Expedition to Antarctica

Explore Earth’s last frontier aboard m.s. Le Boreal one of the finest vessels in Antarctica featuring private balconies in 95% of the ocean-view staterooms. Experience fantastically shaped icebergs, turquoise glaciers, bustling penguin rookeries and breaching whales. Join an expedition team of world-class naturalists and board sturdy Zodiac craft for excursions. Enjoy two nights in Buenos Aires. Optional extension to Iguazú Falls.

Dates
Jan 15 - Jan 28, 2020  (14 Days)
Cost

from $10,890 per person, double occupancy

For more Information
travel@commonwealthclub.org

(415) 597-6720

Wednesday, January 15
Depart the U.S.
Thursday, January 16
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Arrive in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires and check into the Five-Star Intercontinental Buenos Aires Hotel, ideally located in the historic San Telmo neighborhood and within walking distance of the landmark Palace of the Argentine National Congress. This evening, attend the Welcome Reception. InterContinental Buenos Aires Hotel (R)

Friday, January 17
Buenos Aires

Birthplace of the tango, Buenos Aires is a city of diverse and dynamic barrios (neighborhoods). See the colorful La Boca district, Monserrat’s grand public buildings, historic Plaza de Mayo, Palermo’s lavish parks, Puerto Madero’s lively riverfront community and the charming old quarter of San Telmo. Visit the city’s historic Recoleta Cemetery, famous for its ornate vaults and sculptures and as the final resting place of the legendary Eva Perón, the former First Lady of Argentina. InterContinental Buenos Aires Hotel (B) 

Saturday, January 18
Buenos Aires / Ushuaia

This morning, fly to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, capital of Tierra del Fuego and the gateway to Antarctica. Embark LE BORÉAL this afternoon and cruise through historic Beagle Channel, named for the ship that carried Charles Darwin on his South American voyages. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception this evening. Le Boreal (B,R,D)

Sunday, January 19
Cruising Drake Passage

Cross the legendary Drake Passage and, upon reaching the Antarctic Convergence, watch for breaching fin and humpback whales and seabirds feeding on plankton and krill that are brought to the surface by cold Antarctic currents merging with warmer waters of the South Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The expedition team of naturalist guides will present insightful lectures to prepare you for your first landing in Antarctica. During the evening, enjoy the lingering twilight of the Antarctic summer. Le Boreal (B,L,D) 

Monday, January 20
Cruising Drake Passage

Continue across the Drake Passage (B,L,D) Please note that the ship’s cruising pattern and positionings are dependent on weather, ice and sea conditions and are subject to change.  

Tuesday, January 21
Cruising Antarctica

Cruise below the 60th parallel south to the outer shores and islands of the Antarctic Peninsula, Earth’s last frontier. Here, explore some of the world’s most pristine wilderness, where towering mountains of ice and volcanic rock create precipitous coastlines and islands, and ever-changing patterns of ice stretch as far as the eye can see. In this seemingly harsh environment, a vast array of marine wildlife flourishes, including millions of penguins, countless seabirds and thousands of seals and whales. From spectacular volcanic topography and majestic glaciers to fascinating wildlife and historic outposts, this itinerary reveals the highlights of Earth’s most inaccessible continent for the complete Antarctic experience. 

Cruise through breathtaking, glacier-lined Neumayer Channel to rugged Goudier Island. Visit Port Lockroy, originally constructed in 1944 by an eight-man team as an intelligence post for British espionage during World War II and converted into a whaling station and scientific base in the 1950s. It is nestled among glistening mountain peaks as high as 6000 feet, and the surrounding grounds are populated by blue-eyed shags and gentoo penguins. Gain insight into the daily activities of past researchers at the living museum known as “Base A” and mail a postcard stamped with an Antarctica postmark from the official British Post Office. Le Boreal (B,L,D)

Wednesday, January 22
Cruising Antarctica

Just beyond Port Lockroy, the rocky shores of Jougla Point on Wiencke Island offer a rare opportunity to view the skeletal remains of an adult blue whale and to see populous colonies of gentoo penguins and kelp gulls. Call at Petermann Island, the southernmost point of your journey, and watch its thriving rookeries of Adélie and gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags.

Flanked by sheer cliffs of towering glaciers between the Antarctic Peninsula and Booth Island, cruise through the Lemaire Channel, offering views of seven majestic miles of mountains and wildlife combined with fascinating patterns of ice floes. Le Boreal (B,L,D)

Thursday, January 23
Cruising Antarctica

Listen for the low rumbling of Rudolf Glacier as it calves chunks of ice into Neko Harbor, named for an early 20th-century whaling boat. The harbor is surrounded by soaring glaciers and snow-covered mountains and is one of the most dramatic and spectacular sights in Antarctica. Here, make your first “continental landing” in Antarctica. Le Boreal (B,L,D)

Friday, January 24
Cruising Antarctica

In Paradise Bay, awesome cliffs of ice descend from the surrounding mountains into the floating iceberg-laden waters along the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Named by 19th-century whalers who sought shelter in its coves, Paradise Bay is an ideal sanctuary for marine wildlife including humpback whales, crabeater seals and Cape petrels.

Deception Island is actually the rim of a massive dormant volcano crater that encircles a caldera known as Port Foster, where the ship enters through dramatic Neptune’s Bellows, a sublime harbor ringed by snowcapped peaks and sheer cliffs. In Pendulum Cove, see the steaming, geothermally heated waters of the Antarctic. Le Boreal (B,L,D)

Saturday, January 25
Cruising Antarctica

Observe the amazing colony of tens of thousands of chinstrap penguins at Baily Head. Then walk along the black sand beaches of Telefon Bay to nearby craters, which offer fascinating insight into the volcanic activity that created the island and played a pivotal role in the natural history of the region. One of the smallest but most beautiful of the South Shetland Islands, Half Moon Island is a crescent-shaped isle known for its craggy volcanic rock formations and tranquil lagoons. It is also the site of Cámara Station, a base monitored by Argentine biologists studying regional wildlife. Here, observe the antics of the island’s colony of chinstrap penguins.

Relax and reflect on board as the ship turns north and attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception. Le Boreal (B,L,R,D)

Sunday, January 26
Cruising Drake Passage / Ushuaia, Argentina

Cross the Drake Passage and enjoy lively, informative discussions with the ship’s naturalists. Watch for endangered albatross and the many different species of petrels as you cruise across the Antarctic Convergence. Le Boreal (B,L,D)

Monday, January 27
Ushuaia / Buenos Aires

Disembark and fly to Buenos Aires. Continue on the Iguazú Falls Post-Program Option with an overnight stay in Buenos Aires or depart for the U.S. (B)

Tuesday, January 28
Arrive in the U.S.
Map
Iguazú Falls: Jan 28-31, 2020

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Iguazú Falls is one of the world’s most incredible natural wonders, where more than 275 spectacular waterfalls span nearly two verdant miles of the Argentina-Brazil frontier, cascading nearly 270 feet through one of South Americas last remaining virgin rain forests.  Visit the lush Parque das Aves jungle reserve, a nature lover’s paradise, home to more than 350 species of birds, 66 varieties or mammals and an outstanding array of reptiles, fish, butterflies, and flora. This exclusive three-night Post-Program Option features one night in the Five-Star InterContinental Buenos Aires Hotel and two nights in the Five-Star Melia Iguazu Falls Hotel. Buenos Aires round-trip airfare is included.

Cabin Categories (Prices are per person, double occupancy)
8 - $10,890  Ocean-view, one large window, shower, Deck 3 Le Champollion, forward (limited availability)
7 - $12,290  Ocean-view, small window, partial wall balcony, shower, Le Champollion, Deck 3 aft (limited availability)
6 - $13,490  Ocean-view, small window, partial wall balcony, shower, Deck 3, Le Champollion, midship 
5 - $13,890  Ocean-view, expansive sliding glass door on to private partial wall balcony, shower, Deck 4, Le Lafayette, forward (limited availability)
4 - $14,890  Ocean-view, expansive sliding glass door on to private balcony, shower, Deck 4, Le Lafayette, midship 
3 - $15,190  Ocean-view, expansive sliding glass door on to private balcony, shower, Deck 5, Le Normandie, forward 
2 - $15,690  Ocean-view, expansive sliding glass door on to private balcony, shower or shower/tub, Deck 5, Le Normandie, midship
1 - $15,890  Ocean-view, expansive sliding glass door on to private balcony, shower or shower/tub, Deck 6, Le France.
Deluxe Suite - $16,590 Ocean-view, expansive sliding glass door on to private balcony, shower or shower/tub, sitting area with sofa, Deck 6, Le France (limited availability)   
Prestige Suite II - $16,890 Two-room, ocean-view, floor to ceiling sliding glass door on to private balcony, two bathrooms, shower and shower/tub, large sitting area with sofa, two closets, Deck 5, Le Normandie (limited availability)
Prestige Suite I - $17,490 Two-room, ocean-view, expansive sliding glass door on to private balcony, two bathrooms, shower and shower/tub, large sitting area with sofa, two closets, writing desk and dressing table,  Deck 6, Le France (limited availability) 
Owner's Suite - $18,390 Two-rooms, ocean-views expansive sliding glass door, larger private balconies, one and a half bathrooms, separate shower and tub, sitting room with sofa, table and four chairs,  Deck 6, Le France (limited availability)               

Singles are available in category 6 at $22,790 and in category 4 at $25,390. (Assistance with finding a roommate can be provided.)

Prices above reflect the Early Booking Discount, valid until August 13, 2019. Taxes are an additional $865 per person and are subject to change.

Included:
Round-trip airfare Buenos Aires/Ushuaia (internal program air); Two nights in the Five-Star Intercontinental Buenos Aires Hotel; Welcome Reception; Nine nights aboard the exclusively chartered, Five-Star LE BORÉAL; Round-trip cruise from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Antarctica’s Port Lockroy, Wiencke Island, Petermann Island, Lemaire Channel, Neko Harbor, Paradise Bay, Deception Island and Half Moon Island, weather, ice and sea conditions permitting; Meals as specified in the itinerary; Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages are available throughout the cruise; Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions; All entrance fees and tours as described in the itinerary; Transfers and luggage handling abroad for participants whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s); Gratuities to local guides and drivers on included excursions and transfers; Hospitality desk in the hotel and aboard ship; Experienced Gohagan & Company Travel Directors throughout the program; Pre-departure materials, including a reading list; Automatic $250,000 flight insurance policy for each participant ticketed on flights by Gohagan & Company.

Not Included:
International airfare; Taxes of $865 per person (subject to change); Gratuities to ship personnel ($15 per person per day); Hotel staff gratuities ($1 - $2 per person per day) and gratuities for activities on your own; Passport and visa fees; Meals and alcoholic beverages not listed as included; Transfers and baggage handling to/from airport/hotel on day(s) of arrival and/or departure if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); Any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls and Internet access; Accident/sickness, trip cancellation and baggage insurance; Baggage charges on aircraft; airfare and associated local taxes not listed as included; Airport facility taxes and federal inspection fees not listed as included; All other services not specifically mentioned in the “Included” section.

Optional Post-Tour: Iguazu Falls 
$2,295 per person, double occupancy (Jungle View Room)
$2,995 single occupancy room (Jungle View Room)

$2,445 per person, double occupancy (Falls View Room)
$3,245 single occupancy room (Falls View Room)

What to Expect

This is an active tour in a remote location.  For the safety and enjoyment of each participant and the group, participants must be able to:

  • Walk on excursions often covering distances of at least one mile or more. 
  • Be able to walk ashore over rugged or uneven and/or slippery terrain.
  • Negotiate a steep gangway and get in and out of the Zodiac inflatable landing crafts with minimal assistance.
  • Have your doctor’s sign off on the Required Health Statement stating that you are sufficiently fit to embark on such an excursion.

Hear from guest lecturers aboard the ship throughout the voyage.

Cancellations
Cancellations for all or any part of the trip including Pre/Post Program(s) reservation(s) will not be effective until received in writing in the offices of The Commonwealth Club. Should you have to cancel, the following terms will apply:

From the time of booking through 120 days prior to departure: $200 ($50 Pre/Post Program(s)) 
From 95 to 119 days prior to departure: $800 ($200 Pre/Post Program(s)) per person
From 60 to 94 days prior to departure: 70% of the published full regular tariffs
59 days or less prior to departure: No refund

A “no-show” or early return from the trip will result in forfeiture of 100% of the published full regular tariffs.

In addition, any applicable airline cancellation fees, optional excursion cancellation fees and administrative fees may apply. 

Discounted Reservations
Discounts apply only to those reservations received in the offices of The Commonwealth Club in writing, accompanied by the required deposit, by June 21, 2019. In the event a “discounted” reservation must be cancelled, no “replacement” reservation can be substituted at the discounted rate. A “replacement” reservation is a new reservation and can be substituted only at the full-fare tariff. Cancellation penalties may apply.  

Trip Insurance
We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. In the event that you must cancel your participation in a travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website.

Eligibility
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a national membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.

Airfare
Airfare is subject to change and availability and, depending on the fare basis, likely is nonrefundable. Your airline ticket constitutes a contract between you and the airline, even if purchased through Gohagan.

Luggage
Luggage allowance policies are set by the airlines and may change without notice.

Physical Accessibility
All programs require physical independence and mobility. Any physical or mental condition that may require special medical attention or physical assistance (for example, the need for a wheelchair) must be reported in writing when you make your reservation. Travelers must be able to embark or disembark motorcoaches alone or with minimal assistance from your traveling companion and climb stairs and step over raised thresholds without assistance. Travelers requiring assistance must travel with a companion who will be responsible for handling equipment.

Rates
Prices quoted are based on fares in effect at the time of printing and are subject to change at any time. On land and/or cruise programs, even after full payment, Gohagan reserves the right to increase the tour price in the event of cost increases due to changes in supplier costs, currency fluctuations or fuel or energy surcharges and all such increases are to be paid to Gohagan upon notice to the tour participant of such increases. On programs which include Gohagan purchased interstate or international air (which originates or returns to the United States), no increased costs will be passed on after final payment except for subsequently imposed governmental tax increases.

Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk, and Binding Arbitration Agreement Responsibility  
The Commonwealth Club and Thomas P. Gohagan & Company and its and their employees, shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors or trustees, successors, and assigns (collectively “Gohagan”), do not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your trip including, for example, lodging facilities, airline, vessel, or other transportation companies, guides or guide services, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional excursions, food service or entertainment providers, etc. All such persons and entities are independent contractors. As a result, Gohagan is not liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity or of any other third party. In addition and without limitation, Gohagan is not responsible for any injury, loss, death, inconvenience, delay, or damage to person or property in connection with the provision of any goods or services whether resulting from, but not limited to, acts of God or force majeure, acts of government, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, bites from or attacks by animals, insects or pests, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind or the threat thereof, sickness, illness, epidemics or the threat thereof, the lack of availability of or access to medical attention or the quality thereof, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, mechanical or other failure of airplanes, vessels, or other means of transportation, or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely or safely. If due to weather, flight schedules or other uncontrollable factors, you are required to spend an additional night(s), you will be responsible for your own hotel, transfers and meal costs. Baggage is entirely at owner’s risk. The right is reserved to decline to accept as a trip participant, or remove from a trip, without refund, any person Gohagan judges to be incapable of meeting the rigors and requirements of participating in the activities, or who is abusive to other trip participants, leaders or third parties, or who Gohagan determines to detract from the enjoyment of the trip by others. Specific room/cabin assignments are within the sole discretion of the hotel or cruise line. Gohagan reserves the right to change the itinerary or trip features at any time and for any reason, with or without notice, and Gohagan shall not be liable for any loss of any kind as a result of any such changes. Ship schedules, port calls, hours of arrival and departure, sightseeing events, special programs and guest lecture series (if applicable), are subject to change or cancellation. Gohagan reserves the right to substitute motorcoach transportation using hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical or other conditions beyond the control of Gohagan. Gohagan is not responsible therefor and is not required to compensate passengers under these circumstances. Gohagan may cancel a trip (or an option) for any reason whatsoever; if so, its sole responsibility is to refund monies paid by the participant to it. Gohagan, however, is not required under these circumstances to refund the cost of any purchased travel insurance. Gohagan is not required to cancel any trip for any reason including without limitation, United States Department of State, World Health Organization or other Warnings or Advisories of any kind. Gohagan is not responsible for penalties assessed by air carriers resulting from operational and/or itinerary changes, even if Gohagan makes the flight arrangements or cancels the trip. Gohagan reserves the right to substitute vessels, hotels or attractions of a similar category for those listed in this brochure.

Binding Arbitration
Any dispute concerning, relating or referring to this Agreement, the brochure or any other literature concerning the trip, or the trip itself, shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. Sections 1-16, either according to the then existing Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or pursuant to the Comprehensive Arbitration Rules & Procedures of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (JAMS). Such proceedings will be governed by substantive (but not procedural) Illinois law and will take place in Chicago, IL. The arbitrator and not any federal, state, or local court or agency shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, conscionability, or formation of this contract, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of this contract is void or voidable. Please understand that by agreeing to these terms and conditions, the participant and Gohagan are waiving the right to a trial by jury.

Acceptance of Contract
By forwarding of deposit, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants and accepts the terms contained in this Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk and Binding Arbitration Agreement.

Registration 
Commonwealth Club CST#: 2096889-40; Gohagan CST#: 2031868-40, WST#: 601 767 666, OST#: TA 0905.