Antarctica: Penguins, Icebergs & Polar Exploration - 2018

Buenos Aires • Antarctica • Ushuaia
  • Antarctica: Penguins, Icebergs & Polar Exploration - 2018
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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 walk on 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.

Round-trip Buenos Aires

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DAY 1:

Fly overnight to Buenos Aires

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

DAY 2:

Arrival in Argentina

Upon arrival on Day 2, we have the remainder of the day to explore independently.

Included Meals:


DAY 3:

Panoramic tour of vivacious Buenos Aires

Argentina’s capital is a heady mix of European inspiration and an undeniably Argentinean spirit. Unforgettable Moment: 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 afternoon is at leisure. Spend the evening making discoveries on your own, or join an optional tango show that includes dinner.

Included Meals:


DAY 4:

Fly to “the end of the world” and embark the 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 will 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 toward Antarctica

Unforgettable Moment: 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 prepares you to make the most out of the unique experience of exploring Antarctica.

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

DAY 7-13:

Expeditions in Antarctica

The last great wilderness left on Earth with no permanent human inhabitants, the continent is dedicated to scientific research and peaceful cooperation. Simple words cannot convey the feeling of being here, with its crisp air, towering icebergs, and endless white mountain ranges. We spend the next seven days cruising channels and passageways surrounded by the Antarctic Peninsula's rugged, glacier-covered islands and craggy land masses. 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).

Antarctica is also home to millions of penguins, as well as an astonishing array of other unique species. 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. Unforgettable Moment: Where conditions allow, we go ashore on naturalist-led expeditions by versatile water craft to explore such sites as Deception Island, Cuverville Island, Neko Harbor, Port Lockroy, Paradise Harbor, Wilhelmina Bay, Brown Bluff, and the Antarctic Sound. 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:

Heading back north through 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. As Day 15 draws to a close, you'll enjoy a Captain's Farewell Cocktail Hour, followed by a delicious four-course dinner to celebrate your last evening onboard.

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
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 16:

Disembark ship and fly to Buenos Aires

We arrive in Ushuaia and disembark the ms Fram after breakfast, then transfer to the airport for our charter flight to Buenos Aires, where we enjoy one final night at leisure.

Included Meals:


DAY 17:

Enjoy a day at leisure to explore lively Buenos Aires, then fly 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 U.S. Or, if you are continuing your adventure to Iguassu Falls on our post-trip extension, you will depart mid-day.

Included Meals:

Optional Tour: Tigre Delta Cruise

Tigre Delta Cruise

  • Approximate Cost: $119 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 U.S. and clearing U.S. 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 Expedition Leader or regional expert.

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Antarctica: Penguins, Icebergs & Polar Exploration - 2018

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