Please note that depending on how and where you arrive, usually 2-4 more days are required for arrival and departure!
Day 1: The adventure begins …
In the morning we have time to explore Puerto Madryn again. Boarding on the M.V. Hondius in the late afternoon. After moving into the cabins, the departure takes place, for the rest of the evening we are passing through the “Golfo Nuevo”.
After an obligatory rescue exercise, the ship reaches the open Atlantic at nightfall, from here it goes directly to Falkland.
Day 2 – 5: At sea, West & East Falklands, Port Stanley
We are now spending two days at sea, heading for the Falkland Islands.
Bird watchers get their money’s worth on the crossing: Albatrosses, terns and Cape petrels accompany the large ship. On the observation deck or in the cozy panorama lounge, we enjoy the experience of sailing across the open Atlantic.
We spend the first day on the Falkland Islands in the west of the archipelago. On a hike along the coast of Carcass Island we see brooding Magellan penguins and Gentoo penguins, as well as albatrosses – majestic in the air and all the more awkward when trying to land.
The second day on Falkland is Port Stanley: the capital of malvines with its colorful roofs, manicured gardens and British pubs gives an insight into the life and culture of the Falklanders. Numerous shipwrecks in the bay tell of the tragedies of sailing in the 19th century. The small museum provides impressions from the first years of settlement and the Falklands War.
Day 6 – 7: At sea
Two exciting days at sea await us on the trip to South Georgia. In the first night we reach the Antarctic Convergence. The temperature drops. Different ocean currents provide plenty of food here, and accordingly many sea birds can be observed.
Day 8 – 11: South Georgia
The M.V. Hondius has reached South Georgia. Thousands of Fur seals cavort in Elsehul Bay. Our journey takes us to Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plains, Godthul, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbor, Cooper Bay and Drygalski Fjord. These locations offer a dramatic variety of landscapes and a wide range of animal species, such as Elephant seals, Fur seals, King-, Gentoo- and Macaroni penguins, Gray-headed and Smoky albatrosses, petrels and terns.
The reindeer, introduced by Norwegian whalers in the 19th century, was exterminated in 2015 in a large-scale project to protect native species. A highlight of the trip, weather permitting, is a visit to Prion Island, where we can get close to nesting wandering albatrosses.
In Grytviken we see abandoned whaling stations that are now only inhabited by seals, elephant seals and penguins. In addition to the fully restored Norwegian church and the excellent whaling museum, a walk to the British research station at King Edward Point is also worthwhile. The pilgrimage to the nearby cemetery is an absolute “must” for anyone who has studied the history of the polar pioneers. Sir Ernest Shackleton found his final resting place here.
Day 12: At sea
We leave South Georgia and set course for the South Orkney Islands. With a bit of luck, we can spot rare Antarctic birds such as the snow petrel and the Mac-Cormick’s sku, and perhaps even young Emperor penguins, near the pack ice border. In these waters, the chances of encountering dolphins, minke, humpback, fin, sei or even blue whales are always very high.
Day 13: The South Orkney Islands
If the weather and especially the strong pack ice drift here allow it, we will pay a visit to the Argentine Orcadas station on the South Orkney Islands today. The friendly station staff are happy to show you how to live and work here. We enjoy the view of the surrounding glaciers and explore the coastline with Zodiacs – or the underwater world. The underwater visibility is usually very good here.
Day 14: At sea
After leaving South Orkney behind, we continue towards Antarctica. We enjoy the day in the inviting, comfortable panorama lounge with one of the many excellent lectures by the experts on board, read a book or edit our photos from the last few days. In the evening the tension on board slowly becomes unbearable and all eyes are on the horizon: Large icebergs announce that the M.V. Hondius is inexorably approaching the 7th continent. The Antarctic is within your grasp.
Day 15-18: The Antarctic Peninsula in early summer
We reach the Weddell Sea. Large tabular icebergs herald the imminent arrival on the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula. A landing at Brown Bluff is planned to set foot on the 7th, the Antarctic continent.
Charlotte Bay is mostly filled with drifting icebergs. Here we can see seals on ice floes and we encounter different sea birds. From the hill at Portal Point we have a beautiful view of the landscape.
An attempt is made to land at Baily Head on Deception Island (landing depends on good weather conditions). The ship carefully finds its way through the spectacularly narrow entrance between steep rock walls at Neptuns Bellow into the interior of the crater. Deception Island is a horseshoe-shaped volcanic island and encloses a sunken crater that opens to the sea and forms a harbor created by nature. Here you will find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station and Cape petrels, Dominican gulls, skuas and arctic terns. Throat-striped penguins nest in the vicinity of the ubiquitous fur seals. Due to the volcanic activity and the sheltered location, the underwater world is rich and the sea floor is littered with sea urchins, brittle stars and sun stars.
From Deception Island, if the weather and the current timetable allow it, we will move into Paradise Bay and the legendary Lemaire Channel. A unique sight and impression that we take with us, because from here you start the journey back to Ushuaia.
Day 19-20: At sea, Drake Passage and Cape HornAfter four exciting days at the Antarctic Peninsula, land excursions and maybe dives, as well as a thousand or more photos and even more memories that will remain, it is time to review these many impressions of our unique trip. Two days at sea help.
The photographers now have enough to do with processing the images of the last few days and weeks. If you haven’t seen enough, you can still take photos of albatrosses accompanying the ship on its way back to Tierra del Fuego through the Drake Passage.
Shortly before arriving at the Beagle Channel, we can take a look at the legendary Cape Horn from afar. Soon it will be time to disembark in Ushuaia. This unique adventure trip is nearing its end – or maybe not yet for some?
Day 21: Departure day
Our ship reaches the port of Ushuaia in the morning. After breakfast it’s time to say goodbye to the M.V. Hondius and the always attentive and hard-working crew. A short transfer brings us to the airport, the flight back to Buenos Aires is around 10 a.m. Depending on the flight schedule, an overnight stay in Buenos Aires may be necessary.
Alternatively, you can stay longer in Tierra del Fuego or Patagonia, e.g. to dive in the Beagle Channel.