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Whale watching in Antarctica

The Great Austral Loop

Example 17 Day Cruise aboard Le Boreal (CDP)
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Set sail aboard Le Boreal from the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia, Argentina. On your expedition explore the Falkland Islands, whose wild beauty and lush moors are sure to captivate you, before heading to South Georgia, its impressive glaciers and its black-sand beaches where large colonies of king penguins have taken up residence. Then sail to the White Continent, the realm of the unexpected. Weather and ice conditions permitting, this extreme environment where nature reigns supreme will reveal to you its most beautiful secrets through numerous discoveries. Gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins, humpback whales, seals and seabirds: these are some of the encounters you will most likely have the chance to experience in the Antarctic Peninsula, creating indelible memories. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive in Buenos Aires
Day 2 : Fly from Buenos AIres to Ushuaia | Embark
Day 3 : At Sea
Day 4 : New Island | Grave Cove
Days 5-6 : At Sea
Days 7-9 : South Georgia
Days 10-11 : At Sea
Days 12-14 : Antarctic Peninsula
Days 15-16 : Crossing the Drake Passage
Day 17 : Disembark in Ushuaia | Fly to Buenos Aires

Highlights

  • Explore white-sand beaches and turquoise waters in the Falkland Islands
  • View alpine landscapes, lush green plains and glaciers in South Georgia
  • Discover glaciers and snow-capped mountains in the Antarctic Peninsula
  • See Falkland's wildlife including Magellanic penguins & Gentoo penguins

Ship

Le Boreal (CDP)

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Whale watching in Antarctica Looking across the Beagle Channel from Ushuaia Abandoned ship in Grytviken Chinstrap penguin sighting Seals in Antarctica with zodiac in background
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Day 1 Arrive in Buenos Aires

Arrive in Buenos Aires and explore this beautiful city. Spend the night in the included hotel and prepare for your voyage.

Day 2 Fly from Buenos AIres to Ushuaia | 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 wishing 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 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 days 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

  • 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, and 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 days 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 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 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 connect Antarctica to South America. 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 Disembark in Ushuaia | Fly to Buenos Aires

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark this morning after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires.
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Le Boreal (CDP)

Buenos Aires - Hotels

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Per person starting at
$18,160
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.
Prestige or 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
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
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
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 Suites
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
1 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 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
• Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides and drivers
• “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
• Evening entertainment and events
• 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 star hotel in Buenos Aires the night before embarkation.
• Early check-in is available from late morning.
• Hospitality desk at the hotel in Buenos Aires.
• Return flight Buenos Aires / Ushuaia / Buenos Aires selected by PONANT, in economy class.
• Services of local guides, in Ushuaia.
• Meals as mentioned in the program and beverage package.
• Transfers as mentioned in the program. 

Your program does not include:
• The optional excursion “Tierra del Fuego National Park” on embarkation days in Ushuaia. This excursion must be pre-booked 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 program.
• 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.

**For your optional Tierra del Fuego National Park excursion, your program includes:
Please note if you choose this excursion, it is not combinable with “Lunch in Ushuaia” program 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 program
  • The services of a local English speaking guide
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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