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Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Adventurer
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Skip the four days of Drake Passage crossings and optimize your Antarctica experience by flying! A short two-hour flight takes you between Punta Arenas, Chile, and King George Island. Once in Antarctica, the penguins, seals, and whales keep you and your camera busy, as do the massive icebergs, mountains, and glaciers, which create other-worldly landscapes on the white continent. Within hours of your departure you are greeted by your team of experts on the ship and head out on your first Zodiac experience in search of wildlife on this unique Antarctic cruise.
Antarctic SunriseTravelers on a zodiac tour in AntarcticaPenguin jump in AntarcticaWalking in AntarcticaReady to take off!
Highlights
  • Fly over the Drake Passage and experience the fastest way to Antarctica
  • Explore beaches dotted with leopard seals and three species of penguins
  • Zodiac cruise around Pleneau Island in search for whales and icebergs
  • Look for calving icebergs at Neko Harbor & watch leopard seals as they hunt
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Punta Arenas, Chile

Your adventure begins in 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 to your starting hotel. Enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about preparing for your embarkation day.

Note: Please arrive at Punta Arenas airport by 3:00 PM.  Due to King George Island's unpredictable weather, scheduled charter flights may be made the night before the planned date should there be weather disruptions.

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

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!

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 3-6: Antarctic Peninsula | South Shetland Islands

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 penguin.

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 Petermann Island to the complete silence of night while camping on the ice in Antarctica, 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 7: King George Island | Disembark | Fly to Punta Arenas

After your seven 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.

NoteIf 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 8: Depart Punta Arenas

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, make your own way to the Punta Arenas airport for your homeward flights.

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

Ocean Adventurer

Dining Room, Ocean Adventurer
Buffet Dining Room, Ocean Adventurer
Bar at the Main Lounge, Ocean Adventurer

Punta Arenas - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Triple
Averaging 128 sq. ft. (12 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths and one upper berth. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Lower Deck Twin
Averaging 133 sq. ft. (12 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Lower Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Main Deck Twin with Porthole
Averaging 118 sq. ft. (11 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Main Deck Twin with Window
Averaging 139 sq. ft. (13 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and two windows with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Superior
Averaging 142 sq. ft. (13 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Upper Deck, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Deluxe
Averaging 160 sq. ft. (15 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Upper and Captain’s Decks, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Suite
Averaging 215 sq. ft. (20 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Captain’s Deck, it has windows with exterior views and private facilities. Cabin 403 has a bathtub; other Suites have shower stalls.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Owner's Suite
Averaging 290 sq. ft. (27 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Bridge Deck, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.

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.

- Standard Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate. The supplement for a Premium Cabin is 2 times the shared rate.

Insurance: Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person is included. Travelers should have a minimum of US$50,000 (or equivalent) of emergency medical coverage prior to embarkation. It is recommended that you and all members of your party have comprehensive travel insurance covering trip cancellation, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage, and repatriation. Contact us for details.

Plug/ Voltage type Onboard: 220V/Type F
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Coffee, Tea and Cocoa Available Around the Clock
  • Leadership throughout the expedition by our experienced Expedition Leader
  • Loan of Waterproof Boots for Landings
  • Official Expedition Parka to Keep
  • Select Beer and Wine During Dinner
  • Photographic Journal Documenting the Expedition
  • All Miscellaneous Service Taxes and Port Charges Throughout the Program
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
  • All shore landings as per the daily program
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • Flight(s) from Punta Arenas to Frei Station on King George Island and/or v.v. as indicated in the program 
  • One Night Pre-Voyage Hotel Accommodation with Breakfast in Punta Arenas
  • One Night Post-Voyage Hotel Accommodation With Breakfast in Punta Arenas
  • A Briefing Dinner on Day 1 in Punta Arenas
  • Group Transfer in Punta Arenas from the Airport to the Pre-expedition Hotel on Day 1
  • Post-expedition Group Transfer in Punta Arenas from the Airport to the Hotel
  • A Pre-expedition Group Transfer in Punta Arenas from the Hotel to the Airport
  • Complimentary beer, standard wines, and spirits, as well as cocktails during bar service hours and dinner
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
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Internet & Phone Charges
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Mandatory Waterproof Pants for Zodiac Cruising & Any Other Gear Not Specifically Mentioned
  • Arrival and departure transfers, except where explicitly stated
  • Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities

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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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