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Antarctic Islands Express Air-Cruise
5 days - Prices $3,995 - $6,895

Departures:

11/29/2014 01/14/2015


See entire List of Trips

Ship(s): Ocean Nova (Air-Cruise)

 

Trip Highlights:

Sail to Antarctic Islands (and return by plane) aboard a comfortable ship with good guides and a fantastic glass-enclosed observation lounge.


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Rates: $3,995 - $6,895

Summary: Sail through the Beagle Channel, explore Cape Horn and cross the infamous Drake Passage on your way to the "last continent." You may spot magnificent birds, such as albatrosses and petrels, as well as Humpback and Minke whales swimming on their way down to Antarctica. Navigate through the South Shetland Islands, visiting the most unique places and enjoying some of the best wildlife sites in this region of Antarctica. With daily excursions, your naturalist team will give lectures to introduce and inform you about this spectacular continent. On the last day, disembark at King George Island and fly to Punta Arenas, Chile.


Trip Itinerary
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
The journey begins in Ushuaia, Argentina. Sail along the Beagle Channel towards Puerto Williams, the southernmost town in the world, located on Navarino Island. Here, you will have the time to tour around before setting sail toward Cape Horn.

Day 2: Nassau Bay / Drake Passage
After crossing Nassau Bay, awake in front of legendary Cape Horn! Weather permitting, you will board the Zodiac boats and visit the bay's lighthouse and the Chilean station in charge of keeping it beaming. Back on board, get ready to set sail towards Antarctica and start the crossing of the famous waters named in honor of Sir Francis Drake, the great 16th century British explorer.

Day 3: Drake Passage / South Shetland Islands
Sail through the Drake Passage, en route to King George Island (South Shetland Islands). Relax and enjoy life on board and take the time to watch wildlife from the bridge or from the outside decks. You may spot magnificent birds such as albatrosses and petrels, as well as Humpback and Minke whales swimming on their way down to Antarctica.

Day 4: South Shetland Islands
After crossing the Antarctic Convergence, you will be sailing through the Antarctic Ocean. The time has come to start spotting the first icebergs and the first Antarctic land. The South Shetland Islands finally come into view, and you will have the opportunity to board the zodiac boats, make your first landing and visit a penguin colony. Exploration will continue all evening thanks to the endless daylight.

Day 5: King George Island / Punta Arenas, Chile
Upon reaching King George Island, disembark at Fildes Bay, where you will have the chance to enjoy the Antarctic scenery. Visit some interesting places around the area, such as the Chilean Base Frei and the Russian Base Bellingshausen. Gather at the aerodrome where you will board the flight to Punta Arenas, Chile. The program ends upon arrival at the Airport in Punta Arenas. Transfer to the city will be available for passengers staying overnight in Punta Arenas.


Notes:

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.

The Aircraft:
The 70 passenger BAE 146-200 was manufactured in the United Kingdom by British Aerospace and is equipped with 4 turbofan Honeywell engines. It is a high-wing aircraft with very short runway requirements which makes it particularly suited for this kind of destination. It is operated by Aerovías DAP, which has more than 20 years of experience of flying in Patagonia and Antarctica.

Luggage Weight Restriction:
Due to the limited carrying capacity of the aircraft, participants in the Antarctica Fly and Cruise program can only carry 20 Kg/44 Lb of personal luggage, including carry-on. This weight restriction is enforced strictly. Note that hand luggage will be weighed as well as checked baggage. Softsided luggage is recommended.

Included:
Transfers airport/hotel/airport in Punta Arenas foreseen on the first and last day of the voyage (in case of using the complimentary hotel upon return from Antarctica, no transfer is included the following day); 1 complimentary hotel night upon request in Punta Arenas on the day of return from Antarctica; flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island and/or vice versa as indicated in the program; all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner, including wine, beer and soft-drinks onboard) during the ship cruise; coffee, tea, chocolate, cappucino, water and snacks during the ship cruise; all guided shore excursions; lectures and entertainment on board; comprehensive pre- and post-voyage information material; loan of waterproof boots for landing in Antarctica; Contingency Plan for air-cruise departures as foreseen for each voyage.

Not Included:
Airfare to/from Punta Arenas, Chile; visa and/or passport expenses; arrival and departure taxes, if applicable; transfers, lodging and meals other than those offered in the program; mandatory evacuation insurance; recommended travel insurance; personal expenses, such as laundry service, telephone calls, use of Internet or other means of communication, etc.; gratuity to ship's crew at the end of the voyage. Fuel surcharge may apply.

Contingency Plan:
Some departures in the past have experienced delays. Based on past experience, the estimated chance of delay is very low, in the range of 5-10%. Still, it is important that prospective participants understand that weather conditions could impact the operation. Should weather delay a departure, the Contingency Plan detailed below will be put into operation.

In case of a delay on the return flight to Punta Arenas from Antarctica, passengers on board the ship will continue cruising to nearby places until the return flight to Punta Arenas is authorized. Full board and all excursions are included. No refunding for whatever reason is foreseen.

Aircraft for Antarctic flights:
The decision over which aircraft will be used for the Antarctica Fly and Cruise program is at the sole discretion of the tour operator. In case of unfavorable conditions or other circumstances beyond the tour operator’s control, either at the point of origin and/or at the destination, the tour operator reserves the right to fly different aircraft than the one described in the program information material.

 


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