Antarctica: Penguins, Icebergs & Polar Exploration - 2017

Buenos Aires • Antarctica • Ushuaia
Moderate Deluxe
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Base prices are factored using double-occupancy rooms; supplemental fees may apply for those traveling independently.
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Join us on a fascinating small group journey to Antarctica, the White Continent. Our classic Antarctic polar exploration begins in Buenos Aires, the city of tango and the ideal city to whet your appetite for adventure. You’ll fly to the world's southernmost city, Ushuaia, to embark your small ship – the ms Fram — specifically designed for Antarctic cruising with a reinforced hull and state-of-the-art navigation equipment. Then, just on the other side of historic Drake Passage, a white wonderland of unspoiled nature awaits. 

Our expert naturalist guides lend commentary as we take in spectacular views of icebergs, glaciers, sea birds, and marine mammals. As conditions permit, you’ll climb aboard agile PolarCirkel landing craft for adventurous shore excursions to visit penguin colonies, spot basking seals, and admire endless glaciers. And every day, you’ll be enlightened by our onboard lecture series by educated naturalists, all while surrounded by shimmering white-blue icebergs and rich marine life. What’s more, you’ll enjoy more time exploring on shore as our nimble ship allows quicker access to landing craft and shorter distances to shore. Join a Vantage Adventures small group as we head down to Earth’s final frontier for the ultimate in polar exploration, at the ultimate small group value.

Itinerary at a Glance

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DAYS 1-2:

Depart home / Overnight flight / Buenos Aires, Argentina

Our adventures in the Southern Hemisphere begin with an overnight flight to Buenos Aires. After arrival, we have the remainder of the day to explore independently until our Welcome Briefing this evening, followed by dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:


DAY 3:

Buenos Aires

Argentina’s capital is a heady mix of European inspiration and an undeniably Argentinean spirit. Today, we set out on a panoramic city tour that takes us past the grand buildings along broad Avenida 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world; the San Telmo district, the city’s oldest barrio, lined with beautiful colonial buildings; and the European-flavored La Boca district, full of colorful homes. We also visit the fashionable Recoleta district, dotted with boutiques in historic beautiful buildings.

After lunch on your own, the rest of the afternoon and evening are at leisure.

Included Meals:


DAY 4:

Buenos Aires/Ushuaia/Embark ms Fram

We fly to Ushuaia this morning, the world’s southernmost city otherwise known as the “city at the end of the world.” It’s been a naval base, a missionary hub, and a penal colony, but today it is an epicenter of adventure travel in one of the world’s most fascinating regions. There’ll be time to wander here and have lunch independently.

Then, we transfer to the pier and embark the ms Fram to begin our Antarctica cruise. Attend a safety briefing and be welcomed on board by the ship's captain, officers, and staff. Afterward, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and our first dinner on board. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAYS 5-6:

Cruising the Drake Passage

For the next two days, our Antarctica cruise sails south via the Drake Passage, the ocean waterway that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans between the southern tip of South America and the Antarctic Peninsula. The passage is named for Sir Francis Drake, an English sailor who discovered the link between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Yet it wasn’t until 40 years later that this treacherous stretch of sea was actually crossed by a Dutch navigator named Willem Schouten. The Drake Passage is steeped in history and filled with legendary stories, as we discover during a series of onboard lectures that you can attend during our crossing. Our presentation also prepare you to make the most out of the unique experience of exploring Antarctica.

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

DAY 7-13:


We spend the next seven days cruising channels and passageways surrounded by the Antarctic Peninsula's rugged, glacier-covered islands and craggy land masses. All around are towering icebergs, snowy mountain ranges, amazing land and sea life, and clear air. Legendary travelers were drawn here in spite of the stark and inhospitable surroundings. Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott famously raced to the South Pole in 1911 (Amundsen’s expedition beat Scott’s by 33 days). Perhaps the most famous is Ernest Shackleton, leader of a crew that set off to cross the White Continent in 1914. Shackleton’s ship, the aptly named Endurance, was crushed in the ice. Miraculously, the great explorer was able to deliver his entire crew back to safety and civilization (albeit a year and a half later). 

We visit during the Antarctic summer, when the "midnight sun" is above the horizon for much of the day and the sky remains light. We’ll keep our camera ready as our maneuverable small ship wends its way amidst a pristine white wonderland. As we cruise, we enjoy a rewarding balance of onboard lectures that enlighten the mind and onshore excursions that thrill and invigorate. Ice, wind and weather dictate life in Antarctica, just as they dictate our route and our landings. 

As such, we determine our landings as our adventure progresses. Where conditions allow, we go ashore on naturalist-led expeditions by versatile PolarCirkel craft to explore such sites as Deception Island, Cuverville Island, Neko Harbor, Port Lockroy, Paradise Harbor, Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctic Sound, and Brown Bluff. Penguins, fur seals, icebergs tall as skyscrapers and endless expanses of white are among the breathtaking sites we’ll see. One thing is certain no matter which of these magnificent spots we explore: Your team of onboard naturalists will help you view the natural beauty of Antarctica as never before. With an open mind and spirit of adventure, you will enjoy the most rewarding of journeys.

Included Meals:

7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners

DAYS 14-15:

Cruising the Drake Passage

After an unforgettable week of exploration, we leave the White Continent in our wake with a lifetime's worth of memories and encounters with nature. Heading northward toward South America, our route again goes through the Drake Passage, bound for Ushuaia. Additional onboard lectures by regional experts wrap up our adventure and provide additional insight into the natural and astonishing world we're bidding adieu.

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

DAY 16:

Ushuaia/Disembark Ship/Fly to Buenos Aires

We arrive in Ushuaia and disembark the ms Fram after breakfast and transfer to the airport for our charter flight to Buenos Aires, where we spend one final night. Spend the evening making discoveries on your own, or join an optional tango show that includes dinner.

Included Meals:

Optional Tour: Tango Argentina Evening

Tango Argentina Evening

  • Approximate Cost: $129 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 17:

Buenos Aires/Overnight Flight Home

After breakfast, we have the day at leisure to explore Buenos Aires. If you wish, you may join an optional boat tour of the Tigre Delta, a scenic island-dotted waterway where the great Rio de Plata makes its final rush to the open waters of the ocean. At a staggering 5,405 square miles, the delta was named for its jaguars, locally called tigers. 

This evening, we transfer to the airport and board an overnight flight to the US. Or, if you are continuing your adventure to Iguassu Falls on our post-trip extension, you will depart midday.

Please note: If you are taking the post-trip extension to Iguassu Falls, you will not be able to take the optional tour of Tigre Delta.

Included Meals:

Optional Tour: Tigre Delta Cruise

Tigre Delta Cruise

  • Approximate Cost: $99 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 hours
  • Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • When: Half-day tour

This tour takes you toward the northern residential areas of Buenos Aires, where you’ll learn about the suburban way of life and experience the very strong British connections in the sports and the traditions of this area before heading to Tigre for a cruise along the canals of the delta. Located on the Parana Delta, which covers a surface of 8,700 square miles with its own subtropical microclimate, this area features an entire neighborhood built on hundreds of islands. Along the delta, there is an intricate wilderness of rivers, canals and islands. Once the summer retreat for the aristocracy, Tigre maintains the glamour of the Belle Epoque in its monumental casino, family residences and colorful rowing clubs. Don’t miss your chance to experience this absolutely unique part of Buenos Aires.

DAY 18:

Arrive Home

After arriving in the US and clearing US Immigration and Customs, connect to a flight to your home airport.

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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Vantage Tauck Vantage Advantage
Journey Antarctica: Penguins, Icebergs & Polar Exploration A Great White Continent [OFFER]
Cruise-Only Prices* [PRICE] $10,290 Save $2,082 per couple and get three extra days in Antarctica.
Trip Length [DAYS] 13 days The best value in the industry — spend more time in Antarctica.
Per Diem [PERDIEM] $791 per day Save up to $484 per couple per day!
Cabin sizes From 118 - 420 square feet. Cabins are 200-398 sq. feet More choices of cabin provide a range of great value accommodations.
Cabin Upgrades Cabin jumps from $500 Cabin jumps start at $300 Reasonable priced jumps make it great value to upgrade your accommodation.
Included Tours and Special Features 13-day cruise in Antarctica with an onboard expedition team of experts in geology, geography, and ornithology. Naturalist-guided shore excursions during your Antarctica cruise, plus onboard lectures 4 included days in Buenos Aires at a Moderate Deluxe hotel, with an included city tour — a value of $1,200 per couple 10-day cruise in Antarctica and 2-nights in Buenos Aires.Lectures from onboard naturalists.Daily tours and shore excursions Longer cruise and more time in Antarctica means more landings and greater value.
Single Travelers Reduced-cost single supplements available on every departure! Singles start at $2,621—limited availability Save more with our reduced-cost supplements
Extend Your Trip Iguassu Falls, from $400 a day None offered. Even more chances to get the best value for your airfare.
Ship Accommodations 13-day cruise in Antarctica aboard the ms Fram, a comfortable vessel built especially for a Antarctica polar exploration. Up to 276 guests. Aboard the French vessels Le Lyrial, Le Soléal or Le Boréal. Up to 264 passengers. Seasoned Antarctic operator with a specially designed and equipped ship.
10 Ways to Save SmartPay — pay in full, 12-months in advance and save up to 10% Preferred Traveler Rewards — Earn 5% of purchase price towards future trips Buy direct & save — no travel agents, savings passed on to you. Referral Rewards — $200 per traveler referred after 2 referrals. Travel Protection THE BEST REWARDS PROGRAM IN TRAVEL!

*Prices are subject to change & based on comparable March or November departure dates
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