Antarctica is surely the ultimate destination! The scenic settings are as magnificent as any on earth, and the scale of nearly everything is grand to say the least. Complimenting these astounding vistas are vast colonies of majestic penguins, brash skuas, giant petrels, weird sheathbills, somnolent seals and feeding whales that all add life to the region’s stark and amazing beauty. Our birding cruise traverses some of the most interesting areas in the Southern Ocean; notably the Falkland and South Georgia Islands, both of which are renowned as among the richest of all Subantarctic islands. South Georgia’s rugged beauty is worthy of Antarctica itself, while the Falkland Islands are better known as the battlegrounds for the 1982 Anglo-Argentine War. Several days are spent at sea, cruising from one island group to the next until we find ourselves at the very tip of the icy continent itself. These crossings provide thrilling pelagic birding, with huge numbers of albatrosses, petrels, prions, skuas and other seabirds making a daily appearance. Cetaceans are also regular, ranging from the largest whales to the striking Hourglass and Commerson’s Dolphins. This journey to Antarctica is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and cannot come more highly recommended!
King, Emperor, Gentoo, Adelie, Chinstrap, Southern Rockhopper, Macaroni & Magellanic Penguins; Flying, Fuegian & Falkland Steamer Ducks; Upland, Kelp & Ruddy-headed Goose; Yellow-billed Pintail; Wandering, Southern Royal, Northern Royal, Light-mantled, Black-browed & Grey-headed Albatrosses; Wilson’s, Grey-backed & Black-bellied Storm Petrels; Southern & Northern Giant Petrels; Southern Fulmar; Antarctic, Cape, Snow, Blue, White-headed, White-chinned, Kerguelen & Great-winged Petrels; Antarctic, Slender-billed & Fairy Prions; Sooty & Great Shearwaters; Magellanic, South Georgia & Common Diving Petrels; Rock, Imperial, South Georgia & Antarctic Shags; Snowy Sheathbill; Magellanic & Blackish Oystercatchers; Two-banded & Rufous-chested Plovers; Dolphin Gull; Chilean, South Polar & Brown Skuas; Striated Caracara; Blackish Cinclodes; Dark-faced Ground Tyrant; Grass & Cobb’s Wren; Austral Thrush; Correndera & South Georgia Pipits; Black-chinned Siskin; Long-tailed Meadowlark; White-bridled & Black-throated Finches.
South American & Antarctic Fur Seals; South American Sea Lion; Leopard, Weddell, Crabeater & Southern Elephant Seals; Burmeister’s Porpoise; Southern Bottlenose, Long-finned Pilot, Killer, Antarctic Minke, Sei, Fin & Humpback Whales; Peale’s, Hourglass & Commerson’s Dolphins.
coastal and pelagic waters, sub-Antarctic islands & Antarctic Peninsula, pack ice
temperate to subzero, sunny and calm to gale force conditions can be expected
easy pace, mostly undemanding walks
spectacular sub-Antarctic scenery, the most remote continent, icebergs and pack ice, nesting albatrosses, vast penguin colonies