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About the Polar Circle Air Cruise Itinerary
Enjoy Antarctica in style — by flying and then cruising south of the Antarctic Circle! For those who don’t have the time or are not interested in cruising across the Drake Passage, this is the trip for you. Take a three-hour flight over Cape Horn and the mythical waters of the Drake Passage, landing you on one of the most spectacular places on earth: the coldest, highest, windiest, driest, and remotest continent – Antarctica. This trip takes you in-depth on the White Continent to explore below 66 degrees south. Prepare for incredible ice, curious wildlife and an adventure of a lifetime. Want to fly one Drake Passage and cruise the other? Check out the Fly & Cruise the Drake itineraries.
Day 1: Punta Arenas
Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile, where you are welcomed and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, you attend a briefing that provides important information about your voyage and reviews the essential guidelines for Antarctic visitors. Later, gather for a welcome dinner and meet your fellow adventurers while enjoying a typical regional menu.
Day 2: Fly the Drake
Your Antarctic adventure begins with a three-hour flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands. As you exit the airplane, the clear Antarctic air fills your lungs for the first time. Explore the area surrounding Chile’s Frei Station and Russia’s Bellingshausen station, before boarding a Zodiac to embark your expedition vessel.
Days 3-5: Antarctica Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
Cruise between the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, sailing along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs, while enjoying the company of sea birds, penguins, seals and whales. Each day, disembark by Zodiac and explore the landscape together with expert polar guides. On board the ship, attend an engaging program of lectures and presentations, and enjoy spectacular views from ship while sharing your daily adventures with fellow guests.
No journey is the same as flexibility is the key to success in Antarctica. The Expedition Team sets the voyage route to take advantage of the ever-changing opportunities provided by nature, crafting a unique and extraordinary experience each time. While the exact itinerary changes with each expedition, you will explore several spots that offer the best possible overview of the varied Antarctic environment. Your voyage may include visits to sites such as Paulet Island, Hope Bay, Port Lockroy, Petermann Island, Paradise Bay, Deception Island, the Lemaire Channel, or many other magnificent places.
Days 6-7: Antarctic Circle
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Peninsula do not reach 66° 33’ S. You and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of champagne! With a toast to the first explorers who ventured this far south, you can take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world still visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home to the midnight sun, Weddell seals and some of the most magical, odd ice formations you’ll see anywhere in Antarctica.
Days 8-9: Northbound along Peninsula
You will continue to journey onto land by Zodiac twice daily as you travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula. Your Expedition Team will always be on the lookout for any species of penguins, seals and whales that may have eluded you on the journey south.
Day 10: Return to Punta Arenas
Return to King George Island and bid farewell to Antarctica before boarding the flight back to Punta Arenas. The program ends upon arrival at the airport in Punta Arenas. Note: Transfer to the city will be available for passengers staying overnight in Punta Arenas. One complimentary hotel night in Punta Arenas is offered.
Day 11: Departure
After breakfast, you are free to continue on your own travels or make your way to the Punta Arenas airport for your homeward flights.
Welcome Aboard the Ocean Nova
The Ocean Nova is one of the most fuel-efficient vessels operating in the Polar Regions, carrying 67 passengers in 34 cabins, each with a sea view and private facilities. The ship was completely refurbished in 2006, and it is extremely quiet and highly maneuverable. The Ocean Nova has a spectacular observation lounge with full view windows, the latest lecture and presentation equipment, and a complete bar. The aft library/lounge has wrap-around windows, comfortable chairs and a complete Polar library. The Ocean Nova operates Fly-Cruise expeditions along with the BAE-146 Airplane, which carries passengers over the Drake Passage. The BAE 146 was manufactured in the United Kingdom by British Aerospace. It is a high-wing aircraft with very short runway requirements which makes it particularly suited for these kind of destinations. It is operated by Aerovías DAP, which has more than 20 years of experience of flying in Patagonia and Antarctica.
- Maximum Passengers: 67
- Crew capacity: 34
- Place built: Denmark
- Country of registry: Bahamas
- Gross tonnage: 2 183
- Length: 73 metres
- Width: 11 meters
- Draft: 3,5 m
- Two fully enclosed lifeboats
- Ice Class: BV IceIB, Eo(Hull Ice 1A)
- Cruising speed: 10 knots
- Refurbished: 2006
Cabins & Amenities
- 34 outside cabins, all featuring private facilities
- Spacious dining room with unreserved seating: buffet-style breakfast with table service; table- service lunch and dinner with main course choices from a changing daily menu; cakes served in mid-afternoon
- Observation lounge and presentation room
- Lounge and bar, open late morning, afternoon and evening with a wide selection of wines and spirits; coffee, tea available all day
- Library with collection of polar-themed books
- Ship-to-shore communications via Fleet 77 phone, e-mail
Clinic with licensed doctor
- Exercise room
- Triple cabins are available only for 3 people booking together – not for single travelers wanting to share.
- A minimum of $50,000 USD worth of evacuation insurance is mandatory for these voyages.
- Rates are per person in the selected cabin. Single passengers can either book a Dedicated Single cabin, or book a Twin cabin for Single use with a supplement of 1,85 to be added to the rate per person in Twin cabin.
- Kayaking is offered on all voyages for $895 per person. Snowshoeing is offered on selected voyages for $195 per person.