Antarctic Explorer - Sail/Fly - 12 Days

Onboard Sylvia Earle – 132 passengers

Early Antarctic explorers returned from their voyages to the deep south with tales of a magnificent, ice-covered land teeming with life. Experience the awe-inspiring immensity of Antarctica, reducing your time on the high seas by flying across the Drake Passage in one direction. Immerse yourself in the unimaginable beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula, where vast glaciers tumble into the sea, penguins are dwarfed by soaring peaks and humpback and minke whales feast on abundant krill.  

Voyage Highlights:

  • Witness extraordinary wildlife including fledging penguin chicks.
  • Zodiac cruise in secluded bays and quiet coves filled with brash ice and photograph enormous glaciers and spectacularly shaped icebergs in various shades of blue.
  • Keep a close watch for the tail fluke of whales as they take a deep dive, see porpoising penguins ice seals such as Weddell and crabeater seals hauled out on ice floes. 
  • Observe skuas patrolling penguin colonies preying on vulnerable juveniles.

Tour Dates

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Ushuaia
Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a representative and transferred with your fellow expeditioners to your assigned pre-voyage hotel. If you are already in Ushuaia, we ask you to make your way to your hotel. This afternoon, visit the hospitality desk to collect your luggage tags, and confirm if you wish to join our Beagle Channel and Isla de Los Lobos Cruise (sea lion island) tomorrow. The remainder of your time is at leisure. All meals today are at your own expense. Assigned accommodation: Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort or Los Acebos Ushuaia Hotel 

Day 2: Embarkation
This morning, enjoy breakfast and check-out. For those wishing to join our afternoon catamaran cruise, we will board our catamaran and sail the Beagle Channel, towards the city’s iconic Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. Crossing the Bridges Archipelago we’ll slow down to watch colonies of sea lions and imperial cormorants sun themselves on the rocky outcrops, while gulls, rock cormorants, skuas, petrels, albatrosses and cauquenes are often sighted. Our cruise offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountain range, in addition to hearing tales of the people and communities of the region. 

Alternatively, enjoy your day at leisure and meet at your hotel lobby in the afternoon to be transferred to the pier for embarkation. Once onboard, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important mandatory briefings. As the ship pulls away from port, we’ll gather on the deck to commence our adventure with spectacular views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego. This evening get to know your fellow expeditioners and friendly expedition team and crew at a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure to Antarctica. 

Days 3-4: Drake Passage Crossing
As we commence the Drake Passage crossing, we make the most of our time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Our expedition team prepare you for our first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures and start our lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment. 

Our wildlife experiences begin as we enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following our vessel. As we commence the Drake Passage crossing, we make the most of our time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Our expedition team prepare you for our first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures and start our lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment. You can also enjoy the facilities on board the vessel including the gym, wellness centre or the relaxing in one of the observation lounges. 

Nearing the South Shetland Islands and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula on the afternoon of day four, the excitement is palpable with everyone converging on one of the observation decks watching for our first iceberg. The ocean takes on a whole new perspective once we are below the Antarctic Convergence and are surrounded by the surreal presence of floating ice sculptures. The memory of your first big iceberg sighting is likely to remain with you for a lifetime. Time and weather permitting, we may attempt our first landing in Antarctica by late afternoon.

Days 5-10: Antarctic Peninsula
It is almost impossible to describe the feeling of arriving in Antarctica. Spotting your first iceberg and taking a deep breath of some of the most fresh, crisp air on earth is an experience that will stay with you forever. Once we arrive, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are ours to explore, and we have a host of choices available to us. Because we are so far south, we will experience approximately 18-24 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish. 

Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities. We generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. You will want to rug up before joining Zodiac cruises along spectacular ice cliffs or among grounded icebergs, keeping watch for whales, seals and porpoising penguins. Zodiacs will also transport you from the ship to land, where you can visit penguin rookeries, discover historic huts and explore some of our favourite spots along the peninsula. 

While ashore we aim to stretch our legs, wandering along pebbly beaches or perhaps up snow-covered ridgelines to vantage points with mountains towering overhead and ice-speckled oceans below. If you have chosen an optional activity, you will have the option to do participate in the activity whenever conditions allow, and of course keen polar plungers will have the chance to fully immerse themselves in polar waters – conditions permitting! The polar plunge can take place at any time during the voyage, so listen out for the announcement from the expedition team and get ready for the most exhilarating dip of your life! 

In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, we may ship cruise some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to watch whales travelling or feeding. This is a great time to enjoy the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge (open at the captain’s discretion) for uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendour. Listen out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve into sea. Take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of the pristine paradise of the splendid white continent.

Day 11: Fly King George Island to Punta Arenas, Chile
As we approach Frei Base on King George Island, it is time to farewell Antarctica and our amazing adventure before boarding our flight (approximately one hour forty-five minutes) to Punta Arenas, Chile. There is time for reflection and discussion about what we have seen and experienced. We hope you become ambassadors for Antarctica telling your family, friends and colleagues about your journey to this magical place, advocating for its conservation and preservation so that they might one day visit the region to experience what you have been lucky to see and do here. On arrival at the Punta Arenas airport, you will be transferred to our group hotel. Accommodation in Punta Arenas: Hotel Cabo de Hornos or Hotel Dreams. Note: King George Island is located at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula in the South Shetland Islands and is one of the most remote places on Earth. A clear sky with perfect visibility is required for safe take-off and landing. We apologise in advance for any possible delays. 

Day 12: Depart Punta Arenas
After breakfast, bid a fond farewell to your fellow travellers as we continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature (breakfast included). A transfer to the airport is included in the voyage fare. Note: Should your flight not proceed due to local conditions; you will remain on the ship until it is deemed achievable to return to Punta Arenas. Refer to the terms and conditions for further details. 

In the spirit of expedition travel, we encourage you to adopt a flexible and adventurous attitude when joining our voyages. This itinerary is a guide only and is subject to change due to weather, sea state and other conditions beyond our control. Trips with flights to and/or from Antarctica have a higher risk of having a trip delay or interruption due to weather.

Route Map

Trips and Rates

Please note, rates are Per Person in USD
Triple Stateroom
$17,195
Save 15%
$2000 Air Credit
$12,616
Full
Aurora Stateroom Superior
$18,695
Save 15%
$2000 Air Credit
$13,891
Limited
Balcony Stateroom C
$19,195
Save 15%
$2000 Air Credit
$14,316
Limited
Balcony Stateroom B
$20,195
Save 15%
$2000 Air Credit
$15,166
 
Balcony Stateroom A
$21,695
Save 15%
$2000 Air Credit
$16,441
 
Balcony Stateroom Superior
$23,695
Save 15%
$2000 Air Credit
$18,141
 
Junior Suite
$29,795
Save 15%
$2000 Air Credit
$23,326
Full
Captain's Suite
$35,295
Save 15%
$2000 Air Credit
$28,001
Full

Single Travelers:

  • If willing to share a cabin, we can match you with another or other passengers of the same gender to avoid a single supplement.
  • Single occupancy price is 1.5x the per person share price

Adventure Options:

  • Kayaking Program – requires previous kayaking experience and an intermediate paddling level:
    • $680/person on Spitsbergen: Realm of the Ice Bear (8 days)
    • $830/person on Wild Landscapes of West Greenland
    • $870/person on Jewels of the Arctic (12 day trips)
    • $980/person on Svalbard Odyssey, Jewels of the Arctic (15 Days), Greenland Odyssey, Southern Greenland
    • $1,190/person on Svalbard in Depth, Northwest Passage (16-17 day trips) & Northern Lights Explorer
    • $1,660/person on Arctic Complete & Traversing the Northwest Passage

Single Travelers:

  • If willing to share a cabin, we can match you with another or other passenger of the same gender to avoid a single supplement.
  • Single occupancy price is 1.5x the per person share price.

Antarctic Adventure Options:

  • Kayaking Program: $1,330/person on 12-15 day Antarctica voyages, $1,745/person on 20+ day Antarctica & South Georgia voyages and $1,030/person on 9 day Express trip. Requires previous kayaking experience and an intermediate paddling level.
  • Paddling: $640/person
  • Camping: $165/person
  • Snorkeling: $675/person on 12-14 day Antarctica voyages, $835/person on 20+ day Antarctica & South Georgia voyages and $515/person on 9 day Express trip.
  • Alpine Trekking: $1260/person
  • Snowshoeing: $370/person on 12-15 day Antarctica voyages and $440/person on 20+ day Antarctica & South Georgia voyages
  • Ski/Snowboard Touring: $1395/person – experience required
  • Shackleton Crossing on Skis: $2,220/person – experience required

Availability & prices are subject to change at anytime. Please contact us for the real time availability & prices.

Cabin Descriptions

Captain Suite

The largest of all the cabins, the singular Captain’s Suite will take you to the polar regions in ultimate style and comfort. Complete with large lounge area, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and en-suite, you’ll need to book early to secure this suite. The Captain’s Suite features additional amenities including 1 free pair of binoculars per suite, free stocked mini bar (replenished as needed) and 1 free bottle of champagne.

Cabin & balcony combined size: 471.5 sq. ft. (43.8m2)

Junior Suite

The four Junior Suites take in some impressive scenery from their vantage points on Deck 7. When you aren’t enjoying a landing, you can relax in the suites’ separate lounge area, or just watch the world float by from the private balcony. The Junior Suite features additional amenities including 1 free pair of binoculars per suite, free stocked mini bar (stocked once only) and 1 free bottle of champagne.

Cabin & balcony combined size: Up to 448 sq. ft. (41.6m2)

Balcony Stateroom Superior

With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Balcony Stateroom Superior cabins are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. Located on Deck 4 and 6, the Staterooms feature floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area. Some of these rooms are equipped with wheelchair accessible bathrooms.

Cabin & balcony combined size: 314 – 379 sq. ft. (29.2 – 35.2m2)

Balcony Stateroom A

The 23 Balcony Stateroom  A cabins are a premium cabin and the most abundant on board. These cabins are located in preferred positions on Deck 4 and 6 which provides easy access between Decks via the internal stairs or elevator.

Cabin & balcony combined size: 210 – 309 sq. ft. (19.5 – 28.7m2)

Balcony Stateroom B

The 17 Balcony Stateroom  B Cabins are located at the fore and aft of Deck 4 & 6. Many are fitted with interconnecting features making them great for families or groups.

Cabin & balcony combined size: 210 – 309 sq. ft. (19.5 – 28.7m2)

Balcony Stateroom C

The 11 Balcony Stateroom C cabins are the most economical balcony stateroom, fitted with all the necessities and comfortable for up to 2 people. These cabins are on Deck 4 & 6, either in the most forward or aft location or in a mid-ship location with a smaller cabin size. 

Cabin & balcony combined size: 210- 309 sq. ft. (19.5 – 28.7m2)

Aurora Stateroom Superior

With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Aurora Stateroom Superior are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. Located on Deck 7, the Staterooms feature french balconies, floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area.

Cabin size: 214 – 224 sq. ft. (19.9 – 20.8m2)  

Aurora Stateroom Triple

There are two Aurora Stateroom Triple cabins featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they’re close to the mudroom and loading platforms.

Cabin size: 244 sq. ft. (22.67m2)

Deck Plan

Inclusions & Exclusions

Inclusions: 

  • All airport transfers mentioned in the itinerary.
  • One night’s hotel accommodation including breakfast, in Ushuaia on Day 1.
  • Charter flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas on Day 11.  
  • One night’s hotel accommodation including breakfast, in Punta Arenas on Day 11.  
  • Onboard accommodation during voyage, including daily cabin service.
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage.
  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner.
  • Captain’s Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages.
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises.
  • Educational lectures and guiding services provided by Expedition Team.
  • Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consultation).
  • One 3-in-1 waterproof, polar expedition jacket.
  • Complimentary use of Muck Boots during the voyage.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information.
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees.
 

Exclusions: 

  • International or domestic flights – unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Transfers – unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes.
  • Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination fees and charges.
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges.
  • Hotel accommodation and meals – unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Optional excursions and optional activity surcharges.
  • All items of a personal nature, including but not limited to alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), gratuities, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, wi-fi, email or phone charges.

Note: A $15 USD per person per day gratuity for the crew is automatically added to your onboard account. It is at your discretion if you would like to remove the tip (or adjust the amount) when you settle your bill. It is not necessary to tip the expedition team members. This gratuity amount is included for suites as part of their ‘Suite Benefits’.