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Emblematic Antarctica

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard L'Austral
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Embark on an extraordinary 12-day Antarctica expedition cruise and be enchanted by magnificent landscapes and unique wildlife. Your tour begins with crossing the legendary Drake Passage, probably accompanied by albatrosses and Cape petrels, sentinels of these often-choppy waters. Then your ship reaches the White Continent, the realm of the unexpected. Wildlife interactions include Gentoo, Adelie, chinstrap penguins, humpback whales, seals, and seagulls. Each day, you will be surrounded by grandiose decor ranging from icebergs to ice floe and ancient glaciers.
Antarctica kayakingZodiacs during Antarctic tour in Paradise BayImmense glacier formations in AntarcticaEmbark zodiacs to explore the polar watersHoles in the iceWatch for whale blows!
Highlights
  • Visit research stations and former whaling stations
  • Explore a multitude of drifting icebergs, ice floes, and imposing glaciers
  • See humpback whales, Gentoo penguins, Adelie penguins and chinstrap penguins
  • Hop on Zodiacs for outings and shore visits
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Overnight in Buenos Aires

Arrive at Buenos Aires, relax and spend the overnight here preparing for your adventure.  (You'll need to transfer independently from the airport, or from any other independent pre-cruise travels.  You'll have a "meet and greet" at the hotel with Ponant's local representative, and the ability to check in from late morning onwards.)

Day 2: Ushuaia | Embarkation

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Early morning breakfast will be served before leaving on a provided transfer from your Buenos Aires hotel, bound for the airport for your flight from Buenos Aires – Ushuaia.  (Approximate flight duration: 3 hours, 30 min.)  Once in Ushuaia, you'll have another "meet and greet" at the airport with proper instructions provided for the rest of the day...

Depending on your choice made when booking your cruise (options not combinable):
   You will be transferred to a restaurant in Ushuaia for lunch, then have a bit of free time to explore before embarkation.
          OR
   Guests choosing to book the trip to visit the Tierra del Fuego National Park (additional cost) will move forward on this group excursion.  Immediately upon arrival at Ushuaia airport, these travelers will leave towards the Park where they will have lunch before starting the tour.  Created in 1960, the park which covers 63 000 hectares (155 670 acres) is located southwest of the Tierra del Fuego Province on the Beagle Canal.  Mountainous landscapes, lagoons, bogs, and rivers draw a picturesque scenery reinforced by the southern position of the park itself. The Darwin Mountains, which represent the southern part of the Andes Mountains are mainly responsible for such landscape. The Park is only partly accessible to the public and this tour will provide you with the opportunity to discover the local flora and sub-Antarctic landscapes. If you get lucky, you may encounter beavers, beaver dams, birds, wild orchids, etc… This is a true paradise for Nature Lovers!  At the end of your visit, you will return to Ushuaia and the port, for embarkation on your vessel.

Pull away from Ushuaia this evening, entering the Beagle Channel and eventually the Drake Passage, bound for Antarctica!

Day 3-4: Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarise yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. The Expedition Leader will first present the IAATO rules of conduct that must be observed during landings in the region and will explain everything you need to know about the Zodiac® outings. Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity for you to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, you will experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist guides on your ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage.

Day 5-9: 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 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 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 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 10-11: 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 12: Disembark in Ushuaia | Fly to Buenos Aires

  • 1 Breakfast
Today, you will return to Ushuaia, disembarking in the port area after breakfast.  One last "meet and greet" with local folks here, to get instructions on how to board the proper transfers to the Ushuaia airport.  Fly back to Buenos Aires (flight duration 3.5 hours) and complete your journey there.  You can choose further independent travels, or you can choose to connect on a late-evening northbound flight back home.

Ship/Hotel

L'Austral

Enjoy a gourmet meal at the Gastronomic Restaurant.
Stunning views from the bar and lounge
Relax on the sun deck.

Buenos Aires - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$11,350
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
Included
  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Port Fees
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • 24h Room Service (special selection)
  • English-Speaking Lecturer 
  • 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. 
  • Zodiac excursions led by expert naturalist driver-guides
  • Onboard Entertainment 
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • Highly experienced and bilingual (French-English) expedition staff
  • Park Entry Fees into Protected Areas
  • Arrival & Departure Transfers
  • Return flight Buenos Aires - Ushuaia - Buenos Aires selected by PONANT, in economy class.
  • 1-night accommodation in a 4* hotel the night before embarkation
  • Use of rubber boots for landings, and a polar parka
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Luggage Handling 
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned in inclusions
  • Visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable
  • Visa Fees
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry Services, Hair Salon, and à La Carte Spa Treatments
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions 
  • Transfer from the Hotel in Buenos Aires to Buenos Aires Airport Before the Voyage

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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.
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