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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Cruise: Antarctic Peninsula and Around Cape Horn

Tour Information

Note: The information presented below has been extracted from our formal General Information for this tour.  It covers topics we feel potential registrants may wish to consider before booking space. The complete General Information for this tour will be sent to all tour registrants and of course supplemental information, if needed, is available from the WINGS office.

Booking your place on our Cruise: Antarctic Peninsula and Around Cape Horn should be done in two steps:

1. Participants should book on-board birding time and the seven land excursions directly with WINGS.  Please do this first to insure there’s space on our tour. Details follow.

2. Participants should book their ship berth directly with Princess Cruises. Details follow.


BOOKING WITH WINGS: WINGS space should be booked through the WINGS on-line booking system or directly through the WINGS office. The all-inclusive per person cost for the seven days of land arrangements plus the leaders’ on-board services is as listed on the main itinerary page. Our standard 4% discount applies to invoice balance if payment is by cash, check or wire. Applicants will be sent registration and release forms, deposit, payment and cancellation schedules and related information. The deposit for this tour’s WINGS services is $10% of tour cost ($200 non-refundable) with the balance of payments due a 3-5 months prior. Please wait for confirmation of space from WINGS before booking your berth with Princess. Note: You will have a seven-day window from the date of your WINGS booking to cancel without a WINGS penalty should Princess not have the berth accommodation you require.


RESERVING YOUR CABIN WITH PRINCESS CRUISES: Your berth on this cruise should be booked over the phone with Princess Cruises to make sure your booking is added to our group number (see details below). All cabins will work equally well with the planned activities. Price depends largely on cabin class with cabin base prices beginning in the low $3000s (including Port Fees).  Note that deposits and payment to Princess are completely refundable if cancelled according to the payment schedule they list in your cruise registration.

Note: Because we’re a group, all bookings from North America should go through our group organizer with Princess Cruises, Melissa Mesker at 1-800-901-1172 ext. 21678 or [email protected]. Her hours are 7:00 am-3:45 pm Pacific Time, Monday – Friday. It’s best to book your cabin through the number above and not through a standard travel agency or website such as Kayak, Expedia, or Travelocity (or over the Princess website). If you get her voicemail leave a message with the following information (or dial 0 during the message for one of her support team):

      1. I’m booking into a group.

      2. Our agent is Melissa Mesker.

      3. Cruise information:

            a. Antarctica/Cape Horn: January/February 2026 (CRUISE LISTING NOT YET POSTED)
                   i.     Group Name NOT YET AVAILABLE
                   ii.    Group code: NOT YET AVAILABLE
                   iii.   Our cruise number or voyage code: NOT YET AVAILABLE
                   iv.   Ship:NOT YET AVAILABLE
                   v. Cruise Route: Antarctic Peninsula, Cape Horn & Strait of Magellan (From Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Santiago/San Antonio, Chile)

You can also book through the standard Princess Reservation Telephone at 1-800-774-6237 (From the US and Canada) and 0-843-373-0333 (UK). When you connect with a Princess reservations agent, begin by telling them the above (including our agent’s name) before booking your cabin.

Choosing a cabin on the Sapphire Princess (Open Bow): The closest interior (non-view) cabins to the birding spot are on Decks 5 and 8, in the front of the ship. If you are worried about movement of the ship then the most stable interior cabins are on Deck 5 near the Art Gallery, though these are also near the Casino and may be noisy. There are also interior cabins mid-ship on Deck 10.

Additional information to have at hand before calling to make your booking:

• Your name(s) as they appear on your passports (first, middle and last)

• Your date(s) of birth

• Captain’s Circle Member numbers (for past Princess Cruises passengers) for all persons who may have them

• Phone numbers, mailing addresses, and email addresses for all persons who do not have Captain’s Circle member numbers

• Preferred bed configuration (queen vs. twin) for all staterooms – please note for cabins of 3 or more bed configuration may not allow a queen bed. Princess can provide specific bedding configuration details for each cabin as needed.

• Family stateroom configurations planned in advance (i.e., for families exceeding 4 persons; maximum stateroom occupancy is 4) or ask about Family Suite accommodations for up to 8 passengers.

• Dining selections (early, first, or late Traditional Dining, or Anytime dining) WINGS Note: Select “Anytime” dining.

• Any Special Requirements, including but not limited to: special dietary requests like food allergies and dietary restrictions (i.e., vegetarian, kosher, vegan, etc), or medical considerations.

• Any birthdays, anniversaries or other special occasions that you would like celebrated while onboard


1. Our cruise is limited to 14 birders due to the difficulty in showing seabirds to a larger group and to limits with certain of our land based services. Non-birding companions are permitted, and no WINGS deposit or payment is required, but such companions should not expect to join the daytime birding activities on board ship or on land (one or two days possibly excepted).  Non-birding companions should of course book their cruise berth with Princess. If you’re planning to travel with a non-birding companion, we suggest you contact the WINGS office for a review of the limitations of such a booking.

2. Shortly after you’ve booked your berth, you’ll get an e-mail booking confirmation from Princess.  Please forward a copy of that e-mail to the WINGS office and we’ll make sure all your data is transferred to our group.

3.  Cruise Itinerary:  Princess tells us that there is no direct web link to our cruise.  To view the itinerary one has to enter the main website, , and go through the “Plan a Cruise” link. Select “South America” as a destination, the proper cruise ship as above as a vessel, and month/year as a date. Click on “View Details” to see cabin prices, itinerary, and other details. Note: even though it’s possible to book the cruise through the website, we recommend doing so over the phone. On the website there’s no place to add your booking to our group block and you’ll have to call them anyway.

4.  Anyone who is unable to make a booking through Princess can request assistance from the WINGS office.

ENTERING ARGENTINA: A valid passport is required. U.S. citizens do not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days for tourism and business. U.S. citizens who arrive in Argentina with an expired or damaged passport may be refused entry and returned to the United States at their own expense. Citizens of other countries should consult their nearest Argentine consulate for entry requirements. If required by the embassy or visa-granting entity, WINGS can provide a letter for you to use regarding your participation in the tour.       

No vaccination certificates are necessary in order to enter Argentina.    
Argentina reciprocity fees: Citizens of the United States, Canada, U.K, and Australia do not have to pay the entry reciprocity fee. However, it’s a good idea to check the current status as the requirements around this fee are subject to change. Citizens of other countries should check their embassy website.

ENTERING URUGUAY: A valid passport is required. U.S. citizens do not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days for tourism and business. Citizens of other countries may need a visa, and should check with the Uruguayan embassy or consulate.

ENTERING FALKLAND ISLANDS (UNITED KINGDOM): A valid passport is required. U.S. citizens do not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days for tourism and business. Citizens of other countries may need a visa, and should check with the Falkland embassy or consulate.

ENTERING CHILE: A valid passport is required. A visa is not required for U.S. citizens. Citizens of other countries may need a visa, and should check with the Chilean embassy or consulate. If required by the embassy or visa-granting entity, WINGS can provide a letter for you to use regarding your participation in the tour.

TRANSFER BETWEEN AIRPORT AND HARBOR: If you do the cruise only (no extension) the transfers between the airport and the Buenos Aires harbor are not included in the WINGS quote. We highly recommend you to organize your transfer to/from the airport through Princess Cruises. It is easier to do it this way. If you join the Ceibas pre-cruise extension, a shuttle pick up is included in the tour cost (but it’s still best to organize your return to the airport at the end of the cruise through Princess).

Important: Princess will not allow you to take one of their shuttles between the airport and harbor if your flight time for your arrival/departure is under the 6hr minimum before/after your embarkation/ disembarkation. In this case you will be obliged to organize your transfer by yourself (by taxi for example), but we highly recommend considering at least 6 hours between your flight and embarkation/disembarkation.

Extension: If you participate in the pre-tour Ceibas extension, you will travel with the group and your leader to the ship and board together. At end of tour, with the cruise arrival early in the morning and most flights leaving late in the evening, you will have a LONG DAY to wait, so it may be worth booking a Day room somewhere to rest.

COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information here: Review foreign travel advice from the UK government here: and travel advice and advisories from the Government of Canada here:

HEALTH: The most current information about travelers’ health recommendations can be found on the Centers for Disease Control’s Travel Health website here. Specific vaccinations and proof thereof may be required to enter the country. For entry and exit information please visit the U.S. State Department’s website here. We strongly recommend contacting your doctor well in advance of your tour’s departure as some medications must be initiated weeks before the period of possible exposure.

Princess Cruises places a strong emphasis on keeping healthy and many Purell hand disinfectant are provided throughout the ship. Unfortunately with 2000+ customers on the ship (plus a crew of over 1000), it is always possible to catch a bug, and we recommend bringing cough and cold medications.

There are no major health risks during our cruise, and no cholera, malaria, typhoid or yellow fever where we will be. A tetanus booster is always a good idea before traveling. You should also be sure that your routine vaccinations are up to date for measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine, etc. As some of these inoculations cannot be given concurrently please contact your doctor well in advance of the tour to start your course of treatment.

Water supplies are good, but bottled water is also widely available. Immodium or Pepto Bismol in tablet form can be recommended as the best treatment for occasional traveler’s diarrhea. For mosquitoes, which we may occasionally encounter, we recommend using insect repellents with a high concentration of DEET. However, care must be taken to avoid getting the DEET repellent on optical equipment, as DEET dissolves rubber and plastic and can damage coated lenses. Camping supply stores and outfitters carry some reasonably effective alternatives that contain natural products and aren’t corrosive.

Since it may be impossible to obtain personal medications while on tour, please bring what you will need.

SMOKING: Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. The ship is generally non-smoking, with areas provided for smokers. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail.

ALTITUDE: On the land excursions organized during the cruise itself we won’t be at elevations higher than about 1,500 feet. Altitude sickness will not be a concern during the tour.

PACE OF THE TOUR: The tour starts with our group meeting on the cruise ship in the Buenos Aires harbor. The tour is divided in two different types of birding: the sailing days and the land excursions days. The location of the group for birding while on board the ship will depend on the weather conditions and time of the day. This will be explained by your leaders during the first meeting. When sailing, the leaders will indicate exactly where and when they will be birding, and you can join for them as long as you want: for just a couple of hours if you also want to enjoy some of the activities offered by the cruise line, or full day if you don’t want to miss any seabirding action.
Because of the high latitude there is plenty of daylight, and because of the nature of the birding being out at the crack of dawn is not as much a prerequisite as on “hot tropical” tours (e.g., Belize, Ecuador). During the sailing days, one or both leaders are usually on deck birding from around 6:00 or 7:00 am to 6:00 p.m. and you can join them when and as long as you want. There may of course be special areas during which we’ll want to be on deck regardless of the time. The leaders will brief you on these well in advance.
For the land excursions, the whole group will meet half an hour before the official landing time to be able to leave the ship quickly as a group and have as much as possible on our land excursions. We usually leave just after breakfast and depart for a day of birding and/or travel with box lunches and a supply of snacks (fruit, cookies, etc.) and drinks to keep us going. Most of the walking is on level to gently sloping terrain, and there are no long hikes; we do a lot of birding from in or near the vehicle.
Note: on occasion, bad weather (or other uncontrollable circumstances) may force the last-minute cancellation of a land excursion. In most of these cases a refund won’t be available. This happens rarely but is worth mentioning.

CEIBAS EXTENSION: This will comprise arrival into Buenos Aires, airport pick-up and transfer to hotel (sometimes rooms are not ready right away given early arrival times of many international flights) and introductory meeting/dinner on Day 1, birding the Ceibas area on Day 2, and birding Costanera Sur and boarding the ship on Day 3 (= Day 1 of the cruise).

We will be staying at a comfortable in downtown in Buenos Aires near the docks. The leader for the extension may be a trusted local guide, possibly joined by one or both WINGS leaders.

A very early start is required on Day 2, as the weather at Ceibas is typically very hot and humid. We will be birding mostly along level dirt roads and conditions underfoot should be dry (sometimes dusty with passing traffic). Buffet lunch is at a nearby hotel followed by some early afternoon birding, mainly from the vehicle, followed by return to BA by mid-late pm.

On Day 3 we will be birding at Costanera Sur wetland reserve, mainly from along the adjacent public road and later, when the reserve opens, on a broad dirt road, before returning to the hotel for lunch and boarding the ship.

Weather tends to be hot and humid, with a chance of rain (a small travel umbrella is recommended and can also be used for the hot sun!); mosquitoes can be locally numerous depending on recent rain conditions.
CURRENCY: During the land excursions, there are usually stands with people selling handicrafts or wine before re-boarding the ship, and payment can be done in US dollars. It’s a good idea to bring smaller US$ bills (10s, 5s, and 1s, rather than 20s and 50s). 

CLIMATE: The climate will vary greatly from one day to the next as we are traveling through a wide latitudinal range. Around Santiago, in Uruguay, and around Buenos Aires, it will be quite warm (expect temperatures at mid-day around 85°F/29°C).  = we don’t stop there on the Antarctic route. In Patagonia and the Falkland Islands it tends to be windy and cold; sometimes very cold with temperature sometimes down around 32°F/0°C. South from Cape Horn to Antarctica it is routinely cold, often around or a little below freezing (0oC) and, because we don’t move much when seabirding on exterior decks, you should be very warmly dressed.
For the post-trip in Central Chile expect sunny and hot in the lowlands to cool (and in the afternoons windy) at high elevations. The coast can be sunny and breezy or cool and foggy, just like California.

ACCOMMODATIONS: The pre-cruise extension to the Ceibas and the Costenera Wetlands will be at a modern, comfortable hotel near the cruise ship docks. During the cruise, you can choose between several levels of accommodations, see here to learn more.

INTERNET: Internet is available on the cruise ship but is quite expensive and often very slow. Internet will possibly be available on some land excursions if time permits, but birding is obviously the priority. If you use internet off ship, be sure to re-board with plenty of time to spare. We will likely have time to for an internet stop during the land excursions in Montevideo, Ushuaia and Punta Arenas, and possibly during one of the other land excursions.

FOOD: An impressive variety of food is served on board ship. Food is served 24 hours a day, and there is no obligation to eat all meals with the group. For lunch, the easiest option is usually to eat at one of the buffets or have a pizza or sandwich. The buffet option is available for dinner as well, though some participants may opt to have a more formal dining experience at one of the ship’s restaurants. Each day the leader will let you know where and when the group will meet for the daily list round-up, and at which restaurant the group will take dinner.

On most on-shore days during the cruise picnic lunches will consist of make-your-own sandwich fare.

WINGS tours are all-inclusive, and no refunds can be issued for any tour meals participants choose to skip. While our restaurants and ground agents make every effort to insure the comfort of all participants, we cannot guarantee that all food allergies can be accommodated at every destination. Many restaurants offer set menus and are unable to accommodate all special requests within a group. Thus, participants with significant food allergies or special dietary needs should bring appropriate foods with them for those times when their needs cannot, regretfully, be accommodated. Our tours are carefully scheduled to insure the best possible birding experience. Meal times generally cannot be adjusted; any participant who needs to eat earlier or later than the times scheduled for the group should bring supplemental food with them. Please contact the WINGS office if you have any questions.

DRINKS ON BOARD: Princess offers at no charge water, ice tea, or lemonade. When on board, WINGS doesn’t cover other drinks. Therefore, any other drinks such soft drinks, mineral water, or any kind of alcoholic beverage will be charged to you. Luggage is scanned every time we go on board, and only one bottle of wine, for the entire cruise, is accepted per passenger. If you bring more than one bottle (or another bottle at another landing) Princess will charge you a corkage fee (approximately 15 US$ per bottle).

TRANSPORTATION: Most of our land transportation will be in minibuses. We will often be on dusty gravel roads in the South. The off-road drive over rough moorland in the Falkland Islands is notoriously bumpy and anyone susceptible to motion sickness should bring an appropriate remedy.

Updated: 25 January 2024