Have questions? We're here.

Wild Antarctica featuring the Weddell Sea - Fly/Sail

Punta Arenas to Ushuaia - Example 13 Day Cruise aboard Sylvia Earle
Talk with an expert
Build your ideal Antarctica trip. Call 1.406.541.2677
Start Planning My Trip
Famed for its tremendous tabular icebergs, year-round sea ice, fascinating fossils and the pivotal role it played in Shackleton’s Endurance expedition, the Weddell Sea offers unsurpassed opportunities for exploration. Embark on a true Antarctic expedition as you not only explore the west Antarctic Peninsula but also attempt to venture east towards the icy perimeter of the Weddell Sea, often guarded by impenetrable pack ice and home to awe-inspiring tabular icebergs.
Emperor penguins in Antarctica
Highlights
  • Be awed by the array of wildlife who play and hunt in the Antarctic Sound
  • Marvel at enormous tabular icebergs in the Weddell Sea
  • Learn about the incredible fossil-rich volcanic islands from your onboard paleontologist
  • Watch whales feed on plentiful krill in Antarctica
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
0

Full Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1: Arrive Punta Arenas

Upon arriving in Punta Arenas and transferred to your hotel. It's essential to arrive no later than 2:00 pm to ensure attendance at the important evening briefing.

Between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm, please stop by the hospitality desk in the lobby to pick up your luggage cabin tags. The team can also provide details about your embarkation day, address any inquiries, and offer guidance on dining options and last-minute purchases.

Nestled along the Straits of Magellan, Punta Arenas occupies a historic spot on one of the world's most significant trade routes. Today, it embodies a captivating fusion of cultural influences, from English sheep ranchers to Portuguese sailors, serving as a vivid testament to Chile's vibrant past. Modern Punta Arenas boasts an array of popular restaurants and bars, showcasing both local and international cuisine (meals are at your own expense today).

At 7:00 pm this evening, join your fellow expeditioners for a voyage briefing. You'll confirm your transfer times for tomorrow, discuss the procedures for your flight to King George Island, and outline crucial IAATO regulations for Antarctica visitors.

Day 2: Fly Punta Arenas to King George Island

This morning, transfer to Punta Arenas airport for the charter flight to King George Island, Antarctica (weather permitting). The flight's duration is approximately one hour and forty-five minutes. Upon arrival at King George Island, the expedition team welcomes you and assists with your transfer to the vessel via Zodiac. You'll have time to settle into your cabin before the important safety briefings are conducted.

Note: King George Island is situated in the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula in the South Shetland Islands and stands as one of the most remote places on Earth. Optimal weather conditions, including clear skies and excellent visibility, are essential for safe take-off and landing. Should there be any disruptions to the flights today, a contingency plan can be enacted for your itinerary. Your safety remains the utmost priority. Apologies are extended in advance for any inconvenience caused by this unpredictable situation. Please refer to the terms and conditions for a more comprehensive explanation.

Day 3-10: Weddell Sea & 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 most fresh, crisp air on earth is an experience that can stay with you forever.

Once you arrive, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are yours to explore, and you have a host of choices available to you. Because you are so far south, you'll 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, 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 can also transport you from the ship to land, where you can visit penguin rookeries, discover historic huts, and explore some of the favorite spots along the peninsula.

While ashore, 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 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 for uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendor. Keep an ear out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve their way from summit to sea. Take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of this incredible white continent. 

Central to the story of where Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance became trapped in formidable sea ice, the Weddell Sea certainly is high on the list for many polar adventurers. A small set of islands standing off to the east of the Antarctic Peninsula collectively form the Antarctic Sound – the gateway to the Weddell Sea. With a well-deserved reputation as being an iceberg alley where large icebergs try to escape the Weddell Sea through Antarctic Sound, often making navigation difficult. However, the rewards can be great. Fossils are a reminder of a more temperate era – gastropods, large clams, and spiral-shaped ammonites, all turned to stone.

You hope to experience memorable wildlife encounters as the Weddell boasts a large Adélie penguin colony just outside of Antarctic Sound, some of which breed on the rocky slopes of a small volcanic island, where a large colony of Antarctic blue-eyed shags jostle for space with nest-building Wilson’s storm petrels. On thrilling Zodiac excursions or slicing a path through the maze of sea ice in your kayak, keep watch for chinstrap and gentoo penguins in and out of the water, as well as humpback, minke, and orca whales. Your camera is sure to get a solid workout during your time in the Weddell Sea.

Day 11-12: Drake Passage crossing

Enjoy a final morning landing in the South Shetland Islands before you re-enter the Drake Passage for your return journey to South America.

With lectures and film presentations to complete the Antarctic experience, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the magic of the Southern Ocean and the life that calls it home. There is time for reflection and discussion about what you have seen and experienced. Hope you become ambassadors for Antarctica telling your family, friends, and colleagues about your journey to this magical place, and advocating for its conservation and preservation so that they might one day visit the region to experience what you have been lucky to see and do here.

As you approach the tip of South America, the Captain may sail close to legendary Cape Horn, weather and time permitting.

Day 12: Disembark Ushuaia

  • 1 Breakfast
During the early morning, you cruise up the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into the dock in Ushuaia, where you are free to disembark around 8.00 am. Farewell to your expedition team and fellow passengers as you all continue your onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature.

Upon disembarkation, for those continuing their travels in the region, transportation to the hotel can be arranged exclusively for guests who have booked their accommodations through Aurora or for those staying in downtown areas near the port. Expeditioners departing on flights prior to 12:30 pm can be directly transferred to Ushuaia Airport, those with flights after 12:30 pm can have the opportunity to explore Ushuaia before an afternoon airport transfer, and the transfer procedures and details can be communicated onboard before disembarkation.

Note: At the conclusion of the voyage, it is not recommended to book flights departing Ushuaia prior to 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation in case there are delays.

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
$20,095 2-3 travelers
Greg Mortimer-Aurora Stateroom Triple
Select a Date
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
Select a Date
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
Select a Date
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
Select a Date
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
Select a Date
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.
Select a Date
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
Select a Date
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
Select a Date
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
  • 10 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
  • Charter flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island
  • One night's hotel accommodation including breakfast, in Ushuaia on Day 1
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • 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.

Map

Inquire

* By providing your phone number, you consent to receive direct phone calls or SMS messages from our Trip Planners to get the process started. We do not share your information with third-parties.
Travel Agents

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
or
Chat Now
We are so glad that we chose Adventure Life. The service is top-notch. Everything is well taken care of and we just have to print the documents and go. Franny even gave us timely updates on possible airport strike.
KC Chan

Antarctica Travel Guide

Favorite Antarctica All Trips

More Reasons

Why Travel With Adventure Life

All News

Recognized By