Antarctic Express – Fly the Drake Passage

Antarctica Cruise

  • Sea Adventurer
  • Expedition Ship
  • 122 Capacity
  • 8 Days
  • 2015 View Departure>
    • 2015
    • Jan 20 Tue Offer
  • Price from
  • $8,995

Summary : Skip the four days of Drake Passage crossings and optimize your Antarctica experience by flying! A short flight is all it takes to travel between Punta Arenas, Chile and King George Island. Once in Antarctica, you’ll immediately be captivated with the sheer beauty and dramatic landscapes of the White Continent. Within hours of your departure, you’ll be greeted by a team of experts on the ship and soon be on the lookout for penguins, seals and whales in Antarctica; not to mention captivating scenery with jaw-dropping ice formations in spectacular shades of blue.

Activities : Birding, Camping, Hiking, Kayaking

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Itinerary
Day 1
Punta Arenas, Chile

Your adventure begins in Punta Arenas, Chile, the most populated city in Patagonia. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants to check out. By early afternoon, a representative will bring everyone together at your starting hotel, where you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about preparing for your embarkation day.

Day 2
Antarctica Flight / Embarkation Day

Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica will have you crossing the infamous Drake Passage in only a few hours. Way below, the ship awaits your arrival at King George Island. The dramatic Antarctic landscapes soon become visible as your plane descends for landing in the South Shetlands. After landing, stretch your legs and spend some time exploring the island before being transferred by Zodiac to your ship. Meet the rest of your shipmates and set sail for the Peninsula!

Day 3 – 6
Antarctic Peninsula / South Shetland Islands

There are few places in the world as evocative as Antarctica. As you approach the White Continent, don’t be surprised if you are overcome by feelings of excitement and awe. Much of Antarctica is indescribable and can only be fully appreciated through the human eye. Your first sightings will be from the ship itself. As the Captain and Expedition Team keep their eyes out for whales and seabirds, you’ll be alerted to any new sightings. The team of expert lecturers will also provide in-depth explanations of the geology, history and wildlife of the region.

Even more exciting are your daily excursions to land. Your first Zodiac landing is something you’ll never forget! Walking up to a beach that is dotted with penguins and seals is the most intimate way to experience the unique wildlife of Antarctica. Each landing is different and is dependent on weather, but every day presents new sightings and photo opportunities. You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs in Pleneau Island one day, followed by a hike to a chinstrap rookery the next day.

From the booming shot of a calving glacier at Petermann Island to the complete silence of night, you’ll welcome each day with the excitement and energy of a young child. The Expedition Team will be with you all along, providing insights into the places you visit and offering photography tips to get the most out of your expedition.

Day 7
Disembark / Fly to Punta Arenas

After so many awe-inspiring visuals and memorable days of wildlife encounters, it's time to say goodbye to the Expedition Team. Disembark at King George Island for your short flight back across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile. Transfer from the airport to the hotel.

Day 8
Depart for Home

After breakfast, make your own way to the Punta Arenas airport for your homeward flight.

Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition.

Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage. Due to the remoteness of the areas in this itinerary, travelers must have a minimum $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The shipping company will not be held responsible for delays due to force majeure. Any additional costs accrued will be the responsibility of the traveler. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for Antarctic trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.

Luggage Weight Restrictions: 
Luggage can weigh no more than 15kg (33 lbs.) for the flights from and to Punta Arenas, Chile.

Sea Kayaking Option:
Not included in cruise rate. See rates page for price. Minimum age 16 years. This is a pre-booked option for kayakers with some experience. Places are strictly limited so please advise at time of booking. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details.

Charter Flights:
Every effort will be made to ensure the program takes place, but due to weather conditions, flying in this region can be difficult and on rare occasions not possible. For this reason, we strongly recommend that all expedition travellers purchase a travel insurance policy including trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance in case of weather. In the unlikely event that the charter flight is unable to fly on day 2 or day 3 due to weather delays, hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas will be provided. On day 4, should the charter flight not be able to take off by 1400hrs, the voyage will be officially cancelled. Passengers will not be offered a refund by the shipping company in the event of trip cancellation, nor will they offer passengers compensation in the event of delay. The shipping company will make every effort to assist passengers with rebooking hotels or flights, but this will be at the cost of the passengers. Passengers on board the ship during a delay will remain on board with no additional cost until the time in which the charter flight is able to arrange transport. Passengers are advised to book changeable airlines tickets and have flexible travel arrangements upon disembarkation of the voyage in case delays arise. ExpeditionTrips will not be held responsible for any change/cancellations fees due to weather related delays or any other delays arising from force majeure.

Included:
A group arrival transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to hotel for passengers who arrive on Day 1 of the program or one day prior only; one night pre-expedition hotel (with dinner) in Punta Arenas; included lunch in Punta Arenas prior to boarding, or on the charter flight to Antarctica; charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica and from Antarctica to Punta Arenas; group transfers between the hotel and airport in conjunction with the charter flight to/from Antarctica; one night post-expedition hotel (with breakfast) in Punta Arenas; shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; all breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage. (Please inform of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.); all shore landings per the daily program; leadership throughout the voyage by experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities; all Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; formal and informal presentations by Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled; Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage; a pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; an official parka to keep; coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock; hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin; comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and 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 $100,000 per person*.

Not Included:
Any airfare except the charter flights mentioned as included; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes, Argentina's Reciprocity Fee; any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry, and other personal charges; telecommunications charges; voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew; supplements for adventure options; fuel surcharge may apply.

*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $100,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only to travel between the first and last day of the expedition purchased. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition are not covered by the included emergency evacuation insurance. We strongly advise all passengers to purchase medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, and additional emergency evacuation coverage.