Antarctic Express - Fly South, Cruise North
9 days - Prices $6,995 - $12,595
Fly over the Drake Passage to King George Island and explore the Antarctic Peninsula with adventure options and great guides; return to South America by ship.
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$6,995 - $12,595
Take advantage of the fastest, most direct way to Antarctica: flying. A short flight takes you to the White Continent where you will enjoy everything the Antarctic has to offer. Immense penguin rookeries and icy landscapes await your arrival. Take in the full Antarctic experience, while only having to cruise the Drake Passage once. This program will emphasize wildlife viewing, possible visits to scientific bases, and breathtaking scenery with narrow waterways, glaciers, icebergs and rugged mountains. Experience the beauty and wonder of the White Continent!
Day 1: Punta Arenas, Chile
Your journey begins in Punta Arenas, Chile. This port city is situated at the southern tip of Chile, on the north bank of the Strait of Magellan. Once a Chilean penal colony, Punta Arenas has transformed into a vibrant city offering you plenty of attractions to explore including historic sites and museums. Explore the city by day, and then join fellow travelers for an evening dinner.
Day 2: Embarkation Day
Today, board your chartered flight to Antarctica. The journey over the Drake Passage will take less than four hours, whereas ship-based travelers take two days to make the journey by sea. Your first glimpse of Antarctica comes into view shortly before the aircraft descends towards King George Island, hope for clear skies so you can appreciate the vastness of this great continent! Join up with the ship later in the day, when you’ll get your first trip in a Zodiac and begin your exploration of the Antarctic region.
Days 3 - 6: Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
There are few places in the world as awe-inspiring as Antarctica. Much of Antarctica can only be fully appreciated through the human eye. Your first sightings will be from the ship itself. 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 excursions to land. 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 opportunities for wildlife sightings. You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs in Pleneau Island one day, followed by a hike to a chinstrap rookery the next day. From the booming shot of a calving glacier at Petermann Island to the complete silence of night while camping in Antarctica, you’ll welcome each day with the excitement and energy of a young child. The Expedition Team will be with you all along, providing insights into the places you visit to get the most out of your expedition.
Days 7 - 8: Crossing the Drake Passage
A rite of passage for any Antarctic adventurer, the Drake signals the end of your journey. No matter the sea conditions, you will benefit from having developed your sea legs over the course of the previous four days.The Expedition Team will be available on deck and on the ship’s bridge to help you spot the majestic wandering albatross and a number of whale species, such as Minke and Humpback.
When you’re not chatting with fellow passengers and reminiscing about the previous days, listen to the Expedition Team conclude their series of engaging presentations on subjects such as marine biology, polar history and glaciology.
Day 9: Ushuaia, Argentina
After a final breakfast aboard the ship, say goodbye to the crew and fellow travelers. Transfer to the airport for homeward flights.
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. 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.
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. In the unlikely event that the charter flight is unable to fly on day 2 due to weather delays, hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas will be provided. On day 3, should the charter flight not be able to take off by 1400hrs, the voyage will be officially cancelled. Passengers will not be offered a refund by the shipping company in the event of trip cancellation, nor will they offer passengers compensation in the event of delay. 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 pre-expedition night hotel in Punta Arenas; group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to hotel; group transfer from your hotel to the airport in conjunction with the charter flight to Antarctica; flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica and transfer to the ship; group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the local airport; 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; Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $100,000 per person*.
Any airfare except the charter flight from Puntas Arenas to Antarctica; 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, except as mentioned in the included section; 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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