Fly the Drake
A two-hour flight takes you from Punta Arenas, in the Chilean Patagonia, directly to Antarctica where you board your expedition ship. You thereby avoid the stormy seas of the Drake Passage – and the potential seasickness – and experience only the best Antarctica has to offer.
We offer a boutique-style wilderness adventure, not a cruise. Feeling more like private yachts than cruise ships, our small expedition vessels give you privileged access to Antarctica, taking you where larger ships cannot. With a smaller number of passengers, disembarkation is fast and efficient so you spend time exploring, not waiting.
COMFORT: Avoid storms in the Drake Passage
SPEED: Get to Antarctica quickly and save time
SIZE: Enjoy a small-ship, yacht-like experience
Leaving from Ushuaia, we take you through the Beagle Channel and to legendary Cape Horn. Cross the mythical waters of the Drake Passage and explore one of the most spectacular places on earth – Antarctica.
Day 1: START OF THE AIR-CRUISE – Your journey begins in Ushuaia, Argentina. Board your ship and sail along the Beagle Channel towards Puerto Williams, Chile, the southernmost town in the world. Explore the surroundings before setting sail to Cape Horn.
Day 2: CAPE HORN AND DRAKE PASSAGE – After an overnight crossing of Nassau Bay, you awake in full view of legendary Cape Horn! Weather permitting, board a Zodiac and be one of the few privileged adventurers to step foot on this famous and rarely visited island. Back on board, set sail towards Antarctica and cross the famous passage named in honour of Sir Francis Drake, the great 16th century British explorer.
Day 3: DRAKE PASSAGE – As you sail through the Drake Passage en route to King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands, attend an engaging program of lectures and presentations. In the company of expert guides, watch for wildlife from the glass- enclosed lounge or from the outside decks. You may spot magnificent sea birds, such as albatrosses and petrels, as well as different species of whales on their way south to Antarctica.
Day 4: DRAKE PASSAGE AND ANTARCTICA – After crossing the Antarctic Convergence, the environment changes noticeably. Keep your camera ready, as this is the time to watch for the first icebergs and the first sight of Antarctic land. Reaching the South Shetland Islands, sail in ice-filled bays, while enjoying the company of sea birds, penguins, seals and whales. Board a Zodiac for your first memorable shore visit to a penguin colony. Taking advantage of the endless Antarctic daylight, exploration will continue well into the evening.
Day 5: ANTARCTICA AND SCHEDULED RETURN FLIGHT – Upon reaching King George Island, disembark at Fildes Bay and explore the area, such as the Chilean Base Frei and the Russian Base Bellingshausen. Bid farewell to Antarctica before boarding the flight back to Punta Arenas, Chile. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. (Note: Meals in Punta Arenas are at your leisure and not included in the program).
Day 6: END OF THE AIR-CRUISE – After breakfast, transfer to the Punta Arenas airport for your onward flight.
Veteran Antarctic aircraft pilots, experienced sea captains, an international team of polar guides and academics, and a team of seasoned travel professionals come together to create the experience. With passion, creativity and dedicated teamwork, we handcraft every expedition to be unique and personal.
Experience and Expertise
Our product pioneered the Antarctic Air-Cruise model. We are the world’s leader in this unique style of travel to Antarctica. We have completed over 140 fly and cruise departures, more than any other company in the world, by far.
One flight per expedition
We use a single flight to carry all travellers to and from Antarctica for each of our expeditions. This makes our operation fast and efficient while reducing the chance of weather-related delays compared to the alternatives.
Unique in its kind, “Bigfoot” was specially designed and built for our air-cruises. Its traction system can adapt to the changeable conditions of the Antarctic terrain.
High staff/traveller radio
Travel with a well-staffed team of at least twelve professional polar guides. Passionate and engaging, they will make your trip memorable.
Small is beautiful
Our air-cruises only operates small ships. With a small group of travellers, disembarkation is fast and efficient so you can spend more time exploring and less time waiting.
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INCLUDED IN THE RATE
- For Air-Cruises starting in Punta Arenas, group transfers airport/hotel on Day 1.
- For Air-Cruises starting in Punta Arenas, 1 overnight with breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar, with a welcome dinner including drinks on Day 1.
- 1 overnight with breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar on the Day of the Scheduled Return Flight from Antarctica.
- Transfers airport/hotel on the Day of the Scheduled Return Flight from Antarctica, and transfers hotel/airport on last Day of the Air-Cruise Program.
- Flight from Punta Arenas to Frei Station on King George Island and/or vice versa as indicated in the program corresponding to each voyage.
- Ship cruise along the Antarctic Peninsula as indicated in the program corresponding to each voyage.
- Daily buffet breakfast and lunch on board ship offering a wide choice of dishes.
- Daily served dinner on board ship offering a choice of three main courses.
- Wine, beer, juice, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board ship
- Coffee, tea, chocolate, cappuccino, water and snacks on board ship throughout the expedition.
- All guided shore excursions.
- Lectures and entertainment on board.
- Comprehensive pre- and post-voyage information material.
- Loan of waterproof boots for landing in Antarctica.
- Contingency Plan as described below.
- IAATO passenger fee.
SPECIFICALLY NOT INCLUDED IN THE RATE
- Accommodation, meals, excursions and transfers other than those included in the itinerary and the Contingency Plan corresponding to each voyage. Specifically, dinner in Punta Arenas upon return from Antarctica is not included.
- Beverages purchased at the ship’s bar.
- Personal insurance.
- Extra expenses (communication, laundry, souvenirs, etc.).
- Visas for Chile and/or Argentina, passport expenses, and any arrival and/or departure tax, if applicable.
Hotel and Transfer Packages
Preferred Seating on the Antarctic Flight
Children are admitted from the age of 8 years if accompanied by a fully responsible adult. A 5% discount on the rate per person is offered for children up to 12 years of age.
Single travellers can choose between:
* Booking a dedicated Single Cabin. No supplement is applied for single use of dedicated Single Cabins.
* Booking a Twin Cabin for single use. An 85% supplement will be added to the rate per person when booking in a limited number of Porthole and Veranda Cabins on Magellan Explorer, Twin Cabins on Ocean Nova, and Window Suites and Promenade Suites on Hebridean Sky. A 100% supplement applies when booking all other categories.
* Sharing a cabin with another passenger of the same gender. This is available on Magellan Explorer in Porthole and Veranda Cabins, on Ocean Nova in Twin Cabins, and on Hebridean Sky in Window Suites and Promenade Suites. We will take care of finding the matching companion. Passengers who book a Twin Cabin on a shared basis are accommodated in single rooms at the hotel in Punta Arenas and must pay a Single Hotel Room Supplement that varies based on the departure selected. Please inquire at time of reservation. Note: Single travellers who use CPAP machines or other assistive devices, as well as those who have conditions that can be disrupting to others (loud snoring, sleepwalking etc.) can only book their Air-Cruise in a Single Cabins or in a Twin Cabin for single use. They cannot book on a twin-share basis.
Passengers are required to be adequately covered by a travel insurance policy that covers aero-medical evacuation from Antarctica as a result of a medical emergency during the trips, including emergencies related to pre-existing health conditions.
We strongly recommend all passengers to purchase a travel cancellation and interruption insurance as protection against an unforeseen event which may force them to cancel their booking before departure or leave a tour while it is in progress.
RESERVATIONS AND PAYMENT
An initial deposit of US$1,500 per person is required to book a cabin.
The balance is due in full 120 days prior to departure. Payments can be made by wire transfer or by Paypal (Paypal payments are subject to a 4,5% surcharge) .
Flexible Booking Policy Promotion
Individual reservations for our 2021-22 departures can be confirmed upon payment of a $500 deposit per person. The deposit is fully refundable until April 30, 2021. On May 1, 2021 the balance of the deposit will be due and from there on the standard booking conditions as indicated in the 2021-22 brochure will apply. The Flexible Booking Policy Promotion applies to new individual bookings, on all available departures and all available categories of accommodation.