Viking Expeditions | December 2023 Departures
Buenos Aires to Ushuaia
Celebrate an unforgettable holiday season on this ultimate adventure that features two additional days of discovery on the Antarctic peninsula. Witness towering glaciers, snow-covered landscapes, massive icebergs and once-in-a-lifetime wildlife viewing. In the footsteps of explorers such as Amundsen, Shackleton and Scott, you will be one of the few to discover the world’s last truly wild frontier. Each day brings new surprises and the opportunity to change plans to maximize wildlife sightings and adapt to ever-changing weather.
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Day 1: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Arrive and check in to your hotel. Buenos Aires, Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital, is an eclectic combination of Latin and European influences. The tree-lined streets and postcolonial architecture draw on the city’s Spanish, French and Italian heritage, while the many cafés and bodegas and vibrant nightlife are decidedly Argentine. Its barrios, or neighborhoods, exude an intimate atmosphere that belies the city’s size. Full of bohemian flair, historic San Telmo’s cobblestone streets and Belle Époque–style buildings reverberate with the mesmerizing melodies of the tango.
Day 2: Ushuaia, Argentina
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and board your charter flight to your embarkation city. Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. Its splendid setting, tucked between the Beagle Channel and the southernmost slopes of the Andes, lends it an outpost atmosphere, as do the Antarctic explorers readying for the expeditions that depart from here. Ushuaia is the capital of and gateway to the celebrated Tierra del Fuego, the “Land of Fire,” named by Spaniards upon seeing the constant flames burned by the indigenous Yámana to keep warm. This largely unspoiled region comprises the large island of Tierra del Fuego and countless Chilean and Argentine islands.
Day 3: Sail Drake Passage
Named for 16th-century English privateer Sir Francis Drake, the frigid waters of the Drake Passage stretch for some 600 miles between Cape Horn and Livingston Island in the South Shetland archipelago. As you sail today, attend an informative lecture or watch a film on our 8k laser-projected panoramic screen in The Aula, one of the world's most advanced venues for learning at sea. This indoor-outdoor experience allows nature to take center stage with its retractable floor-to-ceiling windows that unveil 270° views.
Day 4 - 12: Explore Antarctica
At once ethereal and majestic, Antarctica has inspired explorers and adventurers for centuries. In this icy wilderness, marvel at icebergs glimmering in serene bays and mountains cloaked in white rising from the mainland basalt cliffs. These stunning landscapes evoke both utter tranquility as fur seals lounge on a floating sheet of ice, and breathtaking drama as glaciers thunderously calve into the sea. In these cold and nutrient-rich waters, humpback, fin and giant blue whales have been known to greet expedition ships that venture into their habitat.
Day 13: Sail Drake Passage
The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for being the roughest seas on Earth. Traversing it required braving massive waves, hurricane-force winds and icy conditions that tested the mettle of both sailor and ship. As you sail, admire the surrounding vistas from the Finse Terrace, an outdoor lounge area designed to keep you warm in colder climes while enjoying the dramatic scenery.
Day 14: Scenic Sailing: Cape Horn
Rising above the point where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans converge, Cape Horn, named for the Dutch city of Hoorn in The Netherlands, is part of the Hermite Islands archipelago. This remote, stark and treeless place is often considered the continent’s southernmost point. Soaring from Hornos Island is an enormous prehistoric-looking massif of Jurassic volcanic rock. Atop, stands its historic lighthouse near the water’s edge. A beacon of assurance and safety for countless sailors since 1991, it is the world’s southernmost traditional-style lighthouse.
Day 15: Ushuaia, Argentina
The “city at the end of the world” is one of the planet’s most breathtaking destinations; Andean peaks, pristine lakes and boreal forests create a dramatic backdrop, surrounding this captivating coastal town. Although Ushuaia lies more than 600 miles north of Antarctica, the city’s port is still the closest to the “Last Continent” and the starting point for its exploration. The majesty of Antarctica’s landscape attracts visitors seeking adventure, with its packed ice plains, rugged mountains and abundance of wildlife, such as whales, seals and various species of penguin. Disembark your ship and transfer to the airport for your charter flight. Bid farewell to your fellow travelers and journey home.