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Travel program

Flying over Cape Horn and the mythical waters of the Drake Passage, VAE invites you to a unique experience that will take you to one of the most remote places on earth, the coldest, highest, windiest, driest, and most inhospitable continent Antarctica.

Day 1

Arrival at the city of Punta Arenas where you will be met by VAE staff, to be transferred to Hotel Rey Don Felipe. During the afternoon, you will meet your expedition mates and receive instructions concerning the guidelines that should be followed in Antarctica and the procedures for Zodiac boat embarkation and disembarkation. Later, you will enjoy our welcome dinner at the Jos Nogueira Hotel, a French-style mansion that is over one hundred years old.

  • N.B. Passengers should be in Punta Arenas at 15:00 hours, at the latest.

Day 2

Our Antarctic adventure will begin with the flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island (South Shetland Islands). The flight takes a little over one and half hours. Upon arrival, we will tour around the area where the Frei Chilean Base and the Bellingshausen Russian Base are located. We will gather at the beach on Fildes Bay for embarkation by Zodiac boats to our expedition vessel.

Days 3 & 4

While cruising between the South Shetland Islands and the western coat of the Antarctic Peninsula, sailing along ice-filled fjords and between spectacular icebergs, we will enjoy the company of sea birds, penguins, seals and whales. Our adventure will be very active, with several daily landings and cruises in Zodiac boats, lectures and a very enjoyable time on board.

Day 5

After a last visit in the region, in the afternoon our ship will set sail northwards across the famous Drake Passage en route to Ushuaia.

Day 6

We invite you to relax and enjoy life onboard and to take the time to watch wildlife from the bridge or outside decks. We may spot magnificent birds such as albatrosses and petrels, as well as Humpback and Minke whales swimming on their way down to Antarctica.

Day 7

After spending the last hours sailing through the Drake Passage, we will finally have Cape Horn and the American continent in sight. Our ship will sail along the calm waters of the Beagle Channel towards the southernmost Chilean settlement of Puerto Williams, located on Navarino Island. Here, we will have the time to tour around before sailing overnight towards Ushuaia.

Day 8

In the morning, arrival at the port of Ushuaia and disembarkation. End of the program.


  • Flights according to the itinerary

  • Ship cruise

  • Accommodation with full board

  • All drinks on board

  • Shore excursions

  • Lectures onboard entertainment

  • Loan of boots for landing in Antarctica

  • Transfer from/to airport/hotel according to the itinerary

  • Comprehensive pre- and post- departure information


Itinerary details

7 nights / 8 days
Punta Arenas, Chile
Ushuaia, Argentina

Trip details

Start date:
January 17, 2012
End date:
January 24, 2012
Ocean Nova

Rates (15% Discount)

Single Cabin:
US$ 12,350 US$ 10,498
Twin Cabin:
US$ 9,260 US$ 7,871
Triple Cabin:
US$ 8,230 US$ 6,996

Pennsula Antrtica

Estrecho Gerlache

Isla Rey Jorge

Isla Decepcin



The program includes flying to and from Antarctica by air, and cruising by ship along the Antarctic Peninsula.



The program includes the flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica, the ship cruise along the Antarctic Peninsula and the crossing of the Drake Passage back to Ushuaia.



The program includes the ship cruise from Ushuaia to Antarctica, the visit to the South Shetland Islands and the flight back to Punta Arenas.

Below is described by our Expedition Leader, who also happens to be an excellent ornithologist:

What a magnificent experience to spend some time on the gate to the Antarctic continent. Only few hours walking around the Chilean base Eduardo Frei, will give you a general idea how the base operate and how do people overwinter in this unusual area of the globe. You will be in one of the largest base on this part of Antarctica. It is a great opportunity to stamp your passport on one of the most inaccessible continent to have in your record. On king George Island there is exploring the penguin area, the Russian, Chilean and Chinese bases.

In term of wildlife you will have the chance to meet one of the most fascinating governor of the Antarctic continent, the Penguins, depending the time of the year, you can see all three different species of penguins wondering next to the base or in the shoreline:Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie. Plus many other species of seabirds: always next to human facilities there is the agresive Brown or Antarctic Skua, the Kelp or Dominican Gull, and the Antarctic Sheathbill, all of them feeding next to the kitchen where there is always some debris. On the coast you will be able to see the largest Petrel, Southern Giant Petrel, plus many other birds such as Antarctic Tern, King Cormorant and Wilson´s Storm Petrel.

Here on land also, you will have the chance to see a few seals, generally, the most common are Southern Elephant Seal, and Weddell seal lying on the beach. If you are lucky, as soon as our ship start sailing you have to keep looking for Antarctic Fur seal swimming next to our vessel or Crab eater Seal, and why not a Leopard seal lying on the ice. There is also good chance to spot some Humpback, or Menke whales or an impressive pod of Orcas.

Some of the most adventurous people would love to cross the Drake Passage, which is known to be at times one of the roughest oceans on the planet and at other times its as calm as a glass of milk. This will be an unforgettable and wonderful experience, to feel what the old sailors faced last century, you won't regret it. There will be plenty of activities on board the ship (fascinating lectures, and magnificent films). This is also a good opportunity to spend time on deck looking for different species of seabirds and why not to spot some whales nearby. Below, you will find a possible list of seabirds on the crossing.

King Penguin
Adelie Penguin
Chinstrap Penguin
Gentoo Penguin
Macaroni Penguin
Rockhopper Penguin
Wandering Albatross
Royal Albatross
Black-browed Albatross
Gray-headed Albatross

Sooty Albatross
Southern Giant Petrel
Northern Giant Petrel
Southern Fulmar
Cape or Pintado Petrel
Antarctic Petrel
Snow Petrel
Kerguelen Petrel
White headed Petrel

Gray Petrel
White-chinned Petrel
Blue Petrel
Broad-billed Prion
Thin billed Prion
Fairy Prion
Sooty Shearwater
Wilson´s Storm Petrel
Black bellied Storm Petrel
Gray headed Strom Petrel

Georgian Diving Petrel
Common Diving Petrel
Antarctic Blue eyed Shag
Snowy Sheathbill
Brown Skua
South Polar Skua
Kelp or Southern
black-backed Gull
Antarctic Tern
Arctic Tern

We will also get to see the southern most tip of the south American Continent, the impressive island of Cape Horn, very well known by many of the sailors adventuring on this latitude. As soon as we enter in these beautiful and protected waters, surrounded by impressive virgin islands with impenetrable forest and hanging glaciers. Here, the fauna will change dramatically from Antarctica.
For more information on Cape Horn, see

The species of penguins we have here is the Magellanic Penguin which nest in borrows on some of the islands. We will also get to see Magellanic Diving Petrel, Sooty and Pink footed Shearwater, among other sea birds. On the edges of the island it is possible to spot the big Flightless Steamer Duck and Kelp Goose, plus other waterfowl such as Chilean teal, Crested Duck and Yellow billed Pintail. Dolphin Gull is another very abundant species of this latitude.
Among the marine mammals you will be able to get the most beautiful black and white Dolphin called Commerson´s Dolphin, the Houglass dolphin and some South American Fur seals and sea lions.
The variety of song birds in the forest it is also very impressive including the elusive Magellanic Woodpecker, Austral Parakeets, Thorn tailed rayadito among others. Maybe you should bring a book about birds.

After your Antarctic trip, we recommend the beautiful Torres Del Paime national park which is close by to Punta Arenas & Ushuaia. Please see This will give you  plenty of wildlife, culture and scenery!

Here are some testimonies from some of our passengers: