Arrive this morning to Argentina’s capital and transfer to your hotel, where immediate check-in has been arranged. Enjoy some time to relax before this afternoon’s city tour. As complex as it is energetic and seductive, this port city has been the gateway to Argentina for centuries, bringing many porteños (as locals are known) into its boundaries. Although it is reminiscent of a European city, the spirit of Buenos Aires is evident in its diverse and distinctly local neighborhoods. Meet your fellow adventurers this evening for a welcome cocktail reception.
Today, fly to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Upon arrival, enjoy sightseeing (time permitting) and a traditional Patagonian barbecue lunch. Later, arrive at your ship and settle in for your first night on board. The passenger friendly, stylish ‘Le Boreal’ features all-balcony staterooms and suites. Wander the decks, relax in the lounge and mingle with fellow travelers in anticipation of your voyage.
The southward journey toward Antarctica is an exciting one. Fast-flowing southern ocean currents squeezing between land masses give the Drake Passage, the small strip of sea between the tip of South America and Antarctica, some of the world's roughest waters. An important trade route in the 19th and early 20th centuries, its stormy waters and icy conditions often made the journey around Cape Horn a difficult one, though the stabilizer-equipped 'Le Boreal' handles it easily. The krill-rich waters are a particular favorite with marine mammals and seabirds. Join 'Le Boreals' naturalists on the deck to look for various species of whale and abundant seabirds. Later this evening, chat with experts about the wildlife spotted today and discuss the next day’s itinerary.
As the Antarctic Peninsula and its offshore islands appear on the horizon, a sense of excitement and expectation begins to build. Shore excursions are carefully planned by the captain and expedition leader to take full advantage of each day's possibilities. On most days, two landings are scheduled. Head out in swift and versatile Zodiacs, guided by expert drivers and accompanied by lecturers, to a number of penguin-filled islands in the South Shetlands, which may include Half Moon, Penguin and Deception. Other possible island visits just off the continental coastline may include Cuverville, Paulet or Goudier. Weather permitting, the ship calls on the Antarctic Peninsula. 'Le Boreal' also plans to sail through stunning Paradise Bay and the Lemaire Channel, referred to as "Kodak Alley," with other possibilities for exploration, including a scientific research station and the remains of turn-of-the-century whaling and sealing stations. Return to your cruiser for cocktails and dinner. Afterward, recap the day’s discoveries with your naturalist guides.
The ship's return through the Drake Passage is an interlude for recap and reflection, with time to compare notes with your lecturers on the wildlife, history and geology of the White Continent. While cruising through this historic passage, named in honor of Sir Francis Drake's voyage in the 16th century, you may be able to spot whale and seabirds such as albatross and skua.
'Le Boreal’ docks at Ushuaia this morning, where after breakfast, bid farewell to staff and crew and disembark. Transfer to the airport to board your flight home via Buenos Aires.