Antarctic Express: Crossing the Circle

Duration 11 days
Departing from
  • Punta Arenas, Chile
Starting from $17,495
Adventure Options N/A

Overview

A short, comfortable flight from Punta Arenas, Chile, to King George Island in Antarctica has you with boots on the ground in no time, overtaken by the sheer magnitude of the 7th Continent. Fully immersed in the Antarctic environment, you’ll experience a roller coaster of emotions, from excitement to exquisite solitude to incredible gratitude for the wonder of it all.

You may go in search of whales and find yourself bearing witness to a glacier calving. Or you may plan to climb one more peak for a better vantage point and find yourself in a rookery of curious penguins. Antarctica will leave you in awe, but it won’t leave you unchanged.

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

Highlights

  • Experience the fastest, most direct way to Antarctica
  • Fly over the Drake Passage
  • Marvel at all the Antarctic Peninsula highlights, including crossing the Antarctic Circle
  • Take advantage of optional polar camping along the Peninsula
  • For voyages aboard the all-suites ship, Island Sky, take advantage of such inclusions as domestic flights, gratuities, and drinks
  • Enjoy on-board lectures and educational presentations from polar specialists

Itineraries

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 all passengers 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 5 — 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.

Days 6 and 7 — The Antarctic Circle

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula do not reach 66°33' S. If conditions allow us to cross this famed line, you and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of champagne!

As you toast the first explorers who ventured this far south, you can take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, Weddell seals and some of the most magical, odd ice formations you’ll see anywhere on the continent.

Days 8 and 9 — Northbound Along the Peninsula

If you haven’t had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you’ll surely be satisfied by the time you return to King George Island. You will continue to journey onto land by Zodiac twice daily as you travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula.

Your Expedition Team will always be on the lookout for species of penguins, seals and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south.

Day 10 — Disembarkation 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 the group transfer to your hotel, enjoy an evening on your own, in the city or at the hotel.

Day 11 — 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

Departure
Days
Starting from
 
 
Dec 18 – Dec 28, 2019
11
Sold Out
Jan 25 – Feb 4, 2020
11
$17,495

Adventure Options

Add an Extra Rush of Adrenaline to Your Expedition

Reviews

Displaying 10 - 12 of 12

Crossing the Antarctic Circle cruise

5

This was the most amazing trip I’ve ever been on. The staff and expedition team were incredible and really enhanced the experience.

best trip ever

5

This was such a amazing trip. I am so glad that I did it. The expedition team are so awesome.

An Adventure of a Lifetime

5

I would recommend Quarks Air Express to Antarctica to anyone worried about sailing the Drake Passage because of Motion Sickness issues.

The staff is incredible, food excellent and what a backdrop as you sail seeing seals on icebergs, penquins swimming and flying out of the water, orcas around your ship and for me was kayaking with 8 humpbacks swimming around our kayaks. It was an unforgettable adventure every day. Kayaking gave me a very singular experience in that it was quiet, a small group of 13 kayaks and being able to get within 5 feet of icebergs with seals and penquins on them. the color of the ice from the water was beautiful and the sound of the tiny ice chips hitting your kayak as you paddled was special.

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