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Antarctic Peninsula: Fly the Drake - Fly/Fly Expedition

Punta Arenas - Punta Arenas - Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Sylvia Earle
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Early Antarctic explorers returned from their voyages to the deep south with tales of a magnificent, ice-covered land teeming with life. Experience the awe-inspiring immensity of Antarctica and immerse yourself in the unimaginable beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula, where vast glaciers tumble into the sea, penguins are dwarfed by soaring peaks, and humpback and minke whales feast on abundant krill. Reduce your time on the high seas by flying at least one way across the Drake Passage.
Mirrored reflection on our kayak excursionGetting ready for the diveEnjoying the scenery from the bowArctic viewsHumpback whales migrate to Antarctica during summer to feed in the rich watersA lone Gentoo dwarfed by a monstrous icebergAlmost ready to depart
Highlights
  • See and hear the busting activity of a penguin city
  • Chance to spot leopard seals on ice floes from our Zodiacs
  • Zodiac-cruise in search of feeding and breaching whales
Activity Level: Easy Active
Moderately active but not overly strenuous. This level includes activities like casual cycling, yoga, or excursions/activities that typically last 3-5 hours total each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrival in Punta Arenas

Arrive in Punta Arenas, where you will be met by a representative of Adventure Life and transferred to our group hotel. Please clearly label your cabin tags with your name and ship cabin number. Overlooking the Straits of Magellan, the city sits astride one of the world's most historic trade routes. Today, Punta Arenas reflects a great mix of cultures, from English sheep ranchers to Portuguese sailors, and it remains an utterly fascinating testament to Chile's rich history.

Note: Please arrive no later than 4:00 pm so that you may attend the important voyage briefing by approximately 7:00 pm. In this meeting, your transfer times and the procedures for your flight to King George Island will be reconfirmed, and IAATO regulations for visitors to Antarctica will be discussed.

Afterward, there’s free time to enjoy the local cuisine at one of Punta Arenas’s many restaurants.
 

Day 2: Fly Punta Arenas to King George Island | Embarkation

This morning, you will be transferred to Punta Arenas airport for our charter flight to King George Island, Antarctica (weather permitting). The flight will take approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes. On arrival at King George Island, our expedition team is on hand to greet you for your Zodiac transfer to board the vessel. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings. 

Note: A clear sky with great visibility is required for safe take-off and landing at King George Island. Should the weather be uncooperative at this remote airstrip, flights can be moved earlier, or delayed later.  Historically, 85% of flights occur on the day they are scheduled.  But if this is not possible, the ship operator will follow their established contingency plan, which can be read here

Day 3-10: Antarctic Peninsula

It’s almost impossible to describe the feeling of arriving in Antarctica. Spotting your first iceberg and taking a deep breath of some of the freshest, crisp air on earth is an experience that will stay with you forever. The western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are ours to explore, and you have a host of choices available to us. Because you are so far south, you will experience approximately 18-24 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish. Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.

You generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. You’ll want to rug up before joining Zodiac cruises along spectacular ice cliffs or among grounded icebergs, keeping watch for whales, seals and porpoising penguins. Zodiacs will also transport you from the ship to land, where you can visit penguin rookeries, discover historic huts and explore some of your favourite spots along the peninsula. 

While ashore, you aim to stretch your legs, wandering along pebbly beaches or perhaps up snow-covered ridgelines to vantage points with mountains towering overhead and ice-speckled oceans below. If you have chosen an optional activity, you’ll have the option to do that whenever conditions allow, and of course, keen polar plungers will have the chance to fully immerse themselves in polar waters - conditions permitting!

In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, you may ship cruise some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to watch whales travelling or feeding. This is a great time to enjoy the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge for uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendour. Keep an ear out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve their way from the summit to sea, and take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of this incredible white continent.

Day 11: Fly King George Island to Punta Arenas

As you approach Frei Base on King George Island, it is time to farewell Antarctica and your amazing adventure before boarding your return flight (approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes) to Punta Arenas, Chile. On arrival at the Punta Arenas airport, you will be transferred to your group hotel. 

Please note: If the weather at King George Island does not allow for flights this morning, the ship operator will follow their well-established contingency plan, again. 

Day 12: Punta Arenas | Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, bid a fond farewell to your fellow travelers as you all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to the airport is included in the voyage fare. 

Please note: Flights arranged for later in the day provide more buffer against any of those potential flight delays out of King George Island.

Ship/Hotel

Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle
Sylvia Earle Observation Deck
Sylvia Earle Library

Punta Arenas - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$23,795 2-3 travelers
Greg Mortimer-Aurora Stateroom Triple
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Aurora Stateroom Triple
22.67m2 (244ft2) - There are two Aurora Stateroom Triple cabins featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms.
Sylvia Earle Aurora Stateroom Superior
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Aurora Stateroom Superior
19.9m2 - 20.8m2(214.2ft2 - 223.9ft2) - Located on Deck 7, the Staterooms feature french balconies, floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area. Perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear.
Sylvia Earle Balcony Stateroom C
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Balcony Stateroom C
19.5m2 - 28.7m2 (209.9ft² - 308.9ft2) - 11 Balcony Stateroom C cabins - most economical, fitted with all the necessities and comfortable for up to 2 people. These cabins are scattered throughout Deck 6.
Sylvia Earle Balcony Stateroom B
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Balcony Stateroom B
19.5m2 - 28.7m2 (209.9ft² - 308.9ft2) - 17 Balcony Stateroom B Cabins - standard cabin, many fitted with interconnecting features making them great for families or groups. These cabins are located at the fore and aft of Deck 4 and 6.
Greg Mortimer
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Balcony Stateroom A
19.5m² - 28.7m² (209.9ft² - 308.9ft²)- 23 Balcony Stateroom A cabins - premium cabin, and the most abundant on board. These cabins are located in preferred positions on Deck 4 and 6 which provides easy access between Decks via the internal stairs or elevator.
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Balcony Stateroom Superior
29.2m2 - 35.2m2 (314.3ft2 - 378.9ft2) - Located on Deck 4 and 6, the Staterooms feature floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area. Some of these rooms are equipped with wheelchair accessible bathrooms.
Sylvia Earle Junior Suite
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Junior Suite
Up to 41.6m2 (447.8ft2)- 4 Junior Suites take in some impressive scenery from their vantage points on Deck 7. When you aren't enjoying a landing, you can relax in the suites' separate lounge area, or just watch the world float by from the private balcony.
Greg Mortimer-Captain's Suite
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Captain’s Suite
43.8m2 (471.5 ft2) - Captain's Suite - the largest of all our rooms, will take you to the polar regions in ultimate style and comfort. Complete with large lounge area, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and en-suite, you'll need to get in early to secure this suite.
Included
  • 11 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Beer, House Wine, and Soft Drinks with Dinner 
  • Educational Lectures and Guiding Services from Expedition Team 
  • Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult)
  • Port Surcharges, Permits, and Landing Fees
  • Captain's Welcome and Farewell drinks including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages.
  • A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
  • Complimentary use of Muck boots during the voyage
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
  • All airport transfers mentioned in the itinerary.
  • On-board accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
  • Return flight Punta Arenas to King George Island
  • Two night’s hotel accommodation including breakfast, in Punta Arenas on Day 1 and Day 11
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Airport Departure Tax - Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges
  • Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
  • Optional activity surcharges
  • Reciprocity and Vaccination Charges
  • Passengers traveling with Aurora Expeditions are required to be covered by a reputable travel insurance policy that includes baggage loss, cancellation & curtailment of the holiday, medical, accident, and repatriation/emergency evacuation coverage worth at least $250,000 USD.
  • Add-on activities should be reserved at the time of the booking.

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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