Christmas in Antarctica

16 days / 15 nights
    Close departure
    Expedition
    Christmas in Antarctica

    Cruise Antarctica

    from 14 December 2018 to 29 December 2018
    16 days / 15 nights

    Departure Port : Ushuaia
    Arrival Port : Ushuaia

    Ship : LE BOREAL

    • Ref : B141218

    PONANT invites you to spend magical Christmas holidays aboard Le Boréal, between South America and the Antarctic Peninsula. An exceptional 16-day expedition cruise discovering the most beautiful sites of the southern polar lands.  

    You will set out from the fascinating city of Ushuaia, nicknamed El fin del mundo by the Argentinians. You will then sail for the Falkland Islands, whose wild beauty will not fail to enchant you.  

    After two days sailing eastwards, you will reach South Georgia and its impressive glaciers and black-sand beaches, where imposing colonies of king penguins have taken up residence. Salisbury Plain, Fortuna Bay, Grytviken and Gold Harbour will hold no secrets for you.  

    Le Boréal will then clear a path through the majestic icebergs of the Weddell Sea, a labyrinth of ice that will fill you with wonder and reduce you to silence.

    Once you’ve arrived at the Antarctic Peninsula, discover the exceptional face of the southern lands: Wilhelmina Bay, with its floating ice caps and humpback whales; Deception Island and its volcanic beaches; Half Moon Island.

    You will return to Ushuaia after the mythical crossing of the Drake Passage

    Subject to ice and weather conditions. The expedition highlights and itineraries described above illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed

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

    Highlights

    • Spending Christmas in Antarctica.
    • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
    • Hiking opportunity: Fortuna Bay, Gold Harbour, Deception Island.
    • Landscapes: mountain chains, lush green pastures in Falkland Islands, imposing glaciers, abandoned former whaling stations and historic centers, drifting icebergs and sea ice in Peninsula.
    • Wildlife: elegant Albatros in the Falklands. Huge colonies of King Penguins, many Elephant Seals, large populations of Fur Seals and Macaroni Penguins in South Georgia. Also, hundreds of Gentoo Penguins, Adelie and Chinstrap and the majestic Humpback Whales in Peninsula.
    • The treasures of the Weddell Sea.
    • Educational discovery in the respect of environment.
    • Exclusive 4-night programme before the cruise Patagonia, a land of contrast to discover in "Pre/Post & Overlands" tab. For more information and reservation, please contact our travel agents.

    • program-5750819
    • program-5750820
    • program-5750821
    • program-5750818

    Staterooms & Suites

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      LE BOREAL

      • LE BOREAL
      • LE BOREAL
      • LE BOREAL
      • LE BOREAL
      • LE BOREAL
      • LE BOREAL
      • LE BOREAL
      • LE BOREAL
      • LE BOREAL
      • LE BOREAL
      • LE BOREAL
      • LE BOREAL
      • LE BOREAL
      • LE BOREAL
      • LE BOREAL

      LE BOREAL

      Like her sisterships, Le Boréal 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
      Superior materials, discreet elegance and a tasteful décor reflect a nautical mood subtly revisited. Aboard, soothing neutral grey tones are enlivened by splashes of red, our signature theme linking tradition and innovation to create personal touches in the spirit of a “private yacht”.

      Port of call & excursions

      14 December 2018 – At sea

      Ushuaia

      Embarkation 14/12/2018 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 14/12/2018 at 18H00 .

      Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is considered the gateway to the “Great White“ and the South Pole. Nicknamed “El fin del mondo” by the Argentinian people, this city at the end of the world nestles in the shelter of mountains surrounded by fertile plains that the wildlife seem to have chosen as the ultimate sanctuary. With its exceptional site, where the Andes plunge straight into the sea, Ushuaia is one of the most fascinating places on earth, its very name evocative of journeys to the unlikely and the inaccessible…

      15 December 2018 – At sea

      15 December 2018 – At sea

      Arrival 15/12/2018. Departure 15/12/2018.

      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 observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

      16 December 2018 – New Island

      16 December 2018 – New Island

      Arrival 16/12/2018. Departure 16/12/2018.

      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.

      16 December 2018 – Grave Cove

      16 December 2018 – Grave Cove

      Arrival 16/12/2018. Departure 16/12/2018.

      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 beach. As you step off the boat and onto the white-sand beach, you might find yourself escorted by a few hospitable Commerson's dolphins, elegantly adorned in black and white.  A stroll along the grassy dunes will lead you to a vast plain of lush green grass, tended by a few sheep. On the other side of the island you'll find one of the largest gentoo penguin colonies in the area. With some luck, you'll also glimpse a sea lion scouring the waves for his next meal.

      17 December 2018▸18 December 2018 – At sea

      17 December 2018▸18 December 2018 – At sea

      Arrival 17/12/2018. Departure 18/12/2018.

      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 observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

      19 December 2018 – Salisbury Plain

      19 December 2018 – Salisbury Plain

      Arrival 19/12/2018. Departure 19/12/2018.

      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.

      19 December 2018 – Fortuna Bay

      19 December 2018 – Fortuna Bay

      Arrival 19/12/2018. Departure 19/12/2018.

      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.

      20 December 2018 – Saint Andrews Bay

      20 December 2018 – Saint Andrews Bay

      Arrival 20/12/2018. Departure 20/12/2018.

      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.

      20 December 2018 – Grytviken

      20 December 2018 – Grytviken

      Arrival 20/12/2018. Departure 20/12/2018.

      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.

      21 December 2018 – Gold Harbour

      21 December 2018 – Gold Harbour

      Arrival 21/12/2018. Departure 21/12/2018.

      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.

      22 December 2018▸23 December 2018 – At sea

      22 December 2018▸23 December 2018 – At sea

      Arrival 22/12/2018. Departure 23/12/2018.

      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 observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

      24 December 2018 – Sailing on the Weddell Sea

      24 December 2018 – Sailing on the Weddell Sea

      Arrival 24/12/2018. Departure 24/12/2018.

      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.

      25 December 2018 – Wilhelmina Bay

      25 December 2018 – Wilhelmina Bay

      Arrival 25/12/2018. Departure 25/12/2018.

      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.

      26 December 2018 – Deception Island, South Shetland Islands

      26 December 2018 – Deception Island, South Shetland Islands

      Arrival 26/12/2018. Departure 26/12/2018.

      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.

      26 December 2018 – Half Moon Island

      26 December 2018 – Half Moon Island

      Arrival 26/12/2018. Departure 26/12/2018.

      Nestled among the South Shetland Islands in the icy waters of the Antarctic, Half Moon plunges visitors into a surreal and mystical setting. Long, jagged coastlines alternate with gently sloping bays, overlooked by petrified volcanic pipes. Camara, a former Argentine research station built at the centre of the island in 1953, still stands in the crook of a vast, crescent-shaped beach of large ash-coloured pebbles battered by icy electric-blue waves. Half Moon's wild lunar landscape is home to a number of animal species, including chinstrap penguins, fur seals, Weddell seals and Antarctic terns.

      27 December 2018▸28 December 2018 – Crossing the Drake Passage

      27 December 2018▸28 December 2018 – Crossing the Drake Passage

      Arrival 27/12/2018. Departure 28/12/2018.

      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.

      29 December 2018▸28 December 2018 – Ushuaia

      Ushuaia

      Disembarkation 29/12/2018 at 07H00 .

      Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is considered the gateway to the “Great White“ and the South Pole. Nicknamed “El fin del mondo” by the Argentinian people, this city at the end of the world nestles in the shelter of mountains surrounded by fertile plains that the wildlife seem to have chosen as the ultimate sanctuary. With its exceptional site, where the Andes plunge straight into the sea, Ushuaia is one of the most fascinating places on earth, its very name evocative of journeys to the unlikely and the inaccessible…

      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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      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

      Expedition programmes include activities such as Zodiac® outings and landings (sometimes with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes, all accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides.

      Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.

      Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience in remote areas: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is extremely expensive. Without adequate medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe to full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully, be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive, especially if you are insured by your credit card. PONANT offers an insurance contract with extensive guarantees, please contact us for more information.

      Clothing tips:

      • A PONANT polar water-resistant parka is offered on board for all departures with the logo “Free Parka” (no children sizes, in case of consecutive cruises, only one complimentary parka).
      • Half calf rubber boots with non-slip soles, which will allow you to go ashore in 20 cm of cold water, keeping your feet dry for walks and visits on steep paths. Boot rental will be offered onboard (for adults only) on Expedition cruises where the logo “Free Boot Rental” appears. Book your boots up to 7 days prior to departure, on our dedicated website https://boutique.ponant.com/, boots section. You will find them on board after embarkation. For more information, please contact us.
      • Comfortable trousers: classic Winter trousers, warm cotton tracksuit, wool leggings
      • Waterproof and windproof over-trousers – MANDATORY
      • Winter trousers with waterproof over trousers are the ideal combination: water-resistance and comfort of trousers are essential
      • Pullover, sweat-shirt or fleece jacket
      • Woollen or thermolactyl Thermal underwear
      • A warm hat, woollen ear muffs or fleece ear muffs, fleece or woollen neck warmer (avoid scarves that do not stay in place)- MANDATORY
      • Wool or silk glove liners, water-resistant and supple gloves
      • Thick warm socks (ideally woollen)

      Accessories:

      • Small waterproof backpack (to protect your camera from water).
      • Binoculars (strongly recommended for wildlife viewing).
      • Highly protective sunglasses.
      • Walking poles (highly recommended).

      Do not hesitate to visit the online PONANT store which offers a selection of equipment and accessories adapted to our destinations, at the following address: https://boutique.ponant.com

      Benefits of the PONANT store:

      • Advice on equipment from our experts to help you prepare for your polar expedition
      • A wide range of technical equipment for polar expeditions, approved by our experts
      • Two delivery options: delivery to your home or directly to your cabin on board the ship
      • Duty Free shopping for cabin delivered items

      Pre/Post & Overlands

      1. Before your cruise

        10/12/2018 – PATAGONIA, LAND OF CONTRASTS (4 NIGHTS)

        4100.00 $ **

        More information

        13/12/2018 – OVERNIGHT IN BUENOS AIRES (1 NIGHT)

        310.00 $ **

        More information

      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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