Antarctic Express – Cruise South, Fly North
10 days - Prices $7,395 - $13,995
Reach the Antarctic Peninsula by classic expedition ship to explore the continent with hiking, kayaking and camping options; return to South America by plane.
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$7,395 - $13,995
If you’re looking for a more efficient Antarctic experience, this is it. Venture south, crossing the infamous Drake Passage and experience the first sighting of Antarctica with your fellow shipmates. After your penguin, seal, whale, iceberg and glacier cravings have been satisfied, take the relaxing way home by flying from King George Island to Punta Arenas, Chile. Plus, you will have the opportunity to participate in a complimentary photography course that provides the technical expertise and hands-on instruction to ensure that you come away with timeless images of the majestic environment.
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
This quaint city at the southernmost tip of South America is your gateway to Antarctica. The city itself provides a wide range of jewelry shops, cafes, gear shops and restaurants to explore before your voyage, while the surrounding mountains offer ample adventure activities if you’re wanting to discover the rugged nature of Tierra del Fuego.
Day 2: Embarkation Day
Embark in the afternoon, with a journey through the picturesque Beagle Channel. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled and be out on deck, as the channel is home to a wide variety of wildlife including seabirds and seals. Rainbows are common here too, creating a great photography opportunity to kick off the start to your Antarctic adventure.
Days 3 - 4: Crossing the Drake Passage
Legendary for its high winds and rolling seas, you may get lucky and enjoy the pleasant surprise of calm seas. Spend your time in the lounge or chatting with your fellow travelers. As you develop your sea legs during the crossing, the Expedition Team will begin their series of presentations and help prepare you for upcoming Zodiac and land excursions. Officially enter Antarctica when your ship crosses the Antarctic convergence, a biological boundary that fluctuates around 60° south.
Days 5 - 8: Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
Icebergs are the first attractions that welcome you to Antarctica. Massive floating bergs become more common as you get closer to land and catch your first glimpse of the Peninsula, with its grand snow-covered mountains. In addition to spotting icebergs, you’ll likely observe penguins on ice floes and whales feeding and swimming in the frigid waters. As soon as possible, the Zodiacs will be readied for the first landing in the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. The first time you experience this immense wilderness up close can be a numbing experience. The silence is great, the vastness is even greater. Thankfully the noisy locals – penguins and seals – are there to remind you that this wonderful landscape isn’t just a dream.
Your Expedition Team will monitor the ice and weather conditions to determine which landing sites can be visited. With many sites to choose from, each expedition presents new opportunities for exploring the white continent by Zodiac and land. Swimming in Antarctica is perhaps the most adventurous option you can enjoy, by taking a polar-dip in the water at Neko Harbor. If you would rather stay on land, an optional camping trip in Antarctica provides another memorable adventure. A typical day in this wildlife wonderland will be spent listening to calving glaciers at Petermann Island, watching penguins waddle around a beach, or taking a hike atop a hill for a panoramic view of Port Lockroy. Whatever you prefer, the photographic opportunities are endless.
Day 9: Disembark / Fly to Punta Arenas
As the ship turns north, say goodbye to the penguins, as well as many of your shipmates. With only the Drake Passage ahead, disembark and enjoy a bit of time on King George Island before flying off to Punta Arenas, Chile. Once you’re in Punta Arenas, transfer from the airport to your hotel, where you’re free to explore and enjoy a final dinner out.
Day 10: Depart for Home
After breakfast, make your own way to the Punta Arenas airport for your homeward flight or continue on with other adventures.
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 that the travel insurance policy covers trip cancellation insurance, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage and repatriation. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
Luggage Weight Restrictions: Luggage can weigh no more than 15kg (33 lbs.) for the flights from and to Punta Arenas, Chile.
Camping Option: $225 per person; minimum age 16 years. No camping experience is necessary to participate in this program. Sleeping bags and all safety equipment are provided. Space is limited; request at time of booking.
Sea Kayaking Option: $950 per person; minimum age 16 years. Please note that some kayaking experience is recommended in order to participate in this program. Space is limited; request at time of booking.
Snowshoeing Option: Included in cruise rate; anyone can take part, no previous experience necessary. Snowshoes available free of charge for excursions when conditions permit.
Every effort will be made to ensure the program takes place, but due to weather conditions, flying in this region can be difficult and on rare occasions not possible. For this reason, we strongly recommend that all expedition travellers purchase a travel insurance policy including trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance in case of weather. The shipping company will make every effort to assist passengers with rebooking hotels or flights, but this will be at the cost of the passengers. Passengers on board the ship during a delay will remain on board with no additional cost until the time in which the charter flight is able to arrange transport. Passengers are advised to book changeable airlines tickets and have flexible travel arrangements upon disembarkation of the voyage in case delays arise. ExpeditionTrips will not be held responsible for any change/cancellations fees due to weather related delays or any other delays arising from force majeure.
One night pre-expedition hotel in Ushuaia; group transfers between the airport and hotel in Ushuaia; group transfers from a designated location in Ushuaia to the ship on embarkation day; flight from Antarctica to Punta Arenas; a group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to local hotel; one night post-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast; shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; all breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage (Please inform of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.); all shore landings per the daily program; leadership throughout the voyage by experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities; all Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; formal and informal presentations by Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled; photographic journal on DVD, documenting the voyage; a pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; an official parka to keep; coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock; hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin; comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader; all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; all luggage handling aboard ship; photography program; Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $100,000 per person*.
Any airfare except flight from Antarctica to Punta Arenas; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry and other personal charges; telecommunications charges; voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew; supplements for adventure options; fuel surcharge may apply.
*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $100,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only to travel between the first and last day of the expedition purchased. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition 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.
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