Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica - Polar Solar Eclipse Special 20 days aboard MV Plancius
On the 4th of December 2021 the cosmic phenomenon of a total solar eclipse will occur, and this exceptionally special voyage will offer you the incredibly unique chance to witness this moving celestial event in one of the most amazing locations on Earth…in the heart of the Antarctic wilderness!
The route taken on this expedition is the ultimate in the Antarctic region, taking in the Falkland Islands with their varied and accessible wildlife and friendly inhabitants as well as South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula. South Georgia is the jewel of the South Atlantic with spectacular breeding colonies of king penguins and albatross along with many more species of birds and mammals, all in a magnificent setting. The Antarctic peninsula provides the opportunity to not only view unique wildlife close-up but also set foot on one of the last great wildernesses on earth.
Added to the thrills of exploring such remarkable destinations, the chance to witness the total solar eclipse from your ship deep in the heart of Antarctica makes this expedition one of the very best itineraries on the market! This trip will surely sell out quickly so make sure you don't miss the chance to be part of this once in a lifetime adventure.
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 >
- Experience the total solar eclipse in the middle of the Antarctic wilderness!
- Spectacular Falkland Islands wildlife and scenery
- Incredible South Georgia wildlife, scenery and history
- Magnificent Antarctic ice and landscapes
- Step foot on the white continent
- See at least 6 different species of penguin
- Myriad birdlife
- Whales and other marine mammals
- Luggage transfer to ship and group transfer from ship
- Full board accommodation on board
- All zodiac excursions and landings with expert guides
- Programme of expert lectures
- Loan of rubber boots
ITINERARY19 Nights 20 Days
- Day 1 | Ushuaia
- Day 2 | At Sea
- Day 3 | Falkland Islands
- Day 4 | Stanley, Falkland Islands
- Days 5 - 6 | At Sea
- Days 7 - 10 | South Georgia
- Day 11 | At Sea
- Day 12 | Weddell Sea Pack Ice - Solar Eclipse
- Days 13 - 14 | At sea
- Days 15 - 17 | Antarctic Peninsula
- Days 18 - 19 | At Sea
- Day 20 | Ushuaia
Your fantastic Antarctica, Falklands and South Georgia expedition will begin in Ushuaia, Argentina, where after having arrived independently you will embark your ship in the afternoon. As you settle in to your cabin, your ship will sail through the scenic waterway of the Beagle Channel and turn northwards towards the Falklands. You may want to spend some time on deck capturing the sight of the city fading into distance behind you and looking out for the seabirds that follow the ship.
As we make the short sea crossing towards the Falkland Islands your programme of informative and entertaining lectures and presentations will begin, covering everything from the geology and wildlife you are about to discover to the history of Antarctic exploration. There will also be safety and bio-environmental briefings in preparation for your time in the Falklands. We recommend spending some time on deck to spot the several species of albatross which will likely be following the ship along with storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels.
As we arrive in the Falkland Islands, we plan to spend the day on the fascinating western side of the archipelago. The exceptionally scenic Falklands offer an abundance of wildlife and have an intriguing history. Our first adventure will be a hike along the shore of Carcass Island which will give us views of magellanic and gentoo penguins, as well as close encounters with elephant seals, water fowl, night herons and passerines. Later we will visit Saunders Island to to observe four species of breeding penguins - gentoo, king, Magellanic and rockhopper,as well as black-browed albatross and king cormorants.
Stanley, Falkland Islands
In Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, we can experience Falkland culture, which has some South American characteristics as well as English charm. In Stanley and the surrounding area we can see a number of stranded wrecks from a century ago and geese, giant petrels and other birds. All passengers are free to wander around on their own. We recommend a visit to the local museum (admission fees not included) and perhaps a drink in one of the charming pubs.
As we sail from the Falklands towards South Georgia we will cross the Antarctic Convergence and the temperatures will become considerably cooler. As we spend these 2 days at sea there will be excellent opportunities for bird spotting on deck with likely sightings of several species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas. The informative and entertaining lecture programme will also continue as well as briefings for your time on South Georgia.
On day 7 we will arrive in the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, a remote and exceptionally scenic island that is home to millions of penguins and other birdlife and wildlife. Over the next few days we will explore the eastern coast of the island searching for wildlife, scenic opportunities and visiting sites of historical interest. Places we expect to visit include Fortuna Bay where a hive of wildlife activity will greet us on the beaches. You will see various penguins and seals as well as having the chance to follow the final leg of Shackleton’s route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness.
Later we will visit the areas of Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay and Gold Harbour to see the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia. These areas are also home to three of the world’s largest breeding beaches for southern elephant seals, and you may also see a substantial number of Antarctic fur seals here during the breeding season (December – January).
During our time here we will also have chance to visit the abandoned whaling station of Grytkiven where king penguins walk the streets and elephant seals are in abundance. We hope to have chance to see the South Georgia Museum as well as visiting Shackleton’s grave to pay our respects at the final resting place of one of Antarctica’s most well-known explorers.
Finally, a thrilling Zodiac cruise in Cooper Bay will reward with fantastic sightings of fur and elephant seals along the beach, majestic light-mantled albatrosses gracefully gliding above, and a large rookery of macaroni penguins.
As we leave South Georgia behind and sail south towards Antarctica your ship will again be followed by a multitude of seabirds so make sure to spend some time on deck for excellent photo opportunities. On our sail we may encounter some sea ice, and it is at the ice-edge where we would have a chance to see some high-Antarctic species like the McCormick skua and snow petrel. Onboard briefings will be held to prepare you for your time on the Antarctic continent and your programme of lectures and talks will continue.
Weddell Sea Pack Ice - Solar Eclipse
As we make our way deep into Antarctic territory, today will be an exciting one as we await the sight of the cosmic phenomenon of a total solar eclipse! Your captain will today position the ship in the centre of the shadow of the moon, and if possible, some distance into the Scotia Sea drift ice. The ice edge will be about 60°S, 41°W. We will make our way to deck to enjoy a celebration of witnessing this unique spectacle in the heart of the most enchanting wilderness in the world. The feeling of seeing the eclipse surrounded by the breathtaking Antarctic silence will surely be one you will remember for a lifetime.
Some coordinates for the path of the moon’s shadow: 7.06 UTC: 58.47.7 S – 42.45.2 W, 1.39 minutes, 8 degrees above horizon 7.08 UTC: 60.42.4 S – 40.59.8 W, 1.42 minutes, 9 degrees above horizon 7.10 UTC: 62.22.3 S – 39.48.0 W, 1.44 minutes, 11 degrees above horizon
As we make our last push further into Antarctica, keep an eye out on deck for the enormous icebergs of all shapes and sizes that will dot the landscape. There are also great chances of spotting Antarctic petrels and fin whales. Next stop Antarctic Peninsula!
Welcome to Antarctica, a land of superlatives! Enchanting scenery, unique wildlife encounters and thrilling adventures await as we spend our days exploring by Zodiac and on foot to get up close to the action. Your exact itinerary here will be determined by weather and ice conditions with your captain choosing each day which areas to visit for optimum experiences.
We plan to sail into the Weddell Sea where colossal tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Our first possible stops will be Paulet Island which is home to a large population of Adélie penguins, and Brown Bluff in the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound which may offer our first chance to step foot on the Antarctic Continent itself. If sea conditions don’t allow for entry to the Weddell Sea from the east we will instead set course for Elephant Island and head into the Bransfield Strait in an attempt to enter the Antarctic Sound from the northwest.
After an exploration of the Sound we plan to enjoy some more exploration around the volcanic windswept islands of the South Shetlands where we will sail into Neptune’s Bellows to reach the flooded caldera of Deception Island. We will hope to land here to discover the island’s abandoned whaling station, fascinating hot springs and huge numbers of cape petrels. For the birders amongst us this area will be a delight, as a walk around should also reward in sightings of Antarctic terns, southern giant petrels, kelp gulls and brown and south polar skuas. The South Shetlands will also bring us some excellent encounters with penguins, as large numbers of gentoo and chinstrap penguins are often found here.
Before beginning our journey back to South America we hope to have time to enjoy some activities in the northern Gerlache Strait, where we might visit Cierva Cove or Mikkelsen Harbour to enjoy some final Zodiac cruising and penguin spotting.
As our exhilarating expedition comes to end it’s time to head back north through the fabled Drake Passage where again the ship will be followed by a vast array of seabirds. Enjoy the last presentations from your team of noted naturalists and take the time to dissolve all of the unforgettable memories you will have made on your once in a lifetime expedition.
As we sail back through the scenic Beagle Channel and arrive in Ushuaia in the early morning it’s sadly time to say goodbye to your crew and fellow shipmates. After breakfast you will disembark and a group transfer will be provided to the airport for onward or homeward journeys.
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We had the time of our lives on board ship...if anybody wants to go to Antarctica, we will certainly advise to go with you.
Huge congratulations to you and all the team for the perfect organisation throughout the trip. From the early planning to the last transfer, everything went without a hitch.
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!
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
The adventure really was a 'trip of a lifetime' and we are so glad we tagged an extra day in Buenos Aires at either end and that we went Premium Economy, it made all the difference. The ship Sea Explorer was exactly as Simon had described and was very comfortable. South Georgia was the highlight but we were surprised how much wildlife there was to see on the Falklands and we might well book one of your nature trips to the Falklands in the future.
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.
• I wanted to send you a quick thank you email. We had a fantastic trip, the boat, staff, scenery, itinerary, and pretty much everything else was incredible! Thank you so much for arranging the cabin upgrade, we were delighted to have our own room! We had a really brilliant time, and wanted to say thanks so much for being so helpful throughout, we're lucky to have found you.
We had a very special experience organized by you in Feb, especially the wedding in Antarctica and our stay in Patagonia. Thank you.
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.
I just want to thank you for all your help with my Ross Sea trip. It was really the trip of a lifetime & the ship & crew were excellent.
Overall I think that it was an excellent trip that was well worth the price paid and I would have no hesitation recommending your company to others.
I'm sure you get plenty of compliments, but I just want to follow up telling you what a great time we had on the MS Expedition Antarctica Classic cruise. We were very pleased with all of the staff, on the ground and on the ship. Everyone was so friendly and knowledgeable. We greatly appreciated their experience and expertise. Their very careful attention to all of the environmental rules and precautions should also be lauded. Thank you for all of your service and attention. If we're planning on one of the other regions that you serve, we'll definitely be in touch!!
We would like to thank you with all our heart for our fabulous trip. It was amazing. Everything was perfect. I recommend Antarctica and South America to everybody. Doing business with you was also a great experience. You are the best travel agent I ever met. I hope to have the chance to do business with you again in the future.
We've just got back from out trip to Patagonia and the Antarctic and want to say a big thank you to all of you at Wildfoot but specifically you, Tina and Sara, for organising our trip and sorting out all my queries before we went. You've all been thoroughly professional - and friendly with it. I always get concerned that hotels won't have received the booking, the air e-tickets won't be recognised or luggage ends up somewhere other that where we are, but I didn't need to worry as everything was well planned in advance and the various elements, air travel, two cruises, hotels etc, fitted seamlessly. You can take this as a 10 out of 10 satisfaction rating and recommendation for your company. You will certainly be my 'go to' provider if we ever do anything similar in the future. Thanks once again for our trip of a lifetime.
I just wanted to say an enormous thank you for your help with my trip. It was the best two weeks of my life! MS Expedition was amazing – their itinerary, their crew, their spirit. It was truly exceptional.One of the best things was how they arranged the rooms, I just had the best roommates and that really made a big difference to the trip. We got to see some fast ice and got out to walk on it – literally walking on the frozen sea. Amazing! I am saving for my next trip and I would not dream of going with anyone but you guys again. Good work! A dream very much come true.
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.
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.
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
I travelled to the Antarctica Circle with Wildfoot. It was a memorable trip. The MS Expedition was definately the right choice. The ship is very nice, very comfortable, very clean, the crew is fantastic, the meals were very good, the expedition staff very kind and extremely knowledgeable and professional. All activities were very well and timely organized in a safety manner. Besides that, despite haveing had a rough sea on the Drake on way in, we were quite lucky with the weather (we got some cloudy days but also snow, bright sunshine and beautiful sunsets,) making every landing a wonderful happening. All in all, it was less than perfect.
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