A short, comfortable flight from Punta Arenas, Chile, to King George Island in Antarctica has you with boots on the ground in no time, overtaken by the sheer magnitude of the 7th Continent. Fully immersed in the Antarctic environment, you’ll experience a roller coaster of emotions, from excitement to exquisite solitude to incredible gratitude for the wonder of it all.
You may go in search of whales and find yourself bearing witness to a glacier calving. Or you may plan to climb one more peak for a better vantage point and find yourself in a rookery of curious penguins. Antarctica will leave you in awe, but it won’t leave you unchanged.
Note: Antarctic Circle crossings in the early part of the season are heavily dependent on ice conditions.
• Experience the fastest, most direct way to Antarctica.
• Fly over the Drake Passage.
• Marvel at all the Antarctic Peninsula highlights, including crossing the Antarctic Circle.
• Take advantage of optional polar camping along the Peninsula.
• Enjoy on-board lectures and educational presentations from polar specialists.
ITINERARY IN BRIEF
Day 1: Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile.
Day 2: Fly to King George Island and Embarkation.
Days 3 -4 & 5: Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands.
Days 6 & 7: Antarctic Circle.
Days 8 & 9: Northbound Along the Peninsula.
Day 10: Disembarkation and Fly to Punta Arenas.
Day 11: Depart Punta Arenas.
NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The on-board expedition leader will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
Contact us for more details.
ARRIVE IN PUNTA ARENAS, CHILE.
Your adventure begins in Punta Arenas, Chile, the most populated city in southern 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 meet you at the official starting point hotel, where you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about preparing for your embarkation day.
FLY TO KING GEORGE ISLAND AND EMBARKATION.
Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica will have you crossing the legendary Drake Passage in only a few hours. Far below, the ship will approach King George Island for your arrival. Your first glimpse of dramatic Antarctic landscapes will be from a unique perspective, as your plane descends for landing in the South Shetland Islands. After landing, stretch your legs with a one-mile (1.6 km) walk to the shore, before being transferred by Zodiac to your ship to set sail for the Antarctic Peninsula!
ANTARCTIC PENINSULA AND SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS.
There are few places in the world as evocative as Antarctica. As your ship approaches the White Continent, you may be overcome by feelings of excitement and awe. Much of Antarctica is indescribable and can only be fully appreciated through your own eyes.
As your captain and Expedition Team keep a lookout 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 glaciology, history and wildlife of the region.
ANTARCTIC PENINSULA AND SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS.
Even more exciting are your land excursions. Your first Zodiac landing is something you’ll never forget! Walking on a beach dotted with penguins is the most intimate way to experience the unique wildlife of Antarctica.
Each landing is different and dependent on weather, but every day presents new sightings and photo opportunities, and it won’t be long before you can tell the difference between an Adélie, gentoo and chinstrap penguin.
SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS AND ANTARCTIC PENINSULA
You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs one day, followed by a hike to a penguin rookery the next day. From the booming sound of a calving glacier to the thrill of spotting apex predators like leopard seals and killer whales in action, you’ll wake up early and welcome each day with a sense of adventure and a desire to explore this unrivaled travel experience.
Your Expedition Team will accompany you along the way, ensuring safety and providing insights into the places you visit.
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula do not reach 66°33´ S. If conditions allow us to cross this famed line at 66°33´ S, you and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of sparkling wine!
As you toast the first explorers who ventured this far south, you can take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, Weddell seals and some of the most peculiar, yet magical ice formations you’ll see anywhere on the continent.
NORTHBOUND ALONG THE PENINSULA.
If you haven’t had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you’ll surely be satisfied by the time you return to King George Island. You will continue to explore by Zodiac or on land as you travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula.
NORTHBOUND ALONG THE PENINSULA.
Your Expedition Team will always be on the lookout for species of seabirds, seals and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south.
DISEMBARKATION AND FLY TO PUNTA ARENAS.
After your week of exploration, you’ll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and disembark at King George Island. Your two-and-a-half-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile, brings your adventure to an end. After your group transfer to the hotel, you are free to explore and enjoy an evening on your own, in the city or at the hotel to reminisce about the sights and sounds of Antarctica
DEPART PUNTA ARENAS.
After breakfast, you are welcome to continue on your own travels or make your way to the Punta Arenas airport for your homeward flights.
- Staff and Crew: 130.
- Guests: 172 (140 on Antarctic Express programs).
- Length: 126 meters.
- Breadth (Beam): 19 meters.
- Draft: 7 meters.
- Propulsion: 2 x Rolls Royce 9,000 kW hybrid diesel/electric.
- Ice Class: 1B.
- Cruising Speed: 16 knots, in open water.
- Registration: Portugal.
- Lifeboats: 2, fully-enclosed.
- Chef-prepared meals (all meals and daily snack included).
- One dining room with unreserved seating.
- Bar staffed by a professional bartender serving a selection of soft drinks, juices, liquors, spirits, beer, and wine, which can be charged to your shipboard account.
- Comfortable lounge area for reading or relaxing with a cup of coffee.
- Observation decks for spotting wildlife and enjoying the ever-changing polar landscape.
- Polar library stocked with a large collection of polar books, and games.
- Pool & sauna.
- Spa facilities and wellness program.
- Lecture theatre.
- Polar Boutique.
- Ship-to-shore satellite communications with email and wireless Internet access.
COMMUN AREAS ABOARD WORLD EXPLORER
Whether viewing wildlife and taking in the open ocean from the glass-domed Observation Lounge, sipping complimentary cups of coffee or tea in the Explorer Lounge or enjoying the extensive collection of field guides, picture books and reference books in the library, guests feel welcome and at home aboard the World Explorer. The onboard Polar Boutique is stocked with forgotten essentials, gear and souvenirs. And the lecture theater-style auditorium easily accommodates everyone on board for presentations and videos that provide education and entertainment. Ship-to-shore satellite communications provide access to email and wireless internet, though note that connections can never be guaranteed on remote polar expeditions.
An outdoor running track, gym, sauna, heated outdoor pool and spa for booking massages, facials, and hair, hand and foot treatments help maintain healthy and relaxing routines while traveling. The spa features change rooms, showers and lockers so you can clean up before returning to your cabin—a bonus for those in shared cabins! At the heated outdoor pool, a shallow children’s area is separated from a deeper saltwater plunge pool.
DINNING ABOARD WORLD EXPLORER
Enjoy breakfast and lunch buffet style, while dinners are served plated in an open seating atmosphere and with casual dress code. Although meal times may change due to landings and wildlife encounters, you’ll always enjoy three delicious meals a day. An assortment of fresh-baked cookies and/or pastries are offered in the afternoon, as are hot and cold snacks during cocktail hour. A well-stocked bar is open from mid-morning into the evening with a selection of premium beers, wines, liquors and spirits, which can be charged to your shipboard account. Dietary restrictions may be accommodated with prior notice, with the exception of kosher food.
ACTIVITIES ABOARD WORLD EXPLORER
Aboard the World Explorer, days are packed with multiple landings, Zodiac cruises and optional activities like kayaking, camping and stand-up paddle boarding (additional charge). During your days at sea, enjoy lectures and workshops presented by the expedition team and spend time on deck looking for seabirds and cetaceans. Guides are well trained in spotting wildlife and showing off unique polar landscapes with geology and history. An outdoor running track, gym and heated outdoor pool further your options during ocean crossings.
Located on Deck 6, and approximately 246 sq. ft. (23 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 55 sq. ft. (5 sq. m) walk-out balcony. A separate combo sitting area/bedroom with a sofa bed and additional closet, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower is also featured in each cabin.
Located on Decks 5 and 6, and approximately 270 sq. ft. (25 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a floor-to-ceiling glass French balcony. A sitting area with sofa, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower is also featured in each cabin.
Located on Decks 5 and 6, and approximately 215 sq. ft. (20 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 55 sq. ft. (5 sq. m) walk-out balcony. A sitting area with sofa, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower is also featured in each cabin.
Located on Decks 5 and 6, and approximately 278 sq. ft. (26 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony with access from sitting room and bedroom. A separate sitting area with sofa, walk-in closet, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower is also featured in each cabin.
Located on Deck 5, and approximately 334 sq. ft. (31 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony with access from sitting room and bedroom. A separate sitting area with sofa, his and hers closets, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower and his and hers sinks is also featured in each cabin.
Located on Decks 5 and 6, and approximately 355 sq. ft. (33 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony with access from sitting room and bedroom. A separate sitting area with sofa, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and private bathroom with shower, his and hers sinks, and bathtub is also featured in each cabin
- Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping.
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage.
- All shore landings per the daily program.
- Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader.
- All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program.
- Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled.
- Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage.
- A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings.
- An official Quark Expeditions parka to keep.
- Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock.
- Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin.
- Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader.
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
- All luggage handling aboard ship.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
- Passport and visa expenses.
- Government arrival and departure taxes.
- Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation.
- Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance.
- Excess baggage charges.
- Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified.
- Telecommunications charges.
- The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew.
- Kayaking (additional charge).
- Camping (additional charge).
- Standup Paddleboarding (additional charge).
- This trip is also available on board the Ocean Adventurer and Ocean Diamond. Contact us for more details.
- Voyages are subject to ice and weather conditions.
- The itineraries described for expedition voyages illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.