Aboard Five Star Ice-Class Ship - M.S.Le Soleal

Join us as we retrace the sea lanes traveled by storied explorers Ernest Shackleton, Roald Amundesen and Robert Falcon Scott as they sought out the final frontier of "The White Continent" on this spectacular 14-day journey featuring a nine-night exclusively chartered cruise to Antarctica, Earth’s last frontier. Cruise aboard the intimate m.s. Le Soléal , an Ice-Class ship and one of the finest vessels in Antarctic waters, combining innovative design with personalized service and featuring private balconies in 95% of the deluxe, ocean-view suites and staterooms.

Your Antarctica experience will be enhanced by a comprehensive schedule of exclusive and specially arranged lectures.  The onboard expedition team of expert naturalists will guide you on excursions aboard Zodiac craft to explore the intricate ecosystems and marvelous nuances of the abundant wildlife found ashore, especially penguins and seals who ave no fear of humans.

Experience the White Continent in its unspoiled state—fantastically shaped icebergs, turquoise glaciers, bustling penguin rookeries and breaching whales—during the lingering light of the austral summer. . Also, spend two nights in a deluxe hotel in Buenos Aires, including a tour of this vibrant capital city. Extend your journey with the exclusive three-night Iguazú Falls Post-Program Option. Take advantage of Early Booking Savings. This unique itinerary sells out every year!

Date Information

Dates: 
Thursday, January 11, 2018 - Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Sold Out?: 
No

Itinerary

Thursday, January 11: Depart the U.S. or Canada

Depart the U.S.

Friday, January 12: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Arrive in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires and check into the FIVE-STAR Intercontinental Buenos Aires Hotel, ideally located in the historic San Telmo neighborhood and within walking distance of the landmark Palace of the Argentine National Congress. This evening, attend the Welcome Reception. 

Saturday, January 13: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Birthplace of the tango, Buenos Aires is a city of diverse and different barrios (neighborhoods). See the colorful La Boca district, Monserrat's grand public buildings, historic Plaza del Mayo, Palermo's lavish parks, Puerto Madero's lively riverfront community, and the charming old quarter of San Telmo. Visit the city's historic Recoleta Cemetery famous for its ornate vaults and sculptures and as the final resting place of the legendary Evita Perón, the former First Lady of Argentina.

Sunday, January 14: Buenos AIres/Fly to Ushuaia/Embark Ship

This morning, fly to Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city, capital of Tierra del Fuego and the gateway to Antarctica. Embark the M.S. Soleal this afternoon and cruise through the Beagle Channel, named for the ship that carried Charles Darwin on his South American voyages. This evening, attend the Captain's Welcome Reception. 

Monday, January 15 - Tuesday, January 16: Cruising Drake Passage

Cross the Legendary Drake Passage and, upon reaching the Antarctic Convergence, watch for breaching fin and humpback whales and seabirds feeding on plankton and krill that are brought to the surface by cold Antarctic currents merging with warmer waters of the South Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The expedition team of naturalist guides will present insightful lectures to prepare you for your first landing in Antarctica. During the evening, enjoy the lingering twilight of the Antarctic summer. 
 

Please note that the ship's cruising patterns and positioning are dependent on weather, ice, and sea conditions and are subject to change. 

Wednesday, January 17 - Sunday, January 21: Cruising Antarctica

Cruise below the 60th parallel south to the outer shores of the Antarctic Peninsular, Earth's last frontier. Here, explore some of the world's most pristine wilderness, where towering mountains of ice and volcanic rock create precipitous coastlines and islands, and ever-changing patterns of ice stretch as far as the eye can see. In this seemingly harsh environment, a vast array of marine wildlife flourishes, including millions of penguins, countless seabirds, and thousands of seals and whales. From spectacular volcanic topography and majestic glaciers to fascinating wildlife and historic outposts, this itinerary reveals the highlights of Earth's most inaccessible continent for the complete Antarctic experience.

Cruise though breathtaking, glacier-lined Neumayer Channel to rugged Goudier Island. Visit Port Lockroy, originally constructed in 1944 by an eight man team as an intelligence post for British espionage during World War II and converted into a whaling station and scientific base in the 1950s. It is nestled among glistening mountain peaks as high as 6000 ft, and the surrounding grounds are populated by the blue-eyed shags and gentoo penguins. Gain insight into the daily activities of past researchers at the living museum known as "Base A" and mail a postcard stamped with an Antarctica postmark from the official British Post office.

Just beyond Port Lockroy, the rocky shores of Jougla Point on Wiencke Island offer a rare opportunity to view the skeletal remains of an adult blue whale and to see populous colonies of gentoo penguins and kelp gulls. Call at Peterman Island, the southernmost point of your journey, and watch its thriving rookeries of Adélie and gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags.

Flanked by sheer cliffs of towering glaciers between the Antarctic Peninsula and Booth Island, cruise through the Lemaire Channel, offering views of seven majestic miles of mountains and wildlife combined with fascinating patterns of ice floes.

Listen for the low rumbling of Rudolf Glacier as it calves chunks of ice into Neko Harbor, named for an early 20th-century whaling boat.  The harbor is surrounded by soaring glaciers and snow-covered mountains and is one of the most dramatic and spectacular sights in Antarctica.  Here, make your first "continental landing" in Antarctica.

In Paradise Bay, awesome cliffs of ice descend from the surrounding mountains into the floating iceberg-laden waters along the western coast of the Antarctica Peninsula.  Named by 19th century whalers who sought shelter in its coves, Paradise Bay is an ideal sanctuary for marine wildlife including humpback whales, crabeater seals and Cape petrels.

Deception Island is actually the rim of a massive dormant volcano crater that encircles a caldera known as Port Foster, where the ship enters through dramatic Neptune Bellows, a sublime harbor ringed by snowcapped peaks and sheer cliffs.  In Pendulum Cove, see the steaming geothermally heated waters of the Antarctic.

Observing the amazing colony of thousands chinstrap penguins at Baily Head.  Then walk along the black sand beaches of Telefon Bay to nearby craters, which offer fascinating insight into the volcanic activity that created the island and played a pivotal role in the natural history of the region.
One of the smallest but most beautiful of the South Shetland Islands, Half Moon Island is a crescent-shaped isle known for its craggy volcanic rock formations and tranquil lagoons.  It is also the site of Camara Station, a base monitored by Argentine biologists studying regional wildlife.  Here, observe the antics of the island's colony of chinstrap penguins and enjoy the lingering twilight of the Antarctic summer.

Attend the Captain's farewell reception.

 

Monday, January 22: Cruising Drake Passage/Ushuaia, Argentina

Relax and reflect onboard as the ship turns north and crosses the Drake Passage.

Enjoy lively, informational discussions with the ship's naturalists.  Watch for endangered albatross and the many different species of petrels as you cruse across the Antarctic Convergence

Tuesday, January 23: Ushuaia/Buenos Aires

Disembark and fly to Buenos Aires.

Continue on the Iguazu Falls Post Program Option with an overnight stay in Buenos Aires or depart for the US.

Wednesday, January 24: Return to the US

Flight arrives back in the US.

Dates: 
Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - Sunday, January 27, 2019
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Iguazu Falls is one of the World's most incredible natural wonders, where more than 275 spectacular waterfalls span nearly two dramatic miles of the Argentina-Brazil frontier. Walk the trails along the edges of these thundering falls ans watch as they cascade from as high as 270 feet down verdant cliffs in one of South America's las remaining virgin rainforests. Visit the lush Parque das Aves jungle reserve, a nature lover's paradise, home to more than 350 species of birds, 66 varieties of mammals and a mind-boggling array of reptiles, fish, butterflies, and flora. This exclusive three-night Pos-Program Option features one night of accommodations in the Plaza Hotel Buenos Aires and two nights in the Five-Starr Sheraton Iguazu Resport & Spa. Buenos AIres round-trip airfare included.
Cost and Inclusions: 

Preliminary Pricing

Cabin Description Price
Cat 8 Ocean-view, one large window, shower. Deck 3, Andromede, forward. limited availability $9,795
Cat 7 Ocean-view, small window and single door onto private, partial walled balcony, shower. Deck 3, Andromede, aft. (limited availability) $10,795
Cat 6 Ocean-view, small window and single door onto private, partial wall balcony, shower. Deck 3, Andromede, midship ·. $12,095
Cat 5 Ocean-view, expansive floor--to-ceiling glass door onto private, partial wall balcony, shower.-. Deck 4, Pegase, forward. $12,595
Cat 4 Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony, shower. Deck 4, Pegase, midship. $13,595
Cat 3 Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private, partial wall balcony, Shower. Deck 5, Equinoxe, forward. $13,795
Cat 2 Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony, shower or tub/shower. Deck 5, 6, Equinoxe midship $13,895
Cat 1 Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony, shower or tub/shower. Deck 6, Solstice. $14,495
Deluxe  Suite Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private, partial wall balcony, shower and sitting area with sofa. Deck 6, Solstice (limited availability) $14,595
Prestige Suite II Two - room Ocean-view, expansive glass door onto large private balcony, two bathrooms: tub/shower and shower, large sitting area with sofa, two closets. writing desk and dressing table. Deck 5, Ocean-view (limited availability) $14,895
Prestige Suite I Two room,  Ocean-view, expansive glass door opening large private balcony, two bathrooms: tub/shower and shower, large sitting area with sofa, two closets, writing desk and dressing table. Deck 6, Solstice. (limited availability) $15,595
Owners Suite An Owner's Suite (Deck 6, Solstice) is available upon request at a cost to be advised, on a first-come first-served basis. $16,895
Cat 6 Ocean-view, small window and single door onto private, partial wall balcony, shower. Deck 3, Andromede, midship $22,395
Cat 4 Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony, shower. Deck 4, Pegase, midship $25,395

 

Accommodations: 

ON BOARD THE EXCLUSIVELY CHARTERED, FIVE-STAR, ICE-CLASS M.S. LE SOLÉAL

  • Nine nights round trip Ushuaia, Argentina, cruising to Antarctica’s Port Lockroy, Wiencke Island, Petermann Island, Lemaire Channel, Neko Harbor, Paradise Bay, Deception Island and Half Moon Island (weather, ice, and sea conditions permitting).
  • Elegantly appointed, Five-Star Suite or Stateroom, each with a private bathroom.
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions.
  • All meals—continental breakfast, buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea and dinner—throughout the cruise, featuring fine international and regional cuisine, served at single, unassigned seatings.
  • Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages served throughout the cruise.
  • Exploration by Zodiac landing craft, accompanied by an expert naturalist guide from the expedition team.
  • Shore excursions to explore Antarctica’s diverse wildlife habitats, including major penguin rookeries.
  • Onboard expedition team of naturalists who will provide a series of lectures about local wildlife and landscapes.
  • Specially arranged onboard photography presentation with tips for capturing the natural beauty of Antarctica’s incredible long summer days and its unique light exposure on glaciers and ice formations.