L'Austral south georgia and antarctica cruise

The Great Austral Loop

  • Overview
    An exceptional 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.
    Duration: 16 days
    Passengers: 200 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Disembarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Mandatory extra flight
    Single Supplement: Unavailable
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Ushuaia; Embarkation Day

      Emabarkation 20/11/2018 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 20/11/2018 at 18H00.

      Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia lies in a bay opening into the Beagle Channel at the country's southernmost tip. Its colourful houses are framed against towering mountains, snow-capped in winter and summer alike. Downtown, the End of the World Museum showcases Tierra del Fuego's natural and indigenous history. A ride on the heritage railway is an exciting excursion into the Tierra del Fuego National Park, while a cruise on Ushuaia Bay is the perfect way to spot sea lions and Magellanic penguins.

    • Day 2 - At Sea

      Today we are travelling to the Falkland Islands.

    • Day 3 - New Island / Grave Cove

      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.

    • Day 4/5 - At Sea

      Today we are sailing towards South Georgia.

    • Day 6 - Salisbury Plain / Fortuna Bay

      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 250,000 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.

      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.

    • Day 7 - Saint Andrews Bay / Grytviken

      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.

      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.

    • Day 8 - Gold Harbour

      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.

    • Day 9/10 - At Sea

      Sailing towards the Antarctic Peninsula.

    • Day 11 - Weddell Sea

      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.

    • Day 12 - Wilhelmina Bay

      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.

    • Day 13 - Deception Island / Half Moon

      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.

      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.

    • Day 14/15 - Drake Passage

      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 a 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.

    • Day 16 - Ushuaia; Disembarkation

      Disembarkation 05/12/2018 at 07H00.

      Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia lies in a bay opening into the Beagle Channel at the country's southernmost tip. Its colourful houses are framed against towering mountains, snow-capped in winter and summer alike. Downtown, the End of the World Museum showcases Tierra del Fuego's natural and indigenous history. A ride on the heritage railway is an exciting excursion into the Tierra del Fuego National Park, while a cruise on Ushuaia Bay is the perfect way to spot sea lions and Magellanic penguins.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your Captain and Expedition Leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Shoot to your shutter's content!

    For aspiring photographers, the best time to shoot the Antarctic landscape is definitely October, November and March. At these times the sun is much lower in the sky and thus creates beautiful twilight hues and shadows, which contrast the landscape magnificently.

    Of course, if it is wildlife and Antarctica’s babies you are hoping to shoot, then January and February are the best times. Alternatively, consider an early season South Georgia & Antarctica expedition for the best of wildlife and photo opportunities in Antarctica.

    Wandering Albatross

    Spectacular in flight and on the ground, with the largest wingspan of any bird on the planet; gracefully and effortlessly glides for thousands of kilometres across the Southern Ocean to their nesting site on South Georgia.

    South Georgia; Wildlife Mecca

    One of the true wildlife experiences on our planet, often the wildlife displays here are referred to as the greatest on Earth. Set amongst awe inspiring scenery and home to King penguins, Wondering albatross and Elephant seals, it’s hard to imagine how early pioneers survived in this harsh landscape.

  • Inclusions

    Expedition Gear

    Comfortable expedition boots and a high quality expedition parka, specifically designed for the polar regions.

    Charter Flights

    Return charter flights are provided from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia

    Flight number and time schedule are to be advised about 30 days prior to departure.

    Dynamic Cabin Pricing

    Cabin prices on board this vessel are dynamic, that is the cabin pricing fluctuates with changes in bookings and exchange rates. Cabin prices below are not guaranteed and are subject to change and availability at the operators discretion. Please feel free to contact us for the most accurate pricing on this voyage.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    Not included in your Expedition

  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 05 at 3.43.14 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    L'AUSTRAL

    This superb mega-yacht with 132 cabins is the result of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. L'Austral remains faithful to our philosophy - to create a unique atmosphere, a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy, and well-being. A sleek silhouette softened by elegantly smooth contours and large, arched windows opening up to the sea and the light: so many features come together to give L’Austral her distinctive shape. Precious materials, discreet elegance and a perfect balance between chic and casual, combine to make you feel as if you are on your own private yacht. A design blending tradition and innovation, where a nautical mood has been subtly recreated. A welcoming atmosphere of relaxed sophistication revolves around shades of grey, taupe, white and ivory enlivened by touches of cinnamon, caramel, and tan.. So many personal touches create the spirit of a “private yacht.” You will encounter unique itineraries, calls inaccessible to large ships, chic and elegant yacht-like ambiance, refined and personalized service as well as gastronomic cuisine.

    Features & Facilities
    • Luxury accommodation
    • Open air bar
    • Sun deck
    • Pool
    • Internet
    • Library
    • Panoramic Lounge
    • Panoramic Deck
    • Live entertainment
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 5
    Guests #: 200
    Crew #: 136
    Ice Class: 1C
    Speed: 16
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 142m
    Width: 18
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 10944
    Registry: France
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability

Superior Stateroom

20 Nov 2018 - 05 Dec 2018
Twin or king beds, with 24hr room service
AUD 17,220pp
AUD 17,220pp

Deluxe Stateroom

20 Nov 2018 - 05 Dec 2018
Twin or king beds, balcony and 24hr room service
AUD 18,470pp
AUD 18,470pp

Prestige Deck 4

20 Nov 2018 - 05 Dec 2018
Twin or king beds, balcony and 24hr room service
AUD 20,480pp
AUD 20,480pp

Prestige Deck 5

20 Nov 2018 - 05 Dec 2018
Twin or king beds, balcony and 24hr room service
AUD 21,410pp
AUD 21,410pp

Prestige Deck 6

20 Nov 2018 - 05 Dec 2018
Twin or king beds, balcony and 24hr room service
AUD 22,400pp
AUD 22,400pp

Deluxe Suite

20 Nov 2018 - 05 Dec 2018
Deluxe Suite with balcony and 24hr room service
AUD 30,700pp
AUD 30,700pp

Prestige Suite Deck 5

20 Nov 2018 - 05 Dec 2018
Separate sitting room, twin or king beds, balcony and 24hr room service
AUD 35,640pp
AUD 35,640pp

Prestige Suite Deck 6

20 Nov 2018 - 05 Dec 2018
Separate sitting room, twin or king beds, balcony and 24hr room service
AUD 37,330pp
AUD 37,330pp

Owner's Suite

20 Nov 2018 - 05 Dec 2018
Opulant suite with panoramic ocean views
AUD 42,680pp
AUD 42,680pp