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.
Kayaking Supplement: $895 per person
Limited to 16 participants per cruise, prior kayaking experience required. Space is limited, however, so be certain to book in advance. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details.
Getting There & Getting Home:
Arrive in Punta Arenas on Day 1, no later than 3 p.m. A tight time-schedule connection with an Antarctic expedition is not recommended. Therefore, we strongly suggest that a flexible air ticket be held for your journey home, and in any case not to book a flight on the same day as the return flight from Antarctica.
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. Soft-sided luggage is recommended.
Accommodations aboard ship; 1 night pre-cruise hotel stay with breakfast in Punta Arenas; 1 night post-cruise hotel stay with breakfast in Punta Arenas; transfers airport / hotel and reverse; flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island, and return; meals aboard ship; wine, beer, juice, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board ship; coffee tea, chocolate, cappuccino, water, and snacks on board ship throughout expedition; 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 (outlined below); IAATO passenger fee.
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 beverages from bar; 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.
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.
Antarctica-bound flight: (Flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island):
In the unlikely event that the flight to Antarctica cannot operate due to unfavorable conditions, whether at point of origin in Punta Arenas and/or at the destination in Antarctica, the following Contingency Plan applies:
From Day 2 to Day 6 every effort will be made to transport travelers to Antarctica safely. Should a safety concern or weather delay a flight or make flying impossible, the following daily program will apply:
Plan for departures:
•Day 2 Guided tour to sites of historic and wildlife interest close to Punta Arenas. Meals are included, as well as accommodation in the same hotel as foreseen on Day 1 of the Travel Program.
•Day 3 Guided tour to sites of historic and wildlife interest close to Punta Arenas. Meals are included, as well as accommodation in the same hotel as foreseen on Day 1 of the Travel Program.
•Day 4 Accommodation with breakfast in a 3-star hotel in Punta Arenas is included. Any other service and meal are excluded. Passengers are required to stand-by for announcements concerning the flight to Antarctica.
•Day 5 Accommodation with breakfast in a 3-star hotel in Punta Arenas is included. Any other service and meal are excluded. Passengers are required to stand-by for announcements concerning the flight to Antarctica.
•Day 6 Accommodation with breakfast in a 3-star hotel in Punta Arenas is included. Any other service and meal are excluded. Passengers are required to stand-by for announcements concerning the flight to Antarctica.
•Day 7 Accommodation with breakfast in a 3-star hotel in Punta Arenas is included. Any other service and meal are excluded. There will no further flight attempt.
•Day 8 Breakfast. Transfer to Punta Arenas airport in time for connecting flights. End of Contingency Plan.
NOTE: If the tour operator will not be able to transport passengers to Antarctica, passengers will be refunded a percentage of the total cost of the Antarctica Fly and Cruise Travel Program, excluding discounts, if any. Refunds will be as follows: 5% (by the end of day 4), 15% (by the end of day 5), and 100% less a fee of USD $2,000 per person (by the end of day 6). Refunds will exclude discounts. Refunding will take place at the tour operator's earliest convenience. Refunding will release the tour operator from further liability.
Return flight: (Flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas)
In case the return flight from Antarctica to Punta Arenas experiences a delay, passengers on board the ship will continue cruising near King George Island, until the return flight to Punta Arenas can be arranged. In such case, shipboard accommodation, full board, and all excursions will be provided at no additional charge. However, no refunds for whatever reason will be offered.
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.
© Ben Jackson - Seals and Kayaks