Polar Circle Air Cruise

Antarctic Adventure By Air and Sea
Aboard the Ocean Nova or Magellan Explorer

Overview

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 Magellan Explorer, 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!

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.

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive / Punta Arenas, Chile

Staff members welcome you in Punta Arenas, Chile, before 2:00 pm. Transfer to your hotel and attend a mandatory briefing that provides important information about your air-cruise and reviews the essential guidelines for Antarctic visitors. A welcome dinner introduces you to the local gastronomy as you meet fellow adventurers from around the world.

Day 2
Flight to Antarctica

A smooth two-hour flight takes you efficiently from Punta Arenas to King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands. Your Antarctic adventure begins as you exit the airplane and the clear Antarctic air fills your lungs for the first time. You then walk 2 km (1.25 miles) passing Chile’s Frei Station and Russia’s Bellingshausen Station to reach the shore and board a Zodiac that will take you to your boutique expedition vessel.

Days 3-8
Exploring Antarctica

Sail along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs, while enjoying the company of seabirds, penguins, seals, and whales. Visit the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, disembarking by Zodiac each day. In small groups, hike to extraordinary sites and take part in exploratory Zodiac excursions to otherwise inaccessible areas. Our expert polar guides share their passion for Antarctica through an engaging program of illustrated presentations, and lead you ashore to interpret the wildlife, the history and the many wonders of the Antarctic environment. From the glass-enclosed lounge, enjoy spectacular views while sharing your daily adventures with fellow guests over a drink. The goal of the expedition is to sail far south in the attempt of reaching the Polar Circle. The Expedition Team plans the specific voyage route based on local conditions and takes advantage of the ever-changing opportunities provided by nature. Flexibility will be the key to a successful voyage. Your voyage may include visits to sites in the South Shetland Islands, the Antarctic Sound, the Garlache and Penola Straits, and the Crystal Sound. Each Polar Circle Air-Cruise is unique and crafted to provide the best possible overview of the varied Antarctic environment.

Day 9
Return Flight to Punta Arenas

Back at King George Island, bid farewell to Antarctica as you board the flight to Punta Arenas. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. (Note: Meals in Punta Arenas are at your leisure and not included in the program).

Day 10
Depart

After breakfast, transfer to the Punta Arenas airport for your onward flight.

Highlights

Highlights

Fly to King George Island in Antarctica, avoid the two-day crossing of the Drake Passage each way. Perfect for those with limited time!
Enjoy six full days cruising in Antarctica aboard a comfortable expedition vessel, with shore landings and Zodiac excursions
Revel in outstanding scenery and a wealth of wildlife, from millions of penguins to seabirds, seals, and whales

Details

Length: 10 days
Cost From: $18,995  
Arrive: Punta Arenas, Chile
Depart: Punta Arenas, Chile
Lodging: 7 nights aboard expedition vessel, 2 nights hotel
Meals: All meals included, except dinner on second-to-last day
Activity: Small Ship Cruising, Wildlife & Natural History, Photography, Whale Watching, Sea Kayaking
Trip Level:

7-day expedition cruise, nature walks on uneven ground, Zodiac cruising with wet landings, often rough seas and cold weather