Day 1: Australia – –Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Today, depart Australia for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Please note – hotel check-in time is generally not before 4pm
Some flights may depart 1 day prior
Day 2: Rio de Janeiro (B,D)
Today is a free day of leisure to explore Rio de Janeiro at your own pace. Tonight, attend an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager on the exciting adventure that awaits you in South America, followed by a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travellers at a typical Brazilian ‘Churrascaria’.
Day 3: Rio de Janeiro (B)
Begin the day with an ascent by a scenic cog railway to the summit of Corcovado Hill. Here, at 2,400 feet above the city stands the 125 foot tall statue of Christ the Redeemer. The Christ statue that embraces the entire city is one of the seven “New Wonders of the World”. See the 360-degree sweeping view of the city and understand why Rio is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Afterwards, continue along Rio’s famous beaches, including Copacabana and Ipanema before returning to your hotel.
Day 4: Rio de Janeiro (B)
Enjoy a day of leisure. Why not watch the volleyball and soccer matches on the beach, shop for local crafts, or linger at a waterfront café to just “people-watch”.
Optional Tour (at own expense, refer fine print): join the not-to-be-missed glass cable car ride that takes you to the top of iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain, symbol of the city, where you’ll see the stunning panorama of the beaches, Corcovado Mountain, downtown Rio and Guanabara Bay.
Optional Tour (at own expense, refer fine print): Carnival and Samba Experience – visit one of the top Samba schools in the city and learn what made the Samba & Carnival icons of Brazilian national identity.
Day 5: Rio de Janeiro – – Iguassu, Brazilian Falls (B,D)
Depart Rio this morning on a flight to Iguassu Falls. Upon arrival, walk along the winding pathways on the Brazilian side of the majestic and awe-inspiring Falls, one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. Iguassu consists of over 275 separate cataracts across a span of two and one-half miles, wider than Victoria Falls and higher than Niagara Falls and more dramatic than both. Stand in awe at the unforgettable panoramic views before crossing the border to Iguazu, the Argentinean side of the Falls. After a day filled with unforgettable memories, return to the hotel and enjoy a typical Argentine dinner.
Day 6: Iguazu, the Argentinean Falls (B)
After breakfast, your adventure continues this morning on the Argentinean side of the Falls. A rail car takes you to the top of the Falls on the Upper Circuit,* and you will walk to the Lower Circuit where the power of nature surrounds you. Continue along the catwalks to Devil’s Gorge – stand in amazement as you gaze at spectacular “Devil’s Throat” the most magnificent of all of the cataracts. View, photograph and feel the spray of the thundering waters, one of nature’s most impressive achievements and a unique experience for your senses. Spend the rest of the day exploring the natural treasures of Iguazu National Park, designated a World Heritage Site for its rare and endangered flora and fauna.
* Please note – in order to access the falls, you are required to walk over uneven surfaces, followed by a series of narrow boardwalk paths. The paths feature many sets of stairs and can be slippery due to the mist.
Day 7: Iguazu – – Buenos Aires (B)
This afternoon transfer to the airport for your flight to the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires. Its beauty is apparent with its elegant architecture, wide tree-shaded boulevards, striking monuments and sprawling parks. Spend the rest of the day at leisure to get acquainted with the “Paris of South America” and its distinct European flavour. Enjoy the evening at leisure. Why not treat yourself to an Argentine beef dinner at one of the city’s many superb steak restaurants.
Day 8: Buenos Aires – Full Day City Tour (B)
Discover the cities highlights this morning on a tour that includes the Plaza de Mayo, Metropolitan Cathedral and Casa Rosada (government palace); see the balcony where Eva and Juan Peron made their speeches. Then, to the colourful La Boca neighbourhood, a working class barrio, and the old quarters of San Telmo and Caminito, a mix of colonial style homes, narrow lanes, artists’ lofts and very trendy cafes. Drive to the Recoleta Cemetery, final resting place of many of the wealthiest and most important Argentine historical figures. The grounds here cover more than four city blocks, filled with tombs adorned by works of local and international sculptors, and more than 6,400 mausoleums including the tomb of Eva “Evita” Peron, always heaped with flowers and letters from adoring fans. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring some of Buenos Aires neighbourhoods and fabulous collection of shops before this afternoon’s tango lesson with professional Argentine Tango dancers.
Day 9: Buenos Aires (B,D)
Today enjoy a full day of leisure to revisit some of your favourite places in the city. This evening, enjoy a “Farewell to Argentina” dinner with your group at a delightful local restaurant.
Optional Tour (at own expense, refer fine print): Gaucho Party at the Santa Susana Ranch. Get ready for a rustic experience at a typical Argentine ranch (estancia), dedicated to agriculture and the breeding of cattle and horses. After a tour of the grounds, enjoy a typical barbecue lunch, followed by a folklore show with live music and dancing.
Day 10: Buenos Aires (B)
Today enjoy another full day of leisure before your Antarctica Expedition begins
Day 11: Buenos Aires (B)
Today you will need to move hotels to commence the Hurtigruten Antarctica Expedition portion of your trip. Please make your own way to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 12: Buenos Aires – – Ushuaia (B,D)
Today, meet your fellow travellers as you are transferred from your hotel to the airport to board your flight to the Patagonian city of Ushuaia. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your expedition ship the MS Midnatsol. After time to relax, join your fellow travellers for a welcome dinner tonight on-board.
Day 13: Ushuaia – Drake Passage (B,L,D)
Prepare yourself for Antarctica as we cross the infamous Drake Passage! MS Midnatsol is designed especially to bring polar exploration to all ages and learning levels. As we cruise south, we start our “Young Explorers Antarctica” classes. There will also be several lectures on the environment around us; films about Antarctica and the Explorer room will be buzzing with activity. This will be the heart of the expedition community, where we gather for talks, recaps and spontaneous events, mingle and share stories.
Day 14: Drake Passage (B,L,D)
We continue our journey south today. Whilst we cross the sea towards Antarctica, a number of presentations will be given on board about various aspects of the history and wildlife of the Antarctic. You will also be given a thorough introduction to the current guidelines for visiting this vulnerable environment.
Day 15: Antarctica (B,L,D)
This is it! Come ashore by zodiac to explore the impressive Antarctic scenery, penguins and fur seals. From deck there are lots of chances of seeing whales as well. Enjoy close encounters with wildlife and glaciers, old whaling stations and relics. You are now in one of the most remote areas of the world, but trust us: you will not be bored for one single second! Weather, wind and ice conditions dictate our programme and schedule. Safety is always the first priority and the captain will decide the final sailing schedule during the voyage. While in Antarctica, we will attempt to land on several sites. You will feel like a real explorer from the moment you set foot on the endless expanse of snow and ice. From the deck there will be ample opportunities to sight whales. Enjoy close encounters with wildlife and glaciers, old whaling stations and relics. Trust us when we say that every second of this journey has something new to offer. One of the highlights of the South Shetlands is Deception Island. When we sail into the natural harbour of this volcanic island, you will see an abandoned whaling station known as Hektor and a derelict British base. We are certain you will enjoy a visit to Half Moon Island, a staggeringly photogenic island blessed with some of the most beautiful Antarctic scenery imaginable, or Yankee Harbour, with its large colony of Gentoo penguins, estimated to be 4,000 breeding pairs. We may also explore Neko Harbour, beautifully located in the inner part of Andvord Bay; Paradise Harbour which got its descriptive name from the whalers during the last century; and Wilhelmina Bay or “Whale-mina Bay” as it is called due to its spectacular scenery and humpback whales in December.
Day 16 – Day 20: Antarctica (B,L,D)
Explore Antarctica with the expedition team, through the Antarctic waters.
Day 21: Drake Passage (B,L,D)
After exploring this exhilarating continent, we set course back to civilisation. Spend the day at sea recapping your experiences, having fun in the Explorer room or just relaxing on deck.
Day 22: Drake Passage (B,L,D)
We continue our journey north today as we cross the sea towards South America.
Day 23: Ushuaia – Punta Arenas – – Buenos Aires (B)
Sadly, every adventure must come to an end. It is time to say goodbye to the crew and all your new friends when we reach Ushuaia. We transfer you to the airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires. On arrival in Buenos Aires, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 24: Buenos Aires – – Australia (B)
Today after breakfast at the appropriate time, you will be transferred to the airport for your homeward flight.
Day 25: Australia
Arrive home today.