Sunrise Birding LLC - Birding & Wildlife Tours
Home | Tours | Trip Reports | News |  Team |  Calendar | Links | Contact | Store | Mailing List
Wildlife Expedition Cruise Aboard the M/V Ortelius
October 29 - November 7, 2018
Download the complete brochure (pdf)>

Discover the wildlife treasures of the Falkland Islands!
Gentoo Penguin by Gina Nichol. Black-browed Albatrosses by Martin van Lokven. Falklands Flightless Steamer Duck by Siegfried Woldhek
Photos: Gentoo Penguin by Gina Nichol, Black-browed Albatrosses by Martin van Lokven, Falklands Flightless Steamer Duck by Siegfried Woldhek.
Trip Cost & Travel Planning>     Registration Form>

Contact to reserve your space. Ask for the Sunrise Birding discount!

Wandering Albatross. Photo Steve Bird.  ITINERARY
Day 1: Puerto Madryn, Argentina
Getting to Puerto Madryn (Airport code: PMY). El Tehuelche Airport is located 10 km northwest of the city center. Commercial flights from Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, and other Argentinian cities are available. The city of Trelew (60 Km. from Madryn) has a modern international airport called Almirante Marcos A. Zar Airport (Airport code: REL) with more flight options. The airport at Puerto Madryn is smaller and has less traffic.

In the afternoon, we embark in Puerto Madryn and sail towards the Falkland Islands. Golfo Nuevo is world renowned for their visiting Southern Right Whales and we have a good chance to see them as we head towards open ocean.


Black-browed Albatross. Photo by Steve Bird.Day 2 and 3: At sea
As we move toward the Falklands, the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels. Watch them from the observation deck.

Photos: Left, Wandering Albatross, Right, Black-browed Albatross by Steve Bird. 


Day 4 - 8: Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands (Malvinas) offer a wide variety of wildlife, which with caution is easily approachable. In many ways, the islands are largely unknown for their selection of wildlife gems. A wide variety of seabirds occur here and chances are great to see both Peale’s and Commerson’s Dolphins in the waters around the islands.

Our itinerary will aim to offer the best of the Falklands and may include:

  • The rarely visited Steeple Jason Island. It is a wild place dominated by wind and waves and the weather and swell conditions will dictate our success. Steeple Jason is the home of the largest Black-browed Albatross colony in the world is located (app. 113.000).

  • Carcass Island is rodent free and hence has a bounty of birdlife from breeding Magellanic and Gentoo Penguins, to numerous waders and passerine birds including several endemics to the islands such as the Cobb’s Wren and the Tussack Bird (Blackish Cincloides).

  • On Saunders Island, we can see the majestic Black-browed Albatross and their sometimes-clumsy landings near their nesting site along with breeding Imperial Shags and Rockhopper Penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and Gentoo penguins are also present here.

  • West Point Island is equally inhabited by a great number of Black-browed Albatrosses and Rockhopper Penguins, whereas Grave Cove offers relative shelter and many nesting Gentoo Penguins (Photo: Gina Nichol).

  • Gentoo Penguins. Photo by Gina Nichol.

  • The large white sandy beach at Volunteer Point is rather exposed but offers a large King Penguin rookery along with a plentiful birdlife.

  • Alternatively, Sparrow Cove/Kidney Cove on the northeast shore of Berkeley Sound not far from Port Stanley offers a great hike to enjoy the views of Kidney Cove and Port Stanley from Mt Low (204 m/671 ft).

  • In Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, we can experience Falkland culture, which has some South American characteristics as well as Victorian charm; colorful houses, well-tended gardens, and English style pubs. In Stanley and the surrounding area, we can see a number of stranded clippers from a century ago. They bear witness to the hardships of sailors in the 19th Century. The small, but very interesting museum is well worth a visit. Approximately 2,100 people live in the small capital in which all passengers are free to wander around on their own. Admission fees to local attractions are not included.

    Port Stanley. Photo by Erwin Vermuelen.

  • One the northwest side of Bleaker Island we may land at Sandy Bay. Nearby, Big Pond offers excellent wildlife opportunities such as Dark-faced Ground-tyrant and Magellanic Snipe. There is also easy walking to both Gentoo Penguins, Magellanic Penguins, Rockhopper Penguins, and King Cormorants.

  • Southern Elephant Seal. Photo by Gina Nichol.
    Sea Lion Island is very exposed and luck is required to make landfall here. It is the home of the largest breeding colony of Southern Elephant Seals (Photo: Gina Nichol) in the archipelago with approximately 2000 individuals on the northern beaches at this time of year. A good hike will lead to a Southern Sea Lion haul out.
  • A reasonably easy walk from the landing next to site Coffin’s Harbor at the New Island South Wildlife Reserve will bring rewards such as nesting Black-browed Albatrosses and Rockhopper Penguins.

  • A more strenuous hike to Landsend Bluff may offer great views of South American Fur Seals. The site of only land based whaling station on the Falkland Island is located to the south of the landing beach. Landing at the New Island North Nature Reserve requires a special permit. That pending we may make an afternoon landing in this spectacular place with a last visit to Black-browed Albatrosses, South American Fur Seal, and several other species of birds that call the Falkland Islands home.

Pied Oystercatcher. Photo by SiegfriedWoldhek.    Fur Seal photo by ErwinVermeulen

Day 9: At sea

We head west towards South America followed by numerous sea birds.

Day 10: Ushuaia
We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.

NOTE:  This itinerary for guidance only. Expedition cruises like this may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The on-board expedition leader will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Average cruising speed of m/v Ortelius is 10.5 knots.


Embarkation: Puerto Madryn, Argentina
Disembarkation: Ushuaia (Antarctica connections possible, please inquire)

Cruise Map

Cruise Map.

Ship information (pdf)>
     Deck Plan (pdf)>
Passengers: 116 in 53 cabins
Staff & crew: 47
Length: 91.25 meters Breadth: 17.61 meters Draft: 5.8 meters
Ice class: UL1 (Equivalent to 1A)
Displacement: 4575 tonnes
Propulsion: 6 ZL 40/48 SULZER
Speed: 14.3 knots maximum

The M/V Ortelius” is a polar expedition vessel for 116 passengers. The vessel has the highest ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to 1A) and is very suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice and loose multi-year pack ice. The vessel is manned by 20 highly experienced international nautical crew, 19 international hotel crew, and 8 expedition staff (1 expedition leader and 7 guides/lecturers) and 1 doctor. The ship offers a comfortable hotel standard, with two restaurants, a bar/lecture room. As the number of passengers is limited on the “Ortelius”, flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities. There is ample open deck space for viewing and “Ortelius” carries 11 zodiacs of which 9 are in use and 2 on reserve. The zodiac engines are 60hp Yamaha.


Back to top>

Aboard the M/V Ortelius, October 29 - November 7, 2018    


Quadruple Porthole
US $5600 pp/sharing
2 portholes, 2 upper / lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone, Hair dryer, Ample storage space

Triple Porthole
US $6300 pp/sharing
2 portholes, 1 upper / lower berth + 1 single lower berth, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone, Hair dryer, Ample storage space

Twin Porthole - Deck 4
US $6800 pp/sharing
2 portholes, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone
Hair dryer, Ample storage space.

Twin Porthole - Deck 3
US $6800 pp/sharing
2 portholes, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone
Hair dryer, Ample storage space.
Twin Window
US $7250 pp/sharing
2 windows, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone,
Hair dryer, Ample storage space
Twin Deluxe
US $7650 pp/sharing
3 windows, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Small sofa, Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Flatscreen TV, Telephone, Hair dryer, Ample storage space

Single accommodation is available in these cabins. Please inquire about single rates. 

Deposit: 20% of cabin cost per person. Tour deposits can be paid by check or credit card via PayPal.  Use this link to make your credit card payment.  Please advise when you have made payment. 

Included in this voyage:

  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.

Not included:

  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

RESERVATIONS: To reserve your place on this tour, contact to hold your space! Then follow up with your completed registration form and deposit within two weeks to secure your place. Instructions are on the form. Reservations are held with a deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.   
>Download & print the Registration Form. 

Contact to reserve your space! Then follow up with your completed registration form and deposit within two weeks to secure your place.

Final payment is due June 29, 2018. Check or bank transfer are preferred but credit card payments are possible (surcharges of up to 5% are added depending on amount to cover credit card company fees). Please inquire.


Please note: Tour prices are based on quoted costs from ground operators (in their local currency), estimated fuel costs, and the rate of exchange the time of itinerary publication. The erratic nature to global financial markets makes it difficult to predict changes in costs and foreign currency exchange rates over the long term. Since tours are priced well in advance of the actual operation of the tour, tour costs, fuel costs and exchange rates can change, sometimes drastically. Depending on the extent of such changes, it may be necessary to implement a surcharge on this tour. If a surcharge is necessary, every effort will be made to minimize the amount.



Cancellations and Refunds: All cancellations must be made in writing. In the event that you must cancel your booking at any stage, all payments you have made to Sunrise Birding, LLC will be retained by us, except at our discretion. You may have the opportunity to transfer your booking to another tour or another person, provided you are unavoidably prevented from coming on the tour. In this case, you will bear any extra costs that such changes may incur. There are no refunds once the trip is confirmed to go ahead and no refunds will be made for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features. Sunrise Birding, LLC cannot accept liability for airline cancellations or delays or penalties incurred by the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets or other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for this tour.

Insurance: Sunrise Birding, LLC recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.

For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 07-0025.

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company. 11.17 E7N

Questions? Contact Gina Nichol at 
Phone: 203.453.6724

Black-browed Albatross Colony at Steeple Jason Island by Martin Van Lokven
Black-browed Albatross Colony at Steeple Jason Island by Martin Van Lokven

Magellanic Penguin Colony by Werner Thiele

Whalebone Arch, Stanley by Jan Bryde