Remote Discoveries: Expedition to the Falklands and Antarctica - 2019

Montevideo • 15-night expedition cruise with Puerto Madryn, Falkland Islands, Antarctica, Ushuaia • Buenos Aires
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Surrender to eclectic South American capitals and Antarctic whims on this thrill ride aboard the ms Midnatsol. Adventuring from Montevideo, you’ll feel like a true explorer watching the cosmopolitan give way to the wild — and the wildlife. Experience penguins and whales in Puerto Madryn and Peninsula Valdés, seek civilization and nature in the Falkland Islands, and conquer the Drake Passage before the open sea transforms into endless white horizons as you close in on one of the world’s most remote outposts: Antarctica. Here, you'll embark on daily wildlife expeditions to view whales, seals, and penguins, which comprise just a fraction of this continent's 43 bird and 23 mammal species. 

You’ll spend three full days exploring inimitable polar landscapes and nature from the Midnatsol, your expedition vessel designed for Antarctic cruising with its reinforced hull and state-of-the-art navigation equipment. Daily lectures from the onboard, handpicked Expedition Team will enhance your experiences on land before your adventure concludes in Buenos Aires, home to renowned cuisine and vivacious culture — including the passionate tango. Come aboard this world-class expedition vessel and discover fiery cultural capitals and a mythic white wilderness that will leave you breathless. To be this far from home, in a realm untouched by humankind is, in a word, sublime.

Click here to get a glimpse of the wildlife you may encounter on this adventure — plus, tips on how to capture the perfect photo for a lifetime of memories.

Montevideo to Buenos Aires

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DAY 1:

Fly overnight to Uruguay

Our adventures in the Southern Hemisphere begin with an overnight flight to Montevideo.

DAY 2:

Montevideo arrival

Upon arrival, take some time to rest and familiarize yourself with your surroundings before a Welcome Briefing and Dinner at the hotel this evening.

Included Meals:


DAY 3:

Exploring Uruguay’s capital city

After breakfast this morning, set off on a panoramic tour of Montevideo, a cultural capital overflowing with palm tree-studded colonial plazas and cosmopolitan flair. View the art deco buildings in bustling Ciudad Vieja (Old Town), the theaters lining Avenida de Julio, and the white sand beaches edging the city. Later, we’ll embark the ms Midnatsol and enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Cocktail prior to our first dinner onboard.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAYS 4-5:

Relax onboard with two days at sea

Enjoy some relaxing time aboard the Midnatsol. Over the next two days, you’ll enjoy the Expedition Team’s lecture program, covering everything from historical explorers to marine biology, wildlife, oceanography, and climate change.

Scenic Sailing: Spend some time on deck and enjoy the sun, but be sure to watch for wildlife as we make our way south — this time of year, you have an excellent chance of spotting whales on the horizon!

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

DAY 6:

Experience Puerto Madryn’s wildlife

Land, ho! Our first expedition highlight is arid Peninsula Valdés, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an exquisite South American wildlife reserve home to sea lions, elephant seals, guanacos, rheas, penguins, the southern right whale, and seabirds galore. After some exploring and sightseeing, we’ll double back to Puerto Madryn.

Founded by Welsh immigrants in the 19th century, Puerto Madryn is a bustling industrial town renowned for the right whales that frequent the region from June to mid-December. Argentina’s second-largest fishing port also boasts a lively malecón with sprawling views of Nuevo Gulf’s natural amphitheater. Here, you can embark on a variety of excursions including horseback riding, snorkeling, kayaking, and whale watching. Perhaps you’ll visit Estancia San Lorenzo, home to some 600,000 entertaining and adorable penguins, which you can view up-close alongside guanacos, rheas, and elephant seals.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 7:

Sailing toward the Falkland Islands

With our bow pointed south, we voyage next toward the Falkland Islands. As we cruise, we’ll have a chance to learn more about the history and the spectacular wildlife of the “Serengeti of the Southern Ocean” that we’ve left behind, and hear about the magnificent wildlife of the destination that lay ahead.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAYS 8-10:

Seeking civilization — and nature — in the Falkland Islands

We’ll devote the next few days to the unique ecology of the Falkland Islands. Comprised of nearly 700 islands, the Falklands have a total land area the size of Connecticut but a combined coastline totaling a whopping 800 miles. Home to nearly 70 animal species, this remote outpost offers plenty for us to uncover, including its wild, majestic landscapes.

Our explorations begin in the northwest area of the Falklands, where we’ll continue to Port Stanley, the islands’ capital. Our first sign of civilization in about a week, Stanley is indeed civilized with its British flair, including red phone booths and village pubs. This tiny town of just over 2,000 people is pure pleasure to explore by foot. Unforgettable Moment: During our visit, you might join an excursion to see penguins, hike through stunning scenery, or kayak along the shore.

Included Meals:

3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners

DAYS 11-12:

Cruising the Drake Passage

Over the next two days, we’ll cruise southward past fjords until reaching the open sea and the fabled Drake Passage. This waterway connecting the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans is named after Sir Francis Drake, the English sailor who discovered this 600-mile wide bottleneck.

Steeped in history and filled with legendary stories, the Drake Passage is an expeditionary rite of passage, a voyage that sometimes brings lashing waves and an exhilarating rollercoaster ride, depending on the weather, of course.

During our crossing, our onboard lecture series will keep you occupied and prepared to make the most out of your upcoming Antarctica experience. Scenic Sailing: As we proceed farther south, you’ll notice how the air has turned crisper, icebergs begin appearing in the water, and our excitement builds.

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

DAY 13-15:

Discovering Antarctica’s inimitable beauty

Over the next three full days, we’ll absorb the stark Antarctic terrain. You might find yourself totally speechless and that’s okay—being awestruck in Antarctica is part of the territory. Be sure to keep your camera at the ready as our maneuverable small ship wends its way through several islands, bays, and channels. As we cruise through a part of the world so remote and so extreme that it has no permanent residents, we’ll reconcile the Antarctic isolation with the stunning beauty that surrounds us — vast tundra and blue-green icebergs mirrored in frigid seas.

More rewarding lectures will enhance our onshore excursions. Ice, wind, and weather dictate life in Antarctica, so we’ll determine our landing sites as our adventure progresses. Unforgettable Moment: Where conditions allow, we’ll venture ashore on naturalist-led expeditions by versatile landing crafts to sites including Cuverville Island, Half Moon Island, Neko Harbor, Paradise Harbor, and Wilhelmina Bay. One thing is certain in Antarctica: no matter which of these magnificent spots we explore, your team of onboard naturalists will help us view the nature and beauty of Antarctica as never before.

Included Meals:

3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners

DAYS 16-17:

Sailing back through the Drake Passage to Ushuaia

As we trek north toward Ushuaia, the final stop of our adventure, our Expedition Leader will recap everything we’ve explored over the past two weeks. The last evening, we’ll gather for an onboard Farewell Dinner and Celebration.

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

DAY 18:

Disembark in Ushuaia for a flight to Buenos Aires

After a final breakfast onboard, we’ll disembark in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, and transfer to the airport for a short flight to Buenos Aires. After checking into your hotel this evening, enjoy an evening at leisure. Meat is a must in Argentina, so perhaps you’ll dine at one of Buenos Aires’ many churrasquerías, or enjoy a night on the town with an optional fiery tango dinner show.

Included Meals:

Optional Tour: Tango Argentina Evening

Tango Argentina Evening

  • Approximate Cost: $119 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 5 hours
  • Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • When: Includes Dinner & Show

Argentina is the birthplace of tango, and a visit to Buenos Aires without seeing an authentic tango show would be unforgivable. The rich sounds and warm atmosphere will charm you as you enjoy an included meal and one of the most popular tango shows in Buenos Aires.

The tango and dinner show takes place in one of the most traditional clubs of Buenos Aires: El Viejo Almacen (“the old general good store”). In contrast to other more touristy tango-houses, here you’ll see the tango being danced in its purest form. International tango in ballroom tango generally steers towards a more showy and overstated style, going for the effect and not the form. The style of tango you’ll see here is how porteños (“port people”) dance the tango — the way the Argentine experts are dancing it today. 

DAY 19:

History, music, architecture: Highlights of Buenos Aires

Today, we set out on a panoramic city tour of Buenos Aires and its distinctive barrios that showcase the multicultural flavor of this metropolis.

We’ll tour the waterfront vistas of Puerto Madero, once a bustling fishing port that’s been transformed into a residential area full of apartments, offices, galleries, bars, and the famous rotating Women’s Bridge. We’ll next visit the European-flavored La Boca district, full of colorfully painted homes. Along the way, we’ll also explore the exclusive Recoleta neighborhood, passing stately manors and sprawling green spaces. We’ll also enjoy a guided tour of the renowned La Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Perón and other luminaries are interred. After lunch on your own, the rest of your day is at leisure. Tonight, rejoin your fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner back at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 20:

Discovering the sport of kings before flying home

After breakfast, join an optional polo excursion to a local estancia (ranch), where we’ll learn about the sport’s history and watch a demonstration before continuing to the airport. If you choose to enjoy your final day at leisure, you’ll transfer to the airport this evening and board an overnight flight to the U.S.

Included Meals:

Optional Tour: Polo Experience

Polo Experience

  • Approximate Cost: $199 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 6 hours
  • Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • When: Afternoon tour
During your time in a country well known for its champion athletes and rich sports culture, it’s only fitting that you enjoy an illumination introduction to one of Argentina’s most beloved sports: polo. We’ll delve into the sport’s rich history and traditions as we head to a renowned polo estancia (ranch). We’ll learn about the specifics of the sport and horses, as well as witness some impressive horsemanship during a private exhibition — the best way to be introduced to the game. We’ll also enjoy a delicious barbecue lunch and a sampling of traditional mate tea at the ranch before continuing to the airport.

Please note: On the Patagonia & Antarctica: From Urban Adventures to Polar Wilderness adventure, this optional tour is only available for passengers on the base tour. Passengers taking the post-trip extension to Iguassu Falls will not be able to book this tour.

DAY 21:

Return home

After arriving in the U.S. and clearing Immigration and Customs, board your connecting flight home.

Post-Trip Extension

Iguassu Falls, Brazil

FROM: $1299 PER PERSON | 3 DAYS | $433 PER DAY

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.

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Remote Discoveries: Expedition to the Falklands and Antarctica - 2019

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