Summary : Set out on an adventure to the great white wilderness of Antarctica, Cape Horn, and the Chilean fjords. Droves of penguins, elephant and fur seals, minke whales, large flocks of sea birds – not forgetting the wandering albatross – give life to this surreal and beautiful landscape. This tour is a fantastic opportunity to take a close-up look at the world’s most fascinating and charming continent. On board the comfortable ship, listen to presentations by experts in Antarctica’s rich history, further enriching this educational, once-in-a-lifetime journey.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography
$7,702 to $21,588
Santiago's cityscape is shaped by several stand-alone hills and the fast-flowing Mapocho River, lined by parks such as Parque Forestal. Mountains of the Andes chain can be seen from most points in the city. Before embarking on the voyage, spend an included hotel night here and wake up ready for adventure!
This morning you will meet your included airport transfer to the airport, where you will fly to Punta Arenas for your expedition. Your ship awaits you here.
Today you will sail south in the Magellan Strait and pass Isla Tucker and then through the extremely narrow Canal Gabriel. The Chilean fjords are truly spectacular, and staying on deck to take in the views is the preferred activity. If the weather is favorable, make a landing on Cape Horn. However, this is an area known for high seas and challenging conditions, but there will be a second chance on the return voyage as well.
The Drake Passage connects the southern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Here the warm water from the north meets the cold, less salty water from the south. This makes the ocean particularly rich in nutrients and is the basis of the unique marine life here.
While crossing the sea towards Antarctica, a number of presentations will be given on board about various aspects of the history and wildlife of the Antarctic. You will also be given a thorough introduction to the current guidelines for visiting this precious, fragile natural environment.
You are now in one of the most remote areas of the world. Whale watching opportunities abound from the comfort of your expedition ship's deck. Enjoy close encounters with wildlife and glaciers, old whaling stations and their relics. Among the places you will see are South Shetland and Cuverville Island, home to a large colony of Chinstrap penguins. Neko Harbor is beautifully located in the innermost part of Andvord Bay and Paradise Harbor got its descriptive name from the whalers during the last century.
You can also look forward to visiting Half Moon Island, considered a jewel of diversity in the polar landscape. Come ashore and join the expedition team to explore the impressive Antarctica scenery and get a close look at thousands of penguins. Spot seals, and enjoy kayaking (fee applies) and visits to the most interesting places. On board there will be several lectures and ‘scientific experiments’ for Young Explorers Antarctica.
Spend a day recapping your experiences, going over your photos, having fun in the Explorer Room, or just relaxing on deck.
If it wasn't possible to get ashore on Cape Horn on your way south, the captain will try again today. Otherwise, visit Puerto Williams, which is home to an interesting museum of anthropology and the remains of ancient Indian campsites.
Sail through the Chilean fjords and enjoy a day of wild nature and impressive sights. Find a great place to land, surrounded by wilderness and glaciers. In the evening, there will be a farewell dinner.
After disembarkation in Punta Arenas, transfer to the airport for your included flight back to Santiago.
The above itinerary is a guide only, as the exact program depends on weather and ice conditions and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Although travel insurance is not mandatory to participate in this voyage, 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. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Multilingual Departures: English/Norwegian/German (All Departures)
Basic Kayaking Certification Program: $995 per person
Learn how to effectively maneuver a kayak and perform simple, practical kayaking exercises and drills, as well as basic kayaking safety procedures. This course is up to 16 hours in duration over two non-consecutive days. Kayaking excursions on the water will be 2-4 hours in length. Graduates of the class will receive a basic kayaking certification from the Norwegian Paddle Association: Norsk Padleforbunds. The program is led by two professional kayaking guides, with a maximum of 8 participants. No previous paddling experience is necessary. The program is conducted in English. All equipment, including a dry suit, is provided for participants. Good physical fitness is essential. Children 13 years and older may participate on request. Please Note: This program is not combinable with the Explorer Photography School program. Pre-bookable (recommended) or bookable onboard, subject to availability. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details and booking information.
Depending on weather conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for hiking during the voyage. The duration of the hike depends on the tour. Hiking is not pre-bookable or guaranteed. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Depending on weather conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for kayaking during the voyage. Please Note: Kayaking excursions are based on a lottery system and are not guaranteed. Those interested in a guaranteed, pre-bookable kayaking option are advised to consider the Basic Kayaking Certification Program (see below). Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Photography Program: Included
Join onboard photography lectures about still photography, video photography, and wildlife photography. Lectures are included in the price of the voyage. Those interested in a more in-depth photography expedition are encouraged to consider to optional, pre-bookable Explorer Photography School program. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Explorer Photography School: $995 per person
Participate in three photography workshops: Workshop #1: Basic Image Editing (2 hours, divided into two sessions or more); Workshop #2: Wildlife and Landscape Photography; Workshop #3: DSLR Video Instruction. The program is taught by two professional photographers, with a maximum of 10 participants. It is conducted in English and intended for advanced beginners to experienced photographers. Included: photography booklet, designated workstation with photo editing software, priority access to the photo and optics test center equipment, and a Zeiss Lens Cleaning kit. Please Note: This program is not combinable with the Basic Kayak Certification program. Pre-bookable (recommended) or bookable onboard, subject to availability. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details and booking information.
Science Center: Included
'Hands-on' science program where guests can perform their own science experiments with the assistance of professional biologists and geologists. Featuring ten Leica DM500 biological microscopes and ten Leica EZ4 geological microscopes, groups of 2-3 guests per microscope will work with a trained biologist or geologist. Occasionally, scientists invite guests along to sample biomaterial for use in the science center. There is also a large screen connected to the scientist's microscope for viewing during every session.
Depending on weather and land conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for snowshoeing during the voyage. Due to popular demand, snowshoers are chosen by lottery as there is a set limit to the number of guests allowed to go onshore at one time. Snowshoeing is not pre-bookable or guaranteed. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Young Explorers Program: Included
Designed for children traveling with adults to magnificent destinations where the focus is on education, fun, and participation. A dedicated staff member will lead age-appropriate lectures and field research with your Young Explorer on topics ranging from science, polar history, photography, and navigation. Activities and learning are designed for children between the ages of 7-13 (although all ages can join in!)
One pre-cruise hotel night in Santiago, with breakfast; transfer from the hotel to the airport in Santiago; flight to/from Santiago to Punta Arenas; transfer airport to/from ship; transfers in Punta Arenas; orientation tour in Punta Arenas; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; complimentary coffee and tea; photography lectures; hands-on science center onboard; Young Explorers program for children; gear on laon (waterproof rubber boots); and a wind- and water-resistant jacket. Expedition Suites (Q, M, MG, MX): a soft drink package; a wine package; an Arctic Pure amenity kit (bathroom); a fleece blanket/throw; a cabin kit (bathrobe and slippers); an Espresso maker; a kettle with premium tea/coffee; sweets and snacks with sparkling wine on embarkation day; a separate check-in with sparkling wine; a suite breakfast. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare except as mentioned as included; transfers except as mentioned as included; passport and visa fees; travel insurance; luggage handling; alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks except as mentioned as included; kayaking; optional excursions and gratuities; items of a personal nature such as laundry; walking sticks and binoculars can be rented for an additional charge; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Dominic Barrington; © Tori Hogan; © Dietmar Schiemer; © Manuel Marin; © Franz Gingele; © Marsel van Oosten; © Gunter Krause; © Pauli Araneva