelago. The friendly base personnel will show us their facilities and we can enjoy the wonderful views of the surrounding glaciers. Alternatively, we may attempt a landing in Shingle Cove on Signy Island.

    • Day 14 - At sea towards Antarctica

      We will pass large icebergs and have a good chance of Fin whales on the way south. In addition, we have the best chances on the trip to see Antarctic petrels around the ship.

    • Day 15/18 - Antarctic Peninsula

      If the ice permits us, we will sail into the Weddell Sea. Huge tabular icebergs will announce our arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. We hope to visit Paulet Island with a huge number of Adélie penguins and Brown Bluff located in the ice clogged Antarctic Sound, where we may set foot on the Continent. If sea ice conditions are not favourable to enter the Weddell Sea from the east, we set course for Elephant Island and head into the Bransfield Strait between South Shetland Island and the Antarctic Peninsula and attempt to gain access to the Antarctic Sound from the northwest.

      The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist, but do offer subtle pleasures. There is a nice variety of flora (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna, such as Gentoo Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins and Southern Giant Petrels. On Half Moon Island we will find Chinstrap Penguins and Weddell Seals often haul out on the beach near the Argentinean station Camara. In Deception Island, our ship braves through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. 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. Alternatively, we will offer activities near Telefon Bay further inside the flooded caldera.

      The 20 night’s voyage opens the opportunity to sail further down the western Antarctic Peninsula. In Neko Harbour or Paradise Bay we hope to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers calving at sea level. We enjoy the landscape surrounded by alpine peaks. In this area, we have good chances to see Humpback Whales and Minke Whales. After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, we hope to get a chance to visit the old British research station, now living museum and post office at Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy, we may also offer activities around Jougla Point with Gentoo Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags.

      If ice conditions allow we may opt to venture as far south as the Lemaire Channel to explore opportunities for activities. In the early hours of our last landing day, we hope to conduct our activities at Cuverville Island with the several thousand Gentoo penguins in the largest Gentoo rookery of the Antarctic Peninsula. We depart to the Drake Passage around noon of day 18 through the Melchior Islands.

    • Day 19/20 - At sea

      On our way north a great selection of seabirds will follow the ship while crossing the Drake Passage.

    • Day 21 - Ushuaia; Disembarkation

      We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your Captain and Expedition Leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    South Georgia; Wildlife Mecca

    One of the true wildlife experiences on our planet, often the wildlife displays here are referred to as the greatest on Earth. Set amongst awe inspiring scenery and home to King penguins, Wondering albatross and Elephant seals, it’s hard to imagine how early pioneers survived in this harsh landscape.

    Shoot to your shutter's content!

    For aspiring photographers, the best time to shoot the Antarctic landscape is definitely October, November and March. At these times the sun is much lower in the sky and thus creates beautiful twilight hues and shadows, which contrast the landscape magnificently.

    Of course, if it is wildlife and Antarctica’s babies you are hoping to shoot, then January and February are the best times. Alternatively, consider an early season South Georgia & Antarctica expedition for the best of wildlife and photo opportunities in Antarctica.

    Falkland Islands

    Boasting rugged scenery and excellent wildlife opportunities, including the Black-browed albatross, Elephant seals and a number of penguin species not found in Antarctica.

  • Inclusions

    All meals on board

    Onboard your expedition all meals are included and prepared by our chefs. Meals are prepared to a restaurant standard and to cater for most diet requirements.

    All Zodiac excursions

    During the course of your expedition, you will have direct access to our onboard expedition team. Our expedition team members are a wealth of information, they have backgrounds in exploration or science based backgrounds. Our teams will usually comprise of naturalists, historians, geologists and ornithologists.

    Your expedition team members will expertly guide you off the ship and provide you with firsthand knowledge about the geology and wildlife of the region. Back onboard the vessel, team members hold lectures about their studies or the wildlife that was seen during the course of the day.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Pre-departure information
    - Ushuaia transfer to port
    - Expedition boots & snowshoes
    - All shore excursions and lectures
    - All accommodation and meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Gratuities
    - Expenses of personal nature including Laundry / Bar / Beverages / Internet & Wifi
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Government arrival and departure taxes
    - Passport & Visa expenses
    - Pre and post-cruise arrangements
    - Any airfare - whether on itinerary or charter flights
  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 05 at 3.42.51 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    MV PLANCIUS

    The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 and was eventually purchased by Oceanwide Expeditions. The vessel was completely rebuilt as a 116-passenger vessel in 2009 and complies with the latest SOLAS-regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea). M/v “Plancius” is classed by Lloyd’s Register and flies the Dutch flag. M/v “Plancius” accommodates 116 passengers in 53 passenger cabins with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins, 9 twin porthole cabins, 26 twin cabins with window and 2 twin deluxe cabins, all (ca. 12,5 square meters) and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square meters). All cabins offer lower berths (one queen-size bed in the superior cabins and two single beds in the twin cabins), except for the 4 quadruple cabins (for 4 persons in 2x upper and lower beds), and 2 triple cabins (1 bunk bed plus 1 lower bed).

    Features & Facilities
    • Comfortable and recently refurbished
    • Large Observation Decks
    • Open Bridge
    • Spacious observation lounge (with bar)
    • Restaurant
    • Lecture Room
    • Internet/Wifi
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 4
    Guests #: 116
    Crew #: 47
    Ice Class: 1D
    Speed: 12
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 89m
    Width: 14
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 3434
    Registry: Netherlands
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates

Quad Cabin

03 Nov 2018 - 23 Nov 2018
An excellent cabin choice for single travellers or families of 4
USD 12,150pp
USD 12,150pp

Triple Cabin

03 Nov 2018 - 23 Nov 2018
An excellent cabin choice for single travellers or families of 3
USD 13,300pp
USD 13,300pp

Twin Porthole

03 Nov 2018 - 23 Nov 2018
Twin cabin with porthole and private facilities
USD 14,550pp
USD 14,550pp

Twin Window

03 Nov 2018 - 23 Nov 2018
Twin cabin with window and private facilities
USD 15,300pp
USD 15,300pp

Twin Deluxe

03 Nov 2018 - 23 Nov 2018
Spacious corner cabins, with twin beds, private facilities and 2 windows.
USD 16,300pp
USD 16,300pp

Superior

03 Nov 2018 - 23 Nov 2018
Suite cabins with mid-ship locations on deck 5 & 6
USD 17,550pp
USD 17,550pp