Day 1 Arrive in Punta Arenas
Arrive in Punta Arenas, where you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to your downtown hotel (preferred flights only).
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.
Tonight, you will gather to meet your fellow expeditioners and a briefing on the first leg of your expedition – your flight to Antarctica!
Day 2 Fly Punta Arenas to King George Island | Embarkation
- 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
This morning you will be transferred to Punta Arenas airport for your early morning charter flight to King George Island, Antarctica (weather permitting). The flight will take approximately one-and-a-half hours.
On arrival into King George Island, your 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 your important briefings.
This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners and friendly expedition team and crew at a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure to Antarctica.
Day 3-11 Antarctic Peninsula & Antarctic Circle
- 9 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners
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 will 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. 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.
Generally, landings or Zodiac excursions happen 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 the favourite 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 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 summit to sea, and take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of this incredible white continent.
On this voyage, you will also cross the Antarctic Circle, an imaginary line located at the Antarctic Circle at latitude 66°33' South (approximately). This is certainly a special highlight for everyone, and the moment will be celebrated with a toast on the deck. You’ve earned some boasting privileges, joining a small group of lucky adventurers who’ve made it to this part of the world. As you approach and cross the circle, you will notice subtle changes in the landscape, icescape, and also in the distribution of wildlife. The waters at this time of year are rich with krill and hope to see plenty of whales - particularly humpbacks and minkes, and enjoy the spectacle of penguins feeding their ravenous chicks.
Day 12 Fly King George Island to Punta Arenas
- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As you approach Frei Base on King George Island, it is time to farewell Antarctica and your amazing adventure before boarding your flight (approximately one-and-a half-hours) to Punta Arenas, Chile. On arrival at the Punta Arenas airport, you will be transferred to your group hotel.
Day 13 Punta Arenas | Return Home
After breakfast, bid a fond farewell to your fellow travellers as you all continue your onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature.