Arrive in Argentina’s capital city, where immediate check-in has been arranged. With its wide boulevards and European-style buildings, romantic Buenos Aires boasts an energy all its own. Relax before this afternoon’s optional tour of the city’s highlights, including the Plaza de Mayo, the stately Casa Rosada, the Cabildo and the Metropolitan Cathedral. You may drive past the colorful La Boca District or San Telmo, the birthplace of tango. Get to know your fellow guests 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.
Spend the day exploring the Falklands. Depending on your itinerary, you either visit Stanley, the Falklands’ capitol, strolling its charming streets and exploring the surrounding wilderness areas; or you discover the southeast Falkland islands of Sea Lion or Bleaker, home to unspoiled wildlife habitats.
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 a nearly submerged continuation of the Andes mountain range, and your days here are spent exploring its glacier-carved coves and rugged shores. Visit Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay or Gold Harbour, all home to vast colonies of king penguins as well as fur and elephant seals. You also have the opportunity to retrace part of the route taken by Ernest Shackleton during his historic crossing of South Georgia in 1916. Weather permitting, you may visit his gravesite in Grytviken alongside your on-board historian, an expert on the great explorer’s life.
During your time cruising the Scotia Sea — rich with marine mammals and fish — your expert lecturers recap your adventures in South Georgia. They also enlighten you with more enriching lectures of what’s to come once you set foot on the Seventh Continent, from the terrain to the hardy wildlife that inhabits this forbidding but beautiful environment.
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. Other possible island visits may include Cuverville, Paulet and Goudier. There are also plans to sail through Paradise Bay and the Lemaire Channel, the latter often referred to as “Kodak Alley” for its breathtaking, picture-perfect beauty. You also enjoy additional opportunities for exploration, including a stop at a scientific research station. While on board ‘Le Boreal,’ you may view whales and birdlife from the deck or from your own cabin’s private balcony.
Bid farewell to Antarctica as you cruise back to Ushuaia through the Drake Passage, where there are plenty of opportunities to observe more marine and birdlife. Reflect and compare notes on your incredible journey with your fellow guests.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport to fly to Buenos Aires for your independent flight home.