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Gentoo penguin

Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake

Example 7 Day Cruise aboard Island Sky
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Fliy over the Drake Passage and experience the fastest and most direct way to Antarctica on this 7-day small ship expedition. Approach King George Island for your arrival and land in the South Shetland Islands where your Antarctic journey really begins. Set sail for the Antarctic Peninsula and keep your camera ready for whales, seabirds, and astounding icebergs.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Santiago | Punta Arenas, Chile
Day 2 : Punta Arenas | South Shetland Islands | Embark
Days 3-5 : Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
Day 6 : Disembark | Fly to Punta Arenas
Day 7 : Depart Punta Arenas

Highlights

  • Explore Pleneau Island and look for icebergs and whales
  • Zodiac cruise in search of whales, seabirds, and astounding icebergs
  • Admire snow-capped mountain peaks and beaches dotted with seals & penguins
  • Set foot on beaches dotted with three species of penguins and seals

Ship

Island Sky

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Gentoo penguin Explore remote shores in your zodiacs Seal Sun shining on the ice Adelie penguin on ice

Day 1 Santiago | Punta Arenas, Chile

Your adventure begins in Santiago with a flight to Punta Arenas, Chile, the most populated city in Patagonia. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and shops to keep you busy for days. By early afternoon, a representative brings everyone together at your starting hotel. Enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about preparing for your embarkation day.

Day 2 Punta Arenas | South Shetland Islands | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica has you crossing the legendary Drake Passage in only a few hours. Far below, the ship is approaching King George Island for your arrival. Your first glimpse of dramatic Antarctica landscapes is from a very unique perspective, as your plane descends for landing in the South Shetlands. After landing, stretch your legs and spend some time exploring the island before being transferred by Zodiac to your ship. Meet the rest of your shipmates and set sail for the Antarctic Peninsula!

Day 3-5 Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
There are few places in the world as evocative as Antarctica. Much of the continent is indescribable and can only be fully appreciated through the human eye.

Your first sightings are from the ship itself. As the Captain and Expedition Team keep their eyes out for whales and seabirds, be alerted to any new sightings. Your team of expert lecturers 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 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 sightings and photo opportunities and it is not long before you can tell the difference between an Adelie, gentoo, or chinstrap penguins.

You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs in Pleneau Island one day, followed by a hike to a penguin rookery the next day. From the booming shot of a calving glacier at Neko Harbor to the thrill of watching a leopard seal as it hunts a penguin, welcome each day with the excitement and energy of a young child.

Your Expedition Team is with you all along, providing insights into the places you visit and offering photography tips to get the most out of your expedition.

Day 6 Disembark | Fly to Punta Arenas

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After your six days of exploration, say goodbye to the Expedition Team and disembark at King George Island. Your three-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile brings your journey to an end. After transferring from the airport to the hotel, you can enjoy one final dinner to reminisce about all the sights and sounds of Antarctica.

Day 7 Depart Punta Arenas

After breakfast, transfer to the Punta Arenas airport and take a flight to Santiago, Chile.

Island Sky

Punta Arenas - Hotels

Per person starting at
$11,695
Island Sky's Category 1 Magellion Deck.
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Category 1
Magellan Deck, Suites #254-262. 215 square feet and have two to four portholes.
Island Sky's Category 2 Columbus Deck.
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Category 2
Columbus Deck, Suites #331-348. 215 square feet and have a large picture window.
Island Sky's Category 3 Marco Polo.
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Category 3
Marco Polo Deck, Suites #416-430. They range between 225 to 240 square feet and feature large picture windows.
Island Sky's Category 4 Marco Polo.
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Category 4
Marco Polo Deck, Suites #414-415. They range between 225 to 240 square feet and feature large picture windows.
Island Sky's Category 5 Erikson Cabin.
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Category 5
Erikson Deck, Suites #505-512. 265 square feet and have patio doors leading to private balconies.
Island Sky's Category 6 Explorer Cabin.
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Category 6
Explorer Deck, Suites #601-604. 312 square feet and also feature private balconies.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy. Request the Twin Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.
- Cabins may be available for single occupancy at 1.6 times the double occupancy rate. The supplement for a suite is 2 times the shared rate.

Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that everything can be accomplished. A measure of flexibility is something all must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.

Rates include:
  • Flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas and from Punta Arenas to Santiago
  • Group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to the pre-expedition hotel on Day 1
  • One pre-night and one post-night expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas with breakfast
  • A briefing dinner on Day 1 in Punta Arenas
  • Pre-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the hotel to the airport
  • Flights to and from Antarctica
  • Post-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to the hotel
  • Group transfer from the Punta Arenas hotel to the airport at the end of the expedition
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board throughout your voyage
  • Complimentary house wine, beer and spirits on board
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by your experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Formal and informal presentations by your 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
  • Gratuity for ship's crew, Hospitality or Expedition Team members
  • Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person

Rates Exclude:
  • International airfare
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
  • Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption, and medical travel insurance
  • Excess baggage fees on international flights
  • Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
  • Laundry, bar, and other personal charges not specified
  • Phone and internet charges

Included

  • 6 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 6 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
Nancy Sin

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