King penguin chick

South Georgia & Falklands Photographic Expedition

15 days
from
£8,999
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Polar Expeditions
Activity level:
Moderate / Challenging
Activity Rating - Moderate/Challenging
Trip code: 
PUI
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Photographic Departures
Max group size:
96
Ages:
18+

Fit for Kings

There may be better places to photograph in the world than South Georgia, perhaps the plains of East Africa when the herds are in full flight, but it is debatable. South Georgia is a combination of staggering scenery: with towering mountains, sparkling hanging glaciers and charcoal volcanic beaches choked with literally millions of King penguins and countless other species.

The legacy of Ernest Henry Shackleton is never far away, this distant South Atlantic faunal stronghold being the final part of his epic journey after the Endurance had become entombed in a crushing and mortal grip of Weddell Sea ice. The most valuable commodity on any Antarctic journey is time and with a spanking new 96 berth vessel specifically designed for these waters, with magnificent facilities and with an impressive top speed, we will be making the most of this fortnight. The Magellan is in a class of its own and perfect for this sort of adventure. This is a photographic expedition which, put simply, aims to utterly maximise every daylight hour in both South Georgia and the Falklands. Weather is a capricious mistress at best in the South Atlantic and therefore we cannot be bound by rigid timetables. There should be huge Elephant seals competing for beach space, often resulting in violent skirmishes in the surf. Having had to move the clock in the past to enjoy sunrise in the past (honestly) it will be good to enjoy some dawn and dusk. Rest assured there is also plenty of daylight too.

Flying straight into Stanley saves a lot of sea time as most departures leave from Ushuaia and the plan will be to do at least two big Falklands landings as well as some time in the capital Stanley.

For photographers, wilderness fans, and those who have ever dreamed about spending time in this remote backwater, this is a must. Many people travel to the South Atlantic and have their journeys compromised by having to split landings on account of the 100 people maximum. This ship is 96 berth and not this size by co-incidence and the two weeks on board are going to be very exciting if perhaps a little exhausting. Most journeys to South Georgia are on cruise ships allocating maybe three days at best in this fabled faunal nirvana. This almost borders on insult and this expedition (notice the different description please) plans five days at least in South Georgia before returning to the fertile Falkland islands. Hundreds of times I have heard people bemoaning the fact they did not have long enough in South Georgia, well, not on this expedition. The colonies of St Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour and Salisbury Plain are the biggest penguin colonies anywhere and need long, extended landings. Despite being a formidable obstacle to their almost crusade-like journey to Stromness whaling station, Worsley, Crean, McNeish and the Boss himself were captivated by this island as you will be .... the comfort levels have improved a little since the James Caird though!

King for a day.....well it will be a little more than that. If walking in the footsteps of Shackleton, gazing at coruscating glaciers, watching huge seals batter seven barrels out of each other and then witnessing thousands of King and other penguins in and out of the surf is your thing, I really look forward to welcoming you on board.

As for photography there .... it really is the sport of kings.

Georgia on your minds...?  It should be.

 - Paul Goldstein

Highlights

  • Special photography departure
  • Travel on the Magellan Explorer, a brand new fast 96 berth expedition vessel
  • All cabins en suite
  • Accompanied by lecturers and experienced crew
  • Plenty of photographic advice and instruction
  • Flexible itinerary
  • Extended time and landings in South Georgia and the Falklands
  • Huge King penguin colonies of St Andrews Bay, Salisbury Plain and Gold Harbour
  • Witness millions of King penguins, Gentoo and Macaroni penguins, Elephant seals fighting as well as Giant petrels, Cape petrels, skuas and seals
  • Good possibility of seeing huge grounded icebergs 

What's included

  • All meals while on the ship
  • Beer and house wine during lunch and dinner
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout and qualified Expedition Staff
  • We can include flights from the UK.  Please contact us for a quote.

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
+91 98866 81381
Call for private group trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

    You will be picked up at the Port Stanley Airport and transferred into town. There will be time to explore the town of Port Stanley before boarding the ship.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Saunders Island & Carcass Island

    During a morning visit to Saunders Island, we enjoy the long white-sand beach. A wilderness experience, the main attractions there are Rockhopper penguins, nesting Black browed albatross, and sub-Antarctic Gentoo penguins. In the afternoon, we visit Carcass Island. There is an option for an easy hike to the settlement, bird watching, and a typical Falklands tea experience.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    New Island & Weddell Island

    We visit New Island today, a classic West Falklands experience, with albatross and penguin colonies. Depending on local conditions, in the afternoon, we could visit Weddell Island.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Bleaker Island

    Morning landing at Bleaker Island. This is a natural reserve with a famous bird area featuring a large variety of birds. In the afternoon, we head to South Georgia.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 5-6

    At Sea

    As we sail toward South Georgia, attend an engaging program of lectures and presentations. In the company of expert guides, watch for wildlife from the lounge or from the outside decks. You may spot magnificent seabirds, such as albatrosses and petrels, as well as different species of whales.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Elsehul Bay

    Depending on sea conditions over the previous days, arrival is planned for the afternoon. Provided we receive approval from the South Georgia government, we plan to do an evening Zodiac cruise at Elsehul Bay.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Grytviken & Fortuna Bay

    Our first landing is at Grytviken. We clear Customs and then visit the historical site, with the museum and Ernest Shackleton’s grave. In the afternoon, we land  at Fortuna Bay/Stromness to see King penguins. Here we learn more about Shackleton and his expedition. There is also an optional 2-3 hour 'Shackleton walk'.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Gold Harbour & Cooper Bay

    In the morning, we plan a landing at Gold Harbour. This is a spectacular location with King penguins, Elephant seals and hanging glaciers. There are also Sooty albatrosses here. In the afternoon, we visit Cooper Bay to see Macaroni penguins during a Zodiac cruise.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    St Andrews Bay & Ocean Harbour

    St Andrews Bay is the destination of our morning excursion. We see the largest King penguin colony, and Elephant seal bulls. In the afternoon, we plan a Zodiac cruise and landing at Ocean Harbour. The highlights here are a shipwreck and remains of the whaling industry.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Prion Island & Salisbury Plain

    In the morning, we plan to visit Prion Island to see the nesting Wandering albatross. In the afternoon, we head to Salisbury Plain for more King penguins and stunning landscapes.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 12-14

    At Sea

    As we make our way back to the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) our program of lectures and presentations continues.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 15

    Disembark in Stanley

    Upon arrival at Port Stanley we disembark and transfer to the airport for the ongoing flight.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Group Information

The Magellan Explorer takes a maximum capacity of 96 passengers.

Visas

Falkland Islands

No visa required.

South Georgia

No visa required for British, US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and most EU passports.

Eating and Drinking

All meals while on the ship included and offer a variety of choices. A full selection of drinks is served by waitstaff. Breakfast and lunch are offered buffet-style, where your choice of main course is plated by a chef and can then be complemented by side dishes, salads, fruits, and pastries. Dinner is sit-down, with full service. Beers and premium Chilean wines are included with lunch and dinner. Depending on the weather, a barbecue on deck may be offered.

Is this trip for you?

Travelling Conditions

The voyages are designed to be as flexible as possible, taking advantage of circumstances and events as they occur, as well as passengers’ wishes and particular interests wherever possible. The atmosphere onboard is relaxed and friendly with expedition staff, including naturalists and Polar experts, on hand and the opportunity to mingle with people from all over the world. The ship is kept warm, clean and comfortable with a wet/mud room in which to hang gear and store boots ready for the next adventure.

On the Zodiac cruises you are sitting still for most of the time with the potential for some sea spray and a cold headwind - if you are not dressed appropriately you will get cold. On the shore excursions, the majority of landings are ‘wet’ which means that the Zodiacs beach and you are helped to slide into the ankle deep shore break before walking up onto dry land (wellington boots are issued to all passengers).

There are, of course, no paths, so be prepared for slippery, rough terrain and sometimes fairly deep snow. Back on board the cosy ship after each adventure, you can have a sauna and/or a hot shower and then relax with a tea, coffee, hot chocolate or something stronger from the bar.

Booking Conditions

Please note that the booking conditions for this trip differ from our standard conditions. 

As with all Polar holidays and voyages, the required deposit is 20% per person of your selected travel arrangements (minimum £1000 per person or equivalent) and the balance of the price of your travel arrangements must be paid at least 133 days before your departure date. The deposit is non-refundable, and at 133 days before departure date, our cancellation penalties are 100% of the holiday cost.

Please note: on this departure, the only discount applicable is our loyalty discount. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
+91 98866 81381
Call for private group trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Magellan Explorer

The Falkland Islands & South Georgia Photographic Expedition is offered on the Magellan Explorer, a new and modern expedition vessel custom-built for Antarctic and sub-Antarctic expeditions.

The Magellan Explorer has capacity for up to 96 guests in seven categories of accommodation, including dedicated single cabins. All cabins except Porthole cabins feature private balconies. All double cabins except two have two twin beds that can be configured as one king-size bed. All cabins feature a wardrobe, individually controlled heating system, a sitting area, and a private bathroom with shower.

The ship features a glass-enclosed observation lounge and presentation room with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, a spacious and stylish dining room, a well-stocked bar, a library, a meeting room, a gym, a sauna, and a medical clinic. The forward-facing observation deck leads to the bow of the ship, which is accessible to guests to offer proximity to marine wildlife. The ship has a fleet of 10 Zodiac boats that are well suited for disembarking and wildlife watching.

Call for general departures:
+91 98866 81381
Call for private group trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Have you been on this adventure? Tell others what it’s like by writing a review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros  Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros  Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros  Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Polar Ships: For information regarding ship specifications, visit the Polar Fleet page.

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