Photo: David Merron

Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake

Duration 8 days
Departing from
  • Punta Arenas, Chile
Starting from $10,495
Adventure Options Sea KayakingPaddling ExcursionStand-Up Paddleboarding

Overview

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.

Highlights

  • 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!

Itineraries

Day 1 — Arrive in 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 — Fly to King George Island and Embarkation

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 with a one-mile (1.6 km) walk to the shore, 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. 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 presenters will deepen your experience with explanations of the glaciology, history and wildlife of the region.

Even more exciting are your daily excursions. Your first Zodiac landing is something you’ll never forget! Walking on a beach dotted with penguins 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 and chinstrap penguin.

You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs one day, followed by a hike to a penguin rookery the next day. From the booming sound of a calving glacier to the thrill of spotting apex predators like leopard seals and killer whales in action, you’ll wake up early and welcome each day with a sense of adventure and a desire to explore during this unrivaled travel experience.

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

Day 7 — 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 two-and-a-half-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile, brings your adventure to an end. After your group transfer to the hotel, you are free to explore and enjoy an evening on your own, in the city or at the hotel 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.

Day 1 — Arrive in 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.

Important reminder: all guests must arrive to designated hotel by 3 PM local time. We recommend staying connected to the internet/phone in case of any updates. 

 

Day 2 — Fly to King George Island and Embarkation

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 with a one-mile (1.6 km) walk to the shore, 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. 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 presenters will deepen your experience with explanations of the glaciology, history and wildlife of the region.

Even more exciting are your daily excursions. Your first Zodiac landing is something you’ll never forget! Walking on a beach dotted with penguins 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 and chinstrap penguin.

You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs one day, followed by a hike to a penguin rookery the next day. From the booming sound of a calving glacier to the thrill of spotting apex predators like leopard seals and killer whales in action, you’ll wake up early and welcome each day with a sense of adventure and a desire to explore during this unrivaled travel experience.

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

Day 7 — 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 two-and-a-half-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile, brings your adventure to an end. After your group transfer to the hotel, you are free to explore and enjoy an evening on your own, in the city or at the hotel 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

Departure
Days
Starting from
 
 
Dec 7 – Dec 14, 2020
8
$10,495
Dec 12 – Dec 19, 2020
8
$10,495
Dec 17 – Dec 24, 2020
8
$10,495
Dec 22 – Dec 29, 2020
8
$10,995
Dec 27 – Jan 3, 2021
8
$10,995
Jan 16 – Jan 23, 2021
8
$10,995
Jan 21 – Jan 28, 2021
8
$10,995
Feb 26 – Mar 5, 2021
8
$12,495

Adventure Options

Add an Extra Rush of Adrenaline to Your Expedition

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 3 of 45

Great trip!

5

Wonderful in every way. Thank you!

Fantastic, wonderful, amazing experience, loved every minute of it!

5

We were lucky to have great weather for our Antarctic Fly the Drake expedition. The scenery was indescribably beautiful viewed from the ship and while out on zodiac excursions where you really felt the vastness and beauty of Antarctica. We had daily up close encounters with wildlife: penguins, humpbacks, orca and seals. The expedition team and ship's crew were amazing, kind and helpful, going all out to make every minute of every day special for everyone. All the passengers were warm and friendly, and there were about 15 other solo travellers so I never felt lonely. It was extra special to share this experience with so many wonderful people who were just as jazzed about it as I was.

Amazing trip in a beautiful place, Antarctica!

5

We had the most amazing trip to Antarctica! The ship was comfortable and roomy with great beds and plenty of lounges to choose from and two hot tubs to sit in while watching penguins and whales cavort around the ship, housekeeping was extremely attentive with turn down service and daily attention to our rooms several times a day, and the food was fabulous with multiple choices each lunch and dinner and special nights with surprise deserts and even caviar! Even the bar was well stocked and kept the spirits flowing! The expedition staff was amazing; always friendly and helpful, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and always kept us safe while still having fun! We really enjoyed that the staff dined with the guests and mixed it up so we all had a chance to dine with and ask questions of our various guides. The mix of expertise was great from marine biologists to geologists to historians, and the daily briefings provided great information for what we either had seen or could hope to see. The staff did everything possible to be sure we saw the the many beauties and creatures of the Antarctic, and we did! I can't think if a penguin, whale or seal from the region that we didn't see. Truly AMAZING! The ability of the ship's captain to adapt to find smooth water and good weather, made the adventure pleasant and comfortable. Our Sweet Abbey morning wake-up announcement was so pleasant "Good Morning friends of the Ocean Adventurer" and it was so fun to hear her tell us where we were and the plan for the day, that several of us recorded it so we could listen to it again and again after we left. I love that every morning and afternoon you had excursions planned and everyone could share in all of them. The size of the ship was small enough that no one had to miss out and large enough to have all the amenities. Beautifully done for a dream trip come true!

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