Antarctica

Trip Highlights

Join us for this spectacular 14-day journey featuring a nine-night exclusively chartered cruise to Antarctica, Earth’s last frontier. Cruise aboard the intimate Le Boréal the finest vessels in Antarctic waters, combining innovative design with personalized service and featuring private balconies in 95% of the 110 deluxe, ocean-view Suites and Staterooms. Retrace the sea lanes navigated by storied explorers Shackleton, Amundsen and Scott and be among the fortunate few to set foot on the continent of Antarctica. Led by our onboard expedition team of naturalists, enjoy guided excursions aboard sturdy Zodiac craft amid floating ice sculptures, intricate ecosystems and abundant wildlife, including humpback whales, leopard seals and Adélie penguins that exhibit little or no fear of humans. A series of enriching lectures on this pristine wilderness completes your optimal Antarctic expedition. Spend two nights in the Five-Star InterContinental Buenos Aires Hotel, including a tour of Argentina’s vibrant capital city. Extend your journey with the exclusive three-night Iguazú Falls Post-Program Option. This unique itinerary is an exceptional value and perennially popular.

 

  • Unique, 14-day itinerary featuring a nine-night cruise to the world’s last great frontier and two nights in vibrant Buenos Aires.
  • Ocean-view accommodations aboard a Five-Star, ice-class expedition ship, most with a private balcony—the optimal Antarctic cruising experience!
  • Custom-built, ice-class ships designed for Antarctic waters and with the flexibility to adjust course spontaneously, maximizing wildlife sightings.
  • Ample time on shore—explore untouched wilderness.
  • Be among the fortunate few to discover “The White Continent,” where whales, seals and penguins mingle among turquoise glaciers and glimmering icebergs.
  • Zodiac excursions led by an expedition team of naturalists, with expertise spanning marine biology, ornithology, glaciology, conservation, history and photography.
  • Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages throughout the cruise.
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi aboard ship (conditions permitting).
  • Lectures aboard ship on natural wonders and wildlife.
  • Spectacular Iguazú Falls Post-Program Option.

 

Post-Program Option: Iguazú Falls 

Iguazú Falls is one of the world’s most incredible natural wonders, where more than 275 spectacular waterfalls span nearly two verdant miles of the Argentina-Brazil frontier, cascading from as high as 270 feet through one of South America’s last remaining virgin rain forests. Visit the lush Parque das Aves jungle reserve, a nature lover’s paradise, home to more than 350 species of birds, 66 varieties of mammals and a mind‑boggling array of reptiles, fish, butterflies and flora. This exclusive three‑night Post‑Program Option features one night in the Five-Star InterContinental Buenos Aires Hotel and two nights in the Five‑Star Meliá Iguazú.  Buenos Aires/Iguazú round-trip airfare is included.

The Post Program is available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

 

Shared departure: This departure is shared with other universities.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart Gateway City

Depart for Argentina.

Day 2 – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Arrive in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires and check into the Five-Star InterContinental Buenos Aires Hotel, ideally located in the historic San Telmo neighborhood and within walking distance of the landmark Palace of the Argentine National Congress.

This evening, attend the Welcome Reception.

Meals: Reception

Day 3 – Buenos Aires

Birthplace of the tango, Buenos Aires is a city of diverse and dynamic barrios (neighborhoods). See the colorful La Boca district, Monserrat’s grand public buildings, historic Plaza de Mayo, Palermo’s lavish parks, Puerto Madero’s lively riverfront community and the charming old quarter of San Telmo.

Visit the city’s historic Recoleta Cemetery, famous for its ornate vaults and sculptures and as the final resting place of the legendary Eva Perón, the former First Lady of Argentina.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 – Buenos Aires/Ushuaia/Embark Le Boréal

This morning, fly to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, capital of Tierra del Fuego and the gateway to Antarctica. Embark Le Boréal this afternoon and cruise through historic Beagle Channel, named for the ship that carried Charles Darwin on his South American voyages.

Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception this evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Reception, Dinner

Day 5&6 – Cruising the Drake Passage

Cross the legendary Drake Passage and, upon reaching the Antarctic Convergence, watch for breaching fin and humpback whales and seabirds feeding on plankton and krill that are brought to the surface by cold Antarctic currents merging with warmer waters of the South Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Your expedition team of naturalists will present insightful lectures, preparing you for your first landing in Antarctica. During the evening, enjoy the lingering twilight of the Antarctic summer.

Meals: 2 Breakfast, 2 Lunch, 2 Dinner

Day 7 – Neumeyer Channel/Port Lockroy

Cruise below the 60th parallel south to the outer shores and islands of the Antarctic Peninsula, Earth’s last frontier. Here, explore some of the world’s most pristine wilderness, where towering mountains of ice and volcanic rock create precipitous coastlines and islands, and ever-changing patterns of ice stretch toward the boundless blue horizon. In this seemingly harsh environment, a vast array of marine wildlife flourishes, including millions of penguins, countless seabirds and thousands of seals and whales. An otherworldly topography of volcanoes and glaciers, populated with riveting wildlife and historic outposts, unfolds—completely immersing you in the irresistible nuances of Earth’s most inaccessible continent for the complete Antarctic experience.

Cruise through breathtaking, glacier-lined Neumayer Channel to rugged Goudier Island. Visit Port Lockroy; nestled among serene mountain peaks as high as 6000 feet, the port was originally constructed in 1944 by an eight-man team as an intelligence post for British espionage during World War II and converted into a whaling station and scientific base in the 1950s, and its surrounding grounds are populated by blue-eye shags and gentoo penguins. Gain insight into the daily activities of past researchers at the living museum known as “Base A” and mail a postcard stamped with an Antarctica postmark from the official British Post Office.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 – Petermann Island/Lemaire Channel

Rocky Jougla Point on Wiencke Island offers a rare opportunity to view the skeletal remains of an adult blue whale and to see populous colonies of gentoo penguins and kelp gulls that inhabit the entire region. Call at Petermann Island, the southernmost point of your journey, and watch its thriving rookeries of Adélie and gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags.

Flanked by sheer cliffs of towering glaciers between the Antarctic Peninsula and Booth Island, cruise through the Lemaire Channel, where seven majestic miles of mountains and interweaving patterns of ice floes brim with wildlife.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 – Neko Harbor/Paradise Bay

Listen for the low rumbling of Rudolf Glacier as it calves slabs of ice into Neko Harbor, named for an early 20th-century whaling boat. Surrounded by soaring glaciers and snow covered mountains, this spectacular harbor is one of the most dramatic sights on your expedition. Here, make your first “continental landing” in Antarctica.

In Paradise Bay, crystal cliffs of ice descend from sky-bent mountains into the iceberg-laden waters along the Antarctic Peninsula’s western coast. Named by 19th‑century whalers who sought shelter in its coves, it is an ideal sanctuary for marine wildlife including humpback whales, crabeater seals and Cape petrels.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 – Deception Island/Neptune’s Bellows/Pendulum Cove/Half Moon Island

Deception Island, actually the rim of a dormant volcano crater, encircles the Port Foster caldera, where the ship enters through Neptune’s Bellows, a sublime harbor ringed by snowcapped peaks and sheer cliffs. In Pendulum Cove, see the steaming, geothermally heated shallows.

Observe the amazing colony of tens of thousands of chinstrap penguins at Baily Head. Then walk along the black sand beaches of Telefon Bay to nearby craters, for firsthand insight into the pivotal volcanic activity that created the island and shaped the natural history of the region.

One of the smallest but most beautiful of the South Shetland Islands, crescent‑shaped Half Moon Island is known for its craggy volcanic rock formations and tranquil lagoons. It is also the site of Cámara Station, a base monitored by Argentine biologists studying regional wildlife. Here, observe the antics of the island’s colony of chinstrap penguins.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 – Cruising the Weddell Sea

Relax and reflect on board as the ship turns north. Attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Reception, Dinner

Day 12 – Cruising Drake Passage/Ushuaia, Argentina

Cross the Drake Passage and enjoy lively, informative discussions with the ship’s naturalists. Watch for endangered albatross and the many different species of petrels as you cruise across the Antarctic Convergence.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13 – Ushuaia, Argentina/Disembark ship/Buenos Aires/Depart for Home

Disembark in Ushuaia and fly to Buenos Aires. Continue on the Iguazú Falls Post‑Program Option with an overnight stay in Buenos Aires or depart for home.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 14 – Arrive in Gateway City

Arrive home.

 

Show Full Itinerary

Your Journey

Antarctica

By participating in an Alumni Association of the University of Michigan travel trip, you have stated that the Alumni Association has the exclusive right to use video and other visual/audio portrayals of You or Your likeness taken during Your trip in any medium of any nature whatsoever for any purpose, including advertising or promoting the services of the trip without any compensation being paid to You. Any such portrayal or likeness shall be the exclusive property of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.

  • Jan. 13–26, 2021
(14 days)
Starting price: $9,995
Deposit per person: $800
Central & South America
Gohagan & Co.
Type: Ocean Cruise, Shared Departure

You must be an Alumni Association member to travel with us. Questions? Call Michigan Alumni Travel at 855.764.0064.

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