Expedition to Antarctica Aboard L'Austral

Explore the Earth's last frontier aboard M.S. L'Astral , one of the finest vessels in Antarctica, featuring private balconies in 95% of the ocean-view staterooms.  On this unique 14-day itinerary featuring nine nights aboard ship, 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 17 - Jan 30, 2023  (14 Days)
Cost

from $9,995 per person, double occupancy

For more Information
travel@commonwealthclub.org

(415) 597-6720

    Tuesday, January 17
    Depart the U.S.
    Wednesday, January 18
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

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

    Thursday, January 19
    Buenos Aires

    Buenos Aires is a city of diverse barrios (neighborhoods). See the colorful La Boca district, Monserrat’s grand public buildings, historical 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 historical 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) 

    Friday, January 20
    Buenos Aires / Ushuaia

    Fly to Ushuaia and embark the ship. This afternoon, cruise Beagle Channel, named for the ship that carried Charles Darwin on his South American voyages. Cruise through historic Beagle Channel, named for the research vessel in which Charles Darwin surveyed the coast of South America from 1861 to 1865. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception this evening. L'Astral (B,R,D)

    Saturday, January 21
    Cruising the Drake Passage

    Cross the legendary Drake Passage and watch for wandering albatrosses, diving petrels and breaching fins of humpback whales feeding from nutrient-rich waters formed by the Antarctic Convergence.  Your expedition team of naturalists will present insightful lectures, preparing you for your first landing in Antarctica. During the evening, enjoy the lingering twilight of the Antarctic summer. L'Astral  (B,L,D) 

    Sunday, January 22
    Cruising the Drake Passage

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

    Monday, January 23
    Port Lockroy / Jougla Point

    Journey through breathtaking, glacier-lined Neumayer Channel to rugged Goudier Island. Visit Port Lockroy, an intelligence post for British espionage during World War II and converted to a scientific base in the 1950s.  Nestled among serene mountain peaks as high as 6000 feet, the surrounding grounds are populated by blue-eyed shags and gentoo penguins.  At the living museum known as “Base A”, gain insight into the daily life at the former research station and mail a postcard with an Antarctica postmark from the official British Post Office. 

    Jougla Point on Wiencke Island offers a rare opportunity to view the skeletal remains of an adult blue whale and view populous colonies of gentoo penguins and kelp gulls that inhabit the region.L'Astral (B,L,D)

    Tuesday, January 24
    Petermann Island / Lemaire Channel

    Call at Petermann Island, the southernmost point of your journey, where you can observe thriving rookeries of Adélie and gentoo penguins, blue-eyed shags.  Flanked by sheer cliffs of towering glaciers between the Antarctic Peninsula and Booth Island, pass through the translucent waters of the seven-mile-long Lemaire Channel, known as the “Kodak Gap” for its breathtaking mountain scenery. L'Astral  (B,L,D)

    Wednesday, January 25
    Neko Harbor / Paradise Harbor

    Listen for the low rumbling of Rudolf Glacier as it calves slabs of ice into Neko Harbor for a continental landing. Surrounded by soaring glaciers and snow-covered mountains, this spectacular harbor is one of the most dramatic sights on your expedition. In Paradise Harbor, crystal cliffs of ice descend from sky-bent mountains into the iceberg-laden waters along the Antarctic Peninsula’s western coast. Named by 19th-century whalers who sought shelter in its coves, it is an ideal sanctuary for marine wildlife including humpback whales, crabeater seals, and Cape petrels. L'Astral (B,L,D)

    Thursday, January 26
    Deception Island, South Shetland Islands / Half Moon Island

    Deception Island encircles the Port Foster caldera. In Pendulum Cove, see the geothermically heated shallows. The crescent-shaped Half Moon Island is known for its volcanic rock formations and tranquil lagoons. It houses Cámara Station, a base monitored by Argentine biologists studying regional wildlife. Here, observe the island’s colony of chinstrap penguins. L'Astral (B,L,R,D)

    Friday, January 27
    Day at Wendell Sea

    Cruise below the 60th parallel south to the outer shores of the Antarctic Peninsula, Earth’s last frontier. Witness towering mountains of ice and volcanic rock create precipitous coastlines and islands. A vast array of marine wildlife flourishes, including millions of penguins, countless seabirds, and thousands of seals and whales. An otherworldly topography of volcanoes and glaciers, populated with historic outposts, captures the nuance of Earth’s most inaccessible continent for the complete Antarctic experience. L'Astral  (B,L,D)

    Saturday, January 28
    Cruising Drake Passage / Ushuaia, Argentina

    Cross the Drake Passage and enjoy informative discussions about your Antarctic experience with the ship’s naturalists.The crossing is completed with the rounding of Cape Horn; the graveyard of hundreds of ships that once battled the westerly winds. Here, the ship will go East then turn north toward Beagle Channel back to Ushuaia. L'Astral  (B,L,D)

    Sunday, January 29
    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)

    Monday, January 30
    Arrive in the U.S.
    Map
    Iguazú Falls: Jan 29 - Feb 2, 2023

    The UNESCO World Heritage site of Iguazú Falls is among the world’s most incredible natural wonders, situated in one of South America’s last remaining virgin rain forests.  Spanning nearly two miles along the Argentinian border of Brazil, with more than 275 spectacular waterfalls cascading from heights of 270 feet, Iguazú Falls is three times as wide and nearly twice as high as Niagara Falls.   Visit Parque das Aves jungle reserve, a nature lover’s paradise, home to more than 350 species of birds, 66 varieties of 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 / Iguazú round-trip airfare is included.

    Cabin Categories (Prices shown are per person, double occupancy, and include the Early BookingDiscount. Available officially until July 31, 2022. If you are after this date please see the brochure and inquire.)  

    5 – $9,995  Superior Stateroom, 226 sq feet, large picture window, Deck 3 (limited availability)
    4 – $11,295  Deluxe Stateroom, 200 square feet, window, door onto a private partial-wall balcony, 43 sq feet, Deck 3
    3 – $12,795  Prestige Stateroom, sliding glass door, private partial-wall balcony, 43 ft,  Deck 4
    2 – $13,995  Prestige Stateroom, sliding glass door, private partial-wall balcony, 43 ft, Deck 5
    1 – $14,995  Prestige Stateroom, sliding glass door, private partial-wall balcony, 43 ft, Deck 6 
     
    Deluxe Suite – $15,695   Expansive sliding glass door, 290 sq ft, private balcony, 54 ft, tub/shower, sitting area with sofa. Decks 6 
    Prestige Suite II – $15,995  Two-room suite, 398 ft, sliding glass door, private balcony, 54 ft, two bathrooms, two closets, large sitting area with sofa, Deck 5 
    Prestige Suite I – $16,595 Two-room suite, 398 ft, sliding glass door, private balcony, 54 ft, two bathrooms, two closets, large sitting area with sofa, Deck 6 
    Owner’s Suite – $17,495  Large two-room suite, expansive sliding glass door, spacious private balcony, full bathroom with tub and separate shower, additional half bath, sitting area with sofa, Deck 6

    Singles occupancy cabins are available in any category at 160% of the double rate.
    Taxes are an additional $580 per person and are subject to change.
    The flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia are an additional $765 per person and will be arranged by the tour operator.

    Optional Post-Tour: Iguazu Falls
    Price per person, based on double occupancy:
    Jungle View $1695
    Falls View $1795

    Price per person, based on single occupancy:
    Jungle View $2195
    Falls View $2395

     

    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.
    Seasoned naturalists, who have traveled extensively in the most remote regions of the world, accompany you as your Antarctic Expedition Team. Their areas of expertise include marine biology, orinthology, ecology, geology, glaciology, conservation and environmental education, history and photography. Collectively these experiences make them exceptionally well-suited to lead your Expedition to Antarctica. You will gain a unique insight on this majestic part of the world as they share their knowledge and answer questions

    Please view the Terms and Conditions at gohagantravel.com/terms/

    Reservations: 
    An $800 per person deposit will reserve a place for participants on this program. The balance of the trip is due 95 days prior to departure and must be paid by check.

    To make a reservation please email travel@commonwealthclub.org or call (415) 597-6720 to sign up.

    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:

    CANCELLATION FEES: Final payment due at least 95 days prior to departure. Cancellation fees and penalties apply as follows: 

    PRIOR TO DEPARTURE  

     

    96 days or more prior* 

    95-61 days prior 

    60-45 days prior 

    44-0 days prior 

    FEE  

     

    Full refund 

    50% of program price 

    75% of program price 

    100% of program price 

     *In the event of a cancellation between 45 and 95 days prior to departure, the refund will be by credit, usable on a future Gohagan & Company trip which commences on or before December 31, 2023. In addition, for all bookings, any applicable airline cancellation fees, optional excursion cancellation fees and administrative fees may apply. 

    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. In the event a “discounted” reservation must be canceled, 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 the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event you must cancel your participation in the 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 worldwide 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 that include Gohagan purchasing 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 therefore 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, conscionably, 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.