Bring in the New Year cruising Antarctica.
Antarctica. This vast White Continent offers grandiose mountain landscapes, the world’s biggest icebergs and an extraordinary array of wildlife, from orcas, fur seals and penguins to the serene beauty of one of the world’s largest whales, the Humpback whale.
For centuries, the Antarctic remained like a ghost on the vastness of our world’s maps, however today exploring the White Continent is utterly attainable. All it takes is a love of the outdoors, a sense of adventure and some careful planning with the help of your Orbit World Travel consultant.
French cruise company, Ponant, has access to some of the world’s most authentic Antarctic itineraries, and this year, is offering a 19-day all-inclusive Antarctica Experience that will have you embracing a once-in-a-lifetime white Christmas, right in the heart of the most wintery of wonderlands.
Discover the treasures of the most breathtaking of destinations on-board Ponant’s magnificent Le Soléal. With 132 cabins and suites catering to only 264 passengers, prepare to set sail in five-star luxury with an expedition cruise into the heart of the world’s fifth largest continent.
Spend an unforgettable festive season enjoying the attentive services of Ponant’s French crew, sample the gastronomic delights in the ship’s elegant restaurant, and experience exhilarating shore visits accompanied by a team of experienced naturalist guides.
Departing from the capital of Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia, you’ll view towering snow-capped mountains as you make your way out to the Beagle Channel. After a day at sea, you’ll visit The Neck on Saunders Island and New Island on the western edge of the Falkland Islands, where your guides will safely escort you into the heart of swarming colonies of penguins and albatrosses.
Following two days at sea, you’ll then reach Salisbury Plain, home to one of the most unforgettable natural vistas in South Georgia. This majestic blue-hued landscape is a haven for fur seals and their young, and its beaches are home to a colony of over 250,000 King penguins.
Follow in the footsteps of Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton with an excursion to the perfectly crescented edges of Fortuna Bay with its icy cliff-top panoramas, before embarking on an inflatable boat tour of seal-inhabited Stromness, a former Norwegian whaling station.
And what a way to spend Christmas Day! At Saint Andrews Bay you’ll view vast glacial troughs bordered by steep mountainsides, and witness the surreal visual and auditory experience of the largest colony of King penguins on the South Georgia Islands.
Grytviken is next, a former whaling station where you’ll see the remnants of a number of shipwrecks and the resting place of Shackleton himself, and Boxing Day will have you in Gold Harbour with its pitch-black volcanic sand beaches and majestic waterfall-edged glaciers. Here you’ll also explore Cooper Bay by dinghy, with its craggy coastline crammed with colonies of Macaroni penguins.
After two days at sea, you’ll wind your way through the labyrinth of Mer de Weddell’s magnificent table icebergs with its mass of inquisitive penguins, and be welcomed by the king of this realm, the imposing Weddell seal.
The following day, Neko Harbour awaits where you can view leopard seals and a variety of marine animals, and Paradise Bay, with its meandering pods of humpback whales.
New Years Eve! And today you’ll visit Pleneau Island with its Gentoo penguins and Elephant seals, Port Charcot with its vast expanses of soaring icebergs, and Wilhelmina Bay, with its fascinating Belgian exploration roots.
On the first day of 2018, you’ll explore the natural harbour of Deception Island on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and view the area’s spectacular fauna, including Chinstrap penguins and fur seals.
The last leg of your journey has you visiting Drake Passage, dreaded by researches and hardened seafarers alike because of its location at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds. With the help of your expert guides, you’ll discover a barren winter wonderland filled to the brim with diverse marine fauna. Here you can stake your virtual claim as a certified intrepid explorer of the White Continent, before heading back home to the warmer waters of Ushuaia.
How to Book
Orbit World Travel can help with a range of Antarctic cruising adventures, including Ponant’s Fly, Stay and Cruise 19-day Antarctica Experience. Departing 18 December 2018, your trip includes return economy airfares to Buenos Aires, two night’s pre-cruise accommodation, private car transfers and 16 nights on-board Le Soléal in an Oceanview Stateroom.
Ponant’s Antarctic cruises are consistently in high demand and limited bookings are available, so you’ll need to book early!
If a white Christmas in the wilds of breathtaking Antarctica is your idea of a dream holiday, contact Orbit World Travel now. We can help with a range of cruising packages, and advise on the best itineraries to suit both your calendar and your budget.
Register now and one of our expert consultants will be in touch with you shortly to discuss all of your travel needs.