Summary : Save time by skipping the Drake Passage and optimize your Antarctica experience by flying round-trip! A short flight is all it takes to travel between Punta Arenas, Chile and King George Island. In just eight adventure-packed days, you’ll experience rewarding shore visits and Zodiac cruises, marvel at intimate wildlife encounters, scout for penguins, whales, and seals, explore historic sites, and make the most of your landmark visit to the 7th Continent. Select from a range of adventure options and onboard activities that match your personal interests and make the expedition uniquely yours.
Activities : Birding, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins, Antarctica Air-Cruise
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Your adventure begins in Punta Arenas, Chile, the most populated city in southern Patagonia. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and shops to keep you busy for days. By early afternoon, a representative will meet you at the official starting point hotel, where you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about preparing for your embarkation day.
Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica will have you crossing the legendary Drake Passage in only a few hours. Far below, the ship will approach King George Island for your arrival. 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 with a one-mile walk to the shore, before being transferred by Zodiac to your ship to set sail for the Antarctic Peninsula!
There are few places in the world as evocative as Antarctica. As your ship approaches the White Continent, you may be overcome by feelings of excitement and awe. Antarctica is indescribable and can only be fully appreciated through your own eyes.
As your captain and expedition team keep a lookout for whales and seabirds, you’ll be alerted to any new sightings. Your team of expert presenters will deepen your experience with explanations of the glaciology, history and wildlife of the region.
Even more exciting are your daily excursions. Your first Zodiac landing is something you’ll never forget! Walking on a beach dotted with penguins is the most intimate way to experience the unique wildlife of Antarctica.
Each landing is different and is dependent on weather, but every day presents new sightings and photo opportunities, and it won’t be long before you can tell the difference between an Adélie, gentoo,
and chinstrap penguin.
You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs one day, followed by a hike to a penguin rookery the next day. From the booming sound of a calving glacier to the thrill of spotting apex predators like leopard seals and killer whales in action, you’ll wake up early and welcome each day with a sense of adventure and a desire to explore during this unrivaled travel experience.
Your expedition team will accompany you all along the way, providing insights into the places you visit.
After your week of exploration, you'll say good-bye 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 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, you will enjoy an additional night’s accommodation and meals in Punta Arenas. On Day 4, 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 complex and variable weather conditions, flying in this region is challenging and beyond their control. The shipping company will offer passengers a refund of the cruise package and adventure options 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 recommended 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, there is a strict luggage limit of 15kg/33lb for checked luggage and 5kg/11lb for carry-on luggage. Additional luggage can be stored at the hotel in Punta Arenas. There is NO option to pay for additional luggage. Weight limits are subject to change.
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.
Round-trip flight Punta Arenas, Chile/King George Island in economy class; one pre-voyage hotel night in Punta Arenas with breakfast; one post-voyage hotel night with breakfast in Punta Arenas; pre-expedition group transfer airport/hotel on Day 1; group transfer hotel/Punta Arenas airport; post-expedition group transfer Punta Arenas airport/hotel; shipboard accommodations with daily housekeeping; photographic journal; gear to keep (parka); gear on loan (walking poles, waterproof boots); briefing dinner on Day 1 in Punta Arenas; all meals onboard the ship; select beer and wine during dinner aboard ship; soft drinks aboard ship; coffee, tea, and cocoa available around the clock onboard ship; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; luggage handling aboard ship; Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person*. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare except the flights mentioned as included; additional overnight accommodation; transfer from the hotel to the airport at the end of the expedition; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned; meals ashore unless specified; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, except for those included; baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance (strongly recommended); excess baggage fees; mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac landing and cruising excursions or any other gear not mentioned; laundry, bar, massage services or other personal charges, unless specified; phone and Internet charges; gratuities; additional overnight accommodation; arrival and departure transfers, except where explicitly stated; Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities; 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. This shipping company strongly advises that all passengers purchase medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, and additional emergency evacuation coverage.
PHOTOS: © Quark Expeditions