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Ponant: The Great Adventure

16 Days FROM AUD 13,800

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Overview

EARLY BIRDS ON SALE - Book and save up to 30% OFF* Antarctica 2020-21  voyages with PONANT.

This incredible 16-day cruise takes you from the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo to wildlife-rich South Georgia and then on to the Antarctic Peninsula, before ending your cruise back in Tierra del Fuego’s capital, Ushuaia. Explore the remote yet ruggedly beautiful sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, with its immense colonies of king penguins and rich history. See the relics of whaling activities and the grave of the famous British explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. Then it’s further into the heart of the White Continent as you sail to the Antarctic Peninsula, a stunning desert of ice where drifting icebergs, glaciers, snow-capped peaks and a fascinating array of wildlife is waiting.

 

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACTSPTGA

Location: Antarctica

Ship: L'Austral

CRUISE ITINERARY

Despite its small size, the city of Ushuaia is the world’s southernmost city, the capital of Tierra del Fuego and the main starting point for voyages to Antarctica.

On arrival into Ushuaia, you will be met and transferred either directly to the port for embarkation, buffet lunch and access to the main lounge, or to Arakur Resort, located inside Cerro Alarken Natural Reserve. Here you can relax at the resort, join a guided walk through the Reserve, or take an optional excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park. (Please note that this excursion must be booked at the time of cruise booking. The excursion is accompanied by a French speaking guide).

Embarkation begins in the afternoon at the port in Ushuaia. Embarkation time is between 5:00pm and 6.00pm, at which time cabins and suites will be ready to check in to.

The ship sets sail this evening along the famous Beagle Channel towards the Drake Passage.

Ushuaia (Argentina) - Embarkation

To reach the mythical “White Continent” we cross the notorious Drake Passage named after the famous explorer, Sir Frances Drake, who sailed in these waters back in 1578. You will then traverse the Polar Front which marks the area where waters from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans meet. The Antarctic Convergence is a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters.

The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached Antarctica.

At sea - Drake passage - Days 2 & 3

Deep in Andvord Bay, we find this little corner of paradise at the foot of an immense glacier. Neko Bay is without doubt one of the most beautiful sights of the Antarctic Peninsula. Wildlife is as abundant as it is exceptional with seabirds such as gulls, Cape petrels and cormorants, as well as marine mammals such as seals, orcas and whales. Excursions aboard our 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.

Paradise Bay (or Paradise Harbour as it is also known) is surrounded and protected by glaciated mountains and ice cliffs. It is a stunningly beautiful wide bay and natural harbour, home to a colony of gentoo penguins, with Argentina's “Almirante Brown Antarctic Base” standing on its coast.

Neko / Paradise Bay (Antarctica)

On the small island of Goudier, we hope to 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 1950’s. 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 small 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.

Wilhelmina Bay is surrounded by steep snow-covered cliffs and glaciers, with a pyramid-shaped peak towering over the water. Named after Queen Wilhelmina, who reigned the Netherlands from 1890 to1948, this spectacular bay is known for its abundant whale population including humpback whales.

Port Lockroy / Wilhelmina Bay (Antarctica)

Weather permitting, we will sail into the flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island for its rugged scenery, great sites of geological interest and the remains of an old whaling station. Deception Island is the largest of three recent volcanic centres in the South Shetlands and sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing.

Nestled at the heart of the South Shetland Islands, in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula, Deception Island is easy to recognise for its horseshoe shape. On the black sand of the volcanic beaches, there are remains of abandoned huts that have been overrun by the extraordinary wildlife found here. It is on these ash beaches that the largest colony of chinstrap penguins in the Antarctic Peninsula has taken up residence. Excursions aboard our Zodiacs will allow you to set foot on this expanse of land where more than 100,000 pairs of penguins, elephant seals and fur seals live side by side.

Deception Island (Antarctica)

The next two days are spent crossing the Scotia Sea towards the South Georgia offering opportunities to watch for wildlife from the deck, catch up on some reading, check through and edit your photos, or simply to reflect on the magical experiences of the last days on the Antarctic Peninsula.

At sea - Days 7 & 8

Majestic snow-covered mountains greet us on the island of South Georgia - the most rugged island in this region.

South Georgia has been a British Overseas Territory since 1775. It is the largest island in the territory and one of the wildest and most remote places on earth with dramatic scenery of snow-capped mountains and huge glaciers. In the 19th century South Georgia was a prominent whaling base, but whaling ceased in the 1960’s and the only remnants are museums and well-preserved buildings. South Georgia teems with wildlife due to the currents that bring nutrients to the island from the Atlantic. Huge numbers of penguins and seals breed here.

Cooper Bay is home to one of South Georgia’s most accessible macaroni penguin colonies. The island is covered in tussock grass and is home to snow petrels, Antarctic prions, black-browed albatross, chinstrap penguins and fur seals.

Gold Harbour has not only spectacular scenery but also a vast range of wildlife. It is a breeding ground for king and gentoo penguins as well as sooty albatrosses. Elephant seals also breed here, in particular at the western end of the beach where a glacial stream runs into the sea.

Cooper Bay / Gold Harbour (South Georgia)

Grytviken is the largest of South Georgia’s whaling stations, situated at the head of Cumberland Bay. It is here where the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton can be found in the whaler’s cemetery. There is an excellent museum at Grytviken, maintained by the South Georgia Heritage Trust, and the restored church, built by the original Norwegian whalers, provides a fascinating glimpse into the past.

Grytviken (South Georgia)

King penguins and seals inhabit the beaches of Fortuna Bay, named after the Fortuna, one of the Norwegian-Argentine whaling expedition ships under Larsen that participated in establishing the first permanent whaling station at Grytviken.

Fortuna Bay (South Georgia)

Leaving South Georgia behind, the ship sails across the Southern Atlantic Ocean bound for Montevideo. Relax on the outdoor decks scanning the horizon for wildlife. Look out for several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters, skuas and diving petrels as we cross the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters.

At sea - Days 12 to 15

Disembarkation is scheduled for 9am.

Montevideo is the historic yet cosmopolitan capital of Uruguay. Situated on the east bank of the Rio de la Plata it is home to half of Uruguay’s population. The city has much to offer including the historic Old City with the Plaza Independencia at its heart and its Citadel Gate used up until 1829 to protect the city from invasion. The plaza separates the Ciudad Vieja (old town) with its art deco buildings, colonial homes and landmarks such as the towering Palacio Salvo, from the city's downtown. Explore the covered market of Mercado del Puerto or the Centenario Football Stadium where the first World Cup was played in 1930. Stroll along La Rambla, hugging Montevideo’s scenic waterfront or maybe head to the beachside suburbs of Carrasco or Pocitos.

Montevideo (Uruguay) - Disembarkation
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

Pricing & date

Ponant: The Great Adventure from AUD 13,800
Departing Ending Duration
28 Feb 2020 14 Mar 2020 16
04 Mar 2021 19 Mar 2021 16
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Important Information

  • The rates of our cruises are per person and include all meals while on board the ship (from dinner on the day of embarkation to breakfast on the day of disembarkation), open bar, room service 24h, luggage transfer from pier to the ship and vice versa and evening entertainment and events.
    Program rates are per person and include:
    * Flight Buenos-Aires/Ushuaia or Ushuaia/Buenos-Aires in Economy-class
    * Meet and greet by our representatives in Ushuaia and luggage direct transfer from the airport to the ship for port clearance
    * Choice between one full day in Arakur Resort located inside Cerro Alarken natural Reserve, time at leisure, lunch and/or optional excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park OR direct transfer to the port for embarkation, buffet lunch and access to the Main Lounge (cabins/suites will not be accessible before 5pm)
     

    Your program does not include:

    * Gratuities for driver and local guide
    * Personal expenses, and other services not mentioned in the program
    * The optional excursion to the Tierra del Fuego National Park which has to be booked at the moment you book your cruise

     

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

GUIDANCE FOR VISITORS TO THE ANTARCTIC

RECOMMENDATION XVIII-1, ADOPTED AT THE ANTARCTIC TREATY MEETING, KYOTO, 1994

Activities in the Antarctic are governed by the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 and associated agreements, referred to collectively as the Antarctic Treaty System. The Treaty established Antarctica as a zone of peace and science.

In 1991, the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties adopted the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, which designates the Antarctic as a natural reserve. The Protocol sets out environmental principles, procedures and obligations for the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment, and its dependent and associated ecosystems. The Consultative Parties have agreed that as far as possible and in accordance with their legal system, the provisions of the Protocol should be applied as appropriate. The Environmental Protocol was ratified in January 1998.

The Environmental Protocol applies to tourism and non-governmental activities, as well as governmental activities in the Antarctic Treaty Area. It is intended to ensure that these activities, do not have adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment, or on its scientific and aesthetic values.
This Guidance for Visitors to the Antarctic is intended to ensure that all visitors are aware of, and are therefore able to comply with, the Treaty and the Protocol. Visitors are, of course, bound by national laws and regulations applicable to activities in the Antarctic.


PROTECT ANTARCTIC WILDLIFE

Taking or harmful interference with Antarctic wildlife is prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by a national authority.

Do not use aircraft, vessels, small boats, or other means of transport in ways that disturb wildlife, either at sea or on land.
Do not feed, touch, or handle birds or seals, or approach or photograph them in ways that cause them to alter their behavior. Special care is needed when animals are breeding or molting.
Do not damage plants, for example by walking, driving, or landing on extensive moss beds or lichen-covered scree slopes.
Do not use guns or explosives. Keep noise to the minimum to avoid frightening wildlife.
Do not bring non-native plants or animals into the Antarctic, such as live poultry, pet dogs and cats, or house plants.


RESPECT PROTECTED AREAS

A variety of areas in the Antarctic have been afforded special protection because of their particular ecological, scientific, historic, or other values. Entry into certain areas may be prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by an appropriate national authority.
Activities in and near designated Historic Sites and Monuments and certain other areas may be subject to special restrictions.

Know the locations of areas that have been afforded special protection and any restrictions regarding entry and activities that can be carried out in and near them.
Observe applicable restrictions.
Do not damage, remove, or destroy Historic Sites or Monuments or any artifacts associated with them.

RESPECT SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

Do not interfere with scientific research, facilities or equipment.

Obtain permission before visiting Antarctic science and support facilities; reconfirm arrangements 24-72 hours before arrival; and comply with the rules regarding such visits.
Do not interfere with, or remove, scientific equipment or marker posts, and do not disturb experimental study sites, field camps, or supplies.
BE SAFE

Be prepared for severe and changeable weather and ensure that your equipment and clothing meet Antarctic standards. Remember that the Antarctic environment is inhospitable, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous.

Know your capabilities and the dangers posed by the Antarctic environment, and act accordingly. Plan activities with safety in mind at all times.
Keep a safe distance from all wildlife, both on land and at sea.
Take note of, and act on, the advice and instructions from your leaders; do not stray from your group.
Do not walk onto glaciers or large snow fields without the proper equipment and experience; there is a real danger of falling into hidden crevasses.
Do not expect a rescue service. Self-sufficiency is increased and risks reduced by sound planning, quality equipment, and trained personnel.
Do not enter emergency refuges (except in emergencies). If you use equipment or food from a refuge, inform the nearest research station or national authority once the emergency is over.
Respect any smoking restrictions, particularly around buildings, and take great care to safeguard against the danger of fire. This is a real hazard in the dry environment of Antarctica.

KEEP ANTARCTICA PRISTINE

Antarctica remains relatively pristine, the largest wilderness area on Earth. It has not yet been subjected to large-scale human perturbations. Please keep it that way.

Do not dispose of litter or garbage on land. Open burning is prohibited.
Do not disturb or pollute lakes or streams. Any materials discarded at sea must be disposed of properly.
Do not paint or engrave names or graffiti on rocks or buildings.
Do not collect or take away biological or geological specimens or man-made artifacts as a souvenir, including rocks, bones, eggs, fossils, and parts or contents of buildings.
Do not deface or vandalize buildings or emergency refuges, whether occupied, abandoned, or unoccupied.​​

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