Experience a magical Christmas and New Year during a 17-day expedition cruise. From Ushuaia, you will board your expedition ship for an exceptional itinerary combining the three emblematic regions of the White Continent: The Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the unmissable Antarctic Peninsula.
DATES: 2017 – Dec 17 to Jan 04
2018 – Dec 18 to Jan 05 2019
Duration: 19 days / 18 nights
Departure Port: Ushuaia, Argentina
Port of arrival: Ushuaia
Ship: Le Soleal
ABUNDANT ANTARCTIC WILDLIFE
- Spend Christmas and New Year on the fringes of the ‘White Continent’.
- Outings and shore visits in a Zodiac® with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
- Possibility of hikes.
- Wildlife: Magellanic penguins and Commerson’s dolphins in the Falkland Islands. King penguins, as well as numerous elephant seals and fur seals in South Georgia. Gentoo, Adélie and chinstrap penguins in the Peninsula.
- Landscapes: vast moors dotted with moss and lichen in the Falkland Islands. Chains of snow-covered mountains, lush meadows and numerous glaciers in South Georgia. Drifting icebergs and ice floe in the Peninsula.
Day 1: Arrive Buenos Aires, Argentina
You will be met and transferred to your deluxe hotel. Remainder of the day is free.
Day 2: Buenos Aires Tour
Enjoy a full day tour of Buenos Aires, “Paris of South America”, arranged exclusively for Explor Cruises’ guests. Visit the unique neighborhoods of San Telmo, Recoleta, La Boca, Puerto Madero and Palermo. Lunch is included. This evening, you will be taken to a Dinner & Tango Show at Tango Porteño, Includes round trip transfers and a tango lesson of 1hr before the dinner. Return to your hotel late.
Day 3: Flight to Ushuaia – Embarkation
Transfer from your hotel to the city airport for your included flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. Meet and transfer to ship. Capital of Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia lies in a bay opening into the Beagle Channel, at the country’s southernmost tip. Its colorful houses are framed against towering mountains, snow-capped in winter and summer alike.
Day 4: At Sea
Day 5: New Island – Saunders Island
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. 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.
Days 6-7: At Sea
Day 8: South Georgia Island – Salisbury Plain – Fortuna Bay – Stromness
Salisbury Plain is home to one of the most unforgettable natural vistas of South Georgia. Formed by the retreat of Grace Glacier, the same majestic peaks that once awed Shackleton still tower over the surrounding land. At the heart of this wild refuge, on the beaches of the bay, lies a colony of 250,000 king penguins. Amidst this sea of black and orange heads, fur seals and their young can be spotted nosing their way through the crowd.
Situated at the foot of sharply-rising mountains, Fortuna Bay is a truly dazzling vision to behold. The bay itself bows inward to form a perfect crescent, indented by a torrent. During your excursion, you can follow in the footsteps of Ernest Shackleton or even encounter the 50,000 king penguin couples who call the island their home.
Day 9: South Georgia Island – Saint Andrews Bay – Grytviken
This bay bears a gift that is sure to enchant photographers. From the bay’s long grey-sand beach, home to abundant fur seals and elephant seals, you can easily access a vast glacial trough bordered by steep mountainsides and enclosed by Ross Glacier. Here, at the heart of this valley, lies the climax of your visit: the largest colony of king penguins on the South Georgia Islands. You’ll be witness to a surreal visual and auditory experience: entire hillsides covered with adult penguins dutifully going back and forth from land to water to feed their young.
The Grytviken stopover is a highlight of South Georgia Island. This former whaling station, now a ghost town, is set against a serene backdrop of ochre-colored earth. Vestiges of the whaling industry are still very much present, particularly old whale bones and remnants of shipwrecks. Grytviken’s other historical point of interest is the grave of famous adventurer Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Day 10: South Georgia islands – Gold Harbor – Cooper Bay
Majestic glaciers with a bluish sheen, waterfalls that reflect the rays of the setting sun, pitch-black volcanic sand beaches: these are just a few of the wonders to be found in Gold Harbor’s landscape. This natural gem is blanketed by bright green tussocks and framed by snow-capped peaks. On this island where summer days are endless, the wildlife stays up with the sun. Fur seals, elephant seals and king penguins move about the island like tiny black dots along the landscape. Those humans who enter this kaleidoscope of colors and sensations do so as privileged and tolerated observers of the austral wildlife.
Days 11-12 – At Sea
Day 13: Weddell Sea
Amidst the eerie stillness of the Weddell Sea, you’ll wend your way through a veritable labyrinth of majestic table icebergs. Sweeping ice platforms sculpt a landscape unlike any other, populated by fur seals, penguins, wandering albatross and other imposing seabirds. The Weddell seal, king of this realm, will welcome you to his territory with a haunting cry that pierces the surrounding silence.
Day 14: Paradise Bay – Neko Harbor
With its spectacular landscapes composed of towering glacial peaks plunging down into the icy waters of the Antarctic, Paradise Bay is true to its name. Discovered and named by whalers in the early 20th century, this protected natural site is currently home to a wide variety of fauna, from Antarctic cormorants and leopard seals to sheathbills and gentoo penguins, who mingle on the long stretch of rocky beaches. With some luck, you’ll even be privy to an unforgettable underwater dance between passing humpback whales. During your excursion, head off to discover the old Argentine base Almirante Brown, which is only occupied for a few weeks each year, during the austral summer.
A little corner of paradise in the shadow of a towering glacier, Neko Harbor 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.
Day 15: Pleneau Island – Wilhelmina Bay – Port Charcot
Named after talented photographer Paul Pléneau, who accompanied Jean-Baptiste Charcot on his 1903 expedition, Pleneau Island has become a refuge for gentoo penguins, elephant seals and fur seals. A ‘fleet’ of imposing ice formations sit like anchored ships along its shores. Like works of art, these unusually-sculpted icebergs range in color from white to blue and every shade in between. On land, red algae provides a striking contrast against empty swathes of snow that alternate with gentoo penguin nesting sites, strewn all across the island.
Between 1897 and 1899, Belgian explorer Adrien de Gerlache led an Antarctic expedition aboard the Belgica. There, he discovered a quiet, protected bay which he named in honor of the Dutch queen, Wilhelmina of Orange-Nassau. In this enchanting place, towering mountains reflect off still waters, offering up a magnificent and colorful feast for the eyes.
Day 16: Deception Island
Situated just above the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, Deception Island is easily recognizable thanks to its distinctive horseshoe shape. The crater of this former volcano caved in 10,000 years ago and the resulting caldera was flooded, creating a natural harbor. Deception Island still bears traces of its past as a longtime hub of the whaling industry.
DAYS 17-18: At Sea – Drake Passage
Cross Drake Passage.
DAY 19: Ushuaia – Disembark
Transfer from ship to included flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires. Connect with flight home, or stay longer in Argentina. There is much to see!
CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS IN THE SOUTHERN TERRITORIES - LE SOLEAL
|CABIN||DOUBLE PER PERSON|
2017 – Dec 17 to Jan 04 2018
|DOUBLE PER PERSON
2018 – Dec 18 to Jan 05 2019
|SUPERIOR||WAIT LIST||WAIT LIST|
|PRESTIGE DECK 4||WAIT LIST||$20,110
|PRESTIGE DECK 5||$26,179||$21,000
|PRESTIGE DECK 6||$27,319||$21,910
|DELUXE SUITE||WAIT LIST||$29,660
|PRESTIGE DECK 5 SUITE||WAIT LIST||$34,270
|PRESTIGE DECK 6 SUITE||$44,489||$35,860
|OWNER SUITE||WAIT LIST||$53,370
2017 - Rates, per person, based on double occupancy
2018 - Book now now and get the guaranteed best price. 25%off the public rates, per person, based on double occupancy. No Savings on Owner Suite.