South Georgia Explorer - 15 Days

Aboard Plancius – 108 passengers

Few places compare to South Georgia in terms of exotic wildlife and jaw-dropping scenery. On this exploratory voyage you can enjoy wandering albatross colonies while also seeing some of the biggest breeding spots for king penguins and elephant seals on Earth – along with day after day of amazing polar scenery.

Tour Dates

Itinerary

Day 1: Embarkation from Ushuaia, Argentina
Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.

Day 2-3: At Sea
En route to South Georgia, you cross the Antarctic Convergence. The temperature cools considerably within the space of a few hours, and nutritious water rises to the surface of the sea due to colliding water columns. This phenomenon attracts a multitude of seabirds near the ship, including several species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas.

Day 4: At Sea / Shag Rocks
Depending on weather conditions, we may sail past Shag Rocks. This small group of 6 islands on the South Georgia Ridge in shallower waters. The nutrient-rich waters in this area offers a lot of food for birds and whales. The islands are named after the South Georgian Shags, known for their bright blue eyes and yellow patch on their beak.

Day 5-10: South Georgia
Today you arrive at the first South Georgia activity site. Please keep in mind that weather conditions in this area can be challenging, largely dictating the program. Over the next several days, you may have a chance to visit the following sites:

Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour– These sites not only house the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia, they’re also three of the world’s largest breeding beaches for southern elephant seals. Only during this time of year do they peak in their breeding cycle. Watch the four-ton bulls keep a constant vigil (and occasionally fight) over territories where dozens of females have just given birth or are about to deliver. You can also see a substantial number of Antarctic fur seals here.

Fortuna Bay – A beautiful outwash plain from Fortuna Glacier is home to a large number of king penguins and seals. You may have the chance to follow the final leg of Shackleton’s route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness. This path cuts across the mountain pass beyond Shackleton’s Waterfall, and as the terrain is partly swampy, be prepared to cross a few small streams.

Leith Harbour, Stromness, Husvik – These sites remind us of the scale of the whaling industry in the early 20th century. Elephant and fur seals breed and moult here. Gentoo penguins also occupy the landing sites. Antarctic prions and South Georgia dive petrels may be observed, especially in the area of Husvik.

Grytviken– In this abandoned whaling station, king penguins walk the streets and elephant seals lie around like they own the place – because they basically do. Here you might be able to see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave.

Cobblers Cove, Godthul – At Cobblers Cove we aim for Rookery Point to see macaroni penguins. Light-mantled sooty albatrosses nest along the coastline and giant petrels can be observed as well. Godthul (Norwegian for “good cove”) was named by Norwegian whalers and seal-hunters and remains such as bones can still be found along the shore line. Beaches are the home of gentoo penguins and seals.

Royal Bay (Moltke Harbour, Will Point & Brisbane Point) – Moltke harbour in Royal Bay was named by the German International Polar Year Expedition in 1882 and some of the remains of their dwellings are still visible. The scenery of Royal Bay is beautiful, dark sandy beaches, followed by the green tussock colors and finally dominated by the snow and ice covered Ross Glacier. Royal Bay one of the windiest bays on the island, zodiac cruising is spectacular. Approx. 30,000 pairs of king penguins live here.

Cooper Bay– Offers the largest chinstrap penguin population and gentoo and also macaroni penguins are present. Antarctic terns, white-chinned petrels, blue-eyed shags and light-mantled sooty albatrosses can be spotted too.

Drygalski Fjord – offers spectacular landscapes as the ships sails the narrow fjord, with ca. 2 kilometer high mountain peaks at a very close distance.

King Haakon Bay – British explorer Ernest Shackleton reached King Haakon Bay during his journey of 800 sea-miles by open boat “James Caird” from Elephant Island. From here he crossed to Stromness to ask for help to rescue his party at Elephant Island after they had left the Weddell Sea where their ship got crushed by ice. Elephant seals dominate the beaches. Birdwatchers will look out for South Georgia pipits, Antarctic prions as well as common diving and blue petrels.

Day 11-14: At Sea
Your return voyage is far from lonely. While sailing back to Ushuaia, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.

Day 15: Disembarkation in Ushuaia
Today you disembark in Ushuaia, taking home priceless memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per IAATO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with IAATO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed for our vessel is 10.5 knots.

Route Map

Trips and Rates

Please note, rates are Per Person in USD
Quad Porthole
$10,900
 
Triple Porthole
$12,950
Full
Twin Porthole
$12,950
 
Twin Window
$13,600
 
Twin Deluxe
$14,750
Limited
Superior
$15,800
 

Single Travelers:

  • Can book into a share cabin in Quad – Twin Deluxe
  • Can book a twin cabin at solo occupancy at 1.7x the per person share price

Single Travelers:

  • Can book into a share cabin in Quad – Twin Deluxe
  • Can book a twin cabin at solo occupancy at 1.7x the per person share price

Adventure Options:

  • Kayaking (full program, multiple paddles): $560/person – requires experience
  • Camping: $225/person for 2024-25 season & $250/person for 2025-26 season
  • On Basecamp departures all activities are free

Availability & prices are subject to change at anytime. Please contact us for the real time availability & prices.

Cabin Descriptions

Superior

The Superior cabins are the most spacious and the only cabin category with a double bed. They are located on deck 4, 5 & 6, with most being on deck 5 & 6 (there is just 1 superior on deck 4). Features: 2 windows, 1 double bed, 1 sofa bed, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Hair dryer, Safe deposit box and Ample storage space. 

226 – 248 square feet / 21 – 23 square meters.

Plancius twin deluxe

Twin Deluxe

There are just 2 Twin Deluxe cabins located towards the aft of deck 4. They are corner cabins and are slightly more spacious than the Twin Porthole/Window cabins. Features: 2 windows, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hair dryer, Ample storage space and Safe deposit box. 

145 square feet / 13.5 square meters

Plancius twin window

Twin Window

The most abundant cabin category on the ship, all located on deck 4. Features: 1 window, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hair dryer, Safe deposit box and Ample storage space. 

135 – 145 square feet / 12.5 – 13.5 square meters

Plancius twin porthole

Twin Porthole

The nine Twin Porthole cabins are located on deck 3. Features: 1 porthole, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hair dryer, Safe deposit box and Ample storage space. 

129 square feet / 12 square meters

Plancius triple porthole

Triple Porthole

Just 1 Triple cabin located on deck 2. This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin. Features: 1 porthole, 1 upper berth & 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hair dryer, Safe deposit box and Ample storage space.

Plancius quad porthole

Quad Porthole

There are 4 Quad cabins on deck 2. This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin. Features: 1 porthole, 2 upper berths & 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hair dryer, Safe deposit box and Ample storage space. 

129 square feet / 12 square meters

Deck Plan

Inclusions & Exclusions

Inclusions: 

  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation, in Ushuaia.
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
 

Exclusions: 

  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).