New Island

Ushuaia, Cape Horn, and The Falklands

Get up close to an oasis of rare wildlife on this 8-day cruise

Ushuaia, Cape Horn, and The Falklands

On board the Magellan Explorer
8-day cruise
Antarctic Cruise
100 Reviews
5/5
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Private Flight to Antarctica
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Medical Services
24h Doctor Station
Enjoy an 8-day expedition experience to Cape Horn and the Falkland Islands (Las Malvinas). Begin your journey in Ushuaia, Argentina where you will embark on the new and modern Magellan Explorer. Sail some of the most southerly seas in the world passing through old exploration and shipping routes. This journey is unlike most as we will have the chance to visit Cape Horn, which has lured centuries of explorers along its path. From there, sail to the Falklands, that boasts over 700 islands, to partake in an adventure that is perfect for the birding enthusiast, the historian and the world explorer.

Your itinerary

Day 1, AM
Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival at Ushuaia
Welcome to Ushuaia. It's official, you have arrived at the world's most southerly city with the evocative motto "End of the World, Beginning of Everything". Over 50,000 people call Ushuaia home. Its unusual name derives from the language of the Yaghan people, indigenous to the Tierra del Fuego region, and translates as "deep bay". The city was formally founded in 1884 after a small settlement and a prison had been built there in the years before, but by 1893 the population was still less than 150 thanks to a series of epidemics and the remote location. The prison population began to grow as it was used to house dangerous and repeat offenders. In effect, for the first 50 years of the city's existence, the prisoners became forced colonists, helping to build up the town and to secure the Argentine claims to the Tierra del Fuego region. Today, Ushuaia is a busy port and a hub for adventure travel to the Antarctic and South Atlantic. Lying below the lovely snow-capped Martial Mountains, the city has grown in a rather jumbled way, expanding from its sole main street and waterfront thanks to an increase in tourism and travel. If you want to relax before your Antarctic adventure, then a stroll along the waterfront - pausing for a selfie in front of the "end of the world" sign, of course! - is a pleasant way to spend your time. If you're feeling more energetic there are many options for hiking, biking, and boat rides into Beagle Channel. You can even take spectacular helicopter tours! In town, there are plenty of restaurants, shops, and a recent boom in craft beers means there are several places now vying for the title of the world's most southerly brewery!
Day 1, PM
Embarking ship
Embark
Boarding usually begins in the afternoon. Everyone will have a safety briefing and demonstration, and then you are free to explore your new floating home and meet your fellow Antarctic explorers! Later, you'll get an expedition overview from your fantastic expedition guides. You'll spend the night on board as your ship begins its journey south.
Day 1, PM
Beagle Channel
Sail the Beagle Channel & Lectures
This 150-mile long channel between Chile and Argentina leads from Ushuaia towards the open Southern Ocean. It's only 3 miles wide at its narrowest point, giving you some spectacular scenery as your ship navigates its way to or from the ocean. You can spot rare local dolphins here, as well as a huge variety of sea and shorebirds.
Day 2, AM
Cape Horn
After an overnight crossing of Nassau Bay, you awake in full view of legendary Cape Horn!
Day 3, AM
Antarctic Peninsula
Sail to the Antarctic Peninsula & Lectures
The weather in the Antarctic can be unpredictable and conditions can change quickly. Your highly experienced captain and bridge crew will skilfully navigate these ice-laden waters, bringing you ever closer to your first landing on the Antarctic continent.
Day 4, AM
New Island
New Island
New Island - also known as Isla de Goicoechea in Spanish - is one of the Falkland Islands. A long, thin island with both steep cliffs and sandy bays, it’s 150 west of the Falkland’s capital, Stanley. Despite its position on the westerly edge of the islands, New Island was one of the first to be visited and colonized. There is some evidence that whalers from America may have landed here as early as 1770. In 1813 a ship from Nantucket was wrecked here and the crew survived for two years before being rescued. They built a simple stone shelter which now forms part of the oldest building in the Falklands. With stints as a base for guano miners and whaling companies, New Island proved to be uneconomical to exploit in these ways and was left for the wildlife to thrive. Now a wildlife reserve and registered Important Bird Area (IBA), New Island is a beautiful sanctuary for many Falklands and Antarctic species to breed and live. Penguins, in particular, take advantage of the shallow beaches and rolling shores on the eastern coast. Five species can be seen here, including large breeding colonies of gentoo and southern rockhopper penguins. King penguins are also found here, as well as petrels, shags, dolphin gulls, Falklands skuas, and many more. Sea lions and elephant seals can also be found hauled up on the beaches or swimming idly in the sheltered bays.
Day 4, PM
Weddell Island
Weddell Island claims to be the largest privately owned island in the world, at over 102 square miles. It’s also the third largest of all the Falkland Islands. It was named after British explorer James Weddell, after whom the Weddell Sea in Antarctica was also named. Weddell Island was historically run as a farm, but farming activity declined in the 20th century. Recent owners have begun to return the island to sustainable farming as well as managing the habitats for wildlife and replanting native tussac grasses where birds in particular love to nest. One interesting creature to be seen here is the tiny Patagonian fox. Distinctly not a native species, these foxes were introduced to the island in the 1930s by an eccentric previous owner who also brought with him skunks, rheas, and parrots! Only the foxes remain, and although they do prey on very young lambs, their future on the island has still not been decided. Weddell Island is a very important plant habitat for the Falklands. It contains more than 60% of all the native Falkland plant species, including some very rare species. The birdlife here is also prolific and plays host to most of the Falklands species as well as some occasional visitors from South America. Gentoo and Magellanic penguins are resident, and another 54 species have so far been recorded on Weddell. The whole island is open for exploration, and you are welcome to either stay close to the small settlement to enjoy the views or to hike across the island in the hope of spotting some of its rarer bird species.
Day 5, AM
Carcass Island
Despite the name, Carcass Island off West Falkland is not a burial site, nor a place where whales were hauled ashore for processing. It is, in fact, a beautiful and unspoiled island some 6 miles long that was named after the ship that first mapped it, HMS Carcass in 1766. Carcass Island lies in the northwest of the Falklands and has been a sheep farm for more than a century. Despite this commercialization, Carcass Island has been carefully and sympathetically managed for wildlife. Coupled with the fact that no rats or cats have ever been introduced here, it makes Carcass a haven for birdlife, and an important area for conservation and protection of species. For a small island, it boasts several habitat types. From cliffs and rocky slopes in its northeast to sheltered sandy bays in the northwest, from 700ft uplands to tussac-rich coastal paddocks. Carcass Island is also home to one of the few areas of mature trees in the whole islands, winter storms tending to make large-scale tree growth difficult. These hardy plants aren’t native species, however, with some interesting varieties from places as far-flung as New Zealand and California. The birdlife is the star of the show on Carcass. With no land predators, several freshwater ponds, and excellent habitat management, this designated Important Bird Area (IBA) is home to many species significant to conservation. These include black-crowned night herons, Falkland steamer ducks, ruddy-headed geese, black-browed albatrosses, and striated caracaras. There is a healthy penguin population on Carcass, including gentoos, Magellanics, and southern rockhoppers. Seals are also a common sight in the waters around the island and hauled up on the sandy beaches, including fur and elephant seals. Dolphins and sea lions are also spotted here.
Day 5, PM
Saunders Island
Saunders Island
Saunders Island (known in Spanish as Isla Trinidad) is in the northwest of the Falkland Islands group and is the 4th largest individual island with 50 square miles of land. Saunders Island is geographically stunning, as well as rich with remarkable wildlife. The island is made up of three peninsulas that are joined by narrow necks of land. The three uplands towner over the necks, with the tallest, Mount Richards, being 1,500ft above the waves below. The views from the headlands are astonishing. Saunders Island has been designated an Important Bird Area (or IBA) thanks to the large numbers of breeding species that make their homes here. The beaches are home to thousands of gentoo, rockhopper, macaroni, and king penguins - you can’t avoid hearing their raucous cries from all over the island! There is also a colony of Magellanic penguins on Saunders Islands - these are some of the most southerly of that species in the world. Other significant species to be found on Saunders include Falkland steamer ducks, black-browed albatrosses, and white-bridled finch. In the waters off the shoreline, you can see the delightful Commerson’s dolphins - their black and white markings making them seem like miniature orcas. Visiting Elephant Point will bring you face-to-face with the small colony of elephant seals that live here and gave their name to the beach. You can also often find southern right whales in the sheltered bays here feeding and resting before moving on.
Day 6, AM
The Falkland Sound
Falkland Sound is the straight that separates East and West Falkland in the Falkland Islands. It was the Sound that actually gave the whole archipelago its name, as it was named in 1690 for Viscount Falkland. It was only in the years after the Sound was mapped that the name “Falkland” was used for the whole island group. The Spanish name for Falkland Sound is "Estrecho de San Carlos". Your journey through Falkland Sound will bring you to islands that are a paradise for wildlife. You’ll see coastlines of rugged cliffs filled with albatross, and gentle, sandy bays where seals haul up and penguins nest. As well as wonders of nature, you’ll receive a warm welcome from the hardy but generous people who farm these far-flung islands and help to conserve the large numbers of species that live here with them. There’s also the more somber recent history of the 1982 conflict, and the lives lost here. Some of the sites you’ll visit were active battlefields, and your expert guides will explain the politics and the history that led to modern warfare on these beautiful islands, and in the air and on the seas around them.
Day 7, AM
Stanley
Stanley
Stanley (sometimes called Stanley) is the capital of the Falkland Islands and is quintessentially British - albeit reminiscent of a Britain from yesteryear. But there’s something remarkable about seeing the red “telephone boxes” and signs for “fish n chips” sitting in a landscape that’s more like Patagonia than the pastoral English countryside. Stanley is home to 70% of the Falklands’ population, about 2,500 people. There’s a gentle pace to life here, but if there’s a cruise ship or two in the harbor then it can feel quite lively! As well as pubs and “chippies” there are some definite signs that you’re not in Europe. Visit Christ Church Cathedral, opened in 1892, and you’ll enter through an arch built from the jaws of two huge blue whales. A stroll to Victory Green in central Stanley will bring you face to face with a mizzen mast from the original SS Great Britain. Brunel built the world’s first propeller-driven iron ship in 1843, and it was badly damaged by gales when rounding Cape Horn in 1886, limping back to the Falkland Islands where it lay abandoned for almost a century. Walk down Pioneer Row and you’ll see the original settlers’ cottages, not only still standing but in perfect condition. Originally shipped the 8,000 miles from the UK as kits, they were erected quickly by the first settlers to provide warmth and shelter from the sometimes forbidding weather. But no matter what other unique and unusual sites you see in this southern hemisphere town, the Union Jack flags flying and the garden gnomes in gardens won’t let you forget that this is a piece of Britain at the edge of the Antarctic.
Day 8, AM
Disembark & goodbyes
Disembark in Port Stanley
Sadly, it's time to head back to dry land. There are often a few tears and always many hugs when it comes to bidding farewell to your fantastic crew and the new friends you will have made on board. You'll leave the ship here and transfer to the airport at Port Stanley for your onward flight.

Dates & Prices

Select date and passengers
Number of passengers
2

Your ship: Magellan Explorer

Welcome aboard the Magellan Explorer, an ultra-modern expedition cruise ship built for the Antarctic. An Antarctic trip aboard the Magellan Explorer is unlike the rest. Instead of boarding your cruise ship right away and spending long days crossing the Drake Passage to get to the Antarctica, you’ll take a two-hour plane ride from Punta Arenas straight to the continent itself. This flight will save you time, and you’ll be able to head straight to the Antarctic action. A Magellan Explorer is a pioneer air-cruise is designed for adventure and with your comfort in mind. To manage environmental impact, the Antarctic Treaty limits the numbers of visitors on shore to maximum 100 at one time. A Magellan Explorer air-cruise comfortably accommodates only 73 guests so everyone can go ashore at the same time. This means that you will spend more time ashore, rather than waiting your turn to disembark the ship. The Magellan Explorer cruise ship offers 7 different categories of accommodation, including dedicated single cabins. All cabins except for the Porthole cabins have a private balcony for your enjoyment. All cabins feature a wardrobe, an individually controlled heating system, a private bathroom, a sitting area, and heated floors. The Magellan Explorer cruise ship also features a beautiful glass-enclosed observation lounge deck for guests to awe over the incredible Antarctic views. Guests are welcome to take part in the polar discussions in the presentation room with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment. The polar cruise ship also offers a library, a boutique gym built by the professionals at Anytime Fitness, a sauna, and a medial clinic. The Magellan Explorer comes equipped with a fleet of 10 Zodiac boats, perfectly suited for an Antarctic adventure and a closer look at the flora and fauna. The observation deck aboard the cruise ship also leads to the bow of the ship where guests and crew can better spot marine wildlife. A Magellan Explorer air-cruise is the most modern way to explore the amazing Antarctic region. Time-saving, comfortable, and intimate, this air-cruise rethinks polar exploration for those who have a limited amount of travel time.

Amenities

Observation Lounge Icon
Observation Lounge
Cocktail Symbol
Bar
Library Icon
Library
Conference room icon
Conference Room
Fitness Center Icon
Fitness Center
Sauna Icon
Sauna
Zodia Symbol
Zodiac Fleet

Sustainability

All CO2 emissions of your trip (e.g. local transport, hotel) will be 100% compensated for you by a Gold Standard climate protection project.

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