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. Once in Antarctica, you’ll immediately be captivated with the sheer beauty and dramatic landscapes of the White Continent. Within hours of your departure, you’ll be greeted by a team of experts on the ship and soon be on the lookout for penguins, seals and whales in Antarctica; not to mention captivating scenery with jaw-dropping ice formations in spectacular shades of blue.
Activities : Birding, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins, Antarctica Air-Cruise
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Your adventure begins in Punta Arenas, Chile, the most populated city in Patagonia. Transfer from the airport to the hotel. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants to check out. By early afternoon, a trip representative will bring everyone together at your 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 as the ship awaits your arrival to King George Island. Antarctic landscapes will be from a very unique perspective, as your plane descends for landing in the South Shetlands. After landing, stretch your legs and spend some time exploring the island before being transferred by Zodiac to your ship to set sail for the 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.
Even more exciting are your daily land excursions. 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 in Pleneau Island one day, followed by a hike to a chinstrap 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 at Petermann Island to the complete silence of night. 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.
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 transfer from the airport to the hotel, you are free to explore and enjoy one final dinner to 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.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage. 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.
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 sea kayakers will plan to go out multiple times per voyage during landings, taking advantage of the best opportunities, as kayaking adventures are only conducted during calm weather conditions. It is recommend that you have some prior kayaking experience, including the capability to do a wet exit.
Charter Flight Contingency Plan: (12/15/2017, 12/28/2017, 1/2/2018, 1/7/2018 only)
In the rare instance where on the final day for flight attempts the flight was still not successfully completed, the shipping company has the right to cancel the trip. The shipping company reserves the right to extend the final attempt day if weather conditions are improving. If the trip is cancelled: THE SHIPPING COMPANY WILL PROVIDE A FULL REFUND FOR THE FULL CRUISE FARE AND ANY UNUSED ADVENTURE OPTIONS. No refund will be provided if the flight is successfully completed regardless of which day of the itinerary it was executed. International airfare, domestic airfare, any additional services purchased or change fees, will not be refunded by the shipping company. The shipping company will provide a trip interruption letter to be submitted by the passenger to their insurance company. The shipping company strongly recommends that all guests purchase changeable airline tickets and a travel insurance policy which includes trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance with airfare coverage. The shipping company will issue the cruise fare refund back in the same form/medium in which payment was received.
The shipping company reserves the right to send passengers on the charter plane the evening prior to the scheduled day. This may happen when they see a weather system that could cause a delay on subsequent days. For this reason, all passengers should arrive in Punta Arenas no later than 3:00pm on Day 1 for Antarctica trips.
For each day of the itinerary after Day 1, if there is a delay, all guests will be briefed by the shipping company ground staff on the flight status as you are waiting for a weather window to depart and could be required to leave with very little notice. All guests and staff will be on stand-by until approximately 14:00 hrs. During the stand-by period you must be at the airport, or at another location designated by the ground staff to be ready to go if and when a suitably long weather window becomes available. If by 14:00 hrs the flight remains delayed, you will be returned back to your respective hotels or you may choose to join additional excursions for the afternoon compliments of the shipping company which may include guided tours to sites of historic, cultural or wildlife interest. On these days, the shipping company will provide additional night(s) hotel accommodation and meals. If the trip is cancelled, the shipping company will provide a final single night of hotel accommodation. Any additional hotel nights and meals will be the responsibility of the guest. The shipping company reserves the right to make exceptions to these timing guidelines. Subject to change without notice.
Charter Flight Contingency Plan: (12/28/2018 only)
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 2 pm, 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 your program takes place, but due to weather conditions, flying in this region can be difficult and is beyond our 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 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.
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 Antarctica; group transfers from Punta Arenas airport to hotel on Day 7; one night post-voyage hotel with breakfast in Punta Arenas; shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; meals on board; photographic journal on DVD; waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; parka to keep; coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock; hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; luggage handling aboard ship; Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person*; house wine, non-premium domestic beer and soft drinks during dinner aboard ship (12/28/2018 only); gratuities (12/28/2018 only). Subject to change without notice.
Airfare except the flights mentioned as included; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore unless otherwise specified; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages except those specified; cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry, bar and other personal charges; phone and internet charges; voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew (12/15/2017, 12/28/2017, 1/2/2018, 1/7/2018 only); kayaking; 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.