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.

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
$10,795
Feb 19 – Feb 26, 2020
8
Sold Out
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 13 - 15 of 30

Extended Antarctic Expedition

5

We had an amazing trip to the Antarctic which was made especially notable by the exceptional efforts of Allison and her entire expedition staff as well as the crew and hotel team on the Ocean Adventurer. Due to weather conditions preventing planes from flying from Punta Arenas to King George Island our original 5 nights on the ship was extended to 10 nights and the entire crew made this a special time with their regular presentations and developing several extra off-ship adventures to make the days fly by. The situation was very difficult for everyone but your team did an absolutely marvelous job of maintaining a very positive atmosphere and providing thoughtful and personal help to those of us in this extended situation. Quark is the best!

Just Perfect

5

It's definitely one of the most unforgettable trips for me. Still miss the tranquil & peaceful environment in Antarctica. The team was more than perfect, no matter in ensuring members' safety, handling ad-hoc glitches, giving in-depth information of all kinds about the continent and even entertaining people. The food served was a real surprise to me, thanks to the caring crew.

There were some presentations on penguins which were informative. I would also suggest more short presentations on history, geography (landscape) & meteorology if possible after dinner when people have some spare moments. I would also be interested in sharing sessions on photography skills.

Fly the Drake (please!)

4

Once in Antarctica, the trip was wonderful. Expedition Leader (Alli) and team were friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Can only use my experience but wonder if the weather is just too problematic to offer this fly in option. We and the trip behind us were most impacted but I understand the group ahead of us also experienced a delay. I personally missed a $3000 trip to Easter Island as a result of the 5-6 day delay in returning from King George Island to Punta Arenas.

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