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The Antarctic, in the Wake of the Belgica

PONANT invites you on a polar expedition cruise to the heart of the icy realm that is the Antarctic Peninsula, to pay tribute to the famous Belgian explorer Adrien de Gerlache de Gomery (1866-1934). Between 1897 and 1899 he led the first scientific expedition to the Antarctic and he and his crew were the first ship’s party to overwinter there.

120 years later, embark on an unforgettable 10-day cruise that will evoke memories of the heroic scientific expedition of the Belgica. Rediscover the incredible adventure shared by these men and succumb to the enchantment of the breathtaking landscapes inhabited by astonishing wildlife.

The start of your cruise will be marked by the crossing of the mythical Drake Passage, during which you will probably be escorted by several albatrosses and Cape petrels, the sentinels of these often-choppy waters.

Your ship will then reach the White Continent, land of the unexpected, as was the 13-month overwintering of the Belgica, which found itself trapped in the ice from March 1898 to March 1899. For the very first time in history, men were going to brave the Antarctic winter and discover its mysteries.

Weather and ice conditions permitting, this extreme environment where nature reigns supreme will reveal to you its most beautiful secrets through numerous discoveries, like the ones made by Adrien de Gerlache and his crew, who carried out some remarkable cartography, geology, climatology and zoology work.

On this uninhabited land, your encounters with the wildlife will no doubt be one of the highlights of your experience. The Gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins, humpback whales, seals and seabirds will provide you with cherished lifelong memories.

Each day, whether on land, aboard your ship or during a Zodiac® outing, you will be surrounded by a grandiose decor ranging from icebergs to ice floe and ancient glaciers.

Please note: your voyage rates include Flight Buenos Aires / Ushuaia + visit or time at leisure + transfers + flight Ushuaia / Buenos Aires.

09 February, 2020 to 18 February, 2020 Make a booking request for The Antarctic, in the Wake of the Belgica, departing on 09 February, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

DeLuxe Stateroom £ 8199 GBP pp (+ Port taxes. From £382 GBP pp)
16 Deluxe Staterooms of 200 sq.ft.with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi
view cabin photo
Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4 £ 9139 GBP pp (+ Port taxes. From £382 GBP pp)
92 Prestige Staterooms with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi
view cabin photo
Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5 £ 9579 GBP pp (+ Port taxes. From £382 GBP pp)
92 Prestige Staterooms with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi
view cabin photo
Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6 £ 10039 GBP pp (+ Port taxes. From £382 GBP pp)
92 Prestige Staterooms with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi
view cabin photo
Deluxe Suite £ 13895 GBP pp (+ Port taxes. From £382 GBP pp)
On Deck 3 you will find 3 Deluxe Suites with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi, Sofa, Armchair & Pedestal table
view cabin photo
Prestige Suite - Deck 5 £ 16185 GBP pp (+ Port taxes. From £382 GBP pp)
20 Prestige Suites with private balcony will provide you a sea with in total discretion. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, communicating cabins available (Children welcome), Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi, Another Flat screen satellite TV, Sofa, Armchair & Pedestal table
view cabin photo
Prestige Suite - Deck 6 £ 16985 GBP pp (+ Port taxes. From £382 GBP pp)
20 Prestige Suites with private balcony will provide you a sea with in total discretion. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, communicating cabins available (Children welcome), Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi, Another Flat screen satellite TV, Sofa, Armchair & Pedestal table
view cabin photo

The Antarctic, in the Wake of the Belgica itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Day 1 USHUAIA
Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is considered the gateway to the “Great White“ and the South Pole. Nicknamed “El fin del mondo” by the Argentinian people, this city at the end of the world nestles in the shelter of mountains surrounded by fertile plains that the wildlife seem to have chosen as the ultimate sanctuary. With its exceptional site, where the Andes plunge straight into the sea, Ushuaia is one of the most fascinating places on earth, its very name evocative of journeys to the unlikely and the inaccessible…
Days 2 - 3 CROSSING THE DRAKE PASSAGE
Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarise yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. 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. Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity for you to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, you will experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist-guides on your ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage.
Days 4 - 7 ANTARCTIC PENINSULA
To learn more about ecosystems, fauna and landscapes in Antarctic regions, go to the section “Discover Antarctica” of your cruise. Succumb to the magic of a place unlike any other. To this day, the mythical Antarctic Peninsula still holds real fascination and promises its visitors unforgettable moments. Throughout your adventure in this icy realm, you will find yourself in the heart of a spectacular decor in subtle shades of blue and white, surrounded by exceptional wildlife. Penguins, humpback whales, seals and giant petrels are at home here, as are elephant seals, fur seals, Antarctic minke whales, and orcas. Depending on which sites you will be lucky enough to visit, you may get the chance to observe them and share with them the beauty of these extreme parts. Each day, based on ice conditions, the Captain and the Expedition Leader will suggest Zodiac® outings or landings to discover the infinite riches of the Antarctic Peninsula. Glaciers, ice floe, tabletop icebergs, mountain peaks that plunge straight into the sea, volcanic beaches, research stations, enchanting bays, and vestiges of the whaling industry: these are the faces of the Antarctic that will likely reveal themselves to you, in a hushed and surreal atmosphere. You will sail in the wake of Jean-Baptiste Charcot, Adrien de Gerlache and Sir Ernest Shackleton, great Antarctic explorers who, from the 19th century, set out to conquer these remote and uninhabited lands.
Day 8 CROSSING THE 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 the Antarctic 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.
Days 9 - 10 USHUAIA
Disembarkation.
Please Note:
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 PONANT cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions imposed by the IAATO.

The Antarctic, in the Wake of the Belgica reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
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 PONANT cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions imposed by the IAATO.
Disembarkation.
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 the Antarctic 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.
To learn more about ecosystems, fauna and landscapes in Antarctic regions, go to the section “Discover Antarctica” of your cruise. Succumb to the magic of a place unlike any other. To this day, the mythical Antarctic Peninsula still holds real fascination and promises its visitors unforgettable moments. Throughout your adventure in this icy realm, you will find yourself in the heart of a spectacular decor in subtle shades of blue and white, surrounded by exceptional wildlife. Penguins, humpback whales, seals and giant petrels are at home here, as are elephant seals, fur seals, Antarctic minke whales, and orcas. Depending on which sites you will be lucky enough to visit, you may get the chance to observe them and share with them the beauty of these extreme parts. Each day, based on ice conditions, the Captain and the Expedition Leader will suggest Zodiac® outings or landings to discover the infinite riches of the Antarctic Peninsula. Glaciers, ice floe, tabletop icebergs, mountain peaks that plunge straight into the sea, volcanic beaches, research stations, enchanting bays, and vestiges of the whaling industry: these are the faces of the Antarctic that will likely reveal themselves to you, in a hushed and surreal atmosphere. You will sail in the wake of Jean-Baptiste Charcot, Adrien de Gerlache and Sir Ernest Shackleton, great Antarctic explorers who, from the 19th century, set out to conquer these remote and uninhabited lands.
Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarise yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. 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. Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity for you to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, you will experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist-guides on your ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage.
Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is considered the gateway to the “Great White“ and the South Pole. Nicknamed “El fin del mondo” by the Argentinian people, this city at the end of the world nestles in the shelter of mountains surrounded by fertile plains that the wildlife seem to have chosen as the ultimate sanctuary. With its exceptional site, where the Andes plunge straight into the sea, Ushuaia is one of the most fascinating places on earth, its very name evocative of journeys to the unlikely and the inaccessible…
* = Indicative
Map for The Antarctic, in the Wake of the Belgica
L'Austral, the ship servicing The Antarctic, in the Wake of the Belgica

L'Austral

Luxury Expedition / Cruise Ship

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 has 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. Precious materials in smoothing neutral tones are brought to life with splashes of cheerful reds. So many personal touches create the spirit of a “private yacht”.

Suites and staterooms

You can expect magnificent ocean views as 124 staterooms and suites have balconies. 

 Individually-controlled airconditioning • Cabin layout: kingsize bed, or twin beds, communicating cabins available (children welcome) • Minibar • Flat screen satellite TV • IPod™ players • Desk with stationery • Electronic safe • French bath products • Dressing table and hairdryer • Bath robes • Satellite direct line telephone • 110/220 volts • 24hr room service • WiFi • Balcony

Cuisine

Loyal to the great French tradition, the haute cuisine on board is worthy of the finest restaurants, where discreet, attentive service is the hallmark.

Choose from two restaurants for breakfasts, lunch and dinner. The Gastronomic Restaurant is situated on Le Liberté Deck and serves you French and international cuisine accompagnied by fine wine. On the Grill Restaurant, you have the opportuniny to eat outside and enjoy buffet lunch and themed dinner.

Life On Board

Whether you want to join other guests in the theatre or games area (Wii™ consoles, etc), or relax on your own in a quiet corner of the library, L'Austral has been designed to meet the needs of every guest.

Everything has been done to preserve the independence of each guest to suit their personal tastes: lounges for lectures and shows, a spa in partnership with Sothys™, but also more intimate spaces such as the library and internet corner. Comfortable cabins, nearly all with private balcony, are available for families either as triples or as communicating cabins. There is also a games area with Wii™ consoles, children’s menus, and a baby-sitting service. Just as if you were on a private yacht, your time is your own to do as you please.

Fitted with the latest equipment (Kinesis Wall, running machine) and in partnership with the famous Sothys™ brand, the Beauty Centre on L'Austral welcomes you for some unforgettable moments of relaxation and pampering (beauty treatments, hairdresser).

Wheelchairs
3 specially adapted wheelchair cabins (Deck 3 = Superior cabin no. 307, no balcony, Deck 4 = Prestige Cabin no. 407 - with balcony and Deck 5 = Prestige Cabin no 509, with balcony) and lifts to all decks/areas.

Details

Length:  142 metres. Passenger Capacity: 264 (200 in Antarctica). Built:  2011

Please click the following links to read more about Ponant and the other Ponant cruise ships.

Cabin layout for L'Austral
• On-board presence of descendants of Adrien de Gerlache (including Henri de Gerlache*), who will recount memories of their ancestor, presenting numerous documents, photos, films and objects connected with the Belgica’s expedition.

• Conferences discussing Adrien de Gerlache, the Belgica expedition, the great explorers of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, but also Gaston de Gerlache’s expedition in 1957-58, and the set-up of King Baudouin Station on Queen Maud Land.

• Outings and shore visits in Zodiac®inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides. Lectures and information sessions covering wildlife, history, and geopolitics.

• Weather and ice conditions permitting, we will get as close as possible to the sites that are emblematic of the Gerlache expedition and attempt to land there: Gerlache Strait, Wilhelmina Bay, Andvord Bay, the islands of Brabant, Liege, Anvers and Wiencke, the Danco Coast, Neko Harbour, Flandres Bay, and Lemaire Channel.

• Hiking opportunity.

• Landscapes: a multitude of drifting icebergs, ice floes, imposing glaciers and tall, snow-covered mountains.

• Wildlife: humpback whales, Gentoo penguins, Adelie penguins, chinstrap penguins, leopard seals, crabeater seals, Weddell seals and numerous sea birds.

• Educational discovery in the respect of environment.
Enquire now about The Antarctic, in the Wake of the Belgica

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