Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica cruise
Description of Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica cruise
This is an epic Antarctica cruise, taking in the Falkland Islands and South Georgia en route to the Antarctic Peninsula, on a three week expedition. This itinerary below starts in Puerto Madryn in Argentina and finishes in Ushuaia in Argentine Patagonia. Although you can do it the reverse way around too, so do check with us to find out which voyage matches your availability to travel. The big difference is whether you tackle the tough crossing of Drake Passage at the beginning or the end of your expedition. Either way, you will experience some of the most extraordinary landscapes and wildlife watching opportunities. Such as the Falkland Islands which has the most wonderful array of accessible wildlife, including sea lion colonies, elephant seals, five species of penguin and 200 species of birds.
Crossing between the Falklands and South Georgia through the famous Antarctic Convergence, we keep an eye out for whales and also myriad birdlife including albatrosses. With more wildlife wonders on South Georgia Island, where its dramatic 3,000m mountain ridge is the source of glaciers that tumble down to sheltered bays and also ome to king penguins and elephant seals, we take several days here to explore its wildlife delights.
The next stop at sea is the South Orkney Islands, home to a few researchers and a lot of penguins, fur seals and migratory whales, a magnificent sight with its glacier covered terrain and icebergs. Next stop is the most accessible part of the Antarctic, the eponymous Peninsula, which we cruise around for several days, the route depending on conditions at that time. But it’s all extraordinary really, seeing icebergs up close, gaping in awe at towering frozen mountains, watching ice floes and wildlife including leopard seals and whales. And of course, the highlight for many, setting foot on one of the last great wildernesses on earth.
Please note that the usual vessel for this journey is M/V Hondius and is an expedition ship with ice-strengthened hull. It has a mix of ensuite cabins as well as some with shared facilities, with a variety of twin, triple and quadruple cabins. During the month of February, the expedition often takes place on MV Ortelius, with 106 passengers sleeping in a selection of suites and cabins with windows or portholes and either private or shared facilities. There are two dining rooms, lecture room, bar and observation lounge, plenty of deck space as well as an open-bridge policy.
PlanetThis fantastic itinerary has been designed to showcase the very best of what Antarctica and the Falkland and South Georgia islands have to offer. These spectacularly scenic lands are famous for their dramatic landscapes and enchanting wildlife, and we are dedicated to ensuring that the wonders of these beautiful areas are preserved and protected. One of the many ways in which we help to do this is by promoting the local wildlife conservation efforts that are in effect and ensuring that our customers are fully briefed before arrival on how to interact safely and conscientiously with the wildlife they may encounter.
The operators that we work with for this tour are members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and will ensure that every effort necessary is made to protect the local flora and fauna. Strict guidelines for interaction with wildlife are stringently enforced. Giving distance and respect to nesting birds plus keeping specific distances within penguin colonies is particularly essential. By promoting a mutual respect between the tourists, the wildlife, the environment and the residents of the islands we believe that the area can continue to thrive and remain as untouched as it ever was.
The operators of this tour abide by strict codes of conduct when it comes to encounters with any Antarctica wildlife including penguins, seals and whales. The main ethos of your tour will be “Do not leave anything but footprints and do not take anything but memories.” You will be briefed on how to act on any land visits, including making sure to avoid unnecessary damage to the ground surface and vegetarian cover, and avoiding disturbing or feeding the wildlife. The natural history experts that will accompany you on your expedition will highlight the conservation issues that the wildlife of this area face. As a company we support many wildlife organisations worldwide including Save the Albatross, Wader Quest and the South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project and in an effort to further enhance the positive effects of our tours on the wildlife of Antarctica. We find that our clients generally come back from wildlife expeditions with a higher degree of environmental awareness which naturally results in a better understanding and usually a more effective call to action with their own general environmental habits at home and away, often becoming advocates and becoming much more supportive of wildlife and environmental issues.
The Antarctica peninsula, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands are notable for their pristine landscapes and an utmost importance is placed on ensuring that these landscapes remain untouched. By being members of IAATO the operators of this tour demonstrate a commitment to follow the precautions and protocols necessary to visit the area safely and environmentally responsibly. Their sustainability practices include conforming to all international regulations and policies governing disposal of waste at sea and the vessels used for this expedition are equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system which reduces the noise and vibration of the vessel considerably, causing less impact on the fragile Antarctic environments. Your vessel will have a maximum passenger capacity of just over 100 people, meaning that the ship will be less imposing on the landscape and also means less waste.
Throughout your tour you will receive advice on how to travel in an environmentally responsible way, including appropriate recycling and waste disposal. The ultimate necessity is to leave the areas you visit as untouched as they were before you set foot on them and your expert guides will ensure that this is the case. As a company we firmly believe that environmental responsibility starts at home. We encourage recycling of waste as a company and as individuals. Where possible for business use we use public transport. We are also heavily involved with a project to recycle used or damaged binoculars, which are then sent to conservation projects across the world.
PeopleThe Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia Islands have no permanent residents and as such there will be little human interaction on these parts of your tour, apart from that with your fellow passengers, guides and crew. However, there are researchers who seasonally reside here at research bases and during your tour there may be opportunities to visit these bases and experience what they experience living amongst these often harsh environments. Not only will your visit offer the researchers a friendly new face to chat to but it will also provide a deeper insight into the exceptionally important work being carried out here to improve the conservation efforts in place.
During the Falkland Islands element of your tour you will visit Carcass Island as well as Stanley, the capital of the Falklands. Tourism to these remote communities is an important revenue stream and our tours heavily support the local economies on the islands we visit. The pre-departure information provided will contain details from our Falkland Island Partners who know all there is to know about the islands and our in-house experts can offer tips on local restaurants and bars and activities operated by those who live and work on the islands, ensuring that every penny spent in the islands stays within the local economy. The Falklands have a number of battlefield and historic sites to which we recommend a visit. These sites help to increase understanding of the political environment in which the residents of the islands live in.
As a company we are proud of our principle based values which our community can always depend on. We support several home and overseas charities, organisations and campaigns including AfriCat, Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), Save the Albatross, South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project, Wader Trust, Wildlife SOS India and sponsorship of individual and underprivileged children in many countries. We are committed to ethically working with overseas partners who employ and support local communities and local guides who know and love their region like no other, delighted to share knowledge and are dedicated to looking after our valued passengers. Likewise, the operators of this tour are fully committed to their responsibilities to the local communities that their tours visit and also support a broad range of charities throughout the world. The utmost respect is given to all local cultures and the valuable cultural sites that you may visit on your trip. Strict guidelines will be in place when visiting any cultural sites and your expert tour guides will offer information along the way.
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