Summary : Take advantage of the fastest, most direct way to Antarctica—flying. A short flight takes you to the White Continent where you will enjoy all the Antarctic has to offer. Cruise south to explore some of Antarctica’s most pristine and rarely visited areas including the incredible wildlife colonies along the Antarctic Peninsula and in the South Shetland Islands. Navigate through some of the world’s most scenic waterways and attempt to reach the Antarctic Circle. Take in the full Antarctic experience without having to cross the Drake Passage. Skip extra days at sea, while enjoying the beautiful scenery and incredible wildlife experiences of Antarctica.
Activities : Birding, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins, Antarctica Air-Cruise, Antarctic Circle
$17,495 to $34,795
Arrive in Punta Arenas and transfer to your pre-expedition 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 to meet your ship at King George Island. 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 and spend time exploring the island 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 you approach the White Continent, feel your excitement and awe grow in anticipation. Much of Antarctica is indescribable and can only be fully appreciated with your own eyes.
As the Captain and Expedition Team keep their eyes out for whales and seabirds, you’ll be alerted to any new sightings. The team of expert lecturers will also provide in-depth explanations of the geology, history, and wildlife of the region.
Exciting daily excursions like your first Zodiac landing is something you’ll never forget! Walking up to a beach that is dotted with penguins and seals 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. You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs one day, followed by a hike to a penguin rookery the next. It won’t be long before you can tell the difference between an Adélie, gentoo, or chinstrap penguin.
From the thunderous clap of a calving glacier to the thrill of watching penguins swim like tuxedo-ed torpedoes for fish, you’ll wake up early and welcome each day with a sense of adventure and a desire to explore that which is unrivaled by any other travel experience.You’ll wake early and welcome each day with a sense of excitement and desire to explore that which is unrivaled by any other travel experience.
The Expedition Team will be with you providing insights into the places you visit.
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula do not reach this far south. If conditions allow us to cross this famed line, you and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of sparkling wine! Make a toast and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, penguins and some of the most awe-inspiring ice formations you’ll see anywhere on earth.
By now, your knowledge of penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between seals; and terms like ‘bergy bits’ and 'pancake ice' will seem normal. As you head north, Zodiac excursions will continue to fill your days, and your Expedition Team will continue offering presentations and looking out for more species of penguins, seals and whales.
After so many awe-inspiring experiences and memorable days of wildlife encounters, it's time to say goodbye to the Expedition Team. Your three-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile, brings your adventure to an end. After your group transfer from the airport to the hotel, you are free to explore this evening on your own and reminisce about the sights and sounds of Antarctica.
After breakfast, make your own way to the Punta Arenas airport for your homeward flight.
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, 4, or 5, you will enjoy an additional night’s accommodation and meals in Punta Arenas. On Day 6, 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 weather conditions, flying in this region can be challenging and is beyond control. The shipping company will offer passengers a refund 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 recommend 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, participants can only bring 15kg/33lb of checked luggage and 5kg/11lb of carry-on luggage. Weight limits are subject to change.
A small group of kayakers will plan to go out multiple times per voyage instead of shore landings. The number of opportunities to kayak is weather dependent and will only be conducted during calm conditions. Prior kayaking experience is required for you to feel comfortable on the water, and you must have the capability to do a wet exit to participate. Beginners interested in kayaking should consider participating in the Paddling Excursion described below.
If you’re interested in kayaking and would like to try something less in-depth than kayaking, you can still enjoy the benefits of adding an on-water experience to your expedition with a Paddling Excursion. Sign up for a one-time paddle on sit-on-top kayaks, which are stable and unencumbered—perfect for anyone with little to no experience with kayaking. Passengers are taken out in rotating groups on calm days with expert guides to connect with the sea. Space is limited. Pre-booking required.
Group transfer in Punta Arenas from airport to hotel on Day 1; one night pre-voyage hotel in Punta Arenas with breakfast; group transfer from hotel to Punta Arenas airport on Day 2; round-trip flight between Punta Arenas and King George Island in economy class; group transfers from Punta Arenas airport to hotel on Day 10; one night post-voyage hotel with breakfast in Punta Arenas; shipboard accommodation; meals aboard ship; house wine, non-premium domestic beer during dinner aboard ship; soft drinks aboard ship; use of walking poles; photographic journal; boots on loan for shore landings; parka to keep; coffee, tea, and cocoa available around the clock aboard ship; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; gratuities onboard ship (2/13/2019 only); emergency Evacuation Insurance to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person*. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare except the flights mentioned as included; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; any meals ashore; adventure option supplements; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages except those mentioned as included; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry, bar, and other personal charges; phone and internet charges; gratuities (1/25/2020); 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. We strongly advise all passengers to purchase medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, and additional emergency evacuation coverage.