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Remote Islands of The Atlantic – a Bird Watchers Adventure

Remote Islands of The Atlantic – a Bird Watchers Adventure

From AUD $12,990

Description

The Mid Atlantic islands of Tristan da Cunha, Saint Helena and Ascension are the most remote inhabited places on Planet Earth. This once-in-a-lifetime voyage on Ocean Albatros, takes you to nine of the Mid Atlantic islands. Each of these islands is a paradise for birders and cetacean enthusiasts, promising a wealth of nature sights, from endemic species to breathtaking mountain and volcanic landscapes. Days at sea will be highlighted with amazing sea bird life, migrating whales as well as unique lectures by our expert staff – and of course delicious dining!

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!

The 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.

Trip Name
Remote Islands of The Atlantic - a Bird Watchers Adventure
Days
28
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition Passenger Capacity: ~190 (95 cabins) Built: 2021 The Ocean Albatros, sistership to the Ocean Victory, will join the fleet of Albatros Expeditions in November 2022. The Ocean Albatros will be deployed to a large selection of expedition cruise destinations, Antarctica, the Arctic, any various exciting new destinations in between. 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.  The vessel will have more than a 50% lower carbon footprint than traditional expedition vessels and be one of the most environmentally friendly, implementing the Green Initiative Program, ensuring both absolute comfort and sustainability for our guests. Unlike the Ocean Victory, the Ocean Albatros will also offer a unique panorama sauna, and a total of 12 dedicated solo travel cabins without a single-supplement. BRIDGE Due to its important role as a control center for all nautical and technical processes, the ship's bridge is a vital, sensitive place. Therefore, the bridge may not be accessible to the public at all times. Conditions permitting, we will be happy to welcome you into the bridge for a visit. Guests must be accompanied by the master or our expedition leader. STATEROOM SERVICE Your stateroom is serviced daily. We provide a turn-down service. We provide meal to room only for serious cases of guest being sick. Our suites will have VIP services. ZODIAC LANDINGS One feature of our expedition cruises includes landings and excursions aboard Ocean Albatros's fleet of 18 inflatable, motorized rubber "Zodiac" boats. The Zodiac brand has earned a well-deserved reputation as the sturdiest and safest small watercraft available. These boats have a low draft and great stability. Zodiacs are constructed for professional use and are outfitted with a top-quality outboard engine, yet their design minimally impacts the environment. The Zodiacs are designed to provide unrestricted access to the world’s last great frontier. Their versatility enables us to make landfall on remote shores, cruise along awe-inspiring coastlines and share breathtakingly close encounters with whales, seals, penguins, seabirds and more. We will come within arm’s reach of icebergs and set foot on land discovered by pioneering explorers just over a century ago. Your safety and comfort are our #1 priority, and your expedition leader will carefully plan for as many Zodiac excursions as possible, dependent upon the local weather and prevailing conditions. In each case, the expedition leader makes the final decision if the landing is possible or not. Safety regulations apply on landings. All guests receive a mandatory instruction of the safety guidelines. Life jackets are mandatory to wear. Please note, we highly recommend the use of waterproof bags in order to protect your personal camera or binoculars, as both hands must be free of everything during boarding. Participation is fairly easy and comfortable for able-bodied guests but can be more challenging for those with physical handicaps. GRATUITIES Following international standards in the service industry, it is customary to leave gratuity for the ship’s crew at the end of the voyage. All gratuities will be divided among the crew. Typically, a recommended amount is approximately 13.5 USD per person per day. Gratuity is, of course, not required and any gratuity payments are voluntary. DRESS CODE The dress code on board is casual. Ties, jackets and evening dresses you may leave at home. It is rather more important to wear the right clothes in order to adapt to the different weather conditions. We recommend comfortable, breathable, waterproof and windproof clothing. Also, you should have a pair of gloves, thermal underwear and sturdy footwear in your luggage. For the captains and farewell cocktail, we recommend a smart casual dress style. INTERNET / PHONE Keep in mind, we will be cruising in a very remote region of the world. Where accessible, internet access is available for an extra charge. Mobile phone reception may be possible in select regions along our route. For further details please contact your mobile phone operator. Prices can be found in the information folder in your state room. Please ensure that your ‘Data Roaming’ function is switched off. RECEPTION The daily office hours of the board reception are from 06:00 until 23:00. ALBATROS OCEAN SHOP The selection of items available for purchase varies by ship, and may include a range of warm and practical clothing, as well as souvenirs, local arts and postcards at reasonable prices. A small selection of soap, toothpaste and other personal effects are also sold. HEALTH / MEDICAL EMERGENCY Each of our vessels has a small medical facility equipped with the necessary equipment and medicine to handle small emergencies. The infirmary is always staffed by a professionally licensed, English-speaking physician and nurse. Should a serious incident occur, the nearest hospital will be contacted. All guests must have personal travel/health insurance. Although we do not have an official requirement regarding personal fitness, you should be able to move on board and ashore without the help of others. Please be aware that the ship does not provide wheelchair accessible state rooms. Due to safety reasons a cruise is only possible for pregnant women until the 24th week of pregnancy. The state of pregnancy must be presented by a medical certificate. PHYSICAL DISABILITIES / WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBILITY Guests with physical disabilities are recommended to travel with an accompanying person. The processes on board should be handled without external help. The gangway can be – depending on the individual disability – a challenge. The angle of inclination of the gangway varies due to tide and different circumstances in the respective port. Please note that the guest’s participation in shore excursions as well as the (dis-)embarkation by Zodiac can be denied by the expedition leader due to security reasons. The instructions of the expedition leader must be followed. The ship is not suitable for wheelchairs. SEASICKNESS / STABILISATORS The ship is equipped with stabilizers in order to reduce the ship’s roll. However, these expeditions are hosted in remote regions, and it is possible to periodically encounter changing environments and climate patterns, including rough seas and large swells. Seasickness patches (Scopoderm or similar) work solely or in part to help cure nausea for most people. These medicines can cause sleepiness. If you are prone to motion sickness, consult with your doctor prior to departure to help ensure your comfort while travelling. SPECIAL DIETARY REQUESTS All meals on board the vessel is chef-prepared. If you have special dietary requirements (food allergies, intolerances, health conditions or religious preferences), please inform us as early as possible - ideally, no later than 2 weeks before departure. In order to ensure efficient service, please re-confirm your requirements with the crew upon boarding the ship. LAUNDRY If you wish to have some laundry done while aboard the ship, laundry service is available for an additional fee.

Itinerary



Day 1 - DAY 1 PORT STANLEY ON FALKLAND ISLANDS. EMBARK OCEAN ALBATROS AND DEPARTURE TOWARDS SOUTH GEORGIA
Port 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 landing pier.Albatros 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.
Day 2 - DAY 2-3 AT SEA APPROACHING SOUTH GEORGIA. LECTURES BY OUR QUALIFIED EXPEDITION TEAM
Heading 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.
Day 3 - DAY 4-6 SOUTH GEORGIA, WILDLIFE PARADISE OF THE SOUTH ATLANTIC
South 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.We 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 elephant seals.Another 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.The 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.
Day 4 - DAY 7-10 AT SEA TOWARDS TRISTAN DA CUNHA ARCHIPELAGO
Setting 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.
Day 5 - DAY 11 GOUGH ISLAND. ZODIAC CRUISES AND CIRCUMNAVIGATING THE ISLAND
The 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.
Day 6 - DAY 12-13 TRISTAN DA CUNHA, INACCESSIBLE AND NIGHTINGALE ISLANDS. ZODIAC LANDINGS
We 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 of luck.The 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.We 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.Before heading north again, we will do a ship’s cruise along the colorful volcanic cliffs of Nightingale.
Day 7 - DAY 14-17 AT SEA TOWARDS SAINT HELENA
Humpback 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.We 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!
Day 8 - DAY 18-19 SAINT HELENA. ZODIAC LANDINGS IN JAMESTOWN
With 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.Saint 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.We 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.The 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.On 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 coast.
Day 9 - DAY 20-21 AT SEA TOWARDS ASCENSION ISLAND
On 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.
Day 10 - DAY 22-23 ASCENSION ISLAND. BEACH LANDING BY ZODIAC CLOSE TO GEORGETOWN.
The 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 to Georgetown.With 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 main island.Having 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.
Day 11 - DAY 24-27 AT SEA TOWARDS CAPE VERDE – AND CROSSING EQUATOR
By 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.Approaching 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 pilot whales.
Day 12 - DAY 28 CAPE VERDE ISLAND. AT QUAY IN PORTO PRAIA. DISEMBARKATION AND HOMEBOUND FLIGHT
Cape 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.Like 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.Ocean 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 Atlantic's faithful crew, and get ready for the homebound flight.
Day 13 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
18-03-202314-04-2023AUD $12,990Category F
18-03-202314-04-2023AUD $17,490Category D
18-03-202314-04-2023AUD $18,290Category E
18-03-202314-04-2023AUD $19,790Category C
18-03-202314-04-2023AUD $20,990Category G
18-03-202314-04-2023AUD $21,990Category B2
18-03-202314-04-2023AUD $27,290Category B1
18-03-202314-04-2023AUD $29,990Category A
18-03-202314-04-2023AUD $34,990Premium Suite

Inclusions

    • SOUTH GEORGIA, WILDLIFE PARADISE OF THE SOUTH ATLANTIC
    • GOUGH ISLAND. ZODIAC CRUISES AND CIRCUMNAVIGATING THE ISLAND
    • TRISTAN DA CUNHA, INACCESSIBLE AND NIGHTINGALE ISLANDS
    • SAINT HELENA. ZODIAC LANDINGS IN JAMESTOWN
    • ASCENSION ISLAND. BEACH LANDING BY ZODIAC CLOSE TO GEORGETOWN

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