Summary : This condensed journey of discovery begins with a flight from Punta Arenas, Chile to King George Island in the South Shetland Islands. Embark an intimate, all-suite expedition ship and scout for albatross and petrels; keep a close watch for humpback and minke whales; or cruise in a Zodiac to a penguin colony and enjoy some of the best wildlife sites in this region of Antarctica. Along the way, your naturalist team will give informative lectures introducing you to this spectacular continent. Cross the Drake Passage, sail the Beagle Channel, and conclude your adventure by disembarking in Ushuaia, Argentina.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins, Antarctica Air-Cruise
Just-Released Offer Save $500 per person as an air credit
$4,995 to $8,595
Arrive at the Punta Arenas airport no later than 2 pm, where you will be greeted by a staff member and transferred your hotel. In the afternoon, attend a briefing that provides important information about your voyage and reviews the essential guidelines for Antarctic visitors. Later, gather for a welcome dinner and meet your fellow adventurers while enjoying regional cuisine.
Your Antarctic adventure begins with a two-hour flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island (the largest of the South Shetland Islands), where you will transfer to your expedition vessel via Zodiac.
Marvel at the overwhelming beauty of Antarctica’s South Shetland Islands. Sail in ice-filled bays, while enjoying the company of sea birds, penguins, seals, and whales. Board a Zodiac for a memorable shore visit to a penguin colony and take advantage of the endless Antarctic daylight to explore well into the evening.
Head north through the Drake Passage and attend an engaging program of lectures and presentations. In the company of knowledgeable guides, watch for wildlife from the glass-enclosed lounge or from the outside decks. You may spot magnificent sea birds, such as albatrosses and petrels, as well as different species of whales.
Weather permitting, board a Zodiac and be one of the few privileged adventurers to step foot on legendary Cape Horn! Plan to explore this famous and rarely visited island before continuing your journey. Sail along the Beagle Channel towards Port Williams, Chile. Explore the surroundings before setting sail to Ushuaia, Argentina.
Arrive in Ushuaia, where your journey ends.
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:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase insurance that includes medical evacuation and repatriation in remote areas, including Antarctica. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Getting There & Getting Home:
Arrive in Punta Arenas on Day 1, no later than 2 p.m. The same deadline applies to travelers arriving directly to the hotel on Day 1. That afternoon, all travelers must attend a mandatory safety and Antarctic briefing session covering important practical details. You must also attend a fitting session for your expedition boots. Participation in these activities is essential for the success of the expedition. Travelers who miss the 2 p.m. deadline will be considered 'no shows'—they will not be able to participate in the expedition and will not receive a refund. Tight connections during an Antarctic expedition are not recommended. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that a flexible air ticket be held for your journey home. In addition, booking a departing flight on the same day as the return flight from Antarctica is not recommended.
The 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, passengers can only carry 20-kg / 44-lbs of personal luggage, including carry-on. This weight restriction is strictly enforced—it is not possible to purchase extra allowance. Note that ALL luggage will be weighed. Soft-sided luggage is recommended.
Some departures in the past have experienced delays. Based on past experience, the estimated chance of delay is very low. Still, it is important that prospective participants understand that flights to and from Antarctica operate based on weather conditions. Travelers are responsible for any expenses associated with the rescheduling of airline tickets or onward travel plans. 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.
Outbound flight to Antarctica:
In some cases it may be necessary to move forward the Antarctic flight to the afternoon or evening of Day 1 of the itinerary. This will result in early departure from Punta Arenas and early arrival in Antarctica. In case the outbound flight to Antarctica is delayed, the group will remain in Punta Arenas while waiting for an improvement in the weather and for the opportunity to fly to Antarctica. Included are accommodation at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar, meals, and guided excursions to local attractions. If by 2 p.m. on Day 4 of the itinerary it is still impossible to reach Antarctica, the trip will be interrupted and the cruise fare will be refunded.
Single Hotel Accommodation:
Single travelers who book a shared twin cabin will be accommodated in single rooms at the hotel and must pay a single hotel room supplement. 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. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details.
Antarctic Flight Preferred Seating:
Travelers can purchase preferred seats on their Antarctic flight. This option offers travelers an extra level of comfort and a guaranteed aisle or window seat at the front of the aircraft, as well as a guaranteed empty middle seat. Capacity is limited to a maximum of 8 aisle seats and 8 window seats (aisle 2, 3, 4, and 5). Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details.
Additional Hotel & Transfer Package:
Travelers can purchase a hotel and transfer package that includes: one night hotel accommodation at the Cabo de Hornos (or similar) in Punta Arenas, shared airport-to-hotel transfer, breakfast, and a drink voucher. Available as a pre- or post-expedition package.
From whale sightings and identification to seabird surveys, each trip offers the opportunity to assist in data collection to benefit a variety of research studies. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details.
One-way flight from Punta Arenas, Chile to King George Island; one pre-expedition overnight with welcome dinner, drinks, and breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar; group transfer airport/hotel on Day 1 for travelers who arrive before 2 p.m; shipboard accommodations; guided shore excursions; onboard lectures and entertainment; gear on loan (waterproof rubber boots); all meals onboard the ship; complimentary 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; comprehensive pre- and post-voyage information material; contingency plan; IAATO passenger fee. Inclusions subject to change without notice.
Airfare, accommodation, meals, excursions and transfers other than those included in the itinerary and the Contingency Plan; preferred seating on Antarctic flights; optional activities such as sea kayaking or hiking and snowshoeing; dinner in Punta Arenas upon return from Antarctica; mandatory evacuation insurance; personal travel insurance; recommended travel protection policy; personal expenses (beverages purchased at the ship’s bar, communication, laundry, souvenirs, etc.); gratuities; visas for Chile and/or Argentina; passport expenses; any arrival and/or departure tax, if applicable; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Ben O (penguins on ice, whale tail), Ruslan Eliseev (nesting penguin), Nicolas Gildemeister (seal)