THE FALKLAND ISLANDS
The windswept and treeless Falkland Islands are a birders’ paradise. The islands boast a great abundance and diversity of birdlife including five species of penguin, 80 percent of the world’s population of black-browed albatross, and numerous species of waterfowl such as the endemic Falkland steamer duck. The waters around the Falkland Islands are home to various species of cetacean including the southern right whale, killer whale, and Peale’s dolphin. Breeding populations of South American fur seal, South American sea lion, and southern elephant seal frequent the islands’ many beaches.
SOUTH GEORGIA ISLAND
The island of South Georgia is the world’s premier destination for subantarctic wildlife viewing. In this remote and stunningly beautiful wilderness, seabirds and marine mammals are counted in the millions. The island’s beaches are packed with fur seals and elephant seals jostling for space alongside innumerable king penguins. In addition to penguins, South Georgia hosts a wide variety of birdlife in staggering abundance. The island is home to albatross, petrels, prions, skuas, shags, gulls, terns, and the carnivorous South Georgia pintail duck. This is also a fantastic place to witness the breeding behavior of the world’s largest seabird, the wandering albatross.
The Antarctic Peninsula is the ultimate polar wilderness. There is nothing else like it on Earth. Lofty serrated mountain ranges, all-encompassing glaciers, icebergs of every size and shape, and nutrient-rich waters define this pristine environment inhabited by robust populations of penguins, seals, and whales. On this special voyage we hope to visit Point Wild on Elephant Island, where Earnest Shackleton and his men spent part of their historic odyssey. Also in the South Shetland Islands are the historical remains of a whaling station at Deception Island, as well as a multitude of far-flung research bases operated by various countries.