MARCH/APRIL 2022: LOST ARCHIPELAGOS: SOUTH GEORGIA, TRISTAN DA CUNHA AND ST HELENA

 

24 March – 16 April 2022

On board the brand new Janssonius, 107 meters long and 170 passengers, we will explore the Southern Atlantic Ocean to discover some of the most remote lands on the planet: South Georgia, Tristan da Cunha archipelago and St Helena island. The intimate atmosphere of our vessel will provide us with the unique opportunity to visit these extreme lands located between the roaring 40 and the furious 50 in a safe and comfortable way. We will sail from the tip of South America, setting sail from Ushuaia and reach the island of St Helena after 3 weeks. South Georgia will be the first land we will encounter and we will explore its rugged and spectacular east coast. Then we will visit the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, recently declared a marine protected area. Wild and primordial, these lands are home to a concentration of fauna among the highest in the world, here the cold waters of Antarctica and the more temperate ones of the Atlantic Ocean mix, creating a unique wealth of food capable of supporting a large number of animals both in and out of the water. Sperm whales, killer whales, fin whales, humpback whales, sea lions, fur seals, southern elephant seals together with millions of penguins that nest here; huge colonies of hundreds of thousands of Royal Penguins, Rockhoppers, Papua, Magellan, Macaroni, Antarctic, and 6 species of Albatrosses. Our adventure will end in St Helena, famous for having hosted Napoleon during his exile.

PROGRAM

 

24  March
In Ushuaia we will embark the MV Janssonius, a very modern 170 passengers ship built for the navigation in the polar waters in its inaugural season, an ideal solution for a trip like this that requires several days of open ocean navigation. In the late afternoon we will begin our cruise in the Beagle Channel and then out in the Southern Atlantic Ocean.
Overnight on board.

25-27  March
Crossing the Southern Ocean easthwards towards the South Georgia, Albatrosses and Giant Petrels will follow our ship offering excellent opportunities for observation.
Overnight on board.

28-30  March
Today we will reach the north east coast of South Georgia where we will spend the next three days. Shore excursions will be determined by weather conditions and include:
Salisbury Plain, a spectacular plain overlooked by the Lucas Glacier and the Grace Glacier which is home to the island’s second largest colony of King Penguins, 60,000 pairs that become 250,000 animals during the moult, they are everywhere, literally as far as the eyes can see. Salisbury Plain does not only means penguins, there are also Sea Lions and Elephant Seals, the latter amassed in one of the largest colonies in South Georgia.
Prion Island, an islet that is a real sanctuary for the Wondering Albatross, the living bird with the widest wingspan, which comes here every year to breed.
Fortuna Bay offers picturesque alpine scenery and is where Shackleton arrived after crossing the island from west to east and before reaching Stromness. A colony of King Penguins occupies the area in front of the König glacier about one kilometer from the beach where lie Elephant Seals and Sea Lions. In the bay there is also a small colony of Gentoo Penguins and often the Sooty Albatrosses are sighted there as well as the Reindeer introduced here by Norwegian whalers.
Stromness where the remains of the whaling station abandoned in the 60s of the twentieth century offer an insight into the life of the whalers of the last century. Reindeer, Sea Lions, Antarctic Terns, Skuas, Elephant Seals and a small colony of Gentoo Penguins inhabit the bay.
Saint Andrews Bay where several peaks over 2000 meters are the backdrop to the huge and infinite colony of King Penguins, the largest on the island, about 150,000 pairs. The beach is also home to the largest concentration of South Georgia’s Elephant Seals and numerous Reindeers. Such a large concentration of animals can only attract predators and necrophages such as Giant Petrels, Skuas, Sheathbills, Terns and the Albatrosses as well as the voracious Leopard Seals.
Grytviken is the administrative center of the island and offers the visitor several attractions: the church, the old whaling station, the museum, Shackleton’s grave, the post office and the scientific station. Elephant Seals and Sea Lions are quite common as are King Penguins.
Gold Harbor, a natural amphitheater made of suspended glaciers and walls of vertical rocks dominated by the snow-capped peak of Mount Paterson. 25,000 pairs of King Penguins, 300 pairs of Gentoo Penguins, Giant Petrels and Antarctic Terns, South Georgian Shags and Albatrosses, Sea Lions and Elephant Seals are the inhabitants of the bay.
Cooper Bay, the fauna here is different from that encountered so far, we will find four species of penguins: the largest colony on the island of Chinstrap Penguins, about 10,000 pairs; several thousand Macaroni Penguins; 4000 pairs of Gentoo Penguins and about 250 pairs of King Penguins.
Overnight on board.

31 March  –  03  April
Pleasant tail wind will help our sailing northeasthwards towards the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, Albatrosses and Giant Petrels will follow our ship offering excellent opportunities for observation.
Overnight on board.

04  April
Today we will arrive at the Tristan da Cunha archipelago which is part of the British Overseas Territories and is home of the most isolated human settlement in the world. The main island that bears the name of the archipelago is volcanic and dominated by the top of Queen Mary’s Peak which exceeds 2,000 meters. Tristan Da Cunha is home of a vibrant avifauna made up of quite rare birds, from the endemic Tristan Albatross to the Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross to the Spectacled Petrel which reproduces in large flocks only in this archipelago. About 90% of the Moseley Rockhopper Penguin population, a species very similar to the Falkland Rockhopper Penguin but different, come to breed on this vital outpost, while the Antarctic Fur Seal occupy the beaches and Whales and Dolphins swim in the surrounding waters.
Overnight on board

05-08  April
Over a million seabirds nest on this otherwise uninhabited island, Nightingale is the smallest in the Tristan da Cunha archipelago. The rugged coastline and jagged cliffs rise imposingly from the waters of the South Atlantic Ocean, the result of major volcanic upheavals, the last of which was in 2004. Nightingale Island is a protected area for some of the rarest bird species of the world and disembarkation is allowed only in certain areas of the island. Small colonies of Moseley Rockhopper Penguins patrol the rocks and jump on the boulders, the graceful flight of the Atlantic Yellow-Nosed Albatrosses, the Sooty Albatrosses and the diving of the endemic Shearwater will complement our visit.
Gough Island, also part of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago and like the others is volcanic, except for the staff of the South African weather station it is uninhabited. Together with Inaccessible Island it forms the world heritage site UNESCO of Gough and Inaccessible Islands as a protected natural reserve and important area for birdlife. Gough Island is home to the endemics: Tristan Albatross, Spectacled Petrel, Gough Moorhen, Gough Bunting and Moseley Rockhopper Penguins. This island is the only one of the archipelago in which the Giant Petrels nest and the Elephant Seals live.
Our excursions will be dictated by the weather conditions and for this reason 4 days have been planned in the archipelago.
Overnight on board.

09-12  April
Bow to the north east we will sail the Atlantic Ocean towards St Helena. Followed  by the numerous seabirds and dolphins endemic to these subtropical more temperate regions.
Overnight on board.

13 – 14   April
St Helena is known for being Napoleon’s place of exile, but other important people like James Cook and Charles Darwin also lived there. During our stay we will be able to visit the house where the French emperor stayed, the cliffs carved by the ocean, the steep valleys cut by the rain, the lush forests full of ferns or the black sand of Sandy Bay. The island seems made for adventure. Thirty species of native fish swim in its waters, as well as Whale Sharks. We could meet the oldest living animal on earth, Jonathan the Giant Tortoise, born around 1832 and spot endemic species such as the St Helena Plover or the tiny Blushing Snail.
A list of possible activities in St Helena will be provided before cruise departure and must be booked and paid on site, they are not included in the cost of the trip.
Overnight on board.

15  April
Today after breakfast we will disembark and we will have a full day on land in St Helena.
Overnight at Boutique Hotel Mantis****.

16  April
Fly home.

* It is a real expedition in poorly explored areas so the program could be carried out in a different way due to weather or ice; it is essential to be flexible.

Included in the price:

– Voyage aboard Janssonius as indicated in the itinerary.
– Free use of rubber boots.
– All excursion and activities through the voyage.
– Three meals a day during the cruise.

Not included:

–  Flights.
–  Trasfers.
–  Activities in St Helena.

Voyage Map

 

 

PRICE PER PERSON  Twin Porthole Cabin  Euro  9.000
(different cabin categories available, ask for details)
* 10% DISCOUNT IF COMBINED WITH SIXTH CONTINENT VOYAGE.

ASK FOR MORE INFORMATION