Summary : Save time by skipping the Drake Passage and optimize your time in Antarctica by flying round-trip! A short flight is all it takes to travel between Punta Arenas, Chile and King George Island. Once in Antarctica, take in captivating landscapes and jaw-dropping ice formations in spectacular shades of blue. You’ll be greeted by a team of experts on the ship and soon be on the lookout for penguins, seals, and whales. Marvel at highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula and attempt to cross the Antarctic Circle (subject to ice conditions). Opt to camp or kayak for an intimate Antarctic experience.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins, Antarctica Air-Cruise, Antarctic Circle
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Arrive in Punta Arenas and transfer to your pre-expedition hotel where you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about preparing for your embarkation day.
Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island crosses the legendary Drake Passage in only a few hours. Your first glimpse of dramatic Antarctic landscapes will be from a unique perspective, as your plane descends for landing in the South Shetland Islands. After landing, stretch your legs and spend time exploring the island before transferring by Zodiac to your ship to embark and set sail for the Antarctic Peninsula!
There are few places in the world as evocative as Antarctica. As you approach the White Continent, feel your excitement and awe grow in anticipation. Much of Antarctica is indescribable and can only be fully appreciated with your own eyes.
As the captain and expedition team keep their eyes out for whales and seabirds, you’ll be alerted to any new sightings. Your team of expert lecturers will also provide in-depth explanations of the geology, history, and wildlife of the region.
Exciting daily excursions like your first Zodiac landing are 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 dependent on weather, but every day presents new sightings and photo opportunities. You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs one day, and hike to a penguin rookery the next. It won’t be long before you can tell the difference between an Adélie, gentoo or chinstrap penguin.
From the thunderous clap of a calving glacier to the thrill of watching penguins swim like tuxedo-ed torpedoes for fish, you’ll wake up early and welcome each day with a sense of adventure and a desire to explore that which is unrivaled by any other travel experience.
Your expedition team will accompany you along the way, providing insights into the places you visit.
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula do not reach 66°33’ S. Ice conditions vary year to year and are always taken into consideration during navigation. If conditions allow a crossing of this famed line, you and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of sparkling wine. As you toast the first explorers who ventured this far south, you can take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, Weddell seals, and some of the most peculiar—yet magical—ice formations you’ll see anywhere on the continent.
If you haven’t had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you’ll surely be satisfied by the time you return to King George Island. You will continue to explore by Zodiac or on land as you travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula. Your expedition team will always be on the lookout for species of penguins, seals, and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south.
After your week of exploration, you’ll say goodbye to your expedition team and disembark at King George Island. Your flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile, brings your adventure to an end. After your group transfer to the hotel, you are free to explore and enjoy an evening on your own, in the city or at the hotel, to reminisce about the sights and sounds of Antarctica.
After breakfast, you are welcome to continue on your own travels or make your way to the Punta Arenas airport for your homeward flights.
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. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
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 U.S. residents with travel protection options. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.
Charter Flight Contingency Plan:
In the unlikely event that the plane is unable to depart on the planned date of the charter flight, you will be provided with a night of hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas, meals included. You may be required to be on standby and remain close to the hotel, as a weather window may open with very little notice. If the weather is not suitable on Day 3, 4, or 5, you will enjoy an additional night’s accommodation and meals in Punta Arenas. On Day 6, should the charter flight not be able to take off by 2pm, the shipping company will officially cancel the voyage and provide letters for all clients to submit to their travel insurance providers under the trip delay/interruption and cancellation clause. The shipping company will make every effort to ensure that your program takes place, but due to weather conditions, flying in this region can be challenging and is beyond control. The shipping company will offer passengers a refund in the event of a trip delay or cancellation as a result of the charter flight being unable to depart as planned. It is strongly recommend that all expedition guests purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy, including trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance, in addition to the required medical coverage. Please note that international airfare may not be covered by insurance in the event of a cancellation.
Luggage Weight Restrictions:
Due to the limited capacity of the aircraft, participants can only bring 15kg/33lb of checked luggage and 5kg/11lb of carry-on luggage. Weight limits are subject to change.
Experience Antarctica in an intimate manner and take your expedition to the next level by sleeping on the continent under the stars. All equipment and instruction is provided, no tent required. This popular camping option has limited availability, so book early.
Limited availability; pre-booking required. A small group of kayakers will attempt multiple outings per voyage in lieu of shore landings. The number of opportunities is weather dependent; kayaking will only be conducted during calm conditions. Prior experience is required. Participants must be capable of a wet exit in order to participate. Beginners interested in kayaking should consider participating in the Paddling Excursion described below.
If you’re interested in kayaking but would like to try something less in-depth than kayaking, consider a Paddling Excursion. Sign up for a one-time paddle using a stable, unencumbered sit-on-top kayak—perfect for anyone with little to no kayaking experience. Rotating groups will venture out on calm days with expert guides to connect with the sea. Space is limited. Pre-booking required.
Group transfer in Punta Arenas from airport to hotel on Day 1; one night pre-voyage hotel in Punta Arenas with breakfast; group transfer from hotel to Punta Arenas airport on Day 2; round-trip flight between Punta Arenas and King George Island in economy class; group transfers from Punta Arenas airport to hotel on Day 10; one night post-voyage hotel with breakfast in Punta Arenas; shipboard accommodation; meals aboard ship; house wine, non-premium domestic beer during dinner aboard ship; soft drinks aboard ship; use of walking poles; photographic journal; boots on loan for shore landings; parka to keep; coffee, tea, and cocoa available around the clock aboard ship; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; emergency Evacuation Insurance to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person*. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare except the flights mentioned as included; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; any meals ashore; adventure option supplements; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages except those mentioned as included; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry, bar, and other personal charges; phone and internet charges; gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.
*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $500,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only while traveling with the shipping company between the first and last day of the expedition. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition, including pre- and post-packages/hotels/flights, purchased from the shipping company or from suppliers other than the shipping company, 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.