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Premium Small-Group Coach Touring

ARGENTINA & ANTARCTICA  TOUR

ARGENTINA & ANTARCTICA 2018 DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

Day 1 - Sunday 25 February
Arrival Buenos Aires (3 nights)
On arrival at Buenos Aires International Airport you'll be met by our representative and privately transferred to our hotel in the heart of the city. Later this evening we'll relax with our fellow travellers and receive a brief introduction to our trip, followed by a wonderful VIP Tango show with dinner. (D)
Accommodation: The Brick Hotel
Day 2 - Monday 26 February
Buenos Aires - Sightseeing
This morning we'll take a privately conducted tour of Buenos Aires with our local guide. We'll discover and learn about its traditional neighborhoods, the traces of its immigration, the history of tango and folklore, the cattle culture, the football passion and more. Among the many places we'll see include the traditional Plaza de Mayo and its surroundings, which witnessed the founding of Buenos Aires, plus the neighborhoods of San Telmo and La Boca, with its famous Caminito street. We'll enjoy some local hospitality when we savour local cuisine at a 'closed-door' restaurant…it's like dining in a chic friend's living room! Afterwards we'll return to our hotel where we'll have the rest of the day to further explore at our own pace. (BL)
Day 3 - Tuesday 27 February
Buenos Aires - Pampas Excursion
Today we'll get another chance to get-up-close with the locals when, with our local guide, we'll leave bustling Buenos Aires, and drive through the countryside on our private tour to the fertile Argentine Pampas. Mid-morning we'll arrive in San Antonio de Areco, a historical town on the Areco River, where our walking tour of its colonial historical neighbourhood will take in the Main Square, the church of San Antonio and a 100 year old gauchos' bar along with a visit to a Creole silversmith's workshop. We'll have time to mingle with the local inhabitants and artisans, and perhaps pick up some keepsakes to bring home. Lunch today is an 'Asado' (BBQ) at an authentic 'Estancia' (old working cattle ranch). While we're there we'll witness first hand the gauchos' skills on horseback (weather permitting), enjoy some folklore music and have the chance to go horseback riding or take a horse-drawn carriage ride. We'll return to our hotel in the early evening with time to relax in preparation for a very exciting and full day of travelling and exploration tomorrow. (BL)
Day 4 - Wednesday 28 February
Buenos Aires - Puerto Iguazu (2 nights)
It's an early start this morning to maximise our time at the majestic Iguazu Falls. We'll check out of the hotel at around 7:00am and join our guide and private transfer to Buenos Aires domestic airport for our short morning flight to Puerto Iguazu. On arrival in Iguazu we're transferred to our hotel. This afternoon we'll enjoy a half day private tour to the Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls with our own environmental expert. Even though the largest section of the falls is on the Argentinian side, the best panoramic views of the falls are seen from Brazil. (B)
Accommodation: Mercure Iguazu Hotel
Day 5 - Thursday 01 March
Puerto Iguazu - Iguazu Falls Excursion
After a hearty breakfast we'll embark on our full-day private tour of the Argentine side of the Iguazu National Park. Our knowledgeable guide will help us discover and navigate the different walking circuits and introduce us to the Eco-Train taking the 'Garganta del Diablo' walking trail. We'll truly appreciate the full power of the force of nature and the pure majesty of the falls when our powerful zodiac bounces into the Lower Iguazu River Canyon to reach the Tres Mosqueteros Fall, from where we can see both the Argentine and Brazilian sides of the falls. Then it's a 'baptism shower', an unforgettable experience when our boat closes in on the bottom of the San Martin waterfall, the biggest cascade any boat may undertake to get under! We will get wet! (B)
Day 6 - Friday 02 March
Puerto Iguazu - Ushuaia (1 night)
Our Antarctic cruise company requires us to arrive in Ushuaia one day before our cruise departure to ensure we don't miss our embarkation due to unforeseen circumstances so today we'll check out of the hotel and take our private transfer to the local airport for our late-morning flight to Ushuaia with a short connection via Buenos Aires. Our local guide will meet us at Ushuaia Airport in the late afternoon and transfer us to our hotel. After settling into our rooms, we'll have the evening to relax and take dinner in the hotel or perhaps take an exploratory stroll through the town to find a local restaurant for our evening meal. (B)
Accommodation: Hotel Mil 810
Day 7 - Saturday 03 March
Ushuaia - Tierra del Fuego National Park - Antarctica Cruise Embarkation
First up this morning our luggage will be taken from our hotel and delivered to the cruise company's office. It will be loaded separately onto our ship, the MV Ortelius, and as we don't sail until this evening, we'll spend until around 4:00pm (outdoor lunch included) on a private tour of the beautiful Tierra del Fuego National Park. An area of 63,000 hectares of mixed Patagonic and Altos Andes forest, the Park is home to 20 different species of mammal including the introduced Canadian beavers, which are now causing problems of flooding due to their prolific dam building! We'll return to the ship at the port at Ushuaia in good time for embarkation. On departure this evening we'll sail through the scenic Beagle Channel which separates Argentina and Chile. (BLD)

MV Ortelius is an ice-strengthened cruise ship designed for polar exploration and accommodates a maximum of 116 guests. It offers very comfortable hotel-standard cabins, each with a porthole or window. It includes a bar, dining room and a lecture room. Voyages are primarily developed to offer passengers a high quality exploratory wildlife experience and the goal is to spend as much time as possible ashore. Ortelius carries 10 high-powered zodiac inflatable boats providing flexibility to assure maximum wildlife viewing opportunities.



Days 8 & 9 - Sunday 04/Monday 05 March
At Sea - Drake Passage - Antarctica Base Camp
During these two days we'll sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we'll arrive in the amazing circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. In this area we'll perhaps see four different species of Albatrosses, Cape petrels, Southern fulmars, Wilson's storm petrels, Blue petrels and Antarctic petrels. Nearing the South Shetland Islands, we're likely to spot our first icebergs. Get your cameras ready! (BLD)
Days 10-15 - Tuesday 06/Sunday 11 March
Antarctica Basecamp
We'll sail directly to 'High Antarctica', passing the Melchior islands and the Schollart Channel between Brabant and Anvers Islands. We'll sail to the Neumayer Channel, where we'll position our ship for our first multi-activity basecamp. The protected waters around Wiencke Island will become our playground and in this alpine environment there are great opportunities to scout the region on foot, by zodiac or during kayak trips. Walkers will find opportunities to use snowshoes on hikes near the shore lines and the mountaineers can find challenging hills to climb along with great viewpoints located further inland. Note: All climbs and excursions can only be conducted in good weather conditions.

We plan to stay two overnights at anchor in order to implement two camp nights and two full days of activities. We'll visit the old British research station, now a working museum and post office at Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy we may also offer a landing on Jougla Point with Gentoo penguins and Blue-eyed shags. We look out for Leopard seals, Crabeater seals and whales. In good conditions and time allowing we'll sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Booth, Pléneau and Petermann Islands where we can find Adélie penguins and Blue-eyed shags. Also, in this area there is a good chance to encounter Humpback and Minke whales. We'll choose another camp site which is suitable and close to our next day's activities. There are excellent opportunities for kayaking, glacier walks or more ambitious mountaineering in this area.

At Neko Harbour the scenery is stunning and we'll have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent where a huge glacier has its calving front just a few hundred meters from the stony landing site! We'll use zodiac cruises, walks and kayak excursions to enjoy the majestic landscape and a small group of glacier walkers may be able climb up on the higher grounds of the glacier to view a colony of Gentoo penguins. We'll spend our last night on the Continent in Paradise Bay with a camp erected ashore. (BLD)
Days 16-17 - Monday 12/Tuesday 13 March
Antarctica Basecamp - At Sea - Drake Passage - Ushuaia
We'll leave early this morning after breaking our last camp. We sail via the Melchior Islands towards the open sea of the Drake Passage and again we have a good chance to see many different varieties of seabirds. (BLD)
Day 18 - Wednesday 14 March
Disembark Cruise - Ushuaia - Buenos Aires
Our cruising adventure ends when we disembark at around 8.30am. Our local guide will meet us dock-side to accompany us on a tour around Ushuaia city including a visit to the Maritime Museum and Presidio. Afterwards we'll get together as a group for the last time and enjoy a Farewell Lunch at a local restaurant before transferring to Ushuaia Airport for our late afternoon direct flight to Buenos Aires International Airport. Our flight arrives this evening in good time to connect with our suggested homeward flight NZ031 (see below). (BL)

Note: If this flight isn't part of your travel plans alternative arrangements can be organised but these may incur extra cost.
Thursday 15 March
NZ031 Departs from Buenos Aires International (EZE) at 00.05hrs
Friday 16 March
NZ031 Arrives at Auckland International (AKL) at 05:20hrs




Note:

  1. It's possible for this tour to be 'fully escorted' from New Zealand. If this should interest you please contact Paul at EuroVista to discuss flight options. M: 021 936 855. E: paul@eurovista.co.nz

  2. The cruise itineraries described above from Day 8 to Day 17 are for guidance only. Programmes may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and the opportunities to see wildlife. The Expedition Leader on board will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

  3. The activities of kayaking, camping, hiking, mountaineering and the photo workshop are normally provided as optional inclusions and as such are an extra cost over and above the expedition cruise price. Our 'Basecamp Cruise' as described in the itinerary, and as part of our touring holiday, actually includes these activities in the price of your holiday. However, they need to be pre-booked prior to departure so please ask us for details at the time of making your booking.