Encounter the spectacular 7th continent of Antarctica in complete comfort. Substitute the two-day crossing of the Drake Passage, with a two-hour flight, and experience the incredible wildlife, stunning mountain scenery and gigantic icebergs in record time and comfort.
Depart from Punta Arenas in Chile and fly across the mighty Drake Passage landing on King George Island. From here, you will embark the wonderful Ocean Albatros and navigate around the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Enjoy Zodiac landings at penguin rookeries and fascinating viewpoints. Continue southward, deep into the inlets of the White Continent, passing the famous Gerlache Strait, home to 3,000ft cliffs. Experience the remote continent in perfect comfort on a unique experience. Get up-close-and-personal to the dramatic coastlines of this spectacular corner of the world on this 8-day adventure.
Day 1: Punta Arenas
Day 2: Fly the Drake
Days 3 - 6: Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands
Day 7: Disembarkation and Fly to Punta Arenas
Day 8: Depart Punta Arenas
Arrive and check into your hotel in Punta Arenas, Chile – the capital of southern Patagonia. The historic city with rolling hills surrounding it and the Strait of Magellan in front. Its past is rich in exciting events, from being a penal colony to becoming a sheep and gold rush colony with many European settlers. The present-day city remains home to a major port; and with the Andes mountains and a multitude of national parks close by, it’s a favoured staging point for many wonderful adventures. Your 4-star hotel is centrally located, which allows you to make full use of your time outside of the scheduled events.
Your “journey” begins at 15:00 with all the necessary safety briefings, the latest weather forecasts and embarkation information needed to enjoy your upcoming expedition cruise and trans-Drake flight. All mandatory activities are held at the hotel and you will receive information about all these as you arrive at the hotel. Your daily schedule will finish e with a welcome dinner, where you can enjoy a typical Chilean meal.
This morning you will stay close to the hotel and the Punta Arenas land team and drive to the airport as soon as the chartered airline gives the green light. The expectation of exploring the 7th Continent builds, as you will have donned your parka, warm clothes and boots.
Once the fasten your seatbelts sign lights up, it’s time to fly across the famed Drake Passage - a body of water that marks the intersection of the cold Antarctic with the warmer Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. We substitute 2 days of sailing with just two hours of flying.
The landing on King George Island is smooth as the planes are built for these types of landings and runways. Your luggage is transported to the ship and you will enjoy a walk along the Chilean Eduardo Frei base and the neighbouring Bellingshausen Russian research station. King George Island is the largest of the South Shetland Islands and home to no less than 10 research stations, two churches and of course the Antarctic peninsula's only airstrip in use for commercially chartered flights. The expedition team is waiting with Zodiacs on the Fildes Bay beach and will ferry you to the ship.
Once onboard, the exciting Antarctic wildlife comes into view with the first sight of seals, penguins and albatrosses. In other words, it’s time to explore the Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain and be marvelled by the captivating landscapes we will encounter along the way.
Over the next days, you will begin the exciting Antarctic experience our ancestors only dreamed of. During these days you will explore the Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain and be marvelled by the captivating landscapes you encounter along the way.
Weather permitting, the projected landfalls could include Deception Island, an extinct volcano with waters warm enough for a polar swim. Half Moon Island with nesting Wilson's storm petrels and chinstrap penguins. But there are many other fascinating landing options.
As the white shimmer of Antarctica looms on the horizon, the presence of wildlife multiples with many species of lively penguins, inquisitive seals, nesting birds and the spray of marine mammals. Wildlife abounds along the planned route along the Antarctic Peninsula: leopard, fur and Weddell seals of Cuverville Island; humpback whales of Gerlache Strait and Paradise Bay; the dramatic Lemaire Channel's orcas and much more.
The itinerary and activities over the next few days are dependent on weather and ice conditions. The route and shore landings will be determined by the captain and expedition leader and communicated to guests through regularly scheduled briefings.
Today it’s time to disembark and revisit King George Island. You will follow the same procedures as when you were doing the reverse route. Having walked to the airport, you will calmly await the sight of aeroplanes landing on the legendary airstrip.
Depart from Antarctica and spend the two-hour flight time reflecting on a truly spectacular adventure, once you land in Chile, you are transferred to your hotel to enjoy an overnight stay
After breakfast, continue your travels in the region or make your way to the airport for your flight home
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