Classic Antarctica Air-Cruise

Fly over the Drake Passage, Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, Wildlife, Scenery, Ice Optional kayaking and snowshoeing:  8 Days  |  Departure: 12/02/15, 12/07/15, 12/12/15, 12/17/15, 12/22/15, 12/27/15, 01/17/16, 01/22/16, 02/08/16, 02/13/16  |  From $9,995

Classic Antarctica Air-Cruise
Classic Antarctica Air-Cruise

Classic Antarctica Air-Cruise
Classic Antarctica Air-Cruise

Testimonials  |  Ship types

Trip Highlights: Fly over the 'infamous' Drake Passage directly to King George Island to embark the Ocean Nova. Expect good guides and a comfortable expedition ship with a fantastic glass-enclosed observation lounge. Time spent in Antarctica is equivalent to an 11-day traditional ship cruise.

Rates: $9,995 - $18,995
Triple: $9,995, Twins from: $10,995
Single supplement: 1.85 x the regular double occupancy twin rate.
Child Discount: 5% off the regular per person rate for children age 8 to 12 years old. Please note: Children under 8 years old are not allowed on board.
Shared Accommodation: Can be arranged on request, based on availability. Contact us for details.
Kayaking Supplement: $895 per person
Snowshoeing Supplement: $195 per person (Available selected departures only).
Fuel Surcharge may apply.

Ship: Ocean Nova (Air-Cruise) - Expedition Ship
Passengers: 68

 

Introduction

In less than two hours of flying from Punta Arenas, Chile, arrive at Frei Station on King George Island (the largest Island of the South Shetland Archipelago) where you will embark the Ocean Nova at the gates of the white continent. From King George Island you will navigate for six days and five nights along the Antarctic Peninsula, visiting the most wonderful places and enjoying the best wildlife sites of Antarctica. With daily excursions, your naturalist team will be giving lectures to introduce and inform you about this wonderful continent. This unique experience is sure to be the trip of your lifetime!

Includes round-trip flight from Punta Arenas, Chile with 6 days in Antarctica. Time spent in Antarctica is equivalent to an 11-day traditional ship cruise.

Itinerary

Day 1: Punta Arenas, Chile
Upon arrival in the city of Punta Arenas you will be greeted by a staff member and transferred to Hotel Rey Don Felipe. During the afternoon, you will meet your expedition mates and receive instructions concerning the guidelines that should be followed in Antarctica and the procedures for Zodiac boat embarkation and disembarkation. Later, enjoy a welcome dinner at the José Nogueira Hotel, a French-style mansion that is over one hundred years old.

Day 2: Fly to King George Island / Embark
Your Antarctic adventure will begin with the flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island (the largest of the South Shetland Islands). The flight takes a little over one and half hours. Upon arrival, you will be able to tour around the area where the Frei Chilean Base and the Bellingshausen Russian Base are located. Gather at the beach on Fildes Bay for embarkation of your expedition vessel by Zodiac boats.

Days 3-6: South Shetland Islands & the Antarctic Peninsula
While cruising between the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, sailing along ice-filled fjords and between spectacular icebergs, you will enjoy the company of sea birds, penguins, seals and whales. Your journey southwards will include visits to some of the most magnificent spots on the white continent, such as: Livingston Island, Port Lockroy, Petermann Island, Paradise Bay, Cuverville and Deception Islands amongst others. Your target will be the crossing of the Lemaire Channel and latitude 65° South. Your adventure will be very active, with several daily landings and cruises in Zodiac boats, lectures and a very enjoyable time onboard.

Day 7: Disembark / Fly to Punta Arenas
Return to King George Island and bid farewell to Antarctica before boarding the flight back to Punta Arenas. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. (Note: Meals in Punta Arenas are at your leisure and not included in the program.)

Day 8: Punta Arenas depart
After breakfast, transfer to the Punta Arenas airport for your onward flight.

Notes:

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition.

Getting There & Getting Home:
Arrive in Punta Arenas on Day 1, no later than 3 p.m. A tight time-schedule connection with an Antarctic expedition is not recommended. Therefore, we strongly suggest that a flexible air ticket be held for your journey home, and in any case not to book a flight on the same day as the return flight from Antarctica.

Kayaking Supplement: $895 per person
Limited to 10 participants per cruise, prior kayaking experience required. Space is limited, however, so be certain to book in advance. Please contact us for additional details.

Snowshoeing Supplement: $195 per person (available on selected departures only).
Limited to 12 participants, no previous experience required. Please contact us for additional details and to book in advance.

The Aircraft:
The 70 passenger BAE 146-200 was manufactured in the United Kingdom by British Aerospace and is equipped with 4 turbofan Honeywell engines. It is a high-wing aircraft with very short runway requirements which makes it particularly suited for this kind of destination. It is operated by Aerovías DAP, which has more than 20 years of experience of flying in Patagonia and Antarctica.

Luggage Weight Restriction:
Due to the limited carrying capacity of the aircraft, participants in the Antarctica Fly and Cruise program can only carry 20 Kg/44 Lb of personal luggage, including carry-on. This weight restriction is enforced strictly. Note that hand luggage will be weighed as well as checked baggage. Softsided luggage is recommended.

Included:
Accommodations aboard ship; 1 night pre-cruise hotel stay with breakfast in Punta Arenas; 1 night post-cruise hotel stay with breakfast in Punta Arenas; transfers airport / hotel and reverse; flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island, and return; meals aboard ship; wine, beer, juice, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board ship; coffee tea, chocolate, cappuccino, water, and snacks on board ship throughout expedition; guided shore excursions; lectures and entertainment on board; comprehensive pre- and post-voyage information material; loan of waterproof boots for landing in Antarctica; contingency plan (outlined below); IAATO passenger fee.

Not included:
Airfare, other than those offered in the program; visa and/or passport expenses; arrival and departure taxes, if applicable; transfers other than those offered in the program, lodging and meals other than those offered in the program; mandatory evacuation insurance; recommended travel insurance; personal expenses, such as beverages from bar; laundry service, telephone calls, use of Internet or other means of communication, etc.; gratuity to ship's crew at the end of the voyage. Fuel surcharge may apply.

Contingency Plan:
Some departures in the past have experienced delays. Based on past experience, the estimated chance of delay is very low, in the range of 5-10%. Still, it is important that prospective participants understand that weather conditions could impact the operation. Should weather delay a departure, the Contingency Plan detailed below will be put into operation.

Antarctica-bound flight: (Flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island):
In the unlikely event that the flight to Antarctica cannot operate due to unfavorable conditions, whether at point of origin in Punta Arenas and/or at the destination in Antarctica, the following Contingency Plan applies:

From Day 2 to Day 6 every effort will be made to transport travelers to Antarctica safely. Should a safety concern or weather delay a flight or make flying impossible, the following daily program will apply:

Plan for departures:

· Day 2 Guided tour to sites of historic and wildlife interest close to Punta Arenas. Meals are included, as well as accommodation in the same hotel as foreseen on Day 1 of the Travel Program.

· Day 3 Guided tour to sites of historic and wildlife interest close to Punta Arenas. Meals are included, as well as accommodation in the same hotel as foreseen on Day 1 of the Travel Program.

· Day 4 Accommodation with breakfast in a 3-star hotel in Punta Arenas is included. Any other service and meal are excluded. Passengers are required to stand-by for announcements concerning the flight to Antarctica.

· Day 5 Accommodation with breakfast in a 3-star hotel in Punta Arenas is included. Any other service and meal are excluded. Passengers are required to stand-by for announcements concerning the flight to Antarctica.

· Day 6 Accommodation with breakfast in a 3-star hotel in Punta Arenas is included. Any other service and meal are excluded. Passengers are required to stand-by for announcements concerning the flight to Antarctica.

· Day 7 Accommodation with breakfast in a 3-star hotel in Punta Arenas is included. Any other service and meal are excluded. There will no further flight attempt.

· Day 8 Breakfast. Transfer to Punta Arenas airport in time for connecting flights. End of Contingency Plan.

NOTE: If the tour operator will not be able to transport passengers to Antarctica, passengers will be refunded a percentage of the total cost of the Antarctica Fly and Cruise Travel Program, excluding discounts, if any. Refunds will be as follows: 5% (by the end of day 4), 15% (by the end of day 5), and 100% less a fee of USD $2,000 per person (by the end of day 6). Refunding will take place at the tour operator's earliest convenience. Refunds will exclude discounts. Refunding will release the tour operator from further liability.

Return flight: (Flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas)
In case the return flight from Antarctica to Punta Arenas experiences a delay, passengers on board the ship will continue cruising near King George Island, until the return flight to Punta Arenas can be arranged. In such case, shipboard accommodation, full board, and all excursions will be provided at no additional charge. However, no refunds for whatever reason will be offered.

Aircraft for Antarctic flights:
The decision over which aircraft will be used for the Antarctica Fly and Cruise program is at the sole discretion of the tour operator. In case of unfavorable conditions or other circumstances beyond the tour operator's control, either at the point of origin and/or at the destination, the tour operator reserves the right to fly different aircraft than the one described in the program information material.

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Notes

* Prices are based per person, the lowest price is usually for triple occupancy in a basic cabin, the highest for double occupancy in the best available suite.

Options may be at additional cost and are usually booked when the cruise is booked - it may be too late once the cruise has started.