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Falklands, South Georgia & Valdes Peninsula: in the Heart of the Wilderness

Falklands, South Georgia & Valdes Peninsula: in the Heart of the Wilderness

From AUD $19,310

Description

Admire a black and white sea of penguins on the remote beaches of South Georgia, hike along the rocky coastlines of the Falkland Islands as black-browed albatrosses fly overhead, hope to catch the unique sight of orcas voluntarily beaching themselves to hunt on the beaches of the Valdes Peninsula… PONANT is offering you the possibility of having these unforgettable experiences as you discover a spectacular natural environment during a brand-new 19-day expedition cruise aboard Le Boréal.

You will leave Ushuaia in your wake and sail to fabulous South Georgia. Here, king penguins, elephant seals and fur seals have invaded the shore and the young, newly emancipated from their parents, observe you with a curious eye. Light-mantled albatrosses fly above the black-sand beaches encircled by the island’s mountains. It is there, amid the snow-covered mountains, that Sir Ernest Shackleton miraculously ran aground during the famous Endurance Odyssey in 1916, before returning to rescue the rest of his crew, left behind on the remote Elephant Island. The museum commemorating this legendary expedition will teach you more about this fabulous saga, and the visit to the former whaling station will immerse you in the life of that little-known period.

Your expedition to the heart of the South Atlantic will continue with a visit to the Falkland Islands. As you sail in this archipelago of two hundred islands, you will be escorted by sei whales. Composing the wild beauty of the shorelines are beaches of white sand, jagged cliffs, windswept moors, and tall grass swaying with the wind. This is the perfect setting for the thousands of Gentoo and king penguins, the elephant seals, sea lions, fur seals, and the black-browed albatrosses that watch from above.

The scenery soon shifts, as the mountainous landscapes give way to the arid steppes of the Chubut province in Argentina. After a stop in the charming Camarones, renowned for its prawns, you will explore the Valdes Peninsula. In this wildlife sanctuary, you will watch orcas hunt young elephant seals on the beaches, as Magellanic penguins look on. The eared seals yawn indolently, the guanacos gallop elegantly, and the skunk dolphins swim peacefully. The majestic beauty of the natural environment is awe-inspiring.

Trip Name
Falklands, South Georgia & Valdes Peninsula: in the Heart of the Wilderness
Days
20
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition / Cruise Ship Length: 142 meters Passenger Capacity: 264 (in twin cabins, 200 in Antarctica) Built: 2011 A superb mega-yacht with 132 cabins, she is the fruit of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. Le Boreal remains faithful to our philosophy - to create a unique atmosphere, a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy and well-being. Superior materials, discreet elegance and a tasteful décor combined with exterior and interior lines to reflect a nautical mood, subtly revisited. On board, soothing neutral tones are enlivened by splashes of red, our signature theme linking tradition and innovation to create personal touches in 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 Liberte 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, Le Boreal 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 Carita™, but also more intimate spaces such as the library and internet corner. Comfortable cabins, nearly all with private balcony, are available forfamilies either as triples or as communicating cabins. There is also a games area with Wii™ consoles, children’s menus, and a baby-sitting ser vice.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 Carita™ brand, the Beauty Centre on Le Boreal welcomes you for some unforgettable moments of relaxation and pampering (beauty treatments, hairdresser, hammam, balneotherapy).

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 BUENOS AIRES
The day before embarkation – Buenos Aires. Meet and greet at the hotel by our local representative. Check-in from late morning.Lunch on your own and time at leisure in the afternoon. Dinner.Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2 - DAY 2 BUENOS AIRES/USHUAIA
Embarkation Day – Buenos Aires/Ushuaia. An early morning breakfast will be served before leaving to the airport for you flight Buenos Aires – Ushuaia.Transfer to the airport.Flight Buenos Aires/Ushuaia selected by PONANT in economy class. Approximate flight duration: 3 hours, 30 min.Meet and greet at the airport (English-speaking assistance).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 - 5 AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Day 4 - Days 6 - 8 SOUTH GEORGIA
Aboard your ship, discover South Georgia, a region formed by an underwater mountain chain that extends from the Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula. All the wildlife of the Far South can be found there: king and Gentoo penguins, elephant seals, fur seals… You might get the chance to discover the majestic glaciers of Gold Harbour and the vast plains of Fortuna Bay. If you are fortunate enough to land at Salisbury Plain, you can expect a wonderful spectacle: more than 300,000 king penguins, which you will recognise by the bright orange mark on their head and neck, have taken up residence there.
Day 5 - Days 9 - 10 AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Day 6 - Day 11 PORT STANLEY & VOLUNTEER POINT
Situated at the far eastern end of the Falklands' largest island, Port Stanley, is the capital of this remote archipelago in the South Atlantic, composed of nearly 700 islands and islets. In 1764, Louis Antoine de Bougainville settled the first pioneers here and the port grew rapidly. Placed under the Spanish crown in 1767, then under British sovereignty since 1833, the town has retained some South American features fused with the Victorian style that punctuate the city, and the houses with their colourful roofs brighten the moorland landscapes with their windy and harsh climate reminiscent of the Scottish islands of Orkneys or Shetland. In front of the Cathedral, built in 1933, an arch made of whale jaw bones reminds us that Port Stanley was once a whaling port.A peninsula located at the far north-east of the Falkland Islands, Volunteer Point, named after the ship The Volunteer which called there in 1815, promises moving encounters in the heart of totally unspoiled nature. Due to its exceptional birdlife, the spot is identified as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) and is, above all, renowned as the home of the island’s largest king penguin colony. These elegant birds, which are expressive and not particularly timid, will offer you moments of pure awe and the opportunity to take magnificent photos. You’ll certainly be touched by the fledglings, dressed in their thick brown plumage.
Day 7 - Day 12 THE NECK, SAUNDERS ISLAND & CARCASS ISLAND
The Neck is a narrow stretch of land connecting the two sides of Saunders Island, located on the north-western edge of the Falklands. You'll safely enter these blustery surroundings with the assistance of your naturalist guides. And once there, a reward awaits you: a veritable paradise of endless shoreline lapped by turquoise waters. Several bird species, also attracted to this stunning location, have settled here. At the other end of The Neck, you'll encounter Magellanic penguins, southern rockhopper penguins, black-browed albatross and king penguins, all basking in the beauty of their surroundings.Situated in the north-west of the Falklands, Carcass Island was named after the ship HMS Carcass, which visited the island in the late 18th century. Its landscapes, combining steep rocks, sheer cliffs, wild expanses and white-sand beaches, form a rich and varied panorama that amateur or experienced bird watchers will appreciate. On this island, one of the few where no predators have been introduced, numerous species of birds live, breed and are born in total serenity. Due to the fresh, windy and humid subarctic oceanic climate, a fauna and flora similar to those of Patagonia, situated 460 km (286 miles) away, thrive here. You could get the chance to observe emperor, royal, Adélie or southern rockhopper penguins.
Day 8 - Day 13 WEST POINT ISLAND & STEEPLE JASON ISLAND
It is no coincidence that West Point Island was once called Albatross Island. Like everywhere else in the Falkland Islands, seabirds have taken up residence here. Among them, the huge colonies of black-browed albatrosses observe your arrival by zodiac dinghy, from the surrounding cliffs. The gentoo and king penguins are also curious about travellers arriving by sea. The turquoise waters of the island wash up against the undulating shores, where the stretches of yellow gorse brighten the scenery composed by this wild natural environment. On the hill overlooking the bay stand the dwellings of the few people still living in this remote land. The calm and serenity of the island is only broken by the sound of the wind.If one island of the Falklands calls for use of superlatives, it would undoubtedly be Steeple Jason. Located at the extreme north-west corner of the Falklands, the island is home to the largest black-browed albatross colony in the world. You'll be rapt at the sight of these magnificent birds with black-contoured eyes. Photographers will delight in immortalising the endless ballet of the albatross, who soars majestically and then alights awkwardly amidst nests. Caracaras, gentoo penguins and Magellanic penguins are also abundantly present, as if to prove to the visitor that here nature is king.
Day 9 - Day 14 AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Day 10 - Day 15 CAMARONES
Camarones is a small town located in Chubut Province, in Southern Argentina. Chubut stretches from the Atlantic to the Andes, the coast is marked by high cliffs and sandy beaches. Before the Spaniards arrived in the Americas, nomadic indigenous people had inhabited the Patagonia region. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Spanish missionaries settled. Camarones is the head town of the Florentino Ameghino department which is noted for its wealth of geological and paleontological features. People are attracted to the region by its lengthy unspoiled coastline and its fauna. Camarones means ‘shrimps’ in Spanish, once the town was well-known for the abundance of shrimps in its bay.
Day 11 - Days 16 - 17 PUERTO MADRYN
On the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, in the Argentinian province of Chubut, stands the city of Puerto Madryn nestling in the Golfo Nuevo and surrounded by wild and abundant nature. You will be able to follow the narrow strip of land formed by the isthmus for a few kilometres, to reach the Valdes Peninsula nature reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its microclimate, protected from the extreme conditions of the Southern Atlantic, makes this an ideal breeding ground for southern right whales, but also for southern elephant seals, southern sea lions, and orcas. You may also get the chance to spot numerous birds, Magellanic penguins, guanacos and Patagonian maras living in this desert steppe.
Day 12 - Days 18 - 19 AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Day 13 - Day 20 BUENOS AIRES
A port city built on the south-western shore of the Rio de la Plata, between the Atlantic Ocean and the vast Argentine Pampas, Buenos Aires is a unique city in Latin America. Nicknamed “the Little Paris of South America”, the Argentine capital is a clever blend of architecture with European influences and a joyful Latin American atmosphere. Designed on an orthogonal grid plan, it has 48 districts, all of which are as charming as they are different, with a range of styles such as Belle Époque, gothic and baroque. With its markets overflowing with treasures, its legendary cultural and architectural heritage, and tango providing its background music, the Argentine capital will delight you on every street corner.
Day 14 - 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
06-03-202425-03-2024AUD $19,310Superior Stateroom
06-03-202425-03-2024AUD $20,830DeLuxe Stateroom
06-03-202425-03-2024AUD $21,920Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
06-03-202425-03-2024AUD $22,350Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
06-03-202425-03-2024AUD $23,000Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
06-03-202425-03-2024AUD $33,850Deluxe Suite
06-03-202425-03-2024AUD $35,370Prestige Suite - Deck 5
06-03-202425-03-2024AUD $37,320Prestige Suite - Deck 6
06-03-202425-03-2024AUD $47,720Owner’s Suite

Inclusions

    • A brand-new expedition cruise in the southern seas, to discover stunning wildlife, in the heart of three rich and unique ecosystems, in South Georgia, the Falkland Islands, and the Argentine province of Chubut.
    • Outings and shore visits in zodiac inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
    • Enjoy a magical experience as you are introduced to sea kayaking. Led by experienced, State-Certified kayak guides, you will skim the water’s surface amid the ice. For more information about your kayak tour, please go to the section "PONANT activities" and to book your kayak tour, contact your cruise advisor.
    • South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, two subantarctic archipelagos of singular beauty, where the great variety of fauna and flora is astonishing.
    • Discover the Valdes Peninsula, a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its exceptional biodiversity.
    • Wildlife: gentoo penguins, king penguins, macaroni penguins, Magellanic penguins, sea lions, elephant seals, fur seals, light-mantled albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, orcas, sei whales, guanacos, Commerson’s dolphins.
    • Landscapes: alpine landscapes, black-sand beaches, lush green plains and suspended glaciers in South Georgia; moors scattered with moss and lichen, white-sand beaches and turquoise waters in the Falkland Islands; shrub steppe in southern Argentina.
    • For your comfort, your cruise package includes an overnight in Buenos Aires the day before embarkation and the outbound flight Buenos Aires/Ushuaia (for details, see the “Included in your cruise” tab).

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