Best of Antarctica – Escorted Expedition to Argentina & Antarctica
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Duration: 25 days
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Start in Buenos Aires and fly to Peninsula Valdes, experience cultural tango shows and visit sea lion colonies and Southern Right Whales! Once aboard the MS Hebridean Sky, passengers will be treated to stunning scenery, incredible wildlife, glaciers and more. Sail towards Falkland Islands and learn about its natural history and maritime stories, then continue to South Georgia where thousand of King Penguins will waddle curiously towards you. Landing sites will feature huge elephant seals, fur seals and macaroni penguins, before reaching the last discovered continent in the world - Antarctica!
Visit Iguazu Falls - the largest waterfalls system in the world bordering Argentina and Brazil
Complete your adventure with an unforgettable visit to El Calafate, Torres del Paine and Santiago.
Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires - Transfer to hotel
On arrival at the airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Buenos Aires, capital of the Republic of Argen tina and the country's largest city, is undeniably one of Latin America's hottest destinations. Located on the shores of the Rio de la Plata, the city's combination of European architecture and the passion of its people ‒ the porteños (people of the port) ‒ work together to create a colourful and dynamic modern city.
No meals included.
Accommodation: Hotel Madero
Day 2: Activities Planned in Buenos Aires
Centro, San Telmo & La Boca Half Day Private Tour
This morning's excursion will introduce you to the magic of the Argentine capital. After being picked up from your hotel we start with a visit of 'San Telmo', the oldest barrio (neighbourhood) of Buenos Aires which is famous for its historic architecture, tango parlours and antique shops. Take your time and wander through the cobblestone streets learning about the history of the area and seeing its sights including its impressive old churches and its abundance of colourful street art.
After, you will leave San Telmo and the tour continues past the many architectural highlights of Buenos Aires including the Palace of Justice, the Argentine National Congress building, the 'Cabildo (old town hall)and the presidential palace 'Casa Rosada' (pink house).
Next, visit ‘La Boca', the most picturesque of all neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires. This extravagant zone is completely different to the old and to the modern Buenos Aires and romantic stories tell you that tango was born in this working class area. Wander its famous street “Caminito” where you will have the chance to view the spectacle of impromptu tango dancing, street performers and have the chance to buy some local handicrafts.
Dinner & Tango Show La Ventana Shared Tour
Tango expresses the heart and spirit of Argentina and no visit to Buenos Aires would be complete without it. This evening, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to La Ventana where you will experience the intimacy of this dance in equally intimate surrounds while you indulge in delicious Argentinean cuisine. At the end of the show you will be taken back to your hotel.
*Before the show you have the option of arriving before the others and taking a short tango lesson with a professional dancer or a wine tasting. This comes at an additional cost but if you would like to book either of these please let your consultant know.
Breakfast & dinner inlcuded.
Accommodation: Hotel Madero
Day 3: Buenos Aires - Recoleta & Palermo Half Day Private Tour
This morning, you will further discover what makes Buenos Aires great as you explore its better known and sophisticated districts; Palermo and Recoleta. Visit such landmarks as the Pilar Church and Evita Monument before taking a short walk through the Recoleta cemetery where Evita's tomb can be found. Continue on to Palermo which is Buenos Aires' largest neighbourhood, and also its trendiest. Here you will walk the streets which are full of beautiful parks, hip boutique hotels, chic restaurants and bars,and high fashion stores.
Throughout the morning, your knowledgeable guide will give you an insight into local life and excellent local cuisine and on completion of the tour you will have the option of being dropped off at an excellent restaurant for lunch or being taken back to your hotel. *Another option on this day is to cross the Rio de la Plata into Uruguay and spend the day in the historic town of Colonia del Sacramento or visit a traditional estancia in the ‘Pampas' region. Supplements apply and these tours must be pre-organised.
Later in the afternoon, our representative will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Trelew. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel in Puerto Madryn.
Accommodation: Hotel Peninsula Valdes, Puerto Madryn
Day 4: Private Peninsula Valdes tour, Puerto Madryn
Depart from your hotel in the morning for an excursion to Peninsula Valdes. The excursion will begin in Itsmo Ameghino and the Interpretation Centre, continuing on to Piramides Port, where you will hop in small boats to see Whale specimens (between June and December), or alternatively choose an optional activity to see elephant seals or dolphins (all year round).
After lunch, you will go to the southern portion of the Peninsula, known as Punta Delgada to see the elephant seals. On your way back, you will go past the Salinas and have the chance to observe the terrestrial fauna. If weather does not permit, then alternatively, you will go past Piramides Port for sight-seeing. Arrive in Puerto Madryn in the late afternoon.
Day 5: Embark ship
Upon arrival, you will be greeted by our Expedition team and ship's officers at a safety and orientation briefing followed by the Captain's welcome dinner. After dinner, relax and take in the mountainous scenery on the early evening sail down the Beagle Channel past Magellanic Penguin, Rock Cormorant, and Sea Lion colonies.
Day 6-7: Southern Ocean
As you sail towards the South, there are great wildlife spotting opportunities including albatrosses, prins, and petrels that frequently follow the ship. The Expedition Team will be out on deck as well, looking for the whales and dolphins that may also be seen in the area. Our experts will begin the presentations with informative and entertaining talks on the wildlife, history, and geology of the Falkland Islands and Southern Ocean. Helpful briefings on environmental regulations and expedition safety will also be held in the comfortable lounge.
Day 8: West Falkland
The westernmost settled outposts in the Falklands are remote farms that have been family-owned for six and seven generations. The sheep graze alongside Albatross colonies and Rockhopper, King, and Macaroni Penguin rookeries while Striated Caracaras patrol overhead and Upland Geese graze at the water's edge. A visit to one of these homesteads often includes an invitation for cakes and a cup of tea.
Day 9: Stanley, East Falklands
Chosen for its sheltered harbor and access to abundant fresh water and peat for fuel, Stanley is easy to discover on foot as most shops and services are centered on the port. The museum, the post-office featuring first day covers, plenty of shops with locally made wool items and Stanley's lively pubs will all be available. It is possible to experience the wildlife of the Falklands from the town including Sea Lions and Peale's and Commerson's Dolphins in the harbor or bird life in nearby Gypsy Cove.
Day 10-11: Southern Ocean
There will be plenty of wildlife spotting as you make your way east across the Antarctic Convergence and officially enter Antarctic waters. Ship board presentations will continue featuring the exciting history and abundant wildlife of South Georgia.
Day 12-15: South Georgia
Its unique position inside the
Antarctic Convergence yet outside the limit of the yearly sea ice makes
this 3,755 square kilometer island home to tens of millions of breeding
penguins, seals and seabirds.
Magnificent mountain scenery,
glaciers galore, a rugged coastline punctuated with castellate and
tabular icebergs, a rich historical tapestry, and an astounding array of
wildlife are all available to as you travel down South Georgia's
leeward coast. Landing sites feature huge elephant seals, aggressive fur
seals, macaroni penguins, albatross, petrels, skuas, and gulls. King
penguins from fuzzy little chicks to fattened adults can be seen in the
hundreds of thousands. You will visit historic Grytviken whaling station,
home of the whaling museum, Norwegian seaman's church, the active
British Antarctic Survey station plus the tiny graveyard where the great
Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried.
Day 16-17: Scotia Sea
Heading further south, the expedition team will continue informative presentations and wildlife presentations and wildlife watch as the icebergs become more and more plentiful.
Day 18-22: Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, explore by inflatable Zodiac boats and marvel up close at nature’s glory. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. They will aim for the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas, as well as sites of historic and scientific interest.
The trip may include picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, the Humpback Whale favored Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. We may stop at an active scientific base such as Poland’s Arctowksi or Ukraine’s Vernadskiy as well as a historic base such as U.K.’s Port Lockroy or Wordie House.
Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins abound, and Weddell, Crabeater and Elephant Seals are often found hauled out to rest along with predatory Leopard Seals and the assertive Antarctic Fur Seal.
Day 23-24: Drake Passage
As you leave this magical place and make your way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage, the team will continue with presentation series and wildlife spotting. Sailing back to Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel, celebrate the conclusion of your expedition with a special slideshow.
Day 25: Shared transfer to airport, Ushuaia
Our representative will pick you up from the port and transfer you to the airport for the flight to Buenos Aires which is included. Your tour ends in Buenos Aires or alternatively for those wanting to extend into Patagonia your flight would be included to El Calafate.The following post trip extensions are offered:
1. Iguazu Falls + Rio de Janeiro,
2. Argentinean Patagonia (El Calafate + El Chalten)
3. Best of Patagonia (El Calafate, Torres del Paine and Santiago)
Contact your consultant for more details of these and other options to extend your adventure of a lifetime.
Departs - Selected dates (listed below)
About the Hotels
Hotel Eurobuilding, Buenos Aires
Hotel Eurobuilding offers 58 luxurious rooms and suites with all amenities to accommodate for business and leisure travellers. All rooms include free wifi, private bathroom, comfortable bedding, minibar, jacuzzy bath, and central air-conditioning,
Hotel Peninsula Valdes, Puerto Madryn, Argentina
The Península Valdés Hotel, is located in Puerto Madryn, facing the calm waters of Golfo Nuevo. The hotel offers a bar, Wi-Fi access, restaurant and a spa, all for your convenience. Standard rooms feature: Television, air conditioning, telephone, safety deposit box, Wi-Fi access, room service 24 hs., refrigerator, reading armchair, private bathroom.
M/S Hebridean Sky Ship Cabins
Triple Suite & Window Suite
Your choice of queen-sized or two twin-sized beds
Sitting area with sofa and side chair
Flat Screen TV with DVD/CD player
Independent temperature controls
Marble-appointed bathroom with fine toiletries
220 square feet or more
Sofa can be converted to bed for third person
Include all of the features above plus:
En suite Champagne & Chocolates on Arrival
Complimentary mini-bar (beer, wine & soft drinks)
$100 per person Gift Shop credit
En suite Nespresso machine
Ship Deck Plan
Crew: 75 (includes Staff)
Manager: Salén Ship Management AB, Sweden
Registered in: Nassau, Bahamas
Built by: Nuovi Cantieri Apuania, Italy
Built in: 1991
Refurbished: May, 2016
Length: 90,6 m
Width: 15,3 m
Tonnage: 4 200 GRT
Class: B.V. Ice Class 1C
Stabilization: Blohm & Voss Stabilization System with wave-anticipation roll technology
All internal airfares
Hotel nights as specified with daily breakfast
Tours with entrance fees in Buenos Aires
Private transfers throughout the tour
Zodiac excursions and all shore landings
Specialist guides to lead the expedition
An expedition polar parka for you to keep
Free use of gumboots during the voyage
Welcome & farewell cocktail drinks
All meals during the voyage
100 minutes of WiFi usage
All port fees and taxes
Selected alcoholic beverages during dinner
What's not included?
Arrival/departure taxes or reciprocity fees, visa fees where applicable
Optional sea kayaking - US$695 per person
Any items not mentioned as included
*Single supplement for this cruise is on a request basis. Sharing can be arranged with another passenger of the same gender, or alternatively, a single supplement can be arranged in your preference.