Summary : Discover a remote stretch of the Antarctic Peninsula visited for just a few short months each year. Seasonal ice conditions offer exciting ice navigation and the best chance of crossing the Antarctic Circle. Here you will witness expansive landscapes and sizable Adelie penguin rookeries. Aim to cross 66° 33' south of latitude, which officially marks the Antarctic Circle on the global map. Each day, choose from an exciting selection of activities including short or long hikes ashore, visits to historic points of interest and wildlife colonies, Zodiac cruising in search of whales and seals, or simply photographing incredible icebergs. Such activities are enjoyed in the company of wilderness guides, naturalists, marine biologists, historians, and photographers. Save time with an included flight from Punta Arenas, Chile to King George Island, Antarctica at the beginning of the trip.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins, Antarctica Air-Cruise, Antarctic Circle
$16,395 to $25,995
Your journey commences this morning in the southern Chilean port city of Punta Arenas. Gather at a central location and transfer to the airport for the two-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Antarctica (this flight is included in the price of your voyage). Upon arrival at King George Island, embark the ship via Zodiac. After settling into your cabin and exploring your new surroundings, meet your expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as you enjoy a 'welcome' refreshment and set sail.
Given optimal ice conditions, aim to sail south of the Antarctic Circle. A favored landing site here is Detaille Island, home to an abandoned British science hut. ‘Base W’ was established in the 1950s and is in a remarkable state of preservation. This is a fascinating place for history buffs, providing a glimpse into the harsh life of early Antarctic scientists and researchers.
This far south, the expedition is at the mercy of prevailing ice conditions. Late February offers the best chance of reaching Marguerite Bay. Marguerite Bay is home to several important science bases: Rothera (UK), San Martin (Argentina), and Carvajal (Chile). You might visit at least one of these locations.
As you navigate historic waterways and visit prime sites along the Antarctic Peninsula and neighboring South Shetland Islands, the goal is to attempt 1-2 excursions per day. Your Captain and Expedition Leader continually monitor weather and ice conditions, working together to insure you experience the best of Antarctica whether you’re exploring Paradise Bay, the Lemaire Channel, Port Lockroy, Deception Island, or the many other locations available for landings and Zodiac cruising in the region.
Sailing in the wake of the 19th century’s great explorers—Sir Ernest Shackleton, Adrien de Gerlache, Robert Falcon Scott, and Roald Amundsen (to name just a few)—you’ll photograph the same towering mountain peaks they saw, hear raucous penguin colonies as you go ashore, see dazzling shades of blue and white as you navigate bays with impressive ice sculptures, and gain a new perspective of what it takes for wildlife—from penguins and giant petrels to elephant seals and humpback whales—to thrive in the beauty of this environment.
The forecast for conditions across the Drake Passage will determine when you’ll say a fond farewell to Antarctica and sail back to South America. Enjoy the ship’s amenities as the coastline drifts out of view, take time for bird watching and searching the horizon for whales, and enjoy final presentations by the expedition staff as you relax and reflect upon your Antarctic adventure.
This morning you find yourself in the port of Stanley. Say goodbye to your crew and after some free time in town, make your way to the airport for the return charter flight to Santiago (see Additional Costs). Upon arrival in Santiago, your journey comes to an end.
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.
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance. The travel insurance must cover accidents, injury, illness and death, medical expenses, including any related to pre-existing medical conditions, emergency repatriation (including helicopter), luggage and personal effects, and personal liability. It is strongly recommended that you purchase cancellation and curtailment insurance. You must carry proof of insurance with you and produce it if requested by expedition staff. The expedition team reserves the right to cancel or suspend your participation on a trip or in certain activities that comprise part of a trip, at any time, including after the commencement of your tour, with no right of refund, if you are unable to provide proof of insurance when requested. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Once you have booked your voyage to the Polar Regions, you will be required to complete a Medical Information Form. This form must be completed, signed, and returned no later than 90 days prior to departure.
Important Voyage Logistics:
Trip Planning: This trip commences in Punta Arenas, Chile. It is recommended that you arrive in Punta Arenas at least one day prior to the scheduled departure date as a buffer in the event of unexpected travel delays between home, departure, and voyage embarkation. From Punta Arenas, you will fly via a special charter flight to King George Island, Antarctica where you will embark the ship. All passengers must attend a mandatory logistics meeting the evening prior to the flight. At the conclusion of the trip, you will fly from Stanley, Falklands Islands to Santiago, Chile (see Additional Costs). It is advised that you book your outward flight from late afternoon/early evening onward—or consider spending a night in Santiago—to avoid missed connections.
Luggage Limits: Different luggage limits apply to the special charter flights between Stanley and Santiago. Please observe a limit of 20-kg / 44-lb for checked baggage and 5-kg / 11-lb for carry-on baggage. There is no facility to purchase excess luggage on this flight. Excess baggage can be stored for the duration of your voyage for a small fee. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Limited to 30 guests. Pre-booking required. Must have prior sea kayaking experience. All intending kayakers must complete a questionnaire outlining their paddling experience and also attend several compulsory onboard meetings prior to the first kayak excursion. Provided equipment includes full Gore-Tex drysuits, kayak specific PFDs, neoprene booties, a waterproof deck bag, pogies, and a single or double kayak. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
An onboard photographer is available throughout the voyage to help you improve your photography skills. Attend presentations, receive hands-on tips and advice, and use the onboard multimedia studio to edit your images.
One-way economy flight between Punta Arenas, Chile and King George Island, Antarctica; transfers to the ship on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport upon disembarkation; shipboard accommodations; experienced expedition leader and professional expedition team of marine biologists, naturalists, historians, and adventure guides; dedicated hospitality and adventure concierge staff; assistance of resident photographer; daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat; guided hikes and walks onshore; visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty, and science stations; educational presentations and talks; access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads, file back up, and management; emergency-trained physician on every voyage; use of onboard library, Finnish sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi, and fitness center; end of voyage video, photos and take-home USB; gear on loan (waterproof/windproof jacket, bib pants, insulated rubber boots, binoculars, and trekking poles); all meals onboard the ship; daily housekeeping; daily afternoon tea; 24-hour tea, coffee, and hot chocolate in the lounge and in all cabins (replenished daily); port fees and all permits to access visited areas. Subject to change without notice.
Additional Inclusions for Suites:
Exclusive check-in service on day of embarkation; deluxe welcome package (wine, fruit basket, natural snacks); single brew coffee machine; mini-stereo; private in-room One Ocean Adventure Concierge service; in-room dining menu; early morning in-room café service; evening après dinner drink service; premium in-room mini bar replenished daily (including spirits); complimentary 1-hour massage/spa experience. Inclusions subject to change without notice.
Charter flights and any international or local airfare unless otherwise specified in voyage itinerary; pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodations, or pre- or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary (or pre-arranged); visa and passport expenses; personal expenses onboard such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges, laundry expenses or spa services such as massage; telecommunication charges (i.e. email, satellite phone); baggage, cancellation, or medical travel insurance-related expenses (travel insurance is mandatory on all voyages); gratuities. Subject to change without notice.
Photos: © Daisy Gilardini, © Boomer Jerritt, © Ira Meyer, © David Sinclair, © One Ocean Expeditions