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Zodiac excursion in the Antarctic Penisula

Christmas and New Year in Southern Lands

Example 17 Day Cruise aboard L'Austral
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Spend an unforgettable festive season on a 17-day cruise to the Antarctic. An exceptional polar expedition cruise to discover the most beautiful sites of these southern lands.  Set sail from the fascinating city of Ushuaia, which the Argentinians call El fin del Mundo. Cruise to South Georgia, where imposing glaciers meet the sea and thousands of king penguins that populate the island's black sandy beaches. Watch for whales, seals, and another impressive marine life as L'Austral explores the Antarctic Peninsula. Enjoy the expertise of L'Austral's crew and guides as you marvel at the otherworldly beauty of Antarctica's iridescent icebergs and floating ice fields. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Flight from Buenos Aires | Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark
Day 2 : At Sea
Day 3 : New Island | Grave Cove, Falkland Islands
Days 4-5 : At Sea
Days 6-8 : South Georgia
Day 9 : At Sea
Days 10-14 : Antarctic Peninsula
Days 15-16 : Crossing the Drake Passage
Day 17 : Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark | Flight to Buenos Aires

Highlights

  • Spend Christmas and the New Year on the fringes of the 'White Continent'
  • Enjoy the region's diverse scenery from lush moors to glaciers and icebergs
  • Behold thousands of penguins, sea birds, and other magnificent marine life
  • Explore the region up close with the help of expert naturalist guides

Ship

L'Austral

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Zodiac excursion in the Antarctic Penisula Elephant seal on the coast Touring the icy water of Antarctica on an expedition cruise Colony of penguins at Gold Harbor Pair of King penguins on an Antarctica cruise

Day 1 Flight from Buenos Aires | Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fly from Buenos Aires and arrive at Ushuaia, the capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province which lies in a bay opening into the Beagle Channel at the country's southernmost tip. Its colorful houses are framed against towering mountains, snow-capped in winter and summer alike. Downtown, the End of the World Museum showcases Tierra del Fuego's natural and indigenous history. A ride on the heritage railway is an exciting excursion into the Tierra del Fuego National Park, while a cruise on Ushuaia Bay is the perfect way to spot sea lions and Magellanic penguins.

Depending on your choice made when booking your cruise (options not combinable): You will be transferred to Arakur Hotel, one of the newest hotels built in Ushuaia. After lunch at the Arakur Hotel, you will have some time at leisure and/or will be invited to join a walk through the Natural Reserve of the Cerro Alarken. OR When booking the cruise, guests willing to visit the Tierra del Fuego National Park will be able to sign up for an optional group excursion, with extra cost. If you decide to do so, please note that immediately upon arrival at Ushuaia airport, you will leave towards the Park where you will have lunch before starting the tour.

Day 2 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As L'Austral cruises these southern waters, familiarize yourself with her amenities and crew.

Day 3 New Island | Grave Cove, Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago lost at the tip of the South American continent. They are composed of over 700 islets and two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, both declared nature reserves. As L'Austral finds its way towards New Island, lying in the west of the archipelago, the coastlines, carved by the wind and sea, form numerous isolated inlets with beaches of golden sand. These faraway lands, which once attracted seal and whale hunters, have become the last sanctuary of the elegant black-browed albatross, which glides gracefully through the air against the blue sky, while southern rockhopper penguins and elephant seals bask on the shore. 

Later today make your way through the turbulent Woolly Gut Strait and emerge in the stillness of Grave Cove. Located in the northern edge of the Falkland Islands, this bay owes its name to the vestiges of whalers’ graves that overlook the beach. As you step off the boat and onto the white-sand beach, you might find yourself escorted by a few hospitable Commerson's dolphins, elegantly adorned in black and white. A stroll along the grassy dunes leads you to a vast plain of lush green grass, tended by a few sheep. On the other side of the island find one of the largest gentoo penguin colonies in the area. With some luck, also glimpse a sea lion scouring the waves for his next meal.

Day 4-5 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call is an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they are able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 6-8 South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Aboard the ship, discover South Georgia, a region formed by an underwater mountain chain that extends from the Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula. All the wildlife of the Far South can be found there: king and Gentoo penguins, elephant seals, fur seals… You might get the chance to discover the majestic glaciers of Gold Harbour and the vast plains of Fortuna Bay. If you are fortunate enough to land at Salisbury Plain, you can expect a wonderful spectacle: more than 300,000 king penguins, which you can recognize by the bright orange mark on their head and neck, have taken up residence there.

Day 9 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Rest up for the next leg of your voyage as the ship sails further south. Feel the excitement build as you approach the great White Continent.

Day 10-14 Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners
Succumb to the magic of a place unlike any other. To this day, the mythical Antarctic Peninsula still holds a real fascination and promises its visitors unforgettable moments. Throughout your adventure in this icy realm, you find yourself in the heart of a spectacular decor in subtle shades of blue and white, surrounded by exceptional wildlife. Penguins, humpback whales, seals, and giant petrels are at home here, as are elephant seals, fur seals, Antarctic minke whales, and orcas. Depending on which sites you can be lucky enough to visit, you may get the chance to observe them and share with them the beauty of these extreme parts.

Each day, based on ice conditions, the Captain and the Expedition Leader suggest Zodiac®outings or landings to discover the infinite riches of the Antarctic Peninsula. Glaciers, ice floe, tabletop icebergs, mountain peaks that plunge straight into the sea, volcanic beaches, research stations, enchanting bays, and vestiges of the whaling industry: these are the faces of the Antarctic that reveal themselves to you, in a hushed and surreal atmosphere. Sail in the wake of Jean-Baptiste Charcot, Adrien de Gerlache and Sir Ernest Shackleton, great Antarctic explorers who, from the 19th century, set out to conquer these remote and uninhabited lands.

Day 15-16 Crossing the Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly the Drake Passage. Situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the shortest route to Antarctica. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbors a very diverse marine fauna. Don't forget to look to the sky to catch a glimpse of elegant albatross and Cape petrels, playfully floating about in the wind around your ship.

Day 17 Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark | Flight to Buenos Aires

  • 1 Breakfast
Following breakfast on board, disembark in Ushuaia and transfer to the airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires.

L'Austral

Per person starting at
$18,894
Superior Stateroom
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Superior Stateroom
8 cabins, 226 sq ft, located on Le Champollion Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area and private bath.
Deluxe Stateroom
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Deluxe Stateroom
28 cabins, 200 sq ft with private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suite
3 suites, 290 sq ft with 54 sq ft private balcony, located on the Le France Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, desk, minibar, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 5
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 6
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Owner's Suite
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Owners Suite
484 sq ft with 97 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living, dining areas, private bath with large tub and shower, minibar, 2 flat screen TVs, DVD, CD, and IPOD, Video on demand, Satellite phone

Notes

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.

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • All meals while on board the ship 
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides, and drivers
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except for premium brands...list available upon request)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • Room service 24h (special selection)
  • Highly qualified 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
  • Complimentary boot rental (except for guarantee deposit)
  • Complimentary polar parka for you to keep (no children sizes available)
  • Free and unlimited Wi-Fi (Internet access may be slower or in some situations interrupted, depending on certain geographic locations or other circumstances beyond our control).
Cruise, Flights and Transfers program rates are per person and also include:
  • Transfers, flights Buenos Aires/Ushuaia/Buenos Aires in economy class
  • Meet and Greet by representatives in Ushuaia and direct luggage transfer from the airport to the ship for port clearance
  • On embarkation day in Ushuaia: transfer to the Arakur Resort located inside Cerro Alarken natural Reserve, enjoy time at leisure and lunch.
  • Lunch at Arakur Hotel and beverages during lunch (mineral water + 1 soft drink or 1 local beer + 1 coffee) on embarkation day
  • English-speaking local guide during the transfers.
  • The walk through the Cerro Alarken Reserve starting from the Arakur Hotel and led by English speaking guide (except if you select optional Tierra del Fuego National Park excursion)
  • On disembarkation day in Ushuaia: direct transfer from the ship to the airport
For your optional Tierra del Fuego National Park excursion, your program includes:
*Please note if you choose this excursion, it is not combinable with Arakur Hotel program and therefore replaces it.
  • The excursion by local bus and the entrance fees to the National Park
  • The lunch with the beverage package including: 1 mineral water + 1 soft drink or 1 local beer + tea or coffee
  • Transfers and visit as mentioned in the program
  • The services of a local English speaking guide
Cruise rates do not include:
  • The optional excursion “Tierra del Fuego National Park” on embarkation day in Ushuaia. This excursion must be prebooked and paid at least 3 months prior to departure.
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned in each “Cruise, Flights & Transfers” package and for which details are available upon request.
  • The optional pre-and post-cruise programs, over lands and excursions.
  • Visa expenses (which may include additional administrative charges imposed by the authorities of a country) and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure
  • 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)
  • Dives when authorized by local authorities and feasible with ship equipment and Zodiacs®. Rates: €70 per standard dive; €80 per dive when local equipment or staff must be used, €80 for a “discover scuba dive” course, on some cruises a dive package might be on offer. In order to participate in diving sessions, guests must have with them a medical certificate less than 1-year-old and their up to date dive book.
These voyages include activities such as Zodiac® landings (sometimes wet landings), Zodiac® outings, moderate walks, to more active hikes. All this 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.

Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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