Cruise Type
Ship
Date
Days
Destination
Information
Luxury Explorer Cruise
L' Austral
17.02.2019
27.02.2019
10
Antarctica, Latin America, Emblematic Antarctica
Fare from € 7.700
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Travelroute
Day 1

Ushuaia

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.

Day 2

Drake Passage

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 a 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.

Day 3

Drake Passage

Day 4

Neko Harbour & Paradise Bay

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.
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.

Day 5

Pleneau Island & Port Charcot

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.
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.

Day 6

Port Lockroy

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!

Day 7

Deception Island

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.

Day 8

Weddell Sea

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.

Day 9

Drake Passage

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 a 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.

Day 10

Drake Passage

Day 11

Ushuaia

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.

Overview

Emblematic Antarctica

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 L’Austral 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, L’Austral will clear a path through the impressive table top 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.

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.

Flight Buenos Aires / Ushuaia + visit or time at leisure + transfers + flight Ushuaia / Buenos Aires. DOMESTIC FLIGHTS INCLUDED

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Ship information

L' Austral

In May 2011, L' Austral joined Ponant's fleet. This superb mega-yacht with 132 cabins 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.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Silver Discoverer
19.02.2019
05.03.2019
14
Asia, Andaman Sea and Orangutans
Fare from € 5.185
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Travelroute
Day 1

Yangon, Myanmar

Embark Silver Explorer this afternoon for your exciting 10-day Silversea Expedition – “Andaman Sea and Orangutans”. After a mandatory safety drill, the Expedition Team and important crew members will be introduced. In the evening, enjoy the first of many fine dining experiences in The Restaurant and relax in the Explorer Lounge listening to the music played by our Pianist. As Silver Discoverer will not be leaving until tomorrow afternoon, you might want to explore Yangon’s nightlife.

Day 2

Yangon, Myanmar

During the day you will see one of the largest reclining Buddha in the world at the Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda and visit the world-famous 2,500-year-old Shwedagon Pagoda. The top of the stupa is said to be adorned with 5,488 diamonds and 2,317 rubies. Venerated as a symbol of architectural perfection the glittering golden stupa is considered the appearance of Gautama Buddha in the present world — certainly a highlight. If you wish you can visit the National Museum with its excellent exhibits of some of the more than 135 different ethnic groups present in Myanmar.

Day 3

At sea, cruising the Andaman Sea

Today our Expedition Team will present lectures about the history and natural history of the Mergui Archipelago preparing you for the next three days of exploration within this group of more than 800 islands spread out over 36.000 km². This is a prime location for water activities, and our Marine Biologist will likely want to talk about Mergui’s underwater residents. Temperatures range between 24° and 32° C for the air and 26°- 29°C for the water, making it quite agreeable for swimming and snorkelling.

Day 4

Lampi Island, Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar

During our first day in the archipelago we want to see what Kyun Tan Shey (Lampi Island) located in the Lampi Group can offer us. Lampi was established in 1995 as Myanmar’s first marine national park. It is rich in biodiversity, mangroves and coral reefs. The officially uninhabited island, apart from having occasional fishing nomads stop over, is large enough to hold wild animals. With rainforest and a fringing coral reef, Lampi’s outstanding beauty is enhanced by spotting monkeys, hornbills and sea eagles. From the Zodiacs you can witness some of the area’s exotic flora and fauna. The surrounding islands offer beaches regardless of tides. More than 50 white sand beaches and fringing reefs wait to be used for snorkelling, bird-watching or just relaxing. At this spectacular island we will look for the opportunity of a Zodiac cruise and to offer water based activities from one of the beaches.

Day 5

Bo Cho and Frost Island, Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar

Located south of Lampi Island, Bo Cho Island is a sacred home for the Moken (Sea Gypsy) people who refer to the island with their own name of Pu Nala. A small Moken resettlement zone has been established here and now there is a year-round Moken village. The people were so connected to the ocean that their first houses were all built on stilts near the shore where they could keep a watchful eye on their boats and the sea. Close to 1000 Moken people have made Bo Cho their home and a basic infrastructure supports them. There will be the chance meeting them and to see their unique boat designs. Around noon, Silver Discoverer is scheduled to sail south passing Buda Island. In the afternoon, we will visit Frost Island, one of the smaller islands in the Mid-Group. Here and at the neighbouring island there are perfect beaches for relaxation, while in the water hard and soft corals teem with colourful tropical fishes.

Day 6

Myauk Phyu and Kawthaung, Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar

During the early morning, Silver Discoverer should arrive at Myauk Phyu Island. Our last morning in the archipelago will be used to explore the beaches and water around the uninhabited Myauk Phyu, right next to Hastings Island and the other adjacent uninhabited islands. Long white-sand beaches, clear water and birdsong ashore will captivate nature lovers. Our snorkelers will take up the opportunity to see corals and vibrant fishes, while others might simply relax on a nearby beach, or indulge in a refreshing swim. During lunch, Silver Discoverer relocates to Kawthaung to clear out of Myanmar. Interestingly enough the town has a strong Muslim and Indian influence and a Buddhist monastery atop the hill to the north. As this is a technical stop only, it is unlikely that we will go ashore. Instead, members of our Expedition Team will likely take the opportunity to offer various talks preparing you for our next destination and country.

Day 7

Koh Miang, Similan Islands, Thailand

Found in the Andaman Sea, the Similan Islands are off the coast of Thailand’s Phan Nga Province. Originally only nine (similan in the local language) islands made up the group, but two remote islands have been added to the Mu Koh Similan National Park, which now covers over 140 square kilometers. The Similan Islands are surrounded by crystal clear shallow waters that harbour interesting rock formations and coral reefs. The marine life around the islands is the best in Thailand. Surrounded by sea depths averaging 60 feet, the Similan Islands are also some of Thailand’s best dive sites and offer top snorkelling opportunities. The reefs are estimated to be 5000 year old and the underwater visibility generally runs more than 30 metres. Marine life includes manta rays, moray eels, jacks, and sea snakes, grouper, tuna, barracuda, and diverse reef fish, as well as lobster, whitetip reef sharks and turtles. If we are lucky, we might even spot whale sharks that are known to congregate in the Similan Islands in January and February. As Koh Miang is famous for its white powdered beaches and lush forests, we also intend to do a little exploration ashore.

Day 8

Koh Ra Wi, Thailand

Today we venture into the Ko Tarutao Marine Park. The park was established in 1974 and the roughly 50 under-developed and jungle-covered islands are well off the beaten track and rarely visited by expedition ships. Our fleet of Zodiacs will make the journey to the island of Koh Ra Wi, where local guides will be waiting to brief us and introduce the island. Our goal this morning is a viewpoint called “Pha Chado”, an observation point for pirates in the past. Nowadays, this stunning overlook requires about 40 minutes of walking to reach the top. Well worth the effort, the view from the Chado cliff overlooks lines of trees and the white sandy capes of nearby islands. Gratified by the view, return to the beach where a selection of seasonal fruits awaits you. If time allows following the hike, the marine park offers excellent snorkelling and swimming. By lunchtime, we will bid farewell to Thailand and board Silver Discoverer. During the afternoon, we will be crossing the Malacca Strait in a southerly direction, heading for Indonesia. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon and take in a lecture presentation to prepare you for our time in Sumatra.

Day 9

Belawan, Sumatra, Indonesia

Quite early, Silver Discoverer will go alongside in Belawan, Sumatra’s busiest port. Built originally to export tobacco, rubber and later palm oil, Belawan today is an important port for containers, and exports now include coffee and tea. Here we expect the local authorities to clear the ship before sunrise. For us Belawan is the gate to Gunung Leuser National Park. Located in the interior of Sumatra, running along the Barisan mountain-ridge from Aceh towards the southeast, the park covers an area of some 9000 square kilometres –and apart from being one of Indonesia’s oldest and possibly least visited parks is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site “Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra”. The park is quite mountainous and home to more than 120 species of mammals, 190 species of reptiles and amphibians, as well as more than 350 species of birds. More than 4000 plant species, including such interesting plants as the corpse flower and titan arum can be found in the park. Our reason to come here is to look for the Sumatran orangutan. Before visiting the Bukit Lawang Visitor Center to learn about the flora and fauna of the park, we will have breakfast at the Rindu Alam Restaurant. We will be briefed by a ranger about our visit and hike for approximately two hours in the park. The former Bohorok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center had released more than 200 of the Sumatran orangutan back into the wild before it had to close. Apart from Sumatran orangutan there are eight other primate species present in the park. We hope to see several during our forest walk.

Day 10

At Sea, cruising the Malacca Strait

On approach to Singapore, Silver Discoverer will sail through the Malacca Strait with Malaysia on the northern side and Indonesia’s Sumatra on starboard, the southern side. Today will be an opportunity to edit all the photos taken, or to attend final presentations and lectures about Myanmar, Thailand and/or Sumatra. The Chef and Sommelier might want to present culinary highlights and the wines to accompany them, while the Spa and Gym are ready for you –in case you want to exercise or be pampered. During the afternoon, the onboard Videographer/Photographer will present the Voyage-DVD. You will be astonished passing review of all the highlights seen and activities done during the last 10 days.

Day 11

Singapore, Singapore

Following breakfast, disembark Silver Discoverer.

Please Note: expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and ice conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

Overview

Andaman Sea and Orangutans

Your expedition will lead to one discovery after another. A complimentary programme of unique, small-group shore experiences, led by our team of expert guides and lecturers, allows you to fully experience the lands you’ll visit.

Highlights

See the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Explore three Marine Parks in Myanmar and Thailand. Swim and snorkel in the clear blue waters of the Andaman Sea. Look for whales sharks and manta rays in the Similan Islands. Hike Bukit Lawang to see Sumatran orangutan.

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Ship information

Silver Discoverer

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 338 Feet/102.9 Metres

Passenger Capacity: 120 passengers

Refurbished: 2014

Her small size and shallow draft allow close-up access to rugged coasts well beyond the reach of ordinary vessels. And she has been newly refurbished to help guests maximize their experience and build a genuine connection with the regions they visit. 

Spacious decks and panoramic public rooms mean the drama of the unexpected is never far from view. A fleet of Zodiacs allows exploration from the water or remote landings anywhere nature or curiosity dictate. Since many of our expeditions sail to some of the world's most pristine coral reef systems, there's a glass-bottom boat for underwater viewing along with a full complement of snorkelling equipment and a dive programme for advanced divers. 

We've also taken great care to assemble a truly outstanding Expedition Team, composed of experts in the culture, history and wild life of the destinations, to present informal talks, guide Zodiac outings and lead small-group explorations ashore. While back on board, every creature comfort awaits: an ocean view suite, in suite bar and the head to toe pampering of a butler; elegant lounges and open bar where fellow travellers gather to swap tales about their day's adventures; and cuisine that meets Silversea's standards of culinary excellence which are lofty, indeed. Imaginative menus in The Restaurant feature both regional offerings and dishes inspired by Relais & Châteaux. Additional amenities include a sun-catching pool deck, an internet cafe, a fitness centre, and a beauty and massage centre, particularly alluring after an adventurous day ashore.

Contact
Booking
Small Expedition Yacht
Tip Top IV
20.02.2019
05.03.2019
13
Latin America, Pacific and Oceania, 14 Day Natural History Galapagos Experience
Fare from € 6.620
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Travelroute
Day 1

Arrive in Quito

The trip begins in Quito, Ecuador. On arrival, you will be transferred directly to the Hotel Mercure Alameda where we will spend the night. We think very highly of the Hotel Mercure Alameda. It is said that, of the finer hotels in Quito, they have the most personal service. Our experiences strongly support this impression. Meals on your own.

Day 2

Quito

Today is a free day in the High Andes city of Quito, with a spectacular old town district that is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Nearby sightseeing possibilities include Indian markets, the Equatorial Monument, tropical cloud forests, the Amazon Basin, and active volcanoes. A wide range of half-day, full-day and multi-day expeditions are available. Lunch and dinner on your own. Overnight Quito; Hotel Mercure Alameda.

Day 3

Baltra & North Seymour

A morning flight will take you from the High Andes, to another world; the Galapagos Islands. On arrival in Galapagos we will immediately transfer to the yacht waiting at the nearby harbour. This afternoon we will begin our program of shore excursions with a visit to the island of North Seymour. In addition to being a major nesting area for the blue-footed booby, North Seymour is home to the largest colony of magnificent frigate birds in the Galápagos. Both marine and land iguanas are found in good numbers here, and sea lions often surf the rocky shore break.

Day 4

Tower

Located in the northeast portion of the Galápagos, Tower is an outpost for many sea birds (as is Española to the south - perhaps this is why they are our two favourite islands). Depending on conditions we often will have a chance to snorkel and kayak within the bay. • Darwin Bay is an anchorage within a caldera, with surrounding cliffs forming the inner portion of the rim. Along the small beach there is a forest of salt bush where adjacent colonies of great frigate birds and red-footed boobies nest. There are two endemic gull species found in Galápagos; lava gulls and swallow-tailed gulls – both frequently nest here. • A visit to Prince Philip’s Steps begins with a Panga Ride along the cliffs, watching for red-billed tropicbirds and the occasional fur seal, while squadrons of frigate birds fly overhead in their endless piratical pursuits. On shore dwarf Palo Santo trees are home to a colony of red-footed boobies, while Nazca Boobies nest below on the ground. Along the lava fields storm petrels fly overhead in great numbers, while short-eared owls hunt for them among the lava cracks.

Day 5

Santiago

James Bay/Puerto Egas is home to Fur Seal Grotto - not only a beautiful site, but this is your only chance to get close to the endemic fur seals. Some of the best tide-pooling is also here, drawing a wonderful variety of shorebirds and seabirds, with yellow-crowned night herons and American Oystercatchers being the most commonly seen. Inland you might have a chance to see painted locusts, grasshoppers, and possibly even the Galápagos snake. Galápagos hawks are also common on the inland trail. Santiago • Playa Espumilla is a golden sandy beach where sea turtles nest, and ghost crabs and wading birds abound. Beyond the mangroves that frame the beach lie saline lagoons; further in you can find some of the 10 finches that inhabit Santiago, along with the vermillion and broad-billed flycatchers. • A cruise past Buccaneer Cove shows where sailors cleaned ship, hunted meat from the abundant sea lions along the beach, and collected firewood and water. Impressive tuff cliffs frame the southern cove, while eroded cinder to the north has been carved by time into fanciful shapes.

Day 6

Isabela & Fernandia

The cold waters approaching Punta Vicente Roca offer some of the best opportunities for whales and dolphins, and maybe the chance to snorkel with a Mola mola. Fernandia• This is the youngest of the Galápagos Islands. Punta Espinosa is a wonderful visitor site, with the largest colony of marine iguanas in the islands, in addition to flightless cormorants, Galápagos Penguins, herons and Galápagos Hawks. This is often the best place to see marine iguanas in the water as they feed on the barely submerged rocks along the shore.

Day 7

Isabela

Tagus Cove is a natural harbour featuring steep cliffs replete with graffiti from ship’s crews dating as far back as 1836 carved into the face. The cliffs are populated by marine iguanas, penguins, crabs, sea lions, and in the crevices outside the bay, Brown Noddy terns and the occasional Galápagos Martin. Ground and tree finches, hawks, yellow warblers, large-billed flycatchers and perhaps the woodpecker finch can be viewed along the way. • Elizabeth Bay is a mangrove inlet explored by zodiac, with an amazing concentration of green sea turtles and rays. The neighbouring Marielas Islets are home to the largest colony of Galápagos Penguins, with penguins often seen in the water at Elizabeth Bay.

Day 8

Isabela

Urbina Bay was the site of a dramatic volcanic uplift in 1954, where 4 miles of coastline suddenly rose nearly 15 feet, with the coastline driven three quarters of a mile farther out to sea. The marine remnants and giant coral heads are a stark reminder. Inland land iguanas, and an occasional tortoise, are often found here. Along the shore flightless cormorants and brown pelicans typically nest. We might have a chance to snorkel along the rocky bay. • Situated against a backdrop of 3 volcanos, Punta Moreno features views of Isabela’s Sierra Negra & Cerro Azul, and Fernandina’s Le Cumbre. The trail traverses sharp Pahoehoe lava to verdant interior and coastal brackish lagoons. You’ll find all 3 types of cactus colonizing this relatively recent lava flow. The shoreline features Blue-footed Boobies and nesting flightless cormorants while the lagoons are home to white-cheeked pintail ducks and flamingos feeding on abundant brine shrimp.

Day 9

Floreana

Punta Cormorant is one of the most interesting landings (on an olivine beach), with an emphasis on plant life and shore birds. A brackish lagoon is home to flamingos, pintail ducks, and commons stilts. Panga cruising and snorkelling at the offshore islet of Champion (where you might also get a glimpse of the endemic Charles Mockingbird on shore). • Post Office Bay is one the most historically famous island locations - be sure to bring a postcard or two ashore with you to "mail". • Black Beach & the Highlands - while not official park visitor sites, both are rewarding. Much of the early human history of the Galápagos, and especially the Wittmer family, played out in the highlands of Floreana. A visit to the highlands is also your only opportunity in the archipelago to search for the endemic medium tree finch. The seaside Wittmer hotel features an exhibit of early photographs of sailing expeditions and explorers to call on the island.

Day 10

Santa Cruz

A trip to the Highlands (by mini-bus) traverses all 7 vegetation zones of the Galápagos. In addition to two enormous pit craters, other volcanic formations include some of the largest known lava tunnels in the Galápagos. Not surprisingly, the lush highland vegetation is home to a variety of land birds, including vermillion flycatchers, Galápagos Flycatchers, woodpecker finches, dark-billed cuckoos, and Barn Owls. Tortoises are often seen in the wild here. • Puerto Ayora is the scientific heart of Galápagos, including the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) and Galápagos National Park tortoise center, as well as the primary population center. This will be the only opportunity to see the rare Galapagos saddleback tortoises.

Day 11

Espanola

Punta Suarez is a paradise for birders, with waved albatross, Nazca Boobies, blue-footed boobies, Galápagos Hawks, Galápagos Doves, and also marine iguanas (the most colourful in the islands) all vying for center stage. • Gardner Bay is a tranquil white sandy beach known for sea lions, lava lizards, finches, yellow warblers, & Hood Mockingbirds, to name just a few. Gardner or Tortuga Rocks offer great snorkelling, as well as the occasional chance to kayak.

Day 12

San Cristóbal

This is the easternmost island in the archipelago (and also the provincial capital). • Punta Pitt is a coastal tuff formation that serves as a nesting site for many sea birds, including blue-footed, Nazca & red-footed boobies (the only site where all 3 species might be seen together), frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, and storm petrels. • Cerro Brujo is a very striking, eroded tuff cone. One of the first places visited by Charles Darwin, the beautiful white coralline sand beach and lagoon are home to brown pelicans, blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls, plus a variety of shore birds. Stroll the beach and you will soon realize that you are being watched by hundreds of shy ghost crabs. San Cristóbal is also home to the endemic Chatham Mockingbird. • Kicker Rock is a similarly eroded tuff cone, this time rising almost 500 feet from the ocean. The yacht will cruise around Kicker Rock as the sunlight plays off the contours of the cliffs and formation (complete with blue-footed boobies, Nazca Boobies, and frigate birds).

Day 13

Mosquera

This is a tiny islet, really more of a long, narrow sand spit, with a huge population of sea lions. Additional occupants include Sally Lightfoot Crabs and lava lizards, plus a wonderful variety of birdlife flying over. It makes a perfect "last landing" to reflect on the wonders of Galápagos experienced during your 11 days in the islands. • Baltra - A mid-morning departure will have us back in Quito this afternoon. On arrival (late afternoon) in Quito, we will be transferred directly to the Hotel Mercure Alameda where we will spend the night. We will have a group Farewell Dinner at one of the leading restaurants in Quito.

Day 14

Departure from Quito

Transfer to the airport today for your return flight home. Or, if you prefer, remain on in Ecuador for a few days exploring the High Andes, Amazon Basin, or tropical cloud forests…

Additional charges: Galápagos National Park Entrance Fee/Migration Card + Fuel Surcharge. From: € 410,- pp

Overview

14 Day Natural History Galapagos Experience

Galápagos Photography Tour
Our trips are different. This voyage spends 11 days in the Galapagos Islands. Out trips are the longest regularly available tours of the Galapagos.

‘’It is the fate of most voyagers, no sooner to discover what is most interesting in any locality than they are hurried from it’’, Charles Darwin, 1845

Our trips are educationally-oriented and are accompanied by a Tour Leader / Biologist in addition to a local Naturalist Guide. The tours are oriented to the passenger who wants to observe and learn as much as possible about the Galapagos – the animals and plants – on land and in the water.

The tours are also oriented to photographers (although you don’t have to be a photographer to get full value and enjoyment from our trips). We do offer some light photographic advice and, more important extensive, unique, and excellent photo opportunities.

Highlights

Maximize and get the most out of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure travel experience. Our Workshops provide an in-depth orientation to the islands beyond the scope of most “vacation- type” tours • Spend a longer time in the islands than most tour groups. We feel that 11 days is the minimum time necessary to see most of the important Visitor Sites (including the outer islands) and be assured of a maximum viewing opportunity of the significant plant and animal species. We include 3 days in the volcanically-active western islands, where we whale-watch, see penguins, flightless cormorants, and giant tortoises in the wild • In addition to the legally-required Naturalist Guide, we provide a Tour Leader/ Biologist who gives daily lectures on natural history. The Guide’s role is to escort people on shore, to provide some wildlife interpretation, and to make sure the rules of the National Park are enforced. Having a Tour Leader adds a serious educational orientation to the trip • Our two daily island visits are longer (2-4 hours each) than most tours. We also go on shore earlier in the day (typically landing between 6 and 7am. vs. 8am for most other vessels) to enhance viewing and photographic opportunities.

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Ship Overview

Tip Top IV

Vessel Type: Motor Yacht

Length: 27 metres

Passenger Capacity: 16

Built / refurbished: 2006 / 2015

The 125 ft, steel-hulled, TIP TOP IV was built in Guayaquil, Ecuador in 2006, and totally refurbished in 2015. The design includes all modern navigation instrumentation and safety features. She has a crew of 7 and carries just 16 passengers in 10 air-conditioned double cabins (4 on the bridge deck and 6 on the lower deck). All cabins feature 2 lower twin beds, which can also be modified to create a double bed if guests prefer. The interior is very spacious and attractive, and features a library/conference room, and a spacious dining room. There are extensive outside viewing (both sun and shade) areas. Twin diesels give her a cruising speed of 12 knots. Shore landings are made via twin 17-foot inflatable zodiacs. Special equipment on board includes basic snorkelling gear to loan as well as kayaks.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Silver Explorer
21.02.2019
07.03.2019
14
Latin America, Chilean Fjords
Fare from € 5.685
<read more>
Travelroute
Day 1

Ushuaia, Argentina

Embark the Silver Explorer and depart on your exciting Expedition — “Chilean Fjords”. Once you have settled in and before Silver Explorer leaves Ushuaia, you will attend a mandatory safety drill. Later you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and this evening you can enjoy the delights of a specially prepared menu in The Restaurant.

Day 2

Cruise the Garibaldi Fjord and Glacier

Heading west in the Beagle Channel, Silver Explorer will reach the Garibaldi Fjord early in the morning. This beautiful corner of the Chilean fjords lies within the Alberto de Agostini National Park, Chile’s third largest national park. This park – with its 14.600 km2 – includes all Chilean islands south of the Strait of Magellan, including a portion of Tierra del Fuego. The Garibaldi is an impressive glacier on the south face of the Cordillera Darwin. During a Zodiac cruise we will see the different shades of blue of the ice -and calving events can make for a very impressive sight. Dozens of waterfalls dot the cliffs and in some cases the wind gusts can be so strong that the water gets blown upwards! In terms of wildlife we can expect the majestic Andean Condor, a South American sea lion colony, skuas, kingfishers, Flightless Steamer Ducks, Crested Ducks, Kelp Geese, Ashy-headed Geese, caracaras, vultures, and nesting Imperial Shags among others. During the afternoon, Silver Explorer will sail out into the Pacific Ocean to reach the entrance to the Strait of Magellan and our experts will present talks in The Theatre to give you an introduction to Chile and the region’s wildlife and nature. Today our lecturers will introduce you to the natural and historical highlights of Chile’s Magallanes Region and its capital Punta Arenas.

Day 3

Alberto de Agostini National Park and Ainsworth Bay, Chile

Today Silver Explorer will navigate past Dawson Island –quite infamous in Chile’s modern-day history as a penal settlement for political prisoners- into Almirantazgo Sound, to arrive at Ainsworth Bay. The bay is within Alberto De Agostini National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Depending on conditions, we intend to offer a Zodiac cruise to see the Marinelli Glacier descending from Darwin Mountain Range. This area will give a good appreciation how the land returns to life after glacial retreat. We also intend to take a walk in the stunning sub-polar Magellanic forest teeming with evergreens and deciduous trees. The bay promises a good chance of sighting Southern elephant seals, while nearby Tucker Island is known to have Magellanic Penguins.

Day 4

Punta Arenas, Chile

Leaving from Punta Arenas, the capital of the region, you have two options: you can either drive to the estancia El Galpón or visit historic Fort Bulnes. At El Galpón you will get an understanding of the procedure of the wool and the importance of cattle and sheep to Patagonia through presentations of a video and the demonstration of sheep shearing. There is also a guided path of local flora, while rheas and guanacos can be seen roaming free. Visit the small museum and enjoy a cocktail before heading back to the pier. Another option would be to head south along the Strait of Magellan towards the Patagonia History Park and Fort Bulnes, a reconstruction of the first Chilean settlement along the Strait of Magellan. The wooden buildings give a Wild West feeling –more appropriately Wild South- and the recently inaugurated visitor’s centre will give an insight into the fort founded in 1843 and the impact it had on the region. Enjoy a stroll around the fort and the views of the Strait.

Day 5

Montañas Fjord, Chile

Silver Explorer will cruise the Chilean Fjords and head for the Montañas Fjord in the late morning, early afternoon. Silver Explorer will sail parallel to the Cordillera de Sarmiento where several cascades and seven glaciers come down the steep sides of the mountains and –conditions permitting- we might do a Zodiac cruise or even land for a short hike. In the afternoon we will continue towards Puerto Natales.

Day 6

Puerto Natales & White Narrows, Chile

From Puerto Natales we will head out to Torres del Paine National Park by bus. This is considered by many to be the most spectacular worldwide Reserve at the end of the world. Covering an area of 242,000 hectares, the park is a fertile combination of lakes, lagoons, waterfalls, glaciers, hills and spectacular peaks and is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. On the way to Laguna Sarmiento, the entrance to the park, we will stop for photos of the free roaming guanacos, Andean Condors and other wildlife. There will be opportunities to see the Salto Grande waterfall, the famous Torres del Paine peaks (weather permitting) and Nordenskjold Lake. Lunch will be had at the Serrano River area. Within the park there will be three different options of walks and hikes –depending on your fitness or willingness to exercise.
White Narrows, Chile
Leaving Puerto Natales, Silver Explorer will reach the White Narrows and another spectacular facet of the vast expenses of Chile’s largest national park, Bernardo O’Higgins. The famous White Narrows become evident as mountains loom in on both sides of the fjord with hardy native plants clinging to barren rock. With only approximately 80 meters (260 feet) of clearance from either side of the passage, the sharp turns of the ship, skillfully executed between rocky outcrops, are fascinating to watch from the outer decks. On the transit through the breathtaking White Narrows, it is also possible to see seals and dolphins plying the waters alongside the ship.

Day 7

Cruising the Chilean Fjords

Our course will take us through the vast expense of the Chilean Fjords. We will sail through Chile’s largest national park, Bernardo O’Higgins, heading north for another famous narrow channel, the English Narrows. Mountains loom on both sides of the ship and while Silver Explorer will sail past Wellington Island –at 5,556 km² Chile’s second-largest island- our experts will continue to assist you on deck looking for birds and mammals, while discussions and lecture will also take place in The Theatre.

Day 8

Cruise Pio XI Glacier and English Narrows, Chile

During the morning attend lectures about the Fjords’ natural history or perhaps a seminar. Birders will want to know and see what species live in this area. We might still have a chance to see Andean Condors majestically soaring above the hills and mountains. Around lunchtime we will visit the Pio XI Glacier. This tidewater glacier sprawled out in front of us is 4.5 km wide and a remarkable shade of brilliant blue. An outlet glacier of the South Patagonian Ice Field, the Pio XI had once extended out into the fjords whose waters we ply today. In the evening –actually during dinnertime- we head towards the English Narrows. Our Captain and the local Chilean Pilots expertly manoeuvre Silver Explorer through the slalom course of islands and channel markers. At the narrowest part it has a width of 80 metres, permitting the passage of only one vessel at a time. Once we have passed the English Narrows you will have time for a leisurely dinner

Day 9

Tortel, Chile

Our course will take Silver Explorer to Caleta Tortel, one of the southernmost and until 2003 least connected settlements in Chile’s Aisén Region (in Patagonia). The abundant cypress led to the founding of the village and most houses are built on stilts along the shoreline of this hilly terrain. There are no conventional streets; instead the houses are connected by wooden walkways. We will explore the village –where a folkloric presentation awaits us at the main plaza- and will take our Zodiacs cruise through the channels and the Baker River to visit “La Isla de los Muertos”, a small island used as a cemetery in 1906. Both the village and the island have been declared National Monuments.

Day 10

At sea, Chile

Today Silver Explorer will venture again into the Pacific and will round the Tres Montes and Taitao Peninsulas – the sea tends to be rough, but the area is known for its whales and dolphins sightings. Watch for cetaceans or relax in one of the lounges with that book you’ve been meaning to read and meet up with new friends for cocktails. During the night, Silver Explorer will pass the Guaitecas Archipelago and will enter calm waters.

Day 11

Castro, Chile

Chiloé Island is home to an amazing collection of 150 Jesuit-built wooden churches, houses raised up on poles out of the water, and more than 400 native plant varieties. From Castro, we head north to the picturesque village of Dalcahue and a brief ferry ride to the island of Quinchao, passing through Curaco de Velez. This tiny village of approximately 500 inhabitants had its best times around 1850. Today, beautiful houses remain as a testament to those earlier days. Black-necked Swans can sometimes be seen near the here. We then head for Achao, which was founded by the Jesuits in 1743. Achao is a lively town with boats arriving every day from all the surrounding islands. We will visit the Jesuit’s Achao Church, the oldest wooden structure in Chiloé and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Constructed in 1730, it contains beautiful baroque imagery. Afterwards, we take the ferry back to Dalcahue. Here we will visit the well-preserved Dalcahue Church with its galvanized iron roof. The details and precision of the imagery carved by Jesuits from locally grown Patagonian cypress, larch and luma trees, are amazing -it was declared a World Heritage site in 2000. For lunch we head to Rilan, where a traditional “Pulmay” will be served. This is a meal typical of Chiloe, consisting of shellfish, potatoes, chicken and smoked meats cooked together in a pot (sometimes in an underground oven).There will be a traditional folkloric presentation and a local fashion show of typical dresses and materials. Alternatively, visit three of the 16 UNESCO World Heritage Site churches on the island of Chiloé in Vilupulli, Chonchi and Castro. Apart from the churches, the Museum of Traditions will be visited in Chonchi. This small museum houses artefacts and photos relating to Chiloe and Chonchi and recreates the feeling of Chonchi in the early 20th century. The excursion ends with a visit to Castro’s handicraft market.

Day 12

Puerto Montt, Chile

Puerto Montt is the starting point for our excursions to the Lake District and specifically Lago Llanquihue. We will drive along the southern shore of Chile’s second-largest lake and head for the Petrohué waterfalls. These falls ‘connect’ Lago Esmeralda with Lago Llanquihue and we will walk over to the viewing platforms of Chile’s best-known falls. Here we will have an opportunity to see some of the local plants and endemic trees. Later you will have the choice to either visit a typical Chilean farm to learn about the traditions of southern Chile’s food, music, tools and the national sport of rodeo –which is quite different from the North American version- or to have lunch at a local restaurant and to explore the town of Puerto Varas. If you choose the Fundo Olguita, you will have lunch including empanadas, a tasty barbeque und traditional German desserts –this area was first colonized by Germans in the mid-19th century. You will also have the chance to learn the Chilean national dance, the Cueca. If you choose Puerto Varas, you will have time to explore the “City of Roses” –as Puerto Varas is known- and to browse the small handicraft village and see some of the wooden buildings for which the town was declared a “Heritage Zone”.

Day 13

Niebla, Chile

During the late morning Silver Explorer will anchor in the Corral Bay halfway between Corral and Niebla. Niebla is a small village on the banks of the Rio Valdivia where Chile’s Corral Bay meets the Pacific Ocean. Today Niebla is a beach resort, but in 1671 it was a defensive fortress built by Spanish conquerors to prevent attacks from pirates and corsairs. Today you can either drive to the charming river port city of Valdivia, where we will find an interesting blend of influences from the native Mapuche, Spanish settlers, and German immigrants, or take a catamaran on the river. In both cases you will have time to see the town of Valdivia. The first German colonists arrived here in 1849 and worked hard to develop Valdivia into one of southern Chile’s most productive areas and their influence can be felt in every corner of this city. The town was affected by the 1960 earthquake –the worst ever recorded- but rebuilt with a strong German imprint. On our way to Valdivia we can see tracts of land that are still under water as a result of the quake. We will visit the river market and have a look at downtown Valdivia with its mix of old and modern buildings. You will have to choose whether you would like to visit the Fort at Niebla or enjoy fresh fish and crabs in Valdivia.

Day 14

At sea

During the last day of our voyage, edit your photos and videos, attend final presentations and discussions and watch our Voyage-DVD prepared by the onboard Videographer. Following the Humboldt Current, Silver Explorer will continue north along the Chilean coast, heading for the most populous area of Central Chile -with the most important harbours, the seat of Parliament (Valparaiso) and the capital (Santiago).

Day 15

Valparaiso, Chile

While Silver Explorer approaches Valparaiso, take in the sights of “The Pearl of the Pacific” –as the city is known in Chile’s literature and music. Valparaiso’s historic hillside settlements (including the still used funiculars) have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After breakfast disembark Silver Explorer.

Please Note: expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

Overview

Chilean Fjords

A journey from the “End of the World” to “the Jewel of the Pacific”. A remarkable medley of landscapes to see: from steep streets and jumbled buildings of Ushuaia to Patagonia’s lakes, glaciers, mountains and fjords. The exceptional wooden churches of Chiloe will delight history buffs while nature lovers will rejoice in the wildlife, both at sea and in the Torres del Paines national park.

Highlights

Reach the Garibaldi Fjord – an impressive glacier on the south face of the Cordillera Darwin. Take a walk in the stunning sub-polar Magellanic forest teeming with evergreens and deciduous trees. Visit Torres del Paine National Park – the most spectacular worldwide Reserve at the end of the world. Discover Chiloé Island – home to an amazing collection of 150 Jesuit-built wooden churches, houses raised up on poles out of the water, and more than 400 native plant varieties. Visit a typical Chilean farm to learn about the traditions of southern Chile’s food, music, tools and the national sport of rodeo. Arrive at Valparaiso – the Pearl of the Pacific.

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Ship information

Silver Explorer

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 108 metres

Passenger Capacity: 132

Built / refurbished: 1989 / 2008

Silversea’s purpose-built Silver Explorer expedition ship (formerly the Prince Albert II) has been designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both of earth’s polar regions. A strengthened hull with a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger vessels enables Silver Explorer to safely push through ice floes with ease. A fleet of Zodiac boats allows Silversea Expedition guests to visit even the most off-the-beaten path locations and an expert Expedition Team provides insight and understanding to each unforgettable Silver Explorer cruise adventure.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Stella Australis
21.02.2019
25.02.2019
4
Latin America, Fjords Of Tierra Del Fuego
Fare from € 2.055
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Travelroute
Day 1

Punta Arenas

Check in at 1385 O’Higgins Street (Arturo Prat Port) in Punta Arenas between 13:00 and 17:00 (1-5 PM) on the day of your cruise departure. Board the M/V Stella Australis (6 PM). After a welcoming cocktail reception hosted by the captain and his crew, the ship departs for one of the remotest corners of planet Earth. During the night we cross the Strait of Magellan and enter the labyrinth of channels that define the southern extreme of Patagonian. The twinkling lights of Punta Arenas gradually fade into the distance as we enter the Whiteside Canal between Darwin Island and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego.

Day 2

Ainsworth Bay - Tuckers Islets

By dawn the ship is sailing up Admiralty Sound (Seno Almirantazgo), a spectacular offshoot of the Strait of Magellan that stretches nearly halfway across Tierra del Fuego. The snowcapped peaks of Karukinka Natural Park stretch along the north side of the sound, while the south shore is defined by the deep fjords and broad bays of Alberto de Agostini National Park. We go ashore at Ainsworth Bay, which harbours copious bird life and a colony of southern elephant seals which can sometimes be spotted from the Zodiacs. Two guided excursions are available: one is along the edge of a stream, peat bog and beaver habitat to a waterfall-and-moss-covered rock face tucked deep inside a pristine sub-polar forest; the other is a more strenuous hike along the crest of a glacial moraine. Both afford views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains. Leaving Ainsworth Bay behind, we sail west along the sound to the Tucker Islets. After lunch, we board the Zodiacs again for a close-up view of the Magellan penguins that inhabit the tiny islands. More than 4,000 penguins use Tucker as a place to nest, give birth and nurture their chicks. Many other bird species also frequent the area including king cormorants, oystercatchers, Chilean skuas, kelp geese, dolphin gulls, eagles and even the occasional Andean condor. In September and April -- when the penguins live elsewhere -- this excursion is replaced by a short walk to a glacier at nearby stunning Brookes Bay.

Day 3

Pia Glacier - Glacier Alley

Overnight we sail around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial Channel, Magdalena Channel and Cockburn Channel. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, Stella Australis tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning we are entering Pia Fjord and boarding the Zodiacs for a shore excursion to Pia Glacier. After disembarking we take a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea or a longer much more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier. No one knows for certain how the hulking mass of snow and ice got its feminine moniker, but one theory says it was named for Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (1847-1911), daughter of the Italian king. Back onboard the ship, we continue east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley. Living up to its name, the passage features a number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore. Most of them named after European countries -- Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.

Day 4

Wulaia Bay - Cape Horn

During the early morning we navigate the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands and drop anchor at historic Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station -- which is especially strong on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area -- passengers have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooden mountain behind the bay. On all of these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay. Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum – letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travellers – an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis.In the afternoon we cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we shall go ashore on the windswept island that harbours legendary Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos). Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition -- and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland -- Cape Horn is a sheer 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years it was the only navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic, and was often referred to as the "End of the Earth." The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a lightkeeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument.

Day 5

Ushuaia

The following morning we sail into Argentine waters and dock in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city. Stella Australis is scheduled to arrive at 8:30 or 9:30 AM depending on the date of departure.

Additional charges: port tax, migration fee and national park fee: € 55,- pp

Please Note: the excursions described in the itineraries can normally be carried out. Notwithstanding the above, Transportes Marítimos Terra Australis S.A., Transportes Marítimos Via Australis S.A., and Transportes Marítimos Geo Australis S.A reserve the right to reschedule, shorten, or alter all or part of the itineraries and/or excursions without prior notice, in order to safeguard the wellbeing and safety of passengers, preserve the environment, or due to any extraordinary circumstances, acts of God or force majeure. For the same reasons, the hours of departure or arrival of the vessels may be subject to change. There is no guarantee of wildlife sighting because the precise location of these animals cannot be confirmed.

Overview

Fjords Of Tierra Del Fuego

Our cruise to Patagonia follow the fjords of the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego highlights the stunning, natural beauty of Patagonia and several of its most important historical sites. This four-day journey includes visits to wildlife rich Ainsworth Bay, massive Pia Glacier and Glacier Alley, as well as mystical Wulaia Bay and the legendary Cape Horn.
Highlights
Experience a great adventure to the “uttermost End of the Earth”. See the Marinelli Glacier descending from Darwin Mountain Range. Get close to a colony of Magellan Penguins (indigenous to the Southern Hemisphere) and cormorants. Enjoy spectacular views of the awe-inspiring Pia Glacier. Take an enchanted walk through the Magellan Forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic vegetation, to reach a panoramic viewpoint. During the cruise there will be interesting presentations on the wildlife, history and geography of this legendary region. The presentations will take place both on board (with audio-visual support) and on land.

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Ship information

Stella Australis

Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship

Length: 89 metres

Passenger Capacity: 210

Built: 2010

The Stella Australis offers tourists a relaxed stay, while providing breathtaking sights from the decks. Indulge in first class Chile travel onboard the Stella Australis. When you book our Patagonia cruise tours you have to opportunity to relax on a spacious cruise ship to Patagonia, with a beautiful atmosphere, and fine dining. Before you embark on your Patagonia adventure enjoy the comfort of cabins that provide you with incredible ocean views and lavish decor. Wine and dine, mix and mingle, and enjoy our fabulous entertainment on your Patagonia vacation.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Explorer Cruise
Le Lyrial
21.02.2019
03.03.2019
10
Antarctica, Latin America, Emblematic Antarctica
Fare from € 7.700
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Travelroute
Day 1

Ushuaia

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.

Day 2

Drake Passage

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 a 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.

Day 3

Drake Passage

Day 4

Neko Harbour & Paradise Bay

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.
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.

Day 5

Pleneau Island & Port Charcot

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.
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.

Day 6

Port Lockroy

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!

Day 7

Deception Island

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.

Day 8

Weddell Sea

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.

Day 9

Drake Passage

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 a 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.

Day 10

Drake Passage

Day 11

Ushuaia

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.

Overview

Emblematic Antarctica

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 Lyrial 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 Lyrial will clear a path through the impressive table top 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.

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.

Flight Buenos Aires / Ushuaia + visit or time at leisure + transfers + flight Ushuaia / Buenos Aires. DOMESTIC FLIGHTS INCLUDED

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Ship information

Le Lyrial

Fourth ship in this superb series loyal to the Ponant spirit, Le Lyrial like her sister ships embodies the subtle alliance between luxury, intimacy and wellbeing which is Ponant’s signature. The elegance of her exterior and interior lines and the intimate size (only 122 staterooms and suites) make this a rare and innovative yacht on the cruise market.

Interior Design

We have been inspired by the destinations we visit and decided to create a subtle variation around a palette of blues. Ranging from the luminous delicate grey-blue of the Polar ice to splashes of the vivid turquoise blue found in Mediterranean coves, it also includes the blue light of the future pole star.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Explorer Cruise
Le Boréal
22.02.2019
04.03.2019
10
Antarctica, Latin America, Emblematic Antarctica
Fare from € 7.700
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Travelroute
Day 1

Ushuaia

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.

Day 2

Drake Passage

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 a 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.

Day 3

Drake Passage

Day 4

Neko Harbour & Paradise Bay

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.
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.

Day 5

Pleneau Island & Port Charcot

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.
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.

Day 6

Port Lockroy

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!

Day 7

Deception Island

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.

Day 8

Weddell Sea

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.

Day 9

Drake Passage

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 a 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.

Day 10

Drake Passage

Day 11

Ushuaia

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.

Overview

Emblematic Antarctica

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 Boréal 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 Boréal will clear a path through the impressive table top 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.

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.

Flight Buenos Aires / Ushuaia + visit or time at leisure + transfers + flight Ushuaia / Buenos Aires. DOMESTIC FLIGHTS INCLUDED

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Ship information

Le Boréal

Like her sister ships, Le Boréal 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
Superior materials, discreet elegance and a tasteful décor reflect a nautical mood subtly revisited. Aboard, soothing neutral grey tones are enlivened by splashes of red, our signature theme linking tradition and innovation to create personal touches in the spirit of a “private yacht”.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Explorer Cruise
Le Lapérouse
23.02.2019
11.03.2019
16
Australia and NZ, Macquarie and the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands Expedition
Fare from € 10.550
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Travelroute
Day 1

Dunedin

Dunedin is New Zealand's oldest city and is often referred to as the Edinburgh of New Zealand. This city of the south, wears its Scottish heritage with pride. The city contains some of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture in the Southern Hemisphere. The picturesque Silverpeaks hinterland to the North West provides a picturesque backdrop and The Otago Peninsula, which lies within the city boundaries, has internationally renowned wildlife reserves, including the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross.

Day 2

At sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the Ponant photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 3

Milford Sound

Milford Sound fjord is one of the most beautiful natural sites in New Zealand. Located on the south-west coast of the South Island in the Fiorldland National Park, this magnificent inlet was carved out by glaciers during the ice age. Majestic cliffs surge out of the dark waters, rising several hundred metres high and impressive waterfalls cascade down the sheer rock faces. In the heart of this wilderness, you'll be able to visit a floating underwater observatory, only accessible by boat, to study the wonders of aquatic life while you stay dry.

Day 4

Doubtful Sound & Dusky Sound, Pickersgill harbour

Day 5

Snares Islands

Day 6

Enderby Island, Auckland Islands

Day 7

Musgrave inlet, Auckland Islands

Day 8

At sea

Day 9

Anare station, Macquarie Island

Day 10

Sandy Bay, Macquarie Island

Day 11

At sea

Day 12

Campbell Island

Day 13

At sea

Day 14

Antipodes Islands

Day 15

Bounty Islands

Day 16

At sea

Day 17

Dunedin

Disembarkation.

Additional charges: port taxes: € 770,- pp

Overview

Macquarie and the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands Expedition

On this cruise aboard Le Lapérouse, we invite you to discover the primitive beauty of the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand. Set sail on a 17-day expedition cruise and let yourself be dazzled by an exceptional itinerary, home to bountiful wildlife that is not found elsewhere.

Often described as the “Galapagos of the Southern Ocean”, the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand are among the best preserved environments on the planet. Isolated and wild, they are one those end-of-world places that have very few visitors and really do provide a total change of scenery.

After sailing in spectacular fiords, Le Lapérouse will head for the five groups of the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand as well as for Australia’s Macquarie Island. Home to fauna of an incredible diversity, including some endemic species, the islands are collectively designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lush green meadows, steep cliffs, mountains and black-sand beaches: here you will find many dazzling landscapes frequented by an incalculable number of penguins, sea lions, fur seals, elephant seals, albatrosses and giant petrels. Wildlife reigns supreme here, much to the delight of photographers and nature lovers. A powerful experience amidst surprising nature.

Highlights

Explore the Sub Antarctic Islands of New Zealand, one of the least visited regions in the world
• Zodiac® outings & shore visits with your expedition team • Opportunities for hiking with guided walks on the Auckland Islands, Campbell Island and Macquarie Island, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites • Wildlife: colonies of fur seals, elephant seals, king and yelloweyed penguins. A very wide variety of birds: Gibson’s albatross, giant petrels, Auckland shags and rorquals • Landscapes: Beaches of black sand, cliffs and lush green prairies, contrasting with snow – capped mountain chains with looking over glacial valleys fiords

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Ship information

Le Lapérouse

Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed cabins, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 cabins and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.

As the first ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant's spirit, Le Lapérouse will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort.

Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service.

Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Mekong River Cruise
Aqua Mekong
01.03.2019
08.03.2019
7
Asia, Aqua Mekong Expedition Cruise
Fare from € 8.120
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Travelroute
Day 1

Mekong River - My Tho - Ho Chi Minh - Vietnam

We will collect you at the Ho Chi Minh meeting point and transfer you by air-conditioned coach to My Tho dock where we will welcome you aboard the Aqua Mekong. Settle into your floating retreat, with its window wall conferring an endlessly captivating panorama. Enjoy these private Mekong moments on your California king bed, terrace or daybed.

Day 2

Mekong River - Binh Thanh/Sa Dec - My An Hung

Begin the day at Binh Thanh mat weaving village or opt to visit Sa Dec where we will peruse the vibrant market and see the famous house of Marguerite Duras' legendary lover, Mr. Huynh Thuy Le. In the afternoon, visit a typical Mekong Delta village called My An Hung where we will walk through verdant plantations. We will be invited to a local's home to taste local fruits while hearing traditional folk songs performed by villagers followed by a unique unicorn dance. A 17-kilometer Biking option is also available.

Day 3

Mekong River - Chau Doc - Vinh Xuong – Ka’om Samnor border

Travel by skiff along Bassac Canal to Chau Doc floating market then head off by van to Long Son Pagoda atop Sam Mountain. Ask the monks about their age-old Buddhist practices. Return via the bustling morning market. Optional 18 kilometers bike ride on Long Khanh Island or take a rickshaw ride to visit Tan Chau Market with chef. After lunch, relax by the pool, try traditional Khmer massage or learn to cook Mekong inspired dishes while we cross the border.

Day 4

Mekong River - Koh Oknha Tey - Preah Prosop

On this river of time we admire dexterous Khmer artisans dyeing and weaving kroma, the ubiquitous item no Khmer lives without. Explore the riverbank on two wheels if you wish, past Buddhist temples and thatch houses perched on spindly wooden stilts while white oxen wade just offshore. After lunch, we board our marine-grade aluminium skiffs and head towards the tamarind trees of Preah Prosop, a remote village little changed over several lifetimes.

Day 5

Phnom Penh - Cambodia

We show off the Cambodian capital to our passengers by motorized tuk-tuk, the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the National Museum of Cambodia, home to the world’s largest collection of Khmer art. For those who wish, we visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide and the Killing Field or shopping at Russian Market. We bid farewell to 4-night guests who are disembarking in Phnom Penh.

Return to welcome our 3-night passengers over custom sundowners like the Salted Watermelon Crush with Thai basil. Together we celebrate the onward journey towards the heart of this mighty river with a Khmer Apsara performance, an indigenous tradition memorialized on the temple walls at Angkor Wat.

Day 6

Tonle Sap River - Koh Chen - Kampong Prasat - Cambodia

In the silversmith village of Koh Chen, we watch artisans producing the magnificent silverware favoured by Khmer royalty. We continue to Udong, the royal capital from the 17-19th centuries, where we learn about a uniquely challenging Buddhist practice at the Vipassana Dhura Mandala, a meditation center. In the afternoon, a walking tour of Kampong Prasat offers a close up perspective on local lives and their riverside environment.

Day 7

Tonle Sap River - Kampong Chhnang – Kampong Tralach - Cambodia

In the cooler hours, we head into the lush countryside to visit traditional potters and palm-sugar producers, astride mountain bikes or chauffeured by shaded tuk-tuk. Into the rice paddies we pedal to watch wizened masters scale sky-piercing palms towering over us. Cruise across the glassy water and disembark among the lotuses for an ox-cart ride along the Tonle Sap riverbanks, past lacquered wooden houses where during these dry months residents take refuge in the relative cool of these outdoor impromptu living rooms.

Day 8

Phnom Penh - Cambodia

Customized exploration of Phnom Penh and disembarkation.

Please Note: you can make the same route vice versa, from: Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Overview

Aqua Mekong Expedition Cruise

Joining us for the full 7-night Mekong Expedition Cruise allows us to share with you all the mysteries and wonders we have discovered between the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers and among the diverse cultures thriving in our midst.

Passengers who travel with us during the high water season (August-November), from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh experience the full history of Mekong life, meeting Khmer farmers, Buddhist monks and our entrepreneurial friends in Vietnam’s kaleidoscopic wet markets along the way.

Sailing in the opposite direction, from the colonial chic of Saigon to the legendary Angkorian heritage in Siem Reap is to travel leisurely back in time across this legendary landscape.

During the low water season (December-August), our program includes much more time on the Cambodia stretch of the Mekong and along the Tonle Sap River.

Highlights

Discover tipped pagoda temples and remote Buddhist monasteries. Meet Buddhist monks and learn about beliefs which have anchored religions and societies along the Mekong. Visit Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and a UNESCO site. Fly through Mekong waters by skiff with helpful insights about local sights and wildlife from our guides. Venture out into local Mekong River villages to discover everyday life unfolding before you. Spot billed pelicans in their last Southeast Asian refuge.

Please Note: More Aqua Mekong Expedition Cruises are available, not all of them are listed online. Please contact us for more details.

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Ship information

Aqua Mekong

Vessel Type: Luxury River Expedition

Length: 62.4 meters

Passenger Capacity: 40

Year Built: 2014

Spacious and indulgent, yet intimate enough to feel entirely exclusive, the Aqua Mekong incorporates relaxed yet refined lounging and dining areas and can accommodate a maximum of 40 guests plus crew. Modern navigation technologies and the highest cruise ship standards as well as our experienced river pilot and crew ensure smooth travel and safety on the water.
The Aqua Mekong has 20 air conditioned Design Suites, each one a generous 30 square meters (320 square feet), eight with balconies and all created entirely of local materials with the relaxed sophistication and contemporary comforts of a five star resort. Floor to ceiling panoramic windows allow guests to gaze upon the Mekong from the pillow top California king size bed that can be converted upon request into two full twin beds. More captivating views await on the plush, roomy daybed placed by the window wall or for our eight balcony accommodations, outside along with a romantic table for two. Those who wish to keep up on the world beyond these enthralling riverbanks will appreciate the flat screen television and complementary high speed wireless internet.
Sunlit indoors and out, the top level Observation Deck aboard the Aqua Mekong has been designed to seamlessly connect guests with the constantly shifting landscape of floating Vietnamese villages, French colonial church spires and gilded Buddhist stupas along this mighty river, always in the utmost comfort. Whether one chooses to relax in the air conditioned Indoor Lounge, go horizontal under the sun outside at the ship’s Outdoor Lounge area or cool off with a plunge in the shimmering pool at the bow side, the Observation Deck ensures that the river always remains in full view.
Guests gravitate to the Indoor Lounge in the mornings for cà phê đá, Vietnamese coffee poured over ice with sweet condensed milk, between excursions to swap travellers’ tales and for daily lectures from the expert local guides.

 

Contact
Booking
Luxury Explorer Cruise
Le Boréal
04.03.2019
17.03.2019
13
Latin America, Patagonia & Chilean Fjords
Fare from € 5.160
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Travelroute
Day 1

Ushuaia

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.

Day 2

Navigation Cape Horn and the Beagle Channel

It's at the meeting point between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans that you enter Chilean Patagonia where you head for the Tierra del Fuego archipelago and its famous Cape Horn. From the top of its impressive 425-metre-high cliff, South America's southernmost tip has, for many centuries, seen merchant ships from the world over passing by. Because of its legendary storms and rough seas, getting around the Cape has gone down in history as a challenge for all seafarers. Prepare yourself for a memorable experience, whatever the weather conditions!

Day 3

Crossing Magellan Strait

This mythical strait situated in the south of Chile and separating South America from Tierra del Fuego, awakens our imagination, stirring up a longing for adventure. For the first time, follow in the footsteps of the famous Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, known for having organised the first circumnavigation of the globe in the 16th century. Aboard your ship, cruise along the 600 km separating the Atlantic Ocean from the Pacific and, before arriving in Ushuaia, discover the sea route which was long nicknamed “Strait of All Saints” because Magellan’s ships first entered it on All Saints’ Day. A fascinating adventure.

Day 4

Sailing in Chilean Fjords

Day 5

Puerto Natales

Located in the heart of Chilean Patagonia, capital of the Última Esperanza province, the village of Puerto Natales will win you over with its brightly coloured houses nestling in the shade of the Andes. A walk along the coastal Pedro-Montt avenue, gives splendid views of the Almirante Montt gulf, a stretch of crystalline water that links Puerto Natales to the Pacific. The Museo Historico documents urban and rural life and the indigenous history of the environment. Puerto Natales is also the closest town to the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park, a 181,000-hectare reserve protected by UNESCO.

Day 6

Sailing in Chilean Fjords

Day 7

At sea

Day 8

Tortel

A picturesque, colourful fishing village, Tortel boasts a splendid location in the heart of southern Patagonia, halfway between Puerto Montt and Cape Horn. From the little streets made up of small walkways, you’ll love the grand panorama of rounded mountains, dense forest, the clear waters of the Pacific. If you walk out onto one the many wooden pontoons, you can admire the views as you stand suspended a few metres above the water. The village is scattered with sculptures made by local artists, an excellent introduction to this friendly community

Day 9

At sea

Day 10

Puerto Montt

A picturesque stopover in southern Chile, the colourful city of Puerto Montt is the capital of the Lakes District.ᅠ Here, you'll discover reminders of its colonial past at the Plaza de Armas and neoclassical cathedral. The Manuel Montt lookout offers stunning views of the bay's sapphire beauty. Close to the town, the peaceful banks of Lake Llanquihue are conducive for a relaxing walk and the quaint, traditional villages of Puerto Varas and Frutillar are well worth a visit.

Day 11

Castro Chiloe

At the heart of the Lake District, your ship will slip through the calm waters of an archipelago of 40 islands. Chiloe is a lush green island, home to 16 wooden churches that are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Remarkable for their architecture, they are inspired by naval construction techniques. You can also admire the Palafitos, brightly coloured wooden houses in stilts which seem to float on the water at high tide. Indeed, before reaching Castro, it is likely that you will have witnessed a truly authentic aquatic ballet, where seals and porpoises swim noseto - nose with our ship.

Day 12

At sea

Day 13

Valparaiso

Located about 100 kilometres south of Santiago, the legendary Valparaiso is the second largest city in Chile. It is also a splendid city, full of history: two qualities justifying its nickname “gem of the Pacific” and its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can stroll along the steep streets, on foot or by cable car, and explore the many admirable sites like the delicate Iglesia de la Matriz, Sotomayor square, Bellavista hill, or Sebastiana house where the author Pablo Neruda lived. At every turning, you’ll get a refreshing view of the sea.

Day 14

Valparaiso

Disembarkation

Overview

Patagonia & Chilean Fjords

Aboard Le Boréal, discover the Pacific coast of South America and colonial style of the cities of Chile. Chile, the slender strip of land immortalised by Pablo Neruda, runs between the Andes and the Ocean, offering you its richly contrasting landscapes and its pristine lands.
From Puerto Natales, do not miss the Tores del Paine National Park, at the southern tip of Chile. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, this park is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, where the unspoiled nature is rivalled only by the intense colours of the sky.
Tortel is a little Patagonian village at the end of the world, clinging to a hillside and blessed with unrivalled architecture: houses on stilts, walkways that are an invitation for a stroll, endless flights of stairs – this village offers a panorama where the “streets” follow the contours of the coastline.
Fall in love with Puerto Montt, the capital of the “Lake District”, whose beauty is renowned worldwide. The city and its harbour appear on the horizon, revealing their treasures within a unique and rare setting.
Please note: flight Buenos Aires/Ushuaia is included.
Highlights
Sailing to the heart of the Chilean fjords. The port of Puerto Montt, capital of the “Lake District” and its captivating landscapes. The typical Patagonian village of Tortel, its houses on stilts, footbridges and endless streets. Puerto Natales and the Torres del Paine National Park, a reserve listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Ship information

Le Boréal

Like her sister ships, Le Boréal 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
Superior materials, discreet elegance and a tasteful décor reflect a nautical mood subtly revisited. Aboard, soothing neutral grey tones are enlivened by splashes of red, our signature theme linking tradition and innovation to create personal touches in the spirit of a “private yacht”.

Contact
Booking
Small Expedition Yacht
Coral Expeditions II
04.03.2019
11.03.2019
7
Australia and NZ, Great Barrier Reef Cruise (North)
Fare from € 2.040
<read more>
Travelroute
Day 1

Cairns

Board at Cairns’ Trinity Wharf at 4:00pm - cruise Trinity Bay - welcome drinks - views of Double Island and the pretty seaside village at Palm Cove - Captain’s Welcome Seafood Buffet.

Day 2

Historic Cooktown and the Reef

Discover historic Cooktown - stroll the wide main street and see buildings dating back to the 1870s - walk to the botanic gardens where you may see kangaroos and wallabies - visit James Cook Museum to see original artefacts from his ship ‘Endeavour’ - snorkel over the reef on a desert island- glass bottom boat tours - optional SCUBA diving.

Day 3

Lizard Island and Ribbon Reefs

Enjoy the morning on Lizard Island, one of Australia’s most beautiful tropical islands - discover the legend of Mary Watson - snorkel from the beach over giant clam gardens - optional early morning hike to Cook’s Look for stunning views over the reef - afternoon at Ribbon Reef #9 on the rarely visited outer Barrier Reef - snorkel and SCUBA dive and glass bottom boat tours.

Day 4

Ribbon Reefs

Full day to discover the pristine Ribbon Reefs - Ribbon Reef #3 - Rachel Carson Reef - snorkelling, optional SCUBA diving - glass bottom boat tours with the Marine Biologist - marine biology presentation at the onboard display tank.

Day 5

Thetford Reef and Sudbury Cay

Return to Trinity Wharf, Cairns at 8:00am and enjoy some time to explore -
re-embark at Cairns’ Trinity Wharf at 10:00am - cruise Trinity Bay - Thetford Reef snorkelling - glass bottom boat tours - fish feeding display - optional SCUBA diving - Sudbury Cay drinks ashore - Captain’s Welcome Seafood Buffet.

Day 6

Hinchinbrook Channel and Pelorus Island Beach BBQ

Cruise the scenic Hinchinbrook Channel, separating Hinchinbrook Island from the mainland - possible sightings include crocodiles, dolphins, whales, turtles and dugongs - interpretive commentary and mangrove tour - discover a private tropical island - guided bushwalk - gourmet Aussie beach BBQ meal - snorkel and dive over the island’s fringing reef showcasing a giant clam garden - kayaking and glass bottom boat tours - relax on the sandy beach.

Day 7

Dunk Island Rainforest and Nathan Reef

Rainforest walk on tropical Dunk Island with naturalist guides - look for the striking electric-blue Ulysses butterfly - afternoon to discover colourful Nathan Reef - snorkel, SCUBA dive and glass bottom boat tours - interactive marine biology presentation at the onboard display tank.

Day 8

Fitzroy Island and Cairns

Idyllic bushwalks and hikes - snorkel over the fringing reef - beachcombing on the white sands of Nudey Beach - enjoy the resort facilities - cruise concludes at Trinity Wharf, Cairns at 1:30pm.

Please Note: due to weather, tides or mechanical reasons itineraries may be subject to change without notice.

Overview

Great Barrier Reef Cruise (North)

For guests with more time and a great sense of adventure, our 7-night Cairns – Lizard Island – Hinchinbrook Island – Cairns cruise offers the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience! Combining both our 3 and 4-night cruises you will discover everything that this memorable region has to offer; the best parts of the Reef, spectacular rainforest trails and beautiful tropical islands including Lizard and Dunk, and the stunning Sudbury Cay.

Discover the very best of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef in unrivalled style, our 7-night cruise offers the ultimate experience that will make you want to return again and again.

Please note: post cruise transfer to city centre hotels or Cairns airport is included.

Highlights

The complete Great Barrier Reef experience • Snorkel over colourful coral gardens, stroll golden sandy beaches and wander rainforest trails • Secluded gourmet beach BBQ • Experience the World Heritage-listed reef from our private moorings away from the tourist crowds • Be guided by an expert Marine Biologist on glass bottom boat and snorkelling tours • Informative presentations and educational documentaries • History and cultures of the region and early explorers
• Join an optional resort or certified SCUBA dive on the outer reef

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Ship information

Coral Expeditions II
Vessel Type: Motor Catamaran
Length: 35 metres
Passenger Capacity: 46
Built: 1996 refurbished in 2015
Refurbished during early 2015, Coral Expeditions II is fully equipped for the ultimate Great Barrier Reef cruising experience. Australian flagged, registered and staffed, Coral Expeditions II was purpose-built for cruising in our region and is the ideal size to access the very best parts of the Great Barrier Reef.
The 22 onboard rooms feature traditional maritime stylings with wood panelled walls. You can choose between double and twin bedded rooms, each fully equipped with a private en-suite, air conditioning and ample storage space. All rooms feature large picture windows, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the spectacular scenery.
The ship’s spacious lounge is a great place to relax and enjoy a drink from the cocktail bar in air-conditioned comfort, and features a comprehensive reference library and plasma screens. The large Sun Deck is another popular place to relax and take in the sights, with comfortable deck chairs and teak furnishings. You will also enjoy the opportunity to dine al fresco under the magnificent stars over the Great Barrier Reef.
Meals are served in the atmospheric Dining Room, and with space for all guests to dine during one sitting and no assigned seating, meal times are a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers.
Coral Expeditions II operates an open bridge policy, allowing you to spend time with the Captain and his maritime crew as we cruise. Follow our progression on the ship’s charts and chat with the Captain, or simply sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery. Coral Expeditions II is fitted with modern safety and navigation equipment.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Silver Cloud
07.03.2019
28.03.2019
21
Ocean Voyage, Latin America, Africa, From Ushuaia to Cape Town
Fare from € 9.200
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Travelroute
Day 1

Ushuaia, Argentina

Embark Silver Cloud and meet some of your fellow travellers as you become acquainted with the luxurious amenities found on board. After settling in a mandatory safety drill will have to be attended. Later your Expedition Leader will introduce some of the important crew members and your Expedition Team. While we sail out of Ushuaia you will be able to see the many snow-covered mountains lining the Beagle Channel and bid farewell to Tierra del Fuego. Enjoy the spectacular scenery while we have our sail away cocktail on the open decks.

Day 2

At sea

Gather in the Theatre Lounge to hear fascinating tales of adventure and to learn about the Falkland’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Our knowledgeable Lecture Staff members are experts in a variety of scientific fields. Other onboard diversions include spa treatments, a workout in the Fitness Centre, and, of course, exquisite dining experiences.

Day 3

Steeple Jason Island, Falkland Islands

West Point Island, Falkland Islands Steeple Jason was used for sheep-grazing until the 1980s, but never properly inhabited; therefore birdlife has been less disturbed and includes Southern Rockhopper Penguins, Magellanic Penguins, Gentoo Penguins, Slender-billed Prions, caracaras and Blackish Cinclodes (known locally as Tussac-Birds), as well as Black-browed Albatrosses. Roughly 70% of the world’s population of Black-browed Albatrosses is said the breed on the Falkland Islands and Steeple Jason has the largest colony. The Steinhart Station, a field research station, was built on Steeple Jason in 2003 to monitor wildlife. Sea lions and fur seals can be seen along the shore. In the afternoon, watch for Peale’s dolphins and the distinctive black and white markings of the Commerson’s dolphin as the Silver Cloud approaches West Point Island. Upon arrival, photographic opportunities are everywhere as you walk across rolling moorland and admire colonies of Black-browed Albatrosses that nest side-by-side with Rockhopper Penguins. Learn about the island’s unique vegetation. The hospitable island owners are always happy to answer your questions and share their stories.

Day 4

Stanley, Falkland Islands

Stanley has a distinct British ambience and we begin our day in the capital city of the remote Falkland Islands by boarding a local bus for a ‘city tour’ with a local guide. You can also stroll through the charming streets of this colourful little town, lined with quaint cottages and a variety of traditional pubs. Visit the 19th-century Anglican cathedral (the southernmost Anglican cathedral in the world) and wander through the Falkland Islands Dockyard Museum. For stamp collectors a visit to the Philatelic Bureau is a must. Walking along Ross Road you will come to a monument to honour the victims of the 1982 Falklands War between Britain and Argentina.

Day 5

At Sea

Binoculars and camera in hand, head out on deck to watch for seabirds and whales. Attend informative lectures that will prepare you for the upcoming visits in South Georgia and the adventures that lie ahead. Peruse an array of titles and topics in the well-stocked Library, enjoy the finest cigars and cognacs at the Connoisseur’s Corner or indulge in any of the other special amenities offered aboard ship.

Day 6

At Sea

Day 7

South Georgia

This breathtaking destination of towering snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers, and low-lying grasslands attracts an astounding concentration of wildlife: Southern fur seals, Southern elephant seals and a variety of albatross species including Black-browed, Light-mantled Sooty, Grey-headed and the spectacular Wandering Albatross, plus thousands of King and hundreds of Macaroni Penguins. South Georgia is also linked to the early Antarctic explorers. Captain James Cook first stepped ashore in 1775, but perhaps more famous is Ernest Shackleton’s arrival in 1916 following the sinking of his ship Endurance. Visit Shackleton’s and Frank Wild’s grave and the whaling museum at Grytviken. Here are some of the places we may visit: Cooper Bay -Go ashore by Zodiac to see numerous breeds of penguins, such as Macaroni and Chinstrap, on the rocks and waters surrounding the island. Gold Harbour -A large King Penguin colony can be found near Bertrab Glacier. -Seals can be seen resting on ice floes and sunning on the beaches. Grytviken -A historic whaling station, all that remains today are the rusted hulls of long abandoned whalers and working sheds. -At the South Georgia Museum guests can learn about past whaling techniques and view various exhibits on exploration and discovery. -At the burial site of the famous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton we will toast the great explorer. Salisbury Plain -A favourite breeding ground for hundreds of thousands of King Penguins; it is amazing to see how they completely cover the beaches and hills. -In early March, the seal pups will be quite active and aggressive.

Day 8

South Georgia

Day 9

South Georgia

Day 10

South Georgia

Day 11

At sea

As we cross the South Atlantic, leisurely days at sea are yours to enjoy. Participate in discussions and onboard activities led by the Expedition Team, relax in one of the lounges with that book you have been meaning to read, and meet up with new friends for cocktails. Before turning in for the night, take a stroll on deck to take in the solitude of the vast sea and sky.

Day 12

At Sea

Day 13

At Sea

Day 14

Gough Island, UK (Subject to government approval)

A dependency of Tristan da Cunha and part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Gough Island was originally known as Gonçalo Álvares (the captain of Vasco da Gama’s flagship). The volcanic island covers an area of 91 km² and is uninhabited except for the personnel of a South African weather station (usually six people). It is one of the most remote places with a constant human presence. Gough Island is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gough and Inaccessible Islands, a protected wildlife reserve and an “Important Bird Area”. If conditions allow we will offer a Zodiac cruise and look for Tristan Albatross, Atlantic Petrel, Gough Moorhen, Gough Bunting, and Northern Rockhopper Penguins -some of the many birds using this mid-Atlantic island as their nesting ground.

Day 15

Tristan da Cunha, UK

Recognised as the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, its closest neighbouring landmass is the island of St. Helena some 2,430 km away. The main island is home to 301 hardy residents (census March 2016). Weather and landing depending, we hope to enjoy guided walks with the local inhabitants of the village while our onboard Geologist will lead a walk to the 1961 volcanic cone and lava flow. Learn how the islanders were evacuated and how it affected their lives. Once at the top, we will have a beautiful scenic view of the whole settlement – a photo opportunity not to be missed. We will meet with some of the island children and hear what Tristan life is like through their eyes during our visit to St Mary’s School. Our onboard Ornithologist will point out birdlife, hopefully including the Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross, Sooty Albatross, Tristan Thrush, and Tristan Wandering Albatross – a critically endangered species with fewer than 1,500 breeding pairs left in the world. The archipelago is also where 90% of the world’s Northern Rockhopper Penguins come to breed.

Day 16

Nightingale Island, UK

Weather permitting; we hope to land on the uninhabited Nightingale Island, a protected wildlife reserve and World Heritage Site. You will see the most magnificent wildlife, flora and fauna all unspoilt by people. All guests will receive a certificate verifying that they have indeed visited this extremely remote world destination.

Day 17

At sea

Enjoy a variety of onboard activities. Our days at sea are filled with educational lectures and interesting entertainment options. All accommodations feature an interactive television system allowing you to watch your choice of movies or documentary films and even recorded broadcasts from the Theatre Lounge in the comfort and privacy of your suite. On the last day your onboard Videographer will screen his Voyage-DVD, letting you remember all those special moments during your voyage. The Captain will invite you to his (your) Farewell Cocktail Party and the Chef and Restaurant Manager want to surprise you with the special Farewell Dinner.

Day 18

At Sea

Day 19

At Sea

Day 20

At Sea

Day 21

Cape Town, South Africa

Arriving in the morning of Day 21 (20 March) you will be able to explore the natural wonders of Cape Town. You can choose to ascend Table Mountain by cable car and hike in the protected area, having a look at the many endemic plants and animals. Later you will travel by bus to Signal Hill for dramatic views over Table Bay and Cape Town. Or you can go on an excursion to see an African Penguin colony at Boulders Beach. The scenic drive to Boulders Beach will go along the Atlantic seaboard and later will continue through the prestigious suburbs of Bishopscourt and Constantia into the region where South Africa’s wine industry began over 3 centuries ago. At one of the local wine estates you will enjoy a formal wine tasting (paired with canapés). In the evening you are free to enjoy the unique opportunity to explore the vibrant V & A Waterfront in Cape Town Harbour on your own.

Day 22

Cape Town, South Africa

After breakfast, disembark Silver Cloud.

Please Note: expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and ice conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

Overview

From Ushuaia to Cape Town

Visit the most remote archipelago in the world on this mind-stretching adventure. Be prepared for astounding diversity: sea-lions, seals, dolphins, albatrosses and penguins are just some of the wildlife you can expect to see. Absorb the vastness of the South Atlantic Ocean with unforgettable views as the spectacular scenery unfolds before you.

Highlights

Learn about the Falkland’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Enjoy towering snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers and low-lying grasslands of South Georgia. Discover Gough Island which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gough and Inaccessible Islands, a protected wildlife reserve and an “Important Bird Area”. Land on the uninhabited Nightingale Island, a protected wildlife reserve and World Heritage Site.

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Ship information

Silver Cloud

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 157 m.

Passenger Capacity: 200-260

Built: 1994 Refurbished & Rebranded: 2017

After extensive refurbishment, Silver Cloud will be the most spacious and comfortable ice class vessel in expedition cruising. Her large suites, her destination itineraries and her unparalleled service make her truly special. Her five dining options will tantalise your taste buds and as 80% of her suites include a veranda, watching a breaching whale or a few cavorting penguins has never been so personal. Broad sweeping decks with multiple open spaces and a swimming pool complete what is surely the most distinctive expedition ship sailing today.

A limited number of guests, particularly with just 200 in polar waters, mean that Silver Cloud has the highest space to guest and crew ratios in expedition cruising. With her 18 zodiacs, possibilities are almost limitless with ship-wide simultaneous explorations. Finally, a team of 19 passionate and dedicated experts are always at hand to ensure your voyage is enhanced every step of the way.

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