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Ponant: New Years Day in the Polar Regions

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Overview

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Welcome in the New Year on an Antarctic cruise, as you admire the unique wildlife and soak up the rugged, spectacular polar landscapes of this incredible pristine ice wilderness. Highlights may include Neko Harbour, a magical bay surrounded by mountains, the beautiful Lemaire Channel and fascinating Deception Island, site of a former whaling station with abandoned huts and volcanic beaches overrun with chinstrap penguins. Cruise amongst the icebergs of the Weddell Sea before charting a course through the Drake Passage to return to Ushuaia. This is the ultimate New Year - surrounded by snow-capped peaks, glaciers, ice-filled channels, vast tabular icebergs, penguins and other Antarctic wildlife.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACTSNYP

Location: Antarctica

Ship: Le Boreal

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 4:30pm and 5.30pm, 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)

Lying at the southern end of the beautiful Lemaire Channel, we hope to visit Pleneau Island and then the 3km wide bay of Port Charcot that was charted by the 3rd French Antarctic expedition under Jean-Baptiste Charcot. Charcot established the expedition's winter base at Port Charcot in 1904.

Pleneau / Port Charcot (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.

Port Lockroy (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.

Half Moon Island, another possible landing site is home to chinstrap penguins in spectacular surroundings. Only 2kms long, the island boasts dramatic rock formations. Whales are often spotted patrolling the shores.

Deception Island / Half Moon (Antarctica)

Sailing in the Weddell Sea will allow you to experience true silence, an extraordinary and enchanting atmosphere and unrivalled calm. You will discover a secret reserve of preserved treasure - fur seals, penguin colonies, wandering albatross and other giant petrels. Here the huge icebergs and the endless ice cap sculpt a landscape that words cannot describe. The lord of the manor is known as the Weddell seal. It is a record breaker, able to remain submerged for more than an hour. Its pelage is dark grey and it has a spotted belly. To maintain its access to the sea and be able to fish, the Weddell seal has special teeth allowing it to make a hole in the thick ice.

The Weddell Sea (Antarctica)

We leave Antarctica and head north back across the Drake Passage, searching for seabirds and whales as we sail with time to reflect on the magical experiences of our days in Antarctica.

At sea - Drake passage - Days 9 & 10

Disembarkation is scheduled for 7am. Transfer to the airport in time for the flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires.

Ushuaia (Argentina) - Disembarkation
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Pricing & date

Departing Ending Duration
29 Dec 2019 08 Jan 2020 11
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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.

    Ushuaia - Ushuaia program rates are per person and include:
    * Flights Buenos-Aires/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)
    * On disembarkation days in Ushuaia: direct transfer from the ship to the airport 

     

    NOT INCLUDED:

    * Safety and port taxes (for information purposes)* USD 690
    * Airport Taxes USD 45
     

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Please note that itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions.

    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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