Encounter the beauty of the 7th continent in comfort as you glide over the infamous Drake Passage and experience the stunning vistas of Antarctica. Departing from Punta Arenas you will fly across the Drake Passage and land at King George Island where you will embark your ship and navigate around South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. On board the Ocean Albatros you will make landings to penguin rookeries and fascinating lookouts.
Flights: Flight Punta Arenas to King George Island included in itinerary.
WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?
Flying across the Drake cuts 2 days of Sea Travel from your voyage, allowing more time to spend in Antarctica soaking in unforgettable sights and encountering curious wildlife.
Undertake this incredible voyage on board the Ocean Albatros, one of the latest polar expedition vessels featuring the newest X-Bow hull technology to swiftly glide through the water making for an extremely comfortable cruising experience.
Arrive and check in at our hotel in Punta Arenas, Chile – the capital of southern Patagonia. The historic city with rolling hills surrounding it and the Strait of Magellan in front. Its past is rich in exciting events, from being a penal colony to becoming a sheep and gold rush colony with many European settlers. The present-day city remains home to a major port; and with the Andes mountains and a multitude of national parks close by, it’s a favored staging point for many wonderful adventures. Even our own adventure is beginning!
Our 4-star hotel is centrally located, which allows you to make full use of your time outside of the scheduled events.
Our “journey” begins at 15:00 with all the necessary safety briefings, the latest weather forecasts and embarkation information needed to enjoy our upcoming expedition cruise and trans-Drake flight. All mandatory activities are held at the hotel and you will receive information about all these as you arrive to the hotel. We finish our daily schedule with a welcome dinner, where you can enjoy a typical Chilean meal.
We are packed-up, excited and ready-to-go from the very early morning, as we await information on the landing conditions on King George Island. Normally the flights take off early, but we are ready to wait in case the flights are postponed. We keep ourselves close to the hotel and the Punta Arenas land team, and drive to the airport as soon as our chartered airline gives us the green light. The expectation of exploring the 7th Continent builds, as we have donned our parkas, warm clothes and boots.
Once the fasten your seatbelts sign lights up, it’s time to fly across the famed Drake Passage - a body of water that marks the intersection of the cold Antarctic with the warmer Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. We substitute 2 days of sailing with 2 hours of flying.
Our landing is smooth as the planes are built for these types of landings and runways. Our luggage is transported to the ship and we enjoy a 2 kilometer walk along the Chilean Eduardo Frei base and the neighboring Bellingshausen Russian research station. King George Island is the largest of the South Shetland Islands and home to no less than 10 research stations, 2 churches and of course the Antarctic peninsula's only airstrip in use for commercially chartered flights. The expedition team is awaiting us with Zodiacs on the Fildes Bay beach and will ferry us to our ship. Once onboard, the exciting Antarctic wildlife comes into view with our first sight of seals, penguins and albatrosses. In other words, it’s time to explore the Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain and be marveled by the captivating landscapes we will encounter along the way.
Over the next days, we will begin the exciting Antarctic experience our ancestors only dreamed of. During these days we will explore the Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain and be marveled by the captivating landscapes we will encounter along the way. Weather permitting, our projected landfalls could include: Deception Island, an extinct volcano with waters warm enough for a polar swim. Half Moon Island with nesting Wilson's storm petrels and chinstrap penguins. But there are many other fascinating landing options.
As the white shimmer of Antarctica looms on our horizon, the presence of wildlife multiples with many species of lively penguins, inquisitive seals, nesting birds and the spray of marine mammals. Wildlife abounds along our planned route along the Antarctic Peninsula: leopard, fur and Weddell seals of Cuverville Island; humpback whales of Gerlache Strait and Paradise Bay; the dramatic Lemaire Channel's orcas and much more. For this reason, during moments of harsh weather and throughout the entire trip, our ships offer excellent public areas such as wellness/sauna, restaurant, bar and a library for our guests to spend their spare time. Our ships are staffed by experts in the field who will also share great lectures along the way, ranging from exploration history to biology, geology, ice and wildlife.
We depart Antarctica and spend two days at sea on our way back to the calms of Beagle Channel and Ushuaia, Argentina. On our way we will cross Drake Passage and cruise past Cape Horn, a legendary maritime landmark and the southern tip of South America.
During our time at sea, a variety of activities will be arranged on board which will provide the perfect opportunity to socialize with fellow travelers equally passionate for discovering the world, enjoy the lectures by our expedition team on board, visit our shop, unwind in the spa or enjoy the ship’s facilities designed to provide a comfortable relaxing time.
Cabin accommodation on board vessel
All meals on board
All scheduled landings and excursions by zodiac
2 Overnight stays in centrally located hotel in Punta Arenas in a shared double room
Return flight to King George Island from Punta Arenas
Transfers to/from Punta Arenas airport in connection with King George Island flights
Rubber boots on a loan basis
Breakfast at hotel Day 2 and Day 8
Welcome and Farewell cocktails on board
External excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
Comfort seat upgrade on the flight
Transfer to/from the airport in relation to international flights
Anything not mentioned under 'inclusions'