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The Antarctic, in the Wake of the Belgica (Ushuaia - Ushuaia)

10 days with Ponant   Rating: Deluxe

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices
Day 1 - 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 mondo” 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…
 
Days 2-3 - Crossing the Drake Passage
Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarise yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. The Expedition Leader will first present the IAATO rules of conduct that must be observed during landings in the region and will explain everything you need to know about the Zodiac® outings. Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity for you to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, you will experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist-guides on your ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage.
 
Days 4-7 - Crossing the Drake Passage
Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarise yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. The Expedition Leader will first present the IAATO rules of conduct that must be observed during landings in the region and will explain everything you need to know about the Zodiac® outings. Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity for you to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, you will experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist-guides on your ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage.
 
Day 8 – Crossing the Drake Passage
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 9 – 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 mondo” 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.
 
Day 10 - 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 mondo” 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.
All This Included
PONANT invites you 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.
 
The start of your cruise will be marked by the crossing of the mythical Drake Passage, during which you will probably be escorted by several albatrosses and Cape petrels, the sentinels of these often-choppy waters.
 
Your ship will then reach the White Continent, land of the unexpected, as was the 13-month overwintering of the Belgica, which found itself trapped in the ice from March 1898 to March 1899. For the very first time in history, men were going to brave the Antarctic winter and discover its mysteries.
 
Weather and ice conditions permitting, this extreme environment where nature reigns supreme will reveal to you its most beautiful secrets through numerous discoveries, like the ones made by Adrien de Gerlache and his crew, who carried out some remarkable cartography, geology, climatology and zoology work.
 
On this uninhabited land, your encounters with the wildlife will no doubt be one of the highlights of your experience. The Gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins, humpback whales, seals and seabirds will provide you with cherished lifelong memories.
 
Each day, whether on land, aboard your ship or during a Zodiac® outing, you will be surrounded by a grandiose decor ranging from icebergs to ice floe and ancient glaciers.
  • Port and safety charges
  • Open bar
  • Gratuities
  • Your cruise including all meals from dinner on the day of embarkation to breakfast on the day of disembarkation
  • Welcome aboard and captain’s cocktail parties, gala dinner
  • Mineral water, tea, filter coffee, white, red and rosé wines served with meals
  • 24 hour room service (selected menu)
  • Evening entertainments and events, and/or organised shows
  • Porterage from the quayside to the ship and vice versa
  • English-speaking guest-speaker (when applicable)
Highlights
  • On-board presence of descendants of Adrien de Gerlache (including Henri de Gerlache*), who will recount memories of their ancestor, presenting numerous documents, photos, films and objects connected with the Belgica’s expedition.
  • Conferences discussing Adrien de Gerlache, the Belgica expedition, the great explorers of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, but also Gaston de Gerlache’s expedition in 1957-58, and the set-up of King Baudouin Station on Queen Maud Land.
  • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac®inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides. Lectures and information sessions covering wildlife, history, and geopolitics.
  • Weather and ice conditions permitting, we will get as close as possible to the sites that are emblematic of the Gerlache expedition and attempt to land there: Gerlache Strait, Wilhelmina Bay, Andvord Bay, the islands of Brabant, Liege, Anvers and Wiencke, the Danco Coast, Neko Harbour, Flandres Bay, and Lemaire Channel.
  • Hiking opportunity.
  • Landscapes: a multitude of drifting icebergs, ice floes, imposing glaciers and tall, snow-covered mountains.
  • Wildlife: humpback whales, Gentoo penguins, Adelie penguins, chinstrap penguins, leopard seals, crabeater seals, Weddell seals and numerous sea birds.
  • Educational discovery in the respect of environment.
  • New: for your comfort and convenience, an optional premium package including one night in Ushuaia on the eve of boarding your ship and an excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park (for details, see the “Pre/post & overlands” tab for your cruise. Please contact your travel adviser for information and bookings).
Accommodations
Cruising: Standard cabin onboard L'Austral
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Fares may be subject to fuel adjustment.
  • Please ask your Vacations to Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Ponant terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.