Antarctic Express: Fly South 2014-15
Take advantage of the fastest, most direct way to Antarctica: flying. A short three-hour flight takes you to the white continent where you will enjoy everything the Antarctic has to offer. Immense penguin rookeries and icy landscapes await your arrival. You will get the full Antarctic experience, while only having to cross the Drake Passage once.
Day 1 - Punta Arenas, Chile
Your journey begins in Punta Arenas. This port city is situated at the southern tip of Chile, on the north bank of the Strait of Magellan. Once a Chilean penal colony, Punta Arenas offers beautiful views of the ocean, an impressive cemetery and some excellent dining options. Explore the city by day, and then join us for an evening dinner to meet your fellow Antarctic fliers.
- Arrive at any time and perhaps explore Punta Arenas
Day 2 - Embarkation at King George Island
Today you board your chartered flight to Antarctica. The journey over the Drake Passage will take you just over two hours, whereas our ship-based travelers take two days to make the journey by sea. Your first glimpse of Antarctica comes into view shortly before the aircraft descends towards King George Island -- hope for clear skies so you can appreciate the vastness of this great continent! You will have some free time to photograph parts of the island and stretch your legs before joining the ship. Once aboard, you’ll get your first trip in a Zodiac and begin your exploration of the Antarctic region.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
- Board the ship at King George Island
Day 3-5 - Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
You’ll get a sense that you’ve arrived on a new planet during the start of your Antarctic voyage, as the pristine nature and dramatic environments are like nothing else on earth. From the vessel you can watch whales swim and feed in the nutrient-rich waters and spot penguins porpoising in the water and jumping aboard ice floes. Just as amazing as the wildlife are the towering snow-covered mountains and massive glaciers of the Peninsula, which will be your playground for the next four days.
Every Zodiac excursion and landing presents new sights, sounds and smells. Some landings may be as relaxing as sitting on a beach, taking photographs of curious gentoo penguins. Other landings may provide exhilarating panoramic views of the Antarctic continent by hiking atop a hill. Perhaps you’ll catch a calving glacier crumbling into the sea at Petermann Island, or take a Zodiac cruise in search of fur and elephant seals around Pléneau Island.
Even common travel experiences like mailing a postcard take on an extra level of excitement in Antarctica. While weather and sea conditions determine which landings we can make, your Expedition Team will ensure that each day of your Antarctic adventure leaves a lasting impression.Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 6-7 - Crossing the Drake Passage to Ushuaia
A rite of passage for any Antarctic adventurer, the Drake signals the end of your journey. No matter the sea conditions, you will benefit from having developed your sea legs over the course of the previous four days. While the journey home has begun, your wildlife spotting continues. Your Expedition Team will be available on deck and on the ship’s bridge to help you spot the majestic wandering albatross and a number of whale species, such as minke and humpback.
When you’re not looking at photos and reminiscing about the previous days, the Expedition Team will conclude their series of engaging presentations on subjects such as marine biology, polar history and glaciology.Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 8 - Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina
After a final breakfast aboard the ship, say goodbye to your crew as we disembark in Ushuaia. We’ll transfer you to the hotel (included) to check in and then you’ll have a chance to explore the town on your own to shop, sightseeing and sample some Argentinian cuisine.
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
Day 9 - Ushuaia
The trip ends today in Ushuaia.Breakfast
What to Know
- One night pre-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)
- One night post-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)
- 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.
- A group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia to the hotel.
- 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 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.