Falkland Islands – South Georgia – SOLAR ECLIPSE – Antarctic Peninsula

Plancius Cruise Ship
Plancius
116 Passengers
Adventure Options

Don’t miss the chance to see one of Earth’s most wondrous cosmic events in one of Earth’s most fantastic places! An Antarctica viewing of the total solar eclipse is expected December 4, 2021. Though total solar eclipses occur roughly every 18 months, they can only be properly seen along a few key path locations. And what better location than one of the wildest and least-known places on the planet?

We will position our ship in the center of the moon shadow, at the edge of the sea ice in the Weddell Sea, between the South Orkneys and South Georgia. The full voyage lasts 19 nights (20 days) and will visit the Falklands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Note: Our goal on this itinerary is to see the total eclipse, but please keep in mind the polar regions are known for their unpredictability. There is always the chance overcast skies may hinder visibility and that adverse conditions may alter certain details of the pre-planned route.

Brief itinerary

Day 1 Embarkation and departure from Ushuaia
Day 2 At Sea
Day 3 Finding the Falklands
Day 4 Porting in Port Stanley
Days 5 & 6 At Sea
Days 7 to 10 South Georgia
Day 11 At Sea
Day 12 Weddell Sea pack ice & Total Solar Eclipse (Dec 4 , early morning)
Days 13 &14 Last push to Antarctica
Days 15 to 17 Antarctica
Days 18 & 19 Drake Passage
Day 20 Arrival in Ushuaia and disembark the vessel

Day 1 — Embarkation and departure from Ushuaia

Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.

Day 2 — At Sea

Several species of albatross follow the vessel into the westerlies, along with storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels.

Day 3 — Finding the Falklands

The Falkland (Malvinas) Islands offer an abundance of wildlife that is easily approachable, though caution is always advised. These islands are largely unknown gems, the site of a 1982 war between the UK and Argentina. Not only do various species of bird live here, but chances are great you’ll see both Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins in the surrounding waters.

During this part of the voyage, you may visit the following sites:
Carcass Island – Despite its name, this island is pleasantly rodent free and hence bounteous with birdlife. Anything from breeding Magellanic penguins and gentoos to numerous waders and passerine birds (including Cobb’s wrens and tussock-birds) live here.

Saunders Island – On Saunders Island you can see the black-browed albatross and its sometimes clumsy landings, along with breeding imperial shags and rockhopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and gentoos are also found here.

Day 4 — Porting in Port Stanley

The capital of the Falklands and center of its culture, Port Stanley offers a little Victorian era charm: colorful houses, well tended gardens, and English style pubs are all to be found here. You can also see several century-old clipper ships nearby, silent witnesses to the hardships of 19th century sailors. The small but interesting museum is also worth a visit, covering the early days of settlement up to the Falklands War. Approximately 2,100 people live in Port Stanley. Feel free to wander at will, though be aware that admission fees to local attractions are not included in the voyage.

Days 5 & 6 — At Sea

On the way to South Georgia, you cross the Antarctic Convergence. The temperature gradually cools, and nutritious water rises to the surface of the sea due to colliding water columns. This phenomenon sometimes attracts a multitude of seabirds near the ship, including several species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas.

Days 7 to 10 — South Georgia

Today you arrive at the first South Georgia activity site. Please keep in mind that weather conditions in this area can be challenging, largely dictating the program.

You may visit the following sites over the next few days:
Fortuna Bay – Near beaches inhabited by various penguins and seals, you have the chance to follow the final leg of Shackleton’s route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness. This path cuts across the mountain pass beyond Shackleton’s Waterfall and, as the terrain is partly swampy, be prepared to cross a few small streams.

Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbor – These sites not only house the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia, they’re also three of the world’s largest breeding beaches for southern elephant seals. Only during this time of year do they peak in their breeding cycle. Watch the four-ton bulls keep a constant vigil (and occasionally fight) over territories where dozens of females have just given birth or are about to deliver. You can also see a substantial number of Antarctic fur seals here during the breeding season (December – January).

Grytviken – In this abandoned whaling station, king penguins walk the streets and elephant seals lie around like they own the place – because they basically do. Here you might be able to see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave.

Cooper Bay – A Zodiac cruise in Cooper Bay offers a great opportunity to see macaroni penguins below a large rookery. Numerous fur and elephant seals are found on the beach, while majestic light-mantled albatrosses can be seen gracefully gliding above.

Day 11 — At Sea

There may be sea ice on this route, and at the edge of the ice some south polar skuas and snow petrels could join the other seabirds trailing the vessel south.

Day 12 — Weddell Sea pack ice & Total Solar Eclipse (Dec 4 , early morning)

The ship positions itself in the center 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.

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

Days 13 & 14 — Last push to Antarctica

Enormous icebergs and a fair chance of fin whale sightings ensure there’s never a dull moment on this last sea voyage south. Also, your best chance to spot Antarctic petrels is here.

Days 15 to 17 — Antarctica

If the ice conditions permit, you now sail into the Weddell Sea. Here colossal tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Paulet Island, with its large population of Adélie penguins, is a possible stop. You might also visit Brown Bluff, located in the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound, where you could get the chance to set foot on the Antarctic Continent itself.

If conditions aren’t favorable to enter the Weddell Sea from the east, the ship will set course for Elephant Island and head into the Bransfield Strait, between South Shetland Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. Here you can attempt to access the Antarctic Sound from the northwest.

The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often cloaked in mist, but they nonetheless offer many subtle pleasures. A wide variety of flora (mosses, lichens, flowering grasses) and fauna (gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, southern giant petrels) live here.

On Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. If a landing here is possible, you will find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and thousands of cape petrels. A number of kelp gulls, brown skuas, south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns can be spotted here too.

Your last activities before venturing into the Drake Passage are likely to find you around the northern Gerlache Strait. One option is Cierva Cove and the rugged, ice-gripped mountains of the Davis Coast. Mikkelsen Harbor on the south coast of Trinity Island is another alternative. Here you may enjoy a gentoo penguin rookery as well as some fine scenic cruising.

Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.

Days 18 & 19 — Drake Passage

Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re greeted by a vast array of seabirds. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.

Day 20 — Arrival in Ushuaia and disembark the vessel

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Note: Program may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The expedition leader on board will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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May only be booked as a follow-on to one of the the main Atlantic Odyssey departures.
It can not be booked on its own.

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Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

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or Quadruple category at no additional cost.

Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

Camping - $190 per night, max 30 people
Kayaking - $465 per trip, max 14 people
Snowshoe - No charge but sign up required

Activities are Free for the “Basecamp” voyages (incl. Camping, Kayaking, Snowshoeing/Hiking, Mountaineering & Photography Workshop)

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

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No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Single travelers can chose between "single occupancy" at a supplement of 1,7 x the Twin or Superior cabin rate , or "sharing basis" in Twin or Quadruple category at no additional cost.

Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

Camping - $195 per night, max 30 people
Kayaking - $470 per trip, max 14 people
Snowshoe - No charge but sign up required

Activities are Free for the “Basecamp” voyages (incl. Camping, Kayaking, Snowshoeing/Hiking, Mountaineering & Photography Workshop)

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

Only show rates under
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Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
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No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

2019-20 Season Deck Plan (See below for 2020-21 Season Deck Plan)

DeckPlan_Plancius

   Superior
2 windows • 1 double bed • 1 sofa bed • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Flatscreen TV • Telephone and Internet connection • Refrigerator • Coffee & tea maker • Hair dryer • Ample storage space
   Twin Deluxe
2 windows • 2 lower berths • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Flatscreen TV • Telephone and Internet connection • Hair dryer • Ample storage space • These cabins are corner cabins and are slightly more spacious than the normal twin porthole/window cabins
   Twin Window
1 window • 2 lower berths • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Flatscreen TV • Telephone and Internet connection • Hair dryer • Ample storage space
   Twin Porthole
1 porthole • 2 lower berths • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Flatscreen TV • Telephone and Internet connection • Hair dryer • Ample storage space
   Triple Porthole
1 porthole • 1 upper berth & 2 lower berths • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Flatscreen TV • Telephone and Internet connection • Hair dryer • Ample storage space
Suitable for families traveling with children
   Quadruple Porthole
1 porthole • 2 upper & lower berths • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Flatscreen TV • Telephone and Internet connection • Hair dryer • Ample storage space
Suitable for families traveling with children

2020-21 Season Deck Plan (See above for 2019-20 Season Deck Plan)

DeckPlan_Plancius

   Superior
2 windows • 1 double bed • 1 sofa bed • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Flatscreen TV • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) • Refrigerator • Coffee & tea maker • Hair dryer • Ample storage space
   Twin Deluxe
2 windows • 2 lower berths • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Flatscreen TV • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) • Hair dryer • Ample storage space • These are corner cabins and slightly more spacious than normal twin porthole/window cabins
   Twin Window
1 window • 2 lower berths • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Flatscreen TV • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) • Hair dryer • Ample storage space
   Twin Porthole
1 porthole • 2 lower berths • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Flatscreen TV • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) • Hair dryer • Ample storage space • Cabins 201 & 202 have an additional third bed
   Quadruple Porthole
1 porthole • 2 upper / lower berths • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Flatscreen TV • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) • Hair dryer • Ample storage space • This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin