Antarctica Direct: Fly the Drake Passage – 10 Day Expedition

Antarctica Direct: Fly the Drake Passage – 10 Day Expedition

From AUD $19,964


Drawing from 55+ years of sharing the icy wilds of Antarctica with adventurous guests, this action-packed voyage allows for seven days of exploration on the continent—our longest, most in-depth Antarctic experience available. Save travel time by flying directly from South America to the Antarctic peninsula, where we embark the National Geographic Orion, purpose-built for polar waters. Navigate rugged and remote shores, and set out to kayak among electric blue icebergs, hike beneath icy summits, and encounter charismatic wildlife—from boisterous penguins to stealthy leopard seals and multiple species of whale. Every departure is accompanied by an expert team of naturalists and a National Geographic Photography Expert, dedicated to helping you make the most of your experience at the ends of the Earth.

Trip Name
Antarctica Direct: Fly the Drake Passage - 10 Day Expedition
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition Length: 103 metres Passenger Capacity: 102 (in 53 cabins) Built: 2003 / Refurbished 2014 Engineered for maximum comfort and safety, Orion is equipped with the latest technology including large retractable stabilizers, sonar, radar, and an ice-strengthened hull. A shallow draft plus bow and stern thrusters provide the convenience of being able to maneuver close to shore. 14 Zodiacs ensure quick disembarkation and offer the ideal transport for up-close exploration. National Geographic Orion meets strict specifications for environmental protection and the on board waste management systems meet the stringent Antarctic operational standards enabling us to travel to the most pristine environments. A host of advanced design features and technology ensures sustainable marine environmental practices. National Geographic Orion accommodates 102 guests in 53 cabins, including several with balconies. She is spacious and modern, with a variety of public rooms that offer panoramic views of the passing landscape. Friendly and informal, Orion fosters a welcoming atmosphere where like-minded guests share in exceptional experiences and enrichment. Her public rooms include a dramatic window-lined main lounge, as well as an observation lounge and library perched at the very top of the ship, with plentiful observation decks. The spacious lounge is the heart of our expedition community, and is suited for spirited cocktail hours, informative presentations and our nightly tradition of Recap. In addition, a dedicated theater provides a unique setting for specialist presentations or films and slideshows. Both the main dining room and outside buffet easily accommodate all guests at once for open seating dining. On selected nights, weather permitting, our dining room menu is also available on the outside deck. While Orion interiors are elegant, life aboard is always casual, with no need for formal clothing. And you’ll find shipboard services like laundry, in-room cabled internet, and public-area wifi.


Day 1 - DAY 1 Puerto Natales, Chile
Arrive in Puerto Natales. Originally a small fishing port, the town is nestled on the Last Hope Sound and boasts a stunning view of the sea surrounded by the Cerro Benitez Mountains—the gateway to Torres del Paine. Transfer from the airport to our hotel. Join us this evening for dinner and a briefing on the following day’s activities. Arrival Time: Arrive to the hotel in Puerto Natales by 3:00 p.m. local time.Arrival City: Puerto Natales, ChileMeals Included: Dinner
Day 2 - DAY 2 Puerto Natales / King George Island, Antarctica / Embark Ship
Following breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport for our 2-hour direct flight to King George Island and the thrilling start to our Antarctic adventure. Home to a diverse assortment of wildlife—Weddell and elephant seals; Adelie, chinstrap, and gentoo penguins—King George Island also has a human presence. Researchers from a wide range of countries, including the U.S., Chile, Argentina, and Brazil, call the various stations home. Our flight will land at the Chilean research station where National Geographic Orion will be waiting offshore. Board Zodiacs to embark the ship and set sail as we begin exploring this amazing region. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - DAYS 3-8 Exploring Antarctica
With long hours of daylight at this time of year, we have ample opportunities to explore. Our schedule is flexible, allowing us to take advantage of the unexpected, whether we’re watching whales at play off the bow of our ship, hiking alongside penguin highways, or enjoying an evening Zodiac cruise amid porpoising penguins.While wildlife is magnificent, ice defines the Antarctic. You’ll get to know ice up close and personal—from icebergs the size of islands, bergy bits and near-vertical glaciers, to the fragile, nearly invisible layers that have just begun to freeze. One day, we might set out by kayak to encounter towering icebergs at water level; embark on a Zodiac excursion in search of seals and blue-eyed shags; or walk amid thousands of Adélie and gentoo penguins. The next, we might experience the thrill of the ship crunching through pack ice.Everywhere we go in Antarctica we’re surrounded by opportunities to capture uniquely beautiful images. Along the way your expert expedition team will enrich every experience. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - DAY 9 King George Island / Disembark Ship / Puerto Natales
This morning, the ship will be moored off of King George Island once again. Following disembarkation and Zodiac rides to shore, our flight departs the White Continent and returns to Puerto Natales where we overnight at our hotel.Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - DAY 10 Puerto Natales
Check out of our hotel and transfer to the airport to begin your journey homeward. Departure Time: Outbound flights from Puerto Natales should depart no earlier than 3:45 p.m. local time (or as late in the day as possible).Departure City: Puerto Natales, ChileMeals Included: Breakfast
Day 6 - Please note:
Itineraries are subject to change. 

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
26-12-202504-01-2026AUD $22,107Category 1
26-12-202504-01-2026AUD $24,231Category 2
26-12-202504-01-2026AUD $24,874Category 3
26-12-202504-01-2026AUD $26,494Category 4
26-12-202504-01-2026AUD $31,264Category 1 Solo
26-12-202504-01-2026AUD $32,319Category 5
26-12-202504-01-2026AUD $35,713Category 3 Solo
26-12-202504-01-2026AUD $37,063Category 6
02-01-202611-01-2026AUD $22,701Category 3
02-01-202611-01-2026AUD $24,180Category 4
02-01-202611-01-2026AUD $28,449Category 1 Solo
02-01-202611-01-2026AUD $29,413Category 5
02-01-202611-01-2026AUD $32,447Category 3 Solo
02-01-202611-01-2026AUD $33,681Category 6
02-01-202611-01-2026AUD $19,964Category 1
02-01-202611-01-2026AUD $22,123Category 2
19-01-202628-01-2026AUD $19,964Category 1
19-01-202628-01-2026AUD $22,123Category 2
19-01-202628-01-2026AUD $22,701Category 3
19-01-202628-01-2026AUD $24,180Category 4
19-01-202628-01-2026AUD $28,449Category 1 Solo
19-01-202628-01-2026AUD $29,413Category 5
19-01-202628-01-2026AUD $32,447Category 3 Solo
19-01-202628-01-2026AUD $33,681Category 6
11-02-202620-02-2026AUD $19,964Category 1
11-02-202620-02-2026AUD $22,123Category 2
11-02-202620-02-2026AUD $22,701Category 3
11-02-202620-02-2026AUD $24,180Category 4
11-02-202620-02-2026AUD $28,449Category 1 Solo
11-02-202620-02-2026AUD $29,413Category 5
11-02-202620-02-2026AUD $32,447Category 3 Solo
11-02-202620-02-2026AUD $33,681Category 6
24-02-202605-03-2026AUD $19,964Category 1
24-02-202605-03-2026AUD $22,123Category 2
24-02-202605-03-2026AUD $22,701Category 3
24-02-202605-03-2026AUD $24,180Category 4
24-02-202605-03-2026AUD $28,449Category 1 Solo
24-02-202605-03-2026AUD $29,413Category 5
24-02-202605-03-2026AUD $32,447Category 3 Solo
24-02-202605-03-2026AUD $33,681Category 6


    • Get a head start on your Antarctica experience by flying across the Drake Passage from Puerto Natales to King George Island, landing at the Chilean research station which permanently operates there
    • Spend seven days exploring the wildest corners of the continent with a top-notch team of naturalists and the most experienced polar captains in Antarctica leading the way
    • Marvel at the abundance of wildlife—a parade of gentoo, Adélie, and chinstrap penguins; stealthy leopard seals; several species of whales from humpbacks to orcas; and more
    • Hike, kayak, and Zodiac cruise in complete tranquility, surrounded by a pristine kingdom of snow and ice
    • Kids and teens will learn about this exhilarating part of the world with our exclusive family program, National Geographic Global Explorers