National Geographic Explorer: Journey to Antarctica – The White Continent
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Exploring Antarctica in an authentic expedition style, aboard an authentic expedition ship is an incomparable experience, and your guarantee of an in-depth encounter with all its wonders. Lindblad Expedition’s pioneering polar heritage and 50 years of experience navigating polar geographies is your assurance of safe passage in one of the wildest sectors of the planet
Encounter iconic penguins, leopard seals, and marine mammals
Kayak among icebergs, Zodiac cruise past reading leopard seals, and hike on the continent with the best ice team on earth
Experience the seldom-seen Antarctic undersea
Itinerary in Brief
Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires for your overnight stay
Day 2: Fly to Ushuaia and embark ship
Day 3: At sea
Day 4-9: Antarctica
Day 10-11: At sea
Day 12: Disembark Ushuaia and fly to Buenos Aires
Day 1: Overnight Hotel in Buenos Aires
Guests traveling aboard National Geographic Explorer arrive this morning
in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, set on the Rio de la Plata, and check in
to the fine Sofitel Buenos Aires (or similiar). In the afternoon, we
have a guided overview of the city, seeing its Beaux Arts palaces, grand
boulevards, and the famous balcony forever associated with Eva Peron.
Day 2: Fly to Ushuaia - Embark ship
Today we fly by private charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. Guests traveling aboard National Geographic Explorer will from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Ushuaia to embark the Explorer.
The morning's LAN charter flight offers some rare views as we fly over
the vividly rugged terrain of Patagonia before landing in Ushuaia, the
southernmost city in the world. We'll have lunch aboard a catamaran
cruise on the scenic Beagle Channel before embarking our ship.
Day 3: At Sea
We awake this morning well into our journey across the Drake Passage.
Lying between Cape Horn and the Antarctic Peninsula, the Drake holds a
unique place in maritime lore. Sometimes misty and gray, other times
calm and clear, crossing the legendary Drake Passage is unforgettable - a
in any adventurer's personal travel history.
Day 4-9: Antarctica
With nearly 24 hours of daylight, we make the most of our days,
keeping a flexible schedule to take advantage of the unexpected —
perhaps watching a 40-ton whale surface off the bow. We are out daily.
One day, you may take a Zodiac foray amid towering bergs under a bright
sun, walk along the shoreline amid a huge penguin colony, hike to a
summit for a breathtaking view, or kayak along a cliff-side rookery in
search of blue-eyed shags. And the next, you’ll have the thrill of
watching the ship crunch through the pack ice, or step ashore to the
cries of thousands of gentoo penguins. You’ll learn from our experts how
to identify penguins and get photo tips from a National Geographic
photographer while watching those same penguins. Back aboard, our
Undersea Specialist may present video from that day’s dive — rare images
taken up to 1,000 feet below the surface using our ROV. Our expert
staff will craft an expedition where you will learn more, see more and
Day 10-11: At Sea
As we sail back to Ushuaia, an albatross or two may join the avian
escort of seabirds that cross our bow, and our spotters will keep an eye
out for marine life. There will be plenty of time to enjoy a wellness
treatment, log some time in the gym, or catch up on the book you haven’t
had a minute to read. Talks from our staff will reflect on all you have
seen and learned.
Day 12: Disembark Ushuaia - Fly to Buenos Aires
After breakfast, we disembark in Ushuaia with some time to explore
before proceeding to the airport for our LAN charter flight. Please confirm departure and arrival cities with
an Expedition Specialist before booking your flights.
Departs - Selected dates (listed below)
Cabins feature one or two Portholes. Most cabins feature two lower single beds. Cabins 303-306 feature one queen-sized bed. All offer a writing desk, reading lamps, bathroom with a roomy glass-wall shower stall, and a TV showing the ship's position and programing.
Cabins feature two lower single beds (some can convert to a queen-sized bed), and one large window. They offer a writing desk, reading lamps, bathroom with a roomy glass-wall shower stall, and a TV showing the ship's position and programming.
Cabins feature two lower single beds (some can convert to a queen-sized bed), one large window, and two sitting chairs and a small table and ample storage. They have a writing desk, reading lamps, bathroom with a roomy glass-wall shower stall, and a TV showing the ship's position and programming.
Cabins feature two lower single beds and at least one large window. Cabin 217, 226 & 228 feature one queen-size bed. All cabins feature climate controls, a TV showing the ship's position and programing. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall. The dining room is on this deck and accommodates all guests at once.
These cabins feature a balcony with sliding glass doors, feature one queen-sized bed, a writing desk and chairs, climate controls, a TV showing the ship's position and programing. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall. . (Cabin 221 has two lower single beds that can convert to an Olympic-sized queen.)
These spacious cabins have private balconies, two lower single beds that can be converted into a queen, a writing desk, chairs, and a TV. Bathrooms are generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall and twin sinks.
These large cabins with private balconies have either two lower single beds that can convert to an Olympic-sized queen. They have seating areas and can be converted to triples. Bathrooms are generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall and twin sinks.
These cabins feature one lower single bed and a large window or two portholes, a writing desk, reading lamp, bathroom with a roomy glass-wall shower stall, and a TV showing the ship's position and programming.
These cabins feature one lower single bed and a large window, a writing desk, reading lamp, bathroom with a roomy glass-walled shower stall, and a TV showing the ship's position and programming. The dining room and ship's bow are easily accessible.
Inaugurated in 2008, National Geographic Explorer is the world’s ultimate expedition ship. Originally built for service along Norway’s coast as part of the famed Hurtigruten, or Coastal Express, her excellent maneuverability and just-right size made her a natural choice for addition to our fleet. Drawing on our nearly 50 years of pioneering expedition history and expertise, we completely redesigned and rebuilt her. Explorer is uniquely equipped with an ice-strengthened hull and advanced navigation equipment for polar expeditions; a roster of tools for exploration; and a well-appointed interior with vast expanses of glass for an unprecedented connection to the regions we explore. She provides a peerless expedition experience.
All passenger ships plying polar waters are equipped with a GMDSS (Global Maritime & Distress Safety System) emergency communication system and a satellite weather forecasting system. However, more technology is available that can be harnessed for greater travel safety. Knowing that the ship you’re traveling on contains the latest technology further assures your peace of mind, as well as your safety. As the world’s ultimate expedition ship, National Geographic Explorer was purpose-built with technology specific to safe polar travel.
Forward scanning sonar
Explorer is one of the few passenger ships fitted with forward scanning sonar—allowing the captain to peer ahead for uncharted rocks or obstacles underwater. This allows the officers to safely navigate the ship in many of the more remote areas in which we travel, giving you the opportunity to call at new locations or areas hardly ever visited by other passenger ships.
Double weather forecasting
We subscribe to two independent weather forecasting companies and receive real time satellite images of weather and ice conditions. The Bon Voyage service provides predictions on wind, sea and swell, while our Wind Plot service uses a Gridded Binary forecasting system to accurately predict wind conditions every six hours at almost any location. Such detailed weather forecasting systems allow us to make better informed decisions—for safety and to drastically reduce cancelled landings due to poor weather.
Provides an adjustable, high-definition picture using data from the ship’s 3cm wavelength radar. By averaging the radar picture over a length of time, the ice radar processor filters out the scatter, resulting in a clearer image and reducing the likelihood of an unplanned ice encounter. Different sizes of ice and open leads are easily discerned in the radar, allowing the captain to better choose the safest routes through ice packs.
A xenon bulb ice light, mounted on the mast, shines forward and brightly reflects ice. This equipment is useful at night and in heavier seas, when waves may prevent the radar, or an unaided eye, from picking up hazardous ice.
The ship is also equipped with five portable Iridium satellite phones, relying on 66 near polar-orbiting satellites for continuous coverage, including emergency communication on lifeboats. In addition, two EPIRBs (Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacons) send out a coded distress signal giving position in the case of an incident; and two Search and Rescue Transponders are on board to aid in any search and recovery effort.
IAATO (International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators) Emergency Response System
Developed by our VP of Marine Operations Leif Skog, Ice Master and captain of Explorer, it ensures that all IAATO ships in Antarctica keep in daily touch to form the initial response for any incident. Tested during a 2007 distressed vessel incident, it resulted in several ships, including National Geographic Endeavour, responding and arriving on the scene within a matter of hours.
One pre-voyage hotel night in Buenos Aires
Activities/shore excursions as specified
Lectures and presentations by expedition leaders and naturalist staff
All meals during your voyage
Selected alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages
Use of kayaks
Port fees and service taxes
What's not included?
Internal airfares (Buenos Aires/Ushuaia)
Arrival/departure taxes or reciprocity fees, visa fees where applicable