Current as of: December 5, 2023 - 06:05
1 out of 7 - Leisurely
This trip is the perfect short, introductory expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula, the most pristine wilderness on earth. We reduce the Drake Passage crossing from two days to two hours by flying from Punta Arenas to King George Island in the South Shetland Islands. We spend the next four days sailing between the South Shetlands and the Antarctic Peninsula, past towering glacier-capped mountains rising from a brilliant blue sea, dotted with ice floes, and enjoying the company of sea birds, penguins, seals and whales. We hope to visit magnificent spots such as Petermann Island, Neko Harbour and the Gerlache Strait, and have the chance to scramble up to a high point for an unforgettable view of Port Lockeroy. On this adventure we will also visit penguin colonies, listen for calving glaciers, and visit both historic sites and research stations.
The voyages are designed to be as flexible as possible, taking advantage of circumstances and events as they occur, as well as passengers’ wishes and particular interests wherever possible. The atmosphere on board is relaxed and friendly with expedition staff, including naturalists and Polar experts, on hand and the opportunity to mingle with people from all over the world. The ship is kept warm, clean and comfortable with a wet/mud room in which to hang gear and store boots ready for the next adventure.
On the Zodiac cruises you are sitting still for most of the time with the potential for some sea spray and a cold headwind – if you are not dressed appropriately you will get cold. On the shore excursions, the majority of landings are wet which means that the Zodiacs beach and you are helped to slide into the ankle deep shore break before walking up onto dry land (wellington boots are issued to all passengers).
There are, of course, no paths, so be prepared for slippery, rough terrain and sometimes fairly deep snow. Back on board the cosy ship after each adventure, you can have a sauna and/or a hot shower and then relax with a tea, coffee, hot chocolate or something stronger from the bar.
On some occasions, space is limited on the optional activities and needs to be booked in advance. Please also note that not all optional activities are available on every departure. Please ask our Polar Sales team for more information if you are interested in one of the options below.
Sea kayaking option
Imagine gliding across the surface of a bay in the presence of icebergs and glaciers. Our Sea Kayaking program is a great way to intimately explore your surroundings. A small group of kayakers will plan to go out multiple times per voyage as an alternative to shore landings or Zodiac cruises. The number of opportunities to kayak is weather dependent and will be conducted only during calm conditions. Prior kayaking experience is required, and you must be able to do a wet exit to participate. Beginners interested in kayaking should consider participating in the Paddling Excursion.
If you’re interested in kayaking but would like to try something a bit less demanding than Sea Kayaking, you’re the perfect candidate to sign up for a one-time paddle on our stable sit-on-top kayaks—perfect for anyone with minimal or no kayaking experience. Rotating groups of passengers will be taken out on calm days, with our expert guides always present to provide instruction and help connect you with the Polar sea.
Combining surfing with kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding will give you a very personal and unique perspective on Antarctica. Conducted in small groups—in calm bays and harbours, in good weather conditions—and accompanied by a safety Zodiac, onetime stand-up paddleboarding excursions can be pre-booked in two consecutive priority groups. After the first two successful outings, this activity will be offered via sign-up on board the ship on a first-come, first-served basis for any subsequent outings.
The itinerary shown is the most common 8 day itinerary offered; the departures with a longer duration spend a different length of time along the Antarctic Peninsula.
All Polar itineraries should be treated as a guide only – it is possible that, amongst other things, the capricious nature of wind, visibility and ice, intelligence from previous sailings, changes in local landing regulations or the expert opinion of the crew onboard may lead to adjustments to the route published.
Please note that, as with all Polar holidays and voyages, the booking conditions for this trip differ from our standard conditions.
The required deposit is 25% per person of your selected travel arrangements (minimum £1000 per person or equivalent in booking currency) and the balance of the price of your travel arrangements must be paid at least 133 days before your departure date. The deposit is non-refundable, and at 133 days before departure date, our cancellation penalties are 100% of the holiday cost.
The Exodus group forms part of the ship’s complement (approx. 100 passengers), enjoying the relaxed, intimate and informal atmosphere, which breaks into smaller groups to facilitate the frequent excursions. We offer these cruises in conjunction with our partner, Quark Expeditions, and Exodus participants will join an international group, not all of whom have booked through Exodus. Occasionally some of these may be younger than 12 years old, the Exodus’ stated minimum age for this trip.
We work with many fine Expedition Leaders and Polar Experts, bringing a diversity of interests including zoology, Polar history, geology, ornithology and ocean sciences. The ship’s operating crew have many years of experience in Polar Regions and are committed to ensuring a safe and memorable journey. Each day your cabin will be serviced by the housekeeping crew, and your meals served by the friendly and attentive restaurant staff. There is also a resident medical officer.
Adult min age: 18
Max group size: 128
Our 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 we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about preparing for your embarkation day. Please note that you need to arrive at the hotel in Punta Arenas no later than 3pm today.
A quick 2-hour flight from Punta Arenas lands on King George Island in the South Shetland Islands. En route, from our bird’s eye view, we can bid the Drake Passage a fond Bon Voyage. After exploring the portion of the island where the Chilean Research Base, Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva and the Russian Base, Bellingshausen, are located, we transfer to Ocean Adventurer by Zodiac to embark on our Antarctic adventure.
There are few places in the world as evocative as Antarctica. As we approach the white continent, don’t be surprised if you are overcome by feelings of excitement and awe. Much of Antarctica is indescribable and can only be fully appreciated through the human eye.
Our first sightings will be from the ship itself. As the Captain and Expedition Team keep their eyes out for whales and seabirds, and will alert us 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 our daily excursions to land. Walking up to a beach that is 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. We may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs in Pleneau Island one day, followed by a hike to a Chinstrap rookery the next day. From the booming shot of a calving glacier at Petermann Island to the complete silence of night in Antarctica, each day offers exciting opportunities.
From King George Island, we will fly across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas and transfer to our hotel to spend the night.
After breakfast, you are welcome to continue on your own travels or make your way to the Punta Arenas airport for your homeward flights.
The Antarctic Fly & Cruise is offered on the Ocean Adventurer and the World Explorer which are Polar Adventure Ships. Two nighs in a standard hotel in Punta Arenas included. Full board accommodation on the ship, generally on a twin share basis in a variety of cabin types, all with en suite facilities. Please visit the Polar Fleet page for Ship Information and Deck Plans.
Polar Adventure Ships
These are small ice rated vessels well qualified for Polar waters. Intimate adventures are always more enjoyable with like-minded passengers and staff, so these voyages are for people who like flexible itineraries and plenty to keep them busy. Activities include frequent Zodiac excursions, trekking, kayaking and many hours on deck in areas that other ships only dream about accessing. Food and staff are excellent and every guest benefits from the technical advances of this superb fleet. Rest assured our Polar Adventure Ships enable any traveller to maximize their experience sensitively in the Poles.
Distinct and comfortable, refined and roomy—these attributes and more describe World Explorer. Every cabin has either a private walk-out or Juliet balcony for direct ocean views. World Explorer also delivers plenty of public areas to unwind in after a day outdoors, including the glass-domed Observation Lounge, the Explorer Lounge, the library, and a dedicated lecture theatre. Health and wellness facilities feature an outdoor running track, a small gym and a sauna, plus a spa with change rooms, showers and lockers.
TRIPLE: Located on Deck 6, and approximately 242 sq. ft. (22.5 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 55 sq. ft. (5 sq. m) walk-out balcony. A separate combo sitting area/bedroom with a sofa bed and additional closet, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower is also featured in each cabin.
INFINITY SUITE: Located on Decks 5 and 6, and approximately 270 sq. ft. (25 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a floor-to-ceiling glass Juliet balcony. A sitting area with sofa, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower is also featured in each cabin.
VERANDA SUITE: Located on Decks 5 and 6, and approximately 215 sq. ft. (20 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 55 sq. ft. (5 sq. m) walk-out balcony. A sitting area with sofa, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower is also featured in each cabin.
SUPERIOR SUITE: Located on Decks 5 and 6, and approximately 278 sq. ft. (26 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony with access from sitting room and bedroom. A separate sitting area with sofa, walk-in closet, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower is also featured in each cabin.
DELUXE SUITE: Located on Deck 5, and approximately 334 sq. ft. (31 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony with access from sitting room and bedroom. A separate sitting area with sofa, his & hers closets, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower and his & hers sinks is also featured in each cabin.
OWNER’S SUITE: Located on Decks 5 and 6, and approximately 355 sq. ft. (33 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony with access from sitting room and bedroom. A separate sitting area with sofa, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower, his & hers sinks, and bathtub is also featured in each cabin.
The Ocean Adventurer is a comfortable vessel with spacious cabins, which all have private bathroom facilities and exterior views. Designed to carry travellers in comfort to the most remote corners of the world, Ocean Adventurer was built in 1976, and underwent extensive upgrades in 2017. This multi-million dollar investment included renovations to the interior of the ship, significant technical upgrades, and the addition of a new cabin category, the Owner’s Suites. The refurbishment gave the ship new bathrooms in every cabin, and upgrades to the Lounge, Dining Room, gym, and suites. Technical enhancements – including two new engines, generators, gear boxes, drive systems, and re-bladed propellers – resulted in increased fuel efficiency, and a minimized carbon footprint.
TRIPLE: From 145 sq. ft. (13.5 sq. m), a Triple Cabin is equipped with two lower berths and one upper berth. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
LOWER DECK TWIN: From 115 sq. ft. (11 sq. m), a Lower Deck Twin Cabin is equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Lower Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
MAIN DECK TWIN PORTHOLE: From 115 sq. ft. (11 sq. m), a Main Deck Twin Porthole Cabin is equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
MAIN DECK TWIN WINDOW: From 115 sq. ft. (11 sq. m), a Main Deck Twin Window Cabin is equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and a window with exterior views.
SUPERIOR: From 132 sq. ft. (12 sq. m), a Superior Cabin is equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Upper and Captain’s Decks, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
DELUXE: From 144 sq. ft. (13 sq. m), a Deluxe Cabin is equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Captain’s Deck, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
SUITE: From 215 sq. ft. (20 sq. m), a Suite is equipped with one double bed made up of two twin berths. Located on the Captain’s Deck, it has windows with exterior views and private facilities.
OWNER’S SUITE: From 208 sq. ft. (19 sq. m), an Owner’s Suite Cabin is equipped with one double bed made up of two twin berths. Located on the Bridge Deck, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views. Cabin 403 has a bathtub and shower; other Owner’s Suites have showers.
All meals while on the ship included.
The ships galley offers good quality service and cuisine throughout, with excellent chefs preparing international menus including vegetarian dishes, accompanied by a wide variety of drinks on sale from around the world.
Breakfast: Buffet style – unlimited tea and coffee, a selection of fruit juices, hot options including bacon and eggs or omelettes, a selection of bread and toast and jam/honey/marmalade, fruit and cereal.
Lunch: Three course set meal, or the occasional buffet or BBQ.
Dinner: Three or four courses with a starter of soup and/or salad, a choice of mains with at least one vegetarian option and a dessert, with tea and coffee.
Vegetarians and vegans can be well catered for on this holiday – please do inform us before departure of any special dietary requests so that our local team can be well prepared.
During the expedition, you will visit remote and isolated sites that are accessible only by Zodiac landing craft. Designed for expedition work, these large and heavy-duty inflatable vessels are extremely safe.
Late Spring and Early Summer – November
The start of the season and the most adventurous time to travel. You’ll encounter truly breathtaking, exquisitely sculpted icebergs emerging from their frozen hibernation. Many of these blue bergs house courting, nesting and brooding penguins.
High Summer – January and February
Close to the solstice you’ll experience almost perpetual daylight. These are the mildest months when the first Adelie and Gentoo penguin chicks are hatched. As the water warms the whale sightings also improve.
Late Summer – February and March
This is the time for some incredible encounters with whales, especially Minkes and Humpbacks. The receding ice allows for further exploration and penguin colonies are very active with adults feeding their chicks.
Travelling land only: 8 days starting and ending in Punta Arenas
Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Punta Arenas in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary.
Please note that you need to arrive in Punta Arenas no later than 3pm on Day 1 as the flight times of the charter flight are subject to change. These might even operate on the evening of Day 1 as a result of weather systems that could cause a delay on subsequent days.
Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.
Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.
Location start: Punta Arenas, Chile
Location end: Punta Arenas, Chile
Boots – Rubber boots are essential for a Polar Expedition, but to eliminate these from your packing list we will loan you a pair for the duration of the voyage.
Parkas – We recommend one with a wind and waterproof shell – a complimentary Quark Expeditions parka will be provided.
Trousers – Waterproof trousers or salopeltes are essential for Zodiac travel as well as activities on shore.
Gloves – To keep your hands warm and dry, pack a minimum of two pairs of gloves: a pair of thin polypropylene gloves to be worn underneath warm outer gloves.
Hat and Scarf – Pack a warm, woollen hat or cap that covers your ears, as well as a scarf, neck gaiter or other face protection.
Socks – For maximum warmth, we suggest that you wear two pairs of socks to wear inside the rubber boots.
Outer Clothing – Pack woollen or fleece jumpers and tops, plus several turtlenecks for layering.
Underclothing – Pack silk or polypropylene underwear since it will keep you warm without adding bulk.
Knapsack or Backpack – To keep your hands free for shooting photographs, bring a water resistant or waterproof knapsack or backpack.
Shoes – Non-slip shoes for walking around the vessel.
Please note: Baggage allowance on the charter flights is 33 lbs (15 kg) checked and 11 lbs (5 kg) carry-on.
As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline’s website for the latest information prior to your departure.
Camera, extra batteries, film or memory cards
Electric converter with adapter plug set, 220V/110V
Small medical kit containing prescription medicines and over-the-counter medication for basic ailments such as stomach upsets, allergies, headaches and seasickness
Snow poles or trekking poles
It’s your responsibility to obtain any visas required for this trip. Visa requirements vary depending on your nationality and destination, so please check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through. As a guide, some local governments provide information on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.
Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Chile. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.
Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.
United Kingdom: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/chile/entry-requirements
There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus and rabies (bat lyssaviruses). Please confirm with your doctor or travel clinic.
There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies and typhoid.
Dengue fever, a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes, is a known risk in places visited. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, so we recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
There are no specific health risks on this trip.
Chile's time zone: America/Santiago (UTC -03:00)
on ships 220v 50Hz
Antarctica's currency: US dollars are accepted as the primary currency on board all polar vessels.
Chile's currency: Chilean peso (CLP)
There are ATMs in Punta Arenas which dispense Chilean currency. Credit cards are widely accepted and can be used to settle your account on the ship.
On board the ships all transactions are in US dollars. Dollars can also be used in Chile, although local currency is preferred.
At the conclusion of your voyage, you will be presented with an account. This will include any drinks from the bar, laundry or ship’s shop purchases for which you have signed. You may pay for this in US Dollars cash, credit card (Visa or MasterCard ONLY) or US dollars Traveller’s Cheques.
Please note: on the last evening, once your ship account has been settled, credit card payments are no longer accepted. It is therefore advisable to bring at least some US$ cash if you wish to purchase any items from the on board shop at this time.
You should also budget some dollars for sightseeing and meals/drinks in Chile, the amount depending on your tastes.
The appropriate amount to tip the staff and crew is a personal matter but it is customary to provide an end-of-cruise gratuity (as a rough guide approximately US$11-13 per day per passenger would be appreciated).
We work hard to create trips which improve life for the people and places we visit and look after the planet we explore. To read more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice, click here, and to find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation click here.
Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:
How this trip helps improve life for local communities.
How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.
How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.
Tips for sustainable travel on this trip
Your safe participation
When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.
Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.
By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.
When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.
You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.
Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.
Trip Note validity
These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.
The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.
Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.