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Historic Antarctica ( Le Lyrial – Ponant) 15 Days / 14 Nights – Departing 19 Nov 2017 –

During a 15-day cruise to Antarctica, Ponant invites you to follow in the footsteps of the pioneers who set out to conquer the last territories of the far south.

Leaving from Montevideo, you will set sail aboard Le Lyrial on a brand new itinerary combining two emblematic regions: The Falkland Islands and the unmissable Antarctic Peninsula.

Discovered by a Spanish expedition at the beginning of the 16th Century, The Falkland Islands will enchant you with their unique panoramas of undulating hillsides and lush green moors. Offering a fascinating panoply of wildlife, the islands have the largest population of black-browed albatrosses in the world.

You will continue this Expedition cruise with the discovery of the magnificent landscapes of the Peninsula. Between vast expanses of ice floes, tabular icebergs and snow-capped peaks, you will be able to admire the captivating polar desert, home to penguins, rorquals, humpback whales and seabirds.

You will also visit Elephant Island, the mountainous island covered in ice on which the crew of the Endurance, led by Ernest Shackleton, managed to survive for 129 days in 1916.

Before reaching Ushuaia, you will call at Deception Island. Nestled at the heart of the South Shetland Islands, this volcanic outcrop with its beaches of black sand contains the remains of the abandoned huts of former whaling stations.

    Itinerary Summary

  • DAY 1: Embarkation in Montevideo (Uruguay)
  • DAY 2: At Sea
  • DAY 3: At Sea
  • DAY 4: Camarones, Argentina
  • DAY 5: At Sea
  • DAY 6: Saunders Island, West Point (Falkland Islands)
  • DAY 7: Barren Island, Falkland Islands
  • DAY 8: At Sea
  • DAY 9: Elephant Island
  • DAY 10: Weddell Sea
  • DAY 11: Cuverville, Cierva Cove
  • DAY 12: Deception Island, Half Moon Island
  • DAY 13: Drake Passage
  • DAY 14: Drake Passage
  • DAY 15: Disembarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina
DAY 1: Embarkation in Montevideo (Uruguay)

Perched on the far southern tip of Uruguay, Montevideo is the historic yet cosmopolitan capital of Uruguay. Situated on the east bank of the Rio de la Plata it is home to half of Uruguay’s population. The city has much to offer with historic buildings dating back to Spanish rule. The Old City (Cuidad Vieja), formerly fortified, dates back to the 18th century with the Plaza Independencia at its heart and its Citadel Gate used up until 1829 to protect the city from invasion. The best preserved buildings are the cathedral and the former government palace of the Cabildo, both listed historic monuments. The plaza separates the Ciudad Vieja with its art deco buildings, colonial homes and landmarks such as the towering Palacio Salvo, from the city’s downtown.

Embarkation is scheduled for 16:00 to 17:00 at the port of Montevideo, with the ship setting sail at 20:00.

DAY 2: At Sea

The ship heads south along the coast of Argentina, giving you time to acquaint yourself with the ship’s facilities and enjoy the views from the deck.

DAY 3: At Sea

The ship heads south along the coast of Argentina, giving you time to acquaint yourself with the ship’s facilities and enjoy the views from the deck.

DAY 4: Camarones, Argentina

180 nautical miles south of Puerto Madryn, we disembark the ship at Bahia Camarones, a small settlement and picturesque village located in Argentina’s Chubut Province. Founded in 1900, and originally devoted to wool production, today Camarones has a population of around 1,000 inhabitants.

From the pier, we travel by coach along a scenic coastal road for 45 minutes to reach the Cabo Dos Bahías Nature Reserve, home to the largest Magellanic penguin rookery in the area. Located 28 kilometres south of the town, along provincial route N° 1, the reserve was created to preserve land and sea areas along with its flora and fauna, and to provide a recreational and educational space for visitors. Around 30,000 pairs of Magellanic penguins are found here during the breeding season, along with foxes, rheas, Patagonian hares, guanacos and skunks. A short trek along well marked paths leads to the shore framed by amazing geological scenery.

After 2.5 hours in the reserve, we return to the pier and the ship and set sail once more.

DAY 5: At Sea

Leaving Camarones, we head south east towards the Falkland Islands, watching out for marine life and enjoying the views of the open ocean. These waters are home to an interesting group of seabirds, including albatrosses and petrels that often ride the currents created in the wake of the ship.

The Falkland Islands, a British Overseas Territory, is an archipelago that lies 490kms east of Patagonia in the South Atlantic Ocean. Surrounded by decades of controversy, the Falkland Islands (or Islas Malvinas as they are known in Argentina) have been settled and claimed by France, Spain, Britain and Argentina. The islands have much to offer with a wide variety of spectacular wildlife, beautiful rugged scenery as well as an interesting history. Five species of penguin breed on the islands (gentoo, king, macaroni, Magellanic and rockhopper).

DAY 6: Saunders Island, West Point (Falkland Islands)

Saunders Island is the fourth largest of the Falkland Islands and was the site of the first British settlement in the Falklands archipelago. It is an important bird area for Falkland steamer ducks, ruddy-headed geese, king penguins, gentoo penguins, southern rockhopper penguins, macaroni penguins and black-browed albatrosses. The island is near the southernmost range limit of the Magellanic penguin.

West Point Island lies in the northwest corner of the archipelago and boasts some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the Falklands, with dramatic west-facing cliffs. Home to an abundance of flora, birds and marine life, the island is also a working sheep farm. The island has over 2,000 pairs of black-browed albatross, 500 pairs of rockhopper penguins, Magellanic penguins, rock cormorants, several species of small bird and tussock plantations. The harbour is often teeming with dolphins.

DAY 7: Barren Island, Falkland Islands

Barren Island lies south west of East Falkland and south east of George Island, separated from Lafonia by Eagle Passage. Along with George Island it forms the southernmost working farm in the Falklands. The island is devoid of introduced species such as rats and as a result there is a thriving population of small birds with large numbers of breeding pairs of Cobb’s wren and tussock-birds. Elephant seals, southern sea lions, southern giant petrel colonies, gentoo penguins, rockhopper penguins and Magellanic penguins can also be found here as well as grass wrens and Falkland pipits.

DAY 8: At Sea

Leaving the Falkland Islands, we set a course for Elephant Island and the Antarctic Peninsula.

DAY 9: Elephant Island

Today we plan to visit historic Elephant Island, the mountainous, windswept island covered in ice on which the crew of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition managed to survive for 129 days in 1916. Shackleton was forced to leave 22 of his men stranded on these shores, while he and five others embarked on an unbelievable rescue attempt aboard the James Caird, one of the greatest rescue stories of all times. All of Shackleton’s men survived despite the inhospitable nature of the island with its steep, ice-covered mountainsides. A colony of chinstrap penguins has settled at Point Wild and gentoo penguins and elephant seals shelter at Cape Lookout.

DAY 10: Weddell Sea

Amidst the eerie stillness and silence of the Weddell Sea, the ship weaves its way through a labyrinth of majestic table icebergs. Sweeping ice platforms sculpt an incredible and indescribable landscape, populated by fur seals, penguin colonies, wandering albatross, giant petrels and other imposing seabirds. The Weddell seal, king of this realm, has a haunting cry that pierces the surrounding silence. Recognisable by their dark grey coat and spotted underside, Weddell seals are able to remain submerged for more than an hour. To maintain access to the sea and be able to fish, Weddell seals have special teeth that allow them to make a hole in the thick ice

DAY 11: Cuverville, Cierva Cove

Cuverville Island lies in the scenic Errera Channel. It was discovered by the Belgian Antarctic Expedition (1897-1899) under Adrien de Gerlache, who named it for J.M.A. Cavelier de Cuverville, a vice admiral of the French Navy. Cuverville is home to the largest gentoo penguin colony in the Antarctic Peninsula, surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs. Other nesting birds include southern giant petrels and imperial shags. Cierva Cove lies to the south of the Chavdar Peninsula along the west coast of Antarctica’s Graham Land. It was named after the Spaniard Juan de la Cierva, who designed the first successful rotating wing aircraft in 1923. The back of the cove is a huge glacial face that regularly calves ice into the bay. It is a great location for Zodiac cruising with spectacular icebergs often present. Seals are usually spotted on the ice floes within Cierva Cove, including crabeater, Weddell and leopard seals.

DAY 12: Deception Island, Half Moon Island

Situated just above the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, Deception Island is easily recognisable due 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. If weather conditions permit we will sail into the flooded volcanic caldera, surrounded by rugged and dramatic scenery. Deception Island still bears traces of its past as a hub of the whaling industry. The remains of abandoned sheds that formed part of the old whaling station line the black sands of the islands volcanic beaches and share space with the islands spectacular fauna. Deception Island is home to the Antarctic Peninsula’s largest colony of chinstrap penguins, as well as numerous elephant seals and fur seals. Nestled among the South Shetland Islands in the icy waters of the Antarctic, Half Moon Island has a surreal and mystical setting. Long, jagged coastlines alternate with gently sloping bays, overlooked by petrified volcanic pipes. Camara, a former Argentine research station built at the centre of the island in 1953, still stands in the crook of a vast, crescent-shaped beach of large ash-coloured pebbles battered by icy electric-blue waves. Half Moon’s wild lunar landscape is home to a number of animal species, including chinstrap penguins, fur seals, Weddell seals and Antarctic terns.

DAY 13: Drake Passage

Leaving Antarctica, we head north across the infamous Drake Passage. Situated at the latitude of the Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the shortest route between South America and Antarctica. It bears the name of the 16th century English explorer, Sir Francis Drake. At the convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses moving in the opposite direction, the Drake Passage harbours a diverse marine fauna. The nutrient rich waters attract a variety of seabirds, whales and other species. You may see albatrosses and Cape petrels soaring in the wind around the ship. We are scheduled to arrive into the port of Ushuaia at 18:30 on Day 17 having sailed along the Beagle Channel. We overnight on the ship. 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 throughout the year.

DAY 14: Drake Passage

Leaving Antarctica, we head north across the infamous Drake Passage. Situated at the latitude of the Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the shortest route between South America and Antarctica. It bears the name of the 16th century English explorer, Sir Francis Drake. At the convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses moving in the opposite direction, the Drake Passage harbours a diverse marine fauna. The nutrient rich waters attract a variety of seabirds, whales and other species. You may see albatrosses and Cape petrels soaring in the wind around the ship. We are scheduled to arrive into the port of Ushuaia at 18:30 on Day 17 having sailed along the Beagle Channel. We overnight on the ship. 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 throughout the year.

DAY 15: Disembarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina

We disembark the ship this morning and transfer to Ushuaia airport for the flight to Buenos Aires.

*Prices can change on more than one factor such as accomodation, availability, etc.

More About Historic Antarctica ( Le Lyrial – Ponant) 15 Days / 14 Nights – Departing 19 Nov 2017 –

Includes

All meals while on board the ship (from dinner on the day of embarkation to breakfast on the day of disembarkation), Open Bar, room service 24h, luggage transfer from pier to the ship and vice versa and evening entertainment and events.
•Flight Ushuaia/Buenos Aires in economy class
•Transfer pier/airport
•English speaking local assistance

Important: Single rate is guidance only -please contact us to confirm final rate-

 

Excludes

•Gratuities for driver and local guide
•Personal expenses, and other services not mentioned in the program

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