Summary : Leaving from Punta Arenas, fly over Cape Horn and the Drake Passage to reach the "last continent"—Antarctica. See penguin colonies, humpback, and Minke whales, towering icebergs, and extraordinary landscapes as you explore the South Shetland Islands, visiting some of the most remarkable places and enjoying some of the best wildlife sites in this region of Antarctica. Along the way, your naturalist team will deliver lectures to inform you about this spectacular continent. Return by sailing across the mythical waters of the Drake Passage to Ushuaia, Argentina.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins, Antarctica Air-Cruise
$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, the southernmost town in the world. 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. A tight time-schedule connection with an Antarctic expedition is not recommended. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that a flexible air ticket be held for your journey home. In addition, we strongly advise against booking a departing 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 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: Between Day 1 and until 2 p.m. on Day 4, every effort will be made to transport passengers to Antarctica taking into consideration their safety and the safety of the aircraft. The daily program described as follows will apply: Days 2 and 3: Guided tours to sites of historic and wildlife interest in Punta Arenas will be provided. Meals are included as well as accommodation at the same hotel included on Day 1 of the itinerary. Day 4: If by 2 p.m. the shipping company will not be able to transport passengers to Antarctica, the trip will be interrupted. Accommodation with breakfast in a 3-star hotel in Punta Arenas will be provided. No other services or meals will be included. The shipping company will refund to each passenger 100% the cruise fare paid for the expedition. Day 5: Group airport transfers are provided. No other services or meals are included.
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 a different aircraft than the one described in the program information material.
Single Hotel Accommodation:
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:
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. 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). 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.
Flight from Punta Arenas to Frei Station on King George Island; one pre-expedition overnight with breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar; transfer from the airport to the hotel on Day 1 for travelers who arrive before 2 p.m.; cabin accommodations; gear on loan (waterproof boots); all meals aboard 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; guided shore excursions; onboard lectures and entertainment; comprehensive pre- and post-voyage information material; contingency plan; IAATO passenger fee. Inclusions 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 offered in the program, lodging and meals other than those offered in the program; mandatory evacuation insurance; recommended travel protection policy; 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.
PHOTOS: © Ben O (penguins on ice, whale tail), Ruslan Eliseev (nesting penguin), Nicolas Gildemeister (seal)