Antarctic Tour

  • Destination: Antarctica
  • Duration: 12 days
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Overview

Antarctica is described time and again as one of the last great wildernesses. It’s the coldest, windiest, harshest continent on Earth and with so little precipitation (roughly 5 cm or 2in per year) it also the driest place on earth, practically a desert. The terrain is about 98% ice and 2% barren rock but beneath its thick ice sheets, Antarctica is a dynamic and diverse continent with mountains, volcanoes, deserts, meteorites, dinosaur fossils, and some of the Earth’s most ancient crust.

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Buenos Aires, Argentina: Arrive this morning to Argentina’s capital and transfer to your hotel, where immediate check-in has been arranged. Enjoy some time to relax before this afternoon’s city tour. As complex as it is energetic and seductive, this port city has been the gateway to Argentina for centuries, bringing many porteños (as locals are known) into its boundaries. Although it is reminiscent of a European city, the spirit of Buenos Aires is evident in its diverse and distinctly local neighborhoods. Meet your fellow adventurers this evening for a welcome cocktail reception. Overnight in Santiago – Sofitel Buenos Aires Meals: None
Day 2
Buenos Aires – Ushuaia: Today, take a flight down to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world and a charming seaside town. Upon arrival, enjoy sightseeing (time permitting) and a traditional Patagonian barbecue lunch. Later this afternoon, arrive at your ship and settle in for your first night on board. Only on A&K journeys to the White Continent, the passenger-friendly, stylish ‘Le Boreal’ features all-balcony staterooms and suites. Wander the decks to become acquainted with the ship, relax in the lounge and mingle with fellow guests in anticipation of your voyage. Overnight aboard MV LE BOREAL B, L, D
Day 3 - 4
Cruising the Drake Passage: The southward journey toward Antarctica is an exciting one. An important trade route in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Drake Passage is a 600-mile-wide swath of water where the Southern Ocean currents are squeezed between South America’s southern tip and Antarctica’s northernmost reaches. 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 of the Drake Passage are a particular favorite with marine mammals and seabirds. As you travel in the comfort of your luxury cruiser, enjoy several enriching lectures every day by leading experts on topics spanning Antarctica, from birdlife and geology to photography and history. After lunch, join your naturalists on the deck to look for various species of whales and abundant seabirds, all just a taste of the wildlife you will encounter in the days to come. Later in the evening, chat with experts about the wildlife spotted today and discuss the next day’s itinerary. Overnight aboard ‘LE BOREAL’ B, L, D
Day 5 - 9
Antarctica: As the Antarctic Peninsula and its offshore islands appear on the horizon, a sense of excitement begins to build. While day-to-day itineraries depend on the weather, water and wildlife conditions, two excursions are carefully planned for each day by the captain and expedition leader. Each cruise day begins with an early breakfast. Afterward, venture out in swift Zodiacs — guided by expert drivers and accompanied by lecturers, in groups of no more than 12 guests — to a number of sites, which may include the penguin-filled islands in the South Shetlands of Half Moon, Penguin or Deception; islands off the continental coastline such as Cuverville, Paulet or Vortex; and, weather permitting, the fabled Antarctic Peninsula. ‘Le Boreal’ also plans to sail through Paradise Bay and the Lemaire Channel, referred to as “Kodak Alley” for its stunning, camera-ready vistas of towering icebergs and deep blue waters. After a morning exploring native species and striking terrain, return to ‘Le Boreal’ for lunch and perhaps some time to relax and scan the wildlife rich waters that surround you. In the afternoon, set out for the day’s second excursion, which may include a visit to a scientific research station, the remains of turn-of-the- century whaling and sealing stations, a sheltered beach teeming with basking elephant seals or simply circumnavigating colossal icebergs that serve as floating homes to seals and penguins. Return to your cruiser to relax and chat over cocktails in the cozy, comfortable lounge and enjoy dinner in the dining room. Afterward, you may choose to recap the day’s discoveries with your naturalist guides or enjoy time on deck, taking photos in the stunning low light characteristic of Antarctica’s long, ethereal twilight. Overnight aboard ‘LE BOREAL’ B, L, D
Day 10 - 11
Drake Passage: Bid farewell to wondrous Antarctica and begin your cruise back to Ushuaia. The ship’s return through the Drake Passage is an interlude for recap and reflection, with time to compare notes with your expert lecturers on the wildlife, history and geology of the White Continent. Spend time on board with newfound friends in the comfortable common spaces of ‘Le Boreal,’ relax in your spacious cabin and absorb the fascinating lectures by your excellent expedition team. While cruising through this historic passage, you may spot various species of whales and seabirds such as skuas and albatrosses. The latter are an especially beautiful sight to behold — these birds boast a wingspan of 11.5 feet on average, using their powerful wings to glide through the air for hours at a time in search of food. Overnight aboard MV LE BOREAL B, L, D
Day 12
Depart Ushuaia – Buenos Aires: ‘Le Boreal’ docks at Ushuaia this morning, where after breakfast you bid farewell to the A&K staff and ship’s crew and disembark. Afterward, transfer to the airport to board your flight home via Buenos Aires. Meals : Breakfast

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