An 18-day trip in the southernmost waters of our planet, between Antarctica, a continent like no other, and the mountainous South Georgia, is what PONANT is offering you with this fabulous expedition cruise. The stunning icy landscapes, the emblematic and abundant fauna of the Far South, and the history of the great polar expeditions combine, promising a thrilling experience.
At the border between the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean, you will enter Drake Passage. At the roaring fifties and the screaming sixties, the wind blows and the waves beat against the stem of the ship. In the sky, cape petrels lead you toward their realm until you reach the first of the continent’s lands.
Ice is there in all its forms. The mountainous landscapes open up to give way to huge calving glaciers, tabular icebergs drift in the middle of the Southern Ocean, and the sea ice shimmers in the distance. On board, the naturalists reveal to you the secrets of this unique ecosystem. As you near the shores, the first penguins appear. Gentoo, Adélie, Chinstrap, these surprising birds, emblematic of the Antarctic, share their beaches with leopard, crabeater and Weddell seals. Further south, your ship will reach the remote waters of the Weddell Sea. You will travel back in time in the wake of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s expedition. Not far from there, his crew remained for four months on Elephant Island to await rescue after their ship, the Endurance, sank.
More than a century after this mythical adventure, you will follow the same route to reach South Georgia. It is there, amid the snow-covered mountains, that Sir Ernest Shackleton miraculously ran aground in 1916 after a difficult two-week sea journey from 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. Today, it is king penguins, elephant seals and fur seals that have invaded the black-sand beaches dominated by the tall peaks that reveal the Scotia Arc.