The southern oceans are home to an incredible variety of seabirds with many mouth-watering species inhabiting this wild and apparently inhospitable region and the thought of taking one of the small boat pelagics out into these often rough seas is not that appealing to many people. Indeed, the very names such as Cape Horn, Straits of Magellan, Beagle Channel and the Falkland Islands conjure up a longing in many birders but it's always been just out of reach. Not any more! In partnership with Princess Cruises we offer the ultimate pelagic experience! By utilising the services of a full working cruise ship with all the onboard amenities one associates with such a venture we can sail the southern ocean in search of numerous much-wanted seabirds, with 10+ albatrosses, penguins, diving-petrels, prions, and numerous petrels this promises to be a trip of a lifetime. We will be on deck every day and the ship is stable enough to support our scopes as we search for some iconic seabirds such as both Northern and Southern Royal Albatross, at least 3 species of Wandering Albatross, Yellow-nosed Albatross, Black-browed Albatross, Grey-headed Albatross, Buller's Albatross, Salvin's Albatross, Cape Verde Shearwater, Soft-plumaged Petrel, Stejneger's Petrel, Juan Fernandez Petrel, Black-bellied Storm-Petrel, Fuegian Storm-Petrel (a potential split from Wilson's Storm-Petrel), Pincoya Storm-Petrel, Grey-backed Storm-Petrel and more! 

On top of this there will be land-based excursions to see King Penguins in the Falkland Islands, a visit to the wetlands near Montevideo, Uruguay, Alerce Andino National Park at Puerto-Montt and the Patagonian-steppe near Punta Arenas in Chile, the forests of Patagonia National park near Ushuaia, the spectacular Valdes Peninsula and Costanera Sur Reserve in Argentina. More great species should be seen such as Lesser Rhea, Elegant Crested Tinamou, Falkland, Flying and Flightless Steamer-Ducks, Snowy Sheathbill,  Imperial Cormorant, Giant Wood-Rail, Magellanic Plover, Rufous-chested Dotterel, South American Painted Snipe, Austral Pygmy Owl, Magellanic Woodpecker, Magellanic Tapaculo, Black-throated Huet-Huet, White-bridled Finch and so much more!

A pre-tour extension from Santiago will see us birding amidst some of the most spectacular scenery on earth as we search for the much-wanted Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, as well as a whole host of Chilean endemics and localised species such as White-sided Hillstar, Dusky-tailed Canastero, Crag Chilia, Rufous-banded Miner, Moustached Turca, Chilean Mockingbird, and both Dusky and White-throated Tapaculo amongst many others.

So often we birders leave our loved ones or 'significant other' behind whilst we fly off to chase our dream birds and we get to experience many different countries our partners would tell us they would love to visit also but without the early mornings or strains of keeping up with us and our group whilst birding. This tour is the perfect excuse for all  non-birding partners to join us on our travels whilst we enjoy our birding and they can take advantage of the amenities of this fabulous cruise ship. There is no charge for non-birding partners to join this tour only the cost of the cabin which can be arranged through our dedicated group contact at Princess Cruises. A non-birding Zoothera representative will also be onboard to assist with any non-birding activities and enquiries.

For a chance to see these amazing birds from the comfort of a full working cruise ship, please register your interest with the Zoothera office. 

Main Cruise: Sun 19th Feb - Sun 5th March 2023
Santiago, Chile Pre-tour ext: 16th - 19th Feb
Ceibas, Argentina Post-tour ext: 5th - 8th March

Main Cruise: 19th Feb - 4th March 2024


Here are just a few of the key species we will be targetting on this tour:

  • Lesser Rhea
  • Darwin's Nothura
  • Elegant Crested Tinamou
  • Upland Goose
  • Flying Steamer-Duck
  • Flightless Steamer-Duck
  • Falklands Steamer-Duck
  • King Penguin
  • Gentoo Penguin
  • Magellanic Penguin
  • Northern Royal Albatross
  • Southern Royal Albatross
  • Yellow-nosed Albatross
  • Wandering (Snowy) Albatross
  • Wandering (Antipodes) Albatross
  • Chatham Albatross
  • Buller's Albatross
  • Grey-headed Albatross
  • Northern Giant Petrel
  • Southern Giant Petrel
  • Soft-plumaged Petrel
  • Cape Petrel
  • Masatierra Petel
  • Juan Fernandez Petrel
  • Slender-billed Prion
  • Westland Petrel
  • White-chinned Petrel
  • Cape Verde Shearwater
  • Pink-footed Shearwater
  • Grey-backed Storm-Petrel
  • Black-bellied Storm-Petrel
  • White-faced Storm-Petrel
  • Fuegian (Wilson's) Storm-Petrel
  • Pincoya Storm-Petrel
  • Magellanic Diving-Petrel
  • Common Diving-Petrel
  • Peruvian Diving-Petrel
  • Rock Shag
  • Imperial Shag
  • Red-legged Cormorant
  • Andean Condor
  • White-throated Caracara
  • Chimango Caracara
  • Giant Woodrail
  • Rufous-sided Crake
  • Red-gartered Coot
  • Two-banded Plover
  • Rufous-chested Dotterel
  • Magellanic Oystercatcher
  • Snowy Sheathbill
  • Magellanic Plover
  • Brown Skua
  • Chilean Skua
  • Long-tailed Skua
  • Dolphin Gull
  • Elegant Tern
  • Austral Parakeet
  • Austral Pygmy-Owl
  • Green-backed Firecrown
  • Magellanic Woodpecker
  • Black-throated Huet-Huet
  • Magellanic Tapaculo
  • Ochre-flanked Tapaculo
  • Chucao Tapaculo
  • Dark-bellied Cinclodes
  • Thorn-tailed Rayadito
  • Des Murs's Wiretail
  • Austral Canastero
  • Austral Negrito
  • Fire-eyed Diucon
  • Rufous-tailed Plantcutter
  • Austral Thrush
  • Patagonian Mockingbird
  • Patagonian Sierra-Finch
  • Falkland White-bridled Finch
  • Black-and-rufous Warbling-Finch
southern royal albatross
Southern Royal Albatross

Leaders:  Nick Bray and local guides. 

Zoothera Tour Cost 2023:  £2950.00
Zoothera Tour Cost 2024: tba
Zoothera Tour Cost non-birding partner:
Tour Cost Chile pre-cruise ext 2023: £1290.00
Tour Cost Ceibas post-cruise ext 2023: £1050.00
Cabin Price:  Cabins start from £2,259 per person (twin share) - please ask our office for details. Payable direct to cruise company.

Airfare: £730.00 - £850.00 (Approx) - Santiago/Buenos Aires

Chile Pre-cruise Single Supplement 2023: £200.00
Ceibas Post-cruise Single Supplement 2023: £350.00

Zoothera Deposit: £500.00
Cabin Deposit: £tba. Payable direct to cruise company

Group size: Minimum for tour to go ahead 7.

Included in cost:  all meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 15 (food available onboard 24 hours a day), all entrance fees, all transport throughout, 7 land-based excursions, and services of leaders and an English speaking guide. 

Not included: International airfare, Chile entrance tax, accommodation in a variety of cabins - to be booked direct with cruise company, drinks,  visa fee, insurance, tips & crew gratuities,WIFI and items of a personal nature.

Accommodation:  Comfortable cabins on-board the Sapphire Princess, with a range of prices and styles to suit all. Cabins starting at £2,259 pp (twin share), Ocean View £2,559 pp (twin share), Balcony £2,859 pp (twin share). But please check the Princess Cruise website as cabin costs fluctuate.

Booking: Please email or ring the Zoothera office for availability and we can answer any questions and discuss cabin options etc. 


All photos copyright Nick Bray/Zoothera Birding unless otherwise stated.