This journey to the "White Continent" offers six days of exploration on the incomparably beautiful Antarctic Peninsula and the surrounding islands and waterways. The sights, sounds, and emotions stay in your mind forever — enormous tabular icebergs, hillsides covered with thousands of penguins, and the excitement on deck as someone shout, “Whales!” Experience the National Geographic legacy of exploration in Antarctica as you travel with experienced Antarctica expedition staff, which includes an Undersea Specialist. Zodiacs and kayaks further your ability to examine this remote wilderness on this fascinating 12-day Antarctica expedition cruise.
Encounter iconic penguins, leopard seals, and marine mammals
Kayak among icebergs and Zodiac cruise past resting leopard seals
Guests traveling aboard National Geographic Explorer arrive this morning in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, set on the Rio de la Plata, and check in to the fine Alvear Art Hotel (or similar). In the afternoon, have a guided overview of the city, seeing its Beaux Arts palaces, grand boulevards, and the famous balcony forever associated with Eva Peron. In the early evening, gather for an informal reception and a drink at the hotel.
Today you fly by private charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. Guests traveling aboard National Geographic Explorer from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Ushuaia to embark the Explorer. This morning's charter flight brings you over Patagonia before landing in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. If the weather is fine, have a chance to view the spectacular mountains rising out of the Beagle Channel as you enjoy lunch on a catamaran cruise. Then, embark the expedition ship and set sail.
Awake this morning well into your journey across the Drake Passage. Lying between Cape Horn and the Antarctic Peninsula, the Drake holds a unique place in maritime lore. Sometimes misty and gray, other times calm and clear, crossing the legendary Drake Passage is unforgettable—a milestone in any adventurer's personal travel history.
With nearly 24 hours of daylight, make the most of our days, keeping a flexible schedule to take advantage of the unexpected — perhaps watching a 40-ton whale surface off the bow. We are out daily. One day, you may take a Zodiac foray amid towering bergs under a bright sun, walk along the shoreline amid a huge penguin colony, hike to a summit for a breathtaking view, or kayak along a cliff-side rookery in search of blue-eyed shags. And the next, you can have the thrill of watching the ship crunch through the pack ice or step ashore to the cries of thousands of gentoo penguins. Learn from Your experts how to identify penguins and get photo tips from a National Geographic photographer while watching those same penguins. Back aboard, our Undersea Specialist may present video from that day’s dive — rare images took up to 1,000 feet below the surface using our ROV. The expert staff crafts an expedition where you can learn more, see more and experience more.
As you sail back to Ushuaia, an albatross or two may join the avian escort of seabirds that cross your bow, and your spotters keep an eye out for marine life. There is plenty of time to enjoy a wellness treatment, log some time in the gym, or catch up on the book you haven’t had a minute to read. Talks from your staff reflect on all you have seen and learned.
Day 12: Disembark Ushuaia | Fly to Buenos Aires
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
After breakfast, you disembark in Ushuaia with some time to explore before proceeding to the airport for your LAN charter flight to Buenos Aires.
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.