Photo: David Merron

Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake

Duration 8 days
Departing from
  • Punta Arenas, Chile
Starting from $10,795
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 — 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

Departure
Days
Starting from
 
 
Dec 3 – Dec 10, 2019
8
$10,795
Dec 8 – Dec 15, 2019
8
$10,795
Dec 13 – Dec 20, 2019
8
$10,795
Jan 10 – Jan 17, 2020
8
$10,795
Jan 15 – Jan 22, 2020
8
$10,795
Feb 9 – Feb 16, 2020
8
Sold Out
Feb 14 – Feb 21, 2020
8
Sold Out
Feb 19 – Feb 26, 2020
8
Sold Out

Adventure Options

Add an Extra Rush of Adrenaline to Your Expedition

Reviews

Displaying 4 - 6 of 30

Great trip

5

We had a great experience with Quark. The accommodations on the ship were first class, the bed and pillows very comfortable, the cabin and ship was very clean, the meals were excellent. The shipboard personnel were very friendly and accommodating. The guides on the daily Zodiak expeditions were very knowledgeable and safety was of prime importance. The areas where we landed afforded us an opportunity to see five types of seals, numerous penguins and seabirds. We also saw Orca and humpback whales. My only concern was not the trip itself, it was when I called to obtain some information and indicated I would book the trip once I discussed it with my wife. I called back the woman I talked to and left a message to call me -- she never returned my call. So I booked with someone else. It seems the sales reps do not return phone calls or emails that are left when they are out of the office, this should really be addressed. I must say that when the sales rep was in the office my emails were responded to quickly and with the information requested. I would definitely highly recommend Quark to anyone anticipating a trip to Antarctica and flying the Drake is the only way to go.

Quark totally exceeded all my

5

Quark totally exceeded all my expectations and I wholly recommend them.

But for One Flaw...a Truly Exceptional Experience

5

Overall, my experience exceeded my already soaring expectations. The guides were sensational, the shipboard hospitality exceptional, the pace perfect, and the onshore adventures were those of a lifetime! The weakness: wholly inadequate instructions were provided on when and where to assemble on the morning of initial departure from Santiago's airport. Vague and even misleading instructions nearly caused me to miss the entire experience; Quark's lapse on this matter initially soured me on the entire program. Very specific directions on the precise time/place to gather for the initial flight to Punta Arenas should be supplied every participant!

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