Exploratory Cruise on Sapphire Princess

Gentoo Penguin by Lenare Thompson

Antarctica & Cape Horn

Dec 19, 2023-Jan 4, 2024

Chinstrap Penguins by Lenare Thompson

Your place on this Venture is reserved when your completed registration form and deposit of $500/person has been received. Deposit may be made via the ‘book now’ button above, or by contacting the Ventures office. We accept credit cards for an additional fee (2.9% for MC, Visa, Discover; 3.9% for AmEx), but you may also pay by bank transfer, cash, check, or money order (payable to ‘VENTURES BIRDING’) sent to PO Box 1095, Skyland, NC 28776. This Venture is limited to 20 participants.

Cost $4,975 per person, sharing an interior two-berth, en-suite two twin-bed cabin, with all field trips from the boat and food included. Includes two Ventures Birding guides who will lead field trips and bird from the boat. If you would like a single cabin, and not share, you will have to pay are an additional $1750.

Porthole (obstructed view) Cabins: $5275 per person, Porthole (unobstructed view). Cabins: $5575 per person, Full view with balcony Cabins: $6500. Price includes: All transportation throughout, all accommodation, all meals, excursions listed in itinerary, trip information, packet & bird checklist, and guide/leader service throughout.

Not included: Round-trip airfare to Santiago and return from Buenos Aires, departure tax, alcoholic beverages, and gratuities to cruise staff, laundry, and other items of a personal nature.

Excursions: We will organize pre and post trips in Chile and Argentina for those who wish to do some extra birding. While on the cruise ship, we will have full day excursions in Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Falkland Islands and a free day in Montevideo. As this is a large cruise ship without Zodiacs and landing craft, we will NOT be setting foot on the Antarctic Peninsula. We will doing our wildlife watching from the decks.

Join us for our first leap into birding cruises, as we join the Sapphire Princess for a 16 day cruise around Cape Horn and the Antarctic Peninsula.

On the first day we set sail from Santiago en route to Chile’s most southern-most city, Punta Arenas. With Chile’s spectacular southern snow-capped mountains forming a backdrop to our southbound cruise, we will sail south looking for seabirds along the way. In Punta Arenas we will have an excursion to see the large colony of Magellanic Penguins, probably our first penguin of many to be seen on the cruise. With Black-browed Albatross and Giant Petrels soaring past the ship, we sail to Ushuaia, where we will take a day trip to Tierra Mayor Natural Preserve, where we will take a hike through the beautiful scenery and look for Austral Parakeet, Andean Condor and White-throated Caracara. After leaving Ushuaia we cruise around Cape Horn, before heading towards the Antarctic Peninsula. At sea we will hope for Grey-headed, Black-browed and Wandering Albatross, Cape and White-chinned Petrels and many more seabirds. For the next few days we will be cruising along the Antarctic Peninsula sailing past Elephant Island, Antarctic Sound, Deception Island, Gerlache Strait, Neumayer Channel, South Shetland Islands and Admiralty Bay. We then head to Stanley in the Falkland Islands with another shore excursion to Seal Bay and other birding locales. The Falklands are famous for their penguin colonies and we hope to see King, Gentoo, Magellanic, Macaroni and Southern Rockhopper. It’s then two days at sea before we anchor in Montevideo, where we will have a free day to enjoy Uruguayan culture, and end the cruise in Buenos Aires.

Punta Arenas Target Birds: Flightless and Flying Steamer-Ducks, Magellanic Oystercatcher, Crested Duck, Rufous-chested Dotterel, Chimango Caracara, Austral Parakeet, Black-faced Ibis, Magellanic Penguin, King Penguin, several cinclodes, Upland Goose, and Magellanic Diving-Petrel.

Ushuaia Target Birds: Magellanic Cormorant, Black-chinned Siskin, Kelp Goose, Southern Lapwing, Fuegian Snipe, Chiloe Wigeon, Spectacled Duck, Patagonian Sierra-Finch, Fire-eyed Diucon, Coscoroba Swan and White-banded Mockingbird.

Antarctic Peninsula Cruise Target Birds: skuas, terns, Snowy Sheathbill, Macaroni, Chinstrap, Adelie, Emperor and Gentoo Penguins, gulls, giant-petrels, Gray-headed, Light-mantled, Wandering and Black-browed Albatross, storm-petrels, Common Diving-Petrel, prions, Southern Fulmar, shearwaters, Soft-plumed, Kerguelen, Snow, Blue, Cape and Antarctic Petrels.

Falklands Target Birds: Falklands Steamer-duck, Snowy Sheathbill, Southern Rockhopper Penguin, Blackish Oystercatcher, Two-banded Plover, Slender-billed Prion and Silvery Grebe.

Mammals: Crabeater, Weddell, Leopard and Southern Elephant-Seal, Orca, Blue, Fin, Minke and Humpback Whales, Commerson's, Peale's and Hourglass Dolphins.