Join us for this spectacular 14-day journey featuring a nine‑night exclusively chartered cruise to Antarctica, Earth’s last frontier. Cruise aboard the intimate m.s. Le Boreal, one of the finest vessels in Antarctic waters, featuring private balconies in 95% of the deluxe, ocean-view accommodations. Experience the White Continent in its unspoiled state—fantastically shaped icebergs, turquoise glaciers, bustling penguin rookeries and breaching whales. Accompanied by the ship’s expert team of naturalists, board sturdy Zodiac watercraft for excursions ashore and observe Antarctica’s abundant wildlife. Spend two nights in vibrant Buenos Aires. Extend your journey with the exclusive three-night Iguazú Falls Post-Program Option.
Complementary alcoholic & nonalcoholic beverages are included throughout the cruise!
To enhance your Antarctic experience, your ship is staffed with an expert expedition team of naturalists who will guide you on excursions ashore. Under their direction, you will board sturdy Zodiac craft for landings on rocky shores and beaches to observe the antics of Antarctica’s bountiful wildlife—penguins and seals, especially, are unafraid of human visitors—and discover the secrets of the White Continent.
P. Dee Boersma is the Wadsworth Endowed Chair in Conservation Science in the University of Washington’s Department of Biology, where she heads the Center for Penguins as Ocean Sentinels. For 30 years, in her role as a scientififi c fellow for the Wildlife Conservation Society, she has directed the Magellanic Penguin Project at Punta Tombo, Argentina. Dr. Boersma has served on numerous national and international leadership and advisory positions including as a Founder of the Global Penguin Society. (January 11 departure)
Depart the U.S./Buenos Aires, Argentina
Arrive in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires and check into the Five-Star INTERCONTINENTAL BUENOS AIRES HOTEL, ideally located in the historic San Telmo neighborhood and within walking distance of the landmark Palace of the Argentine National Congress. This evening, attend the Welcome Reception. (R)
Birthplace of the tango, Buenos Aires is a city of diverse and dynamic barrios (neighborhoods). See the colorful La Boca district, Monserrat’s grand public buildings, historic Plaza de Mayo, Palermo’s lavish parks, Puerto Madero’s lively riverfront community and the charming old quarter of San Telmo. Visit the city’s historic Recoleta Cemetery, famous for its ornate vaults and sculptures and as the final resting place of the legendary Eva Perón, the former First Lady of Argentina. (B)
This morning, fl y to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, capital of Tierra del Fuego and the gateway to Antarctica. Embark LE BORÉAL* this afternoon and cruise through historic Beagle Channel, named for the ship that carried Charles Darwin on his South American voyages. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception this evening. (B,R,D)
Cruising Drake Passage
Day 5 to Day 6
Cross the legendary Drake Passage and, upon reaching the Antarctic Convergence, watch for breaching fin and humpback whales and seabirds feeding on plankton and krill that are brought to the surface by cold Antarctic currents merging with warmer waters of the South Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The expedition team of naturalist guides will present insightful lectures to prepare you for your first landing in Antarctica. During the evening, enjoy the lingering twilight of the Antarctic summer. (2B,2L,2D)
Please note that the ship’s cruising pattern and positionings are dependent on weather, ice and sea conditions and are subject to change.
Day 7 to Day 11
Cruise below the 60th parallel south to the outer shores and islands of the Antarctic Peninsula, Earth’s last frontier. Here, explore some of the world’s most pristine wilderness, where towering mountains of ice and volcanic rock create precipitous coastlines and islands, and ever-changing patterns of ice stretch as far as the eye can see. In this seemingly harsh environment, a vast array of marine wildlife flourishes, including millions of penguins, countless seabirds and thousands of seals and whales. From spectacular volcanic topography and majestic glaciers to fascinating wildlife and historic outposts, this itinerary reveals the highlights of Earth’s most inaccessible continent for the complete Antarctic experience. Cruise through breathtaking, glacier-lined Neumayer Channel to rugged Goudier Island. Visit Port Lockroy, originally constructed in 1944 by an eight-man team as an intelligence post for British espionage during World War II and converted into a whaling station and scientifi c base in the 1950s. It is nestled among glistening mountain peaks as high as 6000 feet, and the surrounding grounds are populated by blue-eyed shags and gentoo penguins. Gain insight into the daily activities of past researchers at the living museum known as “Base A” and mail a postcard stamped with an Antarctica postmark from the offi cial British Post Office. Just beyond Port Lockroy, the rocky shores of Jougla Point on Wiencke Island offer a rare opportunity to view the skeletal remains of an adult blue whale and to see populous colonies of gentoo penguins and kelp gulls. Call at Petermann Island, the southernmost point of your journey, and watch its thriving rookeries of Adélie and gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags. Flanked by sheer cliffs of towering glaciers between the Antarctic Peninsula and Booth Island, cruise through the Lemaire Channel, offering views of seven majestic miles of mountains and wildlife combined with fascinating patterns of ice floes. Listen for the low rumbling of Rudolf Glacier as it calves chunks of ice into Neko Harbor, named for an early 20th-century whaling boat. The harbor is surrounded by soaring glaciers and snow-covered mountains and is one of the most dramatic and spectacular sights in Antarctica. Here, make your first “continental landing” in Antarctica. In Paradise Bay, awesome cliffs of ice descend from the surrounding mountains into the floating iceberg-laden waters along the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Named by 19th-century whalers who sought shelter in its coves, Paradise Bay is an ideal sanctuary for marine wildlife including humpback whales, crabeater seals and Cape petrels. Deception Island is actually the rim of a massive dormant volcano crater that encircles a caldera known as Port Foster, where the ship enters through dramatic Neptune’s Bellows, a sublime harbor ringed by snowcapped peaks and sheer cliffs. In Pendulum Cove, see the steaming, geothermally heated waters of the Antarctic. Observe the amazing colony of tens of thousands of chinstrap penguins at Baily Head. Then walk along the black sand beaches of Telefon Bay to nearby craters, which offer fascinating insight into the volcanic activity that created the island and played a pivotal role in the natural history of the region. One of the smallest but most beautiful of the South Shetland Islands, Half Moon Island is a crescent-shaped isle known for its craggy volcanic rock formations and tranquil lagoons. It is also the site of Cámara Station, a base monitored by Argentine biologists studying regional wildlife. Here, observe the antics of the island’s colony of chinstrap penguins. Relax and reflect on board as the ship turns north and attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception. (5B,5L,1R,5D)
Cruising Drake Passage/Ushuaia, Argentina
Cross the Drake Passage and enjoy lively, informative discussions with the ship’s naturalists. Watch for endangered albatross and the many different species of petrels as you cruise across the Antarctic Convergence. (B,L,D)
Disembark and fly to Buenos Aires. Continue on the Iguazú Falls Post-Program Option with an overnight stay in Buenos Aires or depart for the U.S. (B)
Arrive in the U.S.
*The January 11 to 24, 2018 Antarctica program is aboard sister ship LE SOLÉAL.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Iguazú Falls is one of the world’s most incredible natural wonders, where more than 275 spectacular waterfalls span nearly two dramatic miles of the Argentina-Brazil frontier. Walk the trails along the edges of these thundering falls and watch as they cascade from as high as 270 feet down verdant cliffs in one of South America’s last remaining virgin rainforests. Visit the lush Parque das Aves jungle reserve, a nature lover’s paradise, home to more than 350 species of birds, 66 varieties of mammals and a mind-boggling array of reptiles, fish, butterflies and flora. This exclusive three-night Post-Program Option features one night of accommodations in the Five-Star INTERCONTINENTAL BUENOS AIRES HOTEL and two nights in the Five-Star SHERATON IGUAZÚ RESORT & SPA. Buenos Aires round-trip airfare is included.
Post-Program Option is available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.