11 days - Prices $8,710 - $23,910
11/19/2014 11/29/2014 12/09/2014 01/22/2015 02/01/2015 02/11/2015
Le Soleal Antarctica
Experience the wonders of the Antarctic Peninsula, including spectacular scenery and plentiful wildlife such as penguins, seals and whales, while traveling in style aboard a luxury expedition ship.
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$8,710 - $23,910
Explore the mythical White Continent. Sail through the famous Drake Passage and reach the Polar Front, marking the meeting of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Arrive in Neko Bay, discovered by the Belgian explorer, Adrien de Gerlache. Further south, nestled at the heart of a polar landscape, high cliffs appear, signaling the entrance to the spectacular Lemaire Channel. The ancient whaling station of Deception Island will reveal its colony of Chinstrap Penguins. Sail through waters often populated by killer whales, humpback whales and other cetaceans – one of the many amazing sights on this this remarkable journey.
Day 1: Buenos Aires / Ushuaia, Argentina
Board a charter flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, Argentina. Considered to be the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, lying at the very tip of Argentina looking out over the Beagle Channel. This surprising little town of 45,000 people is surrounded by mountains and fertile plains. The first populations of this land were nomadic hunter-gatherers, who arrived on foot on Isla Grande more than 10,000 years ago. Nature lovers will be enchanted by the Tierra del Fuego National Park with its remarkable plant and wildlife, including beavers, albatross, guanacos and penguins. Here, forests cover the lower slopes of the Andean mountains which are crowned with snow-capped peaks – a unique and unforgettable sight.
In the evening, embark for your Antarctic voyage.
Days 2 - 3: At Sea / Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake is a rite of passage and commences your journey to the White Continent. Located exactly between the southern tip of South America and the Antarctic Peninsula, the Drake Passage extends over 800 kilometers from Cape Horn to Livingston Island. You may have plentiful wildlife viewing opportunities including sea birds such as petrels and albatross that follow in your wake. Attend lectures on the history, environment and wildlife of the Antarctic Peninsula in preparation for your first excursions.
Days 4 - 8: Antarctic Peninsula
Visiting Antarctica means exploring the largest, wildest and most extreme of all the continents; discover a land dominated by white, a mysterious stretch of ice with seemingly infinite nuances of color. At the gateway to this final frontier, surrounded by the vast expanse of sea ice, get as close as possible to the most unspoiled nature and vast animal colonies. Set off to meet peaceful penguins, the emblem of these icy regions, and journey through their colonies with their constant movement to and from the sea. During your trip, you may encounter majestic humpback whales whose huge and powerful blue tail fins pound the surface of the water. Dependent upon sea and ice conditions, your expedition explores a variety of destinations, including Paradise Bay, Pleneau Island, Port Lockroy, Deception Island and the Antarctic Sound.
Neko – Paradise Bay
Deep in Andvord Bay, find this little corner of paradise at the foot of an immense glacier. Neko Bay is one of the most beautiful sights of the Antarctic Peninsula. It was discovered by the Belgian explorer Adrien de Gerlache during his 1897-99 Antarctic expedition. Mountains, snow, ice and unspoiled nature combine to offer a unique landscape. Wildlife is as abundant as it is exceptional: sea birds such as gulls, Cape Petrels and Cormorants, as well as marine mammals including seals, orcas and whales. Excursions aboard Zodiacs allow you to sail close to blue icebergs or disembark near colonies of penguins, observe leopard seals basking on the shore or watch the Antarctic Terns flying overhead.
Nestled at the heart of the South Shetland Islands, in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula, Deception Island is easy to recognize for its horseshoe shape. This island was once an active volcano whose crater collapsed some 10,000 years ago, producing a caldera which was then flooded by the sea, creating a natural port. Entrance to the port is via a narrow channel called Neptune’s Bellows. For a long time, this was an important whaling port and the intensity of this activity has left traces that have withstood time. On the black sand of the volcanic beaches, there are remains of abandoned huts that have been overrun by the extraordinary wildlife. It is on these beaches of ash that the largest colony of Chinstrap Penguins in the Antarctic Peninsula has taken up residence. Excursions aboard Zodiac will allow you to set foot on this expanse of land where more than 100,000 pairs of penguins nest.
A famous stretch of sea connecting the east and west of the Antarctic Peninsula, this strait is the junction between the Bransfield Strait and the Weddell Sea. It is one of the most spectacular sights of the mythical White Continent and where most of the majestic tabletop icebergs that calve from the ice floe tend to float. At the heart of this icy landscape, the polar light creates multiple reflections, humpback whales live under the water’s surface and the broken up ice shelf floats freely, taking with it the Fur Seals basking in the sun.
Days 9 - 10: At Sea / Drake Passage
Return to port as you reflect on your Antarctic adventure with fellow shipmates and enjoy the company of sea birds that follow in the ship's wake.
Day 11: Ushuaia / Buenos Aires, Argentina
Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina and board a charter flight back to Buenos Aires.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Passengers shall be responsible for subscribing to cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s). ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
Direct, non-stop private flights Buenos-Aires/Ushuaia/Buenos-Aires in Economy-class; meet and greet by your representatives in Ushuaia and luggage direct transfer from the airport to the ship for port clearance; choice between one full day tour to Tierra del Fuego National Park with lunch included and escort of English Speaking local guide OR direct transfer to the port for embarkation, buffet lunch and access to the Main Lounge (cabins/suites will not be accessible before 5pm); all meals from dinner on the day of embarkation to breakfast on the day of disembarkation; Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner; evening gatherings, organized entertainment and events; luggage porterage from the gangway to your cabin or suite at embarkation and disembarkation times; mineral water, tea, filter coffee, a selection of white, red and rosé wines offered during meals, afternoon tea; open bar (pouring wines, Drappier champagne, alcohol except premium brands, coffees, juices and soft drinks - list available upon request); port and safety taxes; crew gratuities; 24 hour room service (special selection); highly experienced multi-lingual Expedition team; boot rental (2014/2015 only); parka.
International airfare; passport and visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable; airport taxes (subject to modification) and porterage; any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned in package; expedition photo disc and video; optional spa package to be booked prior your departure; beverages other than those 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); fuel surcharge may apply.
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