Adventures by Disney Ponant in Antarctica

Adventures By Disney is finally setting sail to the elusive seventh continent: ANTARCTICA! This expedition cruise is sure to satisfy your cravings for adventure, as you explore the dramatic landscapes and unique wildlife of ‘The Ice.’ And since you’ll be traveling with Adventures By Disney, you can expect a hassle-free, family-friendly, luxury trip full of the magical touches that only Disney can provide.


Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires

Touch down in Buenos Aires, the capital and largest city in Argentina. After a smooth 40-minute transfer to the Sofitel Buenos Aires Recoleta Hotel*, you’ll have an opportunity to meet your Adventure Guides. Take some time to settle into your spacious room and answer some emails using the complimentary WiFi before heading out to explore the city. The hotel is conveniently located across the street from the Patio Bullrich shopping mall and only a block away from Avenida Alvear, a district known for its French architecture, international luxury shops, and art galleries. If venturing off on your own sounds intimidating, we suggest talking to your Adventure Guides — they’ll be happy to provide recommendations and directions. But be sure to get some rest because your adventure officially begins tomorrow! 

*If you just can't get enough adventure and are looking to experience some additional South American culture before embarking on your Expedition Cruise, consider adding on the 4-day Escape to Buenos Aires (more info coming soon). Pre-trip accommodations will differ if you choose to book this add-on.

Day 2: Fly to Ushuaia and Board the Ship

Fuel up with breakfast at the hotel before transferring to Aeroparque Jorge Newberry for your flight to Ushuaia. Your day bag is the only thing you’ll have to worry about, since the rest of your luggage will be magically transported from your hotel room without you having to lift a finger (one of the many perks of traveling with Adventures by Disney). Located between the Andes Mountains and Beagle Channel, Ushuaia is home to the 160,000 acre Tierra del Fuego National Park. The lush forests, mountains, and lakes provide a stunning backdrop for the morning’s activities — a ride on the End of the World Train, the world’s southernmost functioning railway, and a scenic nature walk to the End of the World Post Office, where you can send a postcard to friends and family. After lunch in a semi-private dining area with lake views, it's time to head to the ship!

After boarding the majestic ship (either Le Boreal or Le Lyrial, depending on your departure date), you’ll have an opportunity to settle into your stateroom and explore your new home for the next 10 nights (see “Accommodations” for more details about the ships). You’ll receive a special shipboard welcome and orientation, and then make your way to one of the two onboard restaurants for dinner at your leisure. Enjoy the onboard nighttime entertainment, or head back into town for an optional evening walk or pub crawl (21+).

Day 3: Ushuaia & At Sea

Enjoy breakfast on the ship (Freshly-baked pastries, anyone?), and then choose from four options for your day in Patagonia: Option A: Catamaran Excursion, Haberton Settlement Tour, and lunch at the Settlement restaurant; Option B: Husky Kennel Visit, Haberton Settlement Tour and Catamaran Excursion with lunch on the catamaran; Option C: Haberton Settlement Tour and Catamaran Excursion with lunch on the catamaran; Option D: On-your-own time and lunch in Ushuaia or on the ship. The Husky Kennel Visit includes an opportunity to play with husky pups and is sure to be a hit for kids and adults alike. On the tour of the Haberton Settlement, a former mission founded in 1886, you’ll explore museums featuring historic sheep-shearing, wooden boats, and native marine mammals, as well as take a scenic nature walk through a private nature reserve. The three-hour Catamaran Sail provides a more laid-back tour with the opportunity to see birds, sea lions, and penguin colonies! The variety of itineraries offers the flexibility to tailor your experience to your interests and desired activity level, whether that be a day full of guided tours or time to explore independently. 

Afterwards, return to the ship for the Sail Away Party as you wave goodbye to Argentina and set sail into the Drake Passage, the body of water between South America and the Antarctic Peninsula. Eat dinner in either of the ship’s restaurants and enjoy the nighttime entertainment, or order room service and watch a movie from the comfort of your bed (because why not?).

Days 4 & 5: Drake Passage

Waters in the Drake Passage can be extremely rough, calm, or somewhere in between, depending on the weather and sea conditions at the time. If you are prone to seasickness (and even if you aren’t), we recommend anti-nausea medication. There will be a physician on board to take care of any medical needs that arise. Many activities are planned for these sea days, but they are subject to change depending on the conditions. Some of the activities include: Meet the Naturalists (for the December sailing: Dr. Mark Penning, Vice President: Animals, Science and Environment for Disney Parks, Experiences and Product; for the January sailing: a Disney photographer), Ship Tour and Bridge Visit, Wildlife Viewing, Photography Tips and Tricks, Fitness Classes and Spa Treatments (additional fee applies for spa services), Iceberg Spotting Contest, and the “I Survived the Drake Passage Party.” 

You’ll also have several Exploration Preparation Sessions, including a parka and boot distribution (the parka is yours to keep!), IAATO and Zodiac briefings (IAATO is the organization which oversees environmentally-responsible travel to Antarctica; Zodiac boats are heavy-duty inflatable boats which are used for land excursions), and decontamination sessions (All Adventurers are required to decontaminate their outer layer of clothing on the first day at sea. Boot scrubbings are required before and after each land excursion.). 

Evening activities provide fun for all ages — a Disney movie night for Junior Adventurers, cocktail making for adults, and Trivia Night for the whole family. This is one of the things we love about Adventures by Disney — every age group is sure to find something they like!

Days 6-9: Antarctic Peninsula

Welcome to ANTARCTICA! After surviving the Drake Passage crossing, you’ll be rewarded with four incredible days of icy adventures. Spontaneity is key here — so much is dependent on the ice and weather conditions each day. But because you’re traveling with Adventures by Disney, you don’t have to worry about figuring that out for yourself. Daily itineraries will be shared during the previous evening’s Adventure Awaits theater program and in the daily program distributed to your stateroom each night. 

Each day will ideally consist of two excursions — one in the morning and one in the afternoon. You may embark on a Zodiac boat, in which you’ll zoom across the waters in search of a majestic Orca whale or a towering iceberg. You can step foot on the 7th continent and hike across the icy terrain to hilltops with stunning panoramic views. Or walk right through a penguin colony to observe these unique creatures in their natural habitat. For an additional fee, you can even go on a premium kayaking excursion to get an up-close experience with the wildlife and icebergs. (Space is extremely limited and fills up quickly, so be sure to talk to your My Path Unwinding travel advisor if you are interested. Minimum age is 16.) 

The fun continues back onboard the ship where you’ll have many activities to choose from. Unwind from the day’s adventures on deck with a mug of warm hot chocolate while your Junior Adventurers participate in an “I Speak Whale” contest. Take a dip in the heated saltwater pool, or relax at Tea Time with Music and Games in the lounge.

Days 10-11: Drake Passage

Spend your final days at sea reliving your Antarctic adventures. Look out for wildlife with the help of your Adventure Guides’ sharp eyes. Swap photos and exchange contact information with your fellow Adventurers who now feel like family. Sneak in another massage, because this is a vacation after all. On your last night, enjoy a special farewell reception .

Day 12: Ushuaia and Buenos Aires

After your final breakfast onboard, you’ll disembark the ship and transfer to Ushuaia airport. You’ll fly from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires, and then home.


Escape to Buenos Aires: Optional Pre-Adventure Add-On

Day 1:

Check into the Alvear Icon Hotel, located in the Puerto Madero waterfront district. Enjoy scenic views of the city’s historic quarter and Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve, and even catch a glimpse of Uruguay! Meet your fellow Adventurers at the Welcome Reception, which includes an opportunity to make your own empanadas and cocktails before enjoying a traditional Argentine steak dinner.

Day 2:

After breakfast at the hotel, embark on a privately guided city tour with stops at Plaza de Mayo, the city’s oldest public square, the Recoleta Cemetery, considered one of the most unusual cemeteries in the world (most of the graves are built above ground), and the vibrant La Boca neighborhood. Enjoy lunch at El Gran Paraiso in La Boca, and then continue your day with a coach tour through San Telmo on the way to La Ventana. There, you’ll get to experience a private tango demonstration and class. After, you are free to explore with an evening and dinner on your own.

Day 3:

Fuel up with breakfast at the hotel, and then relax on a scenic ride through the pampas grassland region on the way to San Antonio de Areco. You’ll get a much-needed cup of Argentinian coffee at a historic cafe, and then explore the Las Lilas de Arceo Museum, which displays the art of Florencio Molina Campos, a personal friend of Walt Disney. Then, you’ll visit Estancia El Ombu de Areco, a cattle and horse ranch, where you’ll be served drinks and empanadas and participate in horseback riding and carriage rides. Lunch will be an authentic Argentine barbecue. Yes, you’ve done all of those things, and it's only lunchtime — that is how Adventures by Disney rolls. After lunch, some gauchos will perform some folkloric music and dance. Enjoy some on your own time at the Estancia before your private farewell dinner at the hotel.

Day 4:

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, and then transfer to the airport to meet up with the rest of your fellow Adventurers before beginning your Antarctica & Patagonia Expedition Cruise.

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Sofitel Buenos Aires Recoleta Hotel*

Even though you’ll only spend one night in this hotel, you’ll still enjoy a luxury experience with its modern, spacious room and European style. Amenities include a gourmet contemporary Argentinian restaurant, heated swimming pool, patisserie, wine cellar, fitness center, garden, and complimentary WiFi. It is centrally located across from the Patio Bullrich shopping mall and a block away from Avenida Alvear, a vibrant district full of French architecture, luxury shops, and malls.

Ships: Le Boreal or Le Lyrial

Adventures By Disney has partnered with PONANT, a leader in luxury yacht expeditions, to provide a unique way to experience Antarctica. Le Boreal and Le Lyrial combine luxury with intimacy and serenity for a yacht-like feel. In contrast to ocean or river vessels, these ships are specifically designed to navigate the unique Antarctic landscape, allowing exclusive access to remote areas. For the expedition departing on December 20, 2021, guests will sail on Le Boreal. For the expedition departing on January 30, 2022, guests will sail on Le Lyrial. The two ships are nearly identical, with a few small differences in decor and room size. 

All staterooms have a king-sized bed or two twin beds, balcony, minibar, flat screen TV (including more than 60 movies in multiple languages), bluetooth speaker, desk, safe, and Hermés bath products. Unlimited WiFi and 24 hour room service are included. A pillow menu is available to maximize guest comfort and personalization. Laundry service (washing and ironing) is provided for an additional fee.

Room categories range from the Deluxe Stateroom (200 square feet, very similar in size to a Deluxe Inside stateroom on the Disney Dream or Fantasy) to the coveted Owner’s Suite (484 square feet on Le Boreal and 581 square feet on Le Lyrial, about twice the size of a regular Deluxe Family Ocean View stateroom on the Disney Dream or Fantasy)**. Guests traveling Deck 6 suites receive complimentary butler service. But with less than 200 passengers on each sailing, every guest can expect to receive outstanding service, no matter their room category.

Both ships have multiple lounges and bars, a theater, a wellness area with a spa and fitness studio, a recreation area/ kids club equipped with a Wii and PS4, a heated saltwater pool, and a library stocked with books, board games, and computers. The free unlimited WiFi is satellite-based, so connection is available through most regions, even very isolated areas. Each ship also has two restaurants — an elegant gastronomic restaurant and grill restaurant with a more relaxed atmosphere.

Breakfast is served from 6:30 to 10:30 AM, and may consist of freshly-baked pastries, breads, and muffins, pancakes, waffles, eggs, cheeses, cold cuts, and juices. Lunch is typically served buffet-style, and consists of salads, vegetables, meat and fish, desserts, and pastries themed each day (Mediterranean, Asian, barbecue, etc.). An afternoon snack (Tea Time) of sweet treats and cold or hot drinks is served around 4 pm. You can enjoy dinner in either of the two restaurants at your leisure. There is an open bar with unlimited complimentary beverages served at any time of day (excluding premium alcoholic drinks). Special menus are available for those with dietary restrictions (low-fat, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.). Disney is known for being extremely accommodating to allergies and dietary restrictions, and this Expedition is no different.

**Pricing subject to change depending on stateroom category.

Alvear Icon Hotel*

The Alvear Icon Hotel is a luxury hotel located in Puerto Madero, the most cosmopolitan neighborhood in Buenos Aires. The spacious rooms offer stunning views of the city and river, along with a workspace and free WiFi. Hotel amenities include multiple restaurants and bars as well as an extensive spa and fitness center. 

*If participating in the Escape to Buenos Aires add-on, pre trip accommodations will be at the Alvear Icon Hotel. Guests who are not participating in the add-on experience will stay at the Sofitel Buenos Aires Recoleta Hotel. 

Contact Us for More Information or a Quote

In addition to Expedition Cruises to Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands, Adventures By Disney also offers river cruise sailings on the Rhine and Danube rivers. And don’t forget Adventures by Disney offers guided luxury land vacations on 6 continents!

But what about cost? The Antarctica & Patagonia Expedition Cruise is not for the faint of budget. However, when you consider that all transfers, gratuities, and excursions, as well as most food and beverages are included, this bucket list experience is worth every penny.  Contact Us for more info about any Adventures by Disney Expedition Cruise, River Cruise, or land offering and for Adventures by Disney discounts and agency exclusive offers. 

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