Summary : Embark on an expedition to the Falkland Islands, known in Spanish as the 'Islas Malvinas'. This unique archipelago lies on the boundary of sub-Antarctic Oceanic and Tundra climate zones and is home to large bird populations, breathtaking mountain ranges, and quaint British towns. Your itinerary will aim at offering the best of the Falklands and may include: the rarely visited Steeple Jason Island, Saunders Island, the New Island North Nature Reserve, and the capital of the Falklands, Stanley. On Saunders Island, you can see the majestic black-browed albatross and their sometimes clumsy landings near their nesting site along with breeding Imperial Shags and Rockhopper penguins. In Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, you can experience Falkland culture, which has some South American characteristics as well as Victorian charm: colorful houses, well-tended gardens, and English style pubs.
$5,600 to $8,350
Embark in the afternoon in Puerto Madryn and sail towards the Falkland Islands. Golfo Nuevo is world renowned for their visiting Southern Right whales and you will have a good chance of seeing them as you head towards Open Ocean.
Enjoy your day at sea as you bird watch for several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shear waters, and diving petrels.
The Falkland Islands (Malvinas) offer a wide variety of wildlife, which with caution is easily approachable. In many ways, the islands are largely an unknown selection of wildlife gems mainly known to the wider public. Not only various species of birds occur here, but chances are great to see both Peale’s Dolphins and Commerson’s Dolphins in the waters around the islands.
Your itinerary will aim at offering the best of the Falklands and may include: The rarely visited Steeple Jason Island. It is a wild place dominated by wind and waves and the weather and swell conditions will dictate our success. Steeple Jason is the home of the largest black-browed albatross colony in the world is located – approx. 113,000 birds. Carcass Island is rodent free and hence has a bounty of bird life from breeding Magellanic and Gentoo penguins, to numerous waders and Passerine birds including several endemics to the islands such as the Cobb’s Wren and the Tussack bird. On Saunders Island, you can see the majestic black-browed albatross and their sometimes clumsy landings near their nesting site along with breeding Imperial Shags and Rockhopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and Gentoo penguins are also present here. West Point Island is equally inhabited by a great number of Black-browed albatrosses and Rockhopper penguins, whereas Grave Cove offers relative shelter and many nesting Gentoo penguins along with excellent hiking opportunities. The large white sandy beach at Volunteer Point is rather exposed but offers a large King penguin rookery along with a plentiful bird life. Alternatively, Sparrow Cove/ Kidney Cove on the northeast shore of Berkeley Sound not far from Port Stanley offers a great hike to enjoy the views of Kidney Cove and Port Stanley from Mt Low (671 ft). In Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, you can experience Falkland culture, which has some South American characteristics as well as Victorian charm: colorful houses, well-tended gardens, and English style pubs. In Stanley and the surrounding area, you can see a number of stranded clippers from a century ago. They bear witness to the hardships of sailors in the 19th Century. The small, but very interesting museum is well worth a visit. Approximately 2,100 people live in the small capital in which all passengers are free to wander around on their own (admission fees to local attractions are not included). On the northwest side of Bleaker Island you may land at Sandy Bay. Nearby, Big Pond offers excellent wildlife opportunities such as Dark-faced ground-tyrant and Magellanic snipe. There is also easy walking to both Gentoo Penguins, Magellanic Penguins, Rockhopper Penguins, and King Cormorants. Sea Lion Island is very exposed and luck is required to make landfall here. It is the home of the largest breeding colony of Southern Elephant Seals in the archipelago with approximately 2,000 individuals on the northern beaches at this time of year. A good hike will lead to a Southern sea lion haul out. A reasonably easy walk from the landing next to site Coffin’s Harbor at the New Island South Wildlife Reserve will bring rewards such as nesting black-browed albatrosses and Rockhopper penguins. A more strenuous hike to Lands End Bluff may offer great views of South American fur seals. The site of the only land-based whaling station on the Falkland Island is located to the south of the landing beach. Landing at the New Island North Nature Reserve requires a special permit. That pending you may make an afternoon landing in this spectacular place with a last visit to black-browed albatrosses, South American fur seal, and several other species of birds that call the Falkland Islands home.
Head west towards South America today as you marvel at the trail of sea birds that follow your ship along the way.
You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning for disembarkation.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase insurance including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for Antarctic trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.
Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; snacks, coffee and tea; pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation); luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation in Ushuaia; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; gear on loan (rubber boots and snowshoes). Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; pre- and post-land arrangements; transfers to the vessel; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; camping and kayaking; travel insurance; excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for the ship's crew; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Erwin Vermeulen