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Photo: David Merron

Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake

Duration
8 or 9 days
Departing From
  • Punta Arenas, Chile
Starting Price
$10,196 USD
Adventure Options
Paddling
Stand up Paddleboarding
Hiking
Zodiac

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.

Available Itinerary

2020.21 Antarctic Season
8Days
Starting inPunta Arenas, Chile
Prices from (per person) $10,196 USD
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.

Reminder

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.

  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • All shore landings as per the daily program
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
  • Beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled
  • A photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
  • An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
  • A hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
  • A group transfer in Punta Arenas from airport to pre-expedition hotel on Day 1
  • One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas with breakfast (Note: The number of guests per room is the same as cabin occupancy on the ship. Due to limited availability, travelers who reserve a suite on board are accommodated in standard rooms at the hotel. Triple rooms may not be available.)
  • A briefing dinner on Day 1 in Punta Arenas
  • A pre-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the hotel to the airport
  • Flights to and from King George Island
  • A post-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to the hotel
  • One night’s post-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas with breakfast
  • International airfare
  • Passport and applicable visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned
  • Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
  • Excess-baggage fees on international flights
  • Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
  • Laundry, bar, massage services and other personal charges, unless specified
  • Phone and Internet charges
  • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
  • Additional overnight accommodation
  • Arrival and departure transfers, except where explicitly stated
  • Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities

Passenger Reviews

CAROL P.

Verified Passenger

Score

February 02, 2020

Carol Peterson

It was an excellent trip. Getting to and from the Antarctic was an adventure in itself. We were one of the lucky ones who managed to have 6 nights on the boat. We loved our suite and thought the food on board was very good. The shore landings and zodiac cruises all were beyond expeditions. I truly will never forget our first landing on Paulette Island - the smell, the sound and then the sight of so many penguins, all a mind blowing experience. Gazing at the icebergs, another unforgettable experience, offered the opportunity to capture and share some incredible photos. We enjoyed our guides and always felt safe. We thank you for providing this opportunity and for giving us the chance to have it without having to cruise through the Drake Passage. If there are any photos available from your staff photographer, I would most appreciate seeing them if you could direct me to a site. I didn't get into the photo sharing process on board. Thanks again for a marvellous adventure. Carol and John Peterson, Jan 15 to 22 Fly the Drake Cruise.

ARTHUR M.

Verified Passenger

Score

January 01, 2020

Great trip!

Wonderful in every way. Thank you!