Christmas and New Year in Southern Territories

17 days / 16 nights
    Expedition
    Christmas and New Year in Southern Territories

    Cruise Antarctica

    from 19 December 2017 to 4 January 2018
    17 days / 16 nights

    Departure Port : Ushuaia
    Arrival Port : Ushuaia

    Ship : LE SOLEAL

    • Ref : S191217

    PONANT invites you to experience a magical Christmas and New Year during a 17-day expedition cruise. 

    From Ushuaia, you will board Le Soléal for an exceptional itinerary combining the three emblematic regions of the White Continent: The Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the unmissable Antarctic Peninsula.

    At the start of your cruise, you will discover the Falkland Islands and their unique panoramas of hills and moors.

    Further to the north you will reach the coast of South Georgia and its contrasting landscapes, between long mountain chains and black sandy beaches, where vast colonies of King Penguins have taken refuge.

    Floating ice floes, tabular icebergs, and high snow-capped peaks: you will continue this Antarctic cruise by the discovery of the sublime landscapes of the north of the Peninsula.

    Before returning to Ushuaia, you will complete this southern circuit by going ashore on Deception Island, which is home to quite extraordinary wildlife. 

    • Free parka Free parka
    • Naturalists Naturalists
    • Free boot rental Free boot rental
    See the map

    Highlights

    • Spend Christmas and New Year on the fringes of the ‘White Continent’.
    • Outings and shore visits in a Zodiac® with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
    • Possibility of hikes.
    • Wildlife: Magellanic penguins and Commerson’s dolphins in the Falkland Islands. King penguins, as well as numerous elephant seals and fur seals in South Georgia. Gentoo, Adélie and chinstrap penguins in the Peninsula.
    • Landscapes: vast moors dotted with moss and lichen in the Falkland Islands. Chains of snow-covered mountains, lush meadows and numerous glaciers in South Georgia. Drifting icebergs and ice floe in the Peninsula.

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    Staterooms & Suites

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      LE SOLEAL

      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL

      LE SOLEAL

      Designed in 2013 and loyal to the PONANT spirit, Le Soléal like her sisterships 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. 

      Interior Design

      With her fluid lines and a modern colour scheme combining natural wood with shades of grey and white, Le Soléal presents references to a nautical theme.

      Port of call & excursions

      19 December 2017 – At sea

      Ushuaia

      Embarkation 19/12/2017 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 19/12/2017 at 18H00 .

      Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia lies in a bay opening into the Beagle Channel at the country's southernmost tip. Its colourful houses are framed against towering mountains, snow-capped in winter and summer alike. Downtown, the End of the World Museum showcases Tierra del Fuego's natural and indigenous history. A ride on the heritage railway is an exciting excursion into the Tierra del Fuego National Park, while a cruise on Ushuaia Bay is the perfect way to spot sea lions and Magellanic penguins.

      20 December 2017 – At sea

      20 December 2017 – At sea

      Arrival 20/12/2017. Departure 20/12/2017.

      During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to 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.

      21 December 2017 – New Island

      21 December 2017 – New Island

      Arrival 21/12/2017. Departure 21/12/2017.

      This island with its distinctive jagged relief is located on the western edge of the Falkland Islands and is home to a tiny village of two families. Step onto the golden sand of its flower-lined beaches, beside which an old stone house still stands, and you'll feel like you've entered a natural paradise. A narrow pathway weaves around typical Falkland moorlands. Follow it and in under 20 minutes you'll find yourself at the heart of a colony of southern rockhopper penguins, black-browed albatross and imperial shags. It's the perfect opportunity to watch the albatross swoop down from the cliffs and skim the waves that crash against the rocks on the exposed side of the island.

      21 December 2017 – The Neck, Saunders Island

      21 December 2017 – The Neck, Saunders Island

      Arrival 21/12/2017. Departure 21/12/2017.

      The Neck is a narrow stretch of land connecting the two sides of Saunders Island, located on the north-western edge of the Falklands. You'll safely enter these blustery surroundings with the assistance of your naturalist guides. And once there, a reward awaits you: a veritable paradise of endless shoreline lapped by turquoise waters. Several bird species, also attracted to this stunning location, have settled here. At the other end of The Neck, you'll encounter Magellanic penguins, southern rockhopper penguins, black-browed albatross and king penguins, all basking in the beauty of their surroundings.

      22 December 2017▸23 December 2017 – At sea

      22 December 2017▸23 December 2017 – At sea

      Arrival 22/12/2017. Departure 23/12/2017.

      During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to 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.

      24 December 2017 – Salisbury Plain

      24 December 2017 – Salisbury Plain

      Arrival 24/12/2017. Departure 24/12/2017.

      Salisbury Plain is home to one of the most unforgettable natural vistas of South Georgia. Formed by the retreat of Grace Glacier, the same majestic peaks that once awed Shackleton still tower over the surrounding land. The island's bluish landscape exudes the magnificence and beauty of unspoilt nature. At the heart of this wild refuge, on the beaches of the bay, lies a colony of 300,000 king penguins. Amidst this sea of black and orange heads, fur seals and their young can be spotted nosing their way through the crowd. Under the pale austral sunlight that reflects off of the plain, flocks of birds are carried by the winds in a graceful show of nature's wonder.

      24 December 2017 – Fortuna Bay

      24 December 2017 – Fortuna Bay

      Arrival 24/12/2017. Departure 24/12/2017.

      Situated at the foot of sharply-rising mountains, Fortuna Bay is a truly dazzling vision to behold. You’ll marvel at a panorama of cliffs rising up from the icy waters and small streams fed by melting mountain snow meandering through vast green plains. The bay itself bows inward to form a perfect crescent, indented by a torrent. During your excursion, you can follow in the footsteps of Ernest Shackleton or even encounter the 50,000 king penguin couples who call the island their home and whose densely-packed silhouettes form a remarkable silver swath with a sprinkling of brown and bright orange.

      24 December 2017 – Stromness

      24 December 2017 – Stromness

      Arrival 24/12/2017. Departure 24/12/2017.

      In May 1916 after a perilous two-week journey on the James Caird followed by an hours-long trek across South Georgia, Sir Ernest Shackleton arrived in Stromness. There, at long last, he found the help needed to rescue his men stranded on Elephant Island. A former Norwegian whaling station, Stromness is now off limits to visitors. Crumbling pieces of abandoned buildings can be swept up by the wind, posing a danger for visitors who get too close. From your Zodiac®, however, you'll still get a good glimpse of the island's fur seals, who have completely reclaimed the beach and village.

      25 December 2017 – Saint Andrews Bay

      25 December 2017 – Saint Andrews Bay

      Arrival 25/12/2017. Departure 25/12/2017.

      Facing out towards the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean, you'll safely disembark along Saint Andrews Bay with the assistance of your naturalist guides. This bay bears a gift that is sure to enchant photographers. From the bay's long grey-sand beach, home to abundant fur seals and elephant seals, you can easily access a vast glacial trough bordered by steep mountainsides and enclosed by Ross Glacier. Here, at the heart of this valley, lies the climax of your visit: the largest colony of king penguins on the South Georgia Islands. You'll be witness to a surreal visual and auditory experience: entire hillsides covered with adult penguins dutifully going back and forth from land to water in order to feed their young.

      25 December 2017 – Grytviken

      25 December 2017 – Grytviken

      Arrival 25/12/2017. Departure 25/12/2017.

      The Grytviken stopover is a highlight of South Georgia Island. This former whaling station, now a ghost town, is set against a serene backdrop of ochre-coloured earth.  Vestiges of the whaling industry are still very much present, particularly old whale bones and remnants of shipwrecks. Grytviken's other historical point of interest is the grave of famous adventurer Sir Ernest Shackleton. During the legendary Endurance expedition (1914-1917) Shackleton and his men survived against all odds after having been trapped in pack ice for several months. The series of exploits leading to their rescue will remain forever etched in the annals of Antarctic exploration.

      26 December 2017 – Gold Harbour

      26 December 2017 – Gold Harbour

      Arrival 26/12/2017. Departure 26/12/2017.

      Majestic glaciers with a bluish sheen, waterfalls that reflect the rays of the setting sun, pitch-black volcanic sand beaches: these are just a few of the wonders to be found in Gold Harbour's landscape. This natural gem is blanketed by bright green tussocks and framed by snow-capped peaks. On this island where summer days are endless, the wildlife stays up with the sun. Fur seals, elephant seals and king penguins move about the island like tiny black dots along the landscape. Those humans who enter this kaleidoscope of colours and sensations do so as privileged and tolerated observers of the austral wildlife.

      26 December 2017 – Cooper Bay

      26 December 2017 – Cooper Bay

      Arrival 26/12/2017. Departure 26/12/2017.

      Take a seat in one of our Zodiac® dinghies and head out to explore Cooper Bay, near Gold Harbour. It was named after the first lieutenant of the famous sailor, Captain James Cook, and the bay offers a quite unexpected sight, with long basalt canyons forming high cliffs that loom over a turquoise-blue water. In the centre of the bay, a magical atmosphere reigns when just a few rays of sunshine pierce the gauzy layer formed by the morning mist. The craggy coastlines are home to colonies of macaroni penguins who pay close attention to the arrival of our tiny crafts.

      27 December 2017▸28 December 2017 – At sea

      27 December 2017▸28 December 2017 – At sea

      Arrival 27/12/2017. Departure 28/12/2017.

      During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to 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.

      29 December 2017 – Weddell Sea

      29 December 2017 – Weddell Sea

      Arrival 29/12/2017. Departure 29/12/2017.

      Amidst the eerie stillness of the Weddell Sea, you'll wend your way through a veritable labyrinth of majestic table icebergs. Sweeping ice platforms sculpt a landscape unlike any other, populated by fur seals, penguins, wandering albatross and other imposing seabirds. The Weddell seal, king of this realm, will welcome you to his territory with a haunting cry that pierces the surrounding silence. You'll recognise him by his dark grey coat and spotted belly. Weddell seals have the impressive distinction of being able to stay underwater for more than an hour.

      30 December 2017 – Neko Harbour

      30 December 2017 – Neko Harbour

      Arrival 30/12/2017. Departure 30/12/2017.

      A little corner of paradise in the shadow of a towering glacier, Neko Harbour is without a doubt one of the most beautiful sites on the Antarctic Peninsula. It was discovered by Belgian navigator Adrien de Gerlache during his 1897-1899 expedition. Mountains, ice and wildlife combine to form a truly unique landscape. Animals are as abundant as they are exotic: among others, you'll encounter seabirds (gulls, Cape petrels, cormorants) and marine mammals (seals, orcas and other whale species). Head out on a Zodiac® excursion to get up close to the icebergs, stop over near a penguin colony, watch a leopard seal sunbathe between dives and enjoy an impromptu aerial show from passing Antarctic terns.

      30 December 2017 – Paradise Bay

      30 December 2017 – Paradise Bay

      Arrival 30/12/2017. Departure 30/12/2017.

      With its spectacular landscapes composed of towering glacial peaks plunging down into the icy waters of the Antarctic, Paradise Bay is true to its name. Discovered and named by whalers in the early 20th century, this protected natural site is currently home to a wide variety of fauna, from Antarctic cormorants and leopard seals to sheathbills and gentoo penguins, who mingle on the long stretch of rocky beaches. With some luck, you'll even be privy to an unforgettable underwater dance between passing humpback whales. During your excursion, head off to discover the old Argentine base Almirante Brown, which is only occupied for a few weeks each year, during the austral summer.

      31 December 2017 – Pleneau Island

      31 December 2017 – Pleneau Island

      Arrival 31/12/2017. Departure 31/12/2017.

      Named after talented photographer Paul Pléneau, who accompanied Jean-Baptiste Charcot on his 1903 expedition, Pleneau Island has become a refuge for gentoo penguins, elephant seals and fur seals. A ‘fleet’ of imposing ice formations sit like anchored ships along its shores. Like works of art, these unusually-sculpted icebergs range in colour from white to blue and every shade in between. On land, red algae provides a striking contrast against empty swathes of snow that alternate with gentoo penguin nesting sites, strewn all across the island.

      31 December 2017 – Port Charcot

      31 December 2017 – Port Charcot

      Arrival 31/12/2017. Departure 31/12/2017.

      This cove, a natural harbour located in Salpêtrière Bay, was discovered by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot. Named for the explorer's father, famed neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, this tip of Booth Island still holds vestiges of Charcot's 1903-1905 anchoring aboard his ship, Le Français. A brisk walk through the snow will take you to the remains of Charcot's stone cabin where he conducted studies on magnetism. Right nearby, you'll notice a colony of gentoo penguins. If you continue on to the summit, you'll pass by the remnants of a cairn and enjoy an unobstructed view of the vast field of icebergs scattered over the bay like white tombstones—an eerie, mystical site like none other.

      31 December 2017 – Wilhelmina Bay

      31 December 2017 – Wilhelmina Bay

      Arrival 31/12/2017. Departure 31/12/2017.

      Between 1897 and 1899, Belgian explorer Adrien de Gerlache led an Antarctic expedition aboard the Belgica. There, he discovered a quiet, protected bay which he named in honour of the Dutch queen, Wilhelmina of Orange-Nassau. In this enchanting place, towering mountains reflect off of still waters, offering up a magnificent and colourful feast for the eyes. Yet another source of wonder: humpback whales, majestic and frequent visitors to the bay, feed in the surrounding waters amidst a stunning seascape of ice floes and icebergs.

      1 January 2018 – Deception Island

      1 January 2018 – Deception Island

      Arrival 01/01/2018. Departure 01/01/2018.

      Situated just above the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, Deception Island is easily recognisable thanks to its distinctive horseshoe shape. The crater of this former volcano caved in 10,000 years ago and the resulting caldera was flooded, creating a natural harbour. Deception Island still bears traces of its past as a longtime hub of the whaling industry. The vestiges of abandoned sheds that line the black sand of its volcanic beaches share space with the island's spectacular fauna: it is home to the Antarctic Peninsula’s largest colony of chinstrap penguins, as well as numerous elephant seals and fur seals.

      2 January 2018▸3 January 2018 – Drake Passage

      2 January 2018▸3 January 2018 – Drake Passage

      Arrival 02/01/2018. Departure 03/01/2018.

      If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly Drake Passage. Situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the shortest route to Antarctica. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbours a very diverse marine fauna. Don't forget to look to the sky to catch a glimpse of elegant albatross and Cape petrels, playfully floating about in the wind around your ship.

      4 January 2018▸3 January 2018 – Ushuaia

      Ushuaia

      Disembarkation 04/01/2018 at 07H00 .

      Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia lies in a bay opening into the Beagle Channel at the country's southernmost tip. Its colourful houses are framed against towering mountains, snow-capped in winter and summer alike. Downtown, the End of the World Museum showcases Tierra del Fuego's natural and indigenous history. A ride on the heritage railway is an exciting excursion into the Tierra del Fuego National Park, while a cruise on Ushuaia Bay is the perfect way to spot sea lions and Magellanic penguins.

      Formalities

      • The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.

      • Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.

      • Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.

      • Argentina: should you require a visa to travel to Argentina, we recommend you apply for a double-entry visa as a technical stop in Chile might be scheduled.

      • We remind you that all our ships, with the exception of Le Ponant, have a doctor on board and medical facilities. However, these cannot, under any circumstances, be compared to any medical structure on land. Given the remote areas in which we will be sailing for a number of days, safety requirements mean that we are obliged to ask each passenger signing up for this program to provide us, no more than 45 days before departure, with a medical certificate from their GP, as well as the completed medical questionnaire received during registration.

      Theme

      POLAR EXPEDITION

      POLAR EXPEDITION

      Discover the unique concept of PONANT polar expedition cruises: explore the world’s extreme regions while enjoying luxurious comfort and service.

      A luxury expedition voyage

      Choosing a PONANT expedition cruise means choosing a state of mind: the alliance of elegance and authenticity, of exploration and comfort, of adventure and refinement… The comfort of your ship and your stateroom, personalised and attentive service, refined gastronomy: a very special atmosphere that we take great care to maintain. In the heart of the ice floes of the Arctic and the Antarctic, our luxurious services will ensure that your expedition cruise is an unforgettable experience.

      PONANT, polar specialists

      With almost 20 years of experience in the extreme regions, PONANT, the world’s number 1 polar cruise company, is a real polar specialist. PONANT will take you to the most remote regions in total safety: our Captains and crew are professionals, specially trained to sail in icy waters. Our latest-generation fleet has the most modern technology to guarantee both your safety and respect for the regions visited. The size of our ships means we can get as close as possible to areas that are difficult to reach, offering a privileged access to preserved sites. Our flexibility enables us to adapt to the surprises inherent to these expedition itineraries.

      Professional expedition teams, varied activities

      After scouting missions in the field, our Expedition Leaders and their teams of naturalist guides design exceptional itineraries in the polar regions. During the cruise, they organise daily outings and shore visits in Zodiac dinghies and hikes on land so as to get as close as possible to nature and wild fauna. In the Arctic and in Alaska, the close relationships that our teams have been able to build with the local communities will enable you to understand the life of these peoples of the Far North, and to share it for a few hours. On board, the naturalist guides will share their knowledge during various conferences on fauna, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology…

      Important information

      Expeditions programs include activities such as Zodiac® outings (often with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes. All this accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Calls, landings & zodiac® cruises will depend on weather conditions, position of ice (during polar cruises) and winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time.

       

      Taking into consideration the unusual and exceptional character of expedition itineraries, the calls shown are an indication only. The final route will be confirmed by the Captain and Expedition Leader, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. Their decision will be subject to that of local authorities and the expert pilots present on board during the navigation in polar and /or isolated zones.

       

      Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience. The raw beauty and untouched wilderness offer an unusual chance to experience a place where there is little evidence of human presence. Inevitably, there are some consequences that come with such remoteness: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is highly expensive. Without the necessary medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid for with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe a full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully and be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive. 

       

      Dressing tips:



        • Water-resistant parka offered on board (for adults only) on Expedition cruises where the stamp “Parka gift” appears

       

        • Half calf rubber boots with non-slip soles, which will allow you to land in 20 cm of cold water, keeping your feet dry for walks and visits on steep paths. You can also bring water-resistant hiking boots. A boots rental will be offered onboard (for adults only) on Expedition cruises where the stamp “Boots offered” appears

       

        • Comfortable pants: classic Winter pants, warm cotton tracksuit

       

        • Water-resistant windbreaker over pants - COMPULSORY

       

        • Winter pants with water-resistant over pants is the ideal combination: water-resistance and comfort suitability of pants are essential

       

        • Pullover, sweat-shirt or fleece jacket

       

        • Thermal sweater

       

        • Fleece muffler and fleece cap or thermal beanie covering ears (avoid scarfs which do not stand still)

       

        • Water-resistant and supple gloves

       

        • Polarized sunglasses with high UV filter

       

        • Walking sticks (highly recommended)

       

      Pre/Post & Overlands

      1. Before your cruise

        15/12/2017 – Iguazu Falls (4 days/4 nights)

        More information

        18/12/2017 – Overnight in Buenos Aires (1 day/1 night)

        600.00 $ **

        More information

      2. Your packages

        14/12/2017 – Flights From/To Paris (Economic Class) + Iguazu Falls 4N (Pre)

        17/12/2017 – Flights From/To Paris (Economic Class) + Overnight in Buenos Aires 1N (Pre)

      Attention: the prices listed at the time of your reservation can be different from those listed in the brochure. These prices can evolve based on availability and the real time rates of the airline companies selected.
      Travellers are advised to check all the information with the authorities concerned prior to the departure date. Ponant advises Travellers to consult the country factsheets relating to the chosen destinations. Ponant specifically draws Travellers' attention to the fact that the information provided may change up until the departure date, and they are advised to consult that information up until the time of departure. CDP invites Travellers to adjust their behavior to the visited country, to exercise vigilance and to avoid carrying valuable objects during their travel.
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