Summary : In less than two hours of flying from Punta Arenas, Chile, arrive at Frei Station on King George Island (the largest Island of the South Shetland Archipelago) where you will embark the Ocean Nova at the gates of the white continent. From King George Island you will navigate for seven days and six nights along the Antarctic Peninsula, and if weather conditions permit, attempt to cross the Polar Circle at latitude 66° 33’ South where you may enjoy a champagne to celebrate this extraordinary occasion! Along the way, visiting the most wonderful places and enjoying the best wildlife sites of Antarctica. With daily excursions, your naturalist team will be giving lectures to introduce and inform you about this wonderful continent.
Includes round-trip flight from Punta Arenas, Chile with 7 days in Antarctica. Time spent in Antarctica is equivalent to an 12-day traditional ship cruise.
Activities : Birding, Hiking
$999,999,999 to $0
Upon arrival at the city of Punta Arenas, you will be met by a staff member, and transferred to the hotel. During the afternoon, you will receive instructions concerning the guidelines that should be followed in Antarctica and the procedures for Zodiac boat embarkation and disembarkation. Later, you will be invited to gather for a welcome dinner together with your expedition mates and you will have the chance to enjoy a typical Magellan menu.
Your Antarctic adventure will begin with the flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island (the largest of the South Shetland Islands). The flight takes a little over one and half hours. Upon arrival, you will be able to tour around the area where the Frei Chilean Base and the Bellingshausen Russian Base are located. Gather at the beach on Fildes Bay for embarkation of your expedition vessel by Zodiac boats.
While cruising between the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, sailing along ice-filled fjords and between spectacular icebergs, enjoy the company of sea birds, penguins, seals and whales. Journey southwards will include visits to some of the most magnificent spots in the white continent, such as: Cierva Cove, Port Lockroy, Petermann Island, Paradise Bay, Lemaire Channel, Prospect and Fish Islands amongst others. Depending on weather and ice conditions, on the way southwards, you may attempt to cross the Polar Circle at latitude 66° 33’ South and enjoy a champagne to celebrate this extraordinary occasion. The adventure will be very active, with several daily landings and cruises in Zodiac boats, lectures and a very enjoyable time on board.
Return to King George Island where you will disembark, in Zodiac boats, at the Frei Chilean Base, and head to the aerodrome to take the flight back to Punta Arenas. The program ends upon arrival at the Airport in Punta Arenas.
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.
Kayaking Supplement: $895 per person
Limited to 10 participants per cruise, prior kayaking experience required. Space is limited, however, so be certain to book in advance. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details.
Snowshoeing Supplement: $195 per person (1/1/2014 only).
Limited to 12 participants, no previous experience required. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details and to book in advance.
Getting There & Getting Home:
Arrive in Punta Arenas on Day 1, no later than 3 p.m. A tight time-schedule connection with an Antarctic expedition is not recommended. Therefore, we strongly suggest that a flexible air ticket be held for your journey home, and in any case not to book a flight on the same day as the return flight from Antarctica.
The 70 passenger BAE 146-200 was manufactured in the United Kingdom by British Aerospace and is equipped with 4 turbofan Honeywell engines. It is a high-wing aircraft with very short runway requirements which makes it particularly suited for this kind of destination. It is operated by Aerovías DAP, which has more than 20 years of experience of flying in Patagonia and Antarctica.
Luggage Weight Restriction:
Due to the limited carrying capacity of the aircraft, participants in the Antarctica Fly and Cruise program can only carry 20 Kg/44 Lb of personal luggage, including carry-on. This weight restriction is enforced strictly. Note that hand luggage will be weighed as well as checked baggage. Soft-sided luggage is recommended.
Transfers airport/hotel/airport in Punta Arenas foreseen on the first and last day of the voyage (in case of using the complimentary hotel upon return from Antarctica, no transfer is included the following day); 1 overnight in Punta Arenas at Hotel Rey Don Felipe or other hotel of similar category and a welcome dinner including drinks on Day 1; complimentary hotel night upon request in Punta Arenas on the day of return from Antarctica; flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island and/or vice versa as indicated in the program; all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner, including open-bar onboard) during the ship cruise; all guided shore excursions; lectures and entertainment on board; comprehensive pre- and post-voyage information material; loan of waterproof boots for landing in Antarctica.
Airfare to/from Punta Arenas, Chile; visa and/or passport expenses; arrival and departure taxes, if applicable; transfers, lodging and meals other than those offered in the program; mandatory evacuation insurance; recommended travel insurance; personal expenses, such as laundry service, telephone calls, use of Internet or other means of communication, etc.; gratuity to ship's crew at the end of the voyage.
Although no Antarctica Fly and Cruise departure has ever been cancelled due to weather conditions, some departures in the past have experienced delays. The longest delay ever experienced by a departure has been three days. Based on past experience, we currently estimate that the chances of delay are very low, in the range of 5-10%. Still, it is important that prospective participants understand that weather conditions could impact the operation. Should weather delay a departure, the Contingency Plan detailed below will be put into operation.
Antarctica-bound flight: (Flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island):
In the unlikely event that the flight to Antarctica cannot operate due to unfavorable conditions, whether at point of origin in Punta Arenas and/or at the destination in Antarctica, the following Contingency Plan applies:
From Day 2 to Day 8 every effort will be made to transport travelers to Antarctica safely. Should a safety concern or weather delay a flight or make flying impossible, the following daily program will apply:
•Day 2 Guided tour to sites of historic and wildlife interest close to Punta Arenas. Meals are included as well as accommodation in the same hotel as foreseen on Day 1 of the Travel Program.
•Day 3 Guided tour to sites of historic and wildlife interest close to Punta Arenas. Meals are included as well as accommodation in the same hotel as foreseen on Day 1 of the Travel Program.
•Day 4 Accommodation with breakfast in a 3-star hotel in Punta Arenas is included. Any other service and meal are excluded. Passengers are required to stand-by for announcements concerning the flight to Antarctica.
•Day 5 Accommodation with breakfast in a 3-star hotel in Punta Arenas is included. Any other service and meal are excluded. Passengers are required to stand-by for announcements concerning the flight to Antarctica.
•Day 6 Accommodation with breakfast in a 3-star hotel in Punta Arenas is included. Any other service and meal are excluded. Passengers are required to stand-by for announcements concerning the flight to Antarctica.
•Day 7 Accommodation with breakfast in a 3-star hotel in Punta Arenas is included. Any other service and meal are excluded. Passengers are required to stand-by for announcements concerning the flight to Antarctica.
•Day 8 Accommodation with breakfast in a 3-star hotel in Punta Arenas is included. Any other service and meal are excluded. Passengers are required to stand-by for announcements concerning the flight to Antarctica.
•Day 9 Breakfast, Transfer to Punta Arenas airport in time for connecting flights. End of Contingency Plan.
NOTE: If the tour operator will not be able to transport passengers to Antarctica, passengers will be refunded a percentage of the total cost of the Antarctica Fly and Cruise Travel Program, excluding discounts, if any. Refunds will be as follows: 5% (by the end of day 4), 15% (by the end of day 5), 25% (by the end of day 6), 35% (by the end of day 7), and 60% (by the end day 8). Refunding will take place at the tour operator's earliest convenience. Refunding will release the tour operator from further liability.
Return flight: (Flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas)
In case the return flight from Antarctica to Punta Arenas experiences a delay, passengers on board the ship will continue cruising near King George Island, until the return flight to Punta Arenas can be arranged. In such case, shipboard accommodation, full board, and all excursions will be provided at no additional charge. However, no refunds for whatever reason will be offered.
Aircraft for Antarctic flights:
The decision over which aircraft will be used for the Antarctica Fly and Cruise program is at the sole discretion of the tour operator. In case of unfavorable conditions or other circumstances beyond the tour operator’s control, either at the point of origin and/or at the destination, the tour operator reserves the right to fly different aircraft than the one described in the program information material.