This Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctic Peninsula cruise is an animal-lover’s dream come true. The expedition explores one of the last untamed areas on Earth – a land of ruggedly beautiful landscapes and amazingly varied wildlife.
This iconic cruise visits major wildlife hotspots, some great historical locations and all the while enjoys the majesty of the extraordinary land and seascapes of the southern ocean: Vast icebergs, snow clad mountains, glaciers, rocky outcrops, extinct volcanoes, dramatic islands, winswept beaches and, in the Weddell Sea, probably the edge of the icepack.
If you only ever undertake 1 cruise to Antarctica, the ‘FSG’ (Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula cruise) should be the one.
• Adelie Penguin
• Antarctic Fur Seal
• Carcass Island
• Commerson’s Dolphin
• Elephant Island
• Gold Harbour
• King Penguin
• Magellanic Penguin
• Orcadas Station
• Peale’s Dolphin
• Salisbury Plain
• Saunders Island
Vessel Type: Expedition
Length: 89 metres
Passenger Capacity: 108 - 116
Built / refurbished: 1976 / 2009
M/v “Plancius” accommodates 116 passengers in 53 passenger cabins (108 passengers as of season Arctic 2020) 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).
The vessel offers a restaurant/lecture room on deck 3 and a spacious observation lounge (with bar) on deck 5 with large windows, offering full panorama view. M/v “Plancius” has large open deck spaces (with full walk-around possibilities on deck 4), giving excellent opportunities to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. She is furthermore equipped with 10 Mark V zodiacs, including 40 HP 4-stroke outboard engines and 2 gangways on the starboard side, guaranteeing a swift zodiac operation. M/v “Plancius” is comfortable and nicely decorated, but is not a luxury vessel. Our voyages in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are primarily defined by an exploratory educational travel programme, spending as much time ashore as possible. Plancius fully meets our demands to achieve this. The vessel is equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system which reduces the noise and vibration of the vessel considerably. The 3 diesel engines generate 1.230 horse-power each, giving the vessel a speed of 10 - 12 knots. The vessel is ice-strengthened and was specially built for oceanographic voyages. M/v “Plancius” is manned by an international crew of 37 (18 nautical crew and 19 hotel crew), 8 expedition staff (1 expedition leader, 1 assistant expedition leader and 6 guides/lecturers), and 1 doctor.
Day 1: End of the world, start of a journey:
Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.
Day 2: The winged life of the westerlies:
Several species of albatross follow the vessel into the westerlies, along with storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels.
Day 3: Finding the Falklands:
The Falkland (Malvinas) Islands offer an abundance of wildlife that is easily approachable, though caution is always advised. These islands are largely unknown gems, the site of a 1982 war between the UK and Argentina. Not only do various species of bird live here, but chances are great you’ll see both Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins in the surrounding waters. During this segment of the voyage, you may visit the following sites: Carcass Island – Despite its name, this island is pleasantly rodent-free and hence bounteous with birdlife. Anything from breeding Magellanic penguins and gentoos to numerous waders and passerine birds (including Cobb’s wrens and tussock-birds) live here. Saunders Island – On Saunders Island you can see the black-browed albatross and its sometimes-clumsy landings, along with breeding imperial shags and rockhopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and gentoos are also found here.
Day 4: The seat of Falklands culture:
The capital of the Falklands and center of its culture, Port Stanley has some Victorian-era charm: colorful houses, well-tended gardens, and English-style pubs are all to be found here. You can also see several century-old clipper ships nearby, silent witnesses to the hardships of 19th century sailors. The small but interesting museum is also worth a visit, covering the early days of settlement up to the Falklands War. Approximately 2,100 people live in Port Stanley. Feel free to wander at will, though be aware that admission fees to local attractions are not included in the voyage.
Day 5 - 6: Once more to the sea:
En route to South Georgia, you now cross the Antarctic Convergence. The temperature cools considerably within the space of a few hours, and nutritious water rises to the surface of the sea due to colliding water columns. This phenomenon attracts a multitude of seabirds near the ship, including several species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas.
Day 7 - 10: South Georgia Journey:
Today you arrive at the first South Georgia activity site. Please keep in mind that weather conditions in this area can be challenging, largely dictating the program. Over the next several days, you have a chance to visit the following sites: Prion Island – This location is closed during the early part of the wandering albatross breeding season (November 20 – January 7). From January on, the breeding adults have found their partners and are sitting on eggs or nursing their chicks. Enjoy witnessing the gentle nature of these animals, which possess the largest wingspan of any birds in the world. Fortuna Bay – Near beaches inhabited by various penguins and seals, you have the chance to follow the final leg of Shackleton’s route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness. This path cuts across the mountain pass beyond Shackleton’s Waterfall, and as the terrain is partly swampy, be prepared to cross a few small streams. Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour – These sites not only house the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia, they’re also three of the world’s largest breeding beaches for Antarctic fur seals. Literarally millions breed on South Georgia during December and January. Only during the mid-season do they peak in their breeding cycle. Watch the large bulls keep a constant vigil (and occasionally fight) over territories where dozens of females have just given birth or are about to deliver. Watch your step and stay cool when walking the beaches during this time. Grytviken – In this abandoned whaling station, king penguins walk the streets and elephant seals lie around like they own the place – because they basically do. Here you might be able to see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave.
Day 11: Southward bound:
There may be sea ice on this route, and at the edge of the ice some south polar skuas and snow petrels could join the other seabirds trailing the vessel south.
Day 12: The scenic vistas of South Orkney:
Depending on the conditions, you might visit Orcadas Base, an Argentine scientific station on Laurie Island in the South Orkney archipelago. The personnel here will happily show you their facility, where you can enjoy expansive views of the surrounding glaciers. If a visit isn’t possible, you may instead land in Signy Island’s Shingle Cove.
Day 13: Last push to the Antarctic:
Enormous icebergs and a fair chance of fin whale sightings ensure there’s never a dull moment on this last sea voyage south. Also, your best chance to spot Antarctic petrels is here.
Day 14 - 17: Awe-inspiring Antarctica:
If the ice conditions permit, you now sail into the Weddell Sea. Here colossal tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Paulet Island, with its large population of Adélie penguins, is a possible stop. You might also visit Brown Bluff, located in the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound, where you could get the chance to set foot on the Antarctic Continent itself. If conditions aren’t favorable to enter the Weddell Sea from the east, the ship will set course for Elephant Island and head into the Bransfield Strait, between South Shetland Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. Here you can attempt to access the Antarctic Sound from the northwest. The breathtaking scenery continues in the southern Gerlache Strait, and if ice conditions allow, we may even reach Lemaire Channel. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
Day 18 - 19: Familiar seas, familiar friends:
Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.
Day 20: There and back again:
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The on-board expedition leader will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
1 porthole 2 upper & lower berths Private shower & toilet Desk & chair Flatscreen TV Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) Hair dryer Ample storage space This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin
1 porthole 2 lower berths Private shower & toilet Desk & chair Flatscreen TV Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) Hair dryer Ample storage space
1 porthole 1 upper berth & 2 lower berths Private shower & toilet Desk & chair Flatscreen TV Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) Hair dryer Ample storage space This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin
1 window 2 lower berths Private shower & toilet Desk & chair Flatscreen TV Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) Hair dryer Ample storage space
2 windows 2 lower berths Private shower & toilet Desk & chair Flatscreen TV Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) Hair dryer Ample storage space These cabins are corner cabins and are slightly more spacious than the normal twin porthole/window cabins
Call: 1300 669 780
(1300 669 780)
Visit: 222A Barry Parade
(PO Box 132)
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
We're on the corner Barry Parade and Gipps Street, next door to Rocksports Indoor Climbing