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


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 — 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.

Dates and Rates

Starting from
Feb 9 – Feb 16, 2020
Sold Out
Feb 14 – Feb 21, 2020
Sold Out
Feb 19 – Feb 26, 2020
Sold Out
Dec 7 – Dec 14, 2020
Dec 12 – Dec 19, 2020
Dec 17 – Dec 24, 2020
Dec 22 – Dec 29, 2020
Dec 27 – Jan 3, 2021
Jan 16 – Jan 23, 2021
Jan 21 – Jan 28, 2021
Feb 26 – Mar 5, 2021

Adventure Options

Add an Extra Rush of Adrenaline to Your Expedition


Displaying 13 - 15 of 40

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.

Great trip


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


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

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