Antarctica and Climate Change

11 days / 10 nights
    Domestic flights included
    Antarctica and Climate Change
    Flights Buenos Aires/Ushuaia/Buenos Aires + 1-pre night in Ushuaia + Tierra del Fuego visit + transfers

    Cruise Antarctica

    from 10 December 2019 to 20 December 2019
    11 days / 10 nights

    Departure Port : Ushuaia
    Arrival Port : Ushuaia

    Ship : L'AUSTRAL

    • Ref : UUCP45P - A101219

    Created specially for like-minded travelers. 

    Discover the Antarctic with PONANT!

    Join New York Times science writers Henry Fountain and James Gorman on this expedition to the heart of the Antarctic Peninsula. Witness with them the grandeur of this most remote of continents and discover the ways in which climate change may alter its role in the global eco-system.

    Visiting Antarctica is almost like stepping back in time, to the era when the world was new. There are no human sounds in this land of primeval beauty, only the wild cries of birds, seals, and whales echoing across a vast expanse of land and sea. Travel with us to this magical land during the austral summer, when the days are long and relatively mild, when seabirds are courting, and massive icebergs thaw into sculptures of brilliant form and color.

    The start of our expedition is marked by the crossing of the mythical Drake Passage, during which we will likely be escorted by albatrosses and cape petrels, the sentinels of these often-choppy waters.

    When we reach the White Continent, we explore the pristine wilderness of the Antarctic Peninsula, a narrow finger of land that juts into the ice-choked waters of the Weddell Sea. Witness a breathtaking panorama of icebergs, blue glaciers, and jagged, snow-capped mountains. Cruise aboard Zodiacs among ice floes; explore penguin rookeries; and visit with scientists at research stations.

    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 expedition 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 guidelines for safe and environmentally responsible established by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators [IAATO].

    • Free parka Free parka
    • Naturalists Naturalists
    • Free boot rental Free boot rental
    See the map


    Discover the Antarctic with PONANT!

    • 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 tamdem kayak, carbon paddle, full-body drysuit, lifejacket, AIS beacon. For more information and to book your kayak tours, please contact your cruise advisor.

    Discovering the wonders of the world
    • Lectures and discussions with New York Times science writers:

    "The State of the Cryosphere", "The Corrosive Ocean", "Fixing the Climate" by Henry Fountain 

    "The Little Known Southern Ocean", "Boom and Bust: how New England sealers drove the Antarctic fur seal close to extinction", "Penguins: the evolution and future of the world's most iconic flightless birds" by James Gorman.

    • 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

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    Staterooms & Suites


      There are no staterooms available for booking. Please contact our cruise advisors.


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      In May 2011, l'Austral joined PONANT's fleet. This superb mega-yacht with 132 staterooms is the result of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. L'Austral remains faithful to our philosophy - to create 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. A welcoming atmosphere of relaxed sophistication revolves around shades of grey, taupe, white and ivory enlivened by touches of cinnamon, caramel and tan.. So many personal touches create the spirit of a “private yacht.”
      You will encounter unique itineraries, calls inaccessible to large ships, chic and elegant yacht-like ambiance, refined and personalized service as well as gastronomic cuisine.

      Port of call & excursions

      10 December 2019 – Crossing the Drake Passage


      Embarkation 10/12/2019 from 17H00 to 18H00 . Departure 10/12/2019 at 19H00 .

      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…

      11 December 2019▸12 December 2019 – Crossing the Drake Passage

      11 December 2019▸12 December 2019 – Crossing the Drake Passage

      Arrival 11/12/2019. Departure 12/12/2019.

      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.

      13 December 2019▸17 December 2019 – Antarctic Peninsula

      13 December 2019▸17 December 2019 – Antarctic Peninsula

      Arrival 13/12/2019. Departure 17/12/2019.

      To learn more about ecosystems, fauna and landscapes in Antarctic regions, go to the section “Discover Antarctica” of your cruise.

      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.

      18 December 2019▸19 December 2019 – Crossing the Drake Passage

      18 December 2019▸19 December 2019 – Crossing the Drake Passage

      Arrival 18/12/2019. Departure 19/12/2019.

      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.

      20 December 2019▸19 December 2019 – Ushuaia


      Disembarkation 20/12/2019 at 07H00 .

      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…


      • The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.

      • Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.

      • Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.

      • Argentina: should you require a visa to travel to Argentina, we recommend you apply for a double-entry visa as a technical stop in Chile might be scheduled.

      • We remind you that all our ships have a doctor on board and medical facilities. However, these cannot, under any circumstances, be compared to any medical structure on land. Given the remote areas in which we will be sailing for a number of days, safety requirements mean that we are obliged to ask each passenger signing up for this program to provide us, no more than 45 days before departure, with a medical certificate from their GP, as well as the completed medical questionnaire received during registration.

      Discover Antarctica

      Discover Antarctica

      PONANT accompanies you in the choice of your expedition cruise. Discover the Antarctic riches with PONANT.

      Explore the Antarctic


      Polar Expedition

      Polar Expedition

      Discover the unique concept of PONANT polar expedition cruises: explore the world’s extreme regions while enjoying luxurious comfort and service.

      A luxury expedition voyage

      Choosing a PONANT expedition cruise means choosing a state of mind: the alliance of elegance and authenticity, of exploration and comfort, of adventure and refinement… The comfort of your ship and your stateroom, personalised and attentive service, refined gastronomy: a very special atmosphere that we take great care to maintain. In the heart of the ice floes of the Arctic and the Antarctic, our luxurious services will ensure that your expedition cruise is an unforgettable experience.

      PONANT, polar specialists

      With almost 20 years of experience in the extreme regions, PONANT, the world’s number 1 polar cruise company, is a real polar specialist. PONANT will take you to the most remote regions in total safety: our Captains and crew are professionals, specially trained to sail in icy waters. Our latest-generation fleet has the most modern technology to guarantee both your safety and respect for the regions visited. The size of our ships means we can get as close as possible to areas that are difficult to reach, offering a privileged access to preserved sites. Our flexibility enables us to adapt to the surprises inherent to these expedition itineraries.

      Professional expedition teams, varied activities

      After scouting missions in the field, our Expedition Leaders and their teams of naturalist guides design exceptional itineraries in the polar regions. During the cruise, they organise daily outings and shore visits in Zodiac® dinghies and hikes on land so as to get as close as possible to nature and wild fauna. In the Arctic and in Alaska, the close relationships that our teams have been able to build with the local communities will enable you to understand the life of these peoples of the Far North, and to share it for a few hours. On board, the naturalist guides will share their knowledge during various conferences on fauna, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology…

      Quintessential Collection

      Quintessential Collection

      PONANT Quintessential Collection voyages are designed for travelers who want to engage with the world in order to understand it.

      In addition to the usual elements of the PONANT experience, these voyages include lectures and performances aboard ship by world class experts and musicians and one or two exceptional activities ashore that encourage guests to embrace the sights and sounds, tastes and smells of the local culture. They also offer pre- or post-cruise stay with excursions relevant to the theme.  We believe that travel approached in this way has the power ato transform us and to make us better citizens of the world.

      Flights Buenos Aires/Ushuaia/Buenos Aires + 1-pre night in Ushuaia + Tierra del Fuego visit + transfers

      Your Quintessential Antarctic Package


      Monday, December 9

      Meet fellow travelers at the Buenos Aires airport check-in desk for your included flight to Ushuaia. On arrival in Ushuaia, transfer to the Hotel Arakur, overlooking the Beagle Channel and one of the newest and most elegant hotels in the city. Join fellow travelers and our lecturers for dinner this evening.

      Tuesday, December 10

      After breakfast at the hotel, join an excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park. Created in 1960, the park is famous for its mountainous landscapes, lagoons, bogs, and rivers. If we are lucky we may encounter beaver dams, birds, wild orchids, and more. Lunch will be in a restaurant within the Park. Return to Ushuaia and the port to embark L’Austral in the afternoon.


      – Cruise on board your ship –


      Friday, December 20

      After breakfast aboard, disembark L'Austral and transfer to the airport in Ushuaia for the included flight to Buenos Aires


      Your hotel:

      The luxury Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa hotel is located within the Cerro Alarken Nature Reserve in Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost province of Argentine Patagonia. Close to Mount Alarken’s summit and located on a natural balcony, 800 feet above sea level, the luxury hotel offers the perfect balance between calmness and adventure. The hotel is surrounded by stunning panoramic views, native forest, natural terraces and green areas harmoniously integrated into the environment. Each of the splendid rooms and suites is decorated using indigenous Argentine materials, such as copper, marble, stone and woods. A restaurant, an indoor pool, and an outdoor pool are available at the hotel.

      Included features:
      • All flights, accommodations, meals, and excursion described above
      • Transfers and luggage handling from the Ushuaia airport to the hotel and from hotel to the ship
      • Gratuities to guides and drivers on included excursions
      • Comprehensive 10-night cruise aboard the deluxe L’Austral, with all the amenities for which Ponant ships are famous.
      • Transfer from the ship to airport in Ushuaia at the end of the cruise.

      Not included:
      • Meals and beverages other than those specified above
      • Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, Internet, etc.)

      This voyage is offered on a space available basis.
      Program is subject to change without notice.


      To know your PONANT flight schedule, please contact your travel agent; it is also indicated on your electronic ticket included in your travel documents.

      Passengers must check in at least two hours before flight departure time.

      Duration of the visits are given as a guide only. The order of the visits may be reversed.

      Guest(s) Lecturer(s)

      Henry Fountain

      Henry Fountain

      Henry Fountain has been an editor and reporter at the New York Times for more than two decades, writing about science for most of that time. For 10 years he wrote "Observatory," a weekly science column.
      He is currently one of a team of reporters covering climate change, and has written about declining sea ice, melting ice sheets and thawing permafrost, among many climate-related subjects. He also writes about wildfires, oil spills, earthquakes and other disasters, natural and manmade, and is the author of a book about the 1964 Alaska earthquake, The Great Quake: How the Largest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet.
      This will be his second trip to Antarctica.

      Language spoken: English

      Photo credit: ARR

      James Gorman

      James Gorman

      James Gorman, a science writer at large for the New York Times, has been an editor and reporter at the Times for 25 years. He writes about the natural world and the animals that inhabit it, and is the host of “ScienceTake,” a regular video series that explores the visual side of scientific research.
      He has been to Antarctica twice, once on a three-month long cruise aboard the U. S. Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Sea. He has written two books on Antarctica and environs, The Total Penguin, and Ocean Enough and Time.
      He has taught writing at Princeton, Wesleyan, New York and Fordham Universities and recently made his first trip above the Arctic Circle with scientists studying the Arctic bumblebee.

      Language spoken: English

      Photo credit: ARR

      Possibility of withdrawal in case of force majeure.

      Important information

      Expedition programmes include activities such as Zodiac® outings and landings (sometimes with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes, all accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides.

      Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.

      Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience in remote areas: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is extremely expensive. Without adequate medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe to full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully, be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive, especially if you are insured by your credit card. PONANT offers an insurance contract with extensive guarantees, please contact us for more information.

      Clothing tips:

      • A PONANT polar water-resistant parka is offered on board for all departures with the logo “Free Parka” (no children sizes, in case of consecutive cruises, only one complimentary parka).
      • Half calf rubber boots with non-slip soles, which will allow you to go ashore in 20 cm of cold water, keeping your feet dry for walks and visits on steep paths. Boot rental will be offered onboard (for adults only) on Expedition cruises where the logo “Free Boot Rental” appears
      • Comfortable trousers: classic Winter trousers, warm cotton tracksuit, wool leggings
      • Waterproof and windproof over-trousers – MANDATORY
      • Winter trousers with waterproof over trousers are the ideal combination: water-resistance and comfort of trousers are essential
      • Pullover, sweat-shirt or fleece jacket
      • Woollen or thermolactyl Thermal underwear
      • A warm hat, woollen ear muffs or fleece ear muffs, fleece or woollen neck warmer (avoid scarves that do not stay in place)- MANDATORY
      • Wool or silk glove liners, water-resistant and supple gloves
      • Thick warm socks (ideally woollen)


      • Small waterproof backpack (to protect your camera from water).
      • Binoculars (strongly recommended for wildlife viewing).
      • Highly protective sunglasses.
      • Walking poles (highly recommended).

      Do not hesitate to visit the online PONANT store which offers a selection of equipment and accessories adapted to our destinations, at the following address:

      Benefits of the PONANT store:

      • Advice on equipment from our experts to help you prepare for your polar expedition
      • A wide range of technical equipment for polar expeditions, approved by our experts
      • Two delivery options: delivery to your home or directly to your cabin on board the ship
      • Duty Free shopping for cabin delivered items

      Pre/Post & Overlands

      1. During your cruise


        740.00 AU$ **

        More information


        1490.00 AU$ **

        More information

      Attention: the prices listed at the time of your reservation can be different from those listed in the brochure. These prices can evolve based on availability and the real time rates of the airline companies selected.
      Travellers are advised to check all the information with the authorities concerned prior to the departure date. Ponant advises Travellers to consult the country factsheets relating to the chosen destinations. Ponant specifically draws Travellers' attention to the fact that the information provided may change up until the departure date, and they are advised to consult that information up until the time of departure. CDP invites Travellers to adjust their behavior to the visited country, to exercise vigilance and to avoid carrying valuable objects during their travel.
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