Arrive Buenos Aires, Argentina
Arrive in the energetic port city of Buenos Aires and transfer to your luxury hotel, with time to relax and enjoy the amenities of the beautiful Park Hyatt. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Buenos Aires | Lively Port City
The gateway to Argentina for centuries, Buenos Aires has long brought porteños (locals) into its boundaries. Although reminiscent of a European city, the spirit of Buenos Aires is evident in its diverse local neighborhoods. This morning, choose from a selection of included excursions and experience the city’s best treasures, such as a panoramic city tour complete with a tango demonstration alongside local A&K guides. Later this afternoon, meet with your fellow adventurers for a welcome cocktail reception.
Ushuaia | Gateway to Antarctica
Fly to the southernmost city in the world, the charming port town of Ushuaia on Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire). On arrival, enjoy a night walk (time permitting) and a gourmet lunch. This afternoon, transfer to your ship and settle in for your first night on board. Wander the decks to become acquainted with the ship, relax in the lounge and mingle with fellow guests in anticipation of your voyage. From your private balcony or the outside decks, take in views as you cruise the beautiful Beagle Channel before heading out to sea.
Drake Passage | Epic Passage
The first part of your adventure at sea and toward extraordinary Antarctica begins with a voyage across the storied Drake Passage, which functioned as an important trade route in the 19th and 20th centuries. Spanning 600 miles of open ocean, this passage is also the place where the humid, subpolar conditions of Tierra del Fuego meet with the frigid, polar reaches of Antarctica — and where the voluminous Antarctic Circumpolar Current presses from west to east. Notorious for its squalls, the Drake Passage once made for an unpredictable voyage; today, the stabilizer-equipped ‘Le Lyrial’ commands these waters comfortably. As you travel on your remarkable luxury cruiser, enjoy life on board as well as several university-caliber lectures every day — all part of the intriguing, ongoing conversations you have throughout your cruise with A&K’s Expedition Team and enrichment experts. Topics span marine biology, photography and history. After lunch, join your naturalists on deck to spot pelagic seabirds, which may include the wandering albatross and smaller storm petrels in their element. Later in the evening, look forward to a briefing in the theater on the next day’s itinerary followed by dinner at your choice of restaurants.
Antarctica | The Incomparable White Continent
As Antarctica’s offshore islands appear on the horizon, first sightings of the Antarctic Peninsula become that much more moving, surreal and unforgettable. Your lecture program matches the excitement with poignant talks led by your captivating team of A&K experts and guest lecturers. Look forward to inspiring daily landings along the Peninsula, all of which are carefully designed by your Captain and Expedition Team.
This expedition has been designed with two additional days in Antarctica, specifically to allow for discovery beyond the Antarctic Circle and to areas rarely explored in Antarctica. Excursions via Zodiacs (sturdy inflatable boats) are also piloted by expert naturalist guides, joined by groups of no more than 10 guests and often accompanied by your lecturers.
Your Captain and Expedition Team carefully plan your active, curated itinerary, which is dependent on weather, sea, ice and wildlife conditions. With that in mind, daily excursions may include exploration of the following areas:
South Shetland Islands: Remarkable history, amazing geological features and abundant wildlife define these islands offshore of the Antarctic Peninsula. Island visits may include Livingston, Half-Moon and Deception; the last of which is a flooded, historic caldera that you may cruise into for the chance to explore its geothermal black sand beaches and abandoned whaling stations.
Danco Coast: Bordering the South Shetland Islands along the Antarctic continent, the Danco Coast is famed for its scenic, jaw-dropping waterways. From the comfort of ‘Le Lyrial,’ you may sail through the Gerlache Strait, Paradise Bay and photogenic Lemaire Channel. Landings you may experience include Neko Harbour, Cuverville Island and Wilhelmina Bay.
The Antarctic Circle: The most southerly of the five primary circles of latitude, the Antarctic Circle was first crossed by Captain James Cook on January 17, 1773. On any given date, the lengths of day and night here are the exact opposite of those at the Arctic Circle. Conditions permitting, you may cruise beyond the Antarctic Circle at 66°34’S 65°44’W, sailing along the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Marguerite Bay: You may also sail to the protected waters of mountainous Marguerite Bay and experience landings on Adelaide Island, which was discovered by British Explorer John Biscoe. You may also visit the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) station at Rothera.
Mornings spent discovering the White Continent’s rare and remarkable treasures from the shore to terra firma are followed by lunch aboard ‘Le Lyrial.’ Enjoy time to relax and observe the surrounding abundance of wildlife, searching for everything from humpback whales and porpoising penguins to Antarctic and imperial shags.
By afternoon, set out for the day’s second planned excursion, which may include hiking on spectacular beaches teeming with braying gentoo penguins, or circumnavigating colossal icebergs that serve as floating homes to seals.
On each of these seven adventurous days, look forward to comfortable evenings aboard your luxury cruiser, sipping cocktails in the Panoramic Lounge before dinner. At night, recap the day’s discoveries with your Expedition Team, enjoy entertainment in the theater, and chat with fellow guests in one of ‘Le Lyrial’s’ lounges, ever on the lookout for late-night wildlife appearances just off deck.
Drake Passage | Reflective Return
You may still be catching your breath over the awe and inspiration discovered in Antarctica as ‘Le Lyrial’ turns around to begin the voyage back to Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego. The ship’s return through the Drake Passage affords the perfect opportunity for peaceful reflection, and more conversations and lectures with A&K experts on Antarctica’s spectacular environment. You may also enjoy more time with newfound friends in the common spaces of ‘Le Lyrial,’ or quiet relaxation in the comfort of your stateroom. The Drake Passage is a rich source of krill, which fuels the heart of Antarctic food webs and draws wildlife at every turn. Your Expedition Team continues to call you out on deck to witness everything from humpback whales frolicking and bubble-net feeding to the gorgeous blackbrowed albatross and the wandering albatross, a rare prize for bird lovers known for its remarkable wingspan, which can be as wide as 12 feet.
‘Le Lyrial’ docks at Ushuaia this morning. Enjoy breakfast and then say goodbye to your Expedition Team and ship’s crew before disembarking by 9:00 a.m. You are transferred to the airport for your return flight to Buenos Aires, where you connect to your international flight home.
Note: Itinerary is for guidance purposes only and may be adjusted due to unforeseen circumstances including weather, wildlife, ice, medical emergencies and other conditions beyond A&K’s control at the sole discretion of the Captain.