From Antarctica to Africa
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22 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 to sail from Tierra del Fuego to the Cape of Good Hope during a 22-day expedition cruise from one continent to the other. You will begin your voyage in Ushuaia, the mythical embarkation port located at the extreme south of the Andes cordillera.First, you will chart a course for the Falkland Islands, whose wild beauty and lush moors are sure to captivate you.Your ship will then make its way to the coast of South Georgia, in the wake of the British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. The glaciers and protected fauna make this place a paradise for anyone with a passion for wild lands. It is not uncommon to be greeted by a colony of several thousand king penguins; this is the only place in the world where you can enjoy such a unique privilege.Continue your trip with another highlight as you visit the world's most remote inhabited archipelago: Tristan da Cunha. Hidden in the middle of the Atlantic, it is made up of several volcanic islands, most of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.Finally, you'll head for Cape Town, your disembarkation port, dominated by the famous silhouette of Table Mountain.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.

Discover the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, of which many of its islands are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Possibility of witnessing stunning wildlife in its natural habitat including king penguins, snowy albatrosses, elephant seals and Magellanic penguins.

Experience the islands and landscapes from Ushuaia to Cape Town alongside a National Geographic Photographer and Expert, who are specialised in the destination.

Gregory Stone
Writer & Marine Biologist

National Geographic grantee, writer, and marine biologist Greg Stone is a leading expert on ocean science and conservation. Having served as Chief Ocean Scientist at Conservation International for a decade, he has logged more than 8,000 scuba dives throughout the world, lived underwater for 30 days, and explored the ocean in submersibles to a depth of 18,000 feet. Gregs articles forNational Geographicmagazine include a September 2012 story on seamounts. He has also written several award-winning books includingUnderwater Eden, which chronicles a National Geographicfunded project he led to create one of the worlds largest marine protected areas surrounding the Phoenix Islands in the Pacificwork featured in the January 2011 issue ofNational Geographicmagazine. Greg is vice-chair of the World Economic Forum Oceans.

Chris Rainier
Photographer

Acclaimed documentary photographer Chris Rainier specialises in highlighting indigenous cultures and natural wilderness areas and seeks to use images for social change. Chris served as the last assistant for famed photographer Ansel Adams in the early 1980s, was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London, and received the Lowell Thomas Award from The Explorers Club. He also has been a National Geographic Fellow as well as co-founder of National Geographics Enduring Voices Project and director of the All Roads Photography Program. Today he directs The Cultural Sanctuaries Foundation, whose mission is to create legally protected cultural zones around the world. Rainier has been on more than 20 trips to document the wilderness, wildlife, and landscape of the White Continent since 1989.

Itinerary - 22 Days

1 Ushuaia, Argentina

The Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is situated in a bay opening into the Beagle Channel. The brightly coloured architecture is perfectly placed against the towering mountains, snow-capped in winter and summer. Take a trip on the heritage railway which journeys straight into the Tierra del Fuego National Park.

2 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. This first 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 a distinctive island, located on the western edge of the Falkland Islands. Home to two villages, New Island is an idyllic first stop on your expedition. Head out and you may be lucky enough to stumble upon a colony of southern rockhopper penguins, black-browed albatross and imperial shags, where you can witness these magnificent animals in their natural habitat.

As you make your way through to the turbulent Woolly Gut strait, you’ll emerge in the stillness of Grave Cove. Grave Cove is located on the northern edge of the Falkland Islands, where you’ll step onto white sandy beaches. On the other side of the island you'll find one of the largest gentoo penguin colonies in the area and if you’re lucky, you may witness a sea lion scouring the waves for his next meal.

4 Steeple Jason Island and The Neck, Falkland Islands

Steeple Jason Island, part of the Jason Islands, is one of the Falklands most impressive destinations. You will be able to find the world's largest colony of black-browed albatross who soar gracefully in the sea breeze, making it the perfect opportunity for keen photographers to capture an unforgettable shot.

The neck, as you’d imagine is a small and narrow stretch of land that connects the two sides of Saunders Island. With the assistance of the naturalist guides onboard, you’ll head to one of the most magnificent sights, a veritable paradise of endless shoreline lapped by turquoise waters. Saunders Island, like the rest of the Falklands, is a bird-lovers paradise with an abundance of wonderful bird species callings the island home.

5-6 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.

7-9 South Georgia

South Georgia is a remarkable region formed by an underwater mountain chain that extends from the Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula. The most magnificent wildlife of the far South can be found in South Georgia including king and Gentoo penguins, elephant seals, fur seals. You may also get the opportunity to explore the majestic glaciers of Gold Harbour and the vast plains of Fortuna Bay.

10-13 At Sea

Enjoy the wide array of activities and entertainment on board during these days at sea while you sail through the Atlantic Ocean. 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.

14 Tristan Da Cunha

Tristan da Cunha is a small British archipelago that was discovered many years ago in the 16th century. Tristan da Cunha is made up of several islands that scatter off the South-Africa coast, with many being UNESCO World Heritage sites. During your expedition, you’ll discover the archipelago’s eponymous main island which is basalt and topped with a volcano which is also home to the only village on the islands.

15 Nightingale Island

The volcanic island of Nightingale belongs to the Tristan da Cunha island chain in the South Atlantic. The island, which is completely uninhabited is occupied by millions of birds including the iconic great shearwaters and Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross. Two of the world’s rarest birds are found only on Nightingale Island: the nightingale bunting and Wilkins’s bunting.

16 Gough Island

The small, uninhabited and volcanic island of Gough Island is the remotest of the Tristan da Cunha islands. You may have the opportunity to board a Zodiac® inflatable where you can take in the utterly spectacular views of the island from the sea. Gough Island harbours one of the largest colonies of seabirds in the world. Endemic species include the Gough finch and the Gough moorhen.

17-20 At Sea

Enjoy your last days 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.

21 Sailing Around the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Town

The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky promontory at the southern end of Cape Peninsula, Western Cape province, South Africa. Famously known for its stormy, adverse weather, Cape of Good is where two opposing ocean currents meet, the Indian Ocean and the Antarctic waters. It is one of the most magnificent sights on earth and from your ship, you'll take in the impressive scene of clear ocean waves crashing against steep, towering cliffs.

Cape Town is a magnificent coastal city in South Africa. The beauty will strike you as you make your way to shore with the lush greenery and craggy mountain range that perfectly blends into the white sandy beaches and the Atlantic Ocean. Cape Town is praised as being “the quintessential melting pot of South Africa” with culture, history and modern worlds blended perfectly.

22 Cape Town

Another day in Cape Town will allow you to further explore this incredibly rich and diverse city. We invite you to discover this incredible city, the South African capital of fashion, the art of living, and gastronomy. Further on, the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve awaits you and is home to a wide variety of endemic fauna and flora.