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Falklands, S Georgia and Peninsula

Bozeman, Montana
posts: 8
reviews: 1
Falklands, S Georgia and Peninsula

If you could and had to choose, would you visit in mid-late November or February? thanks, Alyce

Bozeman, Montana
posts: 8
reviews: 1
11. Re: Falklands, S Georgia and Peninsula

You may very likely be right...overplanning. With the trip of a lifetime, I just want to see a variety of baby penguins if possible but do realize that all times of the tour season will be wonderful.

Horsham, Australia
posts: 80
reviews: 23
12. Re: Falklands, S Georgia and Peninsula

Bozeman, I would seriously consider Feb. ,March for the following reasons.

1. Cruises are usually cheaper as they are out of the "Holiday" period. My Feb. March trip on the L'Austral was nearly 1/3 cheaper c/f a trip that didn't include The Falklands in Jan.

2. As Feb.-March is in the southern hemisphere autumn or late summer, the weather can be more benign with calmer weather than earlier in the summer or the unpredictability of spring.

3. The wild-life was stunning, with birds of all sorts, including penguins, still nesting and with chicks, elephant seals were lying about in big groups moulting, and whales abounded everywhere, often with their young.

4. The daylight hours are in the normal range-5.30am til 9.00pm making it great for the body-clock!

5. The cost of plane fares to get to Ushuaia a back from Buenos Aires or Montevideo are quite a deal cheaper than in the high season.

Hope the above is useful for you. Have a good look at either the L'Austral or Boreal cruise itineraries to c/f with other options. The L'Austral cruise that I went on never missed one zodiac landing due to poor weather and every day was just stunning. We also had the bonus of getting a landing at Volunteer Point in the Falklands where the King Penguins were fantastic. This was the first zodiac landing there since early Dec. as it is a surf beach and zodiac landings can be hazardous.

You should really consider the Falklands as a must do destination as it is a stunning place for many reasons. Cheers

Michigan
posts: 1,547
reviews: 27
13. Re: Falklands, S Georgia and Peninsula

1. Does that apply generally to all lines?

2. No guarantees, right?

3. What wildlife should one expect to see during the holiday period?

4. Daylight hours during the holiday period? (I actually enjoyed the midnight sun in the Arctic -- having a less expensive cabin with a porthole that could be closed was a great sleep aid)

5. Is Buenos Aires to Ushuaia fare included in many cruise/tour packages?

6. Are many of the landings on the peninsula surf beaches?

Champaign IL
posts: 40
reviews: 7
14. Re: Falklands, S Georgia and Peninsula

I went to Antarctica over Christmas/New Years, especially to see hatching chicks. This of course

does not apply to hatching on South Georgia.

The small chicks are cute. Penguins are cute, but baby ones are cuter. Some people call this the "trip of a lifetime". It really wasn't for me (my first big trip, Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge guided my Mary Leaky was) ... except for seeing a chick pecking its way out of the shell. That's what I went for, and I'm glad

I used that as a deal-maker requirement.

Bozeman, Montana
posts: 8
reviews: 1
15. Re: Falklands, S Georgia and Peninsula

Thanks for the tips. These are bigger ships so how were the Zodiac landings Handled? Did you have a time limit with each landing so all passengers could have a landing?

Stanley, Falkland...
posts: 30,102
reviews: 57
16. Re: Falklands, S Georgia and Peninsula

Unless unforeseen weather intervenes, al passengers get landings. There is a time limit, but there would be one on smaller boats too. It is not a big issue, imo. There is a lot of debate about this on Cruise Critic.

Re. hatching chicks. A lot depends on the breed of penguin. They hatch at different times of the year.

It pays to know a bit about your penguins. A lady on the Fram was rather shocked to find out at the first lecture that she would not be seeing Emperor Penguins, her main reason for travelling! "Other side of the continent, Ma'am!"

Tuggerah, Australia
posts: 1
reviews: 6
17. Re: Falklands, S Georgia and Peninsula

I have made the Antarctic journey twice now, and the time to go depends on what you want to see, or, like me, make it two trips (mine were twenty years apart!) In January 1994 I flew via Santiago and Buenos Aires to Ushuaia to join my cruise to the Antarctic peninsula. Other than sailing the dreaded Drake Passage, the cruise was fantastic, the weather magnificent. Our cruise leaders were Margie and Greg Mortimer, founders of Aurora Expeditions. With a maximum of 54 passengers on board, all could enjoy the two or three zodiac landings with sunshine up to twenty hours a day. Wildlife in January on the peninsula is amazing, with huge colonies of Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins, huge Elephant seals along with Leopard, Crabeater, Weddel and fur seals are easily spotted, and the whales have returned from their northern migration. Nothing beats riding in zodiacs in beautiful Paradise Bay / Harbour with four or five huge humbacks for company!

In November 2012, almost twent years later, I did the Falklands, South Georgia and the peninsula, again with Aurora Expeditions. The founders had retired, but the ship was still small, with only 48 expeditioners on this voyage, and the quality of leadership and excellent lecturing staff including a naturalist and historian and options including kayaking and a photography course. As I mentioned earlier, it depends on what you want to see. To see thousands of King Penguin chicks as far as the eye can see on Salisbury Plains, South Georgia is probably guaranteed in November, but come December, January the bull seals have claimed and are defending their territory all over the beaches and above, waiting for the females to return and mate. This makes zodiac landings almost impossible. Having said that, I sat next to another Australian on my flight home, who had been with a Quark Expedition at the same time, and she commented that they had great difficulty with landing on South Georgia. Perhaps it was the bigger ship 100+ passengers that caused the problem. Only one of our South Georgia landings was aborted due to bad weather, and our smaller Polar Pioneer could get much closer to shore, making zodiac cruising and landings much safer.

The peninsula landings were not as many as my original trip, but cruising beautiful Paradise Bay / Harbour was still as magical, except the humpbacks were missing. We were too early, they were still migrating, but one evening a pod of five or six orcas accompanied the Polar Pioneer for som time.

So when should you go? November for the best of beautiful South Georgia, and January for the best of the Antarctic Peninsula. I could not choose! And my final suggestions, Aurora Expeditions have a Fly In or out option where you fly from or to Ushuaia to or from Stanley, Falkland Islands, avoiding one sailing of the dreaded Drake Passage, and finally, I saw cheap cruises advertised in Ushuaia, but did these cruises offer zodiac cruises and landings? Are they members of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) and Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO).

I would prefer to have a guaranteed tour from my place of origin and be on a very small ship which can guarantee landings. I think even 100 passengers may be too many.

Horsham, Australia
posts: 80
reviews: 23
18. Re: Falklands, S Georgia and Peninsula

The zodiac landings on the Peninsula were/are all at very safe beaches. None of them that I experienced were at surf beaches, probably due to the fact that they are all in sheltered bay type locations where there is little if any ocean swells. on the L'Austral, they were very cautious about weather conditions and stated that safety was paramount. Fortunately, not one of our scheduled landings was cancelled as we experienced exceptionally good weather on our cruise after,mind you, an extremely rough but exciting Drake Passage crossing.

posts: 1
19. Re: Falklands, S Georgia and Peninsula

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20. Re: Falklands, S Georgia and Peninsula

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