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Antarctica for Birders

AT A GLANCE

FOCUS

Bird and wildlife cruise:
birds, whales & dolphins, other marine mammals, scenery & photography.

WHERE

Puerto Madryn (Argentina) – South Atlantic -  Falkland Islands – Weddell Sea - Antarctic Peninsula & Islands – Drake Passage – Ushuaia

SAMPLE WILDLIFE

8 species of penguins possible including Emperor and Kings, 6 species of albatross possible including Wandering, Black-browed and Light-mantled Sooty, many other tubenoses eg petrels, prions, diving-petrels, storm-petrels and shearwaters etc, various shags, geese, duck including Falkland Flightless Steamer-ducks, waders, skuas, gulls and terns plus other Falkland endemics. Potential marine mammals include Southern Elephant, Leopard, Weddell, Crab-eater and other seals, Humpback, Orca, Fin, Antarctic Minke and other whales. Dolphins could include Peale’s, Commerson’s and Hourglass.

CLIMATE

summer Polar.

ACCOMMODATION

110+ passenger very comfortable expedition ship, all cabins with private facilities. 

In search of Emperor and King Penguins – NEW!

This new voyage, very similar to one that operated in late 2011, is on the ice-strengthened vessel Plancius, and is designed to try and see both Emperors, at or near Snow Hill Island in the northern Weddell Sea plus King Penguins in the Falklands. We would also expect to see Adelie, Chinstrap, Gentoo, Rockhopper, Macaroni and Magellanic Penguins on this voyage too. The success of our quest for Emperors will be entirely down to ice conditions on the days however, but they will be breeding at this time. 

This voyage offer all the other expected birds and mammals of the Antarctic Peninsula region and the crossing of the Drake Passage. Wandering, Royals, Black-browed, Grey-headed and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, both Giant Petrels, Southern Fulmar, Cape, (Lesser) Snow, Soft-plumaged, Blue and White-chinned Petrels, Antarctic and Slender-billed Prions, Wilson’s, Black-bellied and Grey-backed Storm-Petrels, Common Diving Petrel, Antarctic Shags, Snowy Sheathbill, Chilean, Brown and South Polar Skuas, Dolphin and Kelp Gulls plus Antarctic Terns being the main expected birds species. If you are lucky in the Drake Passage other species may include Great-winged, Atlantic, Kerguelan and/or Grey Petrels and down around the ice, Antarctic Petrels can appear at any time. The majority of Falkland Island ‘land’ endemics should also be seen. The expected cetaceans on this voyage would be Humpback, Antarctic Minke and Killer Whales plus Peale’s and Commerson’s Dolphins and many more species are possible. Other marine mammals should include Southern Elephant, Weddell, Crabeater, Antarctic Fur and Leopard Seals.  In addition to the spectacular wildlife you will also wonder at the ice, its shapes, colours and hues and soak in some of the most amazing scenery on earth in the ever changing light. 

The Plancuis (maximum 112 passengers) is a specially converted expedition ship and all her cabins have private facilities with a porthole or window. She is very comfortable and has plenty of open deck space, essential for good viewing over the ocean and land. Inside is a large observation lounge with picture windows, a library and a one- sitting dining room.

 

This voyage offers a fantastic birder’s potential ‘clean-up’ trip, and photographic opportunities will be excellent throughout.

 

The 2011 voyage actually succeeded in seeing all the avian target species, including Antarctic Petrels plus the somewhat unexpected bonus of a Sooty Albatross south of the Falklands! 


Day 1:
Puerto Madryn, Argentina. Embark and sail, late afternoon.

Days 2 - 3:
At sea, cruising the south Atlantic Ocean.

Days 4-5:
Falkland Islands, planned landings include Saunders, Carcass, Steeple Jason and/or New Island.

Breeding species include Black-browed Albatross, King, Rockhopper, Magellanic & Gentoo Penguins.  

Days 6-7:
At sea, heading towards Antarctica.

Days 8-9:
Antarctic Sound, Brown Bluff (‘continent landing’), Paulet Island and Weddell Sea – subject to ice-conditions.

Breeding species include Emperor and Adelie Penguins

Day 10:
Deception Island.

Breeding species include Chinstrap and Macaroni Penguins.

Day 11:
South Shetland Islands.

Breeding species include Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins.

Days 12-13:
At sea, crossing the Drake Passage.

Day 14:
Ushuaia, Argentina. Disembark vessel after bvreakfast.

 

NB: As applies to all expedition cruises, the exact sea itinerary and landings will be subject to weather, local conditions and government permissions. 


Please note: All itineraries are subject to weather, local conditions and final approval by the relevant authorities.

Tour Leader: Simon Cook plus the rest of the ship’s Expedition Team 

Dates:   29th October – 11th November 2014 (Puerto Madryn - Ushuaia)  

Vessel: Plancius

All cabins with private facilities.

£5299    Quad berths (upper and lower) - porthole   

£5999    Triple berths (upper and lower( - porthole  

£6479    Twin share – (lower berths) - porthole                                             

£6739    Twin share – (lower berths) - window                             

£7045    Twin share deluxe (lower berths) - window                                     

£7739    Double share superior (double bed) - window                            

Single cabins x 1.7 of twin share price 

 

All prices per person.

Deposit 20%

NB: £1 = Euro 1.15

Price includes: Voyage with accommodation as booked, including all meals, infinite tea and coffee, Zodiac cruises and landings, port taxes and landing fees, specified shore excursions, lectures and services of expedition team, pre-voyage information pack and day by day bird and mammal checklist. 

Price excludes: Flights (UK – Puerto Madryn/Ushuaia – UK from £999), vessel fuel surcharges if applicable, Puerto Madryn pre-cruise hotel (you must arrive on October 28th!), gratuities (we suggest Euros10-15 a day on board ship), travel insurance, other drinks and items of a personal nature.

For details and photos from the 2011 voyage, please see the article and photos by Perrow et al, in Birding World Magazine, Volume 25, Issue 311 December 2012.

 

Plancius
A former Dutch naval vessel which has been rebuilt for expedition cruising, she carries a maximum of 114 passengers and has a spacious observation lounge and lots of outside open deck space, at all levels and with viewing in all directions. All cabins with private facilities and portholes or windows. Officers and crew professional and friendly. Western expedition staff. Very comfortable with good food. A real expedition feel.

    Photo Gallery

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    Please Call
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    “We are back from trip to Antarctica and it was absolutely amazing!!! We had the time of our lives. Everything was just excellent, excursions, wildlife….everything was way better than expected. I wanted to thank you for all your help through the booking process and all the information you gave us. We are already telling all our friends not to hesitate to contact you. Thank you again for everything!” 


    Antarctica A.H.J March 2012

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