Classic Antarctica Air Cruise

Classic Antarctica Air Cruise

Trip Summary

Dates: Dec 31, 2024 – Jan 7, 2025
Duration: 8 Days
Starting at $0.00View Prices

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 […]

Itinerary Map

Pricing Information

$19,995 - Triple Suite
$18,795 - Porthole Cabin
$22,995 - Veranda Cabin
$24,995 - Deluxe Veranda Cabin

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

* Itineraries on our website are intended only as a guide and you should consult our team for detailed itineraries on specific voyages.

Detailed Itinerary


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.

Important reminder:
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 Magellan Explorer

Magellan Explorer is the world’s first expedition ship custom designed for Antarctic air-cruise operations. The ship provides a stylish base for our guests’ adventures, combining excellence in expedition and boutique hospitality.

The ship has been built to the latest Polar Code specifications and carries a Polar Class 6 ice-class (Lloyd’s Register PC6). For comfortable navigation, the ship features stabilizers; for maneuverability, she features bow and stern thrusters. For safety in navigation, there is an ice-detecting radar. And to reduce the environmental footprint, the vessel is equipped with an energy-recovery system that recycles the heat produced by the engines to warm up the ship and its water supply.


Technical Specs


· Retractable stabilizers

· Double hull construction

· Bulb designed for polar navigation

· Bow and stern thrusters

· State-of-the-art navigation equipment

· Latest ice radar technology

· Two mid-ship gangways for Zodiac operations

· Large expedition warehouse

· Tier III compliance, the most stringent emission standard

· Heat recycling system

· Fleet of 10 Zodiac boats


• Passengers: 100 maximum*

• Staff and crew: 60

• Length: 90.7 m (298 ft.)

• Breadth: 16.2 m (53 ft.)

• Draft: 4.3 m (14 ft.)

• Gross tonnage: 4,900

• Ice-class: LR PC6

• Propulsion: 2X MAN main engines, total 3,440 kW

• Speed: 14 knots

Flag: Bahamas

* Maximum of 69 guests for air-cruise operation

Cabins & Amenities


Five different accommodation categories are available to guests. Accommodations are spacious, ranging in size from 40 sq. mt. (440 sq ft) to 20 sq. mt. (220 sq ft.). All suites and most cabins offer a private balcony. Sleeping arrangements can be configured as either one king-size bed or two twin beds, in most cases.

Amenities & Services:

Public areas include a spacious forward-facing observation lounge and bar that is also used to deliver briefings and educational presentations. The bow of the ship is accessible to guests; together with the outdoor observation deck it offers expansive views and close contact with the natural environment during exploration. The dining room accommodates all guests and expedition staff in a single sitting. There is also a meeting room, a library, a gift shop, a protected outdoor barbecue area, a gym, and a sauna. Adventure activities, such as kayaking and snowshoeing, are available.


· Main dining room offers buffet breakfast and lunch, and table service dinner

· The BBQ deck offers al fresco dining, weather permitting

· Express Lunch option available daily in the Library

· Selection of premium Chilean wines served with lunch and dinner

· Snacks and drinks during welcome and farewell celebrations

· Complimentary self-service coffee, tea, chocolate, cappuccino, and water offered 24/7 in the library and bar


· A bar offering a selection on Chilean domestic and international drinks

· Gym with panoramic windows, and sauna

· Well stocked library with a collection of Antarctic-themed books in multiple languages

· Local intranet with daily programs, international news, etc. accessible wirelessly throughout the ship

· Meeting Room with multimedia resources and interactive science lab

· Satellite internet service available at a charge and accessible wirelessly throughout the ship

· Forward observation deck and accessible bow

· Zodiac embarkation area equipped with hangers, lockers and sitting facilities



  • For Air-Cruises starting in Punta Arenas, group transfers airport/hotel on Day 1.
  • For Air-Cruises starting in Punta Arenas, 1 overnight with breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar, with a welcome dinner including drinks on Day 1.
  • 1 overnight with breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar on the Day of the Scheduled Return Flight from Antarctica.
  • Transfers airport/hotel on the Day of the Scheduled Return Flight from Antarctica, and transfers hotel/airport on last Day of the Air-Cruise Program.
  • Flight from Punta Arenas to Frei Station on King George Island and/or vice versa as indicated in the program corresponding to each voyage.
  • Ship cruise along the Antarctic Peninsula as indicated in the program corresponding to each voyage.
  • Daily buffet breakfast and lunch on board ship offering a wide choice of dishes.
  • Daily served dinner on board ship offering a choice of three main courses.
  • Wine, beer, juice, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board ship
  • Coffee, tea, chocolate, cappuccino, water and snacks on board ship throughout the expedition.
  • All guided shore excursions.
  • Lectures and entertainment on board.
  • Comprehensive pre- and post-voyage information material.
  • Loan of waterproof boots for landing in Antarctica.
  • Contingency Plan as described below.
  • IAATO passenger fee.


  • Accommodation, meals, excursions and transfers other than those included in the itinerary and the Contingency Plan corresponding to each voyage. Specifically, dinner in Punta Arenas upon return from Antarctica is not included.
  • Beverages purchased at the ship’s bar.
  • Personal insurance.
  • Extra expenses (communication, laundry, souvenirs, etc.).
  • Gratuities.
  • Visas for Chile and/or Argentina, passport expenses, and any arrival and/or departure tax, if applicable.

Optional Extras

Sea Kayaking in Antarctica $995 per person

Hiking and Snowshoeing in Antarctica $85 per person-per excursion

Hotel and Transfer Packages
Preferred Seating on the Antarctic Flight
Expedition Jacket $ 349

Book now for early bird discounts on the 2024-25 season

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