Antarctica Express: Crossing The Circle Trip Highlights

  • The fastest, most direct way to Antarctica
  • Fly over Drake Passage
  • All the Antarctic Peninsula highlights
  • Photography instruction included
  • Optional polar camping along the Peninsula
  • On board lecturers and educational presentations from Polar specialists

Itinerary Overview

A short three-hour flight is all it takes to travel between Punta Arenas, Chile, and King George Island in Antarctica. Skipping all the extra days at sea, you’ll enjoy only the best scenery and wildlife experiences of the Antarctic. Our team of Polar Experts on the ship will have you searching for penguins and whales and exploring the wonders of Antarctica first hand.

Antarctica

Day 1  Punta Arenas

Your adventure begins in Punta Arenas, Chile, the most populated city in Patagonia.

Day 2  Embarkation Day

Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica will have you crossing the legendary Drake Passage in only a few hours.

Days 3 – 5  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.

Days 6 – 7  The Antarctic Circle

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Peninsula do not reach 66° 33′ S.

Days 8 – 9  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 we return to the Drake Passage.

Day 10  Disembarkation and Fly to Punta Arenas

After your week of exploration, you’ll say goodbye to the Expedition Team and disembark at King George Island.

Day 11  Depart

Say goodbye to your fellow explorers and depart for home.

Is It For Me?

An itinerary great for all ages that focuses on wildlife, scenery and education. This trip lets you discover the mysterious 7th continent for yourself; with Zodiac excursions that bring you to many different bays, channels, and landing sites each day. Options for more rigorous activities are available – i.e. hiking or kayaking – yet are not required. Below is a map of the Antarctica Express’ route (seen in yellow).

Antarctica Map - Crossing the Circle

Knowmad has vast knowledge and operations in Chile and Argentina in combination with Antarctica. We are happy to suggest and build custom and private trips pre- and post-cruise so you maximize your time and travel dollars.

Have questions? Talk to an expert: 612-315-2894

Important Info

Antarctica Travel

Costs

Inquire for current pricing, options, and available promotions.

TYPE Set Departures.

LIGHT TRIP Suitable for nearly all ages and ability levels. Activities include educational lectures, wildlife viewing, optional kayaking and camping.

DEPARTURES
Expedition 1 | January 12 – January 22, 2015.
Expedition 2 | January 25 – February 4, 2015. Sold Out!
Expedition 3 | February 12 – February 21, 2016.
Expedition 4| February 19 – February 28, 2016.

LENGTH 11 days – 10 nights            BEGIN / END Punta Arenas, Chile

Air Travel

INTERNATIONAL Airfare is not included in the land cost of our trips. You may arrange your international airfare independently, or we are happy to offer our feedback and assistance in helping you book it.

REGIONAL If booked by Knowmad Adventures, internal airfare for this trip (Santiago/Punta Arenas, Punta Arenas/Santiago) averages $530, however this is an approximation and the airfare is subject to change upon booking. If you would like to arrange your own regional flights, please consult us prior so we can verify the departure and arrival times.

What's Next?

Ready for the trip of a lifetime? Signing up is easy. Call us at 612-315-2894 or email travel@knowmadadventures.com and reserve your spot. Or simply download our registration form, fill it out, and send it back to us along with your trip deposit. Please refer to registration form for terms & conditions.

Weather & When to Go to Antarctica

Keep in mind that you cannot cruise to the Polar regions all year round. Travel is restricted to the austral spring and summer, when daylight lasts between 18 and 24 hours each day. In Antarctica this is from October to March.

From October to the beginning of December the continent is covered in snow to the water’s edge. Penguins build highways as they waddle the same path again and again, from the sea to their nests far from shore. During this period, penguins, shags and seabirds court and lay their eggs.

From December through February the snow retreats, exposing rocky headlands. Penguin chicks hatch and their parents spend endless hours feeding their hungry young.

From Mid-February to March the whales return to feed, seals haul out on the beachheads and penguins begin to molt. Antarctica is preparing for long months of darkness. Highlights for travelers are whales, red snow and fledging gentoo penguins.

Antarctica Weather

Prior to your departure, you are provided a detailed pre-trip information packet including a recommended pack list, information about the regions you’ll be visiting, suggested readings, up-to-date health information including any recommended vaccinations and more.

Accommodations

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.

Aboard the ship you will enjoy chef-prepared dishes for all meals in the Sea Adventurer’s comfortable and spacious dining area. Also aboard the ship is a bar staffed by a professional bartender, 24 hour beverage service, and a multi-purpose lounge and presentation room. Other amenities include, the Polar Library, the Polar Boutique, an exercise room, and ship-to-shore satellite communications with email, and wireless Internet access.

The Sea Adventurer offers a variety of activities including; zodiac cruising, hiking & snowshoeing, optional kayaking (additional charge) and camping using high-quality REI camping equipment (additional charge).

Quark Expeditions Antarctica

 

Yacht Specifications

Accommodations: 61 outside cabins with exterior views and en-suite facilities.

  • TV and DVD player in every cabin

 

Detailed 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 meet all passengers at the official starting point hotel, where you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about preparing for your embarkation day

Day 2 Embarkation Day

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 is approaching King George Island for your arrival. Your first glimpse of dramatic Antarctica landscapes will be from a very unique perspective, 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 Antarctic Peninsula!

Days 3 – 5 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. 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 and it won’t be long before you can tell the difference between an Adélie, gentoo or chinstrap penguin.

You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs in Pleneau Island one day, followed by a hike to a penguin rookery the next day. From the booming shot of a calving glacier at Petermann Island to the complete silence of night while camping on the ice 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.

Days 6 – 7 The Antarctic Circle

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Peninsula do not reach 66° 33′ S. You and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of champagne!

With a toast to the first explorers who ventured this far south, you can take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world still visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home to the midnight sun, Weddell seals and some of the most magical, odd ice formations seen anywhere in Antarctica.

Days 8 to 9 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 we return to the Drake Passage. You will continue to journey onto land by Zodiac twice daily as you travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula. Your Expedition Team will always be on the lookout for any species of penguins, seals and whales that may have eluded you on the journey south.

Day 10 Disembarkation and Fly to Punta Arenas

After your week 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 adventure to an end. After we transfer you from the airport to the hotel, you can enjoy a final dinner in the city to reminisce about all the sights and sounds of Antarctica.

Day 11 Depart for Home

Say goodbye to your fellow explorers and depart for home.

 

Extend Your Adventure

Patagonia

Explore Patagonia, one of the most breathtaking places on earth. Hike in Torres del Paine National Park amongst towering peaks and pristine glacial waters. You will be awe-struck by Patagonia’s rugged natural beauty, the region’s luxury accommodations and all of the exhilarating adventure opportunities. 

Let The Journey Begin

Let the Journey Begin - Knowmad Adventures

Planning a trip to South America might seem a little overwhelming at first. Knowmad offers door-to-door trip planning: first, we listen, and then we help you navigate the seasonal differences and itinerary options, resulting in a holistic, seamless, and custom-crafted experience, all at a guaranteed best value.

The simplest way to get started is to give us a call at 612-315-2894or to fill out this short form so we can learn more about your travel preferences.