Summary : Sail through the Beagle Channel, explore Cape Horn and cross the famous Drake Passage on your way to the "last continent." You may spot magnificent birds, such as albatrosses and petrels, as well as Humpback and Minke whales swimming on their way down to Antarctica. Navigate through the South Shetland Islands, visiting the most unique places and enjoying some of the best wildlife sites in this region of Antarctica. With daily excursions, your naturalist team will give lectures to introduce and inform you about this spectacular continent. Disembark at King George Island and fly to Punta Arenas, Chile.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins, Air Cruise (Antarctica)
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The journey begins in Ushuaia, Argentina. Sail along the Beagle Channel towards Puerto Williams, the southernmost town in the world, located on Navarino Island. Here, you will have the time to tour around before setting sail toward Cape Horn.
After crossing Nassau Bay, awake in front of legendary Cape Horn! Weather permitting, you will board the Zodiac boats and visit the bay's lighthouse and the Chilean station in charge of keeping it beaming. Back on board, get ready to set sail towards Antarctica and start the crossing of the famous waters named in honor of Sir Francis Drake, the great 16th century British explorer.
Sail through the Drake Passage, en route to King George Island (South Shetland Islands). Relax and enjoy life on board and take the time to watch wildlife from the bridge or from the outside decks. You may spot magnificent birds such as albatrosses and petrels, as well as Humpback and Minke whales swimming on their way down to Antarctica.
After crossing the Antarctic Convergence, you will be sailing through the Antarctic Ocean. The time has come to start spotting the first icebergs and the first Antarctic land. Reaching the South Shetland Islands, sail in ice-filled bays, while enjoying the company of sea birds, penguins, seal and whales. Board Zodiac boats to make your first shore landing with a memorable visit to a penguin colony. Exploration will continue all evening thanks to the endless daylight.
Upon reaching King George Island, disembark at Fildes Bay, where you will have the chance to enjoy the Antarctic scenery. Visit some interesting places around the area, such as the Chilean Base Frei and the Russian Base Bellingshausen. Bid farewell to Antarctica before boarding th flight back to Punta Arenas, Chile. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. (Meals in Punta Arenas are at your leisure and are not included in the program).
After breakfast, transfer to the Punta Arenas airport for your onward flight.
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:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase emergency evacuation/repatriation insurance at a minimum coverage of $50,000. 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.
Getting There & Getting Home:
Arrive in Ushuaia on Day 1, no later than 4 p.m. Boarding is between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Boarding will close at 4 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. Softsided luggage is recommended.
Some departures in the past have experienced delays. Based on past experience, the estimated chance of delay is very low, in the range of 5-10%. Still, it is important that prospective participants understand that weather conditions could impact the operation. Travelers are responsible for any expenses associated with the rescheduling of airline tickets or onward travel plans. Should weather delay a departure, the Contingency Plan detailed below will be put into operation. In the unlikely event that the flight to / from Antarctica cannot operate due to unfavorable conditions, whether at point of origin and/or at the destination, the following contingency plan applies: In case of a delay on the return flight to Punta Arenas from Antarctica, passengers on board the ship will continue cruising to nearby places until the return flight to Punta Arenas is authorized. Full board and all excursions are included. No refund will be extended for any reason whatsoever.
Return Flight: (Flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas)
In case the return flight to Punta Arenas is anticipated, passengers will disembark the ship and fly to Punta Arenas up to one day earlier than indicated in the itinerary. On arrival, accommodation at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar will be provided. All other inclusions will remain per the original itinerary. In case of a delay on the return flight to Punta Arenas, passengers on board the ship will continue cruising to nearby places until the return flight to Punta Arenas is authorized. Full board and all excursions are included. No refund will be extended for any reason whatsoever.
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.
Single Hotel Accommodation Supplement: $395 per person
Single travelers who book a twin cabin on a shared basis will be accommodated in single rooms at the hotel. Note: Passengers who use CPAP machines or other assistive devices, as well as those with conditions that could disturb their traveling companion cannot book on a twin-share basis.
Antarctic Flight Preferred Seating: $245 per person (one way)
Travelers can purchase preferred seats on their Antarctic flight. This option offers travelers with an extra level of comfort and a guaranteed aisle or window seat at the front of the aircraft, as well as a guaranteed middle seat. Priority boarding in Punta Arenas and an amenities kit are included. Capacity is limited to a maximum of 8 aisle seats and 8 window seats (aisle 2, 3, 4, and 5).
Additional Hotel & Transfer Package: Single – $265; Double – $165 per person; Triple – $145 per person
Includes a shared airport to hotel transfer; one night hotel accommodation at the Hotel Cabo de Hornos, Punta Arenas; breakfast; and a drink voucher. Available as a pre- or post-expedition package.
Optional Strait of Magellan Wildlife Experience: Single – $289; Double – $259 per person; Triple – $245 per person
Take advantage of your trip to the deep south of Chile, see more of Patagonia, and add another penguin species to your list. On the last day of your scheduled Air-Cruise program, transfer to the shores of the Strait of Magellan, where you will travel by motorboat to Magdalena and Marta Islands. Disembark on Magalena Island, where you will experience one of the largest colonies of Magellanic Penguins in South American – over 150,000 birds. Sail onward to Marta Island, where you can observe and photograph wildlife from the motorboat, with a chance to spot dolphins and a variety of seabirds. Total excursion time is 4.5 hours. Return to Punta Arenas in the afternoon, where you can explore the city at your leisure. Includes: one night with breakfast at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar; a transfer from the hotel to the airport on Day 2; excursion as indicated; entrance fee to the Nature Reserve ‘Los Pinguinos’; a snack during the excursion; and a Punta Arenas guidebook and map.
One post-cruise hotel night with breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar on the day of the scheduled return flight from Antarctica; transfer from the airport to the hotel on the day of the scheduled return flight from Antarctica, and a transfer from the hotel to the airport on the last day of the air-cruise program; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; wine, beer, juice, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner aboard the ship; complimentary coffee, tea, chocolate, cappuccinos, water, and snacks aboard the ship throughout the expedition; guided shore excursions; onboard lectures and entertainment; comprehensive pre- and post-voyage information material; gear on loan (waterproof boots); contingency plan (outlined below); IAATO passenger fee. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare except flights specified in the inclusions; visa and/or passport expenses; arrival and departure taxes, if applicable; transfers other than those listed in the program, lodging and meals other than those offered in the program; mandatory evacuation insurance; recommended travel insurance; personal expenses, such as beverages from bar; laundry service, telephone calls, use of Internet or other means of communication, etc.; gratuity to ship's crew at the end of the voyage; fuel surcharge may apply.