Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica
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16 days trip_detail hint icon

Prices are indicative. Based on twin share. The rate of exchange calculated is approximate and the final tour cost will be as on the final date of payment. Taxes are additional.

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Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include walking tours, visits to sites, safari drives, and easy hikes; and some days will have more physical activities such as longer hikes, kayaking, snorkeling, or biking.

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Premium expeditions are led by a National Geographic expert, an expedition team, or top guides, and tap into National Geographic's worldwide resources to allow for in-depth exploration and special access to sites and experts in the field. Itineraries are fully planned, with some free time. Accommodations are high-end or best available. Ground transportation and most meals and activities are included in the trip price.

EXPEDITION OVERVIEW

In partnership with National Geographic Expeditions.> Discover the Antarctic with PONANT!PONANT brings you a 16-day itinerary between South America and the Antarctic Peninsula. An exceptional polar expedition cruise to discover the most beautiful sites of these southern lands. You will set sail from the fascinating city of Ushuaia, which the Argentinians call El fin del mundo (the end of the world).First, you will chart a course for the Falkland Islands, whose wild beauty and lush moors are sure to captivate you, before heading to South Georgia, its impressive glaciers and its black-sand beaches where large colonies of king penguins have taken up residence.You will then circumnavigate South Georgia, a real highlight of your cruise. Most notably, you will discover the island's mysterious and wild West coast, and you could get the chance to disembark in the place where the British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton landed before beginning his great trek across the island.You willfinally sail to the White Continent, realm of the unexpected. Weather and ice conditions permitting, this extreme environment where nature reigns supreme will reveal to you its most beautiful secrets through numerous discoveries.Gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins, humpback whales, seals and seabirds: these are some of the encounters you will most likely have the chance to experience in the Antarctic Peninsula, creating indelible 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.We are privileged guests in these extreme lands where we are at the mercy of weather and ice conditions. Landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. They vary from day to day, making each PONANT cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions imposed by the IAATO.

Trip highlights

Get closer to nature and wildlife with a team of experienced naturalist guides in one of our Zodiac inflatables.

Circumnavigation of South Georgia and, conditions permitting, discovery of Sir Ernest Shackletons landing site.

Discover the Antarctic Peninsula with a National Geographic Photographer and Expert, who are specialised in the destination.

Take part in the lectures and information sessions hosted by our naturalist-guides about wildlife, history, geopolitics, climate and environmental protection.

David Brindley
Managing Editor, National Geographic Magazine

National Geographic magazine managing editor David Brindley oversees the editorial calendar and production of National Geographics flagship monthly publication. David will bring the world of National Geographic to life, sharing his insights on storytelling at the iconic magazine, how articles are chosen and developed, and the ways in which the publication has evolved over his more than 15 years on staff. He will also present highlights from National Geographics coverage of Antarctica, including work to track the melting of the continents ice and what it means for our planets future and to document life below the surrounding sea ice. This is a rare opportunity to hear directly from, and ask questions of, the magazines managing editor.

Gianluca Colla
Photographer & Videographer

Originally from Italy, Gianluca Colla has travelled and photographed around the world, from Antarctica to the Arctic, and from Africas deserts to the Amazon. Currently based in Switzerland, he has dedicated his life to telling meaningful stories in images. Gianluca has covered a diverse range of topics, including a lost Da Vinci painting, and hidden mummies in Sicilian crypts. His work has appeared in numerous publications, such as National Geographic magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Gianlucas clients include Apple, Canon, and Fujifilm, and his images are represented in the National Geographic Image Collection. An international speaker and teacher, he also enjoys sharing his photo expertise with travellers on National Geographic Expeditions and lecturing at international photography events.

Itinerary - 16 Days

1 Ushuaia, Argentina

Start at the very southern part of Argentina in Ushuaia, the capital of the Tierra del Fuego province. The contrast of its colourful houses against the great mountain background makes this city unique. Discover the natural and indigenous history of Tierra del Fuego at the End of the World Museum, explore the National Park or sail along Ushuaia bay for the best views of the city and the chance of spotting some sea lions and Magellanic penguins.

2 At Sea

Le Soleal is an innovative and environmentally-friendly ship that embodies the subtle alliance between luxury, intimacy and wellbeing which is PONANT’s signature. The elegance of her exterior and interior lines and her intimate size (only 132 staterooms and suites) make this a rare and innovative yacht on the cruise market. This day at sea will give you the chance to explore the ship and enjoy all the services and activities on board.

3 New Island and Grave Cove, Falkland Islands

New Island is considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Falkland archipelago. Enter this natural paradise characterised by golden beaches, high cliffs and moorlands. It’s home to a tiny village of two families and all kinds of wildlife. If you’re lucky, you’ll find yourself at the heart of a colony of southern rockhopper penguins, black-browed albatross and imperial shags.

After this visit, 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 white sandy beach.

4-5 At Sea

During these days at sea aboard Le Soleal you’ll have a unique, intimate and comfortable experience. From treating yourself in the spa to exercising in the fitness centre or having a swim in the swimming pool, there’s a choice for everyone. You can also enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, or simply visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

6-9 South Georgia

South Georgia is a region formed by a huge underwater mountain chain, extending from the Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula. Aboard your ship, discover all the great diversity of wildlife that can be found in this area. If you are fortunate enough to land at Salisbury Plain, you can expect a superb 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.

10-11 At Sea

Enjoy your last days at sea making the most of all the services Le Soleal offers. If there are still some activities for you to try, you will be able to do it during this day at sea. Remember to check the shows and activities programme, as it offers different and unique experiences every day. If you haven’t done so yet, try visiting the National Geographic photographers and experts on board to make the most of your experience.

12-13 Antarctic Peninsula

The magical Antarctic Peninsula is Antarctica’s major breeding ground for seabirds, seals and penguins. It holds real fascination and promises its visitors unforgettable moments. Ice and weather conditions permitting, embark in one of our Zodiac® for a unique adventure in this icy realm, enjoying the exceptional blue and white landscapes and the local wildlife.

14-15 Crossing the Drake Passage

If there is one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly Drake Passage. The waters of this route to Antarctica can be rough because of the strong winds and the merge of cold currents from the South Pole and warmer equatorial water masses. But this very special place can also offer you a very diverse marine fauna, and albatross and Cape petrels flying around your ship.

16 Ushuaia, Argentina

End your Antarctic adventure in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Formerly a missionary base, penal colony and naval base, Ushuaia is now a great tourist destination where you’ll find all king of hikes, tours, ski trails and boat trips to fill your days. Food is also a highlight of this town, with local lamb and fresh seafood from the surrounding waters.