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A spectacular iceberg off the coast of Antarctica

The Great Austral Loop

Example 17 Day Cruise aboard Le Soleal
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On this 17-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-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Santiago, Chile
Day 2 : Fly to Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark
Day 3 : At Sea
Day 4 : New Island | Grave Cove
Days 5-6 : At Sea
Days 7-9 : South Georgia Island
Days 10-11 : At Sea
Days 12-14 : Antarctic Peninsula
Days 15-16 : Drake Passage
Day 17 : Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark | Fly Santiago

Highlights

  • Embark on Zodiac excursions for an up-close look at the region's beauty
  • Observe abundant populations of wildlife such as penguins, seals, and more
  • Admire dazzling ice formations, drifting icebergs, and sea ice
  • Explore the wild terrain from glacier-covered mountains to lush pastures

Ship

Le Soleal

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A group of penguins in the Falkland Islands Ushuaia Beauty An elephant seal peeks out of the water around South Georgia A spectacular iceberg off the coast of Antarctica Whale sighting in Polar waters!

Day 1 Santiago, Chile

Today meet your local representative at the hotel. Check-in is available starting in the late morning. This afternoon is at your leisure, before meeting the other passengers for dinner and overnighting at the hotel.

Day 2 Fly to Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Have an early breakfast this morning at the hotel before your flight from Santiago to Ushuaia. Approximate flight duration: 3 hours, 30 min.

Depending on your choice made when booking your cruise (options not combinable):

You will be transferred to a restaurant for lunch.

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 3 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 will also be 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 will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 4 New Island | Grave Cove

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This island with its distinctive jagged relief is located on the western edge of the Falkland Islands and is home to a tiny village of two families. Step onto the golden sand of its flower-lined beaches, beside which an old stone house still stands, and you'll feel like you've entered a natural paradise. A narrow pathway weaves around typical Falkland moorlands. Follow it and in under 20 minutes, you'll find yourself at the heart of a colony of southern rockhopper penguins, black-browed albatross, and imperial shags. It's the perfect opportunity to watch the albatross swoop down from the cliffs and skim the waves that crash against the rocks on the exposed side of the island.

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 will lead you to a vast plain of lush green grass, tended by a few sheep. On the other side of the island, you'll find one of the largest gentoo penguin colonies in the area. With some luck, you'll also glimpse a sea lion scouring the waves for his next meal.

Day 5-6 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 will also be 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 will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 7-9 South Georgia Island

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Aboard your 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 will recognize by the bright orange mark on their head and neck, have taken up residence there.

Day 10-11 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 will also be 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 will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 12-14 Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 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 will 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 will 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 will suggest Zodiac outings or landings 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 will likely reveal themselves to you, in a hushed and surreal atmosphere. You will 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 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 | Fly Santiago

  • 1 Breakfast
This morning disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight from Ushuaia to Santiago.

Le Soleal

Santiago - Hotels

Per person starting at
$13,465
Superior Stateroom
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Superior Stateroom
The Superior Stateroom has a capacity of up to 3 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds.
Deluxe Stateroom
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Deluxe Stateroom
The Deluxe Stateroom has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
The Prestige Stateroom on Deck 4 has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
The Prestige Stateroom on Deck 5 has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
The Prestige Stateroom on Deck 6 has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suite
The Deluxe Suite has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
The Prestige Suite on Deck 5 has a capacity of up to 4 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and an 8m² private balcony.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
The Prestige Suite on Deck 6 has a capacity of up to 4 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and an 8m² private balcony.
Owner's Suite
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Owner Suite
The Owner's suite is situated on Deck 6 with a capacity up to 2 passengers per cabin. With a king-sized bed, it has been decorated by French interior designers and provides you with a breathtaking panoramic sea view.

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 are 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%.

Rates are per person and include the following:
• All meals while on board the ship (from dinner on the day of embarkation to breakfast on the day of disembarkation)
• Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
• “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
• Evening entertainment and events
• Gratuities 
• Room service 24h (special selection)
• Highly qualified bilingual French/English expedition team on all cruises identified by “Expedition” logo
• Park entry fees into protected areas
• Free and unlimited Internet WiFi access on board

"Hotel, Flights, cruise and transfer" program includes:
• 1-night accommodation in a 4* hotel the night before embarkation.
• Early check-in is available from late morning.
• Hospitality desk at the hotel in Santiago.
• Return flight Santiago / Ushuaia / Santiago selected by PONANT, in economy class.
• Services of local guides, in Ushuaia.
• Meals as mentioned in the programme and beverage package.
• Transfers as mentioned in the programme.

Your programme does not include:
• The optional excursion “Tierra del Fuego National Park” on embarkation days 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, Hotel, Flights & Transfers” package and for which details are available upon request.
• The optional pre and post cruise programs
• 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 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)
• Transfer between airport and hotel in Santiago, the day before embarkation.
• Tips for the local guide.
• Other meals and services not mentioned in the programme.

**For your optional Tierra del Fuego National Park excursion, your programme includes:
Please note if you choose this excursion, it is not combinable with “Lunch in Ushuaia” programme and therefore replaces it.
  • The excursion by local bus and the entrance fees to the National Park
  • The lunch including beverage package.
  • Transfers and visit as mentioned in the programme
  • The services of a local English speaking guide
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Alexandra L

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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