Private Journeys

Signature Antarctica: Highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula

14 days from £8,050pp

Antarctica

Itinerary

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Day 1

Arrive in Buenos Aires. Transfer to your hotel in downtown Buenos Aires.

You will be met at the airport and escorted to your hotel in downtown Buenos Aires by one of our local representatives.

Buenos Aires is an elegant, cultured and cosmopolitan city famed for its interesting museums and the fascinating port district of La Boca, with its cobbled streets and brightly painted houses. It was here that the tango was born, and Diego Maradona honed his footballing skills.

The centre of town is home to the colonial heartland, government buildings and churches, as well as chic shopping districts, which have a nostalgic Parisian feel. The bohemian quarter of San Telmo is full of quaint old houses interspersed with antiques shops, tango bars and classy restaurants. Slightly further out of the centre is the Recoleta district, even more evocative of French belle époque and Italian influence.

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Day 2

Guided city tour.

Your guided city tour takes you along Avenida 9 de Julio, one of the widest boulevards in the world and studded by the Obelisk, an emblematic symbol of the city.

Along this majestic highway is the 19th century Teatro Colón which, in terms of its architecture and design, as well as its excellent acoustics, is considered one of world’s best.  On to the Plaza de Mayo, enclosed on 3 sides by the Metropolitan cathedral, the town hall and the Casa Rosada, the presidential palace. Time permitting, the tour continues to bohemian, arty La Boca, which was settled and built by Italian immigrants and has streets lined with brightly painted corrugated iron-clad houses.

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Day 3

Fly south to Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego), overnight in hotel.

Transfer to the airport and fly to Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Patagonia, at the southernmost tip of the continent. Depending on the number of intermediate stops, your flight takes 3-5 hours.

The city has grown rapidly in recent years, partly as a result of government incentives to settlers, and its establishment as a Free Port, and partly a tourist centre - most Antarctic cruises, like yours, leave from the port here. The setting is spectacular; jagged mountains hem in the town down to the shore of the Beagle Channel.

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Day 4

All aboard for Antarctica! Embark your cruise ship.

Transfer to the port and embark the ship Ocean Endeavour.

Accommodating 200 guests, this is a comfortable expedition cruise vessel with an ice-strengthened hull and Zodiacs for exploration and remote landings. On board you'll find a focus on health and well-being, with saunas, pool, gym, hot tub and restaurant.
You’ll have a well-informed wildlife experience: each voyage is accompanied by an expert; a practicing scientist, historian, or researcher who conducts fieldwork during the trip. The ship’s library is well-stocked with polar books and DVDs.

Depart and head towards the Drake Passage through the Beagle Channel, so named after the HMS Beagle which later took Charles Darwin on his explorations around the South American continent.

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Days 5-6

Cross the Drake Passage.

Cross the Drake Passage, hundreds of kilometres of open water and the shortest crossing between Antarctica and the rest of the world. Very occasionally the crossing is gentle, but the odds are against it. Force 5/6 winds are considered normal conditions. Whales and dolphins can often be seen as well as an abundance of marine birds such as petrels, albatrosses and penguins. During this part of the voyage, there are briefings and presentations on the Antarctic ecosystem.

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Days 7-11

Visit the South Shetland Islands, on to and explore the Antarctic Peninsula.

At last, the first sight of land: an iceberg and then the mountains of the South Shetland Islands. The main stop here is at Deception Island, the centre of which is a volcanic caldera that last erupted in 1969. A rugged, heavily-glaciated chain of four island groups and dozens of islets hugs the Antarctic Peninsula, providing a sheltered sea passage defined by towers of black rock. Names evoke the experiences and imagination of the early explorers – Deception and Desolation Islands, the Watchtower, and elephant Island, where Shackleton’s expedition was stranded for 135 days.

Continue to explore the Antarctic Peninsula. The Peninsula is the most accessible area of the continent and hosts some of the most interesting scenery and wildlife, as well as many of the continent’s scientific bases.

Exactly where the ship lands will vary from one expedition to the next and according to the polar conditions as the ship edges its way southwards through the slush and abstract patterns formed by the fractured sea ice. Here, the silence is so complete that interruptions become indelible memories: noisy penguins squabbling over prized pebbles on Cuverville Island, the boom and crack of a calving glacier in Paradise Harbour, for example. The soaring peaks and stark rocks of Lemaire Channel are just the excuse you need to grab your camera gear for a shooting session from the deck, if the channel is free of ice. Wildlife you may encounter includes gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguins, petrel, shag, elephant and fur seal, and perhaps whales.

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Days 12-13

Cross the Drake Passage. Disembark in Ushuaia; fly to Buenos Aires.

Leaving Antarctica, your ship sails northward and returns across the Drake Passage towards Ushuaia, arriving on the morning on day 13. Transfer to the airport and fly to Buenos Aires for a final night's stay in the city.

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Day 14

Transfer to airport for international flight.

Transfer to the airport in Buenos Aires.

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration

Real Latin America Experts

  • Lina Fuller
    Lina Fuller - Travel Consultant

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

  • Evie Oswald
    Evie Oswald - Travel Consultant

    It’s hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Consultant

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Consultant

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Consultant

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

Meet the team