Falklands & South Georgia 18 days aboard Ocean Adventurer
Rich in history and home to astoundingly diverse and abundant wildlife, South Georgia is often called the Galapagos of the Poles. This epic expedition to remote lands traversed by the legendary explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton gives adventurous travelers the unparalleled opportunity to explore this wildlife paradise and the equally unspoiled and storied Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) in great depth.
Immersed in this spectacular setting, you’ll enjoy unforgettable encounters with historically significant sites and unique wildlife unafraid of humans. Come face to face with thousands of curious king penguins and a sea of fur and elephant seals, blanketing beaches nestled below towering snow-capped mountains. Here, your days will be devoted to experiencing one of the last untamed places on the planet, mesmerized by the magnificent beauty of these rugged and pristine landscapes and the wildlife that call them home.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Wildlife Guide & PhotographerAndy is a 6th generation Falkland Islander, with a passion for wildlife, plants and photography. Raised in the Falkland Islands, Andy developed a close affinity with the Islands natural environment at a young age. School holidays where spent in the ‘camp’ or countryside with friends and family. For more than 10 years, Andy had the privilege of spending a time on Sea Lion Island, visiting his mother who managed one of the Islands premier tourist destinations. Read more >
Photographer and founder of the Travel Photographer Of The Year awardsA fascination with natural light and a passion with nature, landscape and travel underpin Chris Coe's photography. His images often have a striking simplicity and graphic quality. More recent work has introduced a subtlety with experimentation with both movement and light.Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
- Amazing wildlife, including incredible penguin colonies, myriad birds and whales
- Spectacular scenery
- Wander the quaint British town of Stanley in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
- Follow in the footsteps of the great explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s perilous voyage to South Georgia
- Visit abandoned whaling stations and learn about the region’s wildlife and environment
- Exciting zodiac landings and excursions
- Kayaking option
- Full board accommodation including all meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board
- Beer and wine during dinner
- All zodiac excursions and landings
- Programme of expert lectures and presentations
- Loan of waterproof boots
- Expedition parka
- All service and port charges
- Emergency evacuation insurance to max. US$100,000pp
- One night's pre-departure hotel accommodation
- Group transfers to hotel and to & from ship
ITINERARY17 Nights 18 Days
- Day 1 | Ushuaia
- Day 2 | Embarkation Day
- Day 3 | At Sea
- Days 4 - 5 | Falkland Islands
- Days 6 - 7 | At Sea
- Days 8 - 13 | South Georgia
- Days 14 - 17 | At Sea
- Day 18 | Ushuaia
Your gateway for this expedition is Ushuaia, Argentina. Nestled within the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Ushuaia offers you a small-town feel but has many shops, museums, cafes and restaurants to enjoy before your voyage. If you're feeling adventurous, the nearby national park and Martial Glacier offer plenty of hiking and outdoor activities.
Overnight hotel stay included.
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities to capture seabirds hovering overhead and seals and sea lions lounging on land. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart - the next time you’ll see land, you’ll be in a wildlife wonderland!
There are many activities to keep you engaged while you’re at sea. Learn to identify seabirds gliding alongside the ship, attend dynamic presentations by your Expedition Team, relax in our polar library or simply spend some time out on deck. You will also be prepped on safety procedures for Zodiac cruises and shore landings, so you can make the most of the adventure that awaits.
Upon your arrival in the Falklands (Malvinas), your camera will get its first real workout capturing the abundant wildlife and rugged feel of this sub-Antarctic region. The archipelago contains two main islands - East Falkland and West Falkland - which you will explore during daily Zodiac excursions and landings.
The archipelago is home to thriving Magellanic, gentoo and rockhopper penguin colonies, and if you’re lucky, you may even spot king penguins, too! Your team of specialists will be sure to educate you on the local flora and fauna as well.
You can expect to see black-browed albatrosses on West Point Island. Originally known as Albatross Island, West Point has been identified as an important Bird Area for its several significant bird species, including the endemic Cobb’s wren and Falkland’s flightless steamer duck.
Despite its grim-sounding moniker, Carcass Island (named after HMS Carcass, which surveyed the island in 1766) rewards with spectacular scenery and wildlife, including gentoo and Magellanic penguins. With no predators, the island’s songbird population has flourished, creating an aural experience unlike any other.
Stanley, also known as Port Stanley, is another favored landing site, as the charming town offers a unique British outpost feel. You’ll be free to explore, grab a pint at the local pub or visit numerous churches and museums.
Sailing south to South Georgia, you’ll officially enter Antarctic waters once you cross the Antarctic Convergence, an invisible biological boundary encircling the continent. This meeting of oceans, where the cold Antarctic waters mix and mingle with the warmer waters of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, is what creates the abundance of krill that attracts whales and seals to this part of the world. Your Expedition Team will notify you when you cross this invisible yet important line, and also look out for the seabirds and marine life that frequent the area.
South Georgia was a popular stop for many historic Antarctic expeditions and was once a haven for hunting whales and elephant and fur seals. Today, wildlife populations have rebounded, but you’ll still find remnants of old whaling stations and other abandoned outposts scattered across the island.
Although South Georgia’s storied history is an important attraction, it is the abundant wildlife that is sure to captivate. Landing sites on the island are varied, largely determined by the weather conditions of your voyage. Whichever landing sites we visit, they’ll provide you with wildlife encounters that cannot be enjoyed anywhere else on earth. South Georgia is one of the most fertile breeding grounds in the world for sub-Antarctic wildlife, with beaches blanketed with penguins - king and macaroni penguins, in particular. The island is also a paradise for bird lovers, who will marvel at the plentiful petrels, albatross and burrowing seabirds. With each landing you make on South Georgia - often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles - you’ll discover a new wonder.
One day you may see hundreds of thousands of pairs of king penguins waddling on a beach, and the next day you may visit another beach scattered with thousands of fur or elephant seals. The island’s beaches, grasses and mountains all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different species. This fragile, symbiotic relationship is something your Expedition Team will explain while you’re here.
A couple of shore landings that best represent what you can expect in South Georgia are Gold Harbor and Cooper Bay. Perhaps the most picturesque site in all of South Georgia, Gold Harbor provides a dizzying amount of wildlife, all in one location. Here, you’ll be enchanted by the view of the overhanging Bertrab Glacier to the east, a massive king penguin colony in the distance, an abundance of southern elephant seals and fur seals, and nesting albatross high above in the tussock grass.
Cooper Bay will bring you close to macaroni, gentoo or king penguins, and perhaps even Weddell seals, before you set sail for a scenic cruise through the dramatic Drygalski Fjord, where jagged, sharp peaks rise straight out of the sea.
We also hope to visit truly uncharted waters at King Hakkon Bay, a long, narrow inlet in an area that hasn’t yet been fully mapped. This is where the great explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton made landfall in his lifeboat in 1916, searching for rescue for his Endurance crew, who were marooned on Elephant Island. A favorite location of ours is the beach at Salisbury Plain, where assertive fur seals and thousands of curious king penguins are likely to greet us on shore, practically begging you to take their picture. Flanked by glaciers, it makes for a breathtaking backdrop, and photographers will want to capture the surreal spectacle. Not to be outdone, the beaches at Elsehul, Royal Bay, Right Whale Bay and St. Andrew’s Bay are also sure to delight, teeming with playful king penguins and fur and elephant seals.
One of the most historic sites you will visit on the island is Shackleton’s resting place. You can visit his grave at the settlement of Grytviken, which is also home to one of the first whaling stations established in sub-Antarctic waters. You’ll have time to visit the museum, gift shop, church and small research station before sailing to Godthul (Norwegian for “good hollow”).
Linking past and present, one landing we’ll attempt during the voyage is on the eastern shore of Fortuna Bay. Landing here, surrounded by soaring mountains, you’ll head out on the “Shackleton hike,” a trek that has you hiking along the final miles of Shackleton’s traverse of South Georgia into the Stromness whaling station, where the explorer finally found rescue for his crew. To reach the abandoned station, you’ll stroll along a pebbled beach littered with hundreds of fur seals and king and gentoo penguins.
After two weeks of endless wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Mingle with your fellow shipmates, sharing stories and photos in the lounge. The noisy, busy world awaits your return, so savor the silence of the sea as long as you can, enjoying your final moments on deck, reflecting on all the amazing creatures you’ve met.
After breakfast aboard the ship, we will transfer you to the airport for your homeward flight.
What Our Customers
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.
The Falklands is an incredible place with so much more wildlife than I expected, I consider myself very privileged to have been there. Sitting on the beach amongst hundreds of rock hopper penguins and huge elephant seals is a moment I will treasure forever.
Many thanks for all you help with our polar trip which exceeded all expectations. We will certainly recommend your company and seriously consider yourselves for future trips.
Thank you very much for the part you both played in making my holiday such a wonderful adventure, everything went well and I have come back with some very happy memories and a decent number of photos of penguins!! Great fun!
Just a quick note to say that my Falkland trip was absolutely fantastic - with amazing opportunities for wildlife photography. Organisation of the trip was excellent - each island was different but all were equally good; with everyone clearly working hard to make sure visitors got the most out of their time. The flight back was delayed by 16 hours due to fog at Brize Norton (and even then was diverted to Birmingham); but I didn't mind because it meant I had an extra day there! I'm full of praise for your local representatives. They were very efficient and went out of their way to make sure I got the most of my holiday and, in particular, that extra day. I'm still working my way through the many thousands of photos I took - just started on day 6!! Many thanks to Wildfoot Travel, and particularly yourself, for your organisation and for giving me the idea and inspiration for this trip.
I just got back from my trip. It was fabulous. The Falklands were perfect for me. Lots of birds, few people, lots of time to wander around on my own. All the islands were wonderful. The only day that was not excellent was the trip to Dolphin point. A long drive, few birds and few sea lions. I was very lucky with the weather. Lots of wind but hardly any rain. I debated whether to do this or go to antarctica, and am delighted I did this. La Yegua Loca in PA was a delight. I usually could care less about hotels and restaurants on trips like this, but La Yegua Loca was wonderful. The new restaurant they have - a glass enclosed space on the terrace in front of the hotel with old tools as fixtures and views out to the straights and delicious food was great. The only change I would make doing it again was to work with you better on flights. I wanted to use frequent flyer miles on American Airlines so I made reservations from Boston to Santiago and you did the rest. I didn't know there was a flight from Santiago to Mt. Pleasant (by way of PA). And I could have left PA and come all the way home without another night and say in Santiago. But that was minor. Thanks again. Danny
I just wanted to let you know what a wonderful time my daughter and I had on our jaunt to the Falklands. The wildlife was absolutely stunning ( who could ever forget the caracaras! ) and all your arrangements went like clockwork. I'll certainly recommend you to my long list of friends who now want to visit. Thank you all very much, Gill Waterson
I hope you’re well. I wanted to drop you a line to say we are back from Antarctica and had a wonderful time with Ponant. The trip exceeded our expectations in every respect, and I haven’t yet found enough superlatives to describe it to friends! Antarctica was breathtaking (as you know), and we loved pretty-much everything about Ponant. It was the perfect fit for us and I’m very grateful to you for taking the time to help with the booking. Having read the nightmares that Silversea have been having with the Silver Cloud, we felt lucky to be onboard Le Lyrial. Of course the only downside of a trip like this is we want to go back - best start saving now! Thanks again for all of your help and support with the booking process. Ponant was exactly as you described it. We have our eye on a couple of other cruises with them so I might be in touch soon.
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday? Sitting next to penguins and elephant seals 2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday? Do it! Bring warm clothes. 3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation? Hosts at various lodges were very warm and obviously loved what they do and wanted to help with all aspects of our trip 4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall? Excellent. Is there a rating above 5? Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall? 5 *****
We had the most fantastic time! Everything exceeded our expectations - the ship, the expedition team, the scenery and the most amazing wildlife experiences - 15 humpback whales around the ship one sunset was particularly stunning. Thank you so much to you and your colleagues for your expert advice (the cabin choice was just perfect, especially for the bumpy days!) and guidance and helping made this experience so great. My lifetime's ambition was to visit Antarctica and you all helped make that possible. I should also say that the arrangements in Buenos Aires worked really well too. I think we all have ideas about the next trip - Svalbard or the NorthWest Passage - but maybe in a couple of years, although we do each have $1500 in vouchers from Quark! I am not on Facebook myself but will try to put a review on either of the links below. I've received the new brochure already.
A great big thanks to all at Wildfoot Travel for making my Antarcti Expediton an epic adventure of immense proportions. Everything went smoothly, pickups, hotels and most of all the expedition itself. A truly mind blowing experience unlike any I have ever taken. Looking forward to the next trip with you.
Just came back from a trip aboard the Ortelius to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. Thank you Wildfoot for organising it so well. We had the trip of a lifetime and everything ran very smoothly and stress free so many, many thanks
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