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Cross country ski excursion

Antarctic Odyssey

Example 8 Day Tour
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Embark on a journey to the remote interior of the great white continent. Antarctica is a land of extremes and only a select few have the opportunity to visit the highest, driest, windiest, coldest continent on earth! Immerse yourself in the ultimate wilderness, surrounded by pristine views, untouched spaces, and profound silence. Live on a glacier where the ice is almost 5,000 ft (1500 m) thick and explore all of the landscapes this unique environment has to offer. You’ll have the opportunity to hike over waves of blue-ice, ski across frozen sastrugi, or tour the polar wilderness aboard a snowmobile. Experienced guides will tailor daily excursions to suit your personal goals. Then hop aboard one of the ski equipped aircraft for a spectacular scenic flight over the Ellsworth Mountains.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrival in Punta Arenas
Day 2 : Pre-Departure Day
Day 3 : Fly to Antarctica
Days 4-7 : Explore Union Glacier | Scenic Flight
Day 8 : Return to Chile

Highlights

  • Take a scenic flight over the stunning Ellsworth Mountains
  • Experience the continent of Antarctica in the footsteps of polar explorers
  • Immerse yourself in the ultimate wilderness
  • Enjoy activities of your choice, such as skiing, trekking, or snowmobiling

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Group

Activity Level

Moderate

Trip Snapshots

Union Glacier Camp. Courtesy Christopher Michel, Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions Snowmobiling excursion Union Glacier Camp. Courtesy Christopher Michel, Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions Union Glacier Camp. Courtesy Christopher Michel, Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions Chatting with a guide at Three Glaciers Retreat. Courtesy Leslie Wicks, Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions Union Glacier Camp. Courtesy Wilson Cheung, Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions Cross country ski excursion

Day 1 Arrival in Punta Arenas

Upon arrival at Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport (PUQ), meet your representative at the exit of the luggage claim area and transfer to your hotel. A time will be arranged for a clothing and equipment review, as well as the time of the Welcome & Safety Briefing. These events are required and very important steps in preparing you for arrival in Antarctica.

Day 2 Pre-Departure Day

This morning, a representative will come to your hotel lobby at your scheduled Luggage Pick-Up time. All luggage will be weighed, but only checked luggage will be collected at this time in order to preload the aircraft.

This evening, you are invited for an important safety briefing. Here, the flight dispatch process will be described and you will be updated on the current weather to prepare you for arrival in Antarctica. Stay to enjoy hors d'oeuvres and pisco sours served over Antarctic ice with your fellow passengers. And don't forget to take your boarding pass and commemorative cocktail glass with you!

Day 3 Fly to Antarctica

This morning, you are called at your hotel to advise of current conditions in Antarctica. If the weather is suitable for flight, you are picked up at your hotel by bus within the hour. At the Punta Arenas airport, board a chartered jet for the 4¼ hour flight to Antarctica. Our route crosses the Drake Passage, then follows the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the spine of the Ellsworth Mountains. Land on a naturally occurring blue-ice runway on Union Glacier where you will take your first steps in Antarctica. Climb aboard a specially-adapted van for the 5 mi (8 km) shuttle to the main camp where you’ll spend the next 2-6 hours.

Take a tour of Union Glacier Camp, equip yourself with skis or any other recreational gear you may want to use during your stay, and eat your first meal in Antarctica. When you’re ready for the final leg of your journey, board the Twin Otter for the scenic 15-minute flight to Three Glaciers Retreat. Celebrate your arrival with a champagne toast and settle into your personal suites, as talented chefs put the finishing touches on a special welcome dinner.

Day 4-7 Explore Union Glacier | Scenic Flight

  • Campsite
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
A typical day at Union Glacier starts with a guest briefing after breakfast where you’ll meet with your guide to discuss the day’s options and choose an activity tailored to the weather and the group’s interest. The meteorologist will carefully monitor the weather conditions and find the best day for your Scenic Flight.

Whether you venture out for just a few hours or take camping equipment to overnight outside of Union Glacier Camp, excursions can include any of the following destinations:

Elephant’s Head
Ride in one of the wheeled vehicles to this dramatic marble buttress overlooking the blue-ice runway. Geology lovers will be delighted to find this is a hotspot for ichnofossils. Your experienced guides can help you navigate by GPS to known trace fossils or accompany you on a mission to discover new ones. For photographers, beautiful ice pools and moraines offer endless opportunities to capture close-up frozen formations or wide angle glacial landscapes. Hikers can trek up to the base of Elephant’s Head or all the way to the top of Rhodes Bluff for panoramic views of Union Glacier and the Heritage Range.

Buchanan Hills
Board the one-of-a-kind Tucker Bus, a custom designed tracked vehicle, for the scenic drive to the remote Buchanan Hills. You’ll arrive at a high pass that offers expansive views of Union Glacier as it flows into Constellation Inlet. Higgins Nunatak pokes through the ice, like an atoll in a frozen ocean. For the fit and adventurous, there are two easy hiking routes that require no prior experience and grant you the rare opportunity to summit a peak in the heart of Antarctica.

Drake Icefall
Named in the 1960s after geologist Benjamin Drake IV, this impressive icefall tumbles off the polar plateau into Union Glacier. Winds from the South Pole carve huge waves into the blue-ice and polish the surface into a high shine.

Charles Peak Windscoop
Discover the power of wind on ice as you wander through a sparkling turquoise corridor. If you’re truly adventurous, this is a prime place to try ice climbing with one of the experienced guides. For the less vertically inclined, you can rock hunt to your heart’s content. Just remember to leave them in place, as nothing may be removed from Antarctica.

The Beach at Rossman Cove
Another spectacular setting for photography and panoramic views! Take cross-country skis with you or a picnic lunch and enjoy Antarctica’s version of a glacial beach getaway.

If you’d prefer to stay closer to camp, we have a variety of activities for all abilities. You can check out a pair of cross-country skis or a fat-tire bike and take a spin around the groomed 10k loop or you can enjoy a cup of tea, an Antarctic book, or fun game in camp library

Once weather conditions permit, you will board our ski aircraft and get a bird’s eye view of the breathtaking Ellsworth Mountains including the Heritage and Sentinel Ranges. Majestic peaks and nunataks rise out of the endless Antarctic ice and form some of the most spectacular scenery on the continent. Your 30 minute scenic flight will give you a truly unique perspective of a landscape few will ever experience.

Day 8 Return to Chile

  • 1 Breakfast
When weather and runway conditions permit, the intercontinental aircraft will arrive at Union Glacier to transport you back to Chile. Representatives will meet you at the airport and transfer you back to your hotel.

Due to the potential for weather delays, it is strongly suggested to book your flight home one week after your planned return from Antarctica. If you purchase a full-fare ticket, most airlines will allow you to move your departure date. When it is time for your flight home, you will be provided transportation from your hotel to the Punta Arenas airport.

Punta Arenas - Hotels

Union Glacier Camp

Per person starting at
$25,950

Notes

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Included

  • 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners
  • 5 Nights Accommodations
    • 5 Nights Camping
  • 5 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Gear Rental
    • Use of XC Skis, Fat Tire Bikes, and Ice Cleats
  • Optional Excursions
  • Internal Flights
    • Round trip flight to Antarctica from Punta Arenas
    • Scenic flight over the Ellsworth Mountains

Excluded

  • International Flights
  • Insurance coverage - personal, medical, evacuation, or otherwise
  • Meals and accommodation in Punta Arenas
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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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Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.

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