Antarctic Express: Fly North 2014-15
If you’re looking for a more efficient Antarctic experience, this is it. You will cruise south across the Drake Passage and experience the first Antarctic land and wildlife sightings with your fellow shipmates. After your penguin, seal, whale, iceberg and glacier cravings have been satisfied, you’ll take the relaxing way home by flying from King George Island to Punta Arenas, Chile.
Day 1 - Ushuaia
This quaint city at the southernmost tip of South America is your gateway to Antarctica. The city itself provides a wide range of jewellery shops, cafés, gear shops and restaurants to explore before your voyage. Outside the city, snow-capped mountains and hiking in Tierra del Fuego National Park offer ample adventure activities if you enjoy exploring nature.
- Arrive at any time and perhaps explore Ushuaia
Day 2 - Ushuaia - Embarkation Day
You will embark in the afternoon, with a journey through the picturesque Beagle Channel. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled and be out on deck, as the channel is home to a wide variety of wildlife including seabirds and seals.
Breakfast | Dinner
- Board the ship set off through the Beagle Channel
Day 3-4 - Drake Passage
Legendary for its high winds and rolling seas, you may get lucky and have surprisingly calm seas. Spend your time in the lounge or chatting with your fellow travelers. As you develop your sea legs during the crossing, our Expedition Team will begin their series of presentations to help prepare you for your upcoming Zodiac and land excursions. You officially enter Antarctica when your ship crosses the Antarctic Convergence, a biological boundary that fluctuates around 60° south.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
- Cross Drake Passage and keep an eye out for the abundant birdlife
- Perhaps take in some optional presentations and talks on wildlife, ice and polar history aboard the boat
- Prepare for a noticeable drop in temperature and look overhead for sightings of albatross and petrels
Day 5-7 - South Shetland Islands and Antarctica
Icebergs are the first attractions that welcome you to Antarctica. Massive floating bergs become more common as you get closer to land and you catch your first glimpse of the Peninsula, with its grand snow-covered mountains. In addition to spotting icebergs, you’ll likely spot Adélie penguins chilling out on ice floes and minke or humpback whales feeding and swimming in the frigid waters.
As soon as possible, the Zodiacs will be readied for your first landing in the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. Experiencing this immense wilderness up close for the first time can be a numbing experience. The silence is great, the vastness is even greater. Thankfully the noisy locals – penguins and seals – are there to remind you that this wonderful landscape isn’t just a dream.
Your Expedition Team will monitor the ice and weather conditions to determine which landing sites can be visited. With many sites to choose from, each expedition presents new opportunities for exploring the white continent by Zodiac and land. Swimming in Antarctica is perhaps the most adventurous option to tempt you, by taking a Polar Plunge in the water at Neko Harbour!
A typical day in this wildlife wonderland will be spent listening to calving glaciers at Petermann Island, watching penguins waddle around a beach, or taking a hike atop a hill for a panoramic view of Port Lockroy. Whatever you prefer, the photographic opportunities are endless.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
- Set off on Zodiac boats and cruise the bays, channels and landing sites
- Visit penguin rockeries, scout for humpback and minke whales, orcas and a number of the southern seal species, including the leopard seal
- Scramble up to vantage points in the Peninsula’s mountains
- Visit a Chinstrap Penguin colony high up on a ridge in Orne Harbor
- Perhaps spend time sitting on a pebbled beach as curious penguin chicks approach
- Perhaps be brave enough you can take part in the Polar Plunge, taking a dip in the frigid waters of an icy Antarctic bay
- Be left awestruck by the massive icebergs that come in many different shapes and sizes
- Set foot on the Antarctic continent (if weather permits)
- Spend plenty of time on the bridge or on the deck of the boat, soaking up the incredible views
- Experience the complete silence of Antarctica
Day 8 - Disembarkation & Fly to Punta Arenas
As the ship turns north, you’ll say goodbye to the penguins, as well as many of your shipmates. With only the Drake Passage ahead, you’ll disembark and enjoy a bit of time on King George Island before flying off to Punta Arenas, Chile. Once you’re in Punta Arenas, we’ll transfer you from the airport to your hotel, where you’re free to explore and enjoy a final dinner out.
- Fly from King George Island to Punta Arenas, Chile
- PLEASE NOTE: There is a strict baggage limit of 15kg checked baggage and 5kg hand baggage
Day 9 - Punta Arenas, Chile
The trip ends today in Punta Arenas.
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.
- The trip ends in Punta Arenas
What to Know
- One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia 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)
- 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)
- Charter flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas. PLEASE NOTE. Luggage allowance is strictly 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 in Ushuaia from the airport to any local hotel.
- Group transfers from a designated location in Ushuaia to the ship on embarkation day.
- Group transfer from the ship to hotel in Punta Arenas on 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.
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
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.