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The 466-ft M/V L’Austral, Le Boréal, Le Lyrial & Le Soléal are four nearly identical state-of-the-art, superb mega-yachts, specifically designed with the polar destinations in mind. They have a passenger capacity of 264, which is limited to 200 for Antarctic expeditions, and offer the chance to experience the intensity of an Antarctic expedition in five-star luxury, comfort and service. Human-sized ships, L’Austral, Le Boréal, Le Lyrial & Le Soléal link tradition with innovation to create a special ambiance and a feeling of being on your own private yacht. These extraordinary ships meets strictly defined international ice standards, are at the forefront of technology in terms of safety equipment, and have achieved the Comfort 1 Class, which allows navigation in the most extreme regions in total safety. L’Austral, Le Boréal, Le Lyrial & Le Soléal have also earned the international "CLEANSHIP" label for their numerous eco-friendly features - from the carefully selected itineraries to the eco-friendly hull coatings, to raising awareness among the passengers and crew, everything is done at sea as well as ashore to reduce the impact of the ship on the environment. The knowledgeable and experienced expedition team create a spirit of adventure through informative lectures and shore excursions led by expert Naturalist Guides. Exceptional yachts with unique style, L’Austral, Le Boréal, Le Lyrial & Le Soléal fly under the French flag, with ice-class rating 1C and travel at an average speed of 16 knots. 
Itinerary (Antarctic Peninsula)
DAY 1: Buenos Aires, Argentina - Ushuaia, Argentina - Embark
Welcome to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital! Please contact us for your pre-trip transfers, hotels and excursions in Buenos Aires. This morning you will transfer to the airport for your included charter flight to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego in the extreme South of Argentina at the end of Beagle Bay. Nature lovers will be bowled over by the Tierra del Fuego National Park and its amazing wealth of flora and fauna: beavers, albatrosses, guanacos, penguins... Here forests cover the slopes of the Andes mountains which then give way to snow-capped peaks - a truly unique and unforgettable landscape.
 
Depending on what you decide when you book your trip, you will depart from the airport and transfer to Ushuaia for an early boarding of the ship with lunch onboard and be at leisure to explore Ushuaia on foot in the afternoon OR, you will transfer to the Arakur Hotel, one of the newest hotels built in Ushuaia, where you will have a typical Argentine lunch and then have some time at leisure and/or to join a walk through the Natural Reserve of the Cerro Alarken. An alternative optional afternoon excursion to visit the Tierra del Fuego National Park can be reserved when booking your trip for a supplemental fee. In the middle of the afternoon you will transfer to your ship on time for embarkation. Whichever you decide, you’ll check into your cabin at 5pm, and join your fellow travelers out on the decks as you sail through this scenic waterway.  (L,D)
DAYS 2-3: Drake Passage
To reach the mythical “White Continent” you will spend the next two days crossing the notorious Drake Passage named after the famous explorer, Sir Frances Drake, who sailed in these waters way back in 1578. Heading south, you’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence, which marks the area where waters from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans meet, arriving into the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area you may see Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black- browed Albatrosses, Light- mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels. Once you cross the Antarctic Convergence, you will notice a change in the environment as colder temperatures surround you and the first icebergs come into view and you will know that the White Continent is approaching. (B,L,D)
DAYS 4-8: Antarctic Peninsula
Visiting the Antarctic means exploring the largest, wildest and most extreme of all the continents. It means discovering a land dominated by white; a mysterious stretch of ice with seemingly infinite nuances of color, where a true nature reserve awaits you. In the footsteps of Jean- Baptiste Charcot, you will be plunged into this very unique white world, a natural amphitheater of incredible scale and activity, offering visitors an unforgettable symphony of noises and smells. With its imposing scenery of massive glaciers and tabletop icebergs, you will 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. And during your trip, you may encounter one of the majestic humpback whales whose huge and powerful blue tail fins pound the surface of the water. A host of choices is open to your voyage and the Antarctic Peninsula is yours to explore. Potential locations you may visit over the next few days include Deception Island, the Lemaire Channel, Neko Harbour and Paradise Bay, Port Lockroy, the Antarctic Sound and the Weddell Sea, amongst many other possibilities.
 
Nestled at the heart of the South Shetland Islands, in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula, the ancient whaling station of Deception Island will reveal a strange and captivating landscape. 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. Your first steps on the shore will take you to the heart of this former Norwegian whaling station, at the foot of huge peaks swathed in mist. Whether you are a serious walker or just like to stroll, you may decide to join in on a walk along the flank of a dormant volcano to reach Neptune’s Window, a large breach carved in the wall of the caldera. It is on these beaches of ash that the largest colony of Chinstrap Penguins in the Antarctic Peninsula take up residence during the Austral summer.
 
Even further south, nestled at the heart of a polar landscape, high cliffs appear, signaling the entrance to the spectacular Lemaire Channel. If ice conditions allow, your ship will quietly move through this narrow channel where cliffs tower 700 meters directly above the ship and the still water below will mirror perfect reflections of the world above. The magic continues as you arrive in Neko Harbour, discovered by the Belgian explorer Adrien de Gerlache during his 1897-99 Antarctic expedition. Deep in Andvord Bay, you will find this little corner of paradise at the foot of an immense glacier. Neko Harbour is without doubt one of the most beautiful sights of the Antarctic Peninsula. 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 like seals and whales. Excursions aboard Zodiacs allow you to sail close to blue-tinged icebergs or disembark near colonies of penguins, observe leopard seals basking on the shore or watch the Antarctic Terns flying overhead. In the protected bay of nearby Paradise Harbour, you will find spectacular glaciers surrounded by magnificent peaks. With its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, you will enjoy more zodiac cruising between the icebergs in the inner parts of the fjords. The rocky cliffs of this unforgettable piece of heaven provide perfect nesting sites for Blue-eyed shags, terns and gulls. This is a haven for whales and you will keep our eyes open for Humpbacks, Orcas and Minkes, as well as Crabeater seals.
 
On the small island of Goudier, you will have the opportunity to visit Port Lockroy, discovered by the French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot in 1903. Initially it served as a relief and repair base for whalers, but in 1944 Port Lockroy became a British base. It owes its name to Edouard Lockroy, a French politician and the partner of Jean-Baptiste Charcot during his expedition. You will be able to visit the small museum that retraces the life of the base in the 1950s. Since 1996, it has been open to the public during the short Southern Summer and is used for carrying out research on Gentoo Penguins. Nowadays, this base is the most visited site of the White Continent and, thanks to its little store and post office, it is the only place to offer you the opportunity to write to your friends and family and share this unique moment. Additional examples of exciting locations you could visit as you cruise through the extraordinary Neumayer Channel would be Pleneau Island and Port Charcot.
 
If conditions allow, your voyage may also head east through the Antarctic Sound where you will witness 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. This famous stretch of sea connecting the east and west of the Antarctic Peninsula is the junction between the Bransfield Strait and the Weddell Sea. 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. A lengthy sail in the Weddell Sea will allow you to experience an extraordinary and enchanting atmosphere of true silence, and unrivalled calm. Here the huge icebergs and the endless ice cap sculpt a landscape beyond compare and you will discover a secret reserve of preserved treasure: Fur Seals, penguin colonies, Wandering Albatross and other giant Petrels. (B,L,D)
DAYS 9-10: Drake Passage
As the expedition nears its end in the Antarctica Peninsula, you’ll head back to the open sea and sail through the Drake Passage back to Ushuaia. (B,L,D)
DAY 11: Disembark Ushuaia - Buenos Aires
You will arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark the vessel after breakfast, where you will then be transferred to the airport for your private charter flight to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival, you’ll connect with your flight home or continue to another location in Argentina.  (B,L)
Itinerary (Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica)
DAY 1: Buenos Aires, Argentina - Ushuaia, Argentina - Embark
Welcome to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital! Please contact us for your pre-trip transfers, hotels and excursions in Buenos Aires. This morning you will transfer to the airport for your included charter flight to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego in the extreme South of Argentina at the end of Beagle Bay. Nature lovers will be bowled over by the Tierra del Fuego National Park and its amazing wealth of flora and fauna: beavers, albatrosses, guanacos, penguins... Here forests cover the slopes of the Andes mountains which then give way to snow-capped peaks - a truly unique and unforgettable landscape.
 
Depending on what you decide when you book your trip, you will depart from the airport and transfer to Ushuaia for an early boarding of the ship with lunch onboard and be at leisure to explore Ushuaia on foot in the afternoon OR, you will transfer to the Arakur Hotel, one of the newest hotels built in Ushuaia, where you will have a typical Argentine lunch and then have some time at leisure and/or to join a walk through the Natural Reserve of the Cerro Alarken. An alternative optional afternoon excursion to visit the Tierra del Fuego National Park can be reserved when booking your trip for a supplemental fee. In the middle of the afternoon you will transfer to your ship on time for embarkation. Whichever you decide, you’ll check into your cabin at 5pm, and join your fellow travelers out on the decks as you sail through this scenic waterway.  (L,D)
DAY 2: At Sea
This day is spent at sea, settling into shipboard life, enjoying your ship’s amenities, spending time on deck and on the bridge, and scanning for seabirds as you prepare you for the wildness ahead in the Falklands. You may see several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels following the ship. (B,L,D)
DAY 3: Falkland Islands
Not far from Cape Horn, located to the southeast of South America, you will land in the Falkland Islands, a remote archipelago with beauty unique to this world. Renowned for their wildness, they were discovered by a Spanish expedition at the beginning of the 16th century.  Conquered, abandoned, recaptured and coveted, the Falkland Islands (Las Malvinas) had a romantic history until the war of 1982. The relief of these islands was carved over the centuries by the harsh and very windy climate. Scattered with tufts of grass, surrounded by a grey and often wild sea, the Islands are a small country of moors and rugged coastlines carved by the South Atlantic, where the wildlife and plant life form a link between Patagonia and Antarctica. Nonetheless, the Falkland Islands are home to a fantastic range of wildlife, the last sanctuary of the elegant albatross soaring graciously against the blue sky, with colonies of Elephant seals basking at the foot of vertiginous cliffs. You will spend the day observing the abundant wildlife of these wild and very attractive islands. (B,L,D)
DAYS 4-5: At Sea
The next two days will be spent at sea as the vessel heads to South Georgia. Along the way, you will cross the Antarctic Convergence which marks the area where waters from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans meet, arriving into the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature will drop by as much as 10 degrees Celsius in the time span of only a few hours. Near the Convergence, you will see a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship including species of Albatrosses, Shearwaters, Petrels, Prions and Skuas. (B,L,D)
DAYS 6-8: South Georgia
South Georgia, is a peak emerging from the Scotia Arc, a sub-Antarctic region formed by an underwater mountain chain that extends the Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula. All the wildlife of the Far South can be found there. You will go ashore at the splendid sites of Gold Harbour or Fortuna Bay, walking amongst the penguins, and will be able to approach the elephant seals basking in the weak southern sun. But Salisbury Plain will be the arena for the most memorable and the most authentic display of Nature. Formed by the withdrawal of the Grace Glacier, high mountains dominate time and space; the blue-tinged landscape demonstrates all the strength and beauty of the unspoiled nature all around. At the heart of this haven of peace, on the beaches of the bay, a colony of 250,000 King Penguins has taken residence. In the midst of all their orange-yellow crowns, Fur Seals try to beat a path to feed with their young and under the weak southern sun that lights this glacial plain, clouds of birds fly on the wind, enchanting the traveler. Other likely stops will be at Grytviken, originally a Norwegian sealing and whaling station which was abandoned in 1965, where you will encounter elephant seals amidst abandoned factory buildings, and view ships which lay sunken alongside old wharves. You will learn the extraordinary history of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, and be overwhelmed at their remarkable feat of survival. And St Andrew’s Bay, where upon its black sandy beach will find hundreds of Elephants seals that haul out on shore to molt amidst a backdrop of phenomenal snow-capped peaks. Just behind the beach, you’ll hear and then see the overwhelming sight of tens upon tens of thousands of King penguins at different stages of their breeding cycle. The glacial river that runs into the sea here will be alive with penguin chicks and seal pups testing their aquatic skills. (B,L,D)
DAYS 9-10: At Sea
To reach the mythical “White Continent” you will spend the next two days crossing the notorious Drake Passage named after the famous explorer, Sir Frances Drake, who sailed in these waters way back in 1578. As your ship voyages south, you will again be able to enjoy your ship’s many amenities. You may also choose to enjoy a talk from one of the onboard specialists, spend time out on the decks watching the multitude of seabirds following the ship, or head up to the Bridge to watch for the first icebergs coming into view as your Captain and officers sail these historic waters. (B,L,D)
DAYS 11-13: Antarctic Peninsula
Visiting the Antarctic means exploring the largest, wildest and most extreme of all the continents. It means discovering a land dominated by white; a mysterious stretch of ice with seemingly infinite nuances of color, where a true nature reserve awaits you. In the footsteps of Jean- Baptiste Charcot, you will be plunged into this very unique white world, a natural amphitheater of incredible scale and activity, offering visitors an unforgettable symphony of noises and smells. With its imposing scenery of massive glaciers and tabletop icebergs, you will 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. And during your trip, you may encounter one of the majestic humpback whales whose huge and powerful blue tail fins pound the surface of the water. A host of choices is open to your voyage and the Antarctic Peninsula is yours to explore. Potential locations you may explore over the next few days include the Weddell Sea, the Antarctic Sound, Deception Island and Half Moon Island, amongst many other possibilities.
 
The Antarctic produces the largest icebergs in the world; their huge size has always fascinated the greatest explorers and continues to enchant all the visitors to this icy region. Like Crystal Cathedrals, in shades of turquoise, emerald, snow and azure, they are the trademark of the polar landscape and are home to an abundant wildlife. If the ice conditions allow, your voyage will explore the Weddell Sea and sail through the Antarctic Sound. Here is where you will witness 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. A lengthy sail in the Weddell Sea will allow you to experience an extraordinary and enchanting atmosphere of true silence, and unrivalled calm. Here the huge icebergs and the endless ice cap sculpt a landscape beyond compare and you will discover a secret reserve of preserved treasure: Fur Seals, penguin colonies, Wandering Albatross and other giant Petrels. This famous stretch of sea connecting the east and west of the Antarctic Peninsula is the junction between the Bransfield Strait and the Weddell Sea. 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.
 
Nestled at the heart of the South Shetland Islands, in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula, the ancient whaling station of Deception Island will reveal a strange and captivating landscape. 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. Your first steps on the shore will take you to the heart of this former Norwegian whaling station, at the foot of huge peaks swathed in mist. Whether you are a serious walker or just like to stroll, you may decide to join in on a walk along the flank of a dormant volcano to reach Neptune’s Window, a large breach carved in the wall of the caldera. It is on these beaches of ash that the largest colony of Chinstrap Penguins in the Antarctic Peninsula take up residence during the Austral summer. Another possible landing in the South Shetland Islands may be at Half Moon Island, where you can observe Elephant, Weddell and Fur Seals as well as Chinstrap Penguins, Blue-eyed Shags, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Kelp Gulls, Snowy Sheathbills, Antarctic Terns and Antarctic Brown Skuas. (B,L,D)
DAYS 14-15: Drake Passage
As the expedition nears its end in the Antarctica Peninsula, you’ll head back to the open sea and sail through the Drake Passage back to Ushuaia. (B,L,D)
DAY 16: Disembark Ushuaia - Buenos Aires
You will arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark the vessel after breakfast, where you will then be transferred to the airport for your private charter flight to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival, you’ll connect with your flight home or continue to another location in Argentina.  (B,L)
Itinerary (South Georgia & Antarctic Peninsula)
DAY 1: Montevideo, Uruguay - Embark
PLEASE NOTE: Some departures operate in reverse direction, embarking in Ushuaia, Argentina and disembarking in Montevideo, Uruguay. Please inquire for details. 

Welcome to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay and an UNESCO World Heritage Site. A pleasant seaside resort of colonial charm on the banks of the River Plate, with long beaches, sea lion colonies, vineyards, ranches and bars, a frenetic carnival - Montevideo never ceases to amaze. Founded by the Spanish in 1726, it is the youngest of the South American capitals and boasts a charming historic district with Spanish, Italian and Art Deco influences. In the picturesque streets of Ciudadela, you can discover the ruins of the city walls. Early this afternoon, you will head to the port to embark your luxury expedition ship. Once on board, you’ll check into your cabin and join your fellow travelers out on the decks as your captain sets a course for stunning South Georgia.  (D)
DAYS 2-5: At Sea
The next four days will be spent at sea as the vessel heads to South Georgia. Along the way, you will cross the Antarctic Convergence which marks the area where waters from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans meet, arriving into the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature will drop by as much as 10 degrees Celsius in the time span of only a few hours. Near the Convergence, you will see a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship including species of Albatrosses, Shearwaters, Petrels, Prions and Skuas. (B,L,D)
DAYS 6-8: South Georgia Island
South Georgia, is a peak emerging from the Scotia Arc, a sub-Antarctic region formed by an underwater mountain chain that extends the Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula. All the wildlife of the Far South can be found there. You will go ashore at the splendid sites of Gold Harbour or Fortuna Bay, walking amongst the penguins, and will be able to approach the elephant seals basking in the weak southern sun. But Salisbury Plain will be the arena for the most memorable and the most authentic display of Nature. Formed by the withdrawal of the Grace Glacier, high mountains dominate time and space; the blue-tinged landscape demonstrates all the strength and beauty of the unspoiled nature all around. At the heart of this haven of peace, on the beaches of the bay, a colony of 250,000 King Penguins has taken residence. In the midst of all their orange-yellow crowns, Fur Seals try to beat a path to feed with their young and under the weak southern sun that lights this glacial plain, clouds of birds fly on the wind, enchanting the traveler. Other likely stops will be at Grytviken, originally a Norwegian sealing and whaling station which was abandoned in 1965, where you will encounter elephant seals amidst abandoned factory buildings, and view ships which lay sunken alongside old wharves. You will learn the extraordinary history of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, and be overwhelmed at their remarkable feat of survival. And St Andrew’s Bay, where upon its black sandy beach will find hundreds of Elephants seals that haul out on shore to molt amidst a backdrop of phenomenal snow-capped peaks. Just behind the beach, you’ll hear and then see the overwhelming sight of tens upon tens of thousands of King penguins at different stages of their breeding cycle. The glacial river that runs into the sea here will be alive with penguin chicks and seal pups testing their aquatic skills. (B,L,D)
DAYS 9-10: At Sea
To reach the mythical “White Continent” you will spend the next two days crossing the notorious Drake Passage named after the famous explorer, Sir Frances Drake, who sailed in these waters way back in 1578. As your ship voyages south, you will again be able to enjoy your ship’s many amenities. You may also choose to enjoy a talk from one of the onboard specialists, spend time out on the decks watching the multitude of seabirds following the ship, or head up to the Bridge to watch for the first icebergs coming into view as your Captain and officers sail these historic waters. (B,L,D)
DAYS 11-13: Antarctic Peninsula
Visiting the Antarctic means exploring the largest, wildest and most extreme of all the continents. It means discovering a land dominated by white; a mysterious stretch of ice with seemingly infinite nuances of color, where a true nature reserve awaits you. In the footsteps of Jean- Baptiste Charcot, you will be plunged into this very unique white world, a natural amphitheater of incredible scale and activity, offering visitors an unforgettable symphony of noises and smells. With its imposing scenery of massive glaciers and tabletop icebergs, you will 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. And during your trip, you may encounter one of the majestic humpback whales whose huge and powerful blue tail fins pound the surface of the water. A host of choices is open to your voyage and the Antarctic Peninsula is yours to explore. Potential locations you may explore over the next few days include the Weddell Sea, the Antarctic Sound, Deception Island and Half Moon Island, amongst many other possibilities.
 
The Antarctic produces the largest icebergs in the world; their huge size has always fascinated the greatest explorers and continues to enchant all the visitors to this icy region. Like Crystal Cathedrals, in shades of turquoise, emerald, snow and azure, they are the trademark of the polar landscape and are home to an abundant wildlife. If the ice conditions allow, your voyage will explore the Weddell Sea and sail through the Antarctic Sound. Here is where you will witness 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. A lengthy sail in the Weddell Sea will allow you to experience an extraordinary and enchanting atmosphere of true silence, and unrivalled calm. Here the huge icebergs and the endless ice cap sculpt a landscape beyond compare and you will discover a secret reserve of preserved treasure: Fur Seals, penguin colonies, Wandering Albatross and other giant Petrels. This famous stretch of sea connecting the east and west of the Antarctic Peninsula is the junction between the Bransfield Strait and the Weddell Sea. 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.
 
Nestled at the heart of the South Shetland Islands, in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula, the ancient whaling station of Deception Island will reveal a strange and captivating landscape. 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. Your first steps on the shore will take you to the heart of this former Norwegian whaling station, at the foot of huge peaks swathed in mist. Whether you are a serious walker or just like to stroll, you may decide to join in on a walk along the flank of a dormant volcano to reach Neptune’s Window, a large breach carved in the wall of the caldera. It is on these beaches of ash that the largest colony of Chinstrap Penguins in the Antarctic Peninsula take up residence during the Austral summer. Another possible landing in the South Shetland Islands may be at Half Moon Island, where you can observe Elephant, Weddell and Fur Seals as well as Chinstrap Penguins, Blue-eyed Shags, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Kelp Gulls, Snowy Sheathbills, Antarctic Terns and Antarctic Brown Skuas. (B,L,D)
DAYS 14-15: Drake Passage
As the expedition nears its end in the Antarctica Peninsula, you’ll head back to the open sea and sail through the Drake Passage to Ushuaia, Argentina. (B,L,D)
DAY 16: Disembark Ushuaia, Argentina - Buenos Aires, Argentina
You will arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark the vessel after breakfast, where you will then be transferred to the airport for your private charter flight to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival, you’ll connect with your flight home or continue to another location in Argentina.  (B,L)
Itinerary (Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Polar Circle)
DAY 1: Buenos Aires - Ushuaia - Embark
Welcome to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital! Please contact us for your pre-trip transfers, hotels and excursions in Buenos Aires. This morning you will transfer to the airport for your included charter flight to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego in the extreme South of Argentina at the end of Beagle Bay. Nature lovers will be bowled over by the Tierra del Fuego National Park and its amazing wealth of flora and fauna: beavers, albatrosses, guanacos, penguins... Here forests cover the slopes of the Andes mountains which then give way to snow-capped peaks - a truly unique and unforgettable landscape.
 
Depending on what you decide when you book your trip, you will depart from the airport and transfer to Ushuaia for an early boarding of the ship with lunch onboard and be at leisure to explore Ushuaia on foot in the afternoon OR, you will transfer to the Arakur Hotel, one of the newest hotels built in Ushuaia, where you will have a typical Argentine lunch and then have some time at leisure and/or to join a walk through the Natural Reserve of the Cerro Alarken. An alternative optional afternoon excursion to visit the Tierra del Fuego National Park can be reserved when booking your trip for a supplemental fee. In the middle of the afternoon you will transfer to your ship on time for embarkation. Whichever you decide, you’ll check into your cabin at 5pm, and join your fellow travelers out on the decks as you sail through this scenic waterway.  (L,D)
DAYS 2: At Sea
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 expedition 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 observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment. (B,L,D)
DAYS 3-4: New Island & Grave Cove, Falkland Islands
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. (B,L,D)
DAYS 5-6: At Sea
The next two days will be spent at sea as the vessel heads to South Georgia. Along the way, you will cross the Antarctic Convergence which marks the area where waters from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans meet, arriving into the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature will drop by as much as 10 degrees Celsius in the time span of only a few hours. Near the Convergence, you will see a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship including species of Albatrosses, Shearwaters, Petrels, Prions and Skuas. (B,L,D)
DAYS 6-8: South Georgia
South Georgia, is a peak emerging from the Scotia Arc, a sub-Antarctic region formed by an underwater mountain chain that extends the Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula. All the wildlife of the Far South can be found there. You will go ashore at the splendid sites of Gold Harbour or Fortuna Bay, walking amongst the penguins, and will be able to approach the elephant seals basking in the weak southern sun. But Salisbury Plain will be the arena for the most memorable and the most authentic display of Nature. Formed by the withdrawal of the Grace Glacier, high mountains dominate time and space; the blue-tinged landscape demonstrates all the strength and beauty of the unspoiled nature all around. At the heart of this haven of peace, on the beaches of the bay, a colony of 250,000 King Penguins has taken residence. In the midst of all their orange-yellow crowns, Fur Seals try to beat a path to feed with their young and under the weak southern sun that lights this glacial plain, clouds of birds fly on the wind, enchanting the traveler. Other likely stops will be at Grytviken, originally a Norwegian sealing and whaling station which was abandoned in 1965, where you will encounter elephant seals amidst abandoned factory buildings, and view ships which lay sunken alongside old wharves. You will learn the extraordinary history of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, and be overwhelmed at their remarkable feat of survival. And St Andrew’s Bay, where upon its black sandy beach will find hundreds of Elephants seals that haul out on shore to molt amidst a backdrop of phenomenal snow-capped peaks. Just behind the beach, you’ll hear and then see the overwhelming sight of tens upon tens of thousands of King penguins at different stages of their breeding cycle. The glacial river that runs into the sea here will be alive with penguin chicks and seal pups testing their aquatic skills. (B,L,D)
DAY 9: At Sea
To reach the mythical “White Continent” you will spend the next two days crossing the notorious Drake Passage named after the famous explorer, Sir Frances Drake, who sailed in these waters way back in 1578. As your ship voyages south, you will again be able to enjoy your ship’s many amenities. You may also choose to enjoy a talk from one of the onboard specialists, spend time out on the decks watching the multitude of seabirds following the ship, or head up to the Bridge to watch for the first icebergs coming into view as your Captain and officers sail these historic waters. (B,L,D)
DAY 10: Elephant Island
This mythic island, one of the northernmost of the South Shetland Islands, served as a refuge for part of the crew of Shackleton's Endurance expedition. From there, the James Caird, a rescue boat from the Endurance, embarked on the perilous journey to South Georgia to rescue the men left behind. All survived despite the inhospitable nature of the island. Indeed, Elephant Island's steep, ice-covered mountainsides bear no trace of man. Yet these rough conditions haven't deterred a colony of chinstrap penguins from settling at Point Wild or Gentoo penguins and Elephant seals from taking shelter at Cape Lookout. (B,L,D)
DAY 11-12: Antarctic Peninsula
The next few days are spent exploring as you push farther south toward the Antarctic Circle. Destinations you are likely to visit are:
Astrolabe Island - This small, rugged island was discovered by French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville and named after the ship aboard which he led multiple expeditions. Rogach Peak, the highest point on the island with an elevation of over 500 meters, offers visitors an impressive view of the surrounding blue icebergs. Though excursions are not always possible on this rugged terrain, a Zodiac® tour will allow you to glimpse the local inhabitants, from numerous chinstrap penguins to Weddell seals.
Neko Harbour - A little corner of paradise in the shadow of a towering glacier, Neko Harbour is without a doubt one of the most beautiful sites on the Antarctic Peninsula. It was discovered by Belgian navigator Adrien de Gerlache during his 1897-1899 expedition. Mountains, ice and wildlife combine to form a truly unique landscape. Animals are as abundant as they are exotic: among others, you'll encounter seabirds (gulls, Cape petrels, cormorants) and marine mammals (seals, orcas and other whale species). Head out on a Zodiac® excursion to get up close to the icebergs, stop over near a penguin colony, watch a Leopard seal sunbathe between dives and enjoy an impromptu aerial show from passing Antarctic terns.
Petermann Island - Located at the end of the famed Lemaire Channel, Petermann Island played a key role in the history of Antarctic exploration. In the early 20th century, French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot chose to ride out his second winter aboard the Pourquoi Pas? on the shores of this round, little island. The initials ‘PP’, engraved on the rocks by Charcot's crew, can still be seen at the spot where the ship was anchored. Today, the island is a privileged refuge for a rich and diverse fauna: numerous Gentoo penguins, Chinstrap penguins, Imperial shags and other bird species settle here. (B,L,D)
Day 13: Antarctic Polar Circle
Today, weather permitting, you'll cross the mythic line of the Antarctic Polar Circle, located along 66°33’ south of the Equator. This iconic area demarcates the point from which it is possible to view the midnight sun during the December solstice. Within this circle, the sun remains above the horizon for 24 consecutive hours at least once a year. Crossing this line, an experience known to few people, is sure to be an unforgettable highlight of your cruise through the polar regions. (B,L,D)
DAY 14-16: Drake Passage
As the expedition nears its end in the Antarctica Peninsula, you’ll head back to the open sea and sail through the Drake Passage back to Ushuaia. (B,L,D)
DAY 17: Disembark Ushuaia - Buenos Aires
You will arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark the vessel after breakfast, where you will then be transferred to the airport for your private charter flight to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival, you’ll connect with your flight home or continue to another location in Argentina.  (B,L)
Itinerary (Falklands, South Georgia & British Overseas Territories)
DAY 1: Buenos Aires - Ushuaia, Argentina - Embark
Welcome to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital! Please contact us for your pre-trip transfers, hotels and excursions in Buenos Aires. This morning you will transfer to the airport for your included charter flight to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego in the extreme South of Argentina at the end of Beagle Bay. Nature lovers will be bowled over by the Tierra del Fuego National Park and its amazing wealth of flora and fauna: beavers, albatrosses, guanacos, penguins... Here forests cover the slopes of the Andes mountains which then give way to snow-capped peaks - a truly unique and unforgettable landscape.
 
Depending on what you decide when you book your trip, you will depart from the airport and transfer to Ushuaia for an early boarding of the ship with lunch onboard and be at leisure to explore Ushuaia on foot in the afternoon OR, you will transfer to the Arakur Hotel, one of the newest hotels built in Ushuaia, where you will have a typical Argentine lunch and then have some time at leisure and/or to join a walk through the Natural Reserve of the Cerro Alarken. Arakur is a unique starting point for discovering a preserved area which covers 100 hectares; this is a sheltered place for flora and fauna species typical to the Tierra del Fuego area. The walk is selected in order to suit most guests’ walking ability.
 
An alternative optional afternoon excursion to visit the Tierra del Fuego National Park can be reserved when booking your trip for a supplemental fee. In the middle of the afternoon you will transfer to your ship on time for embarkation. Whichever you decide, you’ll check into your cabin at 5pm, and join your fellow travelers out on the decks as you sail through this scenic waterway.  (L,D)
DAY 2: At Sea
This day is spent at sea, settling into shipboard life, enjoying your ship’s amenities, spending time on deck and on the bridge, and scanning for seabirds as you prepare you for the wildness ahead in the Falklands. You may see several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels following the ship. (B,L,D)
DAYS 3-4: Falkland Islands
Not far from Cape Horn, located to the southeast of South America, you will land in the Falkland Islands, a remote archipelago with beauty unique to this world. Renowned for their wildness, they were discovered by a Spanish expedition at the beginning of the 16th century.  Conquered, abandoned, recaptured and coveted, the Falkland Islands (Las Malvinas) had a romantic history until the war of 1982. The relief of these islands was carved over the centuries by the harsh and very windy climate. Scattered with tufts of grass, surrounded by a grey and often wild sea, the Islands are a small country of moors and rugged coastlines carved by the South Atlantic, where the wildlife and plant life form a link between Patagonia and Antarctica. Nonetheless, the Falkland Islands are home to a fantastic range of wildlife, the last sanctuary of the elegant albatross soaring graciously against the blue sky, with colonies of Elephant seals basking at the foot of vertiginous cliffs. You will spend two days exploring and observing the abundant wildlife of these wild and very attractive islands. Potential locations you may visit over the next two days include Port Stanley, Volunteer Point, Saunders Island and Grave Cove. (B,L,D)
DAYS 5-6: At Sea
The next two days will be spent at sea as the vessel heads to South Georgia. Along the way, you will cross the Antarctic Convergence which marks the area where waters from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans meet, arriving into the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature will drop by as much as 10 degrees Celsius in the time span of only a few hours. Near the Convergence, you will see a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship including species of Albatrosses, Shearwaters, Petrels, Prions and Skuas. (B,L,D)
DAYS 7-9: South Georgia Island
South Georgia, is a peak emerging from the Scotia Arc, a sub-Antarctic region formed by an underwater mountain chain that extends the Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula. All the wildlife of the Far South can be found there. You will go ashore at the splendid sites of Gold Harbour or Fortuna Bay, walking amongst the penguins, and will be able to approach the elephant seals basking in the weak southern sun. But Salisbury Plain will be the arena for the most memorable and the most authentic display of Nature. Formed by the withdrawal of the Grace Glacier, high mountains dominate time and space; the blue-tinged landscape demonstrates all the strength and beauty of the unspoiled nature all around. At the heart of this haven of peace, on the beaches of the bay, a colony of 250,000 King Penguins has taken residence. In the midst of all their orange-yellow crowns, Fur Seals try to beat a path to feed with their young and under the weak southern sun that lights this glacial plain, clouds of birds fly on the wind, enchanting the traveler. Other likely stops will be at Grytviken, originally a Norwegian sealing and whaling station which was abandoned in 1965, where you will encounter elephant seals amidst abandoned factory buildings, and view ships which lay sunken alongside old wharves. You will learn the extraordinary history of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, and be overwhelmed at their remarkable feat of survival. And St Andrew’s Bay, where upon its black sandy beach will find hundreds of Elephants seals that haul out on shore to molt amidst a backdrop of phenomenal snow-capped peaks. Just behind the beach, you’ll hear and then see the overwhelming sight of tens upon tens of thousands of King penguins at different stages of their breeding cycle. The glacial river that runs into the sea here will be alive with penguin chicks and seal pups testing their aquatic skills. (B,L,D)
DAYS 10-13: At Sea
The next four days are spent crossing the southern Atlantic. As you venture eastward, leisurely days at sea are yours to enjoy. You may choose to participate in discussions and onboard activities led by the Expedition Team, relax in one of the lounges with that book you’ve been meaning to read, meet up with new friends for cocktails or take advantage of any number of onboard amenities your ship has available to you. Before turning in for the night, take a stroll on deck to take in the solitude of the vast sea and sky. (B,L,D)
DAYS 14-16: Tristan da Cunha, Gough Island & Nightingale Island
Over the next three days you will discover three of the most isolated islands in the world: Tristan da Cunha, a volcanic and mountainous land remarkable for its 2,000 meter peak; Gough Island, home to one of the world’s largest seabird colonies and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site; and Nightingale Island, a refuge for many penguins. This small British archipelago off the South African coast was discovered in the 16th century by the Portuguese sailor after whom it was named, Tristan da Cunha.
 
As your ship approaches the Tristan Da Cunha island group, you will watch for whales in the surrounding waters. Recognized as the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, its closest neighboring landmass is the island of St. Helena some 2,430 km away. During your cruise, you will discover the archipelago’s eponymous main island, offering visitors basalt land lulled by the swell, topped with a volcano and home to the only village in the chain of islands, with fewer than 300 hardy residents. As you explore the island, the onboard ornithologist will point out birdlife, hopefully including the Atlantic Yellow-nosed albatross, Sooty albatross, Tristan thrush, and Tristan Wandering albatross – a critically endangered species with fewer than 1,500 breeding pairs left in the world. Tristan is also where 90% of the world’s Northern Rockhopper penguins come to breed. On day two in Tristan Da Cunha, weather permitting, the plan will be to land on the uninhabited Nightingale Island, a protected wildlife reserve and World Heritage Site where you will see the most magnificent wildlife, flora and fauna.
 
A dependency of Tristan da Cunha and part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, austere-looking Gough Island was originally known as Gonçalo Álvares (the captain of Vasco da Gama’s flagship). The volcanic island covers an area of 91 km² and is uninhabited except for the personnel of a South African weather station (usually six people). It is one of the most remote places with a constant human presence. As an UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a protected wildlife reserve and an “Important Bird Area”. A Zodiac-cruise will be offered to look for Tristan Albatross, Atlantic Petrel, Gough Moorhen, Gough Bunting, and Rockhopper Penguins — some of the many birds using this mid-Atlantic island as their nesting ground. (B,L,D)
DAYS 17-20: At Sea
Your next four days at sea are filled with a variety of onboard activities, educational lectures and interesting entertainment options. (B,L,D)
DAY 21: Cape Town, South Africa
Arriving in the early evening, you will be free to enjoy the unique opportunity to explore the vibrant V & A Waterfront in Cape Town Harbour on your own. (B,L,D)
DAY 22: Cape Town, South Africa - Disembark
You will disembark the vessel today after breakfast, where you will continue on with your adventure in South Africa, or transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B)

Weather

When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

Antarctica is known as the “coldest, highest, driest, windiest place on earth”. However, please keep in mind that you will not be venturing into the interior of the continent and you will be visiting during the Southern Hemisphere summer (November through March). That said, weather in Antarctica can vary dramatically from day to day, even from moment to moment. With summer temperatures ranging from 20-40° F, you may experience snow, rain, high winds, and bright warm sun all in the same day. It is best to approach an Antarctica expedition with a sense of adventure, as the climate is unpredictable. Weather may be a bit cooler early in the season (November) and late in the season (March), but there will not be a dramatic difference in temperatures throughout the tourism season. If you are used to winter in places like the northern United States, Canada, Scandinavia, and Russia, you will be more than prepared for summer temperatures at teh Antarctic Peninsula.


You may also wish to schedule your trip according to what wildlife activities you are likely to observe at different points during the season, details below:
 
o    Late October and November: The early part of the season showcases a number of highlights. Landing sites are at their most pristine. The possibility of seeing sea ice is present early on, before it breaks up later on in the season. Late October to early November sees Adélie, Chinstrap and Gentoo adult penguins and Antarctic-breeding seabirds starting to come ashore to their breeding sites where they commence courtship rituals and nest building. Shortly thereafter eggs are laid and incubated. Emperor penguins can be seen on the frozen Weddell Sea (visited occasionally by ice-strengthened expedition ships on special itineraries).

Spring flowers begin blooming in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and elephant seals are actively courting in South Georgia. South Georgia's female king penguins lay their eggs in November and the parents can be seen "carrying" eggs on their feet so that the parent can shuffle around the colony while the other adult goes out to sea to feed. "Oakum Boys" — king penguin chicks from the previous season — can also be seen in the rookeries. Fur seals litter the beaches in South Georgia with the males aggressive and ready to mate.
 
o    December and January: The increased number of daylight hours brings exceptional opportunities for photographers and non-photographers alike, and the expeditions make the most of the summer weather and continuous hours of daylight. Research activity in the Peninsula at the scientific bases is at its peak. Penguin chicks begin hatching in the Falklands (Islas Malvinas); followed by hatchings in mid- to late-December at sites in the Antarctic Peninsula. Some 30 days after hatching, penguin chicks can be found in "crèches," resembling a nursery of sorts, which leaves both adults free to replenish their food supply. An exciting time of this part of the season is when the parent returns with food and the hungry chicks are persistent in being fed, running after the parent (or any adult penguin with food) in a "feeding chase." Whale sightings of baleen and toothed whales escalate in the Peninsula area. Seal pups can be seen on the beaches in South Georgia. Sea ice is also beginning to break up which allows for the possibility to begin to access to rarely visited sites in the Weddell Sea, Ross Sea and within the Antarctic Circle.
 
o    February and March: Sightings of whales are at their peak in the Peninsula and an increasing number of fur seals can be found along the Peninsula and offshore islands. Young fur seals are also quite playful in South Georgia. Penguin colonies are very active with the penguin chicks beginning their molt - losing their fuzzy down and developing their adult plumage. During this timeframe, the parents will abandoned their chicks, and return out to sea to feed and fatten up for their own molting stage. Most colonies (Adélie, Chinstrap and Gentoo) are nearly vacated by the end of February to early March. Blooming snow algae is prevalent and receding pack ice has reached its peak for the season, allowing for easier exploration within the Weddell Sea, Ross Sea and Antarctic Circle.

Antarctic Peninsula

Pricing
**PLEASE NOTE: The below rates are for guideline purposes only. L'Austral, Le Boréal, Le Lyrial & Le Soléal rates are capacity controlled and are likely to be lowered or raised as the ship's capacity fills. Please contact us for the most up-to-date pricing.

ShipDaysStart DateEnd DateSuperiorDeluxe StatePrestige State Deck 4Prestige State Deck 5Prestige State Deck 6Deluxe Suite Prestige Suite Deck 5Presitge Suite Dec 6 / Privilege SuiteGrand Deluxe SuiteGrand Privilege SuiteOwner Suite
Le Boreal111/16/181/26/18$12,150$12,360$14,610$14,200$15,810$21,810$25,000$27,050$N/A$N/A$24,680
               
Le Boreal111/26/182/5/18$12,020$13,890$15,290$15,960$16,640$22,280$25,870$27,040$N/A$N/A$35,510
               
Ly Lyrial112/21/183/3/18$12,020$13,890$15,290$15,960$16,640$22,280$25,870$27,040$30,780$33,640$34,580
               
Le Boreal112/25/183/7/18$12,020$13,890$15,290$15,960$16,640$22,280$25,870$27,040$N/A$N/A$35,510
               
Ly Lyrial1111/18/1811/28/18$12,940$13,870$15,360$16,060$16,790$22,940$26,610$27,870$31,840$42,630$43,040
               
Le Soleal1111/20/1811/30/18$12,940$13,870$15,360$16,060$16,790$22,940$26,610$27,870$N/A$N/A$31,840
               
Le Boreal1112/4/1812/14/18$12,940$13,870$15,360$16,060$16,790$22,940$26,610$27,870$N/A$N/A$31,840
               
Le Soleal1112/10/1812/20/18$12,940$13,870$15,360$16,060$16,790$22,940$26,610$27,870$N/A$N/A$31,840
               
Le Boreal1112/29/181/8/19$13,510$14,470$16,040$16,770$17,540$23,990$27,830$29,160$N/A$N/A$33,320
               
L'Austral1112/30/181/9/19$13,510$14,470$16,040$16,770$17,540$23,990$27,830$29,160$N/A$N/A$33,320
               
Le Soleal111/5/191/15/19$12,940$13,870$15,360$16,060$16,790$22,940$26,610$27,870$N/A$N/A$31,840
               
L'Austral111/9/191/19/19$12,940$13,870$15,360$16,060$16,790$22,940$26,610$27,870$N/A$N/A$31,840
               
Le Soleal111/15/191/25/19$12,940$13,870$15,360$16,060$16,790$22,940$26,610$27,870$N/A$N/A$31,840
               
Le Boreal111/17/191/27/19$12,940$13,870$15,360$16,060$16,790$22,940$26,610$27,870$N/A$N/A$31,840
               
L'Austral111/19/191/29/19$12,940$13,870$15,360$16,060$16,790$22,940$26,610$27,870$N/A$N/A$31,840
               
Le Soleal111/25/192/4/19$12,940$13,870$15,360$16,060$16,790$22,940$26,610$27,870$N/A$N/A$31,840
               
L'Austral112/7/192/27/19$12,940$13,870$15,360$16,060$16,790$22,940$26,610$27,870$N/A$N/A$31,840
               
Le Soleal112/14/192/24/19$12,940$13,870$15,360$16,060$16,790$22,940$26,610$27,870$N/A$N/A$31,840
               
L'Austral112/17/192/27/19$12,940$13,870$15,360$16,060$16,790$22,940$26,610$27,870$N/A$N/A$31,840
               
Le Lyrial112/21/193/3/19$12,940$13,870$15,360$16,060$16,790$22,940$26,610$27,870$31,840$42,630$43,040
               
Le Boreal112/22/193/4/19$12,940$13,870$15,360$16,060$16,790$22,940$26,610$27,870$N/A$N/A$31,840


-Activities offered on all departures are: Zodiac Excursions & Hiking

-All prices are PER PERSON.

Included in tour cost
  • Antarctica cruise accommodations
  • All meals onboard Antarctica cruise
  • Airport transfers in Ushuaia - Included for some departures
  • Group charter flight (Buenos Aires/Ushuaia/Buenos Aires)
  • Open bar onboard Antarctica cruise
  • 24-hour room service onboard Antarctica cruise
  • All shore excursions throughout voyage by zodiac
  • All gratuities onboard Antarctica cruise (except spa & salon)
  • Expedition parka
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • International airfare to/from Argentina and/or Chile
  • Buenos Aires services (hotel & airport transfers)
  • Meals in Argentina and/or Chile - unless otherwise noted
  • Rubber boots and other personal gear
  • Personal expenses (airport taxes, spa services, salon services, medical consultations/prescriptions, laundry, valet services, telecommunication charges, some premium wine & spirit selections, etc.)

Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica

Pricing
**PLEASE NOTE: The below rates are for guideline purposes only. L'Austral, Le Boréal, Le Lyrial & Le Soléal rates are capacity controlled and are likely to be lowered or raised as the ship's capacity fills. Please contact us for the most up-to-date pricing.

ShipDaysStart DateEnd DateSuperiorDeluxe StatePrestige State Deck 4Prestige State Deck 5Prestige State Deck 6Deluxe Suite Prestige Suite Deck 5Prestige Suite Deck 6Owner Suite
L'Austral1611/20/1812/05/18$15,280$16,380$18,170$18,990$19,870$27,230$31,610$33,110$37,840
             
L'Austral1612/05/1812/20/18$15,280$16,380$18,170$18,990$19,870$27,230$31,610$33,110$37,840
             
Le Boreal1612/14/1812/29/18$15,280$16,380$18,170$18,990$19,870$27,230$31,610$33,110$37,840
             
Le Soleal1712/20/181/05/19$20,860$22,410$24,920$26,100$27,320$37,650$43,800$45,910$52,570
-Activities offered on all departures are: Zodiac Excursions & Hiking
-All prices are PER PERSON.
Included in tour cost
  • Antarctica cruise accommodations
  • All meals onboard Antarctica cruise
  • Airport transfers in Ushuaia - Included for some departures
  • Group charter flight (Buenos Aires/Ushuaia/Buenos Aires)
  • Open bar onboard Antarctica cruise
  • 24-hour room service onboard Antarctica cruise
  • All shore excursions throughout voyage by zodiac
  • All gratuities onboard Antarctica cruise (except spa & salon)
  • Expedition parka
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • International airfare to/from Argentina and/or Chile
  • Buenos Aires services (hotel & airport transfers)
  • Meals in Argentina and/or Chile - unless otherwise noted
  • Rubber boots and other personal gear
  • Personal expenses (airport taxes, spa services, salon services, medical consultations/prescriptions, laundry, valet services, telecommunication charges, some premium wine & spirit selections, etc.)

South Georgia & Antarctic Peninsula

Pricing
**PLEASE NOTE: The below rates are for guideline purposes only. L'Austral, Le Boréal, Le Lyrial & Le Soléal rates are capacity controlled and are likely to be lowered or raised as the ship's capacity fills. Please contact us for the most up-to-date pricing.

ShipDaysStart DateEnd DateSuperiorDeluxe StatePrestige State Deck 4Prestige State Deck 5Prestige State Deck 6Deluxe SuitePrestige Suite Deck 5Privilege SuitePrestige Suite Deck 6Grand Deluxe SuiteGrand Privilege SuiteOwner Suite
Le Soleal162/28/20183/15/2018$12,280$14,220$15,670$16,340$17,050$22,890$26,620$N/A$27,840$N/A$N/A$35,550
                
Le Lyrial1611/3/201811/18/2018$13,010$13,980$15,570$16,310$17,080$23,610$27,480$28,820N/A$33,020$44,170$44,610
                
L'Austral162/27/20193/14/2019$13,330$14,300$15,890$16,630$17,400$23,930$27,800$N/A$29,140$N/A$N/A$33,340
-Activities offered on all departures are: Zodiac Excursions & Hiking
-All prices are PER PERSON.
Included in tour cost
  • Antarctica cruise accommodations
  • All meals onboard Antarctica cruise
  • Airport transfers in Ushuaia - Included for some departures
  • Group charter flight (Buenos Aires/Ushuaia/Buenos Aires)
  • Open bar onboard Antarctica cruise
  • 24-hour room service onboard Antarctica cruise
  • All shore excursions throughout voyage by zodiac
  • All gratuities onboard Antarctica cruise (except spa & salon)
  • Expedition parka
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • International airfare to/from Argentina and/or Chile
  • Buenos Aires services (hotel & airport transfers)
  • Meals in Argentina and/or Chile - unless otherwise noted
  • Rubber boots and other personal gear
  • Personal expenses (airport taxes, spa services, salon services, medical consultations/prescriptions, laundry, valet services, telecommunication charges, some premium wine & spirit selections, etc.)

Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Polar Circle

Pricing
**PLEASE NOTE: The below rates are for guideline purposes only. L'Austral, Le Boréal, Le Lyrial & Le Soléal rates are capacity controlled and are likely to be lowered or raised as the ship's capacity fills. Please contact us for the most up-to-date pricing.

ShipDaysStart DateEnd DateSuperiorDeluxe StatePrestige State Deck 4Prestige State Deck 5Prestige State Deck 6Deluxe SuitePrestige Suite Deck 5Prestige Suite Deck 6Owner Suite
Le Boreal172/6/20192/22/2019$20,860$22,410$24,920$26,100$27,320$37,650$43,800$45,910$52,570

-Activities offered on all departures are: Zodiac Excursions & Hiking
-All prices are PER PERSON.

Included in tour cost
  • Antarctica cruise accommodations
  • All meals onboard Antarctica cruise
  • Airport transfers in Ushuaia - Included for some departures
  • Group charter flight (Buenos Aires/Ushuaia/Buenos Aires)
  • Open bar onboard Antarctica cruise
  • 24-hour room service onboard Antarctica cruise
  • All shore excursions throughout voyage by zodiac
  • All gratuities onboard Antarctica cruise (except spa & salon)
  • Expedition parka
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • International airfare to/from Argentina and/or Chile
  • Buenos Aires services (hotel & airport transfers)
  • Meals in Argentina and/or Chile - unless otherwise noted
  • Rubber boots and other personal gear
  • Personal expenses (airport taxes, spa services, salon services, medical consultations/prescriptions, laundry, valet services, telecommunication charges, some premium wine & spirit selections, etc.)

Falklands, South Georgia & British Overseas Territories

Pricing
**PLEASE NOTE: The below rates are for guideline purposes only. L'Austral, Le Boréal, Le Lyrial & Le Soléal rates are capacity controlled and are likely to be lowered or raised as the ship's capacity fills. Please contact us for the most up-to-date pricing.

ShipDaysStart DateEnd DateSuperiorDeluxe StatePrestige State Deck 4Prestige State Deck 5Prestige State Deck 6Deluxe SuitePrestige Suite Deck 5Privilege SuiteGrand Deluxe SuiteGrand Privilege SuiteOwner Suite
Le Lyrial223/3/20183/24/2018$11,670$13,410$14,710$15,320$16,960$21,170$24,490$25,590$29,060$31,710$32,580
               
Le Lyrial223/3/20193/24/2019$12,580$13,500$14,970$15,660$16,370$22,450$26,060$27.300$31,210$41,160$41,560

-Activities offered on all departures are: Zodiac & Shore Excursions & Hiking
-All prices are PER PERSON.

Included in tour cost
  • Antarctica cruise accommodations
  • All meals onboard Antarctica cruise
  • Airport transfers in Ushuaia - Included for some departures
  • Group charter flight (Buenos Aires/Ushuaia/Buenos Aires)
  • Open bar onboard Antarctica cruise
  • 24-hour room service onboard Antarctica cruise
  • All shore excursions throughout voyage by zodiac
  • All gratuities onboard Antarctica cruise (except spa & salon)
  • Expedition parka
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • International airfare to/from Argentina and/or Chile
  • Buenos Aires services (hotel & airport transfers)
  • Meals in Argentina and/or Chile - unless otherwise noted
  • Rubber boots and other personal gear
  • Personal expenses (airport taxes, spa services, salon services, medical consultations/prescriptions, laundry, valet services, telecommunication charges, some premium wine & spirit selections, etc.)

Antarctic Peninsula

Trip Dates
Availability changes constantly on Antarctica cruises. Please contact us for the most up-to-date availability.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018 to Friday, January 26, 2018
Friday, January 26, 2018 to Monday, February 5, 2018
Wednesday, February 21, 2018 to Saturday, March 3, 2018
Sunday, February 25, 2018 to Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Sunday, November 18, 2018 to Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 to Friday, November 30, 2018
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 to Friday, December 14, 2018
Monday, December 10, 2018 to Thursday, December 20, 2018
Saturday, December 29, 2018 to Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Sunday, December 30, 2018 to Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Saturday, January 5, 2019 to Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Wednesday, January 9, 2019 to Saturday, January 19, 2019
Tuesday, January 15, 2019 to Friday, January 25, 2019
Thursday, January 17, 2019 to Sunday, January 27, 2019
Saturday, January 19, 2019 to Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Friday, January 25, 2019 to Monday, February 4, 2019
Thursday, February 7, 2019 to Sunday, February 17, 2019
Thursday, February 14, 2019 to Sunday, February 24, 2019
Sunday, February 17, 2019 to Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Thursday, February 21, 2019 to Sunday, March 3, 2019
Friday, February 22, 2019 to Monday, March 4, 2019

Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica

Trip Dates
Availability changes constantly on Antarctica cruises. Please contact us for the most up-to-date availability.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 to Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 to Thursday, December 20, 2018
Friday, December 14, 2018 to Saturday, December 29, 2018
Thursday, December 20, 2018 to Saturday, January 5, 2019

South Georgia & Antarctic Peninsula

Trip Dates
Availability changes constantly on Antarctica cruises. Please contact us for the most up-to-date availability.
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 to Thursday, March 15, 2018
Saturday, November 3, 2018 to Sunday, November 18, 2018
Wednesday, February 27, 2019 to Thursday, March 14, 2019

Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Polar Circle

Trip Dates
Availability changes constantly on Antarctica cruises. Please contact us for the most up-to-date availability.
Wednesday, February 6, 2019 to Friday, February 22, 2019

Falklands, South Georgia & British Overseas Territories

Trip Dates
Availability changes constantly on Antarctica cruises. Please contact us for the most up-to-date availability.
Saturday, March 3, 2018 to Saturday, March 24, 2018
Sunday, March 3, 2019 to Sunday, March 24, 2019
Cabins
L'Austral, Le Boréal, Le Lyrial, and Le Soléal accommodate 200 passengers in either 122 (Le Lyrial) or 132 (L'Austral, Le Boréal, and Le Soléal) masterfully designed and well-appointed sea view cabins and suites - nearly all with balconies. Some cabins are available for families either as triples or as connecting cabins, with bedding configurations ranging from king-sized beds to two single beds.

Le Lyrial Cabins:

Deck 3
  • Superior Staterooms (8) #300-307: king-size bed or twin beds, shower, 226 sq. ft. 
  • Deluxe Staterooms with private balcony (28) #308-312, #314-337: king-size bed or twin beds, shower, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony
Deck 4
  • Prestige Staterooms with private balcony (35) #401-412, #414-435, #437: king-size bed or twin beds, shower, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony
Deck 5
  • Prestige Staterooms with private balcony (37) #501-512, #514-537, #539: king-size bed or twin beds, shower, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony 
Deck 6
  • Prestige Staterooms with private balcony (1) #615: king-size bed or twin beds, shower, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony
  • Deluxe Suites with private balcony (3) #601-603: king-size bed or twin beds, shower, sofa, armchair & pedestal table, 290 sq.  ft. + 54 sq. ft. private balcony
  • Privilege Suite with private balcony (8) #606-612, #614: king-size bed or twin beds, bathtub & shower, 398 sq. ft. + 86 sq. ft. private balcony
  • Grand Deluxe Suite with private balcony (1) #604: king-size bed or twin beds, bathtub/Jacuzzi & shower, 484 sq. ft. + 96 sq. ft. private balcony
  • Owner’s Suite with private balcony (1) #605: panoramic sea view, king-size bed or twin beds, bathtub/Jacuzzi & shower, 2nd flat screen satellite TV, sofa, table with 4 chairs, armchair & pedestal table, 592 sq. ft. + 129 sq. ft. private balcony

ALL LE LYRIAL CABINS INCLUDE: 
Individually-controlled heat and air-conditioning thermostat
Minibar
Flat screen satellite TV
Satellite direct-dial telephone
Wireless Internet access
Video on demand and IPod™ players
24hr room service
Electronic Safe
Hairdryer
French toiletries
Bath robes
Desk with stationery


L'Austral, Le Boréal, and Le Soléal Cabins:

Le Champollion Deck (Le Boréal) or Deck Andromède (Le Soléal) or Deck Calicut (l'Austral)
  • Deluxe staterooms with private balcony (28): king-size bed or twin beds, shower, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony
  • Superior staterooms (8): king-size bed, or twin beds, sofa bed, shower, 226 sq. ft. 

Le Lafayette Deck (Le Boréal) or Deck Pégase (Le Soléal) or Deck Chandernagor (l'Austral)
  • Prestige staterooms with private balcony (35) king-size bed or twin beds, bathtub or shower, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony

Le Normandie Deck (Le Boréal) or Deck Equinoxe (Le Soléal) or Deck Bengale (l'Austral)
  • Prestige staterooms with private balcony (37): king-size bed or twin beds, bathtub or shower, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony

Le France Deck (Le Boréal) or Deck Solstice (Le Soléal) or Deck Mahé (l'Austral)
  • Owner’s suite with private balcony (1): panoramic sea view, king-size bed or twin beds, large bathtub & shower, 2nd flat screen satellite TV, sofa, table with 4 chairs, armchair & pedestal table, 485 sq. ft. + 96 sq. ft. private balcony
  • Deluxe suites with private balcony (3): king-size bed or twin beds, bathtub & shower, sofa, armchair & pedestal table, 290 sq. ft. + 54 sq. ft. private balcony
  • Prestige staterooms with private balcony (20): king-size bed or twin beds, bathtub or shower, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony
 
ALL LE BOREAL, L'AUSTRAL, AND LE SOLEAL CABINS INCLUDE: 
Individually-controlled heat and air-conditioning thermostat
Minibar
Flat screen satellite TV
Satellite direct-dial telephone
Wireless Internet access
DVD, CD, Video on demand and IPod™ players
24hr room service
Electronic Safe
Hairdryer
French toiletries
Bath robes
Desk with stationery

VIEW DECK PLAN - HERE


Boat Details

Ship Amenities


Offering a perfect balance between chic sophistication and casual relaxation, L’Austral, Le Boréal, Le Lyrial & Le Soléal have elegantly stylish and welcoming décor, attentive service and gourmet cuisine. The superior materials, discreet elegance and a tasteful décor combine with exterior and interior lines to reflect a nautical mood, subtly revisited, and create a unique atmosphere of luxury, intimacy and well-being. Her six guest decks are conveniently designed to offer ample and spacious indoor and outdoor public spaces, including a 24-hour open bridge policy, a panoramic lounge & terrace, a library, three bars, two restaurants, a lecture theater, a full-service salon, steam room/spa/fitness center, a pool, three passenger elevators, a medical center, Wireless Internet, 24-hour Room Service, a games area with Wii™ consoles….there is even live entertainment! Loyal to the great French tradition, the haute cuisine on board is worthy of the finest restaurants, where discreet, attentive service is the hallmark. Two restaurants welcome you for breakfasts, lunch and dinner: the Gastronomic Restaurant, with a capacity of 268 and serves French and international cuisine accompanied by fine wine, and at the Grill Restaurant, you may eat outside and enjoy a buffet lunch and a themed dinner. Some of her eco-friendly features include: Dynamic positioning so there is no need to drop anchor, thereby protecting the seabed; Electric propulsion system: quiet and economic; Diesel engines using MDO (Marine Diesel Oil): not so heavy and less polluting; Reduced exhaust emissions; Waste and sewage treatment on board; Optical underwater detection system to avoid collisions with cetaceans, day and night; Low energy bulbs for lighting. Onboard expedition safety equipment includes: Dynamic positioning system, Double Sonar (provides 3D images of the seabed), an emergency radio communication system, and a satellite weather station. The vessel is equipped with an onboard fleet of 12 Zodiacs (Mark V HD), all equipped with Zodiac tracker (a radio beacon so it can be tracked by satellite).


Ship Services


L’Austral, Le Boréal, Le Lyrial & Le Soléal are skillfully manned by 139 crew members and an expedition team  composed of 10 specialists (naturalists, geologists, lecturers and experienced guides), to whom safety is of the highest priority.




antarctica travelMarisa, we've been back a week and I'm writing to say how wonderful our trip was. Thanks you for all your guidance and planning. Buenos Aires was so interesting. Our tour guide, Alejandro, was top notch-- and very funny. The hotel was in a good location and the all-day tour in Ushuaia was memorable. The ship was well-run and the food was both interesting and plentiful. The crew was professional. The expedition leaders were kind, enthusiastic and very knowledgeable.  I can't give you credit for the fantastic weather and incredible scenery but it was an amazing trip. Thank you. - Susan Ogden/Rose Marie Wilson (Akademik Ioffe) 


The trip was fantastic of course! South Georgia is an amazing place! After docking at Ushuaia, the driver was waiting there on the pier and coordinated well with the ship and the port officials, provided me with useful materials and delivered me to the Alto Andino. I liked the Alto Andino. It was quiet, clean and has a nice secure luggage store, which I used when I arrived, as it was too early to check in. They did let me check in early, shortly after lunch, when a room became available. And, when I came back to the hotel after dinner with friends, there was a message from my driver about the pickup time for departing to the airport. The transfer at BA went without a hitch, nice driver and nice car, and being Saturday, light traffic as well! Anyway, thank you! Your planning and support is greatly appreciate and I will be sure to let my friends know about your great company! - Philip H. Walters (South Georgia In Depth onboard Akademik Sergey Vavilov)

Carrie and Jonathan, we arrived back from Antarctica over the weekend.   I just wanted to thank both of you for arranging such an outstanding trip!  The guides, hotels, and logistics were all excellent—and we thoroughly enjoyed it all.  Fortunately, despite my foot injury, I was able to fully partake in all the sightseeing and activities and didn’t feel that I had to curtail anything I wanted to do.  We’ll be sure to contact you for future trips in South America.  - Nancy Voye (Antarctic Peninsula onboard NG Explorer)

Carrie and Justin, I just wanted to send the two of you a message to thank you for all your help putting together our trip to the Antarctic.  The trip was absolutely fantastic – definitely the best trip we have ever taken! I would strongly recommend the Akademik Ioffe team to anyone that asks. The places we visited and the excursions we were able to participate in were definitely first-rate, and I would credit the staff for making this happen.  They selected great places to visit, and really made each zodiac or on-shore excursion a special experience. The Antarctic is just mind-blowing.  We did get south of the Circle – which sounds like it was a bit of an accomplishment – and had really great weather for the entire trip.  So again, thanks for making a totally fabulous trip a reality for us. -Ron & Bonnie Milzer (Antarctic Circle Voyage onboard Akademik Ioffe)
Antarctica - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: Antarctica is the trip of a lifetime, offering abundant wildlife and unique landscapes. Travelling to the end of the world is an unparalleled experience. It’s hard to go wrong with any option but for those with specific interests we recommend reviewing our guide to Antarctica Cruises found here or contacting an Adventure Travel Coordinator.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Antarctica cruise itineraries are set and cannot be changed, but you can certainly add pre/post cruise services (hotels, tours, transfers, flights, etc.) in Argentina and Chile. Southern Explorations is happy to assist with any additional services you require.
Q: When is the best time to go to Antarctica?
A: Travel to Antarctica occurs during the Austral Summer with cruise expeditions departing from late October through March. You may wish to schedule your trip according to what wildlife activities you’d like to observe, or any specific adventure activities you would like to do, such as snowshoeing, skiing, mountaineering, whale watching, and more, which are only offered on certain departures.
Q: When is the most affordable time of year to travel to Antarctica? What’s the best way to get a deal on an Antarctica cruise?
A: It is a popular misconception that the best way to obtain a deal on an Antarctica cruise is to wait until the last possible moment to book. While this works out sometimes, this scenario is rarer and rarer as Antarctica’s popularity as a tourist destination increases. A few years ago, operators had trouble filling their boats with paying passengers, so last-minute deals were common. Now, most Antarctica cruise departures sell out far in advance, so there is no reason for operators to offer last-minute deals. Currently the best way to obtain a deal on an Antarctica cruise is to book early, as many operators offer early booking discounts.
 
Generally, it is a good idea to confirm your cruise at least eight months to one year in advance. The time period around the holidays (Christmas/New Year's) tends to sell out further in advance. Fly cruises, during which you fly over the Drake Passage rather than crossing it onboard the vessel, also tend to sell out early, so it is a good idea to book more than one year in advance if you choose this type of cruise.
 
Prices are higher for travel in late December, January, and early February, as this is high season. Prices are lower early season (November/early December) and late season (late February/March).
Q: What can I expect to see at different points during the season?
A:
  • Late October and November: The early part of the season showcases a number of highlights. Landing sites are at their most pristine. The possibility of seeing sea ice is present early on, before it breaks up later in the season. Late October to early November sees Adélie, Chinstrap and Gentoo adult penguins and Antarctic-breeding seabirds starting to come ashore to their breeding sites where they commence courtship rituals and nest building. Shortly thereafter eggs are laid and incubated. Emperor penguins can be seen on the frozen Weddell Sea (visited via helicopter on special Emperor penguin voyages).

    Spring flowers begin blooming in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and elephant seals are actively courting in South Georgia. South Georgia's female king penguins lay their eggs in November and the parents can be seen "carrying" eggs on their feet so that the parent can shuffle around the colony while the other adult goes out to sea to feed. "Oakum Boys" — king penguin chicks from the previous season — can also be seen in the rookeries. Fur seals litter the beaches in South Georgia with the males aggressive and ready to mate.
 
  • December and January: The increased number of daylight hours brings exceptional opportunities for photographers and non-photographers alike, and the expeditions make the most of the summer weather and continuous hours of daylight. Research activity in the Peninsula at the scientific bases is at its peak. Penguin chicks begin hatching in the Falklands (Islas Malvinas); followed by hatchings in mid- to late-December at sites in the Antarctic Peninsula. Some 30 days after hatching, penguin chicks can be found in "crèches," resembling a nursery of sorts, which leaves both adults free to replenish their food supply. An exciting time of this part of the season is when the parent returns with food and the hungry chicks are persistent in being fed, running after the parent (or any adult penguin with food) in a "feeding chase." Whale sightings of baleen and toothed whales escalate in the Peninsula area. Seal pups can be seen on the beaches in South Georgia. Sea ice is also beginning to break up, which allows for the possibility to begin to access to rarely visited sites in the Weddell Sea, Ross Sea and within the Antarctic Circle.
 
  • February and March: Sightings of whales are at their peak in the Peninsula and an increasing number of fur seals can be found along the Peninsula and offshore islands. Young fur seals are also quite playful in South Georgia. Penguin colonies are very active with the penguin chicks beginning their molt - losing their fuzzy down and developing their adult plumage. During this timeframe, the parents will abandoned their chicks, and return out to sea to feed and fatten up for their own molting stage. Most colonies (Adélie, Chinstrap and Gentoo) are nearly vacated by the end of February to early March. Blooming snow algae is prevalent and receding pack ice has reached its peak for the season, allowing for easier exploration within the Weddell Sea, Ross Sea and Antarctic Circle.
Q: What is the weather like in Antarctica?
A: Antarctica is the highest, driest, windiest, coldest place on earth, but keep in mind that all tourism trips occur during Austral summer. The average summer temperature in the Antarctic Peninsula area is around 25 to 32°F (-4 to 0°C), although sometimes it will feel substantially colder due to the wind chill factor and water splashing up while riding in zodiacs. You can expect to encounter varied conditions including rain, snow, high winds, bright sun, and fog.
Q: What is a typical day like in Antarctica? 
A: All three meals are eaten on board the ship. After breakfast, you will head out for your morning excursion for 2 to 5 hours, then get back on board to eat lunch while the ship navigates to the next landing site. Here you will once again disembark on land for 2 to 5 hours before dinner.
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy a trip to Antarctica? 
A: You do not need to be extremely physically fit to travel to Antarctica, but should be comfortable walking short distances over uneven terrain, including snow, ice, and rock. Most ships also have a steep metal gangway that you must descend and ascend to embark/disembark the small zodiac boats that ferry passengers to shore. Your guides will always be there to assist you.
Q: While in Antarctica, will I get to get off the ship and walk around on land?
A: Yes! You will make landings every day you are in Antarctica, and the cruise staff will ensure you spend as much time on land as possible. This is true of every Antarctica cruise we offer. There is no cruise during which you stay onboard the ship the entire time.
Q: How much time do I need to visit Antarctica?
A: Standard Antarctic Peninsula cruise itineraries are 10 to 12 days long. The shortest Antarctica voyage we offer is 6 days long, with our longest being 32 days. Please inquire for details about specific voyages.
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: All Antarctica cruises have different deposit policies, with the deposit amount typically ranging from $1500 per person to 25% of the total trip costs. Final payment is usually due between 100 days and 120 days prior to travel.
 
Antarctica cruise cancelation policies vary widely from ship to ship. The cancelation penalty from the time of booking up until 90 or 120 days prior to departure can be as little as $500 per person or as much as $5000+ per person. Generally, all cruises will have a 100% cancelation penalty within 90 days of departure. Please inquire for details about cancelation penalties for specific ships. 
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: Accommodations and amenities on board Antarctica cruises vary from simple 3-star to luxury 5-star. Please inquire for details.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: Most Antarctica cruises do not include any airfare, though some include roundtrip flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, and “fly cruises” include flights from Punta Arenas, Chile to Antarctica or to the Falkland Islands. Southern Explorations is happy to arrange any flights you require within Argentina or Chile. Please inquire about airfare inclusions for specific cruises.
Q: How many people are on your tours?
A: The Antarctica cruise ships we offer range in size from a capacity of 54 to 200 passengers. “Mega ships” with thousands of passengers on board are not allowed to make landings in Antarctica, so all vessels are relatively small. 
Q: Do I need travel insurance, what all do I need, and how much does it cost?
A: All Antarctica cruises require that passengers purchase travel insurance covering emergency medical evacuation and repatriation. The cost of medical evacuation transport from Antarctica is high, and as it is the responsibility of the traveler, this coverage is imperative. Though trip cancellation insurance is not required, it is highly recommended. The cost of travel insurance varies from individual to individual and depends on many factors, such as cost of trip covered, age of traveler, where you live, etc. We recommend contacting Berkshire Hathaway or Travel Guard, or click here to compare other trip insurance companies.
Q: Where do Antarctica cruises begin and end?
A: Most Antarctica cruises begin/end in either Ushuaia, Argentina or Punta Arenas, Chile. Occasionally cruises depart directly from Buenos Aires, Montevideo, or other port cities, but this is rare. When departing from Ushuaia, you board the cruise at the pier in town and cross the Drake Passage onboard the vessel. Trips departing from Punta Arenas are "fly/cruise" programs that fly you (one-way or both-ways) by small aircraft to the South Shetland Islands, just off the Antarctic Peninsula to embark your expedition ship there. There are also some cruises that start with a flight from Punta Arenas to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. Please check your itinerary for any inclusions, or needed additions, such as pre- or post-trip hotel nights and domestic flights to your embarkation cities. Southern Explorations can book any needed pre- or post-trip hotels, domestic flights, tours and transfers, and include them within your trip costs.
Q: What can I expect while crossing the Drake Passage? Will I get seasick?
A: The Drake Passage is the body of water between Cape Horn (the southernmost tip of South America) and the Antarctic Peninsula. On most Antarctica cruise ships it will take a full two days to cross the Drake Passage.  This passage has some of the roughest recorded sea conditions in the world (the “Drake Shake”), but it can also be pristinely calm (the “Drake Lake”). Conditions in this waterway can vary at any time of year depending on weather, and it is impossible to predict how rough it will be in advance. Some passengers experience seasickness, and others do not. It is advisable to come prepared by packing motion sickness remedies. All ships also have doctors onboard, and these medical professionals are extremely adept at assisting passengers with any seasickness concerns. Once in Antarctica, sheltered waters are normally encountered with little problem for rough seas. NOTE: There are also options to do what is called a "fly/cruise" program where you fly by small aircraft to the South Shetland Islands, just off the Antarctic Peninsula and then join up with your expedition cruise ship there, thus avoiding crossing the Drake Passage onboard the vessel.
Q: Can I bring my photographic drone to Antarctica?
A: The governing body of Antarctic tourism is called the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and Southern Explorations is a member of this organization. IAATO members have agreed that they will not allow the recreational use of UAVs (drones) in the unique, and often wildlife rich, coastal areas of Antarctica. Through the unique global partnership that is the Antarctic Treaty system, the entire continent is formally designated as a 'natural reserve, devoted to peace and science'. Antarctica is regarded as the last great wilderness on our planet, still pristine with wildlife and landscapes that show little evidence of direct human activity. Visiting and operating in an environment like this comes with a responsibility to do so carefully and with minimal impact. UAVs are a relatively new phenomenon and IAATO Is therefore taking a cautionary approach, as it is possible they could have a negative impact on the environment. Also, as you can imagine, many drones flying over a penguin colony would not only be potentially detrimental to the birds (adult penguins are distracted by drones, which allows a Skua to swoop in and eat their eggs or swipe one of their chicks), but will also greatly diminish the experience of other passengers seeking to enjoy the beauty and solitude of the Seventh Continent. So, please, leave the drones at home!
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking, you will receive a link to our online trip portal which includes all of the need-to-know information that is specific to your itinerary. This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.