Antactic Express – Fly the Drake

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Punta Arenas - Antarctica
From: EUR 11.966
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8 Days


Full Day

Group Size





Antarctica is a destination teeming with remarkable sights and activities, and Quark Expeditions provides numerous customization opportunities for your trip. This guide, crafted with insights from the top expedition team in the industry, aims to help pinpoint your main interests, enabling you to design your ideal adventure to the 7th Continent.

Embark on a thrilling journey by taking a charter plane over the infamous Drake Passage to King George Island, then continue your exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula by ship. Over the course of eight action-filled days, you’ll enjoy enriching shore excursions and Zodiac tours, witness close wildlife interactions, visit historic sites, and fully engage with the wonders of the 7th Continent. Choose from various adventure options and onboard activities to tailor your expedition to your personal tastes.

Antarctica has captivated explorers for centuries, and our expeditions give you the opportunity to explore its allure. We are eager to welcome you on this memorable adventure! Do not hesitate to contact our team of Polar Travel Advisers, who are available to answer your questions and help at any time.


  • Fly over the Drake Passage and experience the fastest, most direct way to Antarctica
  • Spot iconic Antarctic wildlife, such as penguins, seals and whales
  • Marvel at many of the Antarctic Peninsula highlights
  • Enjoy presentations on wildlife, history, glaciology and geology by our onboard polar experts
  • Cruise in a Zodiac to get water- level views of icebergs, wildlife and more


  • An official Quark Expeditions parka to keep.
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Team, including shore landings and other activities.
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising as per the daily program.
  • All shore landings as per the daily program.
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping.
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks, and juices 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.
  • Select beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea, and cocoa available around the clock.
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled.
  • A photographic journal documenting your expedition.
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions.
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship.
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person.
  • A group arrival transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to the pre-expedition hotel on Day 1.
  • One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas with breakfast. (Note: 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.)
  • A briefing dinner on Day 1 in Punta Arenas.
  • A pre-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the hotel to the airport.
  • Flights to and from King George Island.
  • A post-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to the hotel.
  • One night’s post-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas with breakfast.
  • International airfare.
  • Passport and applicable visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned.
  • Meals unless otherwise specified.
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption, and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended.
  • Excess-baggage fees on international and domestic flights.
  • Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac landing and cruising excursions, or any other gear not mentioned.
  • Laundry, bar, spa services, and other personal charges, unless specified.
  • Phone and Internet charges (connectivity may vary by location).
  • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and shipboard crew.
  • Additional overnight accommodation.
  • Arrival and departure transfers, except where explicitly stated.
  • Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities.


<span>Day 1 </span>Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile

Your journey starts in Punta Arenas, Chile, the largest city in southern Patagonia. Should you arrive ahead of schedule, you'll find plenty of museums, restaurants, and shops to explore for several days. In the early afternoon, a representative from Quark Expeditions will greet you at the designated start hotel. Here, you will attend a welcome dinner and receive a briefing on what to expect and how to prepare for the day you set sail.

<span>Day 2</span>Fly to King George Island and Embark

Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica offers a swift passage over the iconic Drake Passage, completing the journey in just two hours. Below, your ship navigates towards King George Island in preparation for your arrival. As you approach, you'll catch your first breathtaking views of Antarctica's dramatic landscapes from the air, descending into the South Shetland Islands. Once you land, head to the shore where a Zodiac will transfer you to your ship, ready to embark on your voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula!

<span>Days 3 to 6</span>Antactic Peninsula and South Shetlands Islands

Antarctica stands as one of the world's most stirring and indescribable destinations, best appreciated firsthand. **ANTARCTIC EXPRESS: Fly the Drake** Itinerary Aboard the Ocean Adventurer or World Explorer Flights to/from Punta Arenas As you journey, your Captain and Expedition Team will be on the lookout for whales and seabirds, alerting you to any sightings. Experts will enhance your understanding with detailed presentations on the region's glaciology, history, and wildlife, as well as photography tips to help you capture memorable images. Your daily excursions promise unparalleled excitement. The unforgettable experience of your first Zodiac landing, stepping onto a shore swarmed with thousands of penguins, offers an incredibly intimate encounter with Antarctica’s unique wildlife. Each landing varies with the weather, yet consistently offers fresh sightings and photographic opportunities, and soon you'll be able to distinguish between Adélie, gentoo, and chinstrap penguins. Your adventures may include a Zodiac cruise to seek out whales and icebergs one day, and a hike to a penguin rookery the next. The powerful echo of glaciers calving and the thrill of witnessing top predators like leopard seals and orcas are sure to have you rising early, eager to embrace each day with adventure as you explore this unmatched wilderness. Throughout your journey, your Expedition Team will provide valuable insights, ensuring a deeply informative and engaging experience as you explore the remarkable sights.

<span>Day 7</span>Disembark and Fly to Punta Arenas

After a week filled with discovery, you will bid farewell to your Expedition Team and disembark at King George Island. A two-hour flight over the Drake Passage will take you back to Punta Arenas, Chile, marking the conclusion of your adventure. Once you've transferred to your hotel, the rest of the evening is yours to either explore the city or relax at the hotel, reflecting on the extraordinary sights and sounds of Antarctica.

<span>Day 8</span>Depart Punta Arenas

After breakfast, you are free to either continue with your personal travels or head to the Punta Arenas airport for your onward journey.



Frequently asked questions

If the scheduled charter flight cannot depart on its planned date, Quark Expeditions will provide you with a night's stay in a Punta Arenas hotel, meals included. You may need to remain on standby near the hotel since a suitable weather window could open unexpectedly. If the weather continues to impede flight on Day 3, additional nights with meals will be provided at the hotel. Should the flight still be unable to depart by Day 4, the expedition will officially be canceled. In this event, Quark Expeditions will issue a letter for you to present to your travel insurance provider, allowing you to claim for flight changes and other associated non-cruise costs under the provisions for trip delays, interruptions, and cancellations. While Quark Expeditions strives to ensure the program proceeds as planned, the unpredictable and complex weather conditions in this region make flying particularly challenging and can sometimes be beyond our control. The safety of our guests is our utmost priority, and our pilots adhere to strict weather assessment protocols. In case of a cancellation due to these circumstances, you will receive a refund for your cruise package and any additional adventure options. We highly recommend that all participants secure a comprehensive travel insurance policy that covers trip delays, cancellations, and interruptions, in addition to the necessary medical coverage. It's important to note that international airfare might not be covered by your insurance in the event of a cancellation. For detailed advice and to discuss the best insurance options, please consult your Polar Travel Adviser.

**Arriving in Punta Arenas** Ensure you book a flight that arrives in Punta Arenas with ample time to reach your hotel by 1 pm on Day 1 of your expedition. Upon landing, you'll be welcomed at the airport and transferred to the designated group hotel. If you arrive before the official start day, taxis are readily available at the airport to take you to your hotel for approximately $50 USD. Once at the hotel, you can check in and proceed to the Quark Expeditions meeting room. If you arrive before check-in time at 3 pm, you can go directly to the meeting room, which will be open from 12 pm. There, you will collect your boots and parka required for the next day’s flight. You should also bring your travel luggage to the meeting room for weighing and biosecurity checks, which may include cleaning any debris from your outerwear and backpacks as part of our efforts to protect the Antarctic environment. After these preparations, a mandatory briefing will begin at 6 pm, followed by a welcome dinner hosted by a Quark Expeditions representative. **Please Note:** It is crucial to arrive at the hotel by 1 pm to complete check-in, luggage handling, and receive your expedition gear before the mandatory briefing at 6 pm. **King George Island and Embarkation** Your flight to Antarctica, departing from Punta Arenas for King George Island, is scheduled for the morning of Day 2, after breakfast. The exact time of departure can vary significantly due to weather conditions, so be ready to leave the hotel for the airport with our group transfer at any moment.

**Disembarkation at King George Island** Disembarkation from the ship typically happens in the late morning at King George Island. After disembarking, you will take a short one-mile (1.6 km) walk from the beach to the airport to board your plane. Your luggage will be transported separately and loaded onto the plane. Following a two-hour flight, you will arrive at Punta Arenas airport (PUQ) and then be transferred to your post-expedition hotel where you will spend one final night. **Departing from Punta Arenas** On the final day of your journey, you are free to depart at any time. However, please be aware that weather conditions can sometimes delay our return from King George Island. Additionally, changes in airline schedules can occur. It is highly recommended to book flexible flight tickets to accommodate potential delays, as we cannot be held liable for any disruptions caused by unforeseen circumstances.

Your included accommodation starts on Day 1 of your itinerary, and the details of the specific hotel will be provided in your final voyage confirmation. If you plan to arrive before Day 1 or wish to extend your stay after disembarkation, please reach out to your preferred travel agent or Quark Expeditions for assistance with booking additional pre- or post-stay accommodations. Given that availability can be limited, it is advisable to request any extra nights well in advance to ensure your accommodations are secured.

Punta Arenas Airport Transfers Arrival: Upon your arrival in Punta Arenas, you will be provided with a group transfer from the airport to your designated pre-expedition hotel, as included in your itinerary for Day 1. These group transfers are also arranged to coincide with the charter flights to and from Antarctica. Departure: While a departure transfer in Punta Arenas is not automatically included, your Polar Travel Adviser can organize this for you upon request. To ensure smooth handling of your transfers, please submit your flight details to Quark Expeditions no later than 30 days before your travel date. This advance notice helps in coordinating your transportation efficiently.

**World Explorer** World Explorer stands as a beacon of polar exploration, being our premier all-suites, all-balcony, ice-class vessel. This ship allows you to experience all that Antarctica has to offer, paralleling the service standards of the finest premium hotels. Onboard, you'll find abundant spaces both indoors and out, perfect for observing the breathtaking Antarctic wildlife or simply soaking in the scenery. Key features include a spacious observation deck for outdoor sightseeing, an observation lounge with expansive panoramic views, and a cozy library for quiet reading moments. Socialize over drinks in the Explorer Lounge or attend engaging presentations in the dedicated lecture theater. For those interested in wellness, the ship offers a variety of facilities including an outdoor running track, a small gym, and a spa—boasting the world’s only l’Occitane Spa at Sea. There’s even an outdoor swimming pool for the truly intrepid. The World Explorer is not only about comfort but also sustainability, equipped with cutting-edge hybrid technology and state-of-the-art Rolls-Royce engines and generators that enhance fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. This vessel offers a sophisticated yet environmentally conscious way to explore the remote corners of the globe. **Ocean Adventurer** The Ocean Adventurer has long been cherished by both guests and crew for its agile and charming design. This vessel is a favorite in the fleet due to its ample deck space for outdoor enjoyment, cozy nooks for socializing, an outdoor jacuzzi, and the personal touch of a 128-passenger capacity. A few years back, the Ocean Adventurer underwent a significant renovation, receiving a complete overhaul that refreshed its appearance and amenities. This included a total redesign of the lounge, dining room, and bar. All cabins were upgraded with new bathroom facilities, and the addition of six deluxe cabins and three new suites further enhanced its accommodations. On the technical side, the ship received major upgrades with the installation of two new Rolls-Royce engines. These engines not only increased the vessel’s speed and efficiency but also reduced its fuel consumption and carbon footprint, aligning with modern environmental standards. The Ocean Adventurer combines classic charm with modern technology, making it a superb choice for exploring the seas.

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Punta Arenas - Antarctica


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