Arrive Buenos Aires, Argentina
Arrive in Argentina’s capital city, where immediate check-in has been arranged. With its wide boulevards and classical buildings, romantic Buenos Aires boasts an energy all its own. Relax before this afternoon’s tour of the city’s highlights, including the Plaza de Mayo, the stately Casa Rosada, the Cabildo and the Metropolitan Cathedral. You may drive past the colorful La Boca District or San Telmo, the birthplace of tango. Get to know your fellow guests this evening at a welcome cocktail party.
Fly to the port city of Ushuaia, located at the southern tip of South America. On arrival, enjoy lunch at the Arakur resort and, time and weather permitting, take a guided trek in the Cerro Alarken Nature Reserve or simply relax with a cappuccino and enjoy the views of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel. Later, board ‘Le Lyrial’ and settle into your cabin, where you can take in views right from your own private balcony. Walk the decks and explore the common spaces as you familiarize yourself with the luxury cruiser, your home for the next 15 nights at sea. You may even want to toast to your journey in the bar with your fellow guests.
As you sail east toward the Falkland Islands, your Expedition Team begins their informal series of enlightening daily discussions on the flora and fauna, geology, and history of the region. These expert lectures span diverse topics, such as seabirds and penguins of the Southern Ocean, the formation of sea ice over thousands of years, and personal accounts of living and working in Antarctica. Photography enthusiasts especially enjoy time with A&K’s Resident Photo Coach, who is on hand to share tips and answer questions. The cool waters in these parts are rich in krill, making them a favorite with local wildlife searching for food. Alongside your naturalist guides, spot various species of whales and seabirds from ‘Le Lyrial’s’ deck.
Port Stanley, Falkland Islands
Today, ‘Le Lyrial’ arrives at the remote Falkland Islands. Disembark to visit Port Stanley, the tiny, quaint capital with its small shops, brightly painted houses and friendly locals. Choose from one of several sightseeing excursions of Stanley, including a city highlights tour, a nature trek or an excursion by 4x4 vehicles to visit a gentoo penguin colony. History buffs may prefer a tour that visits some of the Falkland battlefields as well as the memorials to those who lost their lives in the conflict between Britain and Argentina in 1982.
Cruising the South Atlantic
As you approach South Georgia, deck-side sightings of whales and other wildlife become more frequent. Time spent cruising is once again filled with informative lectures and casual talks with your guides. Scan the seas to spot marine mammals and seabirds, as the ship cruises the nutrient-rich waters past the islands of Shag Rocks.
South Georgia is a nearly submerged continuation of the Andes mountain range, and your days here are spent exploring its glacier-carved coves and rugged shores. While weather and ice conditions determine the schedule, stops may include Eleshul Bay to see nesting, wandering albatrosses as well as Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay and Gold Harbour, all three of which are home to vast colonies of king penguins and Southern elephant seals. You may also visit Ernest Shackleton’s gravesite in Grytviken alongside your onboard historian, an expert on the great explorer’s life.
Cruising the Scotia Sea
During your time cruising the Scotia Sea — rich with marine mammals and fish — your expert lecturers recap your adventures in South Georgia. They also share more enriching lectures, revealing more of what is to come on the Seventh Continent, from the terrain to the hardy wildlife that inhabits this dramatic environment.
Your itinerary calls for landings on the Antarctic Peninsula and a number of South Shetland Islands, which may include Half Moon, Penguin and Deception. You may also visit Deception, Cuverville and Goudier islands, and sail through Paradise Bay and the Lemaire Channel, also known as “Kodak Alley” for its picture-perfect beauty. Further adventures may include a visit to Wilhelmina Bay, noted for its prolific humpback whale activity. As you cruise along Antarctica, scan the seas daily for these gentle giants, all from the comfort of your private balcony and the outer decks of your ship.
Cruising the Drake Passage
Bid farewell to Antarctica as ‘Le Lyrial’ points north for her return to Ushuaia. Enjoy more opportunities to observe marine and birdlife while reflecting on an incredible journey with fellow guests and new friends.
After breakfast, disembark your luxury expedition ship in Ushuaia. Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Buenos Aires, where you connect to your flight home.