Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake 2014-15
Skip the four days of Drake Passage crossings and optimize your Antarctica experience by flying! A short two-hour flight takes you between Punta Arenas, Chile, and King George Island. Once in Antarctica, the penguins, seals and whales will keep you and your camera busy, as will the massive icebergs, mountains and glaciers, which create other-worldly landscapes on the white continent. Within hours of your departure you’ll be greeted by our team of experts on the ship and be heading out on your first Zodiac experience in search of wildlife.
Day 1 - Punta Arenas, Chile
Your adventure begins in Punta Arenas, Chile, the most populated city in Patagonia. If you arrive early, there are museums, restaurants and shops to keep you busy. By early afternoon, a Quark Expeditions representative will meet all passengers at the official starting point hotel, where you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about preparing for your embarkation day.
- Arrive at any time and perhaps explore Punta Arenas
Day 2 - Embarkation at King George Island
Your flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica will have you smoothly crossing the legendary Drake Passage in only a few hours. Way below, the ship is also approaching King George Island, after having spent a couple of days of cruising the Drake. With clear skies, you’ll be rewarded with a rare sight – seeing Antarctica from above! After landing, stretch your legs and spend some time exploring the island before being transferred by Zodiac to your ship. Meet the rest of your shipmates and set sail to explore Antarctica.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
- Board the ship at King George Island
Day 3-6 - Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
There are few places in the world as evocative as Antarctica. As we approach 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 the human eye.
As the Captain and Expedition Team keep their eyes out for whales and seabirds, you’ll be alerted 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 your daily excursions to land. Your first Zodiac landing is something you’ll never forget! 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. You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs in Pléneau Island one day, followed by a hike to a chinstrap penguin rookery the next day.
From the booming shot of a calving glacier at Petermann Island to the thrill of watching a leopard seal hunt a penguin, you’ll wake early and welcome each day with sense of excitement and desire to explore this unrivaled travel experience. Our Expedition Team will be with you all along, providing insights into the places you visit and the wildlife you see.Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 7 - Disembarkation & Fly to Punta Arenas
After so many awe-inspiring visuals and memorable days of wildlife encounters, you’ll finally be able to stop and take a breath again. Say goodbye to the Expedition Team and disembark at King George Island for your three-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile.Breakfast
Day 8 - Punta Arenas, Chile
Today your trip comes to an end in Punta Arenas. Bid farewell to your fellow travellers.
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.
- Disembark in Ushuaia
What to Know
- One night pre-expedition and one night post expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas, Chile as indicated in the itinerary. (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)
- Return charter flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island. PLEASE NOTE. Luggage allowance is 15kg checked baggage plus 5kg carry on.
- Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping.
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners 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.)
- All shore landings per the daily program.
- Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities.
- All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program.
- Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled.
- Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage.
- A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings.
- A waterproof expeditions parka to keep.
- Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock.
- Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin.
- Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader.
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
- All luggage handling aboard ship.
- Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $100,000 per person.
- Group transfers from a designated location in Punta Arenas to the ship on embarkation and disembarkation day.
- Snowshoes available on loan for shore excursions on designated voyages.
- Headsets available on loan for listening to staff presentations and commentary.
- Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
- Passport and visa expenses.
- Government arrival and departure taxes.
- Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation and lunch on specified Fly and Cruise programs.
- Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance.
- Excess baggage charges.
- Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified.
- Telecommunications charges.
- The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew.
Safety is paramount on a Gecko's voyage. Due to International Security Regulations, you will not be able to approach the ship on your own. You will have to arrive with the rest of the group, accompanied by a Gecko's representative. Full details of embarkation/disembarkation procedures will be supplied with your final documentation. On board you will be asked to participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. We will also conduct important briefings on landing procedures and Zodiac operations.
This Polar Adventure Ship was built in 1975. Sea Adventurer (formerly know as the Clipper Adventurer) underwent a $13 million conversion in 1998. Her proud reputation is complimented by her well-appointed, elegance. Sea Adventurer is the perfect expedition ship for people who enjoy soft adventures and creature comforts. All cabins have outside views and facilities en suite.
Sea Adventurer is equipped with Zodiacs for shore landings and ocean level cruising, yet offers fine dining, and cabins with exterior views and facilities en suite.
- 20 Jan 2015 - 27 Jan 2015