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Penguins in Antarctica

Beyond the Polar Circle

Example 18 Day Cruise aboard Le Soleal
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Start your journey at the charming city of Buenos Aires, fall in love with the magic of the capital city of Argentina. Board the Le Soleal in Ushuaia and embark on a spectacular 18-day voyage across Antarctica. Set sail for the Falkland Islands, whose wild beauty is sure to captivate you. This subantarctic region formed by an underwater mountain chain is home to a diverse and wild fauna. King penguins, fur seals, and elephant seals are its most emblematic representatives. Before crossing the Antarctic Circle, the highlight of your cruise, you will be dazzled by your stops in the Antarctic Peninsula, realm of the unexpected. Discover the White Continent extreme environment where nature reigns supreme, reveals to you its most beautiful secrets through numerous discoveries

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Buenos Aires, Argentina
Day 2 : Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark
Day 3 : At Sea
Day 4 : New Island | Grave Cove, Falkland Islands
Days 5-6 : At Sea
Days 7-9 : South Georgia
Day 10 : At Sea
Days 11-13 : Antarctic Peninsula
Day 14 : Crossing the Polar Circle
Day 15 : At Sea
Days 16-17 : Drake Passage
Day 18 : Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark

Highlights

  • Enjoy unique lectures and information sessions hosted by naturalist-guides
  • Cross the breathtaking Antarctic Polar Circle
  • Observe the white-sand beaches and turquoise waters in the Falkland Islands
  • Admire the incredible Antarctic wildlife

Ship

Le Soleal

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Whale sighting in Polar waters! Penguins in Antarctica View of an iceberg at dawn Observe beautiful fur seals Old whaling boat in Grytviken

Day 1 Arrive Buenos Aires, Argentina

Meet and greet the local representative at the hotel. Check-in is available starting from late morning. This afternoon is at your leisure before meeting your fellow passengers for dinner. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2 Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After an early morning breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight from Buenos Aires 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.

This afternoon, embark on your ship.

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 centre. 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 4 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 Le Soleal 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 5-6 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Leaving the Falklands, set out for South Georgia. As you cruise the open water, keep your eyes out for marine mammals or seabirds who play alongside the vessel.

Day 7-9 South Georgia

  • 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 can recognise by the bright orange mark on their head and neck, have taken up residence there.

Day 10 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Relax and enjoy with your fellow ship mates as you cruise toward the White Continent. 

Day 11-13 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 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 14 Crossing the Polar Circle

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Weather permitting, cross the mythic line of the Antarctic Polar Circle, located along 66°33’ south of the Equator. This iconic area demarcates the point from which it is possible to view the midnight sun during the December solstice. Within this circle, the sun remains above the horizon for 24 consecutive hours at least once a year. Crossing this line, an experience known to few people, is sure to be an unforgettable highlight of your cruise through the polar regions.

Day 15 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 centre. 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 thephotographers 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 16-17 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 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 tells 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 harbours 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 18 Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia lies in a bay opening into the Beagle Channel at the country's southernmost tip. Its colourful houses are framed against towering mountains, snow-capped in winter and summer alike. Downtown, the End of the World Museumshowcases 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.

Following breakfast on board, disembark in Ushuaia and transfer to the airport for your homeward journey.

Le Soleal

Buenos Aires - Hotels

Per person starting at
$16,808
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%.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
• All meals while on board the ship 
• Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner, featuring Veuve Clicquot Champagne
• “Open Bar” (Pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands. List available upon request.)
• Evening entertainment and events
• 24-hour room service (special selection)
• Ladurée macarons served aboard
• English-speaking lecturer on selected sailings
• Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team 
• Park entry fees into protected areas
• Port and safety taxes
• Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides and drivers
• 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).

Flights & Transfers program rates are per person and also include:
• Overnight in Buenos Aires + flight Buenos Aires/Ushuaia + visit + flight Ushuaia/Buenos Aires
• Meet and Greet by representatives in Ushuaia and luggage direct transfer from the airport to the ship for port clearance
• On disembarkation days in Ushuaia: direct transfer from the ship to the airport
• Complimentary boot rental (except for guarantee deposit)
• Complimentary polar parka for you to keep (no children sizes available, in case of consecutive cruises, only one complimentary parka is provided)

Cruise, Flights & Transfers program rates do not include:
• 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. 
• Airport taxes (other than the ones included)
• Luggage handling
• Optional Spa package to be booked prior your departure; please ask for more information
• 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 expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable

Please Note:
Please do not forget to bring your medical certificates when it is required to participate in an expedition cruise. 

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.
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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.
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