Your express tour of Antarctica will make the remote continent more accessible than ever as you circumvent the Drake Passage and fly directly from Chile to the South Shetland Islands. Use a zodiac boat to explore idyllic bays that teem with seals and whales, and then scour the beaches that are dotted with different species of penguins and take in the icy plateaus. Near-constant sunlight washes over the landscape which then offers spectacular panoramas from the ship to shore at all hours of the...
Punta Arenas – Arrive in Chilean Patagonia at the City of Punta Arenas
The wind sweeps through the pampas and around the outskirts of Punta Arenas and spreads to the waters along the Strait of Magellan. Homes shine along the water’s edge with bright colors and corrugated-iron roofs in the tradition of local fishers, and you will be happy to take in the view as you arrive. Your private transfer will greet you at Presidente Carlos Ibanez del Campo International Airport upon your arrival and escort you to your gorgeous hotel near the heart of Southern Patagonia’s largest city. Hikers, adventure enthusiasts, and explorers interested in traveling into the deep south of Antarctica use Punta Arenas as a jumping-off point.
The house of Braun-Menendez stands on the northern end of Plaza Munoz Gamero, representing the former prestige of the southern city during the Wool Boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The house continues to host the Club de la Union, and the home is one of the defining characteristics in a city continually evolving in connection to the petrochemical, tourism, port, and fishing industries. The interior retains a sense of the French design deriving from the work of French architect Numa Mayer. Period furniture fills the upper galleries while a small café serving delicious pisco sours overtake the lower floor. The traditional brandy is a staple in Chile and Peru, made from distilling the fermented grape juice and blending citrus, pica lime syrup, and ice. You will have the afternoon and evening to settle in, enjoy it all, and prepare for all that is ahead.
King George Island – Fly Over the Drake Passage to the "Gateway to Antarctica"
South Shetland Islands – Visit Half Moon and Deception Islands
Antarctic Peninsula – Discover Neko Harbor Island en route to Paradise Bay
Antarctic Peninsula – Reach Paradise Harbor for a Full Day Exploration
South Shetland Islands – Search Pleneau Island for Penguins and Seals
Punta Arenas – Disembark at King George Island and Fly to Punta Arenas
Punta Arenas – Depart for Home
- Travel along the Antarctic Peninsula to reach the southern islands of Pleneau and Petermann, and then explore the shores on a kayak excursion
- Discover chinstrap penguins on Half Moon Island, the first of many stops during your Antarctic cruise around the South Shetland archipelago
- Traverse the Lemaire Channel, a thin waterway populated with massive tabular icebergs and view the hour-long sunset in the height of summer
- Experience the grandeur of Paradise Harbor, known for its idyllic waters reflecting the coastal glaciers and snowcapped mountain peaks
- Learn the difference between Gentoo penguins and their cousins first-hand as you come upon the various colonies found around Neko Harbor
- Search for the distinctive types of seals that lounge on the landscape, including the elusive crabeater seal, can be found as far as 60 miles away from the shore
The unfettered beauty of the Seventh Continent is within your reach with an 8-day express tour of Antarctica that combines scenic flights with a lavish cruise around the South Shetland Islands that lead to the Antarctic Peninsula. Whether interested in the untamed wildlife that populates the fascinating pebbled shores or swimming beneath the glacial walls as they plunge into the sea, your time in Antarctica will highlight the contrasts between your mode of luxury travel and the ruggedness nature’s drama that will surround. Explore, adventure, and discover during each day of your cruise to find new and exciting scenery and wildlife all around the Southern Ocean.
Your thrilling expedition will begin with your arrival in Punta Arenas, Chile. You will have time to explore the sprawling metropolis at the southern tip of Chilean Patagonia at your leisure. As you are ready, you will fly from the airport on a retrofitted plane bound for King George Island of the South Shetland Islands. As you travel, you will explore different research stations related to the nearly 15 countries on the island before boarding your lavish cruise ship. Carrying a maximum of 108 passengers, the small size of the ship allows for it to navigate through the narrow passages and break through the forming ice shelves closer to the Polar Circle. Exploring the coastlines of the islands and Antarctic peninsula changes daily due to the erratic weather, so the route you sail will likely be unique to your cruise.
The staff onboard the ship will guide you along the bays, channels, and island ports with zodiac boats or lead an expedition on kayaks. The quick and quiet methods of travel allow you to reach the shore or pass tabular icebergs without scaring the wildlife, which includes varieties of whales, penguins, seals, terns, and skuas. You will also have the opportunity to find the sparse flora that grows in the region, consisting mostly of mosses and lichens. Your boat will return to King George Island with time for you to board your flight to Punta Arenas, Chile from the research station Eduardo Frei Montalva.
$9,355 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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