Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake (with Punta Arenas flights)
» Dec 28 2018 – Jan 4 2019 (8 DAYS)
» EMBARKATION: King George Island, Antarctica
» DISEMBARKATION: King George Island, Antarctica
EXPEDITION IN BRIEF
- Experience the fastest, most direct way to Antarctica
- Fly over the Drake Passage
- Marvel at all the Antarctic Peninsula highlights, including crossing the Antarctic Circle
- Enjoy on-board lectures and educational presentations from polar specialists
- Day 1 – Punta Arenas, Chile
- Day 2 – Embarkation day
- Days 3 to 6 – Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
- Day 7 – Disembarkation and fly to Punta Arenas
- Day 8 – Depart Punta Arenas
You’re ready to explore King George Island and the Antarctic Peninsula—and no Drake Passage crossings are required! With a spectacular aerial view, included charter flights between Punta Arenas and Antarctica have you experiencing the majesty of the 7th continent before transferring you to your ship in no time.
Keep your camera ready as you cruise in a Zodiac in search of whales, seabirds and astounding icebergs. Beaches dotted with leopard seals and penguins give way to icy plateaus, with snowcapped mountain peaks looming behind. You’ll find yourself thankful for the near-constant sunlight by which you can continue to take it all in.
ITINERARY DAY BY DAY
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 Quark Expeditions representative will meet all passengers at the official starting point hotel, where you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about preparing for your embarkation day.
Day 2 – Embarkation Day
Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica will have you crossing the legendary Drake Passage in only a few hours. Far below, the ship will approach King George Island for your arrival. Your first glimpse of dramatic Antarctic landscapes will be from a unique perspective, as your plane descends for landing in the South Shetland Islands. After landing, stretch your legs and spend time exploring the island before being transferred by Zodiac to your ship to set sail for the Antarctic Peninsula!
Days 3 to 6 – Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
There are few places in the world as evocative as Antarctica. As your ship approaches the White Continent, you may be overcome by feelings of excitement and awe. Much of Antarctica is indescribable and can only be fully appreciated through your own eyes.
As your captain and Expedition Team keep a lookout for whales and seabirds, you’ll be alerted to any new sightings. Our team of expert lecturers will also provide in-depth explanations of the geology, history and wildlife of the region.
Even more exciting are your daily land excursions. Your first Zodiac landing is something you’ll never forget! Walking up to a beach 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 won’t be long before you can tell the difference between an Adélie, gentoo or chinstrap penguin.
You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs around Pleneau Island one day, followed by a hike to a penguin rookery the next day. From the booming sound of a calving glacier at Neko Harbor to the thrill of watching a leopard seal as it hunts a penguin, you’ll wake up early and welcome each day with a sense of excitement and a desire to explore that which is unrivaled by any other travel experience.
Your Expedition Team will be with you all along the way, providing insights into the places you visit.
Day 7 – Disembarkation and Fly to Punta Arenas
After your week of exploration, you’ll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and disembark at King George Island. Your three-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile, brings your adventure to an end. After your transfer from the airport to the hotel, you are free to explore and enjoy one final dinner to reminisce about the sights and sounds of Antarctica.
Day 8 – Depart Punta Arenas
After breakfast, you are welcome to continue on your own travels or make your way to the Punta Arenas airport for your homeward flights.
CABINS & PRICES
|Main deck porthole|
|Main deck window|
- Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
- All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board
- All shore landings per the daily program
- Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
- All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
- Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled
- A photographic journal documenting the expedition
- Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
- An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
- Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
- A hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
- Comprehensive predeparture materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
- All luggage handling aboard the ship
- All gratuities
- Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person
- Group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to the pre-expedition hotel on Day 1
- One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas, with breakfast
- A briefing dinner on Day 1 in Punta Arenas
- Pre-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the hotel to the airport
- Flights to and from Antarctica
- Post-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to the hotel
- One night’s post-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas, with breakfast
- International airfare
- Passport and visa expenses
- Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
- Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
- Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
- Excess-baggage fees on international flights
- Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
- Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
- Phone and Internet charges
- Additional overnight accommodation
- Optional adventure activities
- Transfer from the hotel to the airport at the end of the expedition
Note: Baggage allowance on charter flights is 33 lbs (15 kg) checked and 11 lbs (5 kg) carry-on.