Falkland Islands voyage

Expedition voyage and cruise to the Falkland Islands – October 29th to November 7th, 2018

Expedition voyage and cruise to the Falkland Islands Expedition cruise on board the vessel Ortelius

Group: 116 expeditioners maximum

Duration: 9 nights/10 days

The ship in details…

Expedition cruise basics…

The Falkland Islands are known to most people today more for their political history than their natural history. And even to many nature lovers, the Falklands are often seen as secondary compared to the neighbouring Antarctica and South Georgia. This voyage aims to set the record straight: the Falkland Islands are worth every minute of a two-week circumnavigation, and they will provide you with a long string of wonderful encounters with penguins (4-5 species), albatrosses, cormorants, ducks and geese, raptors, shore birds, song birds and more – as well as seals and sea lions, whales and dolphins. You will see a variety of the islands’ unique landscapes of rolling hills, stone runs, rugged shorelines, pristine white beaches and lush giant kelp beds. You will see the endemic bird species and several near-endemic ones as well, and you intend to visit the southern hemisphere’s largest albatross colony on Steeple Jason. There will be time enough to allow for prolonged visits to the most magnificent of the sites during the best of the weather conditions. The group will be small enough to allow for great flexibility and individual attention.


PROGRAM AND ITINERARY:

About the program and itinerary…

Day 1: Puerto Madryn
In the afternoon, you will embark in Puerto Madryn and sail towards the Falkland Islands. Golfo Nuevo is world renowned for their visiting Southern Right whales and you have a good chance to see them as the ship heads to the open ocean.

Days 2 and 3: at sea
The ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels. A good time as well for briefings and lectures.

Days 4 to 8: Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands offer a wide variety of wildlife, which with caution is easily approachable. In many ways, the islands are largely an unknown selection of wildlife gems mainly known to the wider public for the war between the UK and Argentina in 1982. Not only various species of birds occur here, but chances are great to see both Peale’s dolphin and Commerson’s dolphins in the waters around the islands. The itinerary will aim at offering the best of the Falklands and may include: The rarely visited Steeple Jason Island. It is a wild place dominated by wind and waves and the weather and swell conditions will dictate our success. Steeple Jason is the home of the largest Black-browed albatross colony in the world is located. Carcass Island is rodent free and hence has a bounty of birdlife from breeding Magellanic and Gentoo penguins, to numerous waders and passerine birds including several endemics to the islands such as the Cobb’s wren and the Tussack bird. On Saunders Island, you can see the majestic Black-browed albatross and their sometimes-clumsy landings near their nesting site along with breeding Imperial shags and Rockhopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and Gentoo penguins are also present here. West Point Island is equally inhabited by a great number of Black-browed albatrosses and Rockhopper penguins, whereas Grave Cove offers relative shelter and many nesting Gentoo penguins along with excellent hiking opportunities. The large white sandy beach at Volunteer Point is rather exposed but offers a large King penguin rookery along with a plentiful birdlife. Alternatively, Sparrow Cove/ Kidney Cove on the northeast shore of Berkeley Sound not far from Port Stanley offers a great hike to enjoy the views of Kidney Cove and Port Stanley from Mt Low (204 m/671 ft). In Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, you 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, you can see 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. 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. One the northwest side of Bleaker Island you may land at Sandy Bay. Nearby, Big Pond offers excellent wildlife opportunities such as Dark-faced ground-tyrant and Magellanic snipe. There is also easy walking to both Gentoo penguins, Magellanic penguins, Rockhopper penguins, and King cormorants. Sea Lion Island is very exposed and luck is required to make landfall here. It is the home of the largest breeding colony of Southern elephant seals in the archipelago with approximately 2000 individuals on the northern beaches at this time of year. A good hike will lead to a Southern sea lion haul out. A reasonably easy walk from the landing next to site Coffin’s Harbour at the New Island South Wildlife Reserve will bring rewards such as nesting Black-browed albatrosses and Rock-hopper penguins. A more strenuous hike to Landsend Bluff may offer great views of South American fur seals. The site of only land based whaling station on the Falkland Island is located to the south of the landing beach. Landing at the New Island North Nature Reserve requires a special permit. That pending you may make an afternoon landing in this spectacular place with a last visit to Black-browed albatrosses, South American fur seal, and several other species of birds that call the Falkland Islands home.

Day 9: at sea
You head West towards South America followed by sea birds.

Day 10: Ushuaia
Disembarkation in the morning in Ushuaia.

Map of the itinerary of the voyage and expedition cruise to the Falkland Island


PRICE (per person):

– Quadruple Porthole (2 portholes, 2 upper/lower berths, private shower & toilet): 4700€ (sharing)
– Triple Porthole (2 portholes, 1 upper/lower berth + 1 single lower berth, private shower & toilet): 5200€ (sharing)
– Twin Porthole deck 3 (2 portholes, 2 lower berths, private shower & toilet): 5700€ (sharing) or 9690€ (single)
– Twin Porthole deck 4 (2 portholes, 2 lower berths, private shower & toilet): 5700€ (sharing) or 9690€ (single)
– Twin Window (2 windows, 2 lower berths, private shower & toilet): 5950€ (sharing) or 10115€ (single)
– Twin Deluxe (3 windows, 2 lower berths, private shower & toilet): 6450€ (sharing) or 10965€ (single)
– Superior (2 windows (minimum), 1 double bed, 1 single (sofa) bed, private shower & toilet): 11730€

Prices include: voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary, all meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea, all shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac, program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff, free use of rubber boots and snowshoes, pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation), all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme, comprehensive pre-departure material.

Prices do not include: any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights, pre- and post- land arrangements, passport and visa expenses, government arrival and departure taxes, meals ashore, baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory), excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges, the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

The ship in details…


OUR OPINION ON THIS VOYAGE:

There is no other groups of islands in the entire Atlantic Ocean which allows fairly easy access to such a diversity of spectacular bird species under such a mild climate and with such a variety of marine mammals thrown in. Most of the expedition cruise ship passing by the Falkland Islands, usually stay between 1 and 3 days, not 10 days like this one dedicated to the discovery of this unique archipelago!

☞ Interest of this trip: birds (albatross, petrels, shags, geese…), seals, cetaceans, flora, historical sites, local people…