Summary : Antarctica at its most accessible! Maximize your time in Antarctica and skip the Drake Passage on this ‘Fly/Fly’ voyage to the icy continent’s picturesque west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Meet penguins in person, aim to step foot on the White Continent, and hear the crackle of sea ice on this epic otherworldly adventure! Exploring the modern traveler’s final frontier, you’ll discover the iconic sights and sounds that make Antarctica one of the Earth’s most pristine, unforgettable, and coveted destinations.
Activities : Birding, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins, Antarctica Air-Cruise
$11,500 to $22,300
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Arrive in Punta Arenas, where you will be met by an expedition representative and transferred to your downtown hotel (preferred flights only). Overlooking the Straits of Magellan, the city sits astride one of the world's most historic trade routes. Today, Punta Arenas reflects a great mix of cultures, from English sheep ranchers to Portuguese sailors, and it remains an utterly fascinating testament to Chile's rich history.
Tonight, gather to meet your fellow expeditioners for a briefing on the first leg of your expedition—your flight to Antarctica!
This morning transfer to the Punta Arenas airport for your early morning charter flight to King George Island, Antarctica (weather permitting). The flight will take approximately one-and-a-half hours.
On arrival into King George Island your expedition team is on hand to greet you for your Zodiac transfer to board the Greg Mortimer. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before important briefings.
NOTE: King George Island is located at the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula in the South Shetland Islands and is one of the most remote places on Earth. A clear sky with perfect visibility is required in order for the plane to take off and land safely. Please see the contingency plan in the Notes and Payment/Cancellation Policy section so you know what to anticipate should there be any delays due to weather.
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.
As the ship approaches Frei Base on King George Island, it is time to farewell Antarctica and your amazing adventure before boarding your return flight to Punta Arenas, Chile. On arrival at the Punta Arenas airport, you will be transferred to your included downtown hotel.
NOTE: King George Island is located at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. This is one of the most remote place on Earth. A clear sky with perfect visibility is required in order to take off and land safely. Please see the contingency plan in the Notes and Payment/Cancellation Policy section so you know what to anticipate should there be any delays due to weather.
After breakfast, bid a fond farewell to your fellow travelers as you continue your onward journeys with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature (breakfast included).
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. The information below is subject to change at any time.
Charter Flight Contingency Plan:
See Payment & Cancellation Policies page for more details.
Charter Flight Luggage Weight Limit:
Punta Arenas/King George Island: 7kg per person carry on; 20kg per person checked
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase emergency evacuation/repatriation insurance at a minimum coverage of $250,000. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. Insurance should cover personal accident and medical expenses, evacuation and repatriation, baggage loss, and cancellation or curtailment of holiday. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Photography Program: Included
Scott Portelli, a photography expert will offer lectures and presentations to help improve your skills. Whether a beginner or experienced photographer, you will find the presentations and informal tuitions, while either on board or during landings and excursions, will help you capture those memorable moments. Scott is an international award-winning wildlife, nature and underwater photographer. A member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP), Scott has spent over a decade working in the polar regions with a focus on Antarctica and the Sub-Antarctic areas.
Exploration by sea kayak is an ideal way to surround yourself in the sights and sounds of Antarctica. Paddle among icebergs and brash ice, get up close to wildlife and observe in an unobtrusive manner. Some kayak excursions may be long in duration and on choppy water, so a reasonable level of kayaking experience is required to participate in this activity. Fee required to participate. Please contact ExpeditionTrips to book.
Stand atop an Antarctic summit for views few others have experienced. Internationally-qualified climbing guides plan to help you make at least two, one-day alpine ascents (weather dependent) as well as some ice-climbing. Fee required to participate. Please contact ExpeditionTrips to book.
Witness wildlife and scenery unlike any other place on earth. Through crystal clear waters you'll discover the amazing mobility and speed of penguins entering and exiting from the ice, marvel at beautiful sculpted icebergs below the water and witness marine life such as crustaceans, isopods, starfish and nudibranchs! Participant numbers are limited to ensure the highest safety standards and an experienced dive guide will oversee the program. Fee required to participate. Please contact ExpeditionTrips to book.
Snowshoeing makes walking up gentle slopes and across Antarctica’s soft, powdery snow a breeze, allowing you to explore places where others struggle to reach in boots alone. Armed with your very own set of snowshoes and ski poles, you’ll be led by guides who will provide all the instruction you need for a thrilling experience. No previous experience is required, but a good level of fitness is necessary. Fee required to participate. Please contact ExpeditionTrips to book.
Group transfer from Punta Arenas airport to hotel on Day 1 if on the group flight; one pre-cruise hotel night in Punta Arenas with breakfast; transfers between Punta Arenas hotel and airport for flights to/from King George Island; round-trip flights between Punta Arenas and King George Island; one post-voyage hotel night in Punta Arenas with breakfast; shipboard accommodations; printed photo book from your voyage (post voyage, one per booking); gear to keep (expedition jacket); gear on loan (boots); all meals onboard ship; house wines, beers, and soft drinks with dinner onboard ship. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare except flights between Punta Arenas and King George Island; passport and visa expenses; hotels and meals not included in itinerary; transfers not mentioned as included; optional activity supplements; alcohol and soft drinks not mentioned as included; items of a personal nature such as Wi-Fi, laundry service, spa charges, medical expenses, etc.; required travel insurance; excess baggage charges; airport arrival or departure taxes; gratuities (Note: A $15 USD per person per day gratuity for the crew is automatically added to your onboard account. It is at your discretion if you would like to remove the tip (or increase/decrease the amount) when you settle your bill); fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos: © Aurora Expeditions