Cruise - The Great Austral Loop (Ponant)
- To begin your cruise, discover the Falkland Islands and their undulating hills and verdant moors. Farther along, South Georgia is home to imposing glaciers that tilt towards the sea and the black sandy beaches play host to thousands of King Penguins, the emblem of this faraway land. Then,
we will head South to discover the Northern Peninsula’s unique beauty: iridescent icebergs, floating ice fields and extraordinary marine mammals, such as the majestic Humpback Whale or Leopard Seals, playing in the ships’ wake.
15 days / 14 nights from AUD 14000 *
Days: From 15 December to 29 December 2015
Day 1 – Buenos Aires/Ushuaia (Argentina)
Buenos-Aires/Ushuaia (Argentina) direct non-stop flight, subject to availability. Direct transfer on board OR excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park including lunch.
Embarkation from 5pm to 6pm
Day 2 – At sea
Day 3 – New Island – Grave Cove (Falklands)
Day 4 – At sea
Day 5 – At sea
Day 6 – Salisbury Plain – Fortuna Bay (South Georgia)
“Our second land visit of the day was in Fortuna Bay, at the foot of the abrupt heights of the Breakwind Ridge Mountains”. A grandiose sight appeared before us: the widening bay rounded as far as the sea to form a perfect arc, slashed by a waterfall. We decided to follow in the footsteps of Ernest SHACKLETON, who set foot on the island during his final expedition. We travelled through a vast plain where plant cover was rare, mainly a scattering of high tussocks of grass. Deep in this plain we come across a Penguin colony made up of more than 50,000 King Penguins, whose tightly packed bodies formed a silver patch scattered with areas of brown and bright orange”.
Didier DROUET – Naturalist – Guide aboard L’Austral
Day 7 – Grytviken – Baie de St Andrew (South Georgia)
Day 8 – Gold Harbour (South Georgia)
Log Book Extract – January 2013 aboard L’Austral
“This sixth passage to Gold Harbour was another great moment ! In addition to the sweeping cliffs and high mountains overlooked by the Bertrand mountain glacier, we also enjoyed the extraordinary light coming from the sun setting behind a cloud. The full splendour of Gold Harbour was revealed by this light, illuminating the colony of thousands of King Penguins, creating ochre highlights on the sand when the waves withdrew, turning the only cloud in the sky red…some of us watched the rainbows sparkling in the spray of the waves, others sat on the sand staring out to sea, surrounded by Elephant Seals, Sea Lions and Penguins. We returned to the ship around 9pm, determined to come back again during the next season”.
Day 9 – At sea
Day 10 – At sea
Day 11 – Brown Bluff / Weddell Sea (Antarctica)
A beautiful sail in the Weddell Sea will allow you to experience true silence, an extraordinary and enchanting atmosphere, unrivalled calm… You will discover a secret reserve of preserved treasure: Fur Seals, Penguin colonies, Wandering Albatross and other Giant Petrels. Here the huge icebergs and the endless ice cap sculpt a landscape beyond compare. The lord of the manor is known as the Weddell Seal. It is a record breaker, able to remain submerged for more than an hour. Its pelage is dark grey and it has a spotted belly. To maintain its access to the sea and be able to fish, the Weddell Seal has special teeth allowing it to make a hole in the thick ice
Day 12 – Deception Island/Half Moon (Antarctica)
Day 13 – At sea – Drake Passage
Day 14 – Mon 28/12/2015At sea – Drake Passage
Day 15 – Ushuaia (Argentina)
Transfer to the airport. Ushuaia/Buenos Aires International (Pistarini) with direct flight
Air Package – For your peace of mind!
Embarkation day Buenos Aires Aeroparque / Ushuaia
Chartered flight Buenos Aires Aeroparque / Ushuaia on LAN.
Flight number and time schedule to be advised about 30 days prior to departure.
We suggest to be at the check in counter 1 ½ hours before flight departure time.
Meet and greet at Ushuaia airport.
Depending on your choice made when booking your cruise:
Transfer to the pier and embarkation on board your cruise ship.
You will have access to the Grand Salon ; your cabin will be ready from 17hr. Lunch on board.
In the afternoon, time at leisure in Ushuaia. OR
Transfer to downtown Ushuaia. Here you will enjoy free time (duration depending on confirmed flight arrival time).
The name of Ushuaia means “the bay which looks towards the east” in the language of the Yamanas, the aborigine tribe who was established here before the arrival of the “white” people. At the tip of the Beagle Channel, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans; Ushuaia is a unique place in this world. It is the southernmost city in the world, established on an island, she seems to float between two oceans. The snow-capped mountains form the border with Chile. You are at the end of the world.
After lunch, visit the Tierra del Fuego National Park.
Tierra del Fuego, Land of Fire, is the southernmost province in Argentina, and hosts at the same time the southernmost village in the world, Ushuaia. The national park offers mountain chains, rivers, hard wood forests, acid peat bogs and a rocky sea coast on an area of 155,676 acres. The combination of very different landscapes in a relative small area is quite unique. This is a paradise for bird watchers, as it is the home of condors, giant black carpenter birds, Southern parrots, Thrushes, Fishing Martins and a lot more like the Flightless steamer duck and forest birds. Huge beaver constructions cut the small rivers and let the water rise. In these “artificial” lakes, a big variety of peat bog plants grow and you may find tender orchids as well. Several paths invite to hike in the park for a while.
The tour starts in Ushuaia. After a 30-minute drive you arrive at the end of the road, which is the end of the famous Pan-American road and also the southern end of the national park. There you are 1,864 miles away from Buenos Aires. Return to Ushuaia in time for embarkation.
– Cruise on board your cruise ship –
Disembarkation day Ushuaia / Buenos Aires Pistarini
Disembarkation and transfer to Ushuaia airport.
Chartered flight Ushuaia / Buenos Aires Pistarini (international airport) on LAN. Flight number and time schedule to be advised about 30 days prior to departure.
Your program includes:
- Beverages during lunch (bottled water + 1 soft drink or 1 local beer + 1 coffee)
- Transfers, flights Buenos Aires/Ushuaia/Buenos Aires in economy class and visits as per program
- English-speaking local guide.
Your program does not include:
- Gratuities for driver and local guide
- Personal expenses, and other services not mentioned in the program
- 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 centers and boutiques. You will also be able to retrieve Pesos from the ATM’s.
- Summer season: temperatures vary between 41F and 65F
- We recommend you wear warm clothing and comfortable walking shoes for the visit to the National Park.
- Wildlife: Magellanic Penguins and Commerson’s Dolphin in the Falkland. Huge colonies of King Penguins, many Elephant Seals basking on the black sandy beaches, large populations of Fur Seals and Macaroni Penguins in South Georgia. Also, hundreds of Gentoo Penguins, Adelie and Chinstrap and the majestic Humpback Whales in Peninsula.
- Landscapes: Vast moors scattered with grassy tussocks, moss and lichen in the Falkland. Mountain chains, imposing glaciers, lush green pastures in Georgia. Abandoned former whaling stations and historic centers. Drifting icebergs and sea ice in Peninsula.
- Hiking possible: Grytviken or Shackleton walk, Deception Island and Fortuna Bay.
- Outings everyday in Zodiac® dinghies: New Island, Half Moon, Gold Harbour and Weddell Sea.
Travelling to Antarctica, Falkland and South Georgia Islands is an exhilarating experience and an expedition at first. 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 and evacuation can take several days thus necessary medical help may not be immediately available.
Given the inaccessibility of the White Continent, this is an obligation to choose your insurance company carefully. Evacuation costs from the Antarctic Peninsula are up to more than 100 000 US$ plus medical costs. Therefore, please be particularly prudent when choosing an insurance company, especially if you are insured by your credit card. In addition, it is mandatory to return the medical questionnaire, provided at time of booking, at the latest 90 days prior to departure. This questionnaire is very important in order to respect mandatory safety rules in polar zones. Any false information on this questionnaire may lead to a refusal of your embarkation at the port of departure, without any possible recourse.
These voyages include activities such as Zodiac® landings (sometimes wet landings), Zodiac® outings, moderate walks to more active hikes. All this accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Considering the nature of the programs, a reasonable level of mobility is required to enjoy these expeditions.
Due to the exceptional nature of this itinerary, the calls/sites listed are only a guide. The final route will be confirmed by the ship’s Captain withpriority being given to passenger safety. Pack ice may also force the Captain to change course at the last minute. His decision will be based on advice from expert pilots who are present on board during our cruise in South Georgia and Antarctica. Zodiac® landings or outings accompanied by your expedition team offer plenty of opportunities to discover and experience what Antarctica and/or South Georgia have to offer at close range. These will of course depend on the weather conditions, the ice, the wind and the sea state.
We also recommend you follow the clothing instructions and advice you will find in your travel documents.
COMPLIMENTARY BOOT RENTAL
Boots are an essential item when you go ashore. PONANT has selected Ship to Shore Traveler, an expedition equipment specialist, to offer you, during your cruise, the renting of your boots that are specially adapted for polar destinations.
WHY RENT YOUR BOOTS?
|It’s practical||Your boots are delivered free of charge to the ship, day you board.||
|Travel light||Leaves more space and weight in your luggage for other items.|
Find your offer by logging on www.ponantboots.com
Learn more about Boots Rental (Boots Rental is only available 3 month before departure):
Fares listed are per person, based on double occupancy
|Prestige Stateroom – Deck 4||
|Prestige Stateroom – Deck 5||
|Prestige Stateroom – Deck 6||
|Prestige Suite – Deck 5||
|Grand Deluxe Suite||
|Grand Privilege Suite||
|Safety and port taxes (for information purposes)||
|One Child (8-11 years old) sharing cabin with 2 adults||
|3rd adult Passenger in a Superior Stateroom||
|3rd Passenger in a Prestige Suite||
|Single supplement in cabin¹||
Starting at + 85%