3/126 Albert Road, Warragul VIC 3820 Phone: (03) 5623 5151  Fax: (03) 5623 4952     Email us     EMERGENCY NUMBER +61 (0)419 213 274

 

Awesome Antarctica with a taste of South America 


This is a sample itinerary from a previous tour and is to be used as a guide only


 26 day tour including a 13 day Sea Adventurer Expedition Cruise 

3 February to 1 March 2017 
Personally escorted by Jacquey Turner

  

TOUR OPTIONS:

AWESOME ANTARCTIC including Iguazu Falls departing Friday 3 February
(fully escorted subject to a minimum of 10 passengers)

AWESOME ANTARCTIC joining in Buenos Aires departing Monday 6 February

 

     

 

                   
Breakfast   Lunch     Dinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Itinerary

Departs Melbourne: 3 February to 1 March 2017 
Concludes: 1 March 2017 

 

 

 


Friday 3 February: Melbourne – Buenos Aires       

We shall have an early morning transfer from Gippsland to Melbourne Airport.  Our Qantas/Lan Airlines flight will be via Sydney and Santiago through to Buenos Aires.  After clearing Immigration and customs, we will be met in the arrivals hall of the Buenos Aires International airport and transferred to our hotel, the RECOLETA GRAND BUENOS AIRES, or similar, for an overnight stay


Saturday 4 February: Buenos Aires – Iguazu Falls     

This morning, we will be collected from our hotel and transferred to the domestic airport for our flight to Puerto Iguazú.  On arrival to Puerto Iguazú, we will be met and taken to the HOTEL SHERATON INTERNATIONAL for a two night stay.  Our hotel is located within the national park on the Argentinean side of the Iguazú Falls.  The rest of the day at your leisure to explore the Iguazú Falls national park from the hotel.  A visit to these falls is a truly unforgettable experience. Tonight we will have dinner at the hotel.


Sunday 5 February: Iguazu Falls – Buenos Aires       

We depart this morning on a full day tour of the Argentine side of Iguazú Falls, located inside the Iguazu National Park and declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984. The falls are actually a group of more than 275 individual cataracts up to 70 meters high, which are fed by the River Iguaçu and border Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. The Argentine side allows you to explore the beauty of the forested area around the falls; during today’s tour you will see a wide variety of ferns, orchids, begonias, birds and butterflies.

Our tour begins at Estacion Central where we board the small train that takes us Estacion Cataratas. We’ll explore both the upper and lower circuits of the falls, strolling along the elevated walkways and admiring the beauty of the falls from the various viewpoints.

Once we’ve completed the two viewing circuits we’ll board our train and ride to Estacion Garganta where we get the best views of the enormous Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) falls. The massive volume of water cascading from these falls creates an enormous plume of mist that rises from below; constantly shifting rainbows add to the magical beauty of the scene. At the end of our tour we’ll take the train back to Estacion Central and transfer to our hotel.


Monday 6 February: Iguazu – Buenos Aires       

Optional Tour:  Half Day Brazil side.

Today’s tour will take you across the border into Brazil; you will need your passport with you (with Brazilian visa) ready for immigration.  After departing the hotel you will cross the Tancredo Neves and Juan D Person bridges that connect the twin towns of Puerto Iguazu and Fox do Iguacu.

The Brazilian side of the falls offers visitors a panoramic view of all 275 cascades that form the world’s most voluminous waterfalls. Walk along the paths inside the park and see the imposing Bozzeti Falls across the border. The path continues to the spectacular lookout over the Garganta del Diablo, or Devils Throat Falls, just 150m away. At the end of the path, you have the option of boarding a panoramic elevator for an even greater view of the surrounding scenery.

For those who choose not to visit the Brazilian side of the falls, there will be free time to explore more on the Argentinian side as there is still plenty to see.

After the tour you will be transferred to the airport for flight to Buenos Aires where we shall be met and transferred to our hotel, the RECOLETA GRAND BUENOS AIRES, or similar, for 3 night stay .

For those not doing the Iguazú extension you will be arriving today and will be transferred to our hotel to meet up with the rest of the group.

Tonight’s welcome dinner will be held at Piegari Restaurant

Buenos Aires is the Argentine Republic’s capital city. Located on the southern bank of the River Plate, the population of greater Buenos Aires is around 13 million people and has been virtually rebuilt since the beginning of this century with very few of the old buildings remaining. The centre of Buenos Aires has maintained the original layout since foundation and the Plaza de Mayo is its heart.

Tonight we will meet up with the rest of the group for a Welcome Dinner.


Tuesday, 7 February: Buenos Aires        

We shall discover why Buenos Aires is known as the ‘Paris of the America’s’ on our half day sightseeing tour of the city. The tour starts in the city’s Plaza de Mayo, the historical, political and cultural centre of the city. Surrounding the plaza we will see the Casa Rosada (Pink House, the Presidential Palace) and the Metropolitan Cathedral. We continue the tour down the Avenida de Mayo, with its variety of architectural styles, and head for the district of San Telmo, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of the city.

Next we visit the area known as La Boca, always a favourite for the great photo opportunities and colourful street performers. We’ll continue to Puerto Madero, one of the most modern parts of the city with elegant restaurants and chic boutiques. We’ll drive to the outer residential neighbourhood of Palermo, full of galleries, bars, boutiques and funky cafes, before finishing our tour in Recoleta. We visit the famous Recoleta Cemetery, where the most important and influential Argentine personalities are buried, including the beloved Eva Peron.

This evening around 8pm we will head to Esquina Carlos Gardel, to enjoy one of the quintessential Argentine experiences…tango. We’ll be treated to a superb meal served in an exquisitely decorated Art Nouveau style ambience, which recreates the heydays of tango. Sit back and enjoy the spectacle over a glass of Argentine wine.

Tango’s origins can be traced back to 1880, to the slums of Buenos Aires, where Italian, Spanish and African immigrants combined their rhythms to create the style known today as tango. During the 1920’s tango left the slums and burst into the main stream; Carlos Gardel was born in Buenos Aires Abasto neighbourhood and become the undisputed King of Tango during this time.

   


Wednesday, 8 February:  Buenos Aires        

We depart Buenos Aires on a full day tour to a typical Argentine estancia, Santa Susana, located 90km from the city and owned by the Rossiter family since 1860. The ranch covers an area of 1200 hectares and is mainly devoted to agriculture, livestock holding and horse breeding. It consists of a main house and a series of quinchos that hold the comedor (dining room), the pulperia (tavern) and the parilla (grill).

On arrival we’ll enjoy a snack of empanadas (meat filled pastry) and a glass of Argentinean wine. Your hosts will tell you a little bit about the estancia before you head into the comedor to enjoy an authentic asado (barbeque). After lunch you will be treated to a dance, folk and tango show, followed by a demonstration of horseback sports where the gauchos will demonstrate their riding skills. Later this afternoon you’ll be served a traditional mate tea and some home-made pastries before returning to Buenos Aires and our hotel.


Thursday, 9 February:  Buenos Aires – Calafate         

We will be transferred to Aeroparque domestic airport for our flight to Calafate.  On arrival at Calafate airport, we will be met by our guide and transferred to our hotel, CALAFATE PARQUE, or similar, for a 2-night stay

El Calafate is the centre of the tourist network in the deep south of mainland Argentinian Patagonia, and is one of the country's most-visited tourist destinations. These offshoot attractions cluster around the tremendous bloated tuber of Lago Argentino, the greatest of all exclusively Argentinian lakes and the third biggest in all South America. Lago Argentino has a surface area of 1600 square kilometres – it's so deep that its temperature remains almost constant at 8°C year round. When the weather is brighter, the lake soaks up the light of the Patagonian sky to reflect a glorious hue of polarized blue.

   


Friday, 10 February: El Calafate          

This morning we embark on a full day tour to Perito Moreno Glacier with entry to the Los Glaciares National Park included. Situated on the southern arm of Lago Argentino and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Perito Moreno Glacier is an imposing ice river 5 kilometres wide and up to 60 metres high at its front wall; at the centre of the glacier the ice reaches a depth of some 250 to 350 metres.

Descending from the Campo de Hielo Sur in the Southern Patagonia Ice Field, this glacier is the only one in the area considered to be at equilibrium and not receding. We’ll explore the walkways that follow the glacier’s western wall and admire the awesome views of this natural wonder. Hear the crackling and splintering of the ice as it shifts and occasionally crashes into the waters below; a truly amazing sight.. At the end of today’s tour we will be transferred back to our hotelThere will time to freshen up before dinner at La Tablitas Restaurant.   


Saturday, 11 February:  El Calafate – Ushuaia          

We transfer to El Calafate airport for our flight to Ushuaia.  On arrival our guide will meet and transfer us to our hotel in Ushuaia, as nominated by the ship operator, for a 2-night stay.

Ushuaia, the hub of tourism in Tierra del Fuego, lies in the far south of the island, between the mountains – amongst them Cerro Martial and Monte Olivia – and the sea, the town tumbles down the hillside to the wide, encircling arm of land that protects its bay from the southwesterly winds and occasional thrashing storms of the icy Beagle Channel.

In addition to having several of its own sites of interest, Ushuaia acts as a convenient base for exploring the rugged beauty of the lands that border this historically important sea channel and lies 1000km to the north of Antarctica, but is still the closest port to the white continent – and most tourists pass through the town to make their journey across Drake's Passage, the wild stretch of ocean that separates the two continents. Whales, elephant seals, albatrosses, and numerous species of penguins are just some of the rare wildlife you can hope to see, and you'll be shuttled to interesting sites by zodiac inflatables or even by helicopter.


Sunday, 12 February:  Ushuaia          

We depart on our half day tour this morning, heading south along Route 3 towards Tierra del Fuego National Park. This is a fascinating trip with stunning views to the Beagle Channel and the southern Andean Mountain Range. We’ll also have the chance to appreciate the diversity of the local flora with tree species such as lengas, guindos, ñires, notros and assorted flowers such as orchids, violets, daisies, sea-pinks and Fuegian edelweiss.

A trip along peat bogs and beaver dams, leads to Lapataia River and Green Lagoon.

From there we will travel the final part of Route 3 that finishes in Lapataia Bay. The primitive aborigine settlers have left their traces in the 'concheros', archaeological deposits that provide interesting information about these people's everyday life. On the return trip we’ll make a stop at Roca Lake to admire the characteristic weather-changing colours of its waters.

The End of the World Train invites you to relive the last 7 km. of the old convicts train history, which left from the prison located in the city of Ushuaia towards the slopes of Mount Susana in order to obtain different materials for construction.

On board the train you will hear the story and you will be delighted with the magnificent landscapes, composed by the zigzagging Pipo River, Macarena cascade, tree cemetery and the beautiful forest, travelling through part of the inaccessible Tierra del Fuego National Park, on board a historic railway with its steam locomotives and elegant large window carriages.

  


Sea Adventurer Expedition Cruise

Monday, 13 February:   Sea Adventure Expedition Cruise begins        

Today we depart the hotel to be transferred to the port in Ushuaia. After boarding SEA ADVENTURER the expedition team will welcome us.  We settle in and set sail from Ushuaia, charting a course through the Beagle Channel.  Home to massive ice shelves, an under-water volcano and wildlife rich islands, this voyage will take us to one of the Antarctica’s most dynamic regions and places.

This Polar Adventure Ship was built in 1975. Sea Adventurer (formerly known as the Clipper Adventurer) underwent a $13 million conversion in 1998. Her proud reputation is complimented by her well-appointed elegance. The Sea Adventurer is the perfect expedition ship for people who enjoy soft adventures and creature comforts. All cabins have outside views and facilities ensuite. The Sea Adventurer is equipped with Zodiacs for shore landings and ocean level cruising, yet offers fine dining.


Tuesday 14 & Wednesday 15 February:  Drake Passage                

The waters of the Drake Passage are unpredictable, so hope for clear skies and a calm ocean. You’ll have plenty of time to stare out at the sea, get to know your fellow shipmates and chat with your expedition team. Time over these two days will be spent preparing for the exciting days ahead, with numerous educational and informative lectures from your expedition team. You’ll learn about everything from safety procedures to the history of whaling in Antarctica   


Thursday 16 to Saturday 18 February:  South Shetland Islands & the Antarctic Peninsula                       

With the Drake Passage left in our wake, we make a final approach to Antarctica. Get your cameras ready, as the continent’s coastline will make its first appearance, signaling the start of your adventure in the realm of the Antarctic. You’ll see plentiful icebergs floating by and be fixated on the surface of the ocean as curious whales spout and breach before your eyes.


As exciting as it can be from onboard the ship, your true exploration occurs when you disembark and set foot on the great continent. There are several potential landing sites we may visit, including Neko Harbour, Orne Harbour or Paradise Bay. While weather dictates which specific landing sites we can visit, each one presents a new collection of wildlife and natural attractions. Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the beauty of Antarctica. Watching penguins waddling on the beach and listening to the crackling and crumbling sounds of icebergs and glaciers will become your daily entertainment, while kayaking with whales and camping in Antarctica are a couple of optional activities available on selected voyages


Sunday 19 & Monday 20 February: The Antarctic Circle                 

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula do not reach this far south, which is officially noted at 66° 33’ S. You and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of champagne! Make a toast and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world still visited by very few people.


Tuesday 21 & Wednesday 22 February: Northbound along the Antarctic Peninsula                  

By now, your knowledge of Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur or Weddell seal. Terms like ‘bergy bits’ and pancake ice will seem normal too, yet there are still many tales to be told. As you head back towards the Drake, Zodiac excursions will continue to fill your days, while the expedition team will help fill in any blanks that remain in your newly acquired knowledge of the Antarctic.   


Thursday 23 & Friday 24 February: Drake Passage to Ushuaia              

Re-crossing the Drake, Antarctica fades away and you’ll be left with a collection of memories to last a lifetime. Excited conversations with your newfound friends will make the time passing the Drake Passage fly by, independent of weather and sea conditions. Your expedition team will round up their series of lectures as well, perhaps with a slideshow of some of the great landing sites and wildlife you’ve visited over the course of your voyage.


Saturday, 25 February: Ushuaia – Santiago         

We cruise up the Beagle Channel in the early morning before docking in Ushuaia. We then farewell the SEA ADVENTURER and transfer to the airport for our Lan Chile flight to Santiago via Buenos Aires. On arrival in Santiago de Chile, we will be met by our guide and transferred to our hotel, HOTEL ATTON el BOSQUE, or similar, for a 3-night stay.

Chile's capital, Santiago, is located in the central valley, approximately 1800 feet above sea level, framed by the majestic Andean mountain range and only 120 kms from the Pacific Ocean. First settled in 1541 at the foot of the Santa Lucia hill, it is now the fifth largest city in South America and is set in one of the most beautiful locations. Although essentially a modern capital, it still has some beautiful historic colonial buildings dating from the 16th century.


Sunday, 26 February:  Santiago        

We will be picked up from our hotel this morning to discover Chile’s vibrant capital, Santiago on a half day guided sightseeing tour. Our panoramic tour will include the most important buildings and monuments, including Government Palace and the Plaza de Armas main square. We shall enjoy lovely city views from Santa Lucia Hill and visit the enormous Metropolitan Park, the largest urban park in Chile. Finally, we will be driven to the residential areas of Vitacura and Las Condes and explore Santiago’s more upmarket neighbourhoods.

Tonight’s farewell dinner will be at a nearby restaurant


Monday, 27 February: Santiago       

You will be picked up at your hotel this morning for a tour of one of Chile’s most renowned wineries, Concha y Toro, located in the Maipo Canyon and with stunning views of the Andes. During your visit you will be able to taste and buy wines, including the best known ‘Casillero del Diablo’ and ‘Don Melchor’ labels. Your guide will explain the wine making process from vine to bottle, giving you special insight into one of Chile’s greatest exports. Make sure you ask your guide about the Carménère grape variety- it has a particularly unique and interesting history! 

After arriving back at the hotel, the afternoon is free with time to relax or catch up with some last minute shopping before our late checkout and transfer to the Santiago airport for our Qantas via Auckland flight home.


Tuesday, 28 February: Inflight – International Date line crossing.  


Wednesday, 1 March:  Auckland – Melbourne 

We arrive in Auckland in the early hours of the morning and then connect to our flight to Melbourne.

On arrival in Melbourne, the coach will transfer us back to Gippsland.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Details

 

YOUR TOUR LEADER

YOUR TOUR ESCORT Jacquey Turner is a highly experienced travel agent and tour escort with more than 30 years industry experience. 

Jacquey’s attention to detail and personal care ensure that everyone travelling in her group will have a most enjoyable Antarctica and South America experience.

 

 

 


INCLUSIONS

 

  • Coach transfers between Melbourne Airport and West Gippsland
  • Economy airfare and taxes throughout with Lan Airlines and Qantas
  • All airport arrival and departure transfers
  • Hotel accommodation in twin or double bedded rooms with private facilities
  • Private sightseeing tours during land arrangements
  • 12 night expedition cruise on Sea Adventurer, including port charges
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping.
  • All shore landings according to the daily program..
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced expedition leader.
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising according to the daily program.
  • Formal and informal presentations by our expedition team and guest speakers as scheduled.
  • Downloadable photographic journal, documenting the voyage.
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings.
  • A waterproof expedition parka to keep.
  • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock.
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure materials including an informative Antarctic Reader.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • All luggage handling aboard ship.
  • Emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person.
  • Meals as per itinerary 56 meals – 24 Breakfasts (B), 12 Lunches (L), 20 Dinners (D)
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • All luggage handling (one suitcase per person)
  • Tipping of the coach drivers and restaurant staff at included meals
  • Tipping of cruise staff and local guides and drivers
  • Maximum of 20 tour participants

 

EXCLUSIONS

 

  • Travel Insurance.  Please note that it is a condition of our tour that all participants have comprehensive travel insurance.  All details are available from our office.
  • Any meals not included in the itinerary
  • Telephone calls, laundry and any expenses of a personal nature
  • Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Yellow Fever vaccination (only required for Iguazu Falls optional half day tour)
  • Passport and visa expenses:    Brazil (Iguazu Falls optional half day tour only) – approx $240;
  • Chile (on arrival) – approx US$120; Argentina (obtain on line) – approx US$100.
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Telecommunications charges.
  • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges.
  • Compulsory Waterproof pants for zodiac landings.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Costs

 

TOUR COSTS: (excluding Antarctica Cruise)
Refer to your individual statement for Antarctica cruise costings)


TOUR OPTION 1:

AWESOME ANTARCTICA including IGUAZU FALLS – departing Melbourne on Friday 3 February 2017.

$10,198 per person

Single Supplement: $1,922 per person

IGUAZU FALLS departing Friday 3 February (based on minimum of 15 participants).

The price may change if less than 15 participants.  Escorted by Jacquey – minimum of 10 participants.

OPTIONAL HALF DAY EXCURSION TO BRAZILIAN SIDE OF IGUAZU FALLS.

$107 per person (Brazilian visa required – approx $240 plus yellow fever vaccination)


TOUR OPTION 2:

AWESOME ANTARCTICA joining in Buenos Aires – departing Melbourne on Monday 6 February 2017.

$8,199 per person
Single Supplement: $1,080 per person

AIRFARES:  Business Class upgrade available on Sydney/Santiago and Santiago/Melbourne flights. Upgrade cost $3,500 per person (very limited availability at this price). Please advise as soon as possible if you would like to take advantage of this upgrade.

Balance of Payment for the tour will be due 30 September 2016


 

CANCELLATION FEES

  • If you cancel more than 125 days prior to tour departure, your deposit is non-refundable.
  • Notice of cancellation must be made in writing to Gippsland Travel Centre.
  • If notice of cancellation is received less than 125 days prior to departure, the following fees apply:

Cancellation date:
91 days or more
Cancellation fee:
Loss of all deposits

Cancellation date: 
90 days or less  
Cancellation fee:
No refund applies

All costs are based on the exchange rate prevailing as at 5 April 2016