Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced Falklands 360°, a pioneering new expedition that will be their first ever circumnavigation of the Falklands. The voyage will also feature a visit to Argentina’s Isla de los Estados, or Staten Island, the newest nature preserve in the Southern Hemisphere.
Set aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, the 13-day expedition will feature two departures on October 19 and 28, 2016. Flexibility is a hallmark of the expeditions, and often the day-by-day itinerary will change to take advantage of rare wildlife sightings or to allow photographers to linger ashore through the golden hour of light. A profusion of wildlife and an extraordinary adventure is a guarantee. Highlights include:
- Hike Carcass Island in search of rockhopper penguins hidden in burrows and tussock grass. Explore New Island, once overrun by sealers and whalers in the 1800s, it is now managed by a Trust and vibrates with life: blue-eyed shags march on pink toti-palmate toes; black-browed albatross snuggle into clay-pot-like nests, communicating with their partners in low moaning groans or gently all preening. See 8,000-pound bull elephant seals in dramatic battles for territory and the world’s rarest—and some say most aggressive—raptor, the striated caracara, known locally as the Johnny rook. Aboard ship or on Zodiacs, keep an eye out for speedy Commerson’s and Peales dolphins.
- Go ashore at Steeple Jason, one of the most difficult landings in the Falklands, where thousands of black-browed albatross wheel in the sky overhead, extend their massive wings for cliff edge take-offs and landings, and nest in the swaying tussock grasses that cover the vast hillside. A total of over 150,000 breeding pairs in one place—it’s an experience of a lifetime, and an ultimate photo op.
- Meet the islanders in the capital of Stanley and outer settlements, for an insider perspective on their lives in this remote locale. Learn the Falklands’ long and complicated history from English claims, to Spanish settlements, to a U.S. declaration of Terra nullis—a free zone for American whaling ships to resupply—to the war between Britain and Argentina in 1982. Today it is an independent democracy that coordinates closely with the UK, with a feel of a quaint Scottish island.
- In 2015, Lindblad was the first travel company permitted to call at Isla de los Estados in years, a wild island largely untouched by humans in decades. On Falklands 360°, depending on the wind and weather, we may walk in the island’s wild beech forest, see the 1884 San Juan de Salvamento “lighthouse at the end of the world,” the inspiration for Jules Verne’s novel. And, conditions permitting, explore a rarely seen archeological site where native people lived 1,500 years ago.
Both departures include National Geographic photographers and Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo experts to help guests bring their skills to the next level. The October 19th departure is also a designated Photo Expedition – a highly immersive, photo centric voyage designed by photographers for photographers. Plus B&H will outfit the ship with the newest gear for guests to try out.
Rates begin at $10,850 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin. For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic voyages to some of the most beautiful and fascinating places on Earth, visit http://www.expeditions.com/, call 1-800-EXPEDITION (1-800-397-3348) or contact your travel advisor.