Day 1 — Punta Arenas, Chile
Your journey begins in Punta Arenas, Chile. This port city is situated at the southern tip of Chile, on the north bank of the Strait of Magellan. Once a Chilean penal colony, Punta Arenas has transformed into a vibrant city offering you plenty of attractions to explore including historic sites and museums. Explore the city by day, and then join us for an evening dinner to meet your fellow Antarctic fliers.
Day 2 — Embarkation Day
Today you board your chartered flight to Antarctica. The journey over the Drake Passage will take you less than four hours, whereas our ship-based travelers take two days to make the journey by sea. Your first glimpse of Antarctica comes into view shortly before the aircraft descends towards King George Island, hope for clear skies so you can appreciate the vastness of this great continent! You will have some free time to photograph parts of the island and stretch your legs before joining up with the ship, which will rendezvous with us later in the day, when you’ll get your first trip in a Zodiac and begin your exploration of the Antarctic region.
Days 3 to 6 — Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
You’ll get a sense that you’ve arrived on a new planet during the start of your Antarctic voyage, as the pristine nature and dramatic environments are like nothing else on earth. From the vessel you can watch whales swim and feed in the nutrient-rich waters and spot penguins porpoising in the water and jumping aboard ice floes. Just as amazing as the wildlife are the soaring snow-covered mountains and glaciers of the Peninsula, which will be your playground for the next four days.
As excitement builds from the ship, your first landing on a remote beach is when you’ll feel that you’ve officially arrived in Antarctica, giving you the opportunity to experience this wilderness up close.
Every Zodiac excursion and landing presents new sights, sounds and smells. Some landings may be as relaxing as sitting on a beach, taking photographs of curious penguins. Other landings may provide exhilarating panoramic views of the Antarctic continent by hiking atop hill. Perhaps you’ll catch a calving glacier crumbling into the sea at Petermann Island, or take a Zodiac cruise in search of Fur and Elephant Seals around Pleneau Island.
Even common travel experiences like camping and mailing a postcard take on an extra level of excitement in Antarctica. While weather and sea conditions determine which landings we can make, your Expedition Team will ensure that each day of your Antarctic adventure leaves a lasting impression.
Days 7 and 8 — Crossing the Drake Passage to Ushuaia
A rite of passage for any Antarctic adventurer, the Drake signals the end of your journey . No matter the sea conditions, you will benefit from having developed your sea legs over the course of the previous four days. While the journey home has begun, your wildlife spotting has not. Your Expedition Team will be available on deck and on the ship’s bridge to help you spot the majestic wandering albatross and a number of whale species, such as Minke and Humpback.
When you’re not laughing and reminiscing about the previous days, the Expedition Team will conclude their series engaging presentations on subjects such as marine biology, polar history and glaciology.
Day 9 — Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina
After a final breakfast aboard the ship, say goodbye to your crew and fellow travelers. We’ll transfer you to the airport for your homeward flights.
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.