FROM CHILE TO ANTARCTICA – Le Boreal

Neko Harbor, Antarctica

Discover the essential features of the White Continent during
this 12-day cruise of the Antarctic Peninsula

Sailing from Punta Arenas, you will board Le Boréal for an exceptional journey to the heart of this land at the end of the world.An essential stopping point on your Antarctic Expedition, Neko Harbor is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful sites in the Peninsula. Between the snow-covered mountains, the ice and the wildlife, you will be captivated by the magic of this unique site.

 

DATES –  Nov 15-28 2017

DURATION – 14  days  EMBARKATION – Punta Arenas (Chile)
DISEMBARKATION – Ushuaia (Argentina)
SHIP – M/V Le Boreal

Download Chile To Antarctic Peninsula PDF

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Two nights pre-cruise program in Santiago
  • Outings and shore visits in a Zodiac® with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
  • Possibility of hikes.
  • Visits to scientific research stations and former whaling stations.
  • Landscapes: a multitude of drifting icebergs, ice floe, imposing glaciers and tall, snow-covered mountains.
  • Wildlife: a multitude of gentoo, Adélie and chinstrap penguins, small fin whales, humpback whales, Weddell and leopard seals, and numerous sea birds.

ITINERARY:

Santiago and Gran Torre Santiago

Day 1 – November 15 – Arrive Santiago, Chile
Meet and transfer to your deluxe hotel. Remainder of day is free to unwind and acclimate.

Day 2 – November 16 – Tour Santiago
Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
Full day private city tour with La Chascona & Fine Arts Museums and Lunch in Puerto Fuy restaurant (English speaking guide): We will start our tour at the Iglesia San Francisco (San Francisco Church), built between 1572 and 1816. We will head west towards the area of the Club Hípico, one of the most beautiful horse racing courses in South America, privileged by its architecture from the beginnings of last century. Here we will stop for approximately 20 minutes to take pictures, to then carry on towards downtown passing by the Palace Cousiño several monuments and public buildings, and the seat of the government at the Plaza de la Constitución (The Constitution Square) where we will stop for another 15 minutes. We will continue our tour towards the Plaza de Armas, where you will find the Cathedral Church, the City Hall and the National History Museum. Our next stop will be the Cerro Santa Lucía (Santa Lucía Hill), location chosen by Don Pedro de Valdivia to found the city in 1541. Here we will stop for 15 minutes to appreciate the scenic view of Santiago’s downtown. We will then cross the Mapocho River to reach the residential areas with beautiful houses, parks and malls. We will then visit FABA, a fine lapizlazuli handicraft store. On our way back, we will pass through areas of large tradition and effervescent commercial and social activity. The tour finishes taking our guests back to either their hotel or commercial center Parque Arauco.
Lunch with no drinks included.

Punta Arenas, Chile

Day 3 – November 17 – Flight to Punta Arenas – Board Le Boreal
You will be transferred to the airport for your included flight to Punta Arenas. Upon arrival, transfer to the pier to board the ship. Embarkation is from 4:30PM to 6:30PM. Departure is at 8:30 PM.Capital of the Magallanes Region and of the Chilean Antarctic, this handsome port city will charm you with its history and traditions. Once inhabited by several indigenous tribes, Punta Arenas has maintained an architectural style that remains true to its heritage. You’ll discover the city’s countless treasures, starting with the statue of Magellan at the center of the Plaza Armas, as well as the iconic Palacio Sara Braun. The city’s public cemetery, adorned with beautiful gardens, and elaborate mausoleums is another must-see during your stopover in this austral capital. Conclude your visit by a stop at the Mirador Cerro la Cruz, a lookout point offering a spectacular panorama of the city’s colorful houses.

 

Garibaldi Glacier, Chile

Garibaldi Glacier, Chile

Day 4 – November 18  – Sailing the Strait of Magellan – Garibaldi Glacier – Glaciers Avenue
This mythical strait situated in the south of Chile and separating South America from Tierra del Fuego, awakens our imagination, stirring up a longing for adventure. For the first time, follow in the footsteps of the famous Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, known for having organised the first circumnavigation of the globe in the 16th century. Aboard your ship, cruise along the 600 km separating the Atlantic Ocean from the Pacific and discover the sea route which was long nicknamed “Strait of All Saints” because Magellan’s ships first entered it on All Saints’ Day.

Cruise along the narrow arm of Garibaldi Fjord and marvel at its stunning landscapes: thick green vegetation adorns steep mountains, rivaling the beauty of surrounding ice and snow. Further on, Garibaldi Glacier unveils itself: a towering ice titan looming at the end of the fjord that shares its name. Don’t be surprised if sea lions and numerous birds accompany you on your enchanting journey into the heart of one of Chile’s most beautiful glaciers.

The northwest arm of Beagle Channel offers a prime opportunity to learn about geology, glaciology and nature’s splendor. This place is known as Glacier Alley and with good reason: an endless chain of majestic glaciers line the waters, leaving awed observers reluctant to look away, lest they miss out.

Beagle Channel Light House

Days 5-6 – November 19-20 2017 – Sailing Beagle Channel – Drake Passage 
Together with Cape Horn and the Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel is one of the few shipping routes connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Measuring approximately 240 km long, it marks the border between Chile and Argentina and owes its name to the HMS Beagle, a British ship which carried out hydrographic missions in South America in the 19th century. As you cruise along Beagle Channel, be sure to take in the beauty of the surrounding landscapes, set against a backdrop of sumptuous snow-capped Andean peaks. Darwin traveled this same route during one of his trips around the world.

If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly Drake Passage. Situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the shortest route to Antarctica. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! As a convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbors a very diverse marine fauna. Don’t forget to look to the sky to catch a glimpse of elegant albatross and Cape petrels, playfully floating about in the wind around your ship.

Day 7 – November 21 2017 – 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. You’ll recognize him by his dark grey coat and spotted belly. Weddell seals have the impressive distinction of being able to stay underwater for more than an hour.

Penguins

Day 8 – November 22 2017 – Port Lockroy – Neko Harbor 
During your cruise, you’ll have the opportunity to stop over at Port Lockroy, a spectacular natural harbor nestled in the very heart of the Antarctic Peninsula on Goudier Island. Discovered by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot in 1903, the site has served over the years as a stopover for whaling ships, a British military base and later a research station. The port is currently one of the most visited sites in the Antarctic, thanks to its tiny museum which allows visitors to experience the base as it was in the 1950s and to take home a souvenir from its gift shop. While you’re here, don’t miss the chance to send your loved ones a post card from the southernmost post office in the world!

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.

Zodiac Operations

Day 9 – November 23 2017 – Pleneau Island – Port Charcot – Paradise Bay 
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.

This cove, a natural harbor located in Salpêtrière Bay, was discovered by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot. Named for the explorer’s father, famed neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, this tip of Booth Island still holds vestiges of Charcot’s 1903-1905 anchoring aboard his ship, Le Français. A brisk walk through the snow will take you to the remains of Charcot’s stone cabin where he conducted studies on magnetism. Right nearby, you’ll notice a colony of gentoo penguins. If you continue on to the summit, you’ll pass by the remnants of a cairn and enjoy an unobstructed view of the vast field of icebergs scattered over the bay like white tombstones—an eerie, mystical site like none other.

Polar Seascape

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.

Day 10 – November 24 2017 – Wilhelmina Bay
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 of still waters, offering up a magnificent and colorful feast for the eyes. Yet another source of wonder: humpback whales, majestic and frequent visitors to the bay, feed in the surrounding waters amidst a stunning seascape of ice floes and icebergs.

Day 11 – November 25 2017 – Deception Island – Half Moon 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. The vestiges of abandoned sheds that line the black sand of its volcanic beaches share space with the island’s spectacular fauna: it is home to the Antarctic Peninsula’s largest colony of chinstrap penguins, as well as numerous elephant seals and fur seals.

Nestled among the South Shetland Islands in the icy waters of the Antarctic, Half Moon plunges visitors into a surreal and mystical setting. Long, jagged coastlines alternate with gently sloping bays, overlooked by petrified volcanic pipes. Camara, a former Argentine research station built at the center of the island in 1953, still stands in the crook of a vast, crescent-shaped beach of large ash-colored pebbles battered by icy electric-blue waves. Half Moon’s wild lunar landscape is home to a number of animal species, including chinstrap penguins, fur seals, Weddell seals and Antarctic terns.

Day 12-13 – November 26-27 2017 – Drake Passage
Cruise back across Drake Passage.

Day 14 November 28 2017 – Arrive Ushuaia, Argentina – Flight to Buenos Aires
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. Downtown, the End of the World Museum showcases Tierra del Fuego’s natural and indigenous history. A ride on the heritage railway is an exciting excursion into the Tierra del Fuego National Park, while a cruise on Ushuaia Bay is the perfect way to spot sea lions and Magellanic penguins. Transfer to the airport for your included flight to Buenos Aires. We recommend adding a couple of days or more to visit this remarkably European capitol.

CHILE TO ANTARCTIC PENINSULA - LE BOREAL

CABINDOUBLE PER PERSONSpecial Explor Club Rates
SUPERIOR$14,000$11,245
DELUXE$16,050$12,785
PRESTIGE DECK 6$19,080$15,045
DELUXE SUITE$25,290$19,715
PRESTIGE DECK 6 SUITE$30,530
$23,635
OWNER SUITE$38,740
$38,691
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