Antarctic Discovery: Palmer’s Bicentennial Expedition

Le Lerial Cruise Ship
Le Lyrial
199 Passengers

Cruise on a once-in-a-lifetime, 15-day voyage commemorating the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica, featuring a unique itinerary exploring historic areas and wildlife-rich islands, as well as the chance to travel within the Antarctic Circle.

• Cruise for 12 nights aboard luxurious Le Lyrial with guaranteed balcony accommodations for all guests
• Begin your journey with two nights at the luxurious Palacio Duhau — Park Hyatt on famed Alvear Avenue in Buenos Aires
• Sail with an exceptional team featuring our award-winning expedition team, an experienced service staff and crew, and one of the best personnel-to-guest ratios at 1 to 1.3
• Enjoy all-inclusive cruising with included gratuities, unlimited house drinks, onboard meals, all Zodiac rides and excursions, expedition gear, port charges, and — our newest offerings — complimentary Wi-Fi and Traveller's Valet laundry service
• Celebrate the bicentennial of the 1820 discovery of Antarctica with: special programming and lectures; a unique itinerary exploring historic areas and wildlife-rich islands; and, conditions permitting, rare exploration within the Antarctic Circle
• Fully immerse in Antarctica's amazing wildlife and landscapes on daily excursions led by experienced field naturalists
• Experience our Philanthropy focus on climate change research with special guest and noted Antarctic researcher Dr. James McClintock, who leads a behind-the-scenes tour at Palmer Station (conditions permitting)
• Take advantage internal flights to and from Ushuaia, guaranteeing timely arrival to your ship

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Buenos Aires, Argentina
Day 2 Buenos Aires | Lively Port City
Day 3 Ushuaia | Gateway to Antarctica
Days 4 & 5 Cruising the Drake Passage | Epic Passage
Days 6 to 12 Antarctica | In the Wake of Nathaniel Palmer
Days 13 & 14 Cruising the Drake Passage | Reflective Return
Day15 Depart Ushuaia

Day 1 — 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. This evening, meet with fellow guests for a welcome cocktail reception.

Day 2 — Buenos Aires | Lively Port City

The gateway to Argentina for centuries, Buenos Aires has long brought portenos (locals) into its boundaries. Although reminiscent of a European city, the spirit of Buenos Aires is evident in its diverse local neighborhoods. Experience it firsthand, choosing from a selection of included excursions. Opt to explore the city on a guided tour complete with a tango demonstration; spend the day at a traditional estancia (ranch), where you pause for an authentic lunch; or dive into a burgeoning art scene on a guided tour focused on Buenos Aires street art. Enjoy time at leisure this evening.

Day 3 — 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.

Days 4 & 5 — Cruising the 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, sub-polar 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 our expedition team and enrichment experts. Topics span marine biology, photography and history — the last of which is especially fascinating on this special, one-time-only expedition celebrating Antarctica's discovery. 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.

Days 6 to 12 — Antarctica | In the Wake of Nathaniel Palmer

First sightings of the Antarctic Peninsula are moving, surreal and unforgettable, especially on the 200th anniversary year of an expedition led by Nathaniel Palmer, the young sealer who, on November 18, 1820, became the first American explorer to discover mainland Antarctica. Share in the excitement of this historic moment as the Antarctic's offshore islands appear on the horizon. Your lecture program becomes especially poignant with an inspired team of our experts and guest lecturers shedding light on Palmer's voyages and the significance of his discovery. It sets the stage for inspiring daily landings along the Peninsula, all of which are carefully designed by your captain and expedition team. 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.

The year 1820 was significant not only for Palmer but also for Russian explorer Admiral Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and the British Royal Navy's Captain Edward Bransfield, who also made claims regarding the discovery of Antarctica. This special-edition voyage focuses on key historical areas at the center of these expeditions. 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, where you may cruise into this flooded caldera to explore geothermal black sand beaches and abandoned whaling stations. You may also visit Anvers Island and Palmer Station, where you enjoy an exciting, behind-the-scenes look at the science happening there now.

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 may include Neko Harbor, Cuverville Island and Wilhelmina Bay.

Antarctic Circle: Conditions permitting, you may cruise beyond the Antarctic Circle at 66°34'S 65°44'W, along the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. You may also sail to the protected waters of mountainous Marguerite Bay; handwritten journals suggest that Palmer reached this far southern region on later expeditions. Landings may occur on Adelaide Island, which was discovered by British Explorer John Biscoe. You may also visit the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) station at Rothera.

After mornings discovering the White Continent's rare and remarkable treasures from the shore to terra firma, return to Le Lyrial for lunch. 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 excursion, which may include hiking on spectacular beaches teeming with braying gentoo penguins, or circumnavigating colossal icebergs that serve as floating homes to seals. After days of adventure, look forward to comfortable evenings aboard your luxury cruiser, sipping cocktails in the Panoramic Lounge before your choice of a buffet or elegant 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.

Days 13 & 14 — Cruising the 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 our 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 cabin. 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 black-browed albatross and the wandering albatross, a rare prize for bird lovers known for its remarkable wingspan, which can be as wide as 12 feet.

Day 15 — Depart Ushuaia

Le Lyrial docks at Ushuaia this morning. After breakfast, bid farewell to your crew and fellow guests before disembarking. Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Buenos Aires, where you connect to your international flight home.

Note: This cruise includes regular Zodiac boat excursions, walks over uneven terrain and optional, challenging hikes. Due to the nature of expedition cruising, this itinerary is subject to change and is for guidance purpose only.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Per Person USD
Rates Antarctica 2019-20
Classic Stateroom
Deluxe Stateroom
Premier Stateroom
Prestige Suite
2-rm Ste
3-rm Ste
Save $3,000 on Cat 1-3 Staterooms
(Prices in Red)

Book International Air with your Voyage for additional $1,500 discount. Call for Details.
$15,995$12,995Limited$17,495$14,495Full$18,495$15,495Full$23,495 $26,995 $28,995 $32,995Full$36,995 $39,995Full$895 
Special family rate: see 'Specials' page for details

Save $4,000 on Cat 1-3 Staterooms
(Prices in Red)

Book International Air with your Voyage for additional $1,500 discount. Call for Details.
$22,995$18,995$24,995$20,995Limited$25,995$21,995Full$32,995Full$37,995 $39,995Limited$45,995Full$49,995Full$54,995Full$895 
Save $4,000 on Cat 1-3 Staterooms
(Prices in Red)

Book International Air with your Voyage for additional $1,500 discount. Call for Details.
Save $3,500 on Cat 1-3 Staterooms
(Prices in Red)
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Butler service is offered in all Suite categories.

Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

Single supplement: Approx. 75% in Staterooms & 90% in Suites.

There is no share option available on this ship.

Cat 4 (Premier Two-Room Suite), Cat 6 (Privilege Two-Room Suite) and Cat 8 (Grand Privilege Suite) are available for 3 or 4 people. Triple and Quad rates upon request.

Special Family departure: Antarctica, S. Georgia and the Falklands - 18 day, Dec 17 - Jan 03, 2020. Children up to half off with accompanying adult. See Specials page for details.

Charter Air Buenos Aires/Ushuaia/Buenos Aires RT $895 per person.


   Owner's Suite — Deck 6
581 sq.ft. + 129 sq.ft. private balcony
Includes Butler Service
   Grand Privilege Suite (3-room) — Deck 6
581 sq.ft. + 129 sq.ft. private balcony
Includes Butler Service
   Grand Deluxe Suite — Deck 6
484 sq.ft. + 108 sq.ft. private balcony
Includes Butler Service
   Privilege Suites (2-room) — Deck 6
388 sq.ft. + 86 sq.ft. private balcony
King-size sofa bed, and the option to convert into a 2-room cabin - perfect for families.
Includes Butler Service
   Premier Two-Room Suites — Deck 5
388 sq.ft. + 86 sq.ft. private balcony
Includes Butler Service
King-size sofa bed, and the option to convert into a 2-room cabin - perfect for families.
   Prestige Suites — Deck 6
291 sq.ft. + 65 sq.ft. private balcony
Includes Butler Service
   Premier Staterooms — Deck 5
200 sq.ft. + 43 sq.ft. private balcony
   Deluxe Staterooms — Deck 4
200 sq.ft. + 43 sq.ft. private balcony
   Classic Staterooms — Deck 3
200 sq.ft. + 43 sq.ft. private balcony