Summary : Meet penguins in person, aim to step foot on the White Continent, and hear the crackle of sea ice on this epic otherworldly adventure! Exploring the modern traveler’s final frontier, you’ll discover the iconic sights and sounds that make Antarctica one of the Earth’s most pristine, unforgettable, and coveted destinations.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Arrive in Argentina's capital and transfer to your included hotel, where you spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Latin passion and European Romance define the beautiful city of Buenos Aires, a dynamic mecca known for its wide-ranging architectural styles, contemporary and historic arts, and culinary pleasures and parrillas (steakhouses). This morning, choose from a selection of included excursions and experience the city’s best treasures alongside local guides.
Fly to the charming port town of Ushuaia (flights not included), the southernmost city in the world. On arrival, enjoy a gourmet lunch at the Arakur resort, enjoying panoramic city and mountain vistas while you dine. Time and weather permitting, take a guided walk in the Cerro Alarken Nature Reserve or simply relax with a cappuccino and enjoy scenic views of Ushuaia. This afternoon, transfer to your ship and settle in for your first night on board. Wander the decks to become acquainted with the ship, relax in the lounge and mingle with fellow guests in anticipation of your voyage. From your private balcony or the outside decks, take in views as you cruise the beautiful Beagle Channel before heading out to sea.
Crossing the Drake is a rite of passage that signifies your journey to the White Continent has begun! As you sail from the southern tip of South America to the Antarctic Peninsula, enjoy time on deck in the cool salt breeze as you spot sea birds gracefully soaring in the wind. Attend engaging presentations, enjoy the ship’s amenities, and get to know your fellow traveling companions as excitement builds in anticipation of your first excursion. The first iceberg will flash into sight as you near the South Shetlands Islands, and you may even see penguins swimming!
As you navigate historic waterways and visit prime sites along the Antarctic Peninsula and neighboring South Shetland Islands, the goal is to attempt 1-2 excursions per day. Your Captain and Expedition Leader continually monitor weather and ice conditions, working together to insure you experience the best of Antarctica whether you’re exploring Paradise Bay, the Lemaire Channel, Port Lockroy, Deception Island, or the many other locations available for landings and Zodiac cruising in the region.
Sailing in the wake of the 19th century’s great explorers—Sir Ernest Shackleton, Adrien de Gerlache, Robert Falcon Scott, and Roald Amundsen (to name just a few)—you’ll photograph the same towering mountain peaks they saw, hear raucous penguin colonies as you go ashore, see dazzling shades of blue and white as you navigate bays with impressive ice sculptures, and gain a new perspective of what it takes for wildlife—from penguins and giant petrels to elephant seals and humpback whales—to thrive in the beauty of this environment.
The forecast for conditions across the Drake Passage will determine when you’ll say a fond farewell to Antarctica and sail back to South America. Enjoy the ship’s amenities as the coastline drifts out of view, take time for bird watching and searching the horizon for whales, and enjoy final presentations by the expedition staff as you relax and reflect upon your Antarctic adventure.
Dock at Ushuaia this morning. After breakfast, bid farewell to your crew and fellow guests before disembarking. Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions—and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase emergency evacuation/repatriation insurance at a minimum coverage of $100,000. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for Antarctic trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Experience an enhanced photography departure, enjoying added programming led by dedicated photo coaches.
Two pre-cruise hotel nights in Buenos Aires with breakfast; pre-cruise tour of Buenos Aires; pre-cruise transfer from airport to hotel; lunch at the Arakur Hotel in Ushuaia; local beer and wine for included meals onshore; post-cruise transfer from ship to airport; shipboard accommodations; Wi-Fi onboard ship and in hotel; valet laundry service onboard ship (limited amount, excludes dry cleaning); gear to keep (parka, backpack, water bottle); gear on loan (boots, walking poles, waterproof pants); all meals onboard ship; 24-hour room service onboard ship; most beverages onboard ship; most gratuities; memory book upon return (one per booking). Guest staying in Categories 4-9 suites onboard the ship receive a suite upgrade at the Hyatt in Buenos Aires and butler service onboard the ship. Subject to change without notice.
International airfare; round-trip flight between Buenos Aires/Ushuaia; passport and visa expenses; laundry other than mentioned as included; meals not mentioned as included; premium wines, spirits, liquors and champagnes; communication charges not mentioned as included; all items of a personal nature; required travel insurance; excess baggage charges; airport departure tax; spa charges; some gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos: © A&K Image Library, © Justin Weiler (ship)