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Antarctica, Falklands & South Georgia: In the Realm of the Great Explorers - 2017

Buenos Aires • Antarctica • South Georgia • Falklands • Montevideo

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Antarctica, Falklands & South Georgia: In the Realm of the Great Explorers is your chance to retrace the path of great explorers like Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, whose Trans-Antarctica Expedition marks its 100th anniversary in 2016 and remains a legend of leadership and heroism. Unlike his team, you and your small group will travel to Antarctica in Deluxe style by private small ship, ensuring you get the most from your destination. But this isn’t just any ship: you’ll cruise in 21st-century comfort aboard an ice-rated Hurtigruten ship, the ms Fram, specifically designed to navigate polar waters with state-of-the-art equipment.

Our Vantage journey features two nights in Buenos Aires, with an additional night in Montevideo at the end of your adventure. Your cruise itinerary takes you to the remote Falkland Islands (Malvinas), the stunning landscapes of South Georgia and through the legendary Drake Passage. And a centerpiece of your journey is sure to be Antarctica, where our small group lets us tread lightly in this pristine and fragile environment. You’ll have the opportunity to go ashore on naturalist-led expeditions (weather permitting), visit penguin colonies, and cruise among ice-laden islands and hidden harbors. Visit the Earth's final frontier on an Antarctic polar exploration with Vantage Adventures, while taking advantage of the best small group value to the ultimate destination.

Itinerary at a Glance
  • DAYS 1-2:

    Depart home / Overnight flight /Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Our adventures in the Southern Hemisphere begin with an overnight flight to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival on Day 2, we have the remainder of the day to explore independently after checking into our hotel. Or, join an optional tango and dinner show, the perfect introduction to the lively spirit of Buenos Aires.

  • DAY 3:

    Buenos Aires

    Argentina’s capital is a heady mix of European inspiration and an undeniably Argentinean spirit. Today, we set out on a panoramic city tour that takes us past the grand buildings along broad Avenida 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world; the San Telmo district, the city’s oldest barrio, lined with beautiful colonial buildings; and the European-flavored La Boca district, full of colorful homes. After lunch on your own, the afternoon is at leisure. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner at the hotel. 

  • DAY 4:

    Buenos Aires/ Ushuaia / Embark ms Fram

    We fly to Ushuaia this morning, the world’s southernmost city otherwise known as the “city at the end of the world.” It’s been a naval base, a missionary hub, and a penal colony, but today it is an epicenter of adventure travel in one of the world’s most pulsating regions. There’ll be time to wander here and have lunch on your own.

    Then, we transfer to the pier and embark ms Fram to begin our Antarctica cruise. Attend a safety briefing and be welcomed on board by the ship's captain, officers, and staff. Afterward, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and our first dinner on board.

    • Included Meals:

      Breakfast & Dinner


  • DAYS 5-6:

    Cruising the Drake Passage

    For the next two days, our Antarctica cruise sails south via the Drake Passage, the ocean waterway that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans between the southern tip of South America and the Antarctic Peninsula. The passage is named for Sir Francis Drake, an English sailor who discovered the link between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Yet it wasn’t until 40 years later that this treacherous stretch of sea was actually crossed by a Dutch navigator named Willem Schouten. The Drake Passage is steeped in history and filled with legendary stories, as we discover during a series of onboard lectures that you can attend during our crossing. Our presentations also prepare you to make the most out of the unique experience of exploring Antarctica over the next several days.

    • Included Meals:

      2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners


  • DAYS 7-9:

    Antarctica

    We spend three days taking in Antarctica’s clear, crisp air; towering icebergs; white mountain ranges; and amazing land and sea life. We’re always sure to keep our cameras at the ready as our highly maneuverable small ship wends its way among islands, bays, and channels.

    This is a stark landscape of heady breathtaking terrain and a travel experience unlike any other. Almost as large as the entirety of North America, Antarctica is actually a desert—it only receives about 8 inches of precipitation every year. We’ll marvel at our striking surroundings—vast tundra and jagged icebergs mirrored in frigid seas—as we cruise through a part of the world so remote and extreme that it has no permanent residents.

    As we cruise, we enjoy a rewarding balance of onboard lectures that enlighten the mind and onshore excursions that thrill and invigorate. Ice, wind and weather dictate life in Antarctica, just as they dictate our route and our landings. As such, we determine our landings as our adventure progresses. Where conditions allow, we go ashore on naturalist-led expeditions by versatile PolarCirkel craft to explore such sites as Deception Island, Cuverville Island, Neko Harbor, Port Lockroy, Paradise Harbor, Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctic Sound, and Brown Bluff. One thing is certain no matter which of these magnificent spots we explore: your team of onboard naturalists will help you view the natural beauty of Antarctica as never before. With an open mind and spirit of adventure, you will enjoy the most rewarding of journeys.

    • Included Meals:

      3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners


  • DAYS 10-11:

    At Sea

    We leave the White Continent behind and voyage toward South Georgia. As we cruise, we have a chance to learn more about the history and the spectacular wildlife of the “Serengeti of the Southern Ocean” that we’ve left behind, and hear about the magnificent wildlife of the destination lies ahead.

    • Included Meals:

      2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners


  • DAYS 12-13:

    South Georgia

    We explore the island of South Georgia for two days, home to large King Penguin colonies and groups of fur and elephant seals. During our visit, we plan to see the island’s old Norwegian whaling station at Stromness, an old whaler’s church, the king penguin colony at Fortuna Bay, and the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton, the great explorer who inspired our Shackleton's Antarctica voyage. It was on this island that Shackleton landed after his legendary 800-mile journey aboard the small ship James Caird. That journey, which came after Shackleton’s ship Endurance was lost to the ice, is considered one of the most incredible excursions ever undertaken in a small ship. It has made Shackleton and his crew legends even 100 years later. 

    • Included Meals:

      2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners


  • DAY 14-15:

    At Sea

    Cruising to the Falkland Islands, we learn about their unique ecosystem during our onboard lecture series. There’ll be ample time to enjoy the crisp ocean air on deck, relax on board, and share your adventure with fellow travelers over coffee, meals and drinks. Our plan is to visit the region around North West Falkland.

    • Included Meals:

      2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners


  • DAYS 16-17:

    Falkland Islands

    Thanks to a unique sub-Antarctic ecosystem, about 70 sub-Antarctic animal and bird species make their home here, from the black-browed albatross to five different types of penguin. As we approach the archipelago, we’re always struck by the majesty of its landscapes: soaring cliffs, stone resembling needles, gentle beaches, and sweeping lands covered in green grass. The settlements here feel distinctly British and civilized. We visit Stanley, the capital — a wonderful starting point for various excursions in the area. We also explore the northwestern part of the Falklands. 

    • Included Meals:

      2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners


  • DAYS 18-21:

    At Sea

    During our leisurely South Atlantic cruise to Montevideo, we have time to reminisce about experiences we’ve shared during our adventure, update personal explorer's diaries or blogs, and just to enjoy the ship.

    • Included Meals:

      4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners


  • DAY 22:

    Disembark ship / Montevideo

    After breakfast, we disembark the ms Fram in Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital. Get to know this charming city—founded in the 18th century by the Spanish—during an included excursion. The city’s impressive architecture ranges from Art Deco to colonial. We’ll admire it all as we take in the major landmarks, including Independence Square and the mausoleum of Uruguay’s national hero, José Gervasio Artigas.

    We also explore the Old City, the immense Congress building and see some of the neighborhoods and parks that make the capital so alluring, such as the Prado, with its famous Stage Coach sculpture, and Batlle & Ordonez Park, with its soaring obelisk. We end the day at our hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure.

  • DAY 23:

    Montevideo/Overnight flight

    We enjoy a final morning at leisure, before we transfer to the airport for our overnight flight to the US. 

  • DAY 24:

    Arrive home

    After arriving in the US and clearing US Immigration and Customs, connect to a flight to your home airport.

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.

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