Summary : Travel in harmony with the elements to the White Continent. En route, you will experience the wild natural wonders of the Chilean fjords. Once in Antarctica, the sight of mighty glaciers calving into the ocean, colonies of penguins, and pods of whales in the icy seas will create indelible memories. Onboard, enjoy the comforts of a new, purpose-built, hybrid-powered expedition ship. Spend time in the Explorer Lounge and Bar while taking in the scenery through panoramic windows, hear presentations by knowledgeable guides, swim in the infinity pool, run the outdoor track, or learn in the Science Center. Children ages 7-13 can participate in the Young Explorers Program to gain a deeper understanding of nature, climate, and culture. The expedition ends in Punta Arenas, where you'll board an included flight back to Santiago, Chile.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Kayaking
$12,056 to $14,204
The capital of Chile is exciting and diverse. There is a lot to discover here, from the Andean glaciers at the city borders to tall mountains, skyscrapers, quiet parks, Colonial architecture, bohemian neighborhoods, and the fast-flowing Mapacho River. Your adventure starts with an overnight hotel stay here.
Take an included flight to Punta Arenas and embark the ship to begin your adventure.
Enjoy cruising through the Beagle Channel, with fjords and mountains plunging straight into the icy water. This wild and remote area seems almost undisturbed by humans. The ice has scoured its way between the mountains, leaving isolated islands and hidden bays that make up the unique fjord landscape of Chile.
When ranking the most iconic places on Earth, Cape Horn is high on the list. At almost 56° South, it is the southernmost point of South America. Before the Panama Canal, seafarers had to pass this infamous rocky island in order to cross from one side of the Americas to the other. Your captain will attempt a landing on Cape Horn before you cross the Drake Passage, part of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current—the most voluminous current in the world. About 25 to 40 billion gallons of water per second are transported from west to east. As you cross the Drake, you sail over the mid-ocean West Scotia Ridge and over the nearly 20,000-foot deep South Shetland Trench.
Antarctica is isolated from the rest of the world by ocean currents. 90% of the world's ice is here, 13,000-feet thick, covering the landmass. In winter Antarctica is further cut off by sea ice forming off the coast – virtually doubling the size of the continent. In summer, it is a breeding ground for millions of penguins, whales, and seals that, for the rest of the year, simply spend their time at sea. Most of the wildlife found here thrives on a cornerstone species: krill. The krill population in the Southern Ocean represents the largest biomass of a single species on Earth – including human beings!
As outlined in the Antarctic Treaty, this is a continent dedicated to peace, science, and tourism. No human activity is allowed to alter the perfect natural balance. You'll visit a place that has evolved through millennia without human interference. Antarctica's location makes every cruise to the continent an expedition. Even the most sophisticated technology cannot override some of the climatic challenges that are a part of this environment. Weather, wind, and ice conditions have a great influence on your program and schedule. Landings are changed, alternative routes are taken, and plans shift as you go along. This also means that you will take advantage of often ideal conditions to spend hours ashore hiking, kayaking through pristine water, or simply cruising among huge pods of whales.
The crew will attempt to land several places, including Deception Island, Half Moon Island, Brown Bluff, Cuverville Island, and Neko Harbor. All these sites are serene and offer untouched nature, opportunities to observe penguin colonies, seals, glaciers, icebergs in every shape and color, and old whaling stations. It's hard to sum up all the impressions you will gain. As a well-known quote from veteran Antarctic travelers goes, “If you can describe Antarctica with words, you have probably never been there.”
With the sights and smells of Antarctica still fresh in your mind, enjoy a day at sea while celebrating Christmas! You can expect fine food in the restaurant, fun and games in the bar, and maybe even a visit from a certain white-bearded gentleman!
After exploring the last untouched continent, you're on your way back to South America. Your expedition team will continue the onboard lecture series on the dramatic history and diverse wildlife of the region.
As you complete the loop of the Magellan Strait, recap everything you've experienced on this expedition. Make sure you spend some time on deck looking for wildlife like the wandering albatross.
When you reach Punta Arenas, it is time to say goodbye. Your journey home continues with an included flight to Santiago, where you may extend your stay with optional post-cruise extensions.
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.
This shipping company recommends that all passengers purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your trip investment from unexpected events such as cancellations, delays, and medical emergencies. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for polar 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.
Medical Declaration Form:
All travelers must complete a confidential medical declaration form, signed by a doctor, stating that they are fit to travel. Boarding may be denied if this form is not presented at the time of embarkation.
Multilingual Departures: English/German (All Departures)
Explorer Science Program: Included
Participate in lectures and activities to cultivate greater knowledge about the regions explored; conduct experiments or examine specimens in the Science Center with the assistance of professional biologists and geologists; or choose to assist with current research.
Young Explorers Program: Included
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. The focus is on education, fun, and participation. Designed for ages 7–13 (although all ages can join in!).
From Explorer Photography School to Basic Kayaking Certification, there are several supplemented activities to choose from. Some are pre-bookable. Most are booked once on board. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details and rates.
Economy round-trip flight between Santiago and Punta Arenas, Chile; one pre-cruise hotel night with breakfast included; transfer from the hotel to the airport in Santiago; transfer from the airport to the ship in Punta Arenas, transfer from the ship to the airport after the cruise; shipboard accommodations; Young Explorers program for children; introductory photography lecture; onboard science center and Explorer Science program; expedition logbook; Wi-Fi; complimentary wind- and water-resistant parka; gear on loan (waterproof rubber boots, trekking poles, and equipment needed for optional and included activities); most meals onboard the ship; early riser and afternoon treats; house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water in all restaurants; complimentary tea and coffee. Inclusions subject to change without notice.
Expedition Suites include a separate check-in; welcome package on embarkation day; suite breakfast and a la carte meals in restaurant Lindstrøm; mini bar replenishment; fleece blanket/throw; espresso maker; turn-down service; and laundry service. Subject to change without notice.
International flights; transfers not detailed in the inclusions; passport and visa fees; travel protection plan; luggage handling; a la carte menu selections not detailed in the inclusions; alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks except as mentioned; mini bar replenishment (except for suites); optional excursions and small-group adventures; optional small-group Explorer Photo program; items of a personal nature such as laundry and spa/wellness treatments; gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Andrea Kalvig Anderson, © Dominic Barrington, © Stefan Dall, © Karsten Bidstrup, © Hurtigruten