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Antarctica: The White Continent – with Smithsonian Journeys

Antarctica: The White Continent – with Smithsonian Journeys

From AUD $15,400

Description

In alliance with Smithsonian Journeys.

This cruise is part of a collection of PONANT voyages that are specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers who want to engage with the world. In addition to the usual elements of the PONANT experience, the listed price for these voyages includes transfers to and from the ship, talks and discussions aboard ship by world class experts, and a shore excursion or activity in each port of call that encourages guests to embrace the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the local environment and culture.

PONANT invites you on a polar expedition cruise to the heart of the icy realm that is the Antarctic Peninsula. Embark on an unforgettable 10-day voyage and succumb to the enchantment of the breathtaking landscapes inhabited by astonishing wildlife.

The start of your cruise will be marked by the crossing of the mythical Drake Passage, during which you will probably be escorted by several albatrosses and Cape petrels, the sentinels of these often-choppy waters.

Your ship will then reach the White Continent, realm of the unexpected. Weather and ice conditions permitting, this extreme environment where nature reigns supreme will reveal to you its most beautiful secrets through numerous discoveries.

On this uninhabited land, which wasn’t explored until the 19th century, your encounters with the wildlife will no doubt be one of the highlights of your experience. The Gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins, humpback whales, seals and seabirds will provide you with cherished lifelong memories.

Each day, whether on land, aboard your ship or during a Zodiac® outing, you will be surrounded by a grandiose decor ranging from icebergs to ice floe and ancient glaciers.

Trip Name
Antarctica: The White Continent – with Smithsonian Journeys
Days
11
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition / Cruise Ship Length: 142 metres Passenger Capacity: 264 (200 in Antarctica) Built: 2011 This superb mega-yacht with 132 cabins is the result of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. L'Austral has a unique atmosphere, a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy and well-being. A sleek silhouette softened by elegantly smooth contours and large, arched windows opening up to the sea and the light: so many features come together to give L’Austral her distinctive shape. Precious materials, discreet elegance and a perfect balance between chic and casual, combine to make you feel as if you are on your own private yacht. A design blending tradition and innovation, where a nautical mood has been subtly recreated. Precious materials in smoothing neutral tones are brought to life with splashes of cheerful reds. So many personal touches create the spirit of a “private yacht”. Cuisine Loyal to the great French tradition, the haute cuisine on board is worthy of the finest restaurants, where discreet, attentive service is the hallmark. Our two restaurants welcome you for breakfasts, lunch and dinner. The Gastronomic Restaurant, with a capacity of 268 persons, is situated on Le Liberté Deck and serves you French and international cuisine accompagnied by fine wine. On the Grill Restaurant, you will have the opportuniny to eat outside and enjoy buffet lunch and themed dinner. Life On Board Whether you want to join other guests in the theatre or games area (Wii™ consoles, etc), or relax on your own in a quiet corner of the library, L'Austral has been designed to meet the needs of every guest. Everything has been done to preserve the independence of each guest to suit their personal tastes: lounges for lectures and shows, a spa in partnership with Sothys™, but also more intimate spaces such as the library and internet corner. Comfortable cabins, nearly all with private balcony, are available for families either as triples or as communicating cabins. There is also a games area with Wii™ consoles, children’s menus, and a baby-sitting service. Just as if you were on a private yacht, your time is your own to do as you please. Fitted with the latest equipment (Kinesis Wall, running machine) and in partnership with the famous Sothys™ brand, the Beauty Centre on L'Austral welcomes you for some unforgettable moments of relaxation and pampering (beauty treatments, hairdresser).

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 BUENOS AIRES
Transfer from Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to the Hilton Buenos Aires (or similar).Meet and greet at the hotel and hospitality desk. Check-in from late morning.Lunch and dinner on your own, and time at leisure in the afternoon.Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2 - Day 2 USHUAIA
Early morning breakfast at the hotel.Transfer to the airport.Flight Buenos Aires/Ushuaia selected by PONANT in economy class. Approximate flight duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes.Meet and greet at the airport in Ushuaia.Immediately upon arrival at Ushuaia airport, you will depart for Tierra del Fuego National Park.Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is considered the gateway to the White Continent and the South Pole. Nicknamed “El fin del mundo” by the Argentinian people, this city at the end of the world nestles in the shelter of mountains surrounded by fertile plains that the wildlife seem to have chosen as the ultimate sanctuary. With its exceptional site, where the Andes plunge straight into the sea, Ushuaia is one of the most fascinating places on earth, its very name evocative of journeys to the unlikely and the inaccessible…
Day 3 - Days 3 - 4 CROSSING THE DRAKE PASSAGE
Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarise yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. The Expedition Leader will first present the IAATO rules of conduct that must be observed during landings in the region and will explain everything you need to know about the Zodiac® outings. Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity for you to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, you will experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist-guides on your ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage.
Day 4 - Days 5 - 8 ANTARCTIC PENINSULA
Succumb to the magic of a place unlike any other. To this day, the mythical Antarctic Peninsula still holds real fascination and promises its visitors unforgettable moments. Throughout your adventure in this icy realm, you will find yourself in the heart of a spectacular decor in subtle shades of blue and white, surrounded by exceptional wildlife. Penguins, humpback whales, seals and giant petrels are at home here, as are elephant seals, fur seals, Antarctic minke whales, and orcas. Depending on which sites you will be lucky enough to visit, you may get the chance to observe them and share with them the beauty of these extreme parts.Each day, based on ice conditions, the Captain and the Expedition Leader will suggest Zodiac® outings or landings to discover the infinite riches of the Antarctic Peninsula. Glaciers, ice floe, tabletop icebergs, mountain peaks that plunge straight into the sea, volcanic beaches, research stations, enchanting bays, and vestiges of the whaling industry: these are the faces of the Antarctic that will likely reveal themselves to you, in a hushed and surreal atmosphere. You will sail in the wake of Jean-Baptiste Charcot, Adrien de Gerlache and Sir Ernest Shackleton, great Antarctic explorers who, from the 19th century, set out to conquer these remote and uninhabited lands.
Day 5 - Days 9 - 10 CROSSING THE DRAKE PASSAGE
If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly Drake Passage. Situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the shortest route to connect Antarctica to South America. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbours a very diverse marine fauna. Don't forget to look to the sky to catch a glimpse of elegant albatross and Cape petrels, playfully floating about in the wind around your ship.
Day 6 - Day 11 USHUAIA
Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is considered the gateway to the White Continent and the South Pole. Nicknamed “El fin del mundo” by the Argentinian people, this city at the end of the world nestles in the shelter of mountains surrounded by fertile plains that the wildlife seem to have chosen as the ultimate sanctuary. With its exceptional site, where the Andes plunge straight into the sea, Ushuaia is one of the most fascinating places on earth, its very name evocative of journeys to the unlikely and the inaccessible…
Day 7 - Please Note:
We are privileged guests in these extreme lands where we are at the mercy of weather and ice conditions. Landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. They vary from day to day, making each PONANT cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions imposed by the IAATO.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
22-01-202201-02-2022AUD $15,400Superior Stateroom
22-01-202201-02-2022AUD $16,590Deluxe Stateroom
22-01-202201-02-2022AUD $18,280Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
22-01-202201-02-2022AUD $19,120Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
22-01-202201-02-2022AUD $20,140Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
22-01-202201-02-2022AUD $27,570Deluxe Suite
22-01-202201-02-2022AUD $29,770Prestige Suite Deck 5
22-01-202201-02-2022AUD $31,290Prestige Suite Deck 6
22-01-202201-02-2022AUD $38,380Owner's Suite

Inclusions

    • A voyage specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers including discussions with experts, transfers before and after your cruise, a pre-cruise hotel night and excursion, and an included activity in each port of call.
    • Engaging discussions onboard with Smithsonian Journeys Experts including astrophysicist Michelle Thaller and geologist Wayne Ranney.
    • New: explore the magic of Antarctica with a sea kayak adventure. Led by experienced, State-Certified kayak guides, you will skim the water’s surface amid the ice. Full professional equipment is provided, including tandem kayak, carbon paddle, full-body drysuit, lifejacket, AIS beacon. For more information about your kayak tour, please go to the section "PONANT activities" and to book your kayak tour, contact your cruise advisor.
    • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac®inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
    • Lectures and information sessions hosted by our naturalist-guides, covering wildlife, history, geopolitics, the great explorers, climate, environmental protection…
    • Hiking opportunity.
    • Visiting research stations and former whaling stations.
    • Landscapes: a multitude of drifting icebergs, ice floes, imposing glaciers and tall, snow-covered mountains.
    • Wildlife: humpback whales, Gentoo penguins, Adelie penguins, chinstrap penguins, leopard seals, crabeater seals, Weddell seals and numerous sea birds.
    • Educational discovery in the respect of environment.
    • For your comfort, your cruise package includes an overnight in Buenos Aires the day before embarkation and the flights to/from Ushuaia (for details, see the “Included in your cruise” tab).

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