Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Antarctica

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Anarctica

The Trip

The adventure begins with a short flight from Ottawa to Toronto, followed by a longgggg flight to Buenos Aires via Santiago.  I leave Ottawa at 7pm and arrive in Buenos Aires at 3:25 pm the next day (1:25 pm Ottawa time)- 10,479 km and 18 1/2 hours later.  Read more – A trip to the end of the earth


The first few days have been busy with flying, sleeping and eating.  Too much of some, not enough of others!  This photo of the Andes was taken leaving Santiago en route to Buenos Aires.  Read more – Ushuaia – Fin del Mundo

Ushuaia, Day 2

Not only does the sun set late here, it also rises pretty early (more on that later).  After breakfast I decided to take a walk on the shorter trails here at the hotel.  Cameras ready, I set off.  As I stepped outside, my guide appeared out of nowhere and escorted me to the trail.  Read more – Ushuaia, Day 2

Waiting for my ship to come in

Remember what I said about the sunrise?  Well, today I was wide awake by 3 am and was able to get outside and take some great pictures just before sunrise.  The water was calm and the lights shone brightly, it was very beautiful and peaceful.  Read more – Waiting for my ship to come in

Come sail away…

Today we set sail!  Before that happens, there is a lot of hurry up and wait. I have to have my bag ready and check out of the hotel by 10am.  Then I need to meet the group to depart for the ship at 3:30.  That leaves the better part of the day to fill.  To help pass the time I decided to go to Tierra del Fuego National Park for a little while.  The bus let me off, literally, at the end of the road and only 17,848 km from Alaska!  Read more – Come sail away

At sea – en route to the Falklands

It was a surprisingly busy sea day as we headed for the Falkland Islands.  After a 7:45 wake up call and breakfast, we had a presentation on the birds of the Falklands, got our muck boots, had a photography talk, lunch, a (mandatory) landing guidelines & Zodiac procedures meeting, afternoon tea, a history of the Falklands talk (I skipped that one), our first Expedition Briefing, the Captain’s welcome cocktail and dinner.  Read more – En route to the Falklands

The Falkland Islands

West Point Island & Saunders Island

Our first landings today – and I didn’t fall out of the Zodiac! The first stop was West Point Island, which lies just off the most north-westerly point of mainland West Falkland and boasts a population of 2 people.  We walked from the “settlement” up the hill and across the island to Devil’s nose, a beautiful spot that is home to a colony of Rockhopper Penguins peacefully coexisting with Black Browed Albatross.  Read more – West Point Island & Saunders Island


The Falkland Islands consist of 2 larger islands, East & West Falkland, and 776 smaller islands.  They are a British overseas territory and are self-governed.  The Argentines still maintain their claim over the islands (Islas Malvinas to them) despite their unsuccessful invasion in 1982.  The war left over a hundred mine fields containing nearly 20,000 mines of various types.  Many have been cleared over the years since, but many still remain.  They warned us repeatedly over our 2 days in the Falklands to stay on the marked trails & paths for this very reason.  Read more – Stanley – more British than Britain

South Georgia Island

Right Whale Bay & Salisbury Plain

In preparation for our arrival in South Georgia we were required to attend a mandatory briefing.  South Georgia is an island and they do not want any alien species; as such we were required to perform biosecurity procedures, basically making sure that all our outerwear was free of organic materials, before landing and we had to sign a document attesting to this.  Read more – Right Whale Bay & Salisbury Plain–Kings, kings & more kings

Stromness & Grytviken

Up bright and early for a landing before breakfast- our wakeup call was at 6 with a gangway time of 6:30!  This day was more about history than penguins and seals; our first stop was Stromness, just east of Fortuna Bay.  Ernest Shackleton was one of the most well known of the Antarctic explorers; he was the leader of the ill fated Endurance expedition.  In 1914 he and his crew set out aboard The Endurance to cross Antarctica (by land) via the South Pole.  Early in 1915 the ship became stuck in the ice and after ten months, fearing that the ship was about to sink, the crew abandoned ship to live on the ice.  Read more – In the footsteps of Shackleton – Stromness & Grytviken

St. Andrew’s Bay & Gold Harbour

Another busy (and early) morning with a zodiac cruise before breakfast and a landing afterwards at St. Andrew’s Bay.  St. Andrew’s Bay has the largest King penguin colony on South Georgia, with over 100,000 breeding pairs and also has one of the largest Elephant seal populations, with an estimated 6,000 breeding females at the peak.  And yes, it’s a little noisy…  Read more – Elephants & Kings – St. Andrew’s Bay & Gold Harbour

Cooper Bay & Drygalski Fjord

Our last day in South Georgia started at Cooper Bay, home to South Georgia’s largest Chinstrap Penguin colony, under sunny skies. In addition to the Chinny’s, Gentoos, Kings & Macaronis also nest here.  Sadly, no landing today, just a zodiac cruise.  Read more – Cooper Bay & Drygalski Fjord


Elephant Island

This is the spot where Shackleton’s men landed after leaving the ice; it is named after Frank Wild, the man left in command of 21 men when Shackleton and the others left to find help on South Georgia.  They lived here for 137 days, using the remaining 2 boats as shelter, and were finally rescued in August 30th, 1916.  When you arrive here, and see how barren and inhospitable it is, it’s truly amazing that everyone survived.  Read more – Elephant Island

Antarctic Sound & Continental Antarctica

This morning we awoke to blue skies and tabular ice bergs – we have arrived in Antarctica!  We were in the Antarctic Sound, between Joinville Island and the mainland.  Read more – Setting foot on Antarctica – Brown Bluff

D’Hainaut Island & Cierva Cove

First stop this morning was a D’Hainaut Island, a very small island in Mikkelsen Harbour just off Trinity Island on the Western side of the peninsula.  Read more – Whales, whales and more whales a “Tail” of a perfect day – D’Hainaut Island & Cierva Cove

Deception Island & Half Moon Bay

Over night we travelled across the Bransfield Strait and morning found us just off of Deception Island, another of the South Shetland Islands.  The South Shetland Islands are “claimed” by the British, Argentines & the Chileans and many countries have established research basis on these islands.  Read more – Deception Island & Half Moon Bay

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina and it’s largest city, with almost 3 million people.  It is the birthplace of tango and home to some amazing street art.  Read more – Buenos Aires – the City & the Cemetery