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Antarctica: The Ultimate Expedition - 2019

Buenos Aires • Antarctica • South Georgia • Falklands • Ushuaia
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Mystical wilderness, extraordinary wildlife, and rare history combine on this once-in-a-lifetime exploration of some of the world's most astounding natural treasures. Antarctica: The Ultimate Expedition is your chance to retrace the path of heroic explorers like Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton while traversing some of the world’s most remarkable vistas. Unlike Shackleton’s team, you and your small group will travel to Antarctica in deluxe style aboard an ice-rated Hurtigruten ship, the ms Fram, specifically designed to navigate polar waters with state-of-the-art equipment.

With an astounding 25 included features, this comprehensive cruise itinerary takes you to some of the most secluded corners of the planet, from the remote Falkland Islands to stunning South Georgia. Then, watch as our striking surroundings transform—vast tundra and jagged icebergs mirrored in frigid seas—as we reach what is sure to be the centerpiece of your journey: Antarctica. You’ll have six full days on the White Continent, with opportunities to go ashore on naturalist-led expeditions (weather permitting), visit penguin colonies, and cruise among ice-laden islands and hidden harbors. Visit the Earth's final frontier on the ultimate small-group polar exploration with Vantage Adventures, a truly unforgettable experience. 

Round-trip Buenos Aires

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DAY 1:

Depart home for Buenos Aires, Argentina

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

DAY 2:

Arrive in Buenos Aires

Upon arrival, we have the remainder of the day to explore independently. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner in the hotel. 

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

Tour the highlights of lively 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 highlights of the city, from the waterfront vistas of Puerto Madero to the European-flavored La Boca district, full of colorful homes. Along the way, we’ll stop to explore the city’s opulent Recoleta neighborhood, passing grand mansions and green oases. 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. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast

DAY 4:

Explore colorful Ushuaia before embarking the ms Fram

Transfer to the Buenos Aires airport this morning for our flight to Ushuaia, 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. This afternoon, we’ll transfer to the pier and embark the ms Fram to begin our Antarctica cruise. After being welcomed on board by the ship's captain, officers, and staff, you’ll attend a safety briefing and have some time to settle into your cabin. Tonight, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and our first dinner on board. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 5:

Enrich your exploration with discoveries at sea

We set sail across open sea for the Falklands today, an archipelago abundant with unique wildlife. Be sure to spend time out on deck, where you can fully enjoy the experience of being at sea and keep an eye out for the amazingly varied wildlife native to this remote part of the world.  

During the course of our voyage, you'll discover that the ms Fram is a floating ecological school, designed to make our journey as informative as it is thrilling. We’ll cruise with the ship’s onboard expedition team of experts in geology, geography, ornithology, and marine mammals. They’ll present a series of lectures about the natural history of Antarctica and lead discussions about the day’s discoveries.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAYS 6-8:

Explore the wildlife paradise of the Falkland Islands

Today we begin our exploration of the Falkland Islands, one of the last untamed areas on the Earth. Full of ruggedly beautiful landscapes, the Falklands consist of two main islands and hundreds of smaller ones, collectively home to an incredible array of wildlife including King penguins and albatrosses. Depending on weather conditions, we’ll spend the next few days exploring the fascinating western side of the archipelago. Depending on possible landing sites, you’ll have opportunity to hike some of these remarkable vistas and interact with those who have chosen to live on the edge of Antarctica. One possible port is Carcass Island, found in the northwest part of the archipelago. The scenery here is varied with beautiful white sandy beaches, grassy paddocks, rocky hills, and magnificent cliffs. A hike along the shores of Carcass Island, a haven for a variety of bird species, will allow us to see Magellanic and Gentoo penguins in action.

Please note: Possible landing sites are subject to weather conditions and are at the discretion of the captain and crew. Itinerary is subject to change. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAYS 9-10:

Soak in the scenery with a day at sea

For the next two days, our ship sails southeast towards South Georgia. As we cruise, the Expedition Team will host workshops and share of their knowledge and experience. Another resource available to you is our onboard expedition photographer, who will show you the basics of expedition photography as you prepare for the adventures ahead. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 11:

Arrive in South Georgia, a spectacular display of wildlife

We’ll spend the next five days traversing South Georgia, one of the most spectacular displays of wildlife on the planet. There is nowhere, in any latitude, quite like South Georgia; magnificent mountains soar overhead, glaciers stand at regal attention, and beaches teem with wildlife. Its unique position (inside the Antarctic ecosystem, yet outside the limit of the yearly sea ice) makes this 1,500-square-mile island home to tens of millions of breeding penguins, seals, and seabirds. 

Please note: Possible landing sites are subject to weather conditions and are at the discretion of the captain and crew. Itinerary is subject to change. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAYS 12-15:

Explore beaches teeming with penguins, seals, and more

This breathtaking destination of towering snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers, and low-lying grasslands attracts an astounding concentration of wildlife, from seals to albatrosses to penguins. Unforgettable Moment: A possible landing site during our time in South Georgia is Fortuna Bay, where huge Elephant seals lounge on the sand, fur seal pups race in and out of the water, albatross soar overhead, and King penguins can be seen in the thousands. Another possible landing is Gold Harbor, backed by an amphitheater of hanging glaciers and cliffs at the base of the Salvesen Range. Nestling between the bluffs of Gold Head is a tussac-covered glacial plain riddled with small streams and pools; here, we’ll find witness a sprawling colony of king penguins.

Please note: Possible landing sites are subject to weather conditions and are at the discretion of the captain and crew. Itinerary is subject to change. 


Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 16:

Relax during a day at sea

As we continue south to Antarctica, we’ll watch for magnificent wandering albatross and other seabirds soaring across the skies. We’ll continue our lecture series today, focusing on the history, environment, and wildlife of the wondrous world we are about to explore. Our presentations will also help you to make the most out of the unique experience of exploring Antarctica over the next several days.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 17:

Step foot on the last great wilderness on Earth: Antarctica

Unforgettable Moment: As the most remote destination in the world, stepping foot on the seventh continent is a truly astonishing achievement. We'll spend six full days taking in Antarctica’s clear, crisp air, pearl-colored mountain ranges, and amazing land and sea life. Penguins, fur seals, icebergs tall as skyscrapers and endless expanses of white are among the breathtaking sites we’ll see. Where weather conditions allow, we will we go ashore on naturalist-led expeditions by versatile PolarCirkel craft and further explore the plethora of wonders found here. We’re always sure to keep our cameras at the ready as our highly maneuverable small ship wends its way among islands, bays, and channels. After all, this is a stark landscape of heady breathtaking terrain and a travel experience unlike any other. One thing is certain no matter where we make landfall: 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. 

Please note: Possible landing sites are subject to weather conditions and are at the discretion of the captain and crew. Itinerary is subject to change. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAYS 18-22:

Spend the next five days exploring otherworldly 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 six days cruising channels and passageways surrounded by the Antarctic Peninsula's rugged, glacier-covered islands and craggy land masses. 

In addition to an astonishing array of other unique species, Antarctica is home to millions of penguins. 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 landing crafts to explore such sites as Port Lockroy, Deception Island, Neko Harbor, Half Moon Island, Brown Bluff, and the Antarctic Sound. 



Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAYS 23-24:

Cruise the Drake Passage

With our bow pointed north and unforgettable images and experiences in our souls, we leave the White Continent behind and voyage back towards South America through 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, several of which we’ll learn from our expert expedition team. During the expedition north, we will continue our lecture series and recap our incredible experiences in Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 25:

Disembark the ms Fram and fly to Buenos Aires

Following breakfast onboard, we disembark the ms Fram in Ushuaia and board a flight for Buenos Aries. After arriving and checking into your hotel this evening, you can enjoy this spirited city on your own or enjoy an thrilling optional tango show, complete with colorful dancers, passionate music, and a delicious dinner. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast
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. 


DAYS 26-27:

Buenos Aires, then to airport for your flight home 

After breakfast in the hotel this morning, enjoy the last day of your adventure at leisure. 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, you'll transfer to the airport for your overnight flight back to the U.S.

After arriving in the U.S. and clearing U.S. Immigration and Customs on Day 27, connect to a flight to your home airport.

Included Meals:

1 Breakfast
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.


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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