Three Island Circuit
Falkland Islands Extension
October 12 to 21, 2023
Visit three different islands, the best of Patagonia and Antarctica combined into one trip, to see penguins, albatross, seals, and more. Trek through the most diverse wildlife habitats in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). Take in the abundant seabird colonies of the western Falklands including gentoo, king, and rockhopper penguins. Explore Sea Lion Island, the most species-rich site in all the Falklands with time to watch South American sea lions and observe orcas patrolling for unwary southern elephant seals. Witness Magellanic penguins as they ride the surf into the beach and then waddle to their underground burrows. Bleaker and Volunteer Point on East Falkland Island round out this Falklands wildlife experience.
- Visit three diverse islands: Sea Lion, Bleaker, and East Falkland Islands.
- See four penguin species, including the largest accessible king penguin colony outside of South Georgia along the turquoise waters of Volunteer Point.
This is a pre-trip extension to our South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula trip from October 19 to November 10, 2023 . The information in this itinerary is supplemental to the main itinerary.
Itinerary Updated: June 2020
|Oct 12||Travel to Punta Arenas, Chile.|
|Oct 13||Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile.||Hotel Cabo de Hornos, Punta Arenas, Chile|
|Oct 14-15||Fly to Stanley, Falkland Islands, and then fly to Bleaker Island. Spend a full day exploring Bleaker Island’s rockhopper penguins, imperial cormorants, and waterfowl.||Bleaker Island Lodge||B, L, D|
|Oct 16-18||Fly to Sea Lion Island. Enjoy the most wildlife-diverse island in the Falklands.||Sea Lion Lodge||B, L, D|
|Oct 19-20||Explore Sea Lion Island before flying to Stanley for city tour and museum visit. Then take a full day excursion to Volunteer Point.||The Malvina House Hotel, Stanley||B, L, D|
|Oct 21||Continue on our South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula trip by boarding the ship in Stanley.||B, L|
Our Trip Leaders
Scott is a professional photographer specializing in wildlife, nature, and travel. Originally trained as a wildlife and marine biologist, his research and photo assignments have taken him to the far corners of the globe and all seven continents. National Geographic, BBC, Animal Planet, NY Times, and renowned magazines have used his photography. His patience for teaching and love of capturing the essence of his subjects make him one of our most popular tour leaders.
A glimpse into our journey
Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile
Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile. Transfer to your hotel for a free day to rest or explore this quaint city.
Fly to Falkland Islands, then fly to and explore Bleaker Island
Pick up your packed lunch at the hotel before you are transferred to the airport to take the once-weekly flight from Punta Arenas to Mount Pleasant Airport in Stanley, Falkland Islands (not included in trip cost). Upon arrival, our local operator will greet you and transport you to your flight to Bleaker Island.
You’ll spend your time on Bleaker hiking along this small, wildlife-rich island, including Long Gulch, which is just one of a number of the dramatic inlets in the rocky cliffs. The top of the cliff is bordered with tussock grass where about 9,000 pairs of imperial (king) cormorants group together alongside a colony of about 750 pairs of rockhopper penguins, a Bleaker Island highlight. Other highlights you may experience are a gentoo penguin highway, Magellanic penguin burrows dotted across the island, and waterfowl at Big Pond.
Fly to and explore Sea Lion Island
Sea Lion Island is one of the smallest in the Falklands archipelago (five miles long and just over one mile wide at its widest point) and the most southerly-inhabited island. The sheer abundance of wildlife makes it a must on any Falklands itinerary. Sea Lion Island hosts over 47 bird species, including rockhopper, gentoo, and Magellanic penguins; you will be graced by some of the 2,800 breeding pairs of gentoo penguins courting and laying eggs and scatterings of southern giant-petrels. Other birds you may encounter are South American snipe, rufous-chested dotterel, and the endemic Cobb’s and sedge wrens, small birds that have recently been afforded protection from the tall grass that has reestablished after the removal of sheep from the island. The biggest attraction is the large number of southern elephant seals that breed here, principally on the white, sandy beach at the appropriately named Elephant Corner. South American (or southern) sea lions are found at East Loafers, and pods of orcas are also often seen circling close offshore (usually a treat for the early risers) attracted by the prospect of penguins and seals.
Fly to Stanley for city tour and museum visit and full day excursion to Volunteer Point
Bid the outer islands farewell and return to Stanley (the timing of your charter flight depends on weather and other flight schedules). With 2,000 people, Stanley is the smallest and most remote capital city in the world. The city is built on a north-facing slope to catch sunlight throughout the year and looks across Stanley Harbor with its wealth of seabirds and trickle of shipping boats. Stanley is associated with the great age of sailing, when rounding Cape Horn was the most daunting nautical passage on the planet. Some of those ships still lie in the harbor, abandoned after a Cape Horn battering. You may take a self-guided Maritime History Trail and find guidebooks in local shops. Stanley depicts a new vibrant Falklands and is home to many successful businesses, with deep-sea fishing, tourism, farming, and most recently oil prospecting being the principle earners.
The following morning depart Stanley for a full-day excursion. After a roughly 2.5-hr drive by Landrover, you’ll arrive at the white, sandy beach and turquoise waters of Volunteer Point, a destination with almost a Caribbeanesque feel to it, but the king, gentoo, and Magellanic penguins will bring you back to the Falklands. Discover the largest accessible king penguin colony in the Islands, outside of South Georgia, containing approximately 1,000 adults. You may also find other wildlife such as long-tailed meadowlarks, austral thrush, South American snipe, South American tern, blackish and Magellanic oystercatchers, and upland, kelp, and ruddy-headed geese. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you traverse the north of East Falkland.
Continue on to South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula
Enjoy a free morning before joining the rest of your travelmates and expedition staff as you board the Plancius in the afternoon to enjoy some appetizers and embark on our South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula trip.
Falkland Islands Extension
Visit three different islands, the best of Patagonia and Antarctica combined into one trip.
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- Cost & Payments
- Not Included
- Fitness Level
Cost & Payments
Costs (in US$)
|Type||Cost Per Person|
|Extension Cost, double occupancy||$5,950|
Costs are per person, double occupancy, not including airfare (except for three internal flights), singles extra. See Included and Not Included sections for more details.
If you are a single traveler, we will find a roommate for you, but if we cannot find you a roommate, we may charge you a single supplement. Single rooms cost extra and are subject to availability.
|Payment||Due Date||Amount Per Person|
|Payment is due with your main trip’s final payment; see its trip itinerary for details.|
Cancellations are non-transferrable. No refunds are given after the Final Payment due date.
- All leaders, transport, landing fees, and permits for all activities unless described as optional.
- Three internal flights.
- Accommodations for the nights of October 13 through October 20.
- Meals from breakfast on October 14 through lunch on October 21.
- Transfers from the Punta Arenas Airport to Hotel Cabo de Hornos, regardless of arrival day, and from Hotel Cabo de Hornos to the Punta Arenas Airport on October 14.
- Airfare (except flights listed as included), airport and departure taxes, and excess baggage fees.
- We can arrange extra hotel nights in Punta Arenas for an extra cost.
- Gratuities – Tipping is always discretionary. However, we suggest budgeting about $100 total per participant for the lodge staff, drivers, and local guides throughout the trip.
- Mandatory emergency medical and evacuation insurance. For more information see travel insurance.
- Optional trip cancellation insurance. For more information see travel insurance.
- Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, medical costs or hospitalization, room service, alcoholic and other beverages, and items not on the regular menu, etc. If you have special dietary needs, please indicate them on your Reservation Form.
Daytime temperatures are generally 40 to 50°F (4 to 10°C) with almost constant wind.
This trip requires the ability to hike moderate distances, perhaps up to three miles, with small elevation gains. You must be able to get into and out of a Landrover. Please contact us if you have any health concerns that may make this trip challenging.
Unless listed as included, airfare is not included in trip costs. Detailed logistical information and the contact information for our recommended flight-ticketing agent are included in the Trip Materials we will send you. Please let us know if you are arriving earlier or staying later as we are happy to assist you with any extra overnights that you might want to arrange.
Flights you (or a travel agent) book: Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile (PUQ) by October 13. Depart from Ushuaia, Argentina (USH) after 12:00pm on November 9.
Flights we book for you: Flights from Punta Arenas, Chile to Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands; we’ll add the flight cost to your final trip balance. Three internal flights are included in the trip cost.
Motion sickness is usually not an issue, but you fly on small aircraft. The key to avoiding motion sickness is to take action before you experience nausea. As with all medications, do your own research and consult with your doctor before taking any drugs (even if they are over-the-counter) and especially if you are taking other drugs. Read our suggestions for coping with seasickness and contact us if you have any concerns.
You’ll travel by bus, Landrover, and small plane.
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