The Antarctic Odyssey
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21 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.

PREMIUM trip_detail hint icon

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 invites you on an extraordinary 21-day adventure in the Antarctic. You will board Le Lyrial for an all-new polar expedition cruise with an extremely rich itinerary that will take you from Montevideo to Ushuaia.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.Your ship will then make its way to the South Orkney Islands. These mountainous islands where impressive glaciers dominate the landscape are a major nesting site for chinstrap penguins and a favourite hunting spot of leopard seals.On the final leg of your epic adventure, discover the Antarctic Peninsula, realm of the unexpected. There, weather and ice conditions permitting, you will most likely get the chance to see Gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins, humpback whales, seals and seabirds, against a grandiose backdrop of icebergs, ice floe, and ages-old glaciers.After crossing the mythical Drake Passage, you will disembark in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world.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 in one of our Zodiac inflatables and visit the shores with a team of experienced naturalist guides.

Attend the lectures and information sessions hosted by our naturalist-guides, covering wildlife, history, geopolitics, climate, environmental protection, etc.

Unique landscapes that will captivate you; white-sand and black-sand beaches, glaciers, turquoise waters, alpine landscapes, drifting icebergs, snow-capped mountains and much more.

Experience the Antarctic Odyssey alongside a National Geographic Photographer and Expert, who are specialised in the destination.

Dan Westergren
Former Director of Photography National Geographic Travel

As the longtime photo editor for National Geographic Traveler magazine, Dan Westergren was responsible for the magazines photographic vision, which has earned the publication numerous awards. Hes been lucky to photograph amazing places for Traveler, such as the summits of Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, and Kilimanjaro as well as the North Pole. On one of these memorable assignments, after seven days of skiing in the cold footsteps of Fritjof Nansen and the other famous adventurers who have gone north from Svalbard, he finally stood for himself at the North Pole and felt he had personally reached out and touched the heart of exploration at the Society. Dan is an experienced teacher, having served as a photography expert for National Geographic Expeditions around the worldfrom Antarctica to the Arctic.

M Jackson

Geographer, glaciologist, National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and TED Fellow MJacksonstudies and writes about glaciers, people, and climate change. She earned a doctorate from the University of Oregon in geography and glaciology and holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Montana. She is a U.S. Fulbright Ambassador and three-time U.S. Fulbright Scholar. M authored two books,The Secret Lives of GlaciersandWhile Glaciers Slept: Being Human in a Time of Climate Change, which explore the complex effects of climate change on communities. She has worked for more than ten years across the Arctic guiding backcountry trips and has served as an Expert for National Geographics student and adult expeditions in Alaska, Iceland, and Antarctica.

Itinerary - 21 Days

1 Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay, is one of the most charming cities in South America. Enjoy its beautiful heritage from the Spanish rule: the Ciudad Vieja, formerly fortified, dating back from the 18th century; the cathedral and the former governmental palace of the Cabildo, both listed historical monuments. Located in a vast blue bay, the city is also blessed with beautiful beaches.

2-4 At Sea

Le Lyrial 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 122 staterooms and suites) make this a rare and innovative yacht on the cruise market. These days at sea will give you the chance to explore the ship and enjoy all the services and activities on board.

5 Grave Cove and The Neck, Falkland Islands

Make your way through the turbulent Woolly Gut strait and emerge in the quietness of Grave Cove in the Falkland Islands. With its landscape of cliffs and white-sand beaches, it’s also a paradise for wildlife. If you are lucky, you’ll be able to spot some Commerson's dolphins, a few sheep in its interior vast plain of lush green grass, and one of the largest Gentoo penguin colonies in the area on the other side of the island.

You’ll also cross the Neck, a narrow stretch of land connecting the two sides of Saunders Island. With our experienced naturalist guides, you’ll explore this paradise of endless shoreline and turquoise waters and its unique wildlife.

6 Volunteer Point, Falkland Islands

Named after the ship, the Volunteer, Volunteer Point is located in the northeast of East Falkland. The peninsula boasts a stunning, long, white, sandy beach and is home to a variety of birdlife. It is a privately owned Nature Reserve and an Important Bird Area. You can also find the largest breeding group of king penguins.

7-8 At Sea

During these days at sea aboard Le Lyrial you’ll have a unique, intimate and comfortable experience. Be tempted by the swimming pool, the great conferences or shows going on, do some boutique shopping or simply enjoy the views from the upper deck.

9-11 South Georgia

Discover South Georgia aboard your ship, a region formed by an underwater mountain chain that extends from the Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula. Be enchanted by the unique polar landscapes of the area all the wildlife of the Far South that can be found there, from king and Gentoo penguins to elephant seals and fur seals.

12 At Sea

Enjoy the wide array of activities and entertainment on board during this day at sea. 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.

13-14 South Orkney Islands

Hidden in the Southern Ocean close to the Antarctic Peninsula and discovered by seal hunters in 1821, these far-flung mountainous islands have more than 85% of their surface glaciated. Despite the ravages caused by whale and seal hunting, today a sizeable leopard seal population can be found there, along with chinstrap penguins and snow petrels. One of its four main islands, Laurie Island is home to an old scientific station that is still in operation.

15 At Sea

Enjoy your last day at sea making the most of all the services Le Lyrial 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.

16-18 Antarctic Peninsula

Finally you’ll arrive to the Antarctic Peninsula, a place like no other. Enjoy the magic of this icy realm, which promises visitors unforgettable moments. Surrounded by incredible natural creations of blue and white, you’ll be fascinated by the exceptional wildlife. Based on ice and weather conditions, the Captain and the Expedition Leader will suggest Zodiac® outings to discover the endless treasures of the Antarctic Peninsula. 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.

19-20 Crossing the Drake Passage

The Drake Passage, located at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, is the shortest route to Antarctica, and it’s one of the roughest seas in the world. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! Drake Passage also harbours a very diverse marine fauna, due to its convergence of cold currents rising up from the South Pole and warmer equatorial water masses.

21 Ushuaia, Argentina

Located in the southernmost tip of Argentina, the capital of Tierra del Fuego province won’t disappoint you. Discover Ushuaia’s colourful houses framed against snow-capped towering mountains. Head to the End of the World Museum to learn about the area's natural and indigenous history, get into the Tierra del Fuego National Park, or cruise along Ushuaia Bay to spot sea lions and Magellanic penguins.