Coda International introduces 15-night Antarctica program

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NEW YORK -- Coda International Tours scheduled what it is calling the first all-gay expedition to Antarctica.

The 15-night program departs Dec. 10 to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is priced from $4,995 per person in shared accommodations. The rate does not include air from the U.S.

"We have planned the trip to be fun as well as educational for the gay traveler who is curious about the world and seeking the camaraderie of like-minded travelers to share the experiences," said Jim Smith, president of the 2-year-old firm.

"Upon arrival in Antarctica, we will have a champagne celebration and a ceremonial planting of the first rainbow flag on the White Continent," Smith added.

Penguins thrive in some Antarctic environments. Following two nights in Buenos Aires with a city tour, there is an overnight in Ushuaia from where participants embark for the cruise part of the trip.

The itinerary continues with 10 nights aboard the 49-passenger Professor Multanovskiy, a converted research vessel with a Russian crew experienced in polar navigation.

On-board accommodations consist of triple, twin and superior cabins as well as suites. All are outside units.

Public areas include a lounge and a bar; a small library; an infirmary; a sauna, and a dining room.

The vessel cruises the Drake Passage and the South Shetland Islands before sailing for four days along the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula.

"While in this area," Smith said, "we may even meet some of the scientists working at research stations operated by various nations."

Depending on weather, sea and ice conditions, some of the ports to be attempted include:

  • Paradise Harbor, where glaciers fill the waters.
  • Port Lockroy, where there are colonies of penguins and a former British scientific station that has been renovated and serves as a museum.
  • Cuverville Island, home to a large colony of gentoo penguins and other breeding birds.
  • Waterways, such as the Neumayer and Lemaire Channels, and Neptunes Bellows, which guards the entrance to Deception Island.
  • Landings will be made at numerous islands that serve as rookeries for gentoo, chinstrap and Adelie penguins. Sightings of such seabirds as blue-eyed shags, cape petrels and antarctic terns are also possible, as are spottings of humpback, minke and killer whales.

    Coda's Antarctica tour rates include a welcome dinner; on-board lectures and meals; shore excursions by Zodiac craft; predeparture materials, and a post-expedition log.

    Also covered are transfers, service taxes, port charges and baggage handling.

    Coda also offers an optional three-night Iguazu Falls tour, which spends one night at the Marriott Plaza Hotel in Buenos Aires before traveling to Parque Nacional Iguazu where stays are at the Internacional Hotel. Check rates at time of booking.

    Coda International Tours
    Phone: (888) 677-2632
    Fax: (212) 929-0960
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Web: www.coda-tours.com

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