Take a voyage of discovery to the world's southernmost continent, Antarctica, a land of unparalleled beauty and natural history. From the comfort of your cruise ship, the MS Fram, observe dramatic icebergs and wildlife from the ship's expansive decks. Excursions and landings on the "White Continent" allow you to explore this rarely visited region from both land and sea. After disembarking from your cruise ship in Ushuaia, the "city at the end of the world" and the gateway to Antarctica, you'll also explore the culture and history of Santiago, Chile.
Day #1 Buenos Aires, Argentina - Arrive this morning in Buenos Aires, the “Paris of South America,” and home of the tango. Enjoy a Porteños tour, viewing the Teatro Colon, opera house, Avenida 9 de Julio honoring Argentinean independence; the Recoleta Cemetery, where “Evita” rests in her tomb; the Presidential Palace, the Casa Rosada; and the San Telmo barrio lined with cobblestone streets.
Day #2 Buenos Aires - Today is at leisure to experience this lively city. Perhaps choose to visit the pampas to enjoy a typical asado lunch and traditional gaucho music, hallmarks of Argentine culture.
Day #3 Buenos Aires - Ushuaia - This morning you fly to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city situated on the Patagonian peninsula overlooking the historic Beagle Channel. Experience a home-hosted dinner with a local Fuegon family.
Day #4 Ushuaia - Embark Ship - Journey into the “Land of Fire” at Tierra del Fuego National Park to visit La Roca. Enjoy free time in this famous port town before boarding the state-of-the-art MS Fram expedition vessel.
Day #5 The Drake Passage - Cruise south through the fabled Drake Passage, named for the legendary Sir Francis Drake. Warmer waters of the north meet the colder, denser waters of the south here in the Antarctic Convergence, making the area rich in marine life. Spot whales and sea birds as you begin this voyage of exploration. Experts provide presentations on history, biology and geology throughout your adventure.
Day #6 The Drake Passage - Antarctica - Arrive in Antarctica – the last great wilderness stretching across ice-covered desert and mountains for over five million square miles. The ethereal beauty and immense scale of the continent is like nowhere else on the planet.
Day #7 Antarctica - The next five days are filled with discovery! Weather conditions determine each sailing’s final itinerary. Cruise through the astounding, glacier-lined Lemaire Channel – “Kodak Gap” – and enter the majestic Neumayer Channel with its imposing cliffs. Humpback, killer and minke whales – and icebergs – are common sights. PolarCirkel (rugged zodiac) boats take you to incredible locations along the Antarctic Peninsula, which could include:
• Half Moon Island, a small island in the South Shetland chain boasting mountainous views and a nesting place for chinstrap penguins, kelp gulls and the Antarctic tern.
Day #8 Antarctica - Continue your visits by PolarCirkel boats to locations which could include:
• Whalers Bay, Deception Island – featuring an active volcanic caldera. Zodiac into Whalers Bay where ruins from a 20th-century whaling station rest ashore. The black volcanic sand and waters upon the beach are warmed by geothermal vents.
• Almirante Brown Research Station in Paradise Harbor, where gentoo and chinstrap penguins nest.
Day #9 Antarctica - Continue your visits by PolarCirkel boats to locations which could include:
• Neko Harbor, part of the Antarctic mainland nestled in the fjord-like Andvord Bay, where penguins plus elephant and weddel seals are often spotted.
Day #10 Antarctica - Continue your visits by PolarCirkel boats to locations which could include:
• Port Lockroy, a harbor on Goudier Island and former British base, hosting cormorants and surrounded by glaciers and ice shelves. Here you can mail home a postcard with a rare Antarctic stamp!
Day #11 Antarctica - Continue your visits by PolarCirkel boats to locations which could include:
• Wilhelmina Bay, where mountains and high glaciers create dramatic scenery. View the 1915 wreck of the Norwegian ship, Guvernøren.
• Antarctic Sound & Brown Bluff – hear the tale of the 1903 Swedish polar expedition which met its fate here at “Iceberg Alley.” At Brown Bluff, you may have the chance to stroll the beach with the cute adélie penguins.
Day #12 Antarctica - Drake Passage - Leave Antarctica, crossing the southern waters of the Drake Passage. Participate in engaging lectures on Antarctica’s wonders.
Day #13 Drake Passage - Ushuaia, Argentina - Disembark Ship - Buenos Aires - Disembark the ship in Ushuaia. Transfer to the airport, return to Buenos Aires and spend the afternoon at leisure. This evening, relish a dinner featuring Argentine favorites and a tango performance!
Day #14 Buenos Aires - Tour Ends - Board your overnight flight to return home.