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Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake

8 days

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.

Interested to see more of this voyage? Explore Antarctica in 360° Virtual Reality!

Day-by-Day Expedition in Brief

  • 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

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.

Day 2 — Embarkation Day

Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica will have you crossing the infamous Drake Passage in only a few hours.

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.

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.

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.
View complete itinerary »

Adventure Options Add an Extra Rush of Adrenaline to Your Expedition

Every Quark Antarctic voyage includes great daily outdoor activities including Zodiac cruises, hiking and some also offer snowshoeing. The more discerning adrenaline junkie can also choose from a range of optional adventure activities, with varying exertion levels, to experience the 7th continent in a more personal way. Contact a Quark Polar Travel Adviser to learn more about adventure options, including physical requirements.

Explore the ocean from a more intimate vantage point on a sit-on-top kayak. No experience is required to manoeuvre these very stable kayaks, allowing you to enjoy an unforgettable experience on the water, taking in breathtaking landscapes and wildlife. Whether it’s your first time in a kayak or you want greater flexibility to try other Adventure options, this shorter excursion is for you.  
 
Paddling in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent and a one-time experience. Your kayak guides will attempt to take you out on the water for 1-1.5 hours of paddling. Offered on most voyages, spaces are limited. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark. 

Pricing subject to change based on season. Please proceed to checkout or contact a Polar Travel Adviser for more details. 

Pre- and Post-Trip Options Extend Your Stay

Getting to the Antarctic can be just as much fun as being there. Quark offers multiple travel packages that enable you to see more of the world before and after your Antarctic adventure.

Take a five-hour flight from Santiago to Easter Island, one of the world’s most remote inhabited islands. A single massive (extinct) volcano rising over 10,000 feet from the Pacific Ocean floor, Easter Island is famous for its enormous statues carved from the tough stone of the Rano Raraku, the island’s volcano. Your package includes tours of the statues, tombs and volcanoes of the island. This luxurious package offers guests three nights’ accommodation at Explora Rapa Nui, where all meals, daily explorations and drinks are included.

Expedition Facts

The Expedition Staff Were Fantastic!

“We have not been on a Quark Expedition trip before but we really enjoyed the cruise. The Expedition staff were fantastic! Always helpful, friendly, knowledgeable and the team leaders - Woody & Annie were the best! Kayak team couldn’t have done anymore - they were always patient and helpful - made our trip memorable.”

Mr. & Mrs. Duncan

Passengers on the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica, Ocean Diamond Voyage Nov. 2013

The Quark Expedition Team Is Exceptional

“The Quark expeditions team is, as always, EXCEPTIONAL!! Their level of quality of care, enthusiasm, knowledge, friendliness, safety and passion exceed expectations. My first experience with the Quark family was earlier in the year with a trip to Antarctica. I was so happy with my experience that I had to book another trip with them later in the same year to the other end of the World - The Arctic, which was another great experience. I’m looking forward to where the Quark family can take me next!”

Arlene

Three Arctic Islands, Sept. 4, 2012

Antarctic Food Chain

Penguins play an important role in the Antarctic food chain. They may be cute, but they are also vulnerable. Not only do they fall prey to leopard seals, but skua and petrels frequently scavenge penguin carcasses as well as their eggs and chicks!