Summary : A short, comfortable flight from Punta Arenas, Chile, to King George Island in Antarctica has you with boots on the ground in no time, overtaken by the sheer magnitude of the 7th Continent. Fully immersed in the Antarctic environment, you’ll experience a roller coaster of emotions, from excitement to exquisite solitude to incredible gratitude for the wonder of it all. Marvel at all the Antarctic Peninsula highlights, including crossing the Antarctic Circle. You may go in search of whales and find yourself bearing witness to a glacier calving. Or you may plan to climb one more peak for a better vantage point and find yourself in a rookery of curious penguins. Antarctica will leave you in awe, but it won’t leave you unchanged.
Activities : Birding, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins, Antarctica Air-Cruise, Antarctic Circle
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Your adventure begins with an included flight from international gateway Santiago to Punta Arenas, Chile, the most populated city in Patagonia. You will be transferred to the included group hotel. In the afternoon, you will meet at the group hotel, where you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about preparing for your embarkation day.
Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctic will have you crossing the legendary Drake Passage in only a few hours. Far below, the ship will approach King George Island for your arrival. Your first glimpse of dramatic Antarctic landscape 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 your ship approaches the White Continent, you may be overcome by feelings of excitement and awe. Much of Antarctica is indescribable and can only be fully appreciated through your own eyes. As your captain and expedition team keep a lookout for whales and seabirds, you'll be alerted to any new sightings. Your 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 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, and it won't be long before you can tell the difference between an Adelie, gentoo, or chinstrap penguin.
You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs around Pleneau Island one day, followed by a hike to a penguin rookery the next day. From the booming sound of a calving glacier at Neko Harbor to the thrill of watching a leopard seal as it hunts a penguin, you'll wake early and welcome each day with a sense of excitement and a desire to explore that which is unrivaled by any other travel experience.
Your Expedition Team will be with you all along the way, 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 66°33´ S. You and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of champagne!
As you toast the first explorers who ventured this far south, you can 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, Weddell seals and some of the most magical, odd ice formations you’ll see anywhere on the continent.
If you haven’t had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you’ll surely be satisfied by the time you return to King George Island. You will continue to journey onto land by Zodiac twice daily as you travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula.
Your Expedition Team will always be on the lookout for species of penguins, seals and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south.
After your week of exploration, you’ll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and disembark at King George Island. Your three-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile, brings your adventure to an end. After the group transfer to your hotel, enjoy an evening on your own, in the city or at the hotel.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Punta Arenas airport for your included return flight to Santiago.
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.
Charter Flight Contingency Plan:
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.
Cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; daily housekeeping; complimentary house wine, beer, and spirits on board the ship; shore landings per the daily program; a photographic journal documenting the expedition; expedition boots on loan; expedition parka to keep; coffee, tea, and cocoa available 24/7; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; gratuities for shipboard staff and crew; emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of $500,000* per person; flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas; group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to the pre-expedition hotel on Day 1; one night's pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas, with breakfast; a briefing dinner on Day 1 in Punta Arenas; pre-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the hotel to the airport; flights to and from Antarctica; post-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to the hotel; one night's post-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas, with breakfast; group transfer from the Punta Arenas hotel to the airport on the final day of the expedition; flight from Punta Arenas to Santiago. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare not mentioned as included; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above; meals ashore unless otherwise specified; baggage, cancellation, interruption, or medical travel insurance; excess-baggage fees on international flights; mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned; laundry, bar, and other personal charges unless specified as included; 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.