Today depart from Sydney, Melbourne, *Brisbane. *Adelaide, *Perth or Auckland for Buenos Aires, Argentina. Fly with airlines such as Qantas Airways, LATAM Airlines, Air New Zealand and partners (subject to availability).
Buenos dias! Welcome to beautiful Argentina. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the central hotel.
• Transfers on this tour are on a shared basis, meaning you will be joining other travellers on the same tour. Depending on flight schedules, travellers may be required to wait for a time before the transfer departs.
• Due to flight times and scheduling some customers may be required to depart day 0. Flight times will be confirmed on your final documentation which you will receive at least 4-6 weeks prior to departure.
Known as the Paris of the south and for its multitude of theatres and world class steakhouses, Buenos Aires is the vibrant capital of Argentina and one of the most amazing cities in South America.
Today enjoy a wonderful sightseeing tour visiting the famous Playa del Mayo, Cabildo, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the impressive Plaza San Martín. Come across sumptuous French palaces in Palermo Chico, the area of Palermo best known for its large parks designed by celebrated landscape architects, such as the illustrious Frenchman Charles Thays. In Retiro and Recoleta, you will learn about the dream of local aristocrats in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when they sought to build a small-scale Paris in the heart of Buenos Aires.
Take the rest of today to explore the sights, gastronomy and arts of this fantastic city. Come sundown, you might like to take a taxi to moody Baracas and enjoy one of the many traditional wine bars or maybe practise your dance moves in the hometown of Tango. Make sure to embrace the heat from this sensuous city, because you can be sure that it is about to get a whole lot colder.
This morning be transferred from the hotel to the airport for your flight down to Ushuaia. Late nighters beware, the flight is early in the morning to the town of Ushuaia where a hybrid-powered state-of-the-art Hurtigruten expedition ship awaits. This port city competes with Chilean Puerto Williams for the coveted title of the southernmost city in the world. The Martial Glacier sits north of the city, creating an impressive mountain backdrop for what many refer to as the ‘end of the world’.
After a mandatory health and safety meeting on board the ship, kick off your journey with a welcome dinner hosted by the Expedition Team. You can then spend some time getting to know the ship that will be home for the next eleven days.
In order to get to Antarctica, the ship has to cross the infamous Drake Passage. Named after the English sea captain and privateer Sir Francis Drake who discovered it by chance in 1578. Since there is no landmass at this latitude, wind and water roam freely, making it hard for some ships to sail here. But don’t worry, even the ‘Drake Shake’ isn’t a big deal for Hurtigruten's ultra modern expedition ships.
It takes two days to cross the roughly 1000-km-wide Drake Passage. So you’ll have some time on your hands, which is definitely a good thing as there is plenty to do to get ready for the Antarctic adventure. The Expedition Team will start their lecture programme in the on board Science Centre, drawing on decades of experience in Antarctica to teach you how to make your visit as safe and as sustainable as possible. As per IAATO guidelines, once you begin venturing on land you will all wear sterilised rubber boats when ashore and ensure to vacuum your clothing beforehand to remove any possible foreign contaminants. You will also learn about the various hands-on ‘Citizen Science’ projects you can get involved in, such as collecting samples and data or whale counting and cloud observation. All of which feed into live research and current science.
The stylish Hurtigruten expedition ship lies at your feet to be explored, quite literally. Work out in the indoor or outdoor gym or order a spa treatment in the Wellness Area. There are also three superb restaurants on board where you can enjoy delicious meals that are a treat for your eyes and your taste buds. But even with all these mod cons, don’t forget to head out on deck from time to time to look for the first icebergs, and to spot wildlife like whales, dolphins and numerous types of seabirds including petrels and albatross.
Land ho! Welcome to Antarctica. For the next 5 days, surrounded by icy waters, looming glaciers and icebergs as big as cathedrals could make you feel as though you’ve landed on another planet. Antarctica is as magnificent as it is mesmerising and massive. You may need to take a moment once in a while in order to take it all in. Although, the awe-inspired silence will inevitably be broken by the first signs of wildlife. It is not uncommon on board when penguins, whales or seals appear, that the serene silence will be broken by loud enthusiastic cheers erupting spontaneously all across the ship.
Just as the ice-scapes of Antarctica change through its seasons, so does its wildlife. In late spring from October to November, there will be much more snow, making the landscapes seem even more surreal and pristine. This forms the backdrop of penguin courting and nest building. Whales are still few and far between during this time, most of them still on their way and begin to arrive in greater numbers by December and January. Arrival of more whales marks the height of summer which is also when the first penguin chicks hatch. Watching the clumsy clumps of feathers playing in the snow is always a charming sight. February and March are the peak of whale-watching opportunities, when they are lured to the Antarctic Seas by vast amounts of krill.
Once you arrive, the Expedition Team will seize every chance they can to take you ice-cruising and on Zodiac landings to get closer to the impressive scenery and wildlife. Spotting penguins from the ship is already an experience, which becomes even more wondrous when you go ashore to see them up close and personal. It’s the same if a seal or whale suddenly appears next to you when cruising in the smaller explorer boats or when kayaking as part of an optional activity. Needless to say, keep your camera close at all times. To enhance the feeling of discovery, the Expedition Team will talk expertly about fascinating subjects like the history of the frozen continent, the biology of local wildlife, and the intriguing aspects of glaciology.
After having delved into the remote and wild continent of Antarctica over five whole days, it will be time to set sail homeward bound. By this point, both your head, heart and camera will be filled with lifelong memories. Crossing back over the Drake Passage, you’ll probably spend the next couple of days replaying those memories just to try and stay in Antarctica a little longer. The Expedition Team will also be doing the same as they recap the journey’s many experiences in the Science Centre. Working out in the state of the art on-board gymnasium is also a great way of processing everything you have seen. Or maybe just let your mind wander back to Antarctica in the Explorer Lounge and Bar?Overnight: MS Fridtjof Nansen
The expedition cruise reaches its inevitable conclusion today upon return to Ushuaia. Having travelled to the bottom of the world and back - you’ve journeyed to the fabled Seventh Continent, something that only a handful of lucky humans have ever accomplished. Not only that, you have enchanting stories and the penguin photos to prove it. Antarctica will likely hold a place in your heart which few other places can match. Together with the other explorers who have been there, may we do all we can to preserve its unique beauty.
From Ushuaia, disembark and join a transfer to the airport for the flight back to Buenos Aires and a second chance to experience the Argentine capital. Upon arrival in Buenos Aires, be transferred to the hotel for the final night in Argentina.
Optional Activity - La Ventana Tango Show - approx $100 USD per person
Once you are settled back in, there is an optional night of superb entertainment and Argentine cuisine at the La Ventana Tango show. Choose to enjoy a tantalising 3 course dinner and Tango show with beverages, a bottle of wine for every 2 guests and return hotel transfers.
Please Note: This optional activity is available for purchase whilst on tour with the tour guide.
Today you will be transferred to the airport for the journey back to Australia.
• Due to flight schedules and availability, some customers may require an additional night complimentary airport accommodation prior to flying home.
• Due to flight schedules and availability, some customers may require a longer transit through Santiago Airport.
• Flight times will be confirmed on your final documentation which you will receive at least 4-6 weeks prior to departure.
Please note: some flights may arrive +1 days