Across the Antarctic Circle: An Expedition Cruise - 2019

Falkland Islands • Antarctica • Chilean Fjords
Moderate Deluxe
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Set foot on an untouched paradise as you join us on a breathtaking adventure to the farthest reaches of the world. Those intrigued by the cultures of the world will be enchanted by the unique architecture and fiery flavors of Santiago. Nature lovers will thrill at the chance to explore the wildlife-strewn shores of the Falkland Islands. 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 spend an unforgettable 9 full days on the White Continent, with plenty of opportunities to go ashore on naturalist-led expeditions (weather permitting), visit penguin colonies, and cruise among ice-laden islands and hidden harbors.

With an astounding 25 included features, this comprehensive cruise itinerary allows you to reach several remarkable milestones, from crossing the Antarctic Circle (a rare opportunity that few ships achieve) to sailing some of the Earth’s most legendary waterways. Along the way, our naturalist guides provide riveting commentary about the wilderness you’re witnessing, enhancing your adventure immeasurably. What’s more, you’ll explore these bucket-list destinations aboard the brand new MS Amundsen, the first hybrid ship to sail on Antarctic waters. Discover Earth's final frontier on a wondrous small-group polar exploration at a small group value you never dreamed.

Itinerary at a Glance

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DAY 1:

Depart home

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

DAY 2:

Arrive in Santiago, Chile

Founded in 1541, Santiago has been the capital of Chile since colonial times. Upon arrival on Day 2, attend a quick Welcome Briefing with your fellow travelers, followed by a Welcome Dinner at the hotel. 

Included Meals:


DAY 3:

Discover the highlights of Santiago

Following breakfast this morning, we'll set out for a more in-depth look at Santiago's major highlights, including stops at the grand Plaza de Armas and the regal Government Palace. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to further explore this vibrant city.

Included Meals:

1 Breakfast

DAY 4:

A flight to Punta Arenas, then board the ms Ronald Amundsen

We fly by privately chartered plane to Punta Arenas this morning, the world’s southernmost continental city. Though this frontier town looks unassuming, it has long been an important outpost for Chile for its location as the gateway into the magnificent Chilean fjords. Founded in the mid-1800s, Punta Arenas spread its influence over the region as it developed steadily into a center for trade and culture. Upon arrival, we embark the MS Amundsen, a truly special expedition vessel, and settle in for an incredible voyage. Tonight, we'll enjoy a Welcome Dinner aboard the ship.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 5:

Cruise the scenic Chilean fjords

We awake to the scenic splendor of the Chilean fjords this morning, a magnificent labyrinth of waterways that slices through the southern reaches of South America, connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. We sail through the Magellan Straight, one of the worlds most undisturbed and beautiful places in the world. A site of permanent navigational significance, it serves at the separation of the American Continent from Tierra del Fuego. We'll also pass through the Beagle Channel, named after the ship which carried Charles Darwin on his voyage of discovery  – the HMS Beagle. Spend some time on deck today; in addition to vistas of soaring mountains and beautiful forests, you'll have the opportunity to spot dolphins, whales, seals, Magellanic penguins, and a variety of other wildlife.  

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAYS 6 & 7:

Cruise the Drake Passage

We make our way out of the fjords and into the open sea. For the next two days, we cruise 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. The Drake Passage is steeped in history and filled with legendary stories, as we discover during onboard lectures that you can attend during our crossing. Our presentations also prepare you to make the most out of the unique experience of exploring Antarctica over the next several days. 

If weather conditions allow, we'll attempt a landing at Cape Horn, the southernmost point of the six major continents and romantically known as "the end of the world." It is truly a travel milestone to make landfall here. Unforgettable Moment: As we proceed farther south and attempt to cross the Antarctic Circle, the air turns crisper and colder, glowing icebergs begin to appear in the water, and our excitement builds.

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

DAY 8:

Step foot on the last great wilderness on Earth: 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. Unforgettable Moment: We'll spend nine incredible 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). To step foot on mainland Antarctica is a true once-in-a-lifetime travel experience. 

We’ll marvel at our striking surroundings—vast tundra and jagged icebergs mirrored in frigid seas—as we cruise through a part of the world so remote and extreme that it has no permanent human residents. Unforgettable Moment: Antarctica is, however, home to millions of penguins, as well as an astonishing array of seals, birds, and other unique species, so be sure to keep your cameras at the ready! As we cruise, we'll enjoy a rewarding balance of onboard lectures that enlighten the mind and onshore excursions that thrill and invigorate. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAYS 9-16:

Spend the next eight days exploring otherworldly Antarctica

The next few days days are spent taking in Antarctica’s white-blue icebergs; towering walls of ice; snowy mountain ranges; and amazing land and sea life. 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. This is a stark landscape of heady breathtaking terrain and a travel experience unlike any other. 

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 Cuverville Island, Half Moon Island, Neko Harbor, and Deception Island to better experience the otherworldly wildlife and landscapes found here. One thing is certain: no matter which of these magnificent spots we explore, your team of onboard naturalists will help you view the nature and beauty of Antarctica as never before. With an open mind and spirit of adventure, you will enjoy the most rewarding of journeys.

Included Meals:

8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 8 Dinners

DAY 17:

Soak in the scenery with a day at sea

With our bow pointed north and unforgettable experiences in our souls, we leave the White Continent behind and voyage toward the Falkland Islands. As we cruise, we 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 lies ahead.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAYS 18-20:

Explore the wildlife paradise of the Falkland Islands

We'll spend the next three days exploring the unique ecology of the Falkland Islands. With around 70 different animal species and wild, majestic landscapes, there's plenty for us to uncover. We plan to land in the northwest area of Falklands, where we'll admire our fascinating surroundings before continuing to Port Stanley. Our first sign of civilization in about a week, Stanley is indeed civilized with its British air, red phone booths and village pubs. This tiny town of just over 2,000 people is in fact the Falklands’ capital, and it is pure pleasure to explore by foot. During our visit, you might join an excursion to see penguins, hike through stunning scenery or kayak along the shore. If weather allows, we'll also explore charismatic New Island, a small island blessed with sandy white beaches and turquoise waters, and Carcass Island, a bird-watcher's paradise. 

Included Meals:

3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners

DAY 21:

Soak in the scenery with a day at sea

Our final day at sea is spent cruising through the Strait of Magellan back to Punta Arena. In addition to wrapping up our onboard lecture series, we'll share our favorite experiences in Antarctica and the Falklands. Be sure to spend some time on deck watching for wildlife. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAYS 22-23:

Disembark the Roald Amundsen and fly to Buenos Aires

After a final breakfast on board this morning, we'll disembark in Punta Arenas and transfer to the airport for our flight back to Santiago. From here, you'll board a flight back to your home airport. After arriving in the U.S. and clearing U.S. Immigration and Customs on Day 22,  Or, continue on to explore cosmopolitan Santiago and the ancient wonders of UNESCO-listed Easter Island. 

Included Meals:

1 Breakfast

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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Across the Antarctic Circle: An Expedition Cruise - 2019

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