South Georgia & Falklands Photographic Charter Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
Falkland Islands, South Georgia
Programmes:
Polar Expeditions
Trip Code:
PST
Activity Rating - Moderate/Challenging
Moderate / Challenging

You are moderately fit and have an interest in remote or challenging environments. Some previous experience is required for activity based trips.

Days Flight Inclusive
14 Days Land only
Min age: 18

Trip Overview

Paul Goldstein and Chris Packham are no strangers to this part of the Southern Ocean yet both profess that there is nowhere wilder or more fertile than the remarkable high carat faunal jewel of South Georgia. This special charter uses direct flights to Santiago and then a non-stop service to Mt Pleasant. This expedition will maximise every daylight hour amongst the huge penguin rookeries, hanging glaciers and battling Elephant seals, to say nothing of the history of exploration.

This itinerary will not only give you some huge landings on South Georgia, weather permitting there should be at least a day for a couple of spectacular landings in the Falklands. These may include Volunteer Point with its Kings on white sand, West Point with Rockhoppers or the equally fertile Carcass or Sealion islands as well as Port Stanley.

Come and join these two charismatic guides for what will be an unforgettable adventure!

Paul Goldstein, Expedition Leader
Exodus guide and award-winning photographer Paul Goldstein has often said that he is happiest on the plains of the Masai Mara or the decks of a Polar vessel. Having completed over twenty expeditions, his choice for our summer months is Spitsbergen, a programme he pioneered eight years ago. Exodus is now the market leader in small ship voyages there. Paul has a ridiculous amount of energy and is, as the Sunday Times described him, ‘a preposterously vivacious guide of almost psychotic gusto’.

Chris Packham – Expedition Leader
Chris Packham is, in the words of the Times is ‘the heir to David Attenborough’, a ‘national treasure’ (Metro) and has garnered many other hundred choice epithets on countless news websites. As a BBC presenter he is without peers, as a Conservationist he is top tier and never afraid of a fight and is particularly strident in championing causes of hen harriers, badgers and millions of songbirds butchered in the Mediterranean. He is the figurehead of the RSPB and he is a quite brilliant photographer. His pedigree has no equals and he is a hugely popular addition to our Polar expeditions.  He and Paul have worked together for many years and are quite a tag team, deep down there is a reluctant admiration but this rarely surfaces above the constant bickering! Chris has earned many legions of new fans with his recent programme on Asperger’s and his endless campaigning for causes is in keeping with the thoughts of many Exodus travellers. We are lucky to have him.

Message from Paul Goldstein:

South Georgia is a remote Southern Atlantic backwater with very few visitors each year. It is also the most fertile wilderness imaginable with over 6 (six) million King penguins, vast numbers of elephant seals, a number of Gentoos, Skuas and terns. It is also a staggeringly impressive canvas making it almost (but not quite) impossible to do justice to with a camera.

As any faunal or wilderness fan knows the magic hours of dawn and dusk are always the grail but when you have an austral summer in full swing, getting those timing ducklings in a row is little short of pointless.

In Novermber 2017, Boris Wise (Expedition leader), Chris Packham and myself hatched a plan to make this happen by changing the clock by an hour each night on the sailing over from Port Stanley. Five mornings later, after a few days of tumultuous landings it all came to fruition at Gold Harbour. This primordial amphitheatre with its hanging glaciers, steep black beach and huge colonies is high carat value even on a grey day, but that morning a false dawn illuminated the beach like never before. I have never seen a colour like it and the images were little short of witchcraft.

It was bewitching, it was mesmerising and it was only made possible by a good tactical decision meaning one hundred people got up at four thirty not one!

They say you can't turn back time .... not true, will we be doing it again come November 2020 on the magnificent and fast Resolute .... what do you think? On behalf of Chris, myself, Boris and One Ocean, I hope you can join us.

Paul

Trip Highlights

  • Exodus Exclusive photographic charter accompanied by Paul Goldstein and Chris Packham
  • King penguin colonies on the wild and windswept beaches of South Georgia
  • Watch Gentoo penguins surf to the shore in the Falkland islands
  • Travel on board the RCGS Resolute expedition vessel

Is This Trip for You?

Paul and Chris are hugely excited about this sailing, but occasionally circumstances outside our control prevent all of us from doing things we’ve previously committed to. This is the same for both Paul and Chris, and in the highly unlikely event that either Paul or Chris cannot join the trip for personal reasons, Exodus will do everything possible to deliver this itinerary with the same standard of photographic advice, tuition and passionate talks.

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.

Ship Only Itinerary

All Polar itineraries should be treated as a guide only - it is possible that, amongst other things, the capricious nature of wind, visibility and ice, intelligence from previous sailings, changes in local landing regulations or the expert opinion of the crew onboard may lead to adjustments to the route published.

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.

Group

This is a dedicated Exods photographic charter on board the RCGS Resolute. It will be accompanied by Paul Goldstein, Chris Packham, an experienced captain, supporting crew and Polar Experts bringing a diversity of interests including zoology, Polar history, geology, ornithology and ocean sciences.

The ship’s operating crew is Russian and have many years of experience in Polar Regions and are committed to ensuring a safe and memorable journey. Each day your cabin will be serviced by the housekeeping crew, and your meals served by the friendly and attentive restaurant staff. There is also a resident medical officer.

Adult min age:
18
Max group size:
110

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Port Stanley, Falkland Islands.

    Embark and being exploration.

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Days 2-3

    At sea sailing towards South Georgia.

    The moment the ship leaves Port Stanley the photographic action starts as birds follow the stern throughout its ocean journey. Those days sailing east are spent honing one’s craft on the ship’s many vantage points with albatrosses, petrels and prions being the favoured targets as they dive and fly sorties above the multi-coloured spray and spume.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Days 4-11

    Exploring South Georgia.

    South Georgia has a fascinating history with the triumvirate of legacies from Shackleton, whaling and the war, however this is a photographic charter and the vast bulk of the time will be spent on the fertile beaches of Salisbury Plain, Gold Harbour, St Andrews Bay, Royal Bay and Elsehul. By law we have to land at Gritvyken and will spend a morning there but no longer. If the weather is kind there will probably be a few other additions to this unscripted itinerary.

    There is plenty of daylight at the end of November and this expedition plans on using all of it, so be prepared for some very long days. With a ship like the Vavilov and the team of experts on board these five to six days will be remarkable. The principle quarries will be the King penguins, Gentoo penguins,  Elephant seals, Giant petrels and albatrosses – millions of them, as well as the dizzying backdrops that make this remote yet savage island perhaps the most breath-taking in the world.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Days 12-13

    At sea sailing back to the Falkland Islands

    We say goodbye to South Georgia and head back to the Falkland Islands.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 14

    Falkland Islands

    Today we hope to have a couple of landings in the Falkland Islands.  These may include Volunteer Point with its Kings on white sand, West Point with Rockhoppers or the equally fertile Carcass or Sealion islands as well as Port Stanley. Adventurous and exciting, there is nothing 'after the lord mayor’s show about the Falklands although the main emphasis will be on the breath-taking South Georgian beaches. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 15

    Disembark and end in Stanley.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

RCGS Resolute Polar Adventure Ship

The Resolute

RCGS Resolute is a Polar Adventure Ship named after the HMS Resolute, a British Royal Navy Arctic exploration vessel, as well as the Inuit town of Resolute in Canada’s Nunavut Territory.

Designed for comfort, RCGS Resolute is modern, well appointed, safe and ice-strengthened. From small group sessions to briefings for all passengers, she has public spaces onboard the ship ideally suited for each and every need. Two separate bar and lounge areas featuring 180-degree views and a wonderfully stocked library provide ideal places to relax or catch up on some reading. The sumptuous meals prepared for you by our culinary team are enjoyed in either of our two dining rooms, one of which features our popular bistro menu offering quick and easy meals for those prioritizing time out on deck. Both dining rooms have ample and open seating paired with modern furnishings and large picture windows with 180-degree views. Other facilities include our theatre-style presentation room, gift-shop, gymnasium, wellness centre, hot water spa, sauna and steam room and salt water pool.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All meals while on the ship included.

Typical Meals

The ships galley offers good quality service and cuisine throughout, with excellent chefs preparing international menus including vegetarian dishes, accompanied by a wide variety of drinks from around the world on sale.

Breakfast: Buffet style – unlimited tea and coffee, a selection of fruit juices, hot options including bacon and eggs or omelettes, a selection of bread and toast and jam/honey/marmalade, fruit and cereal.

Lunch: Three course set meal or buffet, or the occasional BBQ.

Dinner: Three or four courses with a starter of soup and/or salad, a choice of mains with at least one vegetarian option and a dessert, with tea and coffee.

Transportation

During the expedition, you will visit remote and isolated sites that are accessible only by Zodiac landing craft. Designed for expedition work, these large and heavy-duty inflatable vessels are extremely safe.

Weather & Seasonality

Joining Instructions

Travelling land only: 15 days starting and ending in Port Stanley 

Your trip normally starts at the pier in Port Stanley on Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

 

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Port Stanley
Location end:
Port Stanley

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Wet weather gear and boots – Parkas, overtrousers and rubber boots are essential for a Polar Expedition, but to eliminate these from your packing list we will loan you a pair for the duration of the voyage. You can of course bring your own if you desire.
Gloves – To keep your hands warm and dry, pack a minimum of two pairs of gloves: a pair of thin polypropylene gloves to be worn underneath warm outer gloves.
Hat and Scarf – Pack a warm, woollen hat or cap that covers your ears, as well as a scarf, neck gaiter or other face protection.
Socks – For maximum warmth, we suggest that you wear two pairs of socks to wear inside the rubber boots.
Outer Clothing – Pack woollen or fleece jumpers and tops, plus several turtlenecks for layering.
Underclothing – Pack silk or polypropylene underwear since it will keep you warm without adding bulk.
Knapsack or Backpack – To keep your hands free for shooting photographs, bring a water resistant or waterproof knapsack or backpack.
Shoes – Non-slip shoes for walking around the vessel.

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure.

Optional Equipment

Swimsuit
Sunglasses
Binoculars
Protective sunscreen
Electric converter with adapter plug set, 220V/110V
Small medical kit containing prescription medicines and over-the-counter medication for basic ailments such as stomach upsets, allergies, headaches and seasickness
Snow poles or trekking poles

Photography

This is a photo charter and Exodus are market leader for a reason. Paul and Chris have worked together many times on these departures and judging by the enormous amount of repeat bookings their ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine works. Both are accomplished photographers and presenters and they bring a pedigree not surpassed anywhere in travel or photography. They are here to help you maximise your journey, both realise that it is not just about taking images but any advice people require is on hand. They each have different approaches to their craft and are fiercely critical of their own (and each other’s) work. Both strive for perfection but know there is never a perfect image. Perhaps they have come close on a few occasions but on this departure it is their job to get you near that grail. Both use Canons but whatever your camera, here are some early bits of advice if you are serious about taking some blinding images. Two cameras is a must, even if the second one is just an old model as if your prime one breaks down you might struggle to find a local dealer. You will then need a good long lens and equally competent wide angle one, tripod (if you are using a heavy long lens) and a decent waterproof bag (aircraft cabin approved). Simple!

Practical Information

Visa

Falkland Islands

No visa required.

South Georgia

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

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Electricity

on ships 220v 50Hz

Money

ATM Availability

There are no ATMs in the Falkland Islands. Credit cards are widely accepted and can be used to settle your account on the ship.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

On board the ships all transactions are in US dollars. In the Falkland Islands Sterling notes and coins are accepted, although you may get your change in the Falkland equivalents.
At the conclusion of your voyage, you will be presented with an account. This will include any drinks from the bar, laundry or ship’s shop purchases for which you have signed. You may pay for this in US Dollars cash, credit card (Visa or MasterCard ONLY) or US dollars Traveller’s Cheques.
Please note: on the last evening, once your ship account has been settled, credit card payments are no longer accepted. It is therefore advisable to bring at least some US$ cash if you wish to purchase drinks from the bar or any items from the on board shop at this time.

Tipping

The appropriate amount to tip the staff and crew is a personal matter but it is customary to provide an end-of-cruise gratuity (as a rough guide approximately US$13-15 per day per passenger would be appreciated).

Responsible Tourism

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… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.