Antarctic Express – Crossing The Circle

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11 Days


Full Day

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Antarctica is a land brimming with incredible sights and activities, and Quark Expeditions provides numerous ways to tailor your journey. This guide is crafted to help you pinpoint your interests and begin planning your ideal adventure to the 7th Continent. Achieve a significant travel goal by crossing the Antarctic Circle with the industry’s leading expedition team. Opt for a charter plane over the challenging Drake Passage, landing on King George Island, then voyage by ship across the Antarctic Peninsula. Merge our thrilling Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition with a direct flight from Chile to your polar-equipped vessel for an 11-day Antarctic Express: Crossing the Circle trip. Continue by sea to delve deeper into the Antarctic Peninsula, reaching as far south as 66⁰33´. Along the way, you can also fulfill other bucket list dreams, like sea kayaking among channels lined with icebergs.

Antarctica has captivated explorers for generations, and our expeditions give you the opportunity to discover its allure. We look forward to welcoming you on this unforgettable journey! Please don’t hesitate to contact our team of Polar Travel Advisers, who are ready to answer your questions and assist you at any time.


  • Fly over the Drake Passage and experience the fastest, most direct way to Antarctica
  • Witness iconic Antarctic wildlife, such as penguins, seals and whales
  • Marvel at Antarctic Peninsula highlights, including crossing the Antarctic Circle Celebrate crossing the Antarctic Circle with a toast
  • Enjoy presentations on wildlife, history, glaciology and geology by our onboard polar experts


  • 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 airport to 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. If you arrive with time to spare, you can explore a variety of museums, restaurants, and shops that could easily occupy your days. By early afternoon, a representative from Quark Expeditions will greet you at the designated starting point hotel. Here, you will partake in a welcome dinner and receive a briefing on what to expect and how to prepare for the day of embarkation.

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

Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica offers a swift passage across the famed Drake Passage, completing the journey in just two hours. As you fly overhead, your ship navigates towards King George Island, preparing for your arrival. From the plane, you'll be treated to your first stunning views of Antarctica’s dramatic landscapes as you descend into the South Shetland Islands. Upon landing, you'll head to the shore and then be ferried by Zodiac to your ship, ready to embark on your voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula!

<span>Days 3 to 5</span>Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

Few places on Earth can stir the soul quite like Antarctica. This vast, icy continent is truly beyond description and must be seen firsthand to be fully appreciated. Your journey becomes even more thrilling with each land excursion. The moment you first step from a Zodiac onto a beach teeming with thousands of penguins is unforgettable, offering an incredibly intimate glimpse into Antarctica's unique wildlife. Each landing varies, influenced by weather conditions, yet every day brings new discoveries, photo opportunities, and soon enough, you’ll distinguish between Adélie, gentoo, and chinstrap penguins. One day you might cruise in a Zodiac in search of whales and icebergs, and the next, you could be hiking to a penguin rookery. The powerful roar of a calving glacier, the excitement of seeing leopard seals and orcas in their natural habitat—these experiences will have you eager to start each day with a spirit of adventure, ready to explore this unparalleled wilderness. Throughout your expedition, you'll be accompanied by our Expedition Team, who ensure your safety and enrich your experience with their knowledge of the region’s glaciology, history, and wildlife. Our educational experts are there to deepen your understanding of this extraordinary landscape and its inhabitants.

<span>Days 6 and 7</span>Antarctic Circle

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is a momentous experience and a remarkable achievement, given that only a select few travelers venture this far south. Should conditions permit crossing at the famed latitude of 66°33´ S, we will honor the pioneering explorers with a toast. You’ll have the opportunity to raise your glass in celebration, taking pride in reaching a part of the world that few have experienced. This is the untouched Antarctica, where the midnight sun illuminates the sky, Weddell seals lounge on ice floes, and there’s a heightened possibility of encountering sea ice, a critical component of the Antarctic marine ecosystem.

<span>Days 8 and 9</span>Northbound along the Peninsula

If the spectacular sights of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs haven't yet satiated your appetite, you'll likely find yourself fully content by the time you make your way back to King George Island. As you journey north along the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, you'll continue to explore either by Zodiac or on foot. Your Expedition Team will remain vigilant, always on the lookout for any species of seabirds, seals, and whales that you might not have encountered on your southward travels. This ongoing quest for discovery enriches the return leg of your journey with new opportunities to experience the unique wildlife of this remote region.

<span>Day 10</span>Disembark and Fly to Punta Arenas

After a week filled with exploration, you will bid farewell to your Expedition Team and disembark at King George Island. A two-hour flight across the Drake Passage takes you back to Punta Arenas, Chile, marking the conclusion of your adventure. Upon arrival and after a group transfer to your hotel, you will have the evening to yourself. Whether you choose to explore the city or relax at the hotel, it’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on the unforgettable sights and sounds of Antarctica.

<span>Day 11</span>Depart Punta Arenas

After enjoying breakfast, you are free to either continue your personal travels or head to the Punta Arenas airport to catch your flights home.



Frequently asked questions

Arriving in Punta Arenas Please ensure to book a flight that arrives early enough to reach the hotel before 1 pm on Day 1 of your expedition. Upon landing, you will be met at the airport and taken to the group hotel included in your package. For those arriving earlier than Day 1, taxis are readily available at the airport to transport you to your hotel at an approximate cost of $50 USD. Once at the hotel, check-in and proceed to the Quark Expeditions meeting room, or 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. In this meeting, you will receive your expedition boots and parka necessary for the next day’s flight. You will also need to bring the luggage you intend to use for your trip to have it weighed and undergo biosecurity checks. This may include vacuuming any debris from your outer clothing and backpacks to safeguard the pristine Antarctic environment. The mandatory briefing will begin at 6 pm, followed by a welcome dinner hosted by a Quark Expeditions representative. **Arrival and Departure Details** Your flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island is scheduled for the morning of Day 2, after breakfast. Please note that the timing of this flight can vary greatly depending on weather conditions. Be prepared for the group transfer to the airport to happen at any time, as dictated by these conditions.

**Disembarkation at King George Island** Disembarkation from the ship typically takes place in the late morning at King George Island. After leaving the ship, you'll walk approximately one mile (1.6 km) from the beach to the airport. Your luggage will be handled separately and transferred directly to the plane. Following this, you will board your flight, which lasts about two hours, landing at Punta Arenas airport (PUQ). **Departing from Punta Arenas** Upon arrival in Punta Arenas, you will be transported from the airport to your post-expedition hotel where you will spend one final night. Please be aware that the transfer from your hotel to the Punta Arenas airport for your departure is not included.

Your included accommodation starts on Day 1 of your itinerary, with details of the specific hotel provided in your final voyage confirmation. If you plan to arrive before Day 1 or wish to extend your stay following disembarkation, you can seek assistance for booking additional nights either through your preferred travel agent or directly with Quark Expeditions. They can offer a range of hotel options tailored to your needs. Due to limited accommodation availability, it is advisable to arrange any extra nights well in advance to secure your preferred lodging.

Punta Arenas Airport Transfers Arrival: Upon landing in Punta Arenas, you will receive a group transfer from the airport to your designated pre-expedition hotel, included on Day 1 of your itinerary. Group transfers are also provided in connection with the charter flights to and from Antarctica. Departure: The transfer from your hotel to the airport in Punta Arenas is not automatically included. However, your Polar Travel Adviser is available to arrange this service for you upon request. To ensure smooth coordination 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 organizing your transportation efficiently.

Quark Expeditions boasts one of the most diverse fleets of small vessels specifically designed for polar navigation. Our ships are equipped to host between 128 and 199 guests, providing a unique, intimate experience. The entire fleet is engineered for the demanding conditions of polar regions, enabling access to areas that larger cruise ships cannot reach. **Ocean Adventurer** A long-standing favorite in our fleet, the Ocean Adventurer is cherished by both guests and crew for its charming and agile nature. This vessel offers extensive outdoor deck areas, numerous cozy nooks for socializing onboard, an outdoor jacuzzi, and the intimate feel of a 128-passenger ship. Several years ago, the Ocean Adventurer underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation that refreshed its appearance and amenities, including a completely revamped lounge, dining room, and bar. All cabins were upgraded with new bathroom facilities. The renovation also introduced six new deluxe cabins and three new suites. On the technical side, the ship received two new Rolls-Royce engines, enhancing its speed and fuel efficiency while also reducing its carbon footprint.

In the event that the charter flight cannot depart on the scheduled date due to weather or other unforeseen conditions, Quark Expeditions will provide you with hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas, including meals. You may need to stay on standby and remain near the hotel, as the opportunity to fly may arise suddenly if weather conditions improve. If the weather does not permit flying on Day 3, additional nights' accommodation and meals will continue to be provided in Punta Arenas. If by Day 4 the charter flight still cannot depart, Quark Expeditions will officially cancel the voyage. In this case, you will receive a letter to present to your travel insurance provider, facilitating claims for coverage of flight changes and other associated non-cruise costs under the trip delay, interruption, and cancellation clauses of your policy. Flying in this region is subject to complex and variable weather conditions, making it challenging and sometimes beyond our control. Safety is our highest priority, and our pilots adhere to stringent weather assessment protocols. Should the voyage be canceled due to these circumstances, Quark Expeditions will refund your cruise package and any booked adventure options. We strongly advise all expedition participants to purchase comprehensive travel insurance that includes coverage for trip delays, cancellations, and interruptions, along with the required medical coverage. It's important to note that international airfare might not be covered by insurance in the event of a cancellation. For more information and advice on travel insurance, please consult your Polar Travel Adviser.

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