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Fly to Uruguay
Get closer to Antarctica today when you board an overnight flight to Uruguay’s capital city, Montevideo.
Arrival in Montevideo
Upon arrival, take some time to rest and familiarize yourself with your surroundings before joining your Expedition Leader on an orientation walk and Welcome Dinner at the hotel this evening.
Montevideo in panoramic view, embarking the ms Fridtjof Nansen
After breakfast at the hotel, set off on an exploration of Montevideo, Uruguay’s 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. This afternoon, embark the ms Fridtjof Nansen and enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Cocktail prior to our first dinner onboard.
Relax onboard with two days at sea — and be on the lookout for whales!
Enjoy some relaxing time aboard the luxurious ms Nansen. Step inside the high-tech Nansen Science Center and enjoy an illuminating lecture program offered by the onboard Expedition Team, a handpicked staff of biologists, photographers, historians, and other experts. Hear talks on everything from historical explorers to marine biology, wildlife to climate change, and other topics that will give you a well-rounded understanding of Antarctica.
Spend some time on the Nansen’s deck and enjoy the sun, and watch for wildlife as we make our way south — this time of year, you have an excellent chance of spotting the southern right whale as we sail through their South American calving grounds.
Exploring Puerto Madryn’s whales, history, and wildlife
Venture into Patagonian Argentina today when we make landfall in Puerto Madryn, which is renowned for the southern right whales that frequent the region from June to mid-December. Join your Expedition Leader for a walk through the town, embark on a variety of optional excursions — including kayaking, wildlife viewing, and more — or explore on your own. Perhaps you’ll visit Punta Tombo, home to some 250,000 entertaining and adorable penguins, which you can view up-close alongside guanacos, rheas, and elephant seals.
Sail 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 ahead.
From British flair to whales: Exploring the Falklands
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, and a sizable penguin population that outnumbers humans!
Our explorations begin in the northwest area of the Falklands and Carcass Island — an important bird area home to Cobb’s wren, ground tyrant, pipit, thrush, and more — before continuing to the capital, Port Stanley. Unforgettable Moment: During our visit, you might join an excursion to see penguins, hike through stunning scenery, or kayak along the shore.
Uncovering a slice of Britain in Port Stanley
Our first sign of true civilization in more than a week, Stanley is a unique South Atlantic port of call as it’s a British territory. This tiny town of around 2,000 people is pure pleasure to explore by foot, and you’ll spot interesting British flourishes everywhere, including red phone booths, buses, colorful homes, and trademark village pubs. Fun fact: The Port Stanley town hall as multiple functions, including post office, court of law, and dance hall. This is one small town you won't soon forget.
Enjoy amenities and more lectures with days at sea
We’ll spend two days journeying through the Southern Ocean on the way to Antarctica. During our cruising, our onboard lecture series will keep you occupied and prepared to make the most of your upcoming Antarctica experience. As we cross the Antarctic Convergence, you’ll notice how the air has turned crisper, icebergs begin appearing in the water, and our excitement builds.
Step foot on Antarctica for the first time
Prepare for true wonderment today as we step foot on the White Continent and begin the first in a series of shore explorations. Almost everything in Antarctica is dictated by weather, wind, and ice, so our landing sites will be determined daily, and may shift with the elements. Our Expedition Team will aid our discoveries every step of the way, contextualizing our knowledge of this stark landscape, its history and wildlife.
Spend four days venturing ashore Antarctica
Unforgettable Moment: Where conditions allow, we’ll venture ashore on naturalist-led expeditions by versatile Zodiac boats to explore a bevy of landing sites. These destinations may include:
Cuverville Island: This rocky island is almost fully covered in a permanent icecap and is home to more than 6,000 delightful Gentoo penguins, floating icebergs, and scenery galore.
Half Moon Island: A refuge for chinstrap penguins and a variety of seals, the island also features great glacier views of nearby Livingstone Island.
Neko Harbor: A glacial haven for minke and humpback whales, as well as Gentoo penguins, skuas, and kelp gulls, Neko also boasts terrific views from atop the glacier.
Deception Island: This former whaling outpost is now home to several research bases — as well as an active caldera.
Petermann Island: A breeding colony for more than 3,000 Gentoo penguins, Petermann is a small, rugged island with rocky beaches and a permanent icecap that covers more than half of the land.
Wilhelmina Bay: Wilhelmina is the place for on-shore humpback whale watching, so keep your cameras at the ready!
Remember, daily life in Antarctica is determined by the elements, and we’ll adjust our landings as our adventure progresses.
Crossing the Drake Passage
As we trek north toward Ushuaia, Argentina, we’ll spend two days cruising through the fabled Drake Passage. Named for Sir Francis Drake, who discovered this 600-mile wide bottleneck, this storied passage connects the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans and is an expeditionary rite of passage. Steeped in history and filled with legendary stories, the voyage sometimes brings lashing waves and an exhilarating rollercoaster experience — depending on the weather, of course.
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, enjoy an evening at leisure with dinner on your own. Meat is a must in Argentina, so perhaps you’ll dine at one of Buenos Aires’ many churrasquerías — or, enjoy a night of culture on the town with an optional fiery tango dinner show. When in Buenos Aires, after all!
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 and ballroom tango generally steer 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.
Panoramic Buenos Aires tour
Today, we set out on a panoramic city tour of Buenos Aires and its distinctive barrios. Some of our highlights include the Avenida 9 de Julio (July 9th Avenue), which commemorates Argentina’s independence and houses the Obelisco monument and the Teatro Colón opera house. We’ll also visit several neighborhoods including Palermo, the old San Telmo district, and the European-flavored La Boca, full of colorfully painted homes. Our tour also showcases the fashionable Recoleta neighborhood, full of stately manors and sprawling green spaces, and 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. Dinner is included at the hotel tonight.
Discover “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, savor lunch, and watch a polo 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 home.
After an Antarctic expedition, visit another natural wonder with an optional post-trip extension to mighty Iguassu Falls. You’ll travel to Iguassu Falls National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of 275 thundering cascades on the border of Brazil and Argentina. Second in size only to Victoria Falls, this series of cataracts once prompted Eleanor Roosevelt to take pity on her country’s most famous falls, saying “Poor Niagara!” as she gazed upon mighty Iguassu. The falls are all impressive, but the most spectacular is the Devil’s Throat: the 2,300-foot-long spectacle separates Argentina and Brazil. You'll also ride into these thundering falls during a wild and wet Macuco Safari Boat Ride — now an included feature. Join us for this exhilarating extension below the equator!
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.