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Chinstrap penguin sighting

Antarctic Peninsula: Fly the Drake - Fly/Fly Expedition

Roundtrip Punta Arenas - Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Greg Mortimer
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Embark on a 12-day Antarctic Peninsula: Fly the Drake Expedition roundtrip Punta Arenas aboard Greg Mortimer. On this trip, instead of braving the seas, you take to the skies, flying over the Drake Passage in both directions. With skilled pilots, you'll soar over the Southern Ocean, witnessing the first icebergs as you approach Antarctica. Your vessel awaits below, ready to take you on an adventure through breathtaking landscapes. Prepare to be captivated by the scenery of the Antarctic Peninsula, where towering icebergs and snow-capped peaks stretch as far as the eye can see. Appreciate the incredible wildlife that calls this frozen wilderness home, from playful penguins and seals to huge whales that roam the icy waters.
Plane wingMirrored reflection on our kayak excursionStunning landscapesHiking through through the snow.Penguins on a rocky beach in Antarctica.Chinstrap penguin sighting
Highlights
  • Fly over the Drake Passage in both directions to avoid its challenges
  • Soar above the icy expanse of the Southern Ocean with experienced pilots
  • Discover the Antarctic Peninsula with icebergs and snow-capped peaks
  • Witness wildlife, including penguins and whales, in their natural habitat
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.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive Punta Arenas, Chile

Upon arrival in Punta Arenas, you are greeted by a representative and taken to your hotel. Please ensure your arrival is no later than 2:00pm for an essential briefing later in the evening.

Stop by the hospitality desk in the lobby between 2:00pm – 6:00pm to collect your luggage cabin tags. The team provides embarkation details, addresses queries, and offers dining and last-minute shopping suggestions.

Situated overlooking the Straits of Magellan, Punta Arenas lies along one of history's significant trade routes. It reflects Chile's diverse cultural heritage, blending influences from English sheep ranchers to Portuguese sailors. Modern Punta Arenas boasts an array of restaurants and bars offering local and international cuisine (meals not included today).

At 7:00 pm, join fellow expeditioners for a voyage briefing. We confirm transfer times for the following day, discuss flight procedures to King George Island, and review important IAATO regulations for Antarctic visitors.

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

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.
 

Day 2: Fly from Punta Arenas to King George Island | Embark

In the morning, you are transferred to Punta Arenas airport for your charter flight to King George Island, Antarctica (weather permitting). The flight takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. Upon arrival at King George Island, the expedition team is on hand to greet you for your Zodiac transfer to board the vessel. You have time to settle into your cabin before the 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 | Disembark

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, Chile

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

Greg Mortimer

Kayak in Antarctica
Greg Mortimer- Comfortable Dining
Greg Mortimer

Punta Arenas - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$23,795 2-3 travelers
Greg Mortimer-Aurora StateroomGreg Mortimer-Aurora Stateroom Triple
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Aurora Stateroom Triple
230.34 ft² - 245.41 ft² - 6 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, three single beds, porthole window, desk area and 42" flat-screen TV
Greg Mortimer
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Aurora Stateroom Twin Share
170 ft² - 245.41 ft² - Greg Mortimer features 8 porthole rooms, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms, perfect for adventurers who are looking for a comfortable base that's close to the action.
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Balcony Stateroom C
224.97 ft² - 266.95 ft² - 14 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups.
Greg Mortimer-Balcony Stateroom
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Balcony Stateroom B
254.03 ft² - 266.95 f - 22 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups.
Greg Mortimer
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Balcony Stateroom A
259.41 ft² - 301.39 ft² - 22 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups.
Greg Mortimer-Balcony StateroomGreg Mortimer
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Balcony Stateroom Superior
303.54 ft² - 432.70 ft² - With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Greg Mortimer's two Balcony Suites are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. Featuring private balconies, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area, these will sell out quickly!
Greg Mortimer
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Junior Suite
The Greg Mortimer's four Junior Suites take in some impressive scenery from their vantage 418.71 ft² - 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
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Captain's Suite
478.99 ft² - The largest of all the rooms, the Greg Mortimer's singular Captain's Suite will take you to the polar regions in ultimate style and comfort. Complete with large lounge area, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and en-suite.
Included
  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 9 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 charter flight between Punta Arenas and 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.

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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
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