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Antarctica & Atacama Desert

Solo Travellers 45 Years & Over
Tuesday 13 March – Wednesday 4 April 2018 ex Australia

Itinerary

SIGHTSEEING

Experience the natural wonders of Chile

  • Visit the tallest building in South America and enjoy the view from the "Sky Costanera" in Santiago.
  • Take a city tour of Santiago including La Moneda - the presidential palace, Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, the Post Office, Palacio de la Real Audiencia and the Casa Colorada - once the Spanish governor's residence.
  • Discover Chile's famous wine-producing region, the Maipo Valley, and enjoy lunch and a tour of the historic Santa Rita winery.
  • Experience an incredible sunset over the Atacama Desert's Valle de la Luna - a mesmerising display of colours thanks to the constantly changing light.
  • Visit a traditional Atacameno farm to discover how produce is grown in the desert and taste some of the local products.
  • Marvel at the Salar de Atacama - a salt lake covered by snow-white salt crystals as far as the eye can see.
  • Watch the sun rise over the steaming El Tatio Geysers.

 

An Argentinian escapade

  • Explore the grand city of Buenos Aires on a city tour, including the colourful La Boca district, the impressive Recoleta Cemetery where Eva Peron is buried, and a visit to the stunning Colon Theatre.
  • Discover the dramatic scenery of Tierra del Fuego National Park and enjoy a ride on the 'End of the World' steam train through the Pico Valley.
  • Tour the town of Ushuaia in Argentina's southernmost tip including the End of the World Museum and the Presidio Museum, a former prison and maritime museum.

 

The last frontier

  • Witness the amazing bird life while crossing the Drake Passage including the giant wandering albatross.
  • Marvel at the pristine scenery and incredible wildlife on the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • Discover the fascinating history of the South Shetland Islands.
  • Round Cape Horn, South America's southernmost point, and cruise the islets, bays and archipelagos of the Beagle Channel.

 

Tango the night away in Buenos Aires

  • Experience Argentina's famous Tango at a dinner show and lesson in Buenos Aires.

 

AKADEMIK IOFFE CRUISE INCLUSIONS

  • Cabin accommodation based on twin semi-private cabin (cabin upgrades available on a request basis)
  • Experienced Expedition leader and expedition team
  • Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff
  • Antarctica gear hire package comprising of windproof/waterproof jacket and pants and rubber boots
  • Daily shore excursions by Zodiac boat
  • Guided hikes and walks ashore
  • Visits to historic sites, research stations and wildlife colonies
  • Educational presentations and talks aboard and on shore by polar experts
  • Professional photographer aboard to assist guests and lead field workshops
  • Access to computers in the multimedia centre for image downloads, file back up and management
  • Emergency trained doctor on board
  • On-board sauna, plunge pool and fitness centre including personal trainer and massage options
  • Access to well stocked library full of polar reference books
  • Opportunity to camp ashore for a night (including all camping gear) – weather permitting 

 

 

DAY 1 - TUESDAY 13 MARCH 2018
Depart Australia – Arrive Santiago

Bienvenido a Santiago, Chile’s colonial capital! Meet your fellow travellers for a welcome cocktail this afternoon. We’ll also visit the Sky Costanera observatory, South America’s tallest building and highest viewpoint.

DAY 2 – WEDNESDAY 14 MARCH 2018
Santiago

This morning we explore historic and modern Santiago, stopping at a lookout to take in amazing views of the city. Highlights of our city tour include La Moneda - the presidential palace, Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral and the Casa Colorada which was once the Spanish governor's residence. We’ll then travel to the Maipo Valley, Chile’s famous wine region, for a winery tour and group welcome lunch at the historic Viña Santa Rita. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 3 – THURSDAY 15 MARCH 2018
Santiago – San Pedro de Atacama

We fly to Calama, gateway to the Atacama Desert. The remote area’s landscape is really like no other. We’ll take an incredible sunset tour of the Moon Valley. The dusk bathes the unique rock and salt formations and the Licancabur Volcano in a constantly changing light for a mesmerising display of colours. 

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4 – FRIDAY 16 MARCH 2018
San Pedro de Atacama

This afternoon we discover Salar de Atacama, an immense salt flat covering 3,000 square kilometres. The flat’s surface is decorated by a layer of white salt crystals and home to several flamingo species - a beautiful photo opportunity.

Special Experience: Visit a traditional Atacameño farm to discover how produce is grown in the desert, and then try the authentic products of the land at a tasting.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5 – SATURDAY 17 MARCH 2018
San Pedro de Atacama

Witness the incredible El Tatio Geysers as the sun rises over the field this morning. The geysers shoot up to 10 metres high and reflect countless colours as they mingle with the sun’s rays. Why not warm up in the area’s natural hot springs after the show?

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6 – SUNDAY 18 MARCH 2018
San Pedro de Atacama – Buenos Aires

This morning we travel back to Calama for our flight to the grand city of Buenos Aires, the 'Paris of the South', via Santiago. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure to relax or begin exploring.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7 – MONDAY 19 MARCH 2018
Buenos Aires

Our sightseeing tour in Buenos Aires this morning includes the Plaza de Mayo, Recoleta Cemetery - resting place of opera star Eva Peron, and colourful Caminito Street in the vibrant La Boca district.

Special Experience: Visit the stunning Colon Theatre, ranked the third-best opera house in the world.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8 – TUESDAY 20 MARCH 2018
Buenos Aires – Ushuaia

This morning we fly south to the town of Ushuaia in Argentina’s southernmost tip, a scenic resort town perched high on a hill and surrounded by the Martial Mountains and Beagle Channel. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9 - WEDNESDAY 21 MARCH 2018
Ushuaia

Discover the dramatic scenery of beautiful Tierra del Fuego National Park this morning, characterised by mountains, forests, glaciers and waterfalls. We’ll board the ‘End of the World’ steam train and travel through the Pico Valley into the National Park. This afternoon we’ll explore the town of Ushuaia and visit the End of the World and Presidio Museums.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10 – THURSDAY 22 MARCH 2018
Ushuaia

Embark Cruise: We transfer to the port to board the Akademik Ioffe for our Antarctic Expedition! Tonight we’ll enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner on board.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11-12 – FRIDAY 23 MARCH – SATURDAY 24 MARCH 2018
Cruising at sea: Drake Passage

As we cross the Drake Passage we’ll witness hundreds of seabirds including albatross and giant and smaller Cape petrels. Join the ship’s captain on the bridge and be educated about the region’s environment, wildlife and history with onboard experts.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13-16 – SUNDAY 25 MARCH – WEDNESDAY 28 MARCH 2018
Antarctica Peninsula

Welcome to Antarctica! This morning the magnificent snowy peaks are laid out before us. The waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula are home to deep bays, pristine coves and numerous islets. Rocky outcrops are home to gentoo, adelie and chinstrap penguin rookeries and the waters are rich in marine life. We’ll frequently encounter seals, curious humpback whales, orcas and the smaller minke whales. Every day an exciting range of activities is planned, including guided hikes on shore and visits to wildlife colonies with expert guides. Zodiac cruising among the ice, searching for seals and whales, is a memorable activity. The resident photography guide can help you with your camera settings and image composition. Somewhere along this stretch of coastline we’ll spend a night on shore, camping in Antarctica. We have the right gear and equipment and an expert team to make it happen - you just need an adventurous spirit!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 17 – thursday 29 march 2018
South Shetland Islands: Deception Island & Half Moon Island

After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula, we head for the South Shetland Islands. If the weather conditions allow, we’ll sail into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. History is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with its rusted relics and dilapidated wooden buildings.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 18-19 – FRIDAY 30 MARCH - SATURDAY 31 MARCH 2018
Cruising at Sea: Drake Passage, Cape Horn & Beagle Channel

As we return to South America, if weather conditions allow, we’ll round Cape Horn. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the captain.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 20 – SUNDAY 01 APRIL 2018
Ushuaia – Buenos Aires

Disembark Cruise: After breakfast we disembark and transfer to the airport for our flight back to Buenos Aires. Tonight we’ll experience an integral part of Argentinian culture - the Tango, at a lesson and an amazing dinner show.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 21 – MONDAY 02 APRIL 2018
Depart Buenos Aires

Today we bid farewell to Argentina and begin our journey home.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 22 – 03 APRIL 2018
In Transit

DAY 23 – 04 APRIL 2018
Arrive in Australia

 

Itineraries are subject to change, due to circumstances outside of our control. IF there is any itinerary change prior to departure of significance we aim to inform you prior to travel.  Itinerary changes while on tour will be informed by your tour leader/guide while on tour.

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Encounter Travel
ATAS Accreditation No: A10439

Encounter Travel provides holidays for solo travellers. Since 2006 we've been creating tour, cruise and resort packages for solo travellers that like to share their travel experiences. Visiting destinations across Australia and around the globe our holidays include short tropical escapes, leisurely touring, cruises and active walking trips.   


ABN: 23 119 642 992