Antarctica: Penguins, Icebergs & Polar Exploration - 2019

Buenos Aires • 11-night expedition cruise with Antarctica and Ushuaia
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Iguassu Falls, Brazil

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The Great White Continent beckons on this Vantage-exclusive expedition to uncover the intrigue, barren beauty, and unspoiled nature of Earth’s remote corners. Spend a night soaking up the heat in fiery Buenos Aires before a charter flight to Ushuaia ushers you aboard the impressive ms Midnatsol, the portal to Antarctica’s sheer blue icebergs and rugged expanse. Brave the elements on this true adventure that pairs you with an Expedition Team as you venture ashore glaciers, extinct volcanoes, and islands where the population is comprised of you, your fellow adventurers, and colonies of curious penguins, seals, and birds. Antarctica is home to 46 bird species and 23 mammals, and you'll get up-close and personal with wildlife on daily expeditions to several landing sites, where you'll feel like an intrepid National Geographic photographer documenting the splendor of this remote locale.

You’ll spend five days exploring this magnificent polar tundra aboard Hurtigruten's ms Midnatsol, an expedition vessel designed for Antarctic cruising and luxuriously outfitted to deliver the utmost in comfort even at the ends of the Earth. Daily lectures and presentations from the onboard Expedition Team will contextualize your adventures on land, which begin and end in Argentina, the perfect place to reheat, recalibrate, and recount this ultimate exploration of the Southern Hemisphere.

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.

Round-trip Buenos Aires

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Iguassu Falls, Brazil

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DAY 1:

Fly overnight to Argentina

Dive below the equator today with an overnight flight to Buenos Aires.

DAY 2:

Buenos Aires arrival

Upon arrival on Day 2, take the remainder of the day to explore Buenos Aires independently. We’ll reconvene this evening for a Welcome Briefing and Welcome Dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:


DAY 3:

Inside Buenos Aires barrios

Experience a heady mix of European influence and brilliant Latin American flair on a panoramic tour of some of Buenos Aires’ most interesting barrios (neighborhoods). Unforgettable Moment: Explore the grand buildings along Avenida 9 de Julio, the world’s widest avenue, which extends all the way to the Chilean border. You’ll also venture into the San Telmo district, the city’s oldest barrio lined with colonial homes and cobbled roads, as well as the European-flavored La Boca district, home to La Bombonera football (soccer) stadium and the Caminito, an enclave of Crayola-fied households. And no visit to Buenos Aires is complete without a journey inside fashionable Recoleta, dotted with boutiques, leafy streets, and opulent mansions. After lunch on your own, enjoy an afternoon at leisure.

Included Meals:


DAY 4:

Fly to the “end of the world” and embark the ms Midnatsol

This morning we’ll board a flight to the “city at the end of the world,” otherwise known as Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city. Ringed by the Martial Mountain and situated on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Ushuaia is a bustling port town and adventure hub for hiking, skiing, and sailing, as we’ll soon discover. Enjoy free time to wander and seek lunch independently before transferring to the pier and embarking the ms Midnatsol. We’ll attend a safety briefing and meet the ship’s captain, officers, and staff before enjoying a Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and our first dinner onboard.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAYS 5-6:

Mark a travel milestone crossing the Drake Passage

Unforgettable Moment: Over the next two days you’ll get a prelude to our adventure on the Drake Passage, the sometimes peaceful, sometimes treacherous waterway connecting the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans. Named after Sir Francis Drake, this is a stretch steeped in history and legend, and a true travel milestone as we make our way toward Antarctica. A series of onboard lectures will keep us occupied during our crossing, preparing us to make the most out of our imminent polar explorations.

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

DAY 7:

Step foot on Earth’s last great wilderness

Speechless. This is how most travelers feel when they first make landfall on the vast white wilderness of Antarctica, feeling the crisp air and the staggering isolation of this region. And while this continent houses no permanent human inhabitants, we’ll soon see that Antarctica is instead home to millions of adorable and curious penguins, as well as an astonishing array of other unique species.

The Antarctica of today is totally dedicated to scientific research, and we’ll spend the next few days exploring its glacier-covered isles, craggy landing sites, and rugged channels while adding our own explorations to this rich heritage of discovery. We’ll keep our camera ready as our maneuverable expedition vessel wends its way through this pristine white wonderland. As we cruise, more onboard lectures will guide our thrilling onshore excursions.

Scenic Sailing: Every day in Antarctica includes a sailing component, and you’ll be able to see more of the continent’s unique landscape, as well as penguins or seals lounging on ice floes; mountains, glaciers, and other unique scenery; icebergs and ice floes with varying shapes and colors. Have a camera ready at all times!

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAYS 8-12:

Spend the next 5 days exploring otherworldly Antarctica

We’ll spend the next five days soaking up Antarctica’s gossamer blue icebergs, snowy mountain ranges, and vast wildlife. Ice, wind, and weather dictate life in Antarctica, just as they dictate our route and our landings, so we’ll determine our landings accordingly as our adventure progresses. Unforgettable Moment: Where conditions allow, we’ll venture ashore on naturalist-led wildlife expeditions in versatile landing crafts to explore sites including Cuverville Island, Half Moon Island, Neko Harbor, and Deception Island. Each landing site will be different, yet holds the same sense of wonder and dumbfounding beauty — Antarctica truly is an unforgettable experience and a terrain like no other. Your team of onboard naturalists will accompany each landing to guide your explorations and answer any questions about animals, glaciers, geology, and more.

Included Meals:

5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners

DAYS 13-14:

Retracing our steps on the Drake Passage

After an unforgettable week of exploration, we’ll 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 farewell.

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

DAY 15:

Disembark in Ushuaia and fly to Buenos Aires

We’lll arrive in Ushuaia and disembark the ms Midnatsol after breakfast, boarding a charter flight to Buenos Aires to cap off our adventure. Spend the evening at leisure in the city, perhaps exploring the Plaza de Mayo and enjoying dinner in one of the city’s world famous churrasquerías, or join our optional tour for a fabulous, fiery tango show and included dinner.

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 16:

A final day at leisure in Buenos Aires before flying home

Make the most of your final day in Buenos Aires with an optional polo excursion at an estancia (ranch), where we’ll learn about the sport’s rich history and watch a thrilling demonstration before continuing to the airport. Alternately, enjoy a final day at leisure and transfer to the airport this evening for your overnight flight back 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 17:

Arrive home

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

Included Meals:


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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Antarctica: Penguins, Icebergs & Polar Exploration - 2019

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