IN THE WAKE OF THE BELGICA
You are invited on a polar expedition cruise to the heart of the icy realm that is the Antarctic Peninsula, to pay tribute to the famous Belgian explorer Adrien de Gerlache de Gomery (1866-1934). Between 1897 and 1899 he led the first scientific expedition to the Antarctic and he and his crew were the first ship’s party to overwinter there.
120 years later, embark on an unforgettable 10-day cruise that will evoke memories of the heroic scientific expedition of the Belgica. Rediscover the incredible adventure shared by these men and succumb to the enchantment of the breathtaking landscapes inhabited by astonishing wildlife.
Day Place Highlights Day 1 Ushuaia, Argentina Board the ship in Ushuaia and sail through the Beagle Channel Day 2-3 Drake Passage Giant petrels and birdlife, Antarctic presentations Day 4-7 Antarctic Peninsula Inflatable Zodiac Boats, Gentoo, Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Leopard Seals and Whales, Neko Bay, Paradise Bay, Port Lockroy, Deception Island Day 8-9 Drake Passage Cape Horn, Beagle Channel Day 10 Ushuaia, Argentina Disembark in Ushuaia
L’Austral (200 guests) was launched in May, 2011 and is a sister ship to Le Boreal and Le Soleal. She features 132 staterooms offering elegant design as well innovative state-of-the-art marine technology. The vessel boasts a convenient layout, aided by three passenger elevators. She offers a single seating dining room, al fresco dining, an outdoor heated pool, and a modern lecture facility and theatre, as well as an ample and comfortable gathering area and library.
Board your ship in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world. To reach the White Continent you will cross the notorious Drake Passage named after the famous explorer, Sir Frances Drake, who sailed in these waters way back in 1578. You will then traverse the Polar Front which marks the area where waters from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans meet.
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.
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.
After exploring the Antarctic Peninsula you will head back towards the Drake Passage to Ushuaia. On the way you will witness sea birds following the ship. You will have time to sort through your photos and recap on your trip with your fellow travellers. In the morning of day 10 you will disembark in Ushuaia.