Photo: David Merron

Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake

Duration 8 days
Departing from
  • Punta Arenas, Chile
Starting from AU $15,300
Adventure Options


You’re ready to explore King George Island and the Antarctic Peninsula—and no Drake Passage crossings are required! With a spectacular aerial view, included charter flights between Punta Arenas and Antarctica have you experiencing the majesty of the 7th continent before transferring you to your ship in no time.

Keep your camera ready as you cruise in a Zodiac in search of whales, seabirds and astounding icebergs. Beaches dotted with leopard seals and penguins give way to icy plateaus, with snow- capped mountain peaks looming behind. You’ll find yourself thankful for the near-constant sunlight by which you can continue to take it all in.


  • Experience the fastest, most direct way to Antarctica
  • Fly over the Drake Passage
  • Marvel at all the Antarctic Peninsula highlights
  • Enjoy on-board lectures and educational presentations from polar specialists

Antarctic Express: Fly-Cruise

Interested to see more of this voyage? Explore Antarctica in 360° Virtual Reality!


Day 1 — Punta Arenas, Chile

Your adventure begins in Punta Arenas, Chile, the most populated city in southern Patagonia. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and shops to keep you busy for days. By early afternoon, a Quark Expeditions representative will meet you at the official starting point hotel, where you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about preparing for your embarkation day.

Day 2 — Embarkation Day

Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica will have you crossing the legendary Drake Passage in only a few hours. Far below, the ship will approach King George Island for your arrival. Your first glimpse of dramatic Antarctic landscapes will be from a unique perspective, as your plane descends for landing in the South Shetland Islands. After landing, stretch your legs and spend time exploring the island before being transferred by Zodiac to your ship to set sail for the Antarctic Peninsula!

Days 3 to 6 — Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

There are few places in the world as evocative as Antarctica. As your ship approaches the White Continent, you may be overcome by feelings of excitement and awe. Much of Antarctica is indescribable and can only be fully appreciated through your own eyes.

As your captain and Expedition Team keep a lookout for whales and seabirds, you’ll be alerted to any new sightings. Our team of expert lecturers will also provide in-depth explanations of the geology, history and wildlife of the region.

Even more exciting are your daily land excursions. Your first Zodiac landing is something you’ll never forget! Walking up to a beach dotted with penguins and seals is the most intimate way to experience the unique wildlife of Antarctica.

Each landing is different and is dependent on weather, but every day presents new sightings and photo opportunities, and it won’t be long before you can tell the difference between an Adélie, gentoo or chinstrap penguin.

You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs around Pleneau Island one day, followed by a hike to a penguin rookery the next day. From the booming sound of a calving glacier at Neko Harbour to the thrill of watching a leopard seal as it hunts a penguin, you’ll wake up early and welcome each day with a sense of excitement and a desire to explore that which is unrivaled by any other travel experience.

Your Expedition Team will be with you all along the way, providing insights into the places you visit.

Day 7 — Disembark and Fly to Punta Arenas

After your week of exploration, you’ll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and disembark at King George Island. Your three-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile, brings your adventure to an end. After your transfer from the airport to the hotel, you are free to explore and enjoy one final dinner to reminisce about the sights and sounds of Antarctica.

Day 8 — Depart Punta Arenas

After breakfast, you are welcome to continue on your own travels or make your way to the Punta Arenas 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.

Dates and Rates

Starting from
Dec 3 – December 10, 2019
AU $15,300
Dec 8 – December 15, 2019
AU $15,300
Dec 13 – December 20, 2019
AU $15,300
Jan 10 – January 17, 2020
AU $15,300
Jan 15 – January 22, 2020
AU $15,300
Feb 9 – February 16, 2020
Sold Out
Feb 14 – February 21, 2020
Sold Out
Feb 19 – February 26, 2020
Sold Out

Adventure Options

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Displaying 1 - 3 of 30

Best tour company


Incredible people, ship, food, hospitality - just hands down the best tour I've ever been on. I highly recommend this trip!



This was the most amazing experience! The expedition crew was brilliant from Shane who was there everyday to make sure everyone gets onto land dry; Meghan with the stand up paddleboard excursion; Ruslan who happened to be our Zodiac guide for most of the excursions and Ed for sharing his Everest experience, to the rest of the crew. Everything was impeccably organised. Hope to see you all in the North Pole one day!

It was a wonderful trip (with some anxieties)


The trip started out well. The weather was fine. Not only is the ship quite comfortable, but the expedition team is excellent. We all enjoyed experience and learned a lot. The cabins, dinning facilities and service, lounges, etc are all satisfactory and good. Of course, our trip also had some extraordinary experiences-- due to bad weather, our return flight was delayed five days. Needless to say, the anxieties caused by the uncertainty were high during the delayed period. But the staff was top-notch and dealt with this unexpected long delay (we were told we set the weather related delay record for the Quark Antarctic expeditions). Still, all passengers were treated well. No shortage of anything. In fact, the staff team actually tried to do some extra landings during the wait. In the end, despite all the delays and disruptions, we were all able to safely get home. A major downside of this delay is the financial loss for those of us whose flights and lodging had to be cancelled, changed, or rebooked. This makes purchasing travel insurance that can cover such unforeseen problems that much important. Overall, Quark did the very good job. We would go with Quark for some other expedition trips.

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