Luxury Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctic Peninsula 16 DaysAboard: L'Austral
This luxury expedition gives a taste of the Falkland Islands with landings on New Island and Grave Cove, where there is not only some of the most beautiful scenery, but also lots of wildlife viewing with four species of penguins, albatross and dolphins. Then on to the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, before continuing to the magnificent Antarctic Peninsula, including the Weddell Sea.
- Rarely visited Falkland Islands
- South Georgia, abundant birdlife and mammals, glacial scenery
- Spectacular Antarctic icebergs and scenery
- The treasures of the Weddell Sea
- Marine mammals including whales and seals
- Amazing birdlife
- Historical sites
- Full board accommodation on board, including bar/beverage service
- Flights Buenos Aires - Ushuaia and return
- Transfers between airport and ship
- Zodiac cruises and shore excursions
- Entertainment and expert lecture programme
- Optional excursion in Ushuaia pre-cruise
- Loan of rubber boots
- Expedition parka
So much to experience
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Meet at Buenos Aires airport for flight to Ushuaia, the world's southern-most city and also the main town in Tierra del Fuego.
Transfer to ship, board and set sail in the afternoon.
Get used to life on board and spend time on deck watching for your first whale sightings and spotting the various seabirds following the ship.
New Island and Grave Cove
New Island, with its distinctive jagged relief is located on the western edge of the Falkland Islands and is home to a tiny village of two families. Step onto the golden sand of its flower-lined beaches, beside which an old stone house still stands, and you'll feel like you've entered a natural paradise. A narrow pathway weaves around typical Falkland moorlands. Follow it and in under 20 minutes you'll find yourself at the heart of a colony of southern rockhopper penguins, black-browed albatross and imperial shags. It's the perfect opportunity to watch the albatross swoop down from the cliffs and skim the waves that crash against the rocks on the exposed side of the island.
Later we will make our way through the turbulent Woolly Gut strait and emerge in the stillness of Grave Cove. Located in the northern edge of the Falkland Islands, this bay owes its name to the vestiges of whalers’ graves that overlook the beach. As you step off the boat and onto the white-sand beach, you might find yourself escorted by a few hospitable Commerson's dolphins, elegantly adorned in black and white. A stroll along the grassy dunes will lead you to a vast plain of lush green grass, tended by a few sheep. On the other side of the island you'll find one of the largest gentoo penguin colonies in the area. With some luck, you'll also glimpse a sea lion scouring the waves for his next meal.
As we sail south, listen to interesting expert lectures and keep a look out for whales and other sea mammals as well as spotting sea birds for the deck.
South Georgia - Salisbury Plain, Fortuna Bay
We hope to disembark at the splendid Fortuna Bay among the penguins and be allowed to approach the sea elephants lounging in the weak southern sunshine. This glacial expanse of Salisbury Plain, surrounded by high mountains is home to over 250,000 king penguins and the spectacle is truly amazing.
Grytviken, St Andrews Bay
At Grytviken, we disembark and spend time looking at the ruins of this historic whaling station. Here, we will also pay our respects at the grave of the famous explorer, Ernest Shackleton and visit the museum, from where you can also send postcards home from one of the most remote places on earth.
Majestic glaciers with a bluish sheen, waterfalls that reflect the rays of the setting sun, pitch-black volcanic sand beaches: these are just a few of the wonders to be found in Gold Harbour's landscape. This natural gem is blanketed by bright green tussocks and framed by snow-capped peaks. On this island where summer days are endless, the wildlife stays up with the sun. Fur seals, elephant seals and king penguins move about the island like tiny black dots along the landscape. Those humans who enter this kaleidoscope of colours and sensations do so as privileged and tolerated observers of the austral wildlife.
As we cross the Scotia Sea, there are lots of chances to see whales and seabirds.
Antarctica - Cruising the Weddell Sea & Brown Bluff
Our call at Brown Bluff on the Antarctic continent brings you to the foot of an imposing cliff where we'll find a colony of some 40,000 Adelie penguins. This area is also the habitat of the Weddell Seal, distinctive for its spotted belly.
Between 1897 and 1899, Belgian explorer Adrien de Gerlache led an Antarctic expedition aboard the Belgica. There, he discovered a quiet, protected bay which he named in honour of the Dutch queen, Wilhelmina of Orange-Nassau. In this enchanting place, towering mountains reflect off of still waters, offering up a magnificent and colourful feast for the eyes. Yet another source of wonder: humpback whales, majestic and frequent visitors to the bay, feed in the surrounding waters amidst a stunning seascape of ice floes and icebergs.
Deception Island and Half Moon Bay
One of the best known of the South Shetland Islands because of its horseshoe shape, Deception has the black sand of volcanic beaches and the remains of abandoned huts that have been overrun by the largest colony of Chinstrap Penguins in the Antarctic Peninsula. Excursions aboard our Zodiacs will allow you to set foot on this expanse of land where more than 100,000 pairs of penguins, elephant seals and fur seals live side by side.
Nestled among the South Shetland Islands in the icy waters of the Antarctic, Half Moon plunges visitors into a surreal and mystical setting. Long, jagged coastlines alternate with gently sloping bays, overlooked by petrified volcanic pipes. Camara, a former Argentine research station built at the centre of the island in 1953, still stands in the crook of a vast, crescent-shaped beach of large ash-coloured pebbles battered by icy electric-blue waves. Half Moon's wild lunar landscape is home to a number of animal species, including chinstrap penguins, fur seals, Weddell seals and Antarctic terns.
At sea, Drake Passage
We navigate the Drake Passage named after the famous explorer, Sir Frances Drake, who sailed in these waters way back in 1578. Last opportunities to see marine mammals and watch albatrosses and petrels swooping around the ship.
Ushuaia - Buenos Aires
Disembark and transfer to airport for flight to Buenos Aires
A view from Above
L'Austral is a purpose built, luxury expedition vessel which combines a private yacht style ambience with gastronomic French cuisine and high standards of service. All suites and staterooms are twin or double and have private balconies and bathrooms along with minibar, satellite TV, DVD, I-pod docks, WiFi and direct dial satellite telephone. Public areas and amenities include passenger lifts fore and aft, restaurant, lounge with dance floor and bar, reception desk, shop, leisure area with Wii and slot machines, clinic, theatre, hairdresser, fitness room, spa with massage, hammam and balneo treatments, grill and buffet restaurant, outdoor pool, panorama lounge and terrace with bar, library and internet room and plenty of deck space. The ship has a 1C ice classification for cruising in polar waters.
we work hard to earn passionate reviews from our clients.
Now that I am back from my odyssey voyage, I thought I would let you know that after all that planning it really did exceed my expectations – we managed landings everywhere even on Tristan da Cuhna and had great bird sightings. The guides all knew what they were talking about too and made sure I got some great photos – still sorting them all out! Thanks for everything and see you at Birdfair!Dave Martin
I want to thank you for all you did to make my recent Falklands trip run so smoothly and comfortably. Thank you for all your help over the diet too.Dr Lorna Mairs
Just a quick note to express my sincere thanks to you and all your staff for making this an epic adventure of immense proportions. Everything went smoothly, pickups, hotels and most of all the expedition itself. Truly a mind blowing experience unlike any I have ever taken.Mr J Borg, Malta
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Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Antarctica adventure for you.
Amy’s abiding love of adventure travel has taken her to some of the most incredible wildlife-rich places on Earth. Her vast experience and genuine desire to share her knowledge makes her an outstanding and invaluable person to help you organise your wildlife adventure trip.
With a lifetime of unforgettable nature and adventure based travel under his belt, Simon shares his passion, enthusiasm and hands-on experience to help create the perfect itinerary for every client.
Mike lives and breathes adventure travel and has a wealth of experience in some of the most exciting and inspirational destinations in the world. His expertise and first-hand experience afford him the skills to help build holidays to remember.