THE ANTARCTIC ODYSSEY

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21 DAYS

ITINERARY SUMMARY
DayPlaceHighlights
Day 1MontevideoEmbarkation
Days 2 - 4At SeaSea Birds, onboard lectures
Day 5Grace Cove & the Neck, Saunders IslandNorth end of Falkland Islands and the North-Western edge, look for Commerson Dolphins, king penguins, black-browned albatross
Day 6Volunteer PointVisit this Peninsula on the far north-east of Falkland Islands. Home of the islands largest king penguin colony
Days 7 & 8At SeaOnboard facilities, fine dining, lectures
Days 9 - 11South GeorgiaSalisbury Plain, Fortuna Bay, Stromness. Saint Andrews Bay, Grytviken, Gold Harbour, Cooper Bay
Day 12At SeaOnboard facilities, lecture, fine dining
Days 13 & 14South Orkney IslandsVisit these islands, which as more than 85% glaciated located 600km from the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula
Day 15At SeaOnboard facilities, lecture, fine dining
Days 16 - 18Antarctic PeninsulaElephant Island, Astrolabe Island, Neko Harbour, Petermann Island, Polar Circle
Days 19 & 20Drake PassageOnboard facilities, lecture, fine dining
Day 21DisembarkDisembark in Ushuaia and fly to Buenos Aires
Montevideo Falklands, South Georgia Antarctica map

SHIP OFFERING THIS ITINERARY

Le Lyrial
Le Lyrial with Seal

Following the signature Ponant style, the Le Lyrial is an elegant way to travel throughout the Antarctic region, effortlessly combining luxury and intimacy whilst focusing on guest’s well being. Exterior and interior lines combine to ensure that all of the 260 guests on board enjoy a comfortable and enjoyable journey, with no necessity spared. Featuring an onboard fitness and beauty area, communal spaces including a tea room, bar, live music programmes and a dance floor to enjoy on your nights at sea you will never struggle to fill in your days. The Panoramic room as well as providing breathtaking views, houses a library, hosts internet connection and direct access onto the panoramic terrace. Guests can enjoy the perfect balance between shore excursions and excitement on board to make your journey to the Southern most Continent simply unforgettable.

Day 1 Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo, Uruguay
Overview:

Perched on the far southern tip of Uruguay, Montevideo is a white city, and one of the loveliest capital cities of South America. Come and admire the beautiful historical remains dating from Spanish rule; you’ll find the most interesting within the Cuidad Vieja, formerly fortified, its old town dates from the 18th century. The best preserved are the cathedral and the former governmental palace of the Cabildo, both listed historical monuments. In the crook of a vast blue bay, the city is also blessed with beautiful beaches. Embark on the Le Lyrial in the afternoon.

Days 2-4 At Sea

Royal Albatross

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the Ponant photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, you will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 5 Grace Cove & The Neck, Saunders Island

Make your way through the turbulent Woolly Gut strait and emerge in the stillness of Grave Cove. Located in the northern edge of the Falkland Islands, this bay owes its name to the vestiges of whalers’ graves that overlook the beach. As you step off the boat and onto the white-sand beach, you might find yourself escorted by a few hospitable Commerson’s dolphins, elegantly adorned in black and white. A stroll along the grassy dunes will lead you to a vast plain of lush green grass, tended by a few sheep. On the other side of the island you’ll find one of the largest gentoo penguin colonies in the area. With some luck, you’ll also glimpse a sea lion scouring the waves for his next meal.

King Penguins Saunders Island, Falklands

The Neck is a narrow stretch of land connecting the two sides of Saunders Island, located on the north-western edge of the Falklands. You’ll safely enter these blustery surroundings with the assistance of your naturalist guides. And once there, a reward awaits you: a veritable paradise of endless shoreline lapped by turquoise waters. Several bird species, also attracted to this stunning location, have settled here. At the other end of The Neck, you’ll encounter Magellanic penguins, southern rockhopper penguins, black-browed albatross and king penguins, all basking in the beauty of their surroundings.

Day 6 Volunteer Point

Fortuna Bay King Penguins

A peninsula located at the far north-east of the Falkland Islands, Volunteer Point, named after the ship The Volunteer which called there in 1815, promises moving encounters in the heart of totally unspoiled nature. Due to its exceptional birdlife, the spot is identified as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) and is, above all, renowned as the home of the island’s largest king penguin colony. These elegant birds, which are expressive and not particularly timid, will offer you moments of pure awe and the opportunity to take magnificent photos. You’ll certainly be touched by the fledglings, dressed in their thick brown plumage.

Days 7-8 At Sea

At Sea Whale and Antarctic Tern

Enjoy some of the onboard facilities whilst keeping an eye out for bird life and whales. As you head further south you will begin to see icebergs floating past.

Days 9-11 South Georgia

South Georgia Elephant Seals fighting Saint Andrews Bay

Aboard your ship, discover South Georgia, a region formed by an underwater mountain chain that extends from the Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula. All the wildlife of the Far South can be found there: king and Gentoo penguins, elephant seals, fur seals… You might get the chance to discover the majestic glaciers of Gold Harbour and the vast plains of Fortuna Bay. If you are fortunate enough to land at Salisbury Plain, you can expect a wonderful spectacle: more than 300,000 king penguins, which you will recognise by the bright orange mark on their head and neck, have taken up residence there.

Day 12 At Sea

At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the Ponant photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, you will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Days 13-14 South Orkney Islands

Ice formation Antarctica

More than 85% glaciated, these remote mountainous islands are hidden in the Southern Ocean, some 600 km from the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The archipelago is composed of four main islands: Coronation Island, Signy Island, Powell Island and Laurie Island. Discovered in 1821 by seal hunters, they were also explored in 1823 by the British navigator James Weddell, who gave them their current name. Despite the ravages caused by whale and seal hunting, today a sizeable leopard seal population can be found there, along with chinstrap penguins and snow petrels. Laurie Island is home to an old scientific station that is still in operation.

Day 15 At Sea

Whale, Antarctica

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the Ponant photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, you will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Days 16-18 Antarctic Peninsula

Gentoo Penguins at Orne Island

Succumb to the magic of a place unlike any other. To this day, the mythical Antarctic Peninsula still holds real fascination and promises its visitors unforgettable moments. Throughout your adventure in this icy realm, you will find yourself in the heart of a spectacular decor in subtle shades of blue and white, surrounded by exceptional wildlife. Penguins, humpback whales, seals and giant petrels are at home here, as are elephant seals, fur seals, Antarctic minke whales, and orcas. Depending on which sites you will be lucky enough to visit, you may get the chance to observe them and share with them the beauty of these extreme parts.

Chinstrap Penguin at Orne Island

Each day, based on ice conditions, the Captain and the Expedition Leader will suggest Zodiac® outings or landings to discover the infinite riches of the Antarctic Peninsula. Glaciers, ice floe, tabletop icebergs, mountain peaks that plunge straight into the sea, volcanic beaches, research stations, enchanting bays, and vestiges of the whaling industry: these are the faces of the Antarctic that will likely reveal themselves to you, in a hushed and surreal atmosphere. You will sail in the wake of Jean-Baptiste Charcot, Adrien de Gerlache and Sir Ernest Shackleton, great Antarctic explorers who, from the 19th century, set out to conquer these remote and uninhabited lands.

Days 19-20 Crossing the Drake Passage

Crossing the Drake

If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly Drake Passage. Situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the shortest route to Antarctica. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbours a very diverse marine fauna. Don’t forget to look to the sky to catch a glimpse of elegant albatross and Cape petrels, playfully floating about in the wind around your ship.

Day 21 Disembarkation, Ushuaia

Ushuaia

Capital of Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is considered the gateway to the “Great White“ and the South Pole. Nicknamed “El fin del mundo” by the Argentinian people, this city at the end of the world nestles in the shelter of mountains surrounded by fertile plains that the wildlife seem to have chosen as the ultimate sanctuary. With its exceptional site, where the Andes plunge straight into the sea, Ushuaia is one of the most fascinating places on earth, its very name evocative of journeys to the unlikely and the inaccessible. It is here that you will disembark from your unforgettable journey. In the afternoon board your charter flight to return to Buenos Aires.

To book this voyage call 1300 668 112 or email contact@antarcticatravelcentre.com.au

We will tailor the perfect holiday to suit your needs.