SOLAR ECLIPSE: FALKLAND ISLANDS, SOUTH GEORGIA & ANTARCTICA – OCEAN ATLANTIC
The eclipse begins early in the morning east of Falkland Islands. From here the moon shadow speeds south at 10,000 km per hour towards the South Orkney Island and Antarctica. Albatros Expeditions has selected the best possible observation position east of South Orkney, where the sun is 11 degrees above the horizon. This wondrous phenomenon will last for almost 2 minutes.
The solar eclipse is just one out of several highlights of this 15-days once-in-a-lifetime voyage.
We follow in the path of the courageous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton – just in the opposite direction: From Ushuaia to the wildlife paradise of South Georgia. From here to the eclipse path and onwards to South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. We will skirt the periphery of the Weddell Sea, birthplace of the mighty tabular icebergs, and cruise close to Shackleton’s harsh winter-camp on the shore of Elephant Island.
DAY 1 ARRIVAL AND EMBARKATION IN USHUAIA
Arrive and embark in Ushuaia, Argentina – the world’s southernmost town. Explore the quaint city or local countryside. Alternatively, consider a day trip off the beaten path to the raw, natural archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. It’s a hiker’s paradise with rugged snow-capped mountains, glaciers, flower-filled meadows and boggy quagmires. Afterwards we embark the ship Ocean Atlantic, our home for the coming days.
DAY 2 AT SEA TOWARDS FALKLAND ISLANDS
While we make our way towards the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) there will be plenty of time to get to know the ship as well as participating in the many activities offered on board. Lectures about wildlife and the history of the Falkland Islands will be held, and our experienced expedition team will share stories and lectures that vary based on the locations we visit and their areas of expertise.
DAY 3-4 FALKLAND ISLANDS, PORT STANLEY
During the morning we approach Falkland Islands and in the early afternoon Ocean Atlantic will cast anchor by the sheltered natural harbor of Port Stanley. Stanley is the capital of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), a remote South Atlantic archipelago. Utilizing our Zodiacs, we will land in town center, and take a leisurely stroll through the streets of Stanley.
On the following day we will make landings – weather permitting – at two of the islands’ many magnificent wildlife spots, where penguins and other sea birds gather.
DAY 5-6 AT SEA TOWARDS SOUTH GEORGIA
Days at sea are great for participating in lectures, photo sessions and recaps, reading books in the ship library and watching the ubiquitous storm petrels and albatrosses from top deck. From photography workshops to lectures on the regions we visit by our knowledgeable expedition team and guest lecturers. Additionally, a raffle or auction onboard usually takes place during this time, to raise funds for charitable organizations focused on global issues and local environmental solutions. In this case, for example, South Georgia Heritage Trust, Whale & Dolphin Conservation, and more. Take this opportunity to give back to the world while educating yourself on the subjects that these organizations support in a fun and enjoyable time.
DAY 7 – 11 SOUTH GEORGIA AND SOUTH ATLANTIC
South Georgia offers stunning wildlife experiences with a wealth of breeding penguins, sea birds, sea lions and seals, all seeking shelter in this oasis amidst the roaring Southern Ocean. Previous whaling history pops up in most of fjords we will explorer – not least in Grytviken the only inhabited settlement on this mountainous island. Grytviken is also the last resting place for Ernest Shackleton, after he died on yet another Antarctica voyage in 1922. We will explore the fjords in the north coast for 2-3 days and take as many shore landings as time and the swelling sea will allow us.
DAY 12 DECEMBER 4TH: SOLAR ECLIPSE EAST OF SOUTH ORKNEY ISLANDS
The eclipse begins early in the morning east of Falkland Islands. From here the moon shadow speeds south at 10,000 km per hour towards the South Orkney Island and Antarctica. Albatros Expeditions has selected the best possible observation position east of South Orkney, where the sun is 11 degrees above the horizon. This wondrous phenomenon will last for almost 2 minutes… but your memory of experiencing it will last a lifetime!
DAY 13 AT SEA TOWARDS ANTARCTICA
As the white shimmer of Antarctica looms on our horizon, the presence of wildlife multiples by tens of thousands with many species of lively penguins, inquisitive seals, nesting birds and the spray of marine mammals.
DAY 14 – 17 ANTARCTIC PENINSULA AND SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS
Over the coming days, we will begin the exciting Antarctic experience at the very tip of the Continent. During these days in the Antarctic Sound, named in 1902 after the Swedish vessel Antarctic, the Captain and the Expedition Team will keep a watchful eye on the mighty tabular icebergs, born from the floating Larsen Ice Shelf further south. We aim to have both continental and island landings on the shores of Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea, always on the lookout for some of the unusually large penguin colonies, which have recently been observed.
The itinerary and activities over the next few days depend on weather and ice conditions. The route and shore landings will be determined by the Captain and Expedition Leader and communicated to the guests through regularly scheduled briefings.
Wildlife abounds on the Antarctic Peninsula: leopard, fur and Weddell seals of Cuverville Island; humpback whales of Gerlache Strait; Paradise Bay; the dramatic Lemaire Channel’s orcas. Days at sea are great for enjoying the seascapes, relaxing, or participating on the program onboard.
DAY 18 – 19 RE-CROSSING DRAKE TOWARDS USHUAIA
Today, we depart Antarctica and spend two days at sea on our way back to the calms of Beagle Channel and Ushuaia, Argentina. En-route, we will cross Drake Passage and cruise past Cape Horn, a legendary maritime landmark and the southern tip of South America.
During our time at sea, a variety of activities will be arranged on board and it provides the perfect opportunity to socialize with fellow travelers.
DAY 20 ARRIVAL IN USHUAIA AND DISEMBARKATION
This morning, we arrive back in Ushuaia for the conclusion of our tour, where you can continue your adventures or begin your return home
Ocean Atlantic is the perfect vessel for expedition cruising in Antarctic waters! Newly renovated in 2016 and with an international ice class rating of 1B, she is one of the strongest ships operating in Antarctica. Her high maneuverability, shallow draft and strong engines allow for extended voyages into isolated fjords, creating exciting adventures for any Antarctica traveler.
Ocean Atlantic is newly renovated (2016) with elegant common areas and accommodation for 198 passengers.
The ship was built in 1985 and underwent an extensive rebuild in 2010. With a length of 140m she has ample space on the multiple decks for several lecture halls, a relaxed restaurant serving 4-star international cuisine, professionally staffed bars and observation platforms – and even a pool.
All common areas on the Erickson Deck feature large panel windows, enabling passengers to quickly spot passing whales and photographic sights from the comfort of indoor lounges.
All private cabins are stylish appointed and feature individual bathroom facilities, phone for internal calls, individual temperature controls and TV. Ideal for relaxation, the vessels’ accommodation ranges in size from 11 – 35 m2 and are designed with either portholes or windows.
Daily shore landings at penguin rookeries, research stations and other Antarctic wonders are made possible by her fleet of 20 Zodiacs.
Year of construction 1985
Year of refurbishment 2016
Passenger capacity 198
- 15-day cruise with accommodation in a shared outside double cabin with private facilities
- Position on the solar eclipse centerline
- All Zodiac landings and excursions as per itinerary
- Expedition parka
- Solar Eclipse glasses
- Rubber boot rentals
- Guiding and lectures by our expedition leader and team
- Special Photo Workshop
- English-speaking expedition team
- Visual Journal link after voyage including voyage log, gallery, maps, species list and more!
- Full board on the ship – breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon snacks
- Free tea and coffee 24 hours’ daily
- Welcome and farewell cocktails
- Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
- Single room supplement and cabin upgrades
- Meals not on board the ship
- Beverages (other than coffee and tea)
- Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 13.5 per person per day)
- Personal expenses
- Anything not mentioned under ’Inclusions’