Discover the wild Falkland Islands on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure
Charter a course through true frontier country on this intimate yet comprehensive exploration of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). As one of just 12 passengers aboard the small Hans Hansson, you’ll sail to far-flung locations where bigger ships can’t go and help customise your group’s itinerary. After flying from Santiago to Stanley, spend a few days exploring historic East Falkland Island before setting sail through the archipelago. Each day brings new excursions, landscapes and wildlife sightings, from teeming colonies of rockhopper penguins to Commerson’s s dolphins and even reindeer. Back on board, sit down to dinner with your captain and crew and share stories of adventure.
- Physical rating
- Min 8
- Group size
- Min 1, Max 8
Why we love this trip
From rugged mountains to sheltered white beaches, discover the beauty and diversity of the Falkland Islands on daily landings and excursions
Enjoy a few days to thoroughly explore East Falkland Island. Visit the historic battlefields of the Falklands War on a full day tour, watch penguins waddle at Volunteer Point and stay in the friendly port town of Stanley
Aboard the small exploration vessel of the Hans Hansson, get to hard-to-reach locations that bigger ships can only dream of
As part of an intimate group of 12 passengers, you'll have longer excursions, more face time with the captain and plenty of flexibility. You'll also play a role in shaping the group's itinerary
Your experienced crew have a lot of stories to tell. Who better to show you the Antarctic than a captain born and raised at sea?
Magellanic penguins, black-browed albatrosses, southern giant petrels - the Falkland Islands are home to some incredible birdlife. As many islands are free of predatory species, small bird populations flourish
Is this trip right for you?
Although the Hans Hansson is built for polar conditions, Antarctic waters can be unpredictable and rough. Some people may experience seasickness. Please be prepared with medications to combat this.
As you’d expect, temperatures in the Antarctic are freezing. A warm parka will be provided along with waterproof boots and unlimited hot drinks, but you should also bring base layers and lots of warm clothing. Please see the trip notes for further important information about what to bring.
Weather depending, you will be making regular excursions in a Zodiac boat to explore the local area and look for wildlife. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac, so make sure you are dressed appropriately and that you keep your camera safe and dry. Sturdy sea legs are needed as you make wet and dry landings from the boat, and on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. Some ships have a lot of stairs, so please hold on to the handrails if seas are rough.
The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure and although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially to such a remote area. There are nearly 200 recognised sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands; the places mentioned in the itinerary may need to be changed to others (which are equally as interesting). You may also be confined to the ship during rough weather. This is the perfect opportunity to relax with a book or listen to the stories of your captain and crew.
If you arrive early into Santiago, there is plenty to see and do. Perhaps browse the shops, sample the excellent local wine and cuisine or check out the city's many museums (the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos tells the history of the Pinochet years and is particularly poignant). Another must-see while in town is the sprawling Parque Metropolitano, one of the largest parks in the world.
Meals IncludedThere are no meals included on this day.
If the weather permits, make one of your first landings on Sea Lion Island, which is home to abundant wildlife. Alternatively, check out the world famous birdlife of Bleaker Island. Because many of the islands in the archipelago are free of introduced predators such as rats and cats, small bird populations thrive.
Keep an eye out for penguins, elephant seals, seal lions and the southern giant petrel. In the Beaver Islands, you might also spot Patagonian foxes and reindeer, along with more than 40 of the Falkland's breeding bird species.
If you visit West Point Island, explore the Devil’s Nose and Mount Ararat, where you can spot black-browed albatross and rockhopper penguins. If you're lucky, you may even see Commerson’s dolphins (also known as skunk or panda dolphins) frolicking in the surf. Wherever the group (and weather conditions) dictate you go, each day will offer something unique and unforgettable.
POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS
Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. When travelling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, ice and weather conditions to guide your route and itinerary details. The below is a tentative outline of some of what you might experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed and no expedition will include them all.
West-facing sheer cliffs, rocky eastern coastlines and protected coves mark the mountainous Beaver Group, which also offers great hiking opportunities. Home to large numbers of smaller birds, these islands feature the second largest black-browed albatross colony in the world, as well as rockhopper, gentoo and Magellanic penguin populations.
This picturesque island northwest of West Falkland is owned by locals Rob and Lorraine McGill. Songbirds nest in the rolling landscape. The island is named after the Royal Navy ship the HMS Carcass, which arrived in 1766.
GEORGE AND BARREN ISLANDS
Home to the southernmost working farm in the Falklands, these islands are free from introduced species and rich in birdlife. Elephant seals, southern sea lions, Southern giant petrel, gentoo and Magellanic penguins can also be found here.
The Jason Island archipelago is a chain of remote islands off West Falkland. Grand Jason, as its name suggests, is the largest of the group. Cat and rat free, the Jason islands are home to a large number of small birds, as well as striated cara-cara, rockhopper, gentoo and Magellanic penguins. The islands are either privately owned nature reserves or government owned National Nature reserves. Unpredictable weather and strong tidal currents can make landing here difficult.
The most southwesterly island in the archipelago is about 13 kilometres (eight miles) long and 800 metres (half a mile) wide. The western side of the island is a towering cliff, while the eastern side slopes to the sea. Ownership of the island is held by Tony Chater and Ian Strange. Both men have turned their portion of the island into nature reserves.
In addition to black-browed albatross, and king, Magellanic and gentoo penguins, there’s a good chance you’ll spot Commerson’s dolphins off the coast of this island's stunning beaches.
WEST POINT ISLAND
The Napier family has owned this island since the 1860s. Rockhopper penguins and black-browed albatrosses nest in colonies along the western coastal cliffs, while dolphins are often seen in the surrounding waters.
- Breakfast (10)
- Lunch (10)
- Dinner (10)
Meals16 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 14 dinners
TransportPlane, Ship, Zodiac
AccommodationExpedition ship, hotel
Dates & availability
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Arctic and Antarctic bookings have an increased deposit requirement. On Hans Hansson itineraries, the deposit is A$5000pp and the balance is due 120 days before departure.
If a booking is cancelled 120 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.
If a booking is cancelled between 119 days and departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage.
Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a Polar voyage.
Your voyage is operated by our sister company, Quark Expeditions. All accommodation and transfer arrangements as listed in the itinerary are also operated by Quark Expeditions or their local representatives.