2017 Antarctica and Patagonia Tour
Friday 10 Auckland – Buenos Aires D.
Depart Auckland on Air New Zealand to arrive on the same day. Transfer to an airport hotel where a welcome dinner to meet fellow travellers is included
Saturday 11 Buenos Aires – Santiago - Puerto Montt B D
Return to the airport for a morning flight to Puerto Montt. On arrival transfer to the nearby town of Puerto Varas on the shores of Lake Llanquihue.
Sunday 12 Puerto Varas B
A walking tour highlights the flower-lined streets and German architecture.
Monday 13 Puerto Varas – Bariloche (Argentina) B D
Our day of coach and boat across the Andes via lakes, dense temperate rainforests, waterfalls, rushing rivers and mountains is spectacular, crossing into Argentina at the top of the mountain pass. Arrive in the city of Bariloche early evening for a two-night stay.
Tuesday 14 Bariloche B
Today’s half-day tour travels out of the town to experience stunning scenery. Take the chairlift for unforgettable views of the mountains, then skirt the shores of Nuhuel Lake and onto the Llao Llao Peninsula and Puerto Panuelo. The afternoon is free to explore and shop.
Wednesday 15 Bariloche – El Calafate B D
A morning flight to El Calafate and on arrival transfer to our hotel. Afternoon free to explore along the lake or rest.
Thursday 16 El Calafate (Perito Moreno Glacier) B L D
A full day excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier. Experience standing metres from the 60 – 80m high glacier listening to icebergs calving and seeing the deep-blue colours of the ice. The journey to the glacier travels from the harsh environment of El Calafate to the National Park with trees, lush vegetation and mountains.
Friday 17 El Calafate – Ushuaia B D
Fly to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city in the world for an overnight stay. An evening briefing at the hotel by one of the team from ‘Hebridean Sky’ (formerly ‘Sea Explorer’).
Saturday 18 Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego National Park) B D
After breakfast ride on the Southern Fuegian Railway (known as ‘The End of the World Train’) to visit the magnificent Tierra del Fuego National Park.
See lakes, lagoons and rivers at picturesque Ensenada Bay and its beautiful islands and take in the breathtaking Patagonian scenery.
Return by coach with time in Ushuaia to explore the Argentinian leather market. Mid-afternoon transfer to ‘Hebridean Sky’.’ The Captain’s welcome dinner is tonight. After dinner, relax and take in the mountainous scenery on our evening sail down the Beagle Channel past Magellanic Penguin, Rock Cormorant, and Sea Lion colonies.
Sunday 19 / Monday 20 Drake Passage - B L D
Wildlife-spotting opportunities abound as we sail south. See Albatross, Prions, and Petrels that frequently follow the ship. Our Expedition Team will be out on deck as well, looking for the whales and dolphins that may also be seen in the area. Later our experts will begin the on-board presentation series covering many relevant topics.
The length of our crossing will depend on the sea conditions.
Tuesday 21 – Saturday 25 Antarctica B L D
The Expedition Leader and Captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity.
This unique, white wilderness of white ice, calm-dark seas, rock and sky will astound. Daylight overshadows night in an array of extraordinary colours glowing in every shade of deep blues and aquamarine – an amalgam of greens and blues.
The route will stress the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas as well as sites of historic and scientific interest.
Take time to cruise into picturesque harbours and bays and wildlife-filled Channel and active scientific and historic bases. See Adelie, Chinstrap, Emperor, Macaroni and Gentoo Penguins and Weddell, Crab Eater and Elephant seals which are often found resting along with predatory Leopard seals and the aggressive Antarctic Fur Seal.
This will be five days of “Am I really here?”
Opportunities to step ashore are numerous – be guided by experts in their fields and experience the wilderness of Antarctica.
Sunday 26 – Monday 27 Drake Passage – Ushuaia B L D
We continue our presentation series and wildlife spotting as we sail back to Ushuaia and reflect on beautiful Antarctica and its fragile future. We arrive at Ushuaia in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Farewell Dinner on-board.
Tuesday 28 Ushuaia – Buenos Aires B D
Morning disembarkation of ‘Hebridean Sky’ and transfer for a flight to Buenos Aires. Transfer to your hotel before an evening dinner and Tango show.
Wednesday 29 Buenos Aires - Auckland B
Today enjoy a half day city sights tour before an afternoon free for last minute shopping. Late check out from the hotel before your Air New Zealand flight back to Auckland.
Cross the International date line
Friday 01 December Arrive Auckland
Optional Extension available – three nights Iguassu Falls & one extra night at Buenos Aires.
‘Hebridean Sky’ (formerly ‘Sea Explorer)
In the spring 2016 our ship, ‘Hebridean Sky’ underwent a ten million dollar refit, transforming her into the safest and most comfortable ship in her class. Formerly known as the ‘Sea Explorer’, she has always been known for her effortless elegance, impeccable service and atmosphere of charm and camaraderie. ‘Hebridean Sky’ continues that tradition, while adding a host of new amenities as well as state-of-the-art stabilisation, fuel efficiency and upgraded communications systems.
All suites and public spaces have been completely redecorated.
‘’Hebridean Sky’ offers exceptionally spacious and well-designed outside-facing suites across five decks, beautifully appointed public areas and the highest standards of service and food. She is outfitted with the most current navigational and communications technology as well as with retractable fin stabilisers for smooth sailing.
‘Hebridean Sky’ has an ice-strengthened hull for polar navigation and features a fleet of ten Zodiac inflatable craft for forays ashore.
On average the suites measure 23m2 with en-suite bathrooms, large wardrobes and excellent storage. Suites feature queen size beds or twins. Mini fridges, telephones, satellite televisions and CD / DVD players.
The single dining room located on Deck 2, is both spacious and light. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style with a selection of hot and cold dishes, and fresh produce. Dinner is served to your table and comprises of four courses with a vegetarian option always available. Complimentary wine and beer is served with dinner and a 24-hour coffee and tea station provided.
Temperatures / Weather
Bariloche Max 18˚c Min 05˚c Ushuaia Max 14˚c Min 04˚c
Antarctic Peninsula – Coastal areas are generally close to freezing in December – February
Daylight Hours 17+
Clothing for Zodiac Excursions
Closer to departure date, extensive information will be provided – a brief summary is
• Waterproof parka – this is included on the tour and is yours to keep
• The ship will lend you a pair of waterproof expedition boots for the duration of the cruise
• The Golden Rules are: Layers, layers, layers – base, mid, outer
• Wear breathable fabric – not cottons
• Waterproof – not water repellent
• Protect your extremities
• Remember the SPF
• NB: “There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing” – Ranulph Finnes
A team of 10 will be on board ‘Hebridean Sky.’ There will be an expedition leader along with the team whose mix of expertise will enhance the overall experience of the Antarctica. Their knowledge will cover ice and snow; photography; geology; zoology; marine biology and kayaking and more