Our odyssey sets off from the Falklands, from where we go towards the enigmatic South Georgia Islands. Here we visit wildlife colonies and of course expect to find ample amounts of king penguins. Marking all kinds of endemic species and rare birds on our personal lists, we navigate towards some of the worlds most isolated islands, in the middle of the South Atlantic. The lava cliffs of Gough being our first glimpse of land that by our Zodiacs become a close encounter to a strictly preserved nature reserve. The following days we visit Inaccessible Island and Tristan da Cunha, places that only a very few people get to experience. Our voyage continues to exotic Saint Helena, where Napoleon Bonaparte was famously imprisoned. The end of our sojourn entails visits to Ascension island and we disembark at Cape Verde! By this time we have probably spotted more than 150 individual bird species.
The voyage takes place during March and April. The prevailing winds will be westerly during the first part of the cruise, until we reach Saint Helena and the southeast trade winds. In other words: tailwinds all along! In addition, we have the honour of having the world-renowned expert on seabird identification, Dr. Robert Flood, as guest lecturer.
Our brand-new expedition vessel Ocean Albatros offers all the comfort needed for this long voyage. It is specifically designed to provide a better expedition experience than any other ship. The patented X-bow and zero speed stabilizers provide a calmer ride and reduces discomfort for passengers with a tendency to seasickness.
DATES / RATES
Rates are listed per person in USD
|Start Date||End Date||Category F||Category G||Category H||Category E||Category D||Category C||Category B2||Category B1||Category A||Premium Captain's Suite|
|Mar 16, 2024||Apr 08, 2024||9,490||14,490||N/A||12,490||11,990||13,790||15,490||18,990||20,990||23,990|
Rates are listed per person in USD
|Start Date||End Date||(Starting from)|
Premium Captain's Suite
|Mar 16, 2024||Apr 08, 2024||9,490||13,790||23,990|
1: PORT STANLEY ON FALKLAND ISLANDS. EMBARK OCEAN ALBATROS AND
DEPARTURE TOWARDS SOUTH GEORGIA
Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands, is a quaint and very
British outpost in the south Atlantic. The town is walkable, with
colorful houses and cozy pubs lining the streets. You will possibly
encounter the endemic flightless steamer duck in the harbour, as well
as the delicate dolphin gull. Fur seals are often trying to occupy our
Expeditions' new expedition vessel Ocean Albatros is anchored in the
harbour, and you will embark the ship by Zodiac tender boats by
mid-afternoon. After being shown to your stateroom you will be given
the mandatory safety briefing, while the captain gets ready to steer
out into the South Atlantic Ocean.
2-3: AT SEA APPROACHING SOUTH GEORGIA. LECTURES BY OUR QUALIFIED
due east, we will be followed by numerous black-browed albatrosses as
well as other seabirds. We will probably also come across both Peale's
dolphin and Commerson's dolphin. We will pass Shag Rock on our way to
South Georgia where huge swarms of seabirds feed in between large
flocks of fur seals.
4-6: SOUTH GEORGIA, WILDLIFE PARADISE OF THE SOUTH ATLANTIC
Georgia has a dramatic setting with glacier-clad rugged mountains.
Lying in the Southern Ocean south of the Antarctic convergence, the
cold sea is booming with life. The island, often referred to as
“The Galapagos of the Poles”, can only be reached
by ship. There is no permanent human settlement, but seabirds and seals
breed in the millions. The difficulty of getting there and the
restrictions to protect the environment, makes South Georgia one of the
least-visited tourist destinations in the world. Today the island has
been largely left to recover from human over-exploration, resulting in
dramatic increases in the number of whales, seals as well as penguin
and seabird populations. The itinerary and activities over the next
couple of days are largely dependent on the weather and the sea.
will have a chance to visit Salisbury Plain, home to one of the largest
king penguin colonies on the island, estimated between 250,000 and
5,000,000. At this time of the year the beaches will also be crowded
with plenty of young and very curious fur seals as well as southern
possible landing site, we hope to visit, is Prion Island, a reserve for
the wandering albatrosses. The site is closed until the end of January
to protect the breeding birds. This is one of the few sites to observe
these gentle creatures with the largest wingspan of any bird in the
world. Gentoo penguins, giant petrels and Antarctic prions also breed
on the island.
British administration at Grytviken, a former Norwegian whaling
station, is also worth a visit. The famed British explorer Ernest
Shackleton died in Grytviken on his second visit, and is buried south
of the station. The endemic South Georgia pipits and South Georgia
pintails may be seen around the buildings.
7-10: AT SEA TOWARDS TRISTAN DA CUNHA ARCHIPELAGO
a north-westerly course we soon reach warmer waters as well as westerly
winds, giving us a proper push towards the archipelago of Tristan da
Cunha. The sea can be rough, but the unique backward sloping bow of
Ocean Albatros and her efficient stabilizers reduces vibration and
slamming against the waves. En route to the next remote islands, you
will have plenty of time to edit your photos of the wildlife and
stunning landscapes. Our onboard photographer will offer you help, tips
and tricks to improve your picture telling skills. Or you can attend
qualified lectures on geology, meteorology, birdlife, marine mammals as
well as the history on exploration of the Southern Ocean. From upper
decks you can study the albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters taking
advantage of the dynamic soaring from lee to windward of the ship.
11: GOUGH ISLAND. ZODIAC CRUISES AND CIRCUMNAVIGATING THE ISLAND
rough and remote volcanic island of Gough rises out of the horizon.
With 2600 kilometers to Cape of Good Hope, the nearest mainland in
Africa, we are now truly in the middle of the South Atlantic. It is not
permitted to land on Gough Island, a strictly protected nature reserve,
only inhabited be few weather station personnel. The island's entire
coastline consists of steep lava cliffs often several hundred meters
high, which we will carefully approach from the leeward side, hoping to
make Zodiac cruises as close to the shore as the sea allows. Gough
Island is famous for its rich birdlife housing, including the Tristan
albatross, Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross and the Atlantic petrel.
12-13: TRISTAN DA CUNHA, INACCESSIBLE AND NIGHTINGALE ISLANDS. ZODIAC
have two full days to explore the unique and isolated northern islands
of the archipelago, Tristan, Inaccessible and Nightingale and to find
the best places to go ashore. Our first call will be at Tristan da
Cunha, the main island. Less than 250 hardy folks earn their living
mainly from fishing, all based in the only settlement, Edinburgh of the
Seven Seas. As always on expedition voyages like ours, we are visitors
at the mercy of wind and swell, and with no proper pier at
“The Settlement”, successful landing craves a bit
active volcano Queen Mary's Peak looms more than 2000 meter above sea
level, making it an important landmark for former sailors. It had a
major eruption from 1961 to 1962, forcing all inhabitants to flee to
nearby Gough Island for shelter. Besides visiting the small town, we
hope to spot some of the endemic birds breeding in the archipelago, for
example the northern rockhopper penguin. This penguin has long golden
tassels off the crest and is the only penguin on the island group. One
of the most exciting tubenoses in the South Atlantic, the sooty
albatross is breeding in good numbers on Tristan, as well as several
species of smaller petrels such as soft-plumages petrel. Also of
interest is the endemic Tristan thrush and the flightless Gough
moorhen, which has been introduced to Tristan.
continue the short distance to Inaccessible Island. We have applied for
access to this nature reserve and will be accompanied by a certified
guide from Tristan. Our hope is to spot the endemic Inaccessible Island
rail, word's smallest flightless bird, breeding only here with up to
5,000 pairs. Northern rockhoppers are also a likely sight.
heading north again, we will do a ship's cruise along the colorful
volcanic cliffs of Nightingale.
14-17: AT SEA TOWARDS SAINT HELENA
whales are now quite common and back in the open ocean, we can
hopefully also enjoy the view of large numbers of seabirds. Dolphins
indigenous to this region often follow our ship, and we should be on
the lookout for spinner, Clymene and Fraser's dolphins.
expect to pass the Tropic of Capricorn in the afternoon of day 15. It
is the southernmost latitude where the Sun can be seen directly
overhead, but in April this has no implication for us, as the Sun is to
the north, straight above the Equator. More importantly, this means we
are out of the westerlies and into the southeasterly trade winds,
hopefully pushing our stern for most of the remaining journey. With
Saint Helena as our next call!
18-19: SAINT HELENA. ZODIAC LANDINGS IN JAMESTOWN
a wind perpetually blowing from the southeast, Saint Helena's only port
is of course located on the northwest coast. While Ocean Albatros
anchors off the tiny port, we will utilize the ship's Zodiac fleet to
land at the beaches below Jamestown, the main town of the island.
Helena is a tropical island situated about 2,000 km from the nearest
African coast. The island is together with Tristan da Cunha and
Ascension Island a member of British Overseas Territory with Jamestown
as the islands' cultural capital.
will take a walk up through the quant and tiny town, located in the
steep-sided James Valley. Most buildings are kept in the classic
architectural style dating back to 18th century, when the island was
administered by British East India Company. Saint Helena is famous for
being the final and very remote prison for the exiled Napoleon
Bonaparte. He stayed in Longwood House outside of Jamestown from 1815
until his death in 1821. We will visit his residence and conduct
several other walks in the countryside. Those who feel energetic might
want to climb Jacob's ladder, a century old staircase rising almost 200
meters up the side of James Valley above the town.
natural habitats on the island have been severely changed by the
introduction of cattle, sheep, rats as well as a large number of
plants. Nevertheless, the island has still around 400 endemic plant
species found nowhere else in the world. It may be possible to locate
the Sankt Helena plover, the only endemic bird on the island, they
happen to be dwindling in numbers.
our second day at Helena, we aim for an excursion to the central part
of the island and, if swell allows, take a Zodiac cruise along the
20-21: AT SEA TOWARDS ASCENSION ISLAND
our route further north into tropical seas, we will pass over the
volcanic spreading zone of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, some three
kilometers below us. We can possibly spot more species of frigatebirds,
noddies and boobies as we get closer to our next destination.
22-23: ASCENSION ISLAND. BEACH LANDING BY ZODIAC CLOSE TO GEORGETOWN
barren volcanic island of Ascension is the northernmost of the three
islands in the British Overseas Territory. The whitewashed naval
barracks, fortifications and only vaguely hidden cannons, indicates
that the capital settlement of Georgetown has been a British stronghold
for centuries. The town is located – as we are now used to
– on the leeward northwest coast. Ocean Albatros casts anchor
in Clarence Bay and we make a Zodiac landing on the white beaches close
no commercial flights or steamers into Ascension, we are likely to be
the only visitors. A stroll through town, a hike into the volcanic
landscapes along the coast and possibly a Zodiac cruise, will gives us
glimpses of this out worldly island. Despite the introductions of
sheep, goats, cows and cats amongst others, the island is still an
important habitat to a number of seabirds such as red-billed
tropicbird, Ascension frigatebird (an endemic breeder), and black
noddy. The tropical sooty tern breeds here in vast numbers, estimated
sometimes upwards of 1 million birds. After cats were eradicated from
the islands in 2009, Ascension frigatebird has returned to breed on the
two days at Ascension, allow us an evening excursion to one of the
beaches famous for nesting green sea turtles, which come here in
thousands each year.
24-27: AT SEA TOWARDS CAPE VERDE – AND CROSSING EQUATOR
all likelihood we will cross the Equator at noon on day 25, Tuesday,
April 11. We are in the area called the doldrums where the northern and
southern trade winds converge and where light winds prevail.
Cap Verde, we will spend some time on deck to maximize our chances of
spotting seabirds that are difficult to find anywhere else: such as
Fea's petrel, Cape Verde shearwater, Boyd's shearwater and Bulwer's
petrel as well as brown booby. There should also be good chances of
seeing Atlantic dolphin, pantropical spotted dolphins, and short-finned
28: CAPE VERDE ISLAND. AT QUAY IN PORTO PRAIA. DISEMBARKATION AND
Verde, or the official name, República de Cabo Verde, is a
group of ten volcanic islands with a Portuguese speaking population of
half a million people. The islands were discovered by Portuguese
navigators, and they played a central role in the era of the Atlantic
slave-trade. Cape Verde received its independence from Portugal in 1975.
the other isolated Atlantic islands, we have visited on this journey,
these islands are home to a number of endemic species of birds, plants
and even reptiles. Within reach of Porto Praia, it should be possible
to encounter breeding red-billed tropicbirds on the local Praia cliffs.
The endemic Cape Verde Swift is also likely to be observed as well as
the lago sparrow.
Albatros will be alongside in Porto Praia by mid-morning on Friday,
April 14. After four weeks on board, it's time to say a heartfelt
farewell to Ocean Albatros' faithful crew, and get ready for the
Ocean Albatros (Luxury Expedition, 184-guests)
With a total of 95 comfortable staterooms and suites, all with unobstructed sea view, most with their own balcony, the Ocean Albatros will definitely become one of the most popular expedition cruise vessels in the world. Like it's sistership the Ocean Victory it offers two restaurants, a wellness area, an Albatros Nordic Bar, an open deck dining facility, a modern lecture lounge, and other state-of-the-art amenities.
(Click image to view Ship details)
cruise with Ocean Albatros in a shared outside/inside double cabin with
walks in Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, Jamestown and Georgetown (weather
cruises and nature hikes as per itinerary
briefings and lectures by expedition team
board on the ship
Coffee, tea and afternoon snacks on the ship
tariffs, and landing fees
visual journal link after voyage, including voyage log, gallery,
species list and more!
excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
room supplement and cabin upgrades
not on board the ship
(other than coffee and tea)
for the crew (we recommend USD 14 per person per day)
& cancellation insurances
not mentioned under 'Inclusions'
cruises & Shore Programs