Antarctica is one of the most magnificent and pristine destinations imaginable, with snow-clad mountains rising straight from the sea and a wealth of fascinating wildlife, from millions of penguins to a plethora of seabirds, seals, and whales. A visit here is undoubtedly one of the most thrilling experiences in the world. This adventure takes advantage of a convenient flight from Punta Arenas, Chile, to King George Island in Antarctica’s South Shetland Islands, avoiding the two-day, 600-mile crossing of the infamous Drake Passage. We soar high above the Southern Ocean and keep an eye out for the first icebergs as we approach our airstrip. Upon arrival, we board our comfortable expedition vessels, the Ocean Nova and Hebridean Sky, for four full days of exploring the wonders of the “Last Continent.” If you’re limited in time, this is the perfect way to experience Antarctica!
I wasn't sure what to expect on the trip, the only certainty was penguins and icebergs. There were lots of both! The pristine beauty of Antarctica has to be seen to be believed. I always had a smile on my face and didn't want to return to the ship. We have been all over the world and this has to be in the top three of favorites.
— Daphna Z., Millbrae, CA
Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.
Punta Arenas, Chile
Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile, where you are met and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, 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.
Fly to King George Island, Antarctica / Embark
A two-hour flight from Punta Arenas over Cape Horn and the mythical Drake Passage brings you to King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands. Upon arrival, explore the area surrounding Chile’s Frei Station and Russia’s Bellingshausen station before boarding a Zodiac to embark your expedition vessel.
Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula
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 the expert polar guides. On board the ship, attend an engaging program of lectures and presentations, and enjoy spectacular vistas from the glass-enclosed lounge while sharing your daily adventures with fellow guests. Your voyage may include visits to sites such as Paulet Island, Hope Bay, Port Lockroy, Petermann Island, Paradise Bay, Deception Island, the Lemaire Channel, and many other magnificent places.
Return to King George Island and bid farewell to Antarctica before boarding your flight back to Punta Arenas. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel in Punta Arenas for overnight.
Transfer to the airport for departure on homeward-bound flights.