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Touring the icy water of Antarctica on an expedition cruise

Christmas and New Year in Southern Lands

Example 18 Day Cruise aboard Le Soleal
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On this 18-day expedition cruise aboard Le Soleal, celebrate Christmas and the New Year by exploring the world's southernmost territories. The undulating hills and verdant moors of the Falkland Islands mark the beginning of the Antarctic adventure. 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 other impressive marine life as Le Soleal explores the Antarctic Peninsula. Enjoy the expertise of Le Soleal's crew and guides as you marvel at the otherwordly beauty of Antarctica's iridescent icebergs and floating ice fields. 

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, Falkland Islands
Days 5-6 : At Sea
Days 7-9 : South Georgia
Day 10 : At Sea
Days 11-14 : Antarctic Peninsula
Day 15 : At Sea
Days 16-17 : Drake Passage
Day 18 : Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark | Fly to Santiago

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

Le Soleal

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 Whaling station in Grytviken Pair of King penguins on an Antarctica cruise

Day 1 Santiago, Chile

Arrive in Santiago, you will be met at your hotel by a local representative. Check-in is available from late morning. Enjoy lunch on your own and time at leisure in the afternoon before meeting with your fellow passengers for dinner. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2 Fly to Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, fly to Ushuaia. You will have the option to transfer to a restaurant for lunch and leisure time or join an optional excursion, at an additional cost, to Tierra del Fuego National Park. At the end of your visit, you will return to Ushuaia and the port, for embarkation on your vessel.

Embark your ship between 4:30 and 5:30 this evening and settle into your cabin.

Day 3 At Sea

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

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, your ship sets 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
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Rest up for the next leg of your voyage as your ship sails further south. Feel the excitement build as you approach the great White Continent.

Day 11-14 Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 15 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend your last days on board reflecting on your once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Share memories and photos with your fellow travelers or simply relax and take advantage of your ship's amenities before returning home.

Day 16-17 Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 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 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 | Fly to Santiago

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

Le Soleal

Santiago - Hotels

Deals

Complimentary Air Credit
Antarctica Savings - Book now and receive $1500 flight credit per person. For new bookings after June 8, 2020. Select departures only. Contact us for details.
Applies to Dec 22, 2020 departure

Per person starting at
$24,648
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:
  • 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
  •  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
  • 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).
  • 1-night accommodation in a 4* hotel the night before embarkation.
  • Early check-in available from late morning.
  • Hospitality desk at the hotel in Santiago.
  • Return flight Santiago / Ushuaia / Santiago in economy class.
  • Services of local guides, in Ushuaia.
  • Meals as mentioned in the program and beverage package.
  • Transfers as mentioned in the program.
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
  • Kayaking Discovery: $490 per person (one outing lasting approximately 1.5 hours) Kayaking Exploration: $990 per person (3 outings lasting approximately 1.5 hours each) Kayaking options must be pre-booked.

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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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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