About the Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake Itinerary
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. For those who don’t have the time or are not interested in cruising across the Drake Passage, this is the trip for you. 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 snow-capped mountain peaks looming behind. You’ll find yourself thankful for the near-constant sunlight by which you can continue to take it all in. Expedition in Brief • Experience the fastest, most direct way to Antarctica • Fly over the Drake Passage • Marvel at all the Antarctic Peninsula highlights • Enjoy on-board lectures and educational presentations from polar specialists • Take advantage of such inclusions as domestic flights, gratuities, and drinks aboard all-suites ship, the Island Sky
Day 1: Flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas
Your adventure begins with an included flight from international gateway Santiago to Punta Arenas, Chile, the most populated city in Patagonia. You will be transferred to the included group hotel. In the afternoon, a representative will meet you at the group hotel, where you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about preparing for your embarkation day.
Day 2: Charter Flight & Embarkation
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 3-6: Antarctic Peninsula & 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: Flight 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 will be transferred to the Punta Arenas airport for your included return flight to Santiago.
Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.
Welcome Aboard the Ocean Adventurer
The 132-passenger Ocean Adventurer is one of the very few vessels in the world purpose-built for expedition voyages to remote polar regions like Antarctica. Formerly known as the Sea Adventurer, she underwent a multi-million dollar refurbishment in 2017. The Adventurer has an ice-strengthened hull that allows the ship to navigate safely through icy waters that are not accessible to conventional cruise vessels.
This small expedition ship has advanced communications and navigation equipment, and two new Rolls Royce motors, not to mention excellent stabilizers. The Adventurer has a contemporary look after its refurbishment, with all new furniture and carpeting, as well as six new cabins. It has two bars, a lounge, library, gym, sauna, gift shop and beauty salon.
- Passengers: 132
- Staff & Crew: 72
- Length: 100.58 m
- Breadth: 16.31 m
- Draft: 4.72 m
- Propulsion: Rolls Royce Diesel Twin Engines, 6 cylinder, 5400 horsepower
- Ice Class: A-1
- Cruising Speed: 12 knots in open water
Cabins & Amenities
- 65 outside cabins, all featuring private facilities, individual temperature controls, and in-room music.
- Decks 4 and 5 provide exterior access, with outside seating.
- Window-lined dining room on Deck 4 with unreserved seating: buffet-style breakfast or table service; table-service or buffet lunch, and table-service dinner. Main course choices from changing daily menu; cakes served in mid-afternoon.
- Lounge/Presentation Room that accommodates all guests.
- 2 bars.
- Library stocked with nautical books and board games.
- Gift shop.
- 24 hour beverage station
- Ship-to-shore communications via satellite, with email, and wireless, Internet access.
- Clinic with licensed doctor.
- Exercise room with elliptical trainer, hand weights, bike and floor mats.
- Massage therapist.
Please note: there is no passenger elevator between decks.
- Cruise Price does not include international airfare. Port charges are included. All cabins have two lower beds and private shower and toilet. Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
- Single cabin prices are 1.7 times the cost of the appropriate twin-share prices listed above except for superior and above which are 2X the price listed above. All cabins are smoke-free.
- Smoking is only permitted in designated areas only, as outlines by the Expedition Leader at the Initial Briefing.
- Rates include mandatory emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum of $100.000,00 per person.
- Adventure options: Kayaking $950, Camping $225, Snowshoe is included. Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.
- All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.
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