Jan 6 - 18
About This Tour
For even the most experienced world traveler, Antarctica represents the one true unexplored wilderness, or the Last Continent you’re likely to ever visit. At 5.4 million square miles, Antarctica is twice as large as Australia, and its haunting landscape and sheer enormity makes visitors feel just a little bit insignificant. Add to this the challenge of traveling to this remote land of ice and snow and you have what is an adventure of epic proportions, honestly your once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Most people arrive to Antarctica by cruise ship, and there are only 58 vessels approved worldwide to travel here without harming the environment of this fragile landmass. Because of this, it’s no surprise that your journey to Antarctica is one of the world’s most costly tours, but it is also the most unique trip you will ever take. Toto Tours is partnering with Abercrombie & Kent, a leader in this destination, to take you to the far southern edge of the world in high style. Our ship – Le Lyrial – is brand new, with each cabin having a balcony for wonderful views.
Toto has reserved just 10 cabins on this ship, and we anticipate the cruise will fill up fast. Also, this is not a tour you can decide to do at the last minute, with visa and documents to acquire, arrangements to be made, and final payments required a full five months before departure. So don’t delay. Antarctica will surpass all your expectations with its wild beauty, untouched environment, and surprising array of wildlife. And you will have bragging rights that only you, among all your family and friends, have visited our planet’s Last Continent.
- Start with overnight in Buenos Aires.
- Charter flight to Ushuaia with pre-boarding welcome lunch.
- Cerro Alarken Nature Reserve.
- Beagle Channel.
- Drake Passage.
- Zodiac boat tours for Antarctica landings and view wildlife.
- Cruise for 10 nights aboard a luxury all-balcony expedition ship.
- Discover some of the world’s rarest wildlife and terrain.
- Exciting excursions led by the region’s most passionate and seasoned guides
- Learn about Antarctica’s environment – and efforts to conserve it – on a visit to U.S. Palmer Research Station.
- Gain a deep understanding of the region with enriching lectures by award-winning experts, including leading scientists, authors, historians and professional photographers.
- All-inclusive journey includes polar gear, onboard gratuities, unlimited house drinks and all port charges on the ship.
Arrange your Leave your home city any time today on an international overnight flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina (airport code EZE). Typically, connecting flights will arrive in Buenos Aires sometime the following morning. (Meals aloft)
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
Arrive this morning in Argentina’s capital and transfer to your hotel, where immediate check-in has been arranged. Although reminiscent of a European city, the spirit of Buenos Aires is evident in its diverse local neighborhoods. Experience it firsthand during an afternoon tour of the city that includes the Plaza de Mayo, the Cabildo and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Tonight, meet your fellow adventurers for a welcome cocktail reception. Dinner is on your own. Overnight at the Sofitel Buenos Aires. (Meals Aloft / Cocktail Reception)
FLY TO USHUAIA, ARGENTINA / BOARD SHIP
FLY TO USHUAIA, ARGENTINA / BOARD SHIP
Fly to the charming seaside town of Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. On arrival, enjoy lunch at the Arakur resort and meet with staff for cruise check-in. Be sure to you have your Passport and Argentina landing card. Following lunch, time and weather permitting, you have the opportunity to take a guided trek in the Cerro Alarken Nature Reserve or simply relax with a cappuccino and enjoy the scenic views of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel. This afternoon, arrive at your ship and settle in for your first night on board. Wander the decks, relax in the lounge and mingle with fellow travelers in anticipation of your voyage. Our ship MV Le Lyrial sets sail this evening as you enjoy dinner on board. (All Meals)
As you sail southward toward Antarctica, your environmentalists begin their informal series of enlightening discussions on the flora, fauna, and history of the exploration of Antarctica. In the Drake Passage, fast flowing Southern Ocean currents are squeezed between the southerly tip of South America and the northernmost tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. About 600 miles wide, it is an area in which the climate changes from cool, humid and sub polar to the frozen conditions of Antarctica. This was an important trade route in the 19th and early 20th centuries, although stormy waters and icy conditions often made the journey around Cape Horn a difficult one. While cruising through this historic passage, named in honor of Sir Francis Drake’s voyage in the 16th century, you may be able to spot marine mammals and seabirds such as petrels and albatross from the deck. Additionally, a professional staff photographer is on hand to assist you with specific camera questions and lead discussions focusing on specific photo skills throughout your cruise. (All Meals)
Daily programs in Antarctica vary, depending upon weather and ice conditions. The excitement of cruising these remote waters with vistas of icebergs and wildlife in the season of nesting and chick rearing is exceptional. Your Captain and Expedition Leader determine daily stops, based on their long experience in Antarctica. A typical day, in fair weather conditions, may begin with a landing after breakfast to observe penguins on a snowy isle. Afterwards, you return to the ship for lunch.
Depending on the ship’s program, after lunch you may again board Zodiacs and glide up onto a sheltered beach to discover basking elephant seals or perhaps explore the remnants of a former Antarctic whaling station. If weather permits, one day you may hike with your naturalist up to an extinct caldera.
On other days, Zodiac tours may take you searching for remote beaches with chinstrap, gentoo or Adélie penguin colonies. Each day is different in Antarctica and flexibility is the key to your expedition. The final schedule is dependent upon weather and wildlife conditions; however visits may include sites such as Aitcho, Paulet and Vortex Islands in the Antarctic sound, Half Moon Island, Paradise Bay, Cuverville and Petermann Islands and the breathtaking Lemaire Channel, affectionately referred to as “Kodak Alley”. You may stop at Petermann Island as well Deception Island, formed from the caldera of a volcano. Conditions permitting, you have a chance to take a plunge in the Antarctic Ocean in the thermally-heated waters found here.
A visit is planned to the U.S. Palmer Station to deliver highly specialized camera and scientific research equipment donated by Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy. You have the opportunity to participate in the handover ceremony as staff presents the equipment to the Palmer Station staff. Afterward, meet with the scientists and researchers to learn about the research projects being conducted on climate and wildlife changes through the Palmer Long Term Ecological Research Project (LTER) at Palmer Station.
Other possible visits include Enterprise Island and the Almirante Brown Antarctic Base, the Argentine government’s research station on the Antarctic Continent. Back on board, gather in the lounge prior to dinner each night for a recap of the day’s adventures. After dinner, in the long twilight of Antarctica, you may enjoy time at leisure on deck for photos in the stunning low-light of the White Continent. (All Meals)
We leave the Antarctic Peninsula, returning once again to Ushuaia via the Drake Passage. As you sail northwards, the scientists aboard recap their presentations on the wildlife, history and geology of the White Continent. Spend time with newfound friends, comparing notes and reflecting on the adventures you have experienced together throughout your journey of a lifetime aboard MV Le Lyrial. (All Meals)
USHUAIA, ARGENTINA / DISEMBARK
Our ship docks at Ushuaia this morning. Enjoy breakfast, and then say goodbye to your Expedition Team and ship’s crew before disembarking. Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Buenos Aires, where you connect to your international flight home. (Breakfast)