Your journey to Antarctica begins with an overnight flight to vibrant Buenos Aires, capital city of Argentina and home of the romantic tango. (International flights are not included.)
On arrival at Buenos Aires International Airport your guide will meet you and take you to your hotel. You’re free to explore the Paris of South America, and we’ll be happy to recommend a number of places that reveal Buenos Aires’ unique history and culture.
Admire the romantic architecture of the city as you stroll through its wide boulevards, visiting the Plaza de Mayo, the classical Casa Rosada and the Metropolitan Cathedral. You can visit San Telmo, the city’s oldest barrio and the birthplace of tango, or the lively La Boca District, with its colourful houses. This evening you’ll meet your fellow guests over cocktails at a welcome party.
You’ll fly to the port city of Ushuaia at the southern tip of South America and, following lunch, take a guided tour of the Cerro Alarken Nature Reserve. When you board Le Lyrial your cabin awaits. Here you can enjoy the views from your private balcony before exploring the ship.
As you travel to the Falkland Islands you can enjoy a series of expert lectures. These will focus on the flora and fauna, geology and history of the region. Keen photographers can pick up useful advice from professional coaching sessions. Others can simply enjoy seeing a diverse variety of marine and birdlife from the ship’s deck, perhaps even the occasional whale enjoying these krill-rich waters.
When you arrive at the Falkland Islands the quaint and friendly capital of Port Stanley awaits. There is a choice of sightseeing excursions here. These include a city highlights tour, a 4x4 excursion to see the lively Gentoo penguin colony, or a visit to some of the key battlefields and memorials of the Falklands War.
As you head for the island of South Georgia, the informative and entertaining talks aboard ship continue, as do the sightseeing opportunities from the deck. Sightings of whale and other marine life become more frequent during this stretch, particularly in the nutrient-rich waters around the Shag Rocks.
South Georgia is an almost-submerged continuation of the mighty Andes mountain range. It is dotted with dramatic glacier-carved coves and picturesque shorelines. There are immense, and immensely noisy, colonies of king penguin and seal to see on your guided tours of Salisbury Plain or Gold Harbour. Weather permitting, we’ll visit the gravesite of explorer Ernest Shackleton in Grytviken, accompanied by an expert onboard historian.
The illuminating lectures about South Georgia’s unique wildlife and geology help to build anticipation for what’s to come as you head towards the Seventh Continent. We recommend spending plenty of time on your private balcony as well, watching the waves on the Scotia Sea. Albatross, penguin and even huge elephant seal can frequently be observed hunting for food in these parts.
Now you can immerse yourself in the spectacular barren landscapes of the White Continent. We’ll make a number of landings on the Antarctic Peninsula and on South Shetland Islands, such as Half Moon, Cuverville and Deception. The Lemaire Channel, often known as Kodak Alley for its bewitching, photo-perfect beauty, is sure to be a highlight, as is a fascinating visit to a scientific research station.
Watch from the deck or your private balcony as the brilliant white of Antarctica recedes into the distance. Le Lyrial will cruise gently back towards Ushuaia. We will be travelling through the Drake Passage, which connects the Atlantic with the Pacific, and was named for the 16th-century adventurer Sir Francis Drake.
As you enjoy your final breakfast aboard Le Lyrial the ship will dock in Ushuaia. It’s time to bid farewell to your Expedition Team and the ship’s crew. You’ll fly back to Buenos Aires where you can celebrate and reflect on memories of the cruise over dinner and a thrilling tango show at the prestigious Esquina Carlos Gardel.
We’ll meet you from your hotel, hopefully not too tango-tired, and ensure there is a smooth transfer to the airport.