Day 1: Fly to Santiago, ChileDepart on an overnight flight to Santiago, Chile.
Day 2: Santiago, ChileArrive this morning and transfer to your hotel, where immediate check-in has been arranged with time to relax before a half-day city tour. Meet your fellow adventurer’s this evening for a welcome cocktail reception.
Day 3: Santiago, Chile / Ushuaia, ArgentinaThis morning following breakfast, transfer back to the Santiago Airport for your charter flight to Ushuaia. Fly to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Upon arrival, enjoy sightseeing and a traditional Patagonian barbecue lunch. Later, arrive at your ship and settle in for your first night on board. 'Le Boreal' is a comfortable, stylish ship, both spacious and passenger-friendly. Wander the decks, relax in the lounge and mingle with fellow travelers in anticipation of your voyage.
Days 4 - 5: Cruising the Drake PassageThe southward journey toward Antarctica is an exciting one. Fast-flowing southern ocean currents squeezing between land masses give the Drake Passage, the small strip of sea between the tip of South America and Antarctica, some of the world's roughest waters. An important trade route in the 19th and early 20th centuries, its stormy waters and icy conditions often made the journey around Cape Horn a difficult one, though the stabilizer-equipped 'Le Boreal' handles it easily. The krill-rich waters are a particular favorite with marine mammals and seabirds. Join 'Le Boreal's' naturalists on the deck to look for various species of whale and abundant seabirds.
Days 6 - 10: AntarcticaAs the Antarctic Peninsula and its offshore islands appear on the horizon, a sense of excitement and expectation begins to build. Shore excursions are carefully planned by the captain and expedition leader to take full advantage of each day's possibilities. On most days, two landings are scheduled. Head out in swift and versatile Zodiacs, guided by expert drivers and accompanied by lecturers, to a number of penguin-filled islands in the South Shetlands, which may include Half Moon, Penguin and Deception. Other possible island visits just off the continental coastline may include Cuverville, Paulet or Goudier.
Weather permitting, the ship calls on the Antarctic Peninsula. There are plans for 'Le Boreal' to sail through stunning Paradise Bay and the Lemaire Channel, referred to as "Kodak Alley," with other possibilities for exploration, including a scientific research station and the remains of turn-of-the-century whaling and sealing stations.
Days 11 - 12: Drake PassageThe ship's return through the Drake Passage is an interlude for recap and reflection, with time to compare notes with your lecturers on the wildlife, history and geology of the White Continent. While cruising through this historic passage, named in honor of Sir Francis Drake's voyage in the 16th century, you may be able to spot whales and seabirds such as albatross.
Day 13: Ushuaia, Argentina / Santiago, ChileDisembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport to board your flight home via Santiago.
Day 14: Return HomeArrive this morning back in the U.S. or Canada.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase full medical and emergency evacuation insurance. The minimum coverage requirement is US$50,000. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $100,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for Antarctic trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
Photography Expedition: 11/27/2012
Join a special photography expedition in late November at the perfect time in the Antarctica Peninsula for photographic opportunities. The onboard photo coach, Richard Harker, will offer photo lectures and give techniques specifically focused on how best to capture and highlight the early summer ice and snow, as well as the more dramatic dawn and dusk color’s and light changes.
Climate Change Philanthropic Journey: 12/7/2012
This Philanthropic Journey, recently named a "Trip of a Lifetime" by Travel + Leisure, features the opportunity to learn about the impact of climate change on the region's environment and wildlife from Dr. James McClintock who works with the National Academy of Sciences to document the effects of climate change. Visit Palmer Research Station, meet the scientists, and present them with vital equipment necessary for their research.
One-night pre-cruise accommodations as noted in itinerary; meals on land as specified in the itinerary; selected beverages with group meals on land; luxury accommodations and state-of-the-art comfort aboard the ship; full board meal service onboard the ship; open bar (except premium wines, premium liquors and champagne); arrival and departure group transfers on scheduled days of arrival/departure; fully guided sightseeing as noted in the itinerary (including park and entrance fees); bottled water supplied during sightseeing; services of expedition team; expedition parka and backpack; expedition notebook and post cruise logbook; gratuities for land-based hotel/restaurant staff, porterage and local guides/drivers and expedition team and crew onboard the ship; baggage handling of two pieces per person for international flights; Ushuaia Customs & Migration tax.
International air transportation; round-trip charter flight between Santiago/Ushuaia ($800 per person); passport or visa expenses; laundry; meals, beverages or sightseeing not included in itinerary; premium wines and champagnes; communication charges; all items of a personal nature; transfers for passengers; travel insurance; excess baggage charges; airport departure tax; Santiago Reciprocity Fee; Argentinian Reciprocity Fee (if not on charter flight); fuel surcharge may apply.