Arrive in Santiago, where a representative meets you at the airport and assists you through arrival formalities. Then transfer to your hotel, where immediate check-in has been arranged. Relax before this afternoon’s optional tour of the city’s highlights, including the La Moneda Palace and the Plaza de Armas. Get to know your fellow travellers this evening at a welcome cocktail party.
Fly to Ushuaia at the southern tip of South America. You have time for some sightseeing and a traditional Patagonian barbecue lunch. This afternoon, board your ship and settle in for a first night on the water. Familiarize yourself with the ship; you may even want to toast your journey in the bar.
As you sail east toward the Falkland Islands, your lecturers begin their informal series of enlightening discussions on the flora, fauna and the history of the region. A professional staff photographer is on hand to assist you with specific camera questions and leads lectures focusing on various photo skills throughout your cruise. The waters here are rich in krill, making them a favorite with local wildlife searching for food. Alongside your naturalist guides, spot whale and seabirds from the cruiser's deck.
Today, you have the opportunity to step back in time to a place where nature reigns supreme. Spend your day walking to penguin rookeries and other unspoiled wildlife habitats. Weather permitting, stop in the West Falkland Islands of New Island and Carcass Island.
As the ship approaches South Georgia, deck-side sightings of whale, seal and other wildlife become more frequent. Informative lectures — as well as casual talks with your guides — soon have you scanning the seas like an expert.
South Georgia is actually a nearly submerged continuation of the Andes mountain range, and your days here are spent exploring its glacier-carved coves and rugged shores. Weather permitting, enjoy a visit to impressive Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay or Gold Harbour, home to a vast colony of stately king penguin. You also have the opportunity to retrace part of the route taken by Ernest Shackleton during his historic crossing of South Georgia Island in 1916. Weather permitting, you may visit his gravesite in Grytviken.
Lecturers recap your adventures in South Georgia while the ship passes through waters rich with marine mammals and fish.
As conditions permit, the ship's itinerary calls for landings on the Antarctic Peninsula and a number of South Shetland Islands, which may include Half Moon, Penguin and Deception Islands. Other possible island visits may include Cuverville, Paulet and Goudier Islands. There are also plans to sail through Paradise Bay and the Lemaire Channel, with additional opportunities for exploration, including a stop at a scientific research station. While on board, you may view whale and birdlife from the deck or from your own cabin’s private balcony.
Return through Drake Passage, where there are more chances to observe marine and birdlife. You may also want to compare notes on your journey with your fellow travellers, either on deck or in one of 'Le Boreal's' comfortable gathering spots with superb views.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport to fly to Santiago for your independent flight home.