Emblematic Antarctica

11 days / 10 nights
    Expedition
    Domestic flights included
    Emblematic Antarctica
    Flight Buenos Aires / Ushuaia + visit or time at leisure + transfers + flight Ushuaia / Buenos Aires

    Cruise Antarctica

    from 9 December 2017 to 19 December 2017
    11 days / 10 nights

    Departure Port : Ushuaia
    Arrival Port : Ushuaia

    Ship : LE SOLEAL

    • Ref : UUCG45 - S091217

    Other departure dates

    PONANT proposes an exceptional expedition cruise into the heart of the Antarctic Peninsula’s ice floes. Set sail on an unforgettable 11-day journey aboard Le Soléal and fall for the charms of the dreamlike landscapes, inhabited by rich and uncommon wildlife.  

    In Neko Harbour, a magnificent bay surrounded by mountains and ice, you will perhaps be lucky enough to see seals, whales, leopard seals and gentoo penguins.  

    On Pleneau Island, you’ll be amused by the original gait of the gentoo penguins going about their daily lives with a backdrop of magnificent icebergs. Don’t miss out on the visit to nearby Port Charcot. Jean-Baptiste Charcot, the famous French explorer who led many polar expeditions at the beginning of the 20th century, gave this name to the island as a tribute to his father.

    Your ship will then head north before arriving on the volcanic Deception Island, which was long an emblematic whaling site. Its sheltered bay also served as a refuge for sailors during heavy storms. 

    Before you return to Ushuaia, Le Soléal will clear a path through the impressive tabletop icebergs of the Weddell Sea, leaving you with an unforgettable memory of your Antarctic crossing.

    Subject to ice and weather conditions. The expedition highlights and itineraries described above illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.

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

    Highlights

    • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
    • Hiking opportunity: Neko Harbour, Port Charcot, Port Lockroy, Deception Island. Visiting research stations and former whaling stations. 
    • Landscapes: a multitude of drifting icebergs, ice floe, imposing icebergs, tall snow-covered mountains. 
    • Wildlife: Gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins, Minke and humpback whales, Weddell seals, sea leopards and sea birds. 
    • Educational discovery in the respect of environment.

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    Staterooms & Suites

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      LE SOLEAL

      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL

      LE SOLEAL

      Designed in 2013 and loyal to the PONANT spirit, Le Soléal like her sisterships embodies the subtle alliance between luxury, intimacy and wellbeing which is Ponant’s signature. The elegance of her exterior and interior lines and her intimate size (only 132 staterooms and suites)make this a rare and innovative yacht on the cruise market. 

      Interior Design

      With her fluid lines and a modern colour scheme combining natural wood with shades of grey and white, Le Soléal presents references to a nautical theme.

      Port of call & excursions

      9 December 2017 – Drake Passage

      Ushuaia

      Embarkation 09/12/2017 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 09/12/2017 at 18H00 .

      Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia lies in a bay opening into the Beagle Channel at the country's southernmost tip. Its colourful houses are framed against towering mountains, snow-capped in winter and summer alike. Downtown, the End of the World Museum showcases Tierra del Fuego's natural and indigenous history. A ride on the heritage railway is an exciting excursion into the Tierra del Fuego National Park, while a cruise on Ushuaia Bay is the perfect way to spot sea lions and Magellanic penguins.

      10 December 2017▸11 December 2017 – Drake Passage

      10 December 2017▸11 December 2017 – Drake Passage

      Arrival 10/12/2017. Departure 11/12/2017.

      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 Antarctica. 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.

      12 December 2017 – Neko Harbour

      12 December 2017 – Neko Harbour

      Arrival 12/12/2017. Departure 12/12/2017.

      A little corner of paradise in the shadow of a towering glacier, Neko Harbour is without a doubt one of the most beautiful sites on the Antarctic Peninsula. It was discovered by Belgian navigator Adrien de Gerlache during his 1897-1899 expedition. Mountains, ice and wildlife combine to form a truly unique landscape. Animals are as abundant as they are exotic: among others, you'll encounter seabirds (gulls, Cape petrels, cormorants) and marine mammals (seals, orcas and other whale species). Head out on a Zodiac® excursion to get up close to the icebergs, stop over near a penguin colony, watch a leopard seal sunbathe between dives and enjoy an impromptu aerial show from passing Antarctic terns.

      12 December 2017 – Paradise Bay

      12 December 2017 – Paradise Bay

      Arrival 12/12/2017. Departure 12/12/2017.

      With its spectacular landscapes composed of towering glacial peaks plunging down into the icy waters of the Antarctic, Paradise Bay is true to its name. Discovered and named by whalers in the early 20th century, this protected natural site is currently home to a wide variety of fauna, from Antarctic cormorants and leopard seals to sheathbills and gentoo penguins, who mingle on the long stretch of rocky beaches. With some luck, you'll even be privy to an unforgettable underwater dance between passing humpback whales. During your excursion, head off to discover the old Argentine base Almirante Brown, which is only occupied for a few weeks each year, during the austral summer.

      13 December 2017 – Pleneau Island

      13 December 2017 – Pleneau Island

      Arrival 13/12/2017. Departure 13/12/2017.

      Named after talented photographer Paul Pléneau, who accompanied Jean-Baptiste Charcot on his 1903 expedition, Pleneau Island has become a refuge for gentoo penguins, elephant seals and fur seals. A ‘fleet’ of imposing ice formations sit like anchored ships along its shores. Like works of art, these unusually-sculpted icebergs range in colour from white to blue and every shade in between. On land, red algae provides a striking contrast against empty swathes of snow that alternate with gentoo penguin nesting sites, strewn all across the island.

      13 December 2017 – Port Charcot

      13 December 2017 – Port Charcot

      Arrival 13/12/2017. Departure 13/12/2017.

      This cove, a natural harbour located in Salpêtrière Bay, was discovered by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot. Named for the explorer's father, famed neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, this tip of Booth Island still holds vestiges of Charcot's 1903-1905 anchoring aboard his ship, Le Français. A brisk walk through the snow will take you to the remains of Charcot's stone cabin where he conducted studies on magnetism. Right nearby, you'll notice a colony of gentoo penguins. If you continue on to the summit, you'll pass by the remnants of a cairn and enjoy an unobstructed view of the vast field of icebergs scattered over the bay like white tombstones—an eerie, mystical site like none other.

      14 December 2017 – Port Lockroy

      14 December 2017 – Port Lockroy

      Arrival 14/12/2017. Departure 14/12/2017.

      During your cruise, you'll have the opportunity to stop over at Port Lockroy, a spectacular natural harbour nestled in the very heart of the Antarctic Peninsula on Goudier Island. Discovered by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot in 1903, the site has served over the years as a stopover for whaling ships, a British military base and later a research station. The port is currently one of the most visited sites in the Antarctic, thanks to its tiny museum which allows visitors to experience the base as it was in the 1950s and to take home a souvenir from its gift shop. While you're here, don't miss the chance to send your loved ones a post card from the southernmost post office in the world!

      15 December 2017 – Deception Island

      15 December 2017 – Deception Island

      Arrival 15/12/2017. Departure 15/12/2017.

      Situated just above the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, Deception Island is easily recognisable thanks to its distinctive horseshoe shape. The crater of this former volcano caved in 10,000 years ago and the resulting caldera was flooded, creating a natural harbour. Deception Island still bears traces of its past as a longtime hub of the whaling industry. The vestiges of abandoned sheds that line the black sand of its volcanic beaches share space with the island's spectacular fauna: it is home to the Antarctic Peninsula’s largest colony of chinstrap penguins, as well as numerous elephant seals and fur seals.

      16 December 2017 – Weddell Sea

      16 December 2017 – Weddell Sea

      Arrival 16/12/2017. Departure 16/12/2017.

      Amidst the eerie stillness of the Weddell Sea, you'll wend your way through a veritable labyrinth of majestic table icebergs. Sweeping ice platforms sculpt a landscape unlike any other, populated by fur seals, penguins, wandering albatross and other imposing seabirds. The Weddell seal, king of this realm, will welcome you to his territory with a haunting cry that pierces the surrounding silence. You'll recognise him by his dark grey coat and spotted belly. Weddell seals have the impressive distinction of being able to stay underwater for more than an hour.

      17 December 2017▸18 December 2017 – Drake Passage

      17 December 2017▸18 December 2017 – Drake Passage

      Arrival 17/12/2017. Departure 18/12/2017.

      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 Antarctica. 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.

      19 December 2017▸18 December 2017 – Ushuaia

      Ushuaia

      Disembarkation 19/12/2017 at 07H00 .

      Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia lies in a bay opening into the Beagle Channel at the country's southernmost tip. Its colourful houses are framed against towering mountains, snow-capped in winter and summer alike. Downtown, the End of the World Museum showcases Tierra del Fuego's natural and indigenous history. A ride on the heritage railway is an exciting excursion into the Tierra del Fuego National Park, while a cruise on Ushuaia Bay is the perfect way to spot sea lions and Magellanic penguins.

      Formalities

      • 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, with the exception of Le Ponant, 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.

      Theme

      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…

      Flight Buenos Aires / Ushuaia + visit or time at leisure + transfers + flight Ushuaia / Buenos Aires

      For your serenity, PONANT selects a flight for your trip and provides transfers and visits. This package is included in your cruise fare.

       

      Embarkation Day – Buenos Aires/Ushuaia

      Flight Buenos Aires/Ushuaia selected by PONANT.

      Approximate flight duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

      Meet and greet at Ushuaia airport.

       

      Depending on your choice made when booking your cruise (options not combinable):

       

      Depart the airport for your transfer to the Arakur Hotel, one of the newest hotels built in Ushuaia. It overlooks the town and its bay.

      In the Yamanas’ language, “Ushuaia” means “the bay which looks towards the east”, this native tribe was established here long before the arrival of the “white” people. At the tip of the Beagle Channel, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, Ushuaia is a unique place in this world and is proud to be the southernmost city. Rising on an island, it seems to float between two oceans. The snow-capped mountains draw the border with Chile in the background. Here you truly feel at the end of the world…

      After lunch at the Arakur Hotel you will have some time at leisure and/or will be invited to join a walk through the Natural Reserve of the Cerro Alarken. Arakur is a unique starting point for discovering a preserved area which covers 100 hectares; this is a sheltered place for flora and fauna species typical to the Tierra del Fuego area (please note that the observation of the fauna is not guaranteed). The unique location of the Arakur close to the Mount Alarken makes it as well the perfect setting to enjoy lovely panoramas over the bay.

      The walk is selected in order to suit most guests’ walking ability.

      OR

      At the moment of booking your cruise, guests willing to visit the Tierra del Fuego National Park will be able to sign up for a group optional excursion, with extra cost. If you decide to do so, please note that immediately upon arrival in Ushuaia airport, you will leave towards the Park where you will have lunch before starting the tour.

      Created in 1960, the park covers 155 acres, it is located south west of the Tierra del Fuego Province on the Beagle Canal. One of his entries stands slightly over 6 miles from Ushuaia.

      Mountainous landscapes, lagoons, bogs, and rivers draw a picturesque scenery reinforced by the southern position of the park itself. The Darwin Mountains, which represent the southern part of the Andes Mountains are mainly responsible for such landscape. The Park is only partly accessible to the public and this tour will provide you with the opportunity to discover the local flora and sub-Antarctic landscapes; should you get lucky you may encounter beavers’ dams, birds, wild orchids… This is a true paradise for Nature Lovers! Lunch will be served in a restaurant within the Park.

      At the end of your visit, you will return to Ushuaia and the port, for embarkation on your vessel.

       

      Please note that the Tierra del Fuego excursion is subject to a minimum of participants: if this number is not reached, our operator will not be able to guarantee the departure – In this case, you will be given the option to join the Arakur programme.

      OR

      Departure from the airport and transfer to the pier - embarkation on board your cruise ship.

      You will have access to the Grand Salon meanwhile your cabin will be ready from 5.00pm.

      Lunch on board.

      In the afternoon: time at leisure in Ushuaia.

       

      – Cruise on board your cruise ship –

       

      Disembarkation Day – Ushuaia/Buenos Aires

      Disembarkation and transfer to Ushuaia airport.

      Flight Ushuaia/ Buenos Aires.

      Approximate flight duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

      Your programme includes:

      • Transfers, flights Buenos Aires/Ushuaia/Buenos Aires in economy class
      • Lunch at Arakur Hotel
      • Beverages during lunch (bottled water + 1 soft drink or 1 local beer + 1 coffee) on embarkation day
      • The walk through the Cerro Alarken Reserve starting from the Arakur Hotel and leaded by English speaking guide (except if you select one of the 2 other options)
      • English-speaking local guide.

       

      For your optional Tierra del Fuego National Park excursion, your programme includes:

      Please note if you choose this excursion, it is not combinable with Arakur Hotel program and therefore replaces it.

      • The excursion by local bus and the entrance fees to the National Park
      • The lunch with the beverage package including: 1 mineral water + 1 soft drink or 1 local beer + tea or coffee
      • Transfer and visit as mentioned in the programme
      • The services of a local English speaking guide

      Your programme does not include:

      • Gratuities for driver and local guide
      • Personal expenses, and other services not mentioned in the programme
      • The optional excursion to the Tierra del Fuego National Park which has to be booked at the moment you book your cruise. 

      Please note:

      • The local currency is the Argentinian Peso. You will be able to make most of your purchases in USD (in small denominations) or by credit card, accepted in most hotels, shopping centres and boutiques. You will also be able to retrieve Pesos from the ATM’s.
      • Summer season: temperatures vary between 41°F and 65°F
      • We recommend you wear warm clothing and comfortable walking shoes either for the visit to the Reserve or if you book the optional excursion to the National Park.

        

      To know your PONANT flight schedule, please contact your travel advisor; it is also indicated on your electronic ticket included in your travel documents. Check in must be done at least two hours before departure time.

      Important information

      Expeditions programs include activities such as Zodiac® outings (sometimes with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes. All this accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Certain zodiac® outings will not allow for landings just cruising. Landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice and winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time.

      Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience. The raw beauty and untouched wilderness offer an unusual chance to experience a place where there is little evidence of human presence. Inevitably, there are some consequences that come with such remoteness: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is highly expensive. Without the necessary medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid from with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe a full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully and be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive.

      Taking into consideration the unusual and exceptional character of expedition itineraries, the calls shown are an indication only. The final route will be confirmed by the Captain and Expedition Leader, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. Their decision will be subject to that of local authorities and/or the expert pilots present on board during the navigation in polar and /or isolated zones.

      Dressing tips:

      • Water-resistant parka offered on board (for adults only) on Expedition cruises where the stamp “Parka gift” appears
      • Half calf rubber boots with non-slip soles, which will allow you to land in 20 cm of cold water, keeping your feet dry for walks and visits on steep paths. You can also bring water-resistant hiking boots. A boots rental will be offered onboard (for adults only) on Expedition cruises where the stamp “Boots offered” appears

       

       

      • Comfortable pants: classic Winter pants, warm cotton tracksuit
      • Water-resistant windbreaker over pants - COMPULSORY
      • Winter pants with water-resistant over pants is the ideal combination: water-resistance and comfort suitability of pants are essential
      • Pullover, sweat-shirt or fleece jacket
      • Thermal sweater
      • Fleece muffler and fleece cap or thermal beanie covering ears (avoid scarfs which do not stand still)
      • Water-resistant and supple gloves
      • Polarized sunglasses with high UV filter
      • Walking sticks (highly recommended)

      Feel free to visit the PONANT online shop which offers a selection of equipment and accessories adapted to our destinations at the following address: http://boutique.ponant.com.

      Benefits of the PONANT shop:

      • expert advice to gear up
      • a selection of technical equipment and accessories approved by our naturalists
      • Duty Free prices
      • delivery directly on board

      Pre/Post & Overlands

      1. Before your cruise

        08/12/2017 – OVERNIGHT IN BUENOS AIRES (1 DAY/1 NIGHT)

        677.00 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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