Antarctica is a corner of the world very few are fortunate to experience. This unforgiving continent is characterised by harsh temperatures, spectacular landscapes, unexplored islands and a rich diversity of wildlife.

You will travel in the company of both a National Geographic photographer and expert, who through lectures, workshops and one-on-one discussions, will give you a deeper understanding of the sights and significance of your journey and teach you how to capture the story of this incredible expedition through your own photography.

We will begin our expedition to the White Continent in the world's southernmost city, Ushuaia, in Argentina's Tierra del Fuego. As we set sail along the beautiful Beagle Channel, we will already have our first opportunity for wildlife sightings as colonies of Magellanic penguins make this their home, and represents just a small taste of the experiences to come.

Our journey to Antarctica will follow in the footsteps of many intrepid explorers as we cross the Drake Passage, giving a great opportunity to watch the albatross following in our wake, and to look out for our first iceberg.

As we explore the Antarctic Peninsula, you will be struck by the imposing landscapes with its high mountain peaks and the ice that dominates it all. Each day, the Captain and Expedition Leader will plan landings, ship and Zodiac® cruises, based on ice and weather conditions. From hiking up pristine snow-covered mountains to exploring old research and whaling stations to kayaking in iceberg littered waters and witnessing wildlife in epic proportions; this will be an expedition of a lifetime.

At the end of your trip, sit down with your National Geographic Expert and photographer and reflect on the experiences you have shared on your voyage and how they have changed you upon your return. National Geographic and Ponant share the deep belief that when people understand the world, they care more deeply and are inspired to act to protect it.

This Expedition Cruise is onboard PONANT’s L’Austral ship, part of the Sisterships fleet.

We are privileged guests in these extreme lands where we are at the mercy of weather and ice conditions. Landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. They vary from day to day, making each National Geographic cruise a unique experience.

Overnight in Buenos Aires + visit + transfers + roundtrip flights Buenos Aires/Ushuaia/Buenos Aires included.

Trip highlights

Sail with a National Geographic photographer, who will be available for lectures, workshops, and one-on-one sessions to help you capture the story of your journey, whether you are a seasoned photographer or just using your phone.

Sail with a National Geographic photographer, who will be available for lectures, workshops, and one-on-one sessions to help you capture the story of your journey, whether you are a seasoned photographer or just using your phone.

Sail with a fantastic team of naturalists who will offer insight not only into the wildlife and the history of the great explorers in the area, but also into the geopolitics, the global climate implications and why the protection of this incredible environment is so important for us all.

Experience the wonders of Antarctica, from its stunning landscapes led by high mountains, cascading glaciers, captivating icebergs and vast expanses of ice, to its incredible wildlife including soaring albatross and waddling penguins, with whales in the waters below and seals hauled out on the ice above.

Enjoy Zodiac® cruises and kayak adventures in some of the most remote places on earth, surrounded by breath-taking landscapes and amongst impressive wildlife colonies.

By travelling with National Geographic to Antarctica, you will also be doing your part to protect it, as part of the proceeds of your trip are returned to the National Geographic Society, who works to further the understanding and protection of our planet.

Itinerary - 10 Days

1 Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego and is a busy port situated in Argentina's southernmost tip. The city is nestled between snow-capped Andean mountains and the shores of the Beagle Channel and is the gateway to Antarctica. After boarding L’Austral and settling in, the ship will sail down the Beagle Channel to start your voyage south. Look for the Magellanic penguins that make this their home.

2-3 Crossing the Drake Passage

The Drake Passage is situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, and is the shortest route to Antarctica.

Harbouring unique and diverse marine fauna, the Drake Passage is where the cold currents of the South Pole meet with the warmer equatorial waters, making for a sometimes-rough voyage, but it is completely worth it for what awaits once you reach the Antarctic Peninsula.

During the voyage, take a look up to the sky where you will often find albatross following the ship. With an average wingspan of 3.1m, the wandering albatross has the longest wingspan of any living bird and can fly for hours, just above the surface of the water, without flapping their wings.

During your time crossing the Drake Passage, it is a great time to get to know your National Geographic photographer and Expert, with lectures and workshops, or just chatting over a meal. Practise your new-found skills out on deck capturing some albatross photos, or treat yourself to a moment of relaxing reading in the observation lounge while taking in the surroundings.

The Expedition Leader will first present the IAATO rules of conduct that must be observed during landings in the region and will explain everything you need to know about the Zodiac® outings.

4-8 Antarctic Peninsula

The Antarctic Peninsula region consists of archipelagos and mountains, covered in snow and ice, and separated by deep channels that pass through this dramatic landscape. As harsh as it can appear, there is an abundance of wildlife that calls it home, from the penguins to the seals, to the whale species that can be found feeding amongst the ice. Every minute of every day the weather can change from blizzards to brilliant sunshine and back, making every view spectacular and every wildlife encounter unforgettable.

Each day, based on weather and ice conditions, the Captain and the Expedition Leader will plan Zodiac® cruises or landings, or ship cruises, to discover the infinite riches of the Antarctic Peninsula. With our extended voyage, we will be able to explore further and make more landings to enjoy glaciers, ice floe, table top icebergs, and mountain peaks that plunge straight into the sea. These will be interspersed with volcanic beaches, research stations, enchanting bays, and vestiges of the whaling industry.

During our time in Antarctica, you may be lucky enough to spot various species of penguin, whales including humpback, blue and orca, as well as seals and a surprisingly rich diversity of birdlife.

All along the way you will travel with your team of expert naturalists, as well as your National Geographic Expert and photographer who will help you bring your experiences to life so you have even more stories to tell when you return.

9-10 Crossing the Drake Passage

As we sail north once more, we again enter The Drake Passage.

During these two days, we will sail across the Antarctic Convergence, leaving the polar waters behind. Once again, we will be followed by albatross soaring in our wake, and Cape petrels flying alongside, escorting us back to South America.

During your time at sea, make the most of your time to get some final tips from your National Geographic photographer, maybe on how to choose between your many photos, or to sit down with your National Geographic Expert and reflect on the experiences you have shared on your voyage and how they have changed you upon your return. National Geographic and Ponant share the deep belief that when people understand the world, they care more deeply and are inspired to act to protect it.

11 Ushuaia, Argentina

Disembark from where you started in Ushuaia, the capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province. Take the opportunity to explore the city some more, before starting your journey home. As the plane climbs away from the tarmac, take a last look at the dramatic landscapes you leave behind as you return from one of the most remote regions on Earth.

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