Summary : Explore the epic White Continent after sailing through the famous Drake Passage. You might experience prime sites such as Neko Harbour, first discovered by the Belgian explorer, Adrien de Gerlache; spectacular Paradise Bay as you look for leopard seals, and gentoo penguins; or the ancient whaling station of Deception Island revealing its endearing colony of chinstrap penguins. Each day—whether on land, aboard the ship, or during a Zodiac outing—you will be surrounded by grandiose icebergs and ancient glaciers. Sail through waters often populated by orcas, humpback whales, and other amazing cetaceans on this trip of a lifetime!
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Arrive in Buenos Aires and enjoy a meet and greet at the hotel. Early check-in is available from the late morning on. Lunch will be on your own with time in the afternoon at your leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and board your flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, lying at the very tip of Argentina looking out over the Beagle Channel. This surprising little town is surrounded by mountains and fertile plains. Tierra del Fuego's forests cover the lower slopes of the Andean mountains which are crowned with snow-capped peaks—a unique and unforgettable sight!
Upon arrival in Ushuaia, transfer to a restaurant for lunch before embarking the ship. Or you can sign up for the optional Tierra del Fuego tour before embarking (extra fee).
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.
Arrive in Ushuaia and disembark after breakfast. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires.
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.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Bilingual Departures: All departures French/English.
ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Round-trip flights Buenos Aires/Ushuaia; one pre-cruise hotel night in Buenos Aires; pre-cruise night dinner; breakfast on embarkation day in Buenos Aires; transfers between Buenos Aires hotel/airport/ship on embarkation day; transfer between ship/Ushuaia airport on disembarkation day; lunch in Ushuaia on embarkation day (if not on the optional Tierra del Fuego tour); shipboard accommodations; parka; gear on loan (boots); Wi-Fi onboard ship; all meals onboard ship; 24-hour room service; most beverages onboard ship; gratuities onboard ship. Butler service is included for guests staying in Deck 6 Suites. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare not mentioned as included; transfers not mentioned as included; lunch in Buenos Aires on arrival day; kayaking; passport and visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable; any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned; optional Tierra del Fuego tour; spa charges; premium beverages; laundry services, hair salon; personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions; travel insurance; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos ©: Olivier Blaud, Nathalie Michel, Ponant, Clement Vial