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The Antarctic Odyssey with Ponant

The Antarctic Odyssey with Ponant

From AUD $28,070

Description

A 17-day trip in the southernmost waters of our planet to reach the continent of superlatives, that is what PONANT is offering you with this fabulous expedition cruise. The icy landscapes of this other world succeed one another day after day and the polar light leaves you with an intense feeling of peace and serenity.

Tierra del Fuego fades into the distance as your ship heads for the Falkland Islands. Composing the wild beauty of the shorelines are beaches of white sand, jagged cliffs, windswept moors, and tall grass swaying with the wind.

Your ship will soon take to the seas once again, to reach the mountainous island of South Georgia. It is here, in the middle of the black-sand beaches dominated by snow-covered mountains, that Sir Ernest Shackleton miraculously ran aground during the famous Endurance Odyssey in 1916. You will travel back in time to (re)discover this fabulous saga and life at this little-known time in history.

Further south, the South Orkney Islands will reveal themselves. Latitude wise, you are now above the mythical Screaming Sixties. The Scotia Arc formed a mountain range that rises on the horizon in the middle of the Antarctic Ocean. You might get the chance to call at Laurie Island, where the Orcadas research station is established in a former whaling station.

You will ultimately land on the frozen shores of the – nearly – inaccessible White Continent, Antarctica. The colour white takes on a thousand nuances as it covers the icebergs, glaciers, mountains and frozen sea all around you. You are one of the rare few travellers to have laid eyes on this legendary land, the theatre of the greatest expeditions and the witness of the most extraordinary adventures.

Throughout your trip, our team of naturalist guides will be sharing with you the secrets of these faraway lands inhabited by unique wildlife. Discover the vast territory of the penguins – Adelie, king, chinstrap, Gentoo, Magellanic, southern rockhopper –, albatrosses, numerous species of seals, and majestic whales blowing on the horizon.

Trip Name
The Antarctic Odyssey with Ponant
Days
18
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
The day before embarkation – Buenos AiresMeet 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/UshuaiaAn 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 - Day 3 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 - Day 4 NEW ISLAND & GRAVE COVE
This island with its distinctive jagged relief is located on the western edge of the Falkland Islands and is home to a tiny village of two families. Step onto the golden sand of its flower-lined beaches, beside which an old stone house still stands, and you'll feel like you've entered a natural paradise. A narrow pathway weaves around typical Falkland moorlands. Follow it and in under 20 minutes you'll find yourself at the heart of a colony of southern rockhopper penguins, black-browed albatross and imperial shags. It's the perfect opportunity to watch the albatross swoop down from the cliffs and skim the waves that crash against the rocks on the exposed side of the island.Make your way through the turbulent Woolly Gut strait and emerge in the stillness of Grave Cove. Located in the northern edge of the Falkland Islands, this bay owes its name to the vestiges of whalers’ graves that overlook the beach. As you step off the boat and onto the white-sand beach, you might find yourself escorted by a few hospitable Commerson's dolphins, elegantly adorned in black and white. A stroll along the grassy dunes will lead you to a vast plain of lush green grass, tended by a few sheep. On the other side of the island you'll find one of the largest gentoo penguin colonies in the area. With some luck, you'll also glimpse a sea lion scouring the waves for his next meal.
Day 5 - Days 5 - 6 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 - Days 7 - 9 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 7 - Day 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 8 - Day 11 SOUTH ORKNEY ISLANDS
More than 85% glaciated, these remote mountainous islands are hidden in the Southern Ocean, some 600 km from the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The archipelago is composed of four main islands: Coronation Island, Signy Island, Powell Island and Laurie Island. Discovered in 1821 by seal hunters, they were also explored in 1823 by the British navigator James Weddell, who gave them their current name. Despite the ravages caused by whale and seal hunting, today a sizeable leopard seal population can be found there, along with chinstrap penguins and snow petrels. Laurie Island is home to an old scientific station that is still in operation.
Day 9 - Day 12 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 - Days 13 - 15 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 11 - Days 16 - 17 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 12 - Day 18 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 13 - 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
04-11-202321-11-2023AUD $28,070Superior Stateroom
04-11-202321-11-2023AUD $30,210Deluxe Stateroom
04-11-202321-11-2023AUD $31,730Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
04-11-202321-11-2023AUD $32,350Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
04-11-202321-11-2023AUD $33,270Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
04-11-202321-11-2023AUD $48,590Deluxe Suite
04-11-202321-11-2023AUD $50,740Prestige Suite Deck 5
04-11-202321-11-2023AUD $53,490Prestige Suite Deck 6
04-11-202321-11-2023AUD $68,210Owner's Suite

Inclusions

    • The most comprehensive of our Antarctic cruises: the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the South Orkney Islands, before reaching the Holy Grail of all explorers, the shores of the White Continent.
    • 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.
    • Lectures and information sessions hosted by our naturalist-guides, covering wildlife, history, geopolitics, the great explorers, climate, environmental protection and educational discovery in the respect of the environment.
    • Hiking opportunity.
    • Landscapes: moors scattered with moss and lichen, white-sand beaches and turquoise waters in the Falkland Islands; black-sand beaches, alpine landscapes, lush green plains and suspended glaciers in South Georgia; glaciers and snow-capped mountains in the South Orkney Islands; drifting icebergs, ice floe, glaciers and snow-capped mountains in the Antarctic Peninsula.
    • Wildlife: black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled albatrosses, Magellanic penguins, gentoo penguins and southern rockhopper penguins in the Falkland Islands; king penguins, elephant seals, fur seals and macaroni penguins in South Georgia; leopard seals, chinstrap penguins in the South Orkney Islands; humpback whales, gentoo penguins, Adelie penguins, chinstrap penguins, leopard seals, crabeater seals and Weddell seals in the Antarctic Peninsula.
    • 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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