Cruise Discovery: heading for the white continent

Glaciers and icebergs, whales, seals and Emperor penguins along the shores of Antarctica.

DAY 1: BUENOS AIRES

A private chauffeur from our team will pick you up at Ezeiza International Airport and drive you to the hotel. After settling in, we suggest taking a walk around Buenos Aires, starting, for instance, in the La Boca neighborhood with its little colorful houses and its great atmosphere. Continue with lunch at Puerto Madero by the water, then a stopover at Plaza de Mayo to take a look at the Casa Rosada and San Telmo, a bohemian-like neighborhood, which has inspired artists and intellectuals alike. The tour ends up in Recoleta, with its gardens, the famous cemetery, and the National Museum of Fine Arts. At the end of the day, you will be invited to attend a map tour briefing with one of our chiefs of operations.
Lunch: Puerto Madero Happening.
Dinner: not included.
Night: Atempo Design Hotel.

DAY 2: BUENOS AIRES / USHUAIA / TIERRA DEL FUEGO NATIONAL PARK

Early in the morning, you will be taken to the city airport and will fly to Ushuaia. After a 3h 40’ flight, a tour guide will pick you up at the airport and drive you to the hotel. After freshening up, we suggest an excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park, along the Lapataia Bay: walking along easy paths, you will see the Roca Lake, the Pipo River, peat fields, castor ditches, a lenga forest… A short car ride will take you to the Ensenada Bay, where you will board a zodiac boat to the Redonda Island, host of Magellan cormorants surrounded by vegetation typical of the region. At the dock, you will be able to get your passport and postcards stamped. This is the most southern post office in the country!
Lunch and dinner: not included (snack in the plane). Restaurants in Ushuaia where to eat sea food.
Night: Hotel Cumbres del Martial.

DAY 3: USHUAIA / ANTARCTICA CRUISE / BEAGLE CHANNEL

Having completed customs’ proceedings and checked in baggage at the port, your tour guide will be available to take you around Ushuaia. You may visit, for instance, the Maritime Museum now operating in the old prison, displaying a reconstruction of the exploration to Antarctica, as an introduction to your upcoming cruise. Or also visit the End of the World Museum displaying an exhibit about the history of the indigenous peoples who used to inhabit Tierra del Fuego. You will board the Ushuaia in the afternoon. The crew will welcome you onboard and take you to your cabins. The boat will leave the port and sail towards the famous Beagle Channel. Before your first night aboard the ship, passengers may visit the viewing decks, the lounge and the library, which has plenty of board games, the bar, and the restaurant. At the end of the day, the crew will present you with the itinerary for the following day.
Tecnical description: The Ushuaia was built for the US oceanic research agency and then turned into a passenger ship and is equipped with top-notch technology and communication devices to sail Antarctica. It has 41 cabins and suites to comfortably host up to 84 passengers, all of them with access to the outside deck, a restaurant, a lounge and bar, a meeting room equipped with multimedia technology, a library and a mini-hospital and doctor onboard. The zodiac boats will enable access to the most unreachable places. All members of the crew are specialists in sailing Antarctica, and there is a head of expedition, cruise guides and expert lecturers. All of them are nature enthusiasts and are committed to the environment. The whole crew will help you discover the wonders of this white continent. In addition, you will be granted access to the pilot cabin. The sailing itinerary will be provided for reference, however the captain will be entitled to change the route depending on weather and sailing conditions. We recommend bringing polar and waterproof clothing, gloves, scarf and hat, sun block lotion, sunglasses and binoculars. Rubber boots will be provided onboard.
Lunch: not included.
Dinner and night: on board.

DAY 4 AND 5: ANTARCTICA / DRAKE PASSAGE CRUISE

This passage, located at the southernmost point of South America and Antarctica, was named after 16th century British explorer Sir Francis Drake. Its 650km width marks the separation between polar waters and the more northern warmer waters, creating excellent conditions for biodiversity. The crew will take you to the deck to help you identify sea birds, among them, albatrosses, or locate whales. The fantastic scene of the first icebergs and snow-covered mountains signals that the ship is getting closer to the South Shetland islands. Weather conditions permitting, passengers may disembark to see penguins and seals.
Lunch, dinner and night: on board.

DAYS 6 TO 10: ANTARCTICA / SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS AND ANTARCTIC PENINSULA CRUISE

the South Shetland Archipelago has plenty of Magellanic penguin colonies, sea lions or fur seals, sea elephants… which can be seen wandering around. The biggest island, King George, is home to Adelie penguins, Chinstrap penguins, sea gulls, imperial cormorants, and giant petrels. On Livingston Island, you can also see Gentoo penguins and elephant seals harems, the most impressive of all the seals. Your arrival at the Antarctic Peninsula will certainly make you feel the thrill of the first explorers at encountering this breathtaking ice desert landscape. Depending on weather conditions, the Ushuaia will sail through the narrow passages to get closer to the glaciers. There will be two land excursions per day: Paradise Bay, Paulet Island and its Adelie Penguin colonies that nest in an abandoned refuge, Melchior Islands, Punta Portal, Neko Harbour, etc.
Lunch, dinner and night: on board.

DAYS 11 & 12: ANTARCTICA / DRAKE PASSAGE CRUISE

The Ushuaia will leave the Peninsula and its scientific bases to travel back north towards Tierra del Fuego. There, again, lecturers and naturalists will teach you about the fauna and share insights into the continent’s scientific and environmental issues. Throughout the last days of the trip, passengers will enjoy the purity of the ice, the infinite ocean, the feeling of having travelled back in time to the origins of the Earth.
Lunch, dinner and night: on board.

DAY 13: USHUAIA / ESTANCIA DESPEDIDA

You will arrive in Ushuaia port early in the morning after breakfast. One of our tour guides will pick you up at the port and drive you to the Despedida ranch. The route, about 140km from Ushuaia, crosses the mountains, the Garibaldi Passage, where you will stop over to appreciate the panoramic view, the Fagnano Lake at Tolhuin, where you will have lunch before covering the last 40km of this tour. Upon your arrival, you will be welcomed by the owners of the premises which date back to the beginning of the 20th century. The ranch was founded by Spaniard José Menéndez, one of the pioneers in animal breeding in Patagonia, first sheep, and later cattle. Your may visit the shed in which they shear the sheep, a huge 70x30m hangar. You will stay in a four-room guest house that was used to house workers. In the evening, you will be invited to try the traditional Patagonian cuisine prepared with the produce grown on the premises: Lamb asado (Argentine barbecue), home-made bread, baked delicacies made with fruit from the garden…
Times and Distances: 3 to 3.5h to the ranch.
Lunch: not included.
Dinner and night: Estancia Despedida

DAY 14: ESTANCIA DESPEDIDA

The Larminat family offers plenty of activities to get the best out of these rural facilities. You may start, for instance, with a 4×4 adventure over the 24,000 hectares of the estancia’s land, to enjoy the various landscapes and the fauna consisting of numerous species (birds, beavers, and guanacos), or, take a walk or ride a horse.
Lunch, dinner and night: Estancia Despedida

DAY 15: ESTANCIA DESPEDIDA

You will enjoy the whole last day outdoors with many activities: fly fishing on the Menéndez River for huge brown trout and rainbow trout surrounded by the most beautiful landscape; sightseeing over the countryside while entertained by gaucho stories; trekking through the forest with the Andean mountain range as a backdrop. A full day to immerse yourself in the tranquility and infiniteness of Tierra del Fuego, the purity and beauty of its landscapes.
Note: for fishing only, extra cost. This option should be requested in advance.
Lunch, dinner and night: Estancia Despedida

DAY 16: ESTANCIA LA DESPEDIDA / USHUAIA / BUENOS AIRES

In the morning, a chauffeur will drive you to Ushuaia Airport to fly to Buenos Aires. After a 3h 40’ flight (approx.), you will land at Jorge Newbery Airport, where a chauffeur will pick you up and take you to the hotel. You will return to the hustle and bustle of the city. For the last night we suggest a tango show at one of Buenos Aires’ best cabarets. Argentina continues to unveil its secrets!
Lunch: not included.
Dinner: at the restaurant cabaret Esquina Carlos Gardel, VIP, wine included.
Night: Casa Calma Hotel.

DAY 17: BUENOS AIRES / INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT

You can take advantage of the last moments before your departure to the airport by walking around Buenos Aires and/or going shopping for leather products or gaucho-style craftwork. You may go all the way down to and along Avenida 9 de Julio, the world’s widest avenue showing off its 65m-high obelisk, or to the neighborhood of Palermo, featuring plenty of squares and trendy stores. A chauffeur will then pick you up at the hotel and drive you to Ezeiza International Airport.
Optional: Fly over Buenos Aires in private helicopter. Take off and enjoy an unforgettable panoramic view of Buenos Aires from 200m in the air. 30-45 minute flights covering about 100km.
Lunch: not included.
Dinner and night: in the plane.