people in a zodiac boat looking at an iceberg in Antarctica

The blue ice of an Antarctic iceberg

The Antarctic Peninsula is a world like no other, from its blue-white icebergs to its wildlife colonies. Our Zodiac excursions allow us an up-close perspective of its wonders.

Photo by Vladimir Seliverstov

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Antarctica Air Cruise

Antarctic Adventure By Air and Sea aboard the Ocean Nova

Antarctica Air Cruise route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $9700  
Length: 8 days
Arrive: Punta Arenas, Chile
Depart: Punta Arenas, Chile
Lodging: 5 nights aboard expedition vessel, 1 night hotel
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Small Ship Cruising, Wildlife & Natural History
Trip Level: 5-day expedition cruise, nature walks on uneven ground, Zodiac cruising with wet landings, often rough seas and cold weather


  • Fly to King George Island in Antarctica (and avoid the crossing of the Drake Passage)
  • Enjoy four full days cruising in Antarctica aboard the comfortable Ocean Nova, with shore landings and Zodiac excursions
  • Revel in outstanding scenery and a wealth of wildlife, from millions of penguins to seabirds, seals, and whales
  • Perfect for those with limited time!

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.Sandy S.—San Diego, CA

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

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 spectacular 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 vessel, the Ocean Nova, 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!


For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Punta Arenas, Chile

Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile, where we are met and transferred to our hotel. In the afternoon, we attend a briefing that provides important information about our voyage and reviews the essential guidelines for Antarctic visitors. Later, we gather for a welcome dinner and meet our fellow adventurers.

Day 2
Fly to King George Island, Antarctica / Embark

A two-hour flight from Punta Arenas over Cape Horn and the mythical Drake Passage brings us to King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands. Upon arrival, we explore the area surrounding Chile’s Frei Station and Russia’s Bellingshausen station before boarding a Zodiac to embark our expedition vessel.

Days 3-6
Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula

We 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, we disembark by Zodiac and explore the landscape together with our expert polar guides. On board the ship, we attend an engaging program of lectures and presentations, and enjoy spectacular vistas from the glass-enclosed lounge while sharing our daily adventures with fellow guests. Our 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.

Day 7
Punta Arenas

We return to King George Island and bid farewell to Antarctica before boarding our flight back to Punta Arenas. Upon arrival, connect with homeward-bound flights.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Note: These cruises are not exclusive Wilderness Travel departures. The itinerary, lecturers, and other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the ship operator.

2014 Cruise Collection Brochure

We’ve searched the world to find the finest small ships and most active adventures, from Greenland to Sumatra to the great rivers of Europe. Download our beautiful new Cruise Collection Brochure! Or request a printed copy to be sent by mail, or by calling 800-368-2794.

What the Trip is Like

The trip is rated Level 1+, Easy. You will be travelling to a very remote destination. You must be able to complete on board safety drills and emergency evacuation procedures without the assistance of others. Rolling seas and windy conditions require you to be stable on your feet, especially when walking on slippery decks or up and down steep gangways. Shore excursions often require hiking over uneven terrain without the benefit of a developed trail. Some agility is required for getting in and out of the Zodiac landing crafts. While several Zodiac landings are dry, many will require that you step in the water to get ashore. Zodiac and shore excursions are weather permitting.

Explanation of Trip Levels



Dec 2- 8, 2014  Low Season

Dec 7-13, 2014  Low Season
Dec 12-18, 2014  Low Season
Dec 17-23, 2014  Low Season
Dec 22-28, 2014  High Season
Dec 27, 2014-Jan 2, 2015  High Season
Jan 17-23, 2015  Shoulder Season
Jan 22-28, 2015  Shoulder Season
Jan 27-Feb 2, 2015  Shoulder Season
Feb 6-12, 2015  Shoulder Season
Feb 11-17, 2015  Shoulder Season
Dec 2- 9, 2015
Dec 7-14, 2015
Dec 12-19, 2015
Dec 17-24, 2015
Dec 22-29, 2015
Dec 27, 2015-Jan 3, 2016
Jan 17-24, 2016
Jan 22-29, 2016
Jan 27-Feb 3, 2016
Feb 8-15, 2016
Feb 13-20, 2016

Trip Cost

Price valid December 2014-February 2015

Aboard the Ocean Nova
Per person, double occupancy

Cabin Category Low Season Shoulder Season High Season
Triple $9,795 $10,595 $11,495
Twin $10,895 $11,995 $12,995
Single $14,995 $16,895 $18,595

Kayaking: $895 per person

Deck Plan


Trip Cost Includes:

  • Transfers in Punta Arenas on the first and last day of the voyage (in case of using the complimentary hotel upon return from Antarctica, no transfer is included the following day)
  • 1 overnight in Punta Arenas at Hotel Rey Don Felipe or other hotel of similar category and a welcome dinner including drinks on Day 1
  • 1 complimentary hotel night upon request in Punta Arenas on the day of return from Antarctica
  • Round-trip flight from Punta Arenas to Frei Station on King George Island
  • Ship cruise along the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Full board including drinks and open bar during the ship cruise
  • 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 (see Trip Details in Detailed Itinerary for specifics)

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

Accommodation, meals, excursions and transfers other than those included in the Travel Program and the Contingency Plan; personal insurance; extra expenses (communication, laundry, souvenirs, etc.); gratuities (suggested USD $10 per person per day); visas or passport expenses; any other arrival and/or departure tax, if applicable.

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: $2000
130 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $1500 per person
119-90 days prior to departure: 50% total cost of trip is forfeited
89 days or less prior to departure: 100% of cruise cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Arrival & Departure Information

Arrival & Meeting Place
Punta Arenas Airport, Chile (airport code PUQ)
Date: Day 1
Suggested arrival time: by 3:00 pm

A complimentary transfer is provided from the Punta Arenas airport to the Hotel Rey Don Felipe for all trip members arriving on Day 1.

Punta Arenas Airport, Chile (airport code PUQ)
Date: Day 7 (or Day 8)

On Day 7, trip members fly from King George Island to the Punta Arenas airport. While it may be technically possible to connect with homeward-bound flights later that evening, we strongly recommend taking the complimentary extra hotel night offered on Day 7. Flying home on Day 8 offers a buffer should the return flight from Antarctica be delayed because of unfavorable weather conditions. Note that transfers to the airport on Day 8 are not included. Booking a flexible air ticket for your journey home is recommended.



You are responsible for making your own arrangements for flights to and from Punta Arenas. Airlines with the most convenient schedules for this trip include:

American Airlines
Phone: 800-433-7300

Phone: 866-435-9526

Phone: 800-241-4141

For this trip, American Airlines is a good option since they fly to Santiago and are partners with Lan Chile, which provides service to Punta Arenas.

Depending on your routing, it is necessary to depart from the U.S. one or possibly two days prior to Day 1 of the trip itinerary. The name on your airline ticket must match the name on your passport exactly, and your passport must be valid for at least six months after your date of return to the U.S.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule so we can reserve your airport transfers. It is your responsibility to ensure your flight times coordinate with the arrival and departure logistics for this trip.

Ocean Nova

The modern and comfortable 68-guest Ocean Nova was built in Denmark in 1992 to sail the ice-choked waters of Greenland, and her ice-strengthened hull is ideally suited for expedition travel in Antarctica. She offers comfortable outside-facing cabins, all with private facilities, including dedicated single, twin, and triple cabins. In addition to a glass-enclosed observation lounge and presentation room, the Ocean Nova also has a spacious dining room, bar, library, and an infirmary. The ship has seven inflatable Zodiacs, ideal for disembarking for shore excursions and wildlife watching.

Deck Plan


Airplane BAE-146

The BAE-146 aircraft is a high-wing aircraft with very short runway requirements, which makes it particularly suited for operating in Antarctica. It was manufactured in the United Kingdom by British Aerospace (which later became part of BAE Systems) and is operated by Aerovias DAP, which has more than 30 years of experience flying in Patagonia and Antarctica.

Model: BAE 146-200
Engines: 4 turbofans Honeywell ALF 502R-5
Length: 93 ft 8 in (28.55 m)
Wingspan: 86 ft 5 in (26.34 m)
Cruise Speed: 465 mph (750 km/h)
Service Ceiling: 31,200 ft (9,500 m)
Capacity: 70 passengers