When you take the trip of a lifetime, no detail is too small to be considered. For travelers taking part in a Quark Expeditions Antarctic Adventure, adding a few days to the beginning or end of your trip will allow you to explore some unique and interesting destinations.
As you plan for your trip, there are a couple of important points to remember. First of all, you may be tempted to search the internet for flight deals, and break your trip into smaller hops rather than taking a direct flight. This approach may save you a little money in the short term, but in the long term, breaking up your ticket may increase the possibility of delays and cancellations. We always recommend a direct flight whenever it is possible.
The second point is about baggage. Be sure and check your carrier's limits before you travel.
We have some excellent packing tips to help you prepare, and, for passengers who have booked their flights through Quark, a 24-hour air desk helpline to assist you with any unforeseen flight delays or cancellations.
From Ushuaia to Antarctica
Ushuaia is located on the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego, on the southwestern tip of South America, and all flights arriving at its Malvinas Argentinas International Airport (code USH) are via Buenos Aires.
If you're looking to extend your Antarctic adventure, Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is worth considering. This is a city known for its architecture, history, food and wine. There are many options for you to consider if you decide to spend some time here.
Ushuaia has interesting attractions as well. Its airport is the southernmost international airport in the world, and its amenities include banking, a restaurant, shops, a VIP lounge and free Wi-Fi. You can also rent a car here, in case you decide to tour Tierra del Fuego National Park, or ride the ‘End of the World Train'. Ushuaia has a museum, hosts an arts festival, and has an Olympic sized hockey ice rink, ski areas and casinos. Abundant wildlife is found in the region, including birds, penguins, seals and orcas.
From Punta Arenas to Antarctica
The other gateway to Antarctica is Presidente Carlos Ibáñez International Airport (code PUQ) in Punta Arenas, Chile. This airport has shops, a cyber cafe, and a restaurant. If you're taking one of Quark's fly-cruise voyages, this will be your embarkation point.
The City of Punta Arenas has a population of 127,000 and it's the largest city on the Strait of Magellan. If you don't like the weather, the locals will tell you to wait about 15 minutes for it to change! In addition to being a busy port, Punta Arenas' main attractions include: the Maggiorino Borgatello Salesian Museum, which features the history of the region; Muñoz Gamero Square with its sculpture commemorating Ferdinand Magellan, who first explored the area; and a place growing in popularity - the tax free zone, where you can buy goods from around the globe.
Punta Arenas also has some wonderful architectural features, including the Gran Hotel Cabo de Hornos (Cape Horn Grand Hotel). Wildlife in the region includes seabirds, penguins, seals and whales.
No matter where your Quark embarkation point is, you're sure to find lots to interest you if you take the time to explore. Consider an early arrival, or stay for a few days after your expedition. Whichever you choose, you're sure to have a good time and add to a trip that's already an experience of a lifetime.