Air Cruise South Georgia & Antarctica
AIRCRAFT-SHIP: From Punta Arenas by aircraft to George King Island sail in Antarctica and return by ship to Ushuaia
This is the longest air-cruise of all, it is 16 days knowing Antarctica, Elephant Island and South Georgia Island, in a new ship the M/V Magellan Explorer. We go Grytviken, in South Georgia, where we can see the tomb of Ernest Shackleton. In St. Andrew's Bay, you will be overwhelmed by the sight of 150,000 king penguins, on Cooper Island, it is the nesting home of thousands of black-browed albatrosses, see a large colony of macaroni penguins. If the weather is favorable are also planned visits to Fortuna Bay, Salisbury Plains, Prion Island and Elsehul Bay .
16 days 15 nights
Day 1 - Punta Arenas, Chile
Reception at the International Airport of Punta Arenas and transfer to hotel. You must arrive before 15 pm. During the afternoon you will be introduce to the crew of the expedition trip and given a lecture on the rules and instructions that apply in this journey to Antarctica, in addition to explanation of the processes of loading and unloading with the use of rubber boats. At night we expect an inaugural dinner at the city center.
Day 2 - We will fly to Frei Base on King George Island, South Shetland Islands
The dream comes true: the begining of the journey to the South Pole. Departure from Punta Arenas airport to board the plane BAE146 manufactured in England by British Aerospace to the Base Presidente Eduardo Frei, located in the South Shetland Islands in a 2 hours flight. This plane has the advantage of its high wing and ability to land on short runways (runway is 1,300 meters long), perfect for those trips. Once we land on King George Island, we will visit not only the Chilean base, but we will also see the Bellingshausen Base, from Russia.
The Frei Base is the most important base in Chile Antarctic territory and is one of the principal’s base of all the white continent. We located it at Fildes Peninsula, ice-free area, right in front of the homonymous bay. The Bellingshausen Base is a base that operates 365 days a year since 1968, its name comes from a Russian famous sailor and is just 90 meters from the Chilean base. Very near to the bases is the Church of the Holy Trinity, is the largest Orthodox church in Antarctica. This Antarctic region is one of the warmest, because in winter the temperature does not exceed -10 ° C and in summer is around 3 ° C. Then we will embark on the expedition ship at Fildes Bay.
Day 3 to 5 - Antarctic Peninsula
During these days we will sail the route that separates the Shetland Islands of the Antarctic Peninsula, leaving on the way some beautiful fjords and icebergs that impact for its size, with the pleasant company of a rich marine wildlife, from birds to penguins, seals and whales. Every day, we disembark in Zodiac boats and explore the landscape together with expert polar guides. On board the ship, attend an attractive program of conferences and presentations, and enjoy the spectacular views from the lounge while sharing your daily adventures with other guests.
No trip is the same as another because flexibility is the key to success in Antarctica. The Expedition Team establishes the route of the trip to take advantage of the ever-changing opportunities that nature offers, creating a unique and extraordinary experience each time. While the itinerary changes with each expedition, you will explore several places that offer the best possible overview of the varied Antarctic environment. Your trip may include visits to sites such as Paulet Island, Hope Bay, Livingston Island, Port Lockroy, Peterman Island, Paradise Bay, Deception Island, the Lemaire Channel or many other magnificent places.
It all depends on each trip and climatic conditions during navigation. The main goal is to cross the Lemaire Channel, observing one of the most interesting natural phenomena of the trip, the Columns of the Lemaire Channel, called the Cemetery of Glaciers due to the action of the channel on the thaw. Pieces of ice remaining on the canal are destroyed by water currents, this occurs because the thermal difference between the surface water and the deep waters, accelerating the melting process. During these days we will make several landings in Zodiacs, we will learn about life in Antarctica thanks to lectures given by experts in the field.
Day 6 - Elephant Island
Sailing north of the Antarctic Peninsula, we hope to stop at Elephant Island. It was here that Shackleton's crew found refuge while he and five carefully selected men were traveling in a small open lifeboat, crossing 1,300 km of open sea to Southern Georgia to organize the rescue of their companions. While storm conditions in this area rarely allow landings, you can see the island from the ship.
Day 7 to 8 - Sailing to South Georgia
As we sail north, our historian and our naturalists offer informal presentations and talks. There is time to socialize in the ship's lounge and be inspired by exploration stories, while keeping an eye on the abundant bird life in the region.
Day 9 to 11 - South Georgia
The island of South Georgia is a diverse landscape of majestic mountains, massive glaciers, grassy highlands and deep fjords. Visit the old Grytviken whale hunting post, where you can see Ernest Shackleton's simple grave. In St. Andrew's Bay, you will be overwhelmed by the sight of 150,000 king penguins. Cooper Island, is the nesting habitat of thousands of black-browed albatrosses, see a large colony of macaroni penguins. If the weather is favorable, visits to Fortuna Bay, Salisbury Plains, Prion Island and Elsehul Bay are also planned.
Day 12 to 14 - Sailing to South America
While the ship is heading to South America, the expedition team continues its presentation program. Take advantage of this time to improve your understanding of the region and its history: enjoy the collection of thematic books in the library, attend movie screenings and spend time socializing in the ship's lounge. Take your binoculars to the external observation decks and look for the large albatross that may be flying in the vicinity of the ship.
Day 15 - In the sea & Beagle Channel
Approach the South American continent and navigate the Beagle Channel. Contemplate the beauty of Tierra del Fuego to the north and Navarino Island to the south while heading to Ushuaia.
Day 16 - Ushuaia
Arrival at the port of Ushuaia. End of services.
Map of Route
- Transfer airport-hotel.
- Flight Punta Arenas - King George Island, South Shetland (one way).
- Accommodation night the first day in Punta Arenas. Welcome dinner is included.
- Maritime transport and accommodation in the chosen cabin.
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks included during the entire travel program.
- Coffee, tea, chocolate, cappuccino, water and snacks on board the ship throughout the expedition.
- All scheduled shore excursions.
- The lectures and talks given on board the ship.
- Rubber boots for water in the planned landings.
Services not included
- Visa or passport expenses.
- Transfers, accommodation and meals are not included in the travel program, considered as additional.
- Personal insurance, excess luggage, extra expenses such as phone calls, Internet use, cleaning of clothes, etc.
- Drinks purchased at the ship's bar.
Weight allowed on flights
On flights up to and from Antarctica, the maximum weight allowed to be carried per person is 20 kilos, including hand luggage. Any excess baggage can be retained and left in custody at Punta Arenas.
Flight schedules and navigation itineraries in Antarctica may change according to climatic conditions on the white continent. The weather variation is very unpredictable, and safety is always an important aspect of all trips to Antarctica. The naval company reserves the right to change the navigation route in consultation due to climatic setbacks or any other force majeure factor. If it is not possible to fly to or from Antarctica due to weather conditions, either at the point of origin and / or destination, the company will implement the Contingency Plan established for each trip.