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Fly & Cruise – Antarctic Circle Quest tour
Nature & Wildlife Nature Fly & Cruise – Antarctic Circle Quest package
National Parks Wildlife viewing Fly & Cruise – Antarctic Circle Quest package

Fly & Cruise – Antarctic Circle Quest

Exodus Travels Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
99%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
12 days
From: $ 11,195 $ 933 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Visit the stunning Antarctic Peninsula
  • Cross the Antarctic Circle
  • Skip the Drake Passage
  • Incredible wildlife viewing including seabirds, penguins, seals and whales
  • Travel on a small expedition vessel
  • Accompanied by extremely qualified Expedition Staff

Short Description

Crossing south to Antarctica we witness the magnificent pelagic seabirds of the southern region, including the giant Wandering albatross. This ocean habitat teems with life above and below the water and is a fascinating ecosystem in its own right. We navigate the ship south, hoping to reach the Antarctic Circle in the vicinity of Detaille Island. Returning to the north, we aim to visit several classic locations such as Petermann Island, and the iceberg ‘graveyard’ at Pleneau Island. We transit the Lemaire Channel if ice conditions permit and make continental landings at Paradise Harbour or nearby Neko Harbour. The adventure is not over and we complete our voyage with visits to several locations in the South Shetland Islands, including Deception Island. We disembark the ship at King George Island and fly back to South America. For a relatively short voyage, this trip packs a serious punch and offers fantastic scenery, wildlife, historic and scientific interest.A new voyage allowing us to reach our objective of the Antarctic Circle in just 12 days.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City N/A
End City N/A

Destinations

Chile Falkland Islands

Cities & Attractions

N/A

Age Requirement

18

No Single Supplement
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Itinerary



Land Only

Day 1 Fly Punta Arenas, Chile to Port Stanley, Falkland Islands.

Our journey commences this morning in Punta Arenas. Here we board our 90 minute flight to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. We will be met on arrival and transferred to the pier. Stanley is home to 2,000 residents and is reminiscent of a charming rural town in coastal Britain, with brightly coloured houses, flower-filled gardens, a quaint cathedral and several local pubs. There will be time to explore the town before embarkation. Excitement is in the air as we cast off, bound for Antarctica, and the adventure of a lifetime.

Day 2-3 At Sea.

This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in its bio-diversity and showcases an abundance of wildlife. We will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the Wandering albatross. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our modern research vessel. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, the wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days. If we enjoy good sailing conditions crossing to Antarctica, we may include a visit to the very historic location of Elephant Island – a place central to the Shackleton story.

Day 4-5 South Shetland Islands.

This morning we will awaken to the snowy landscape of King George Island, the largest in the South Shetlands group. There are two landing sites here - a visit depends on weather conditions. In the afternoon we continue our journey south, navigating into the broad expanse of the Bransfield Strait. This is an important migration corridor for wildlife, and we keep a lookout for whales. Large icebergs will be present from this point onwards and make for striking photographs. By morning, the towering mountain peaks of the Antarctic continent loom into view. We aim to make landfall around Wilhelmina Bay. This is a truly remarkable location, where we often encounter large pods of Humpback whales as we cruise in the Zodiacs.

Day 6-8 Exploring the Peninsula and crossing the Antarctic Circle.

We encourage you to spend time on the outer decks soaking up the scenery as we navigate south. We pass through the ice strewn waters making our way towards out ultimate objective, the Antarctic Circle. Given favourable ice conditions, our first goal will be to sail south of the Antarctic Circle and into Crystal Sound. A favoured landing site here is Detaille Island, home to an abandoned British science hut from the 1950’s. This region marks our turnaround point and we return in a northerly direction exploring the dramatic coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula. We hope to visit a working scientific base to learn something of the important climate-related research happening here, and if the conditions allow, we will give you the opportunity to camp overnight onshore, a truly memorable experience. Petermann Island is home to an Adelie penguin rookery. The smallest of the Antarctic penguins, Adelies nest here and share the location with Gentoo penguins and Imperial cormorants. Pleneau Island offers more opportunities for shore landings. Massive icebergs run aground in the shallows and constant wind and wave action sculpt these gargantuan chunks of ice into fantastical shapes. For many, a Zodiac cruise here may well be a highlight of the voyage.

Day 9-10 Exploring the Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands.

We aim to transit the Lemaire Channel on our way north towards Paradise Harbour. This may be the first opportunity to step foot on the continent of Antarctica itself. Nearby Neko Harbour offers another continental landing. Expect to be in full sensory overload by this time of the voyage. By morning we arrive in the South Shetland Islands. The adventure is not over and if the weather conditions allow, we sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is where Australian aviation pioneer, Sir Hubert Wilkins made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928. There are several other landing sites in the vicinity including Half Moon Island, or the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour. This is another great spot for a hike or a Zodiac cruise. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition.

Day 11 Disembark on King George Island; charter flight to Punta Arenas and overnight.

This morning we are anchored off King George Island. We transfer to the airstrip for the two-hour flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile. On arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel for your included night in Punta Arenas. This evening is at your leisure. Punta Arenas is home to some cozy restaurants, cafes and bars – including the historic ‘Shackleton Bar’ at the Hotel Jose Nogueira – a fitting location to reflect on your journey to Antarctica.

Day 12 End Punta Arenas.

Our adventure ends this morning after breakfast.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 11,195
Price Per Day: $ 933 per day
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Stride Featured in

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12,871 Exodus Travels Travel Reviews & Ratings

99%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 9,050
Great 3,136
Average 526
Disappointing 111
Terrible 48
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

Fly & Cruise – Antarctic Circle Quest

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Company Reviews

A wonderful trip!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I travelled with my 23 yr old daughter and we had a great time. Lots of
superlatives which have been covered by reviewers below, so I will not repeat
them, but suffice to say that this trip exceeded both our expectations in
terms of the amazing variation in landscape in the iconic National Parks
visited, and the diversity of activities - ranging from exciting hikes, to
laying on the ground in Death Valley looking at the Night Sky. Never a dull
moment - and our guide inserted little surprises at regular intervals.
Perhaps meeting our inspirational Navajo guide in Monument Valley and
learning about her childhood and culture. But lots to inspire both of us
....


Joseph Spaid was an incredible leader. He was so knowledgable, approachable,
engaging and fun. He was very interesting to chat to, and worked so hard to
make sure everyone’s needs were met. We were quite a disparate crowd of
11, some very experienced hikers, others recovering from recent injury, but
he found ways to embrace that - I wish I had his energy!


Take a brolly as sun shade for Death Valley! And rehydration tabs/powder
when it's really hot. We all used it and had no problem with overheating
even in August. You get dusty walking so plenty of walking gear - it is a
busy trip and there wasn’t much time for washing. I was pleased to have my
poles in Zion and the Grand Canyon for long (albeit beautiful) uphill
stretches.

I would definitely advise a few days in San Francisco before joining the
trip. It is an incredible city. Our flight from Heathrow was delayed by 28
hours, so we missed one of our three planned days, but we still were well
able to meet up with the Group on Sunday.

Las Vegas didn’t appeal to us, so we didn’t stay at the end, and we in
time to fly out on the same night.

The helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon was just extraordinary!


As an introduction to SW America, this trip takes some beating. It was
fantastic.

Thank you Exodus and Grand American Adventures!!


Read more

The National Parks

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Very busy , hugely interesting itinerary. Some quite breathtaking scenery,
with opportunities for physical activity in order to experience it more
fully. Very good tour leader, experienced, knowledgeable and well organised.
Tour group (9 of us) , various ages and experiences, combined well. A great
experience.
Hard to pick one particular moment or event. Perhaps the experience of
Yosemite: view of the valley from Glacier Point, variety of hikes, and also
appreciating the national park beyond the valley itself.


Very good. See above.


Some long days in the bus, but that doesn't have to be a problem- it can just
mean that you see more.


Read more

Bad trip leader experience

2.0
Details
Value3.0
Guide1.0
Activities3.0
Lodging3.0
Transportation5.0
Meals2.0
The activities were a mixture of good and repetitive and the description of the game drives seems a little embellished. We didn't encounter hardly any elephants and the leopard sighting is apparently not as common as one might think (2-3 a week according to local guide). While we were "fortunate" to observe one, it was so far away that only a 400mm lens would get to see it, but that's after you fight through about 40 vehicles all converging to a single space in order to catch a glimpse before the park warden hurries you on because your time is up! It's also a madhouse trying to get into the park. There is no orderly fashion while up to a hundred vehicles all vie to be first in the gate (this is at Yala). The biggest downside to the trip was our trip leader. On two occasions when we had questions about the activities, he became very defensive and argumentative, and when trying to walk away from the conversation so that it didn't escalate further, he followed us intent on exclaiming what a good guide he's been and that we were the problem. We walked away again, and yet he still following us turning the conversation into harassment. I was glad when the trip ended to get away from him and if it weren't for having another back-to-back Exodus trip (see Maldives review) immediately following this one, I would have never wanted to travel with Exodus again given that experience. In sum, trip leader very poor (astonishingly so) and trip itinerary could improve by offering more variety/flexibility to wildlife viewings rather than doing the same repeat walks 3 times. All food was at hotels so not much of a variety or local fare encountered. Lovely country and lovely people though and group was great!
Read more

A magical trip! One of my best ever!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This trip far exceeded my expectations on every level. The underwater wildlife encounters were superior to any other snorkeling I've done. There's an abundance of things to see and coupled with the chance to scuba dive and excellent water conditions - it's a top notch destination. The boat was very comfortable, the crew was excellent and took care of every need, and the food was awesome. Ranks as one of my all-time favorites!
Read more

ecuador

2.0
Details
Value2.0
Guide2.0
Activities2.0
Lodging2.0
Transportation2.0
Meals2.0
What the trip delivered: The trip was filled with a good variety in landscape, ecosystems, wildlife and culturally. All the Exodus agents where very efficient and gave great pre-trip service.

The tour leader was knowledgeable in history, culture and wildlife. Also a good amount of hiking which was great.

What the trip didn't deliver: the tour operator adhering to their booking conditions and enforcing this in regards to enforcing that ALL travelers can undertake the trip. There was an old woman who could not walk upright without walking sticks. Along with being grossly unfit, and heavily medicated on prescription opium amongst other pain killers, which caused erratic, manic behaviour.
This traveler should have been taken off the trip as it took all the effort and time of the tour leader, which has a knock on effect on rest of group. Only half way through the trip, did the tour leader ban the traveler from doing any more activities as she was not fit to continue. But he kept her on the entire trip.

We had to deal with another traveller suffering from incontinence, another who was an alcoholic shouting and swearing when he couldn’t control himself.

Due to this I strongly recommend that you never room share. Only book single supplement with Exodus. Otherwise you could potentially land up in situation like I did that could ruin your holiday.

Either it was the wrong time of year or bad luck, but I ended up feeling like it was a tour for geriatrics all with health issues. Not an adventure company as advertised on all their marketing.
Read more

December trip Ecuador

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Whta the trip delivered was a good variety in landscape, wildlife and culturally. The Exodus booking agents where very efficient and gave a great pre-trip service.

The tour leader was knowledgeable in history, culture and wildlife. Also a good amount of hiking which was great.

What the trip didn't deliver was the tour operator adhering to their booking conditions and enforcing this. There was an old woman who could not walk upright without walking sticks. Along with being grossly unfit, not very mobile and heavily medicated on prescription opium which caused erratic, manic behaviour.
Travellers like this should be taken off the trip as the tour leader has to dedicate so much time and effort to these travellers.

We had to deal with another traveller suffering from incontinence, and another who was an alcoholic shouting and swearing when he got out of control.

Due to this I strongly recommend that you never room share. Only book single supplement with Exodus. Otherwise you could potentially land up in situation like I did that could ruin your holiday

Either it was the wrong time of year or bad luck, but I ended up feeling like it was a tour for geriatrics, all with their health issues. Not an adventure company as advertised on all their marketing.
Read more

Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 96

Accomodations

10 nights on the ship and 1 night in Punta Arenas
Expedition cruising in comfortable conditions

Age Notes

Min. Age: 18

Additional Information:

  • 10 nights on the ship and 1 night in Punta Arenas
  • Expedition cruising in comfortable conditions

Trip ID#:

exodus-PRB

Meals Included:

Breakfast: * All meals while on the ship * All accommodation * All transport and listed activities * Tour leader throughout and qualified Expedition Staff * Flights from Punta Arenas to Stanley and from King George Island back to Punta Arenas * Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)  

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