The Great Austral Loop Cruise

Jonathan Brunger
Chinstrap Penguins during wildlife tour
Jonathan Brunger
Travelers among penguins during Antarctica tour
Jonathan Brunger
Iceberg Flow during Trip to the Antarctic Peninsula
Jonathan Brunger
Sunset and icebergs during Antarctica cruise
Jenny Fiebig
Touring the icy water of Antarctica on an expedition cruise
Restaurant aboard the Le Soleal.
Bar and lounge with a view.
On this 16-day voyage, discover the undulating hills and verdant moors of the Falkland Islands. Cruise to South Georgia, home to imposing glaciers that tilt towards the sea and thousands of king penguins at home on the island's black sandy beaches. Continue south to discover the Northern Antarctic Peninsula in all its unique beauty. Keep your eyes out for iridescent icebergs, floating ice fields, and extraordinary marine mammals.

Day 1

Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark

Arrive in Ushuaia. Choose to embark Le Soleal or partake in an excursion to Arakur Resort, located inside Cerro Alarken Natural Reserve. Enjoy time at leisure, lunch and/or an optional excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park. Your ship departs South America this evening.

Day 2

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At Sea

As your ship sails the open oceans, settle in to your cabin and familiarize yourself with the ship and her crew - this is your new home for the next two weeks.

Day 3

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

New Island | Grave Cove, Falklands

New Island is your first stop on this lengthy Antarctic voyage. Once used as a base for whaling and sheep farming, New Island is considered by some to be one of the most beautiful among the Falklands. Continue on to Saunders, the fourth largest of the Falkland Islands. With an area of just over 50 square miles, the island runs as a sheep farm today.

Days 4-5

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

At Sea

Leaving the Falklands, your ship sets out for your next stop on this Austral loop. As you cruise the open water, keep your eyes out for marine mammals or seabirds who play alongside the vessel.

Day 6

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Salisbury Plain | Fortuna Bay, South Georgia

South Georgia is an unmissable destination within Antarctica. This Subantarctic region is a peak emerging from the Scotia Arc, an underwater mountain chain that extends the Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula. Salisbury Plain is the arena for the most memorable and the most authentic display of nature. Formed by the withdrawal of the Grace Glacier, high mountains dominate time and space; the blue-tinged landscape demonstrates all the strength and beauty of the unspoiled nature all around. At the heart of this haven of peace, on the beaches of the bay, a colony of 250,000 king penguins has taken residence. In the midst of all these orange-headed couples, fur seals try to beat a path to feed with their young. Under the weak southern sun that lights this glacial plain, clouds of birds fly on the wind, enchanting the traveler.

Day 7

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Grytviken | Baie de St Andrew

Welcome to the world's most southerly territorial capital. Named by a Swedish surveyor in 1902, Grytviken translates as "Pot Bay" for the pots found on site once used to render seal oil.

Landing at the Baie de St Andrew brings you up close and personal with Mount Skittle. Here you also may encounter more king penguins who gather in colonies of up to 100,000.

Day 8

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Gold Harbour

Located at the eastern end of South Georgia, Gold Harbour is named for the angle of morning and evening sunlight that illuminates the cliffs with a bright yellow light. The area is a breeding ground for king and gentoo penguins, as well as elephant seals. You may also see some sooty albatrosses flying overhead, as these infamous birds also breed in the harbour.

Days 9-10

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

At Sea

Rest up for the last leg of your voyage as your ship sails further south. Try to contain your excitement as you approach the great White Continent.

Day 11

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Weddell Sea, Antarctica

A lengthy sail in the Weddell Sea allows you to experience true silence, an extraordinary and enchanting atmosphere, and unrivalled calm. Discover a secret reserve of preserved treasure: fur seals, penguin colonies, wandering albatross, and other giant petrels. Here the huge icebergs and the endless ice cap sculpt a landscape beyond compare. The lord of the manor is known as the Weddell seal. It is a record breaker, able to remain submerged for more than an hour. Its pelage is dark grey and it has a spotted belly. To maintain its access to the sea and be able to fish, the Weddell seal has special teeth allowing it to make a hole in the thick ice.

Day 12

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Gerlache Strait | Enterprise

At the heart of this icy landscape, the polar light creates multiple reflections, humpback whales live under the water’s surface, and the broken up ice shelf floats freely, taking with it the fur seals basking in the sun.

Day 13

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Deception Island | Half Moon Island, Antarctica

Nestled at the heart of the South Shetland Islands, in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula, Deception Island is easy to recognize for its horseshoe shape. On the black sand of the volcanic beaches, there are remains of abandoned huts that have been overrun by the extraordinary wildlife, part of the treasure that nature offers us there. It is on these beaches of ash that the largest colony of chinstrap penguins in the Antarctic Peninsula has taken up residence. Excursions aboard Zodiac dinghies allow you to set foot on this expanse of land where more than 100,000 pairs of penguins, elephant seals, and fur seals live side by side.

Days 14-15

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

Crossing the Drake Passage

Spend your last days on board the Le Soleal reflecting on your once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Share memories and photos with your fellow travelers or simply relax and take advantage of your ship's amenities before returning home.

Day 16

  • Breakfast

Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina

Following breakfast on board, disembark in Ushuaia and transfer to the airport to continue your travels.

 Superior StateroomDeluxe StateroomPrestige Stateroom Deck 4Prestige Stateroom Deck 5Prestige Stateroom Deck 6Deluxe SuitePrestige Suite Deck 5Prestige Suite Deck 6Owner Suite
Airport taxes: $50
Please note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and subject to change without notice.

Discounts are available for children sharing a cabin with two adults and third adult passengers in select cabin categories. Please contact us for details.

Single travelers can opt for a solo cabin - supplements start at 50%.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
• A polar water-resistant parka is offered on board for all departures
• English speaking lecturer
• All meals while on board the ship
• Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
• Mineral water, tea, filter coffee, a selection of white, red and rosé wines offered during meals; afternoon tea
• Open Bar (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
• Evening entertainment and events
• Luggage transfer from pier to the ship and vice versa
• 24h room service (special selection)
• Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team.
• Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite
• Park entry fees into protected areas

Cruise fares do not include:
• Airport taxes (subject to modification)
• Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
• Optional Spa package to be booked prior your departure; please ask for more information
• Optional shore excursions
• Beverages other than the ones mentioned
• Laundry services, hair salon and à la carte Spa treatments
• Personal expenses, on board medical consultations, and drug prescriptions
• Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)
• Visa, disembarkation taxes, environmental taxes and/or national park fees if applicable

Cruise, Flights & Transfers program rates are per person and also include the following:
• Direct flight Buenos-Aires/Ushuaia/Buenos-Aires in Economy class
• Meet and Greet by representatives in Ushuaia and luggage direct transfer from the airport to the ship for port clearance
• Choice between one full day in Arakur Resort located inside Cerro Alarken Natural Reserve, time at leisure, lunch and/or optional excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park OR direct transfer to the port for embarkation, buffet lunch and access to the Main Lounge (cabins/suites will not be accessible before 5pm)
• On disembarkation days in Ushuaia: direct transfer from the ship to the airport

These voyages include activities such as Zodiac® landings (sometimes wet landings), Zodiac® outings, moderate walks, to more active hikes accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Considering the nature of the programs, a reasonable level of mobility is required to enjoy these expeditions.

Due to the exceptional nature of this itinerary, the calls/sites listed are only a guide. The final route will be confirmed by the ship’s Captain with priority being given to passenger safety. Pack ice may also force the Captain to change course at the last minute. Zodiac® landings or outings accompanied by your expedition team offer plenty of opportunities to discover and experience what Antarctica and/or South Georgia have to offer at close range. These will of course depend on the weather conditions, the ice, the wind and the sea state.