Historic Antarctica – Ponant

Le Lyrial in Antarctica

Sail aboard Le Lyrial to visit two emblematic regions: the Falkland Islands and the unmissable Antarctic Peninsula.

Leaving from Montevideo, you will also visit Elephant Island, the mountainous island covered in ice on which the crew of the Endurance, led by Ernest Shackleton, managed to survive for 129 days in 1916.

DATES –  Nov 17-Dec 03 2017

Route Map

DURATION – 17  days 
EMBARKATION – Montevideo (Uruguay)
DISEMBARKATION – Ushuaia (Argentina)
SHIP – M/V Le Lyrial

Download Historic Antarctica PDF


  • Two nights pre-cruise program in Montevideo
  • Outings and shore visits in a Zodiac® with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
  • Possibility of hikes.
  • 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.
  • Wildlife: Magellanic penguins and Commerson’s dolphins in the Falkland Islands. Gentoo, Adélie and chinstrap penguins in the Peninsula.
  • Port of call at Camarones in Argentina and visit of a penguin colony.


Montevideo, Uruguay

Day 1 – November 17 – Arrive Montevideo, Uruguay
Meet and transfer to your deluxe hotel. Remainder of day is free to unwind and acclimate.

Day 2 – November 18 – Tour Montevideo
Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Perched on the far southern tip of Uruguay, Montevideo is a white city, and one of the loveliest capital cities of South America. Come and admire the beautiful historical remains dating from Spanish rule; you’ll find the most interesting within the Cuidad Vieja, formerly fortified, its old town dates from the 18th century. The best preserved are the cathedral and the former governmental palace of the Cabildo, both listed historical monuments. In the crook of a vast blue bay, the city is also blessed with beautiful beaches.

Day 3 – November 19 – Board Le Lyrial 
Transfer to pier. Boarding from 4:00-6:00 PM – Departure at 8:00 PM

Days 4-5 – November 20-21 – At Sea

Cabo dos Bahias Reserve

Day 6 – November 22 – Camorones
Cabo Dos Bahias Penguin Reserve – Included Excursion
Going 180 nautical miles south from Puerto Madryn, visitors discover fascinating Bahia Camarones. This picturesque village was founded in 1900 and counts a stable population of around 1,000 inhabitants. It was originally devoted to wool production.The Natural Protected Area Cabo Dos Bahías is the largest Magellan Penguin’s Rookery in the area. Located 28 kilometers south of the town, by provincial route N° 1, it was created to preserve land and sea areas along with its flora and fauna, and simultaneously, to provide a recreational and educational space to those who visit it. The cape concentrates an important colony of Magellan Penguins of about 30,000 pairs during the breeding season, along with foxes, rheas, Patagonian hares, guanacos and skunks which wildlife lovers can enjoy in a photographic safari. A short trek among well marked and interpreted paths lead to the shore framed by the amazing geological scenery. Cabo Dos Bahías is a unique and incomparable place, where nature has settled leaving an imaginary window so as to appreciate the miracle of wild life in the cold latitudes of Patagonia.

From the pier, embark your coach for a 45min drive on the scenic coastal road which goes south to Cabo Dos Bahias and the penguin reserve. The reserve is visited by a few people only as Cabo Dos Bahias is far from any towns. Therefore the animals are much more undisturbed than at other colonies. After a 2 1/2 hour observation of this cute bird, return to the pier and your ship.

  • This tour includes walking on uneven terrain. We recommend you to wear comfortable walking shoes and waterproof clothes. Please note that fauna observation is never guaranteed, that the total duration is subject to road conditions and the tour depends on weather conditions.

Day 7 –  November 23 – At Sea

West Point Island, Falklands

Day 8 – November 24  – Saunders Island – West Point
Birds found here include Falkland steamer ducks, ruddy-headed geese, king penguins, gentoo penguins, southern rockhopper penguins (6900 pairs), macaroni penguins, black-browed albatrossess  and white-bridled finches. The island is near the southernmost range limit of the Magellanic penguin, while gentoos range much further south into Antarctica.

Day 9 – November 25 – Barren Island

Day 10 – November 26 – At Sea

Elephant Island

Day 11 – November 27 – 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.

Weddell Sea – Table Icebergs


Day 12 – November 28 – 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.

Gentoo Penguins, Cuverville Island




Day 13 – November 29 – Cuverville – Cierva Cove
Cuverville Island has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports a breeding colony of about 6500 pairs of gentoo penguins, the largest for this species on the Antarctic Peninsula. Other birds nesting at the site include southern giant petrels and imperial shags.
Day 14 – November 30  – 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.

Half Moon Island

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 15 – December 1 – Drake Passage
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.

Ushuaia, Argentina

Day 16 – December 2 – Arrival Ushuaia
Arrival at 6:30 PM (18H30).
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.


CABINDOUBLE PER PERSONSpecial Explor Cruises' Rates
PRESTIGE DECK 4$15,195$10,595
PRESTIGE DECK 5$15,835$11,045
PRESTIGE DECK 6$16,535$11,545
DELUXE SUITE$21,965$15,345
PRESTIGE DECK 5 SUITE$25,465$17,795
PRESTIGE DECK 6 SUITE$26,595$18,595
GRAND DELUXE SUITE$29,385$21,095
OWNER SUITE$33,895$33,895
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