Trip Type : Small Ship Cruise
Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake tour

Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake

Quark Expeditions
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
8 days
From: $ 9,995 $ 1,249 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • The fastest, most direct way to Antarctica
  • Enjoy all the Antarctic Peninsula highlights
  • Enjoy on-board lectures and educational presentations from polar specialists

Short Description

You’re ready to explore King George Island and the Antarctic Peninsula – and no Drake Passage crossings required! Included charter flights between Punta Arenas and Antarctica have you experiencing the majesty of the Seventh Continent with a spectacular aerial view before transferring to your ship in no time.

Keep your camera ready as you Zodiac cruise in search of whales, seabirds and astounding icebergs. Beaches dotted with leopard seals and penguins give way to icy plateaus, with snowcapped mountain peaks looming behind. You’ll find yourself thankful for the near-constant sunlight by which you can continue to take it all in.

Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Trip Type Small Ship Cruise
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Punta Arenas
End City Punta Arenas
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Itinerary

Day 1: Punta Arenas, Chile

Your adventure begins in Punta Arenas, Chile, the most populated city in Patagonia. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and shops to keep you busy for days. By early afternoon, a Quark Expeditions representative will bring everyone together to your starting hotel, where you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about preparing for your embarkation day.

Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica will have you crossing the infamous Drake Passage in only a few hours. Way below, the ship is approaching King George Island for your arrival. The dramatic Antarctic landscapes soon become visible as your plane descends for landing in the South Shetlands. After landing, stretch your legs and spend some time exploring the island before being transferred by Zodiac to your ship . Meet the rest of your shipmates and set sail for the Peninsula!

Days 3 to 6: Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

There are few places in the world as evocative as Antarctica. As we approach the white continent, don’t be surprised if you are overcome by feelings of excitement and awe. Much of Antarctica is indescribable and can only be fully appreciated through the human eye.

Your first sightings will be from the ship itself. As the Captain and Expedition Team keep their eyes out for whales and seabirds, you’ll be alerted to any new sightings. Our team of expert lecturers will also provide in-depth explanations of the geology, history and wildlife of the region.

Even more exciting are your daily excursions to land. Your first Zodiac landing is something you’ll never forget! Walking up to a beach that is dotted with penguins and seals is the most intimate way to experience the unique wildlife of Antarctica. Each landing is different and is dependent on weather, but every day presents new sightings and photo opportunities. You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs in Pleneau Island one day, followed by a hike to a chinstrap rookery the next day. From the booming shot of a calving glacier at Petermann Island to the complete silence of night while camping in Antarctica, you’ll welcome each day with the excitement and energy of a young child. Our Expedition Team will be with you all along, providing insights into the places you visit and offering photography tips to get the most out of your expedition.

Day 7: Disembarkation and Fly to Punta Arenas

After your four days of exploration, you’ll say goodbye to the Expedition Team and disembark at King George Island. Your three-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile brings your journey to an end. After we transfer you from the airport to the hotel, you can enjoy one final dinner (not included) to reminisce about all the sights and sounds of Antarctica.

Day 8: Depart for Home

After breakfast, you are free to continue on your own travels or make your way to the Punta Arenas airport for your homeward flights.

Availability

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Price From $ 9,995
Price Per Day: $ 1,249 per day
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  • Deposit Price: $ 1,000

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Details

Ship Name

Sea Adventurer

Ship Stats

Staff and Crew: 83

Guests: 117

Lifeboats: 4 partially enclosed

Length: 101.1 meters

Breadth: 16.2 meters

Draft: 4.5 meters

Propulsion: Diesel Twin Engines - 5,200 horsepower.

Ice Class: 1A

Cruising Speed: 12 knots in open water

Registration: Bahamas

Ship Description

Designed to carry travelers in comfort to the most remote corners of the world, Sea Adventurer was built in Yugoslavia in 1976, refurbished in 1999 and had further upgrades in 2002. You will be impressed by this ice-strengthened ship, which carries up to 117 passengers and features a spacious forward lounge and bar, window-lined dining room and promenades.

The nimble, ice-strengthened Sea Adventurer is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation. Take a look at what to expect for 2017:

  • A new look and feel throughout
  • Renovations to the interior of the ship including outside cabins with ensuites, spacious forward lounge and bar, and other amenities
  • The addition of new passenger cabins
  • New bathrooms in every cabin, and upgrades to the Main Lounge and Main Dining Room, gym, and select suites
  • Significant technical enhancements – including two new engines, generators, gear boxes, drive systems, and re-bladed propellers
  • Increased fuel efficiency, and a minimized carbon footprint.

Deck & Cabin Plans

All Deck & Cabin Plans Trip Photos

Optional Activities

Add an Extra Rush of Adrenaline to Your Expedition

Every Quark Antarctic voyage includes great daily outdoor activities including Zodiac cruises, hiking and some also offer snowshoeing. The more discerning adrenaline junkie can also choose from a range of optional adventure activities, with varying exertion levels, to experience the 7th continent in a more personal way. Contact a Quark Polar Travel Adviser to learn more about adventure options, including physical requirements.

  • Kayaking
  • Snowshoeing
  • Walking/Hiking

$950 per person

Kayaking in Antarctica is probably one of the most intimate and inspiring ways you can explore this incredible region. Glide through the quiet waters and take in the beauty of Antarctica. Paddle through astounding icebergs, watch penguins, seals and possibly whales swim around your kayak.

Kayaking in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent, however we guarantee at least one outing during your voyage. Your kayak guides will always attempts to take you out as many times as possible throughout your voyage.

Offered on most Antarctic voyages, spaces are limited and require some kayaking experience. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark. Please contact a Quark Polar Travel Adviser for more information.

Extend Your Stay

Getting to the Antarctic can be just as much fun as being there. Quark offers multiple travel packages that enable you to see more of the world before and after your Antarctic adventure.

  • Easter Island
  • Santiago

Travel to the world’s most remote inhabited island

Take a five-hour flight from Santiago to Easter Island, one of the world’s most remote inhabited islands. A single massive (extinct) volcano rising over 10,000 feet from the Pacific Ocean floor, Easter Island is famous for its enormous statues carved from the tough stone of the Rano Raraku, the island’s volcano. Your package includes tours of the statues, tombs and volcanoes of the island. This luxurious package offers guests three nights’ accommodation at Explora Rapa Nui, where all meals, daily explorations and drinks are included.

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group

Cancellation Policy:

All requests for cancellation must be received in writing. Cancellations received 180 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less an administrative fee of minimum US$1250, AU$1000, £650, €800 per person. If cancellation is received between 179 days and 120 days, the deposit is forfeited. If cancellation occurs less than 120 days prior to departure, all payments are forfeited. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. To protect the traveler’s investment, we recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance.

Cancellations cannot be made online.

Additional Information:

Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.

Trip ID#:

AntDraQua

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