Cruise on a once-in-a-lifetime, 15-day voyage commemorating the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica, featuring a unique itinerary exploring historic areas and wildlife-rich islands, as well as the chance to travel within the Antarctic Circle.
Day 1 - Arrive Buenos Aires, Argentina
Arrive in the energetic port city of Buenos Aires and transfer to
your luxury hotel, with time to relax and enjoy the amenities of
the beautiful Park Hyatt. This evening, meet with fellow guests
for a welcome cocktail reception.
Day 2 - Buenos Aires
The gateway to Argentina for centuries, Buenos Aires has
long brought portenos (locals) into its boundaries. Although
reminiscent of a European city, the spirit of Buenos Aires
is evident in its diverse local neighborhoods. Experience it
firsthand, choosing from a selection of included excursions.
Opt to explore the city on a guided tour complete with a
tango demonstration; spend the day at a traditional estancia
(ranch), where you pause for an authentic lunch; or dive into a
burgeoning art scene on a guided tour focused on Buenos Aires
street art. Enjoy time at leisure this evening.
Day 3 - Ushuaia
Fly to the southernmost city in the world, the charming port
town of Ushuaia on Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire). On arrival,
enjoy a nature walk (time permitting) and a gourmet lunch. This
afternoon, transfer to your ship and settle in for your first night
on board. Wander the decks to become acquainted with the ship,
relax in the lounge and mingle with fellow guests in anticipation
of your voyage. From your private balcony or the outside decks,
take in views as you cruise the beautiful Beagle Channel before
heading out to sea.
Day 5 - Cruising the Drake Passage
The first part of your adventure at sea and toward extraordinary
Antarctica begins with a voyage across the storied Drake
Passage, which functioned as an important trade route in the
19th and 20th centuries. Spanning 600 miles of open ocean, this
passage is also the place where the humid, subpolar conditions
of Tierra del Fuego meet with the frigid, polar reaches of
Antarctica — and where the voluminous Antarctic Circumpolar
Current presses from west to east. Notorious for its squalls, the
Drake Passage once made for an unpredictable voyage; today,
the stabilizer-equipped 'Le Lyrial' commands these waters
comfortably. As you travel on your remarkable luxury cruiser,
enjoy life on board as well as several university-caliber lectures
every day — all part of the intriguing, ongoing conversations
you have throughout your cruise with A&K's Expedition
Team and enrichment experts. Topics span marine biology,
photography and history — the last of which is especially
fascinating on this special, one-time-only expedition celebrating
Antarctica's discovery. After lunch, join your naturalists on
deck to spot pelagic seabirds, which may include the wandering
albatross and smaller storm petrels in their element. Later in
the evening, look forward to a briefing in the theater on the next
day's itinerary followed by dinner at your choice of restaurants.
Day 12 - Antarctica
First sightings of the Antarctic Peninsula are moving, surreal
and unforgettable, especially on the 200th anniversary year of
an expedition led by Nathaniel Palmer, the young sealer who, on
November 18, 1820, became the first American explorer to discover
mainland Antarctica. Share in the excitement of this historic
moment as the Antarctic's offshore islands appear on the horizon.
Your lecture program becomes especially poignant with an
inspired team of A&K experts and guest lecturers shedding light
on Palmer's voyages and the significance of his discovery. It sets the
stage for inspiring daily landings along the Peninsula, all of which
are carefully designed by your Captain and Expedition Team.
Excursions via Zodiacs (sturdy inflatable boats) are also piloted
by expert naturalist guides, joined by groups of no more than 10
guests and often accompanied by your lecturers.
The year 1820 was significant not only for Palmer but also for
Russian explorer Admiral Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen
and the British Royal Navy's Captain Edward Bransfield, who also
made claims regarding the discovery of Antarctica. This special-edition
voyage focuses on key historical areas at the center of
these expeditions. Your Captain and Expedition Team carefully
plan your active, curated itinerary, which is dependent on
weather, sea, ice and wildlife conditions. With that in mind, daily
excursions may include exploration of the following areas:
South Shetland Islands: Remarkable history, amazing
geological features and abundant wildlife define these islands
offshore of the Antarctic Peninsula. Island visits may include
Livingston, Half-Moon and Deception, where you may cruise
into this flooded caldera to explore geothermal black sand
beaches and abandoned whaling stations. You may also visit
Anvers Island and Palmer Station, where you enjoy an exciting,
behind-the-scenes look at the science happening there now.
Danco Coast: Bordering the South Shetland Islands along the
Antarctic continent, the Danco Coast is famed for its scenic,
jaw-dropping waterways. From the comfort of 'Le Lyrial,'
you may sail through the Gerlache Strait, Paradise Bay and
photogenic Lemaire Channel. Landings may include Neko
Harbour, Cuverville Island and Wilhelmina Bay.
Antarctic Circle: Conditions permitting, you may cruise beyond
the Antarctic Circle at 66°34'S 65°44'W, along the west coast
of the Antarctic Peninsula. You may also sail to the protected
waters of mountainous Marguerite Bay; handwritten journals
suggest that Palmer reached this far southern region on later
expeditions. Landings may occur on Adelaide Island, which was
discovered by British Explorer John Biscoe. You may also visit
the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) station at Rothera.
After mornings discovering the White Continent's rare and
remarkable treasures from the shore to terra firma, return
to 'Le Lyrial' for lunch. Enjoy time to relax and observe the
surrounding abundance of wildlife, searching for everything
from humpback whales and porpoising penguins to Antarctic
and imperial shags. By afternoon, set out for the day's second
excursion, which may include hiking on spectacular beaches
teeming with braying gentoo penguins, or circumnavigating
colossal icebergs that serve as floating homes to seals. After days
of adventure, look forward to comfortable evenings aboard your
luxury cruiser, sipping cocktails in the Panoramic Lounge before
your choice of a buffet or elegant dinner. At night, recap the day's
discoveries with your Expedition Team, enjoy entertainment
in the theater, and chat with fellow guests in one of 'Le Lyrial's'
lounges, ever on the lookout for late-night wildlife appearances
just off deck.
Day 14 - Cruising the Drake Passage
You may still be catching your breath over the awe and
inspiration discovered in Antarctica as 'Le Lyrial' turns around
to begin the voyage back to Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego. The
ship's return through the Drake Passage affords the perfect
opportunity for peaceful reflection, and more conversations
and lectures with A&K experts on Antarctica's spectacular
environment. You may also enjoy more time with newfound
friends in the common spaces of 'Le Lyrial,' or quiet relaxation
in the comfort of your cabin. The Drake Passage is a rich source
of krill, which fuels the heart of Antarctic food webs and draws
wildlife at every turn. Your Expedition Team continues to call
you out on deck to witness everything from humpback whales
frolicking and bubble-net feeding to the gorgeous black-browed
albatross and the wandering albatross, a rare prize for bird
lovers known for its remarkable wingspan, which can be as
wide as 12 feet.
Day 15 - Depart Ushuaia
'Le Lyrial' docks at Ushuaia this morning. After breakfast, bid
farewell to your crew and fellow guests before disembarking.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Buenos Aires,
where you connect to your international flight home.