Antarctic Express – Fly the Drake from Punta Arenas


Antarctic Express – Fly the Drake from Punta Arenas

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This Peregrine journey takes you to one of the world’s most awe-inspiring destinations: Antarctica. Skip the often turbulent Drake Passage with return flights from Punta Arenas to King George Island. After making shore visits through the South Shetland Islands, arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula and be immediately dazzled by some of the most dramatic scenery to be found anywhere on earth. Sailing aboard your well-appointed expedition vessel, witness Antarctic nature in all its glory. These areas boast an extraordinary abundance of wildlife, including five species of seals and massive rookeries of gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins. Observe magnificent whales in close proximity as they crest the surface of waves. Weather, ice and other mitigating factors may result in changes to your itinerary and alteration to certain shore excursions.

Trip Name
Antarctic Express - Fly the Drake from Punta Arenas
Last Updated
  • Your adventure begins in the most populated city in Patagonia, Punta Arenas. There are plenty of museums, restaurants and shops to keep you entertained before embarkation
  • Flying from Punta Arenas to the South Shetland Islands is the fastest, most direct way of travelling to Antarctica, and the view over the Drake Passage is unforgettable
  • Witness penguins playing in their natural habitat at inland rookeries during daily Zodiac landings along the Antarctic Peninsula
  • On-board lectures by polar specialists provide great insight in to the history and geology of Antarctica
  • Whale spotting among icebergs is easy when you have your expedition team searching for wildlife. Daily Zodiac landings afford the group great flexibility and opportunity during your time in the Antarctic


No two Polar voyages are the same and this is part of the excitement of travelling in these remote regions. Weather, ice conditions and wildlife will all affect where your ship is able to access, and most importantly, where your Expedition Team think you will get the best possible experience from your trip. On board, daily updates are given to advise what the specific itinerary will be for the next day based on local conditions. Published itineraries cannot be guaranteed but an amazing voyage full of adventure and once-in-a-lifetime experiences is guaranteed. For fly/cruise itineraries, it is essential that you have insurance that covers for delays caused by weather. Quark Expeditions will make every effort to ensure the program takes place, but, due to weather conditions, flying in this region can be difficult and is beyond the control of Quark Expeditions. We strongly recommend that all expedition guests purchase a travel insurance policy including trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance. In the unlikely event that the charter flight is unable to fly on day 2 or day 3 due to weather delays, Quark Expeditions will provide an additional night(s) hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas. On day 4, should the charter flight not be able to take off by 1400hrs, Quark Expeditions will officially cancel the voyage and provide letters for all clients to submit to their travel insurance providers under the trip delay/interruption and cancellation clause. QUARK EXPEDITIONS AND PEREGRINE ADVENTURES WILL NOT OFFER PASSENGERS A REFUND IN THE EVENT OF TRIP CANCELLATION. QUARK EXPEDITIONS AND PEREGRINE ADVENTURES WILL NOT OFFER PASSENGERS COMPENSATION IN THE EVENT OF A DELAY. IF THE CHARTER FLIGHT IS NOT ABLE TO TAKE OFF BY 1400 HRS ON DAY 4. Quark Expeditions will make every effort to assist passengers with rebooking hotels or flights, but this will be at the cost of the passengers, and Quark Expeditions strongly recommends that all clients contact their insurance provider prior to changing any reservations. Passengers on board the ship during these delays will remain on board with no additional cost until the time in which the charter flight is able to arrange transport. Quark Expeditions advises all clients to book changeable airlines tickets along with cancellation and interruption insurance to assist with additional airline change fees. We advise all passengers to have flexible travel arrangements upon disembarkation of the voyage if delays arise. Quark Expeditions and Peregrine Adventures will not be held responsible for any change/cancellation fees due to weather related delays or any other delays arising from force majeure. FOR CANCELLATION DUE TO ALL OTHER EVENTS OF FORCE MAJEURE, THE STANDARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS SHALL APPLY.

Day 1 - Punta Arenas
Welcome to Chile. Your adventure begins in Punta Arenas, which is the most populated city in Patagonia. Please arrive by the early afternoon, so that you can be transferred from the airport to your hotel. This transfer is included in your voyage fare when arriving today only. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and shops to keep you busy. In the early afternoon your leaders will meet you at the hotel, where you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about embarkation day.
Day 2 - Punta Arenas, Fly to King George Island
In the morning take a charter-flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica, crossing the great Drake Passage in only a few hours. Your first glimpse of Antarctic landscapes will be from above, as the plane descends for landing on King George Island. On landing, stretch your legs and spend a bit of 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 Notes: Luggage allowance for the charter flight is strictly limited to 15 kg for checked baggage and 5 kg for carry on.
Day 3-6 - South Shetland Islands and Antarctica
As the ship approaches the White Continent, your captain and expedition team keep their eyes open for possible whale and seabird sightings. Over the next four days, the team of specialist lecturers aboard the ship will provide in-depth explanations of the geology, history and wildlife of the region. Your first Zodiac landing may see you walk on a beach teeming with thousands of penguins and seals, which is one of the most intimate ways to experience the unique wildlife of Antarctica. POSSIBLE LANDING SITES IN ANTARCTICA CUVERVILLE ISLAND A gentoo penguin rookery is situated on the north end of the island on a rocky beach. Depending on the time of season you arrive, you may see them building nests or attending to their chicks. Giant petrels and kelp gulls breed on the island. DAMOY POINT If you are lucky enough to mail a postcard in Antarctica, you’ll likely pass through Damoy Point, the northern entrance to the harbour on which Port Lockroy is located. DANCO ISLAND This small island, one mile (1.6 km) in length, is easy to explore and home to gentoo penguins. You can visit the marker of a former British Antarctic Survey hut and watch for a variety of seabirds such as snowy sheathbills, kelp gulls and blue-eyed shags. ENTERPRISE ISLAND Located in Wilhelmina Bay, the island was used by whalers. A Zodiac cruise around the island passes a wrecked whaling ship. LEMAIRE CHANNEL This strait runs between Booth Island and the Antarctic Peninsula; you’ll see that this is one of the most scenic locations on the western coast, especially during sunrise and sunset. The 6.8 mile-long (11 km) Channel may become impassable when ice fills the narrow passageway, so we’ll hope for clear waters. MELCHIOR ISLANDS A group of low islands in Dallmann Bay, on which you may see male fur seals haul-out at the end of the breeding season to recuperate from their battles for supremacy. NEKO HARBOUR Little evidence remains that this bay was once used by the floating whale factory ship Neko. You might see some whale vertebrae used by resident gentoo penguins as shelter from the wind. There is an unmanned refuge hut here, erected by Argentina. Climb past the hut and up a steep slope for spectacular views of the glacier-rimmed harbour. PETERMANN ISLAND Here, near the Lemaire Channel, you can stand ashore and see the southernmost breeding colony of gentoo penguins. The dome of the island rises 650 feet (200 meters) above the sea, offering a challenging hike for panoramic views. Adélie penguins, shags and south polar skuas also inhabit the island. PORT LOCKROY A ‘fun’ destination of sorts, we always strive to journey to Port Lockroy if weather permits. The harbour is on the west side of Wiencke Island. A secret base was built on the harbour during the Second World War as part of Operation Tabarin. It is now designated as a historic site, where Port Lockroy is a museum and post office. Proceeds from your purchases here support the preservation of historic sites from the Heroic Age of Exploration. WATERBOAT POINT Of historic interest, you may venture to this unique point, which at low tide is connected to the Antarctic mainland. Zodiacs are used to explore the area when the tide is in. Two scientists studying penguin behavior lived in a water boat on the Point from 1921-22. The remains of their camp have been designated an Antarctic historic site. AITCHO ISLANDS This is a group of small islands, some still unnamed, situated in the northern entrance of English Strait. You can often spot a great mix of wildlife here, with gentoo and chinstrap penguins having established rookeries. Southern elephant and fur seals are frequently hauled-out here too. BAILY HEAD Also known as Rancho Point, this area is a rocky headland on the southeastern shore of Deception Island. Chinstrap penguins build nests on slopes leading to a high ridge that dominates the natural amphitheater and provides a superb setting for landscape photography. HALF MOON ISLAND This crescent-shaped island was known to sealers as early as 1821. Unlike sealers who liked to keep their best locations secret, we’re happy to bring you ashore on this impressive island. Many Antarctic birds breed here including chinstrap penguins, shags, Wilson’s storm-petrels, kelp gulls, snowy sheathbills, Antarctic terns and skua. HANNAH POINT Macaroni, chinstrap and gentoo penguin rookeries are located on the point, which is on the south coast of Livingston Island. Due to the rather congested area available to the nesting penguins, you can only visit here from January 10 onwards. PENDULUM COVE Hot geothermal waters are found along the shoreline of this cove, named for observations made in 1829 by a British expedition. You may see yellow algae and boiled krill floating on the surface because of the scalding hot water! PENGUIN ISLAND Antarctica has two flowering plants, both of which you can find on Penguin Island: Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis. Chinstrap penguins, fur seals and southern elephant seals use the island for breeding purposes. ROBERT POINT A nice spot for Zodiac cruising, this point was known to sealers as early as 1820. Chinstrap penguins, kelp gulls and pintado breed here, and whales may be seen in the surrounding waters. TELEFON BAY Your Expedition Team will be happy to point out that it is here where the most recent evidence of volcanic eruption on Deception Island can be seen. TURRET POINT Chinstrap and Adélie penguin rookeries are found on this point, situated on the south coast of King George Island. The beaches here are often crowded with southern elephant, fur, and Weddell seals hauled-out on the rocks. WHALER’S BAY To reach Whaler’s Bay it is necessary to sail through a narrow passage called Neptune’s Bellows. The bay was used by whalers from 1906 to 1931 and is part of a protected harbour created by a circular flooded caldera, known as Deception Island. Along with waddling penguins and lounging seals, you’ll see rusting remains of whaling operations on the beach. Watch for steam that may rise from geothermally heated water springs along the shoreline. YANKEE HARBOUR Gentoo penguins have established a rookery on this harbour, situated on the southwest side of Greenwich Island. Here you can see an abandoned Argentine refuge hut and a large glacier that stretches along the east and north sides of the bay. An abandoned sealing try pot is all that remains of the activity that brought men thousands of miles in tall ships to seek their fortune. The following Optional Activities are available to participate in, on some or all of the departures of this itinerary. These must be booked in advance (additional costs apply) and space is limited. KAYAKING – Our kayaking adventures are the best way to feel at one with the sea. Taken in small groups of maximum 16 people, multiple times per voyage, kayaking adventures are only conducted during calm weather conditions. Kayaking is open to all levels of experience, however kayaking in the polar waters is not suitable for novice kayakers. Beginners interested in kayaking should first take an introductory course prior to the voyage which includes how to do a wet exit. In addition regardless of your experience, we recommend you take part in some kayaking practise prior to the voyage to ensure that you are comfortable on the water in the icy conditions.
Day 7 - Disembarkation and Flight From King George Island
After your week of exploration, bid farewell to the expedition team and disembark at King George Island. From here, it’s a three-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas. After transferring from the airport to the hotel, you’re free to explore the town and perhaps enjoy one final dinner with the group.
Day 8 - Punta Arenas
After breakfast, you’re free to continue on your own travels or make your way to the Punta Arenas airport for your flight home. There are no activities planned for the final day and you're able to depart the accommodation at any time.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
09-02-202016-02-2020AUD $ 15,800-
09-02-202016-02-2020AUD $ 24,100-
09-02-202016-02-2020AUD $ 26,900-
09-02-202016-02-2020AUD $ 24,100-
09-02-202016-02-2020AUD $ 28,100-
09-02-202016-02-2020AUD $ 29,200-
14-02-202021-02-2020AUD $ 28,100-
14-02-202021-02-2020AUD $ 29,200-
14-02-202021-02-2020AUD $ 15,800-
14-02-202021-02-2020AUD $ 24,100-
14-02-202021-02-2020AUD $ 26,900-
14-02-202021-02-2020AUD $ 24,100-
19-02-202026-02-2020AUD $ 15,800-
19-02-202026-02-2020AUD $ 24,100-
19-02-202026-02-2020AUD $ 26,900-
19-02-202026-02-2020AUD $ 24,100-
19-02-202026-02-2020AUD $ 28,100-
19-02-202026-02-2020AUD $ 29,200-
07-12-202014-12-2020AUD $ 15,800-
07-12-202014-12-2020AUD $ 18,000-
07-12-202014-12-2020AUD $ 20,300-
07-12-202014-12-2020AUD $ 18,530-
07-12-202014-12-2020AUD $ 18,000-
07-12-202014-12-2020AUD $ 19,725-
07-12-202014-12-2020AUD $ 21,375-
07-12-202014-12-2020AUD $ 24,750-
12-12-202019-12-2020AUD $ 15,800-
12-12-202019-12-2020AUD $ 18,000-
12-12-202019-12-2020AUD $ 17,255-
12-12-202019-12-2020AUD $ 18,530-
12-12-202019-12-2020AUD $ 18,000-
12-12-202019-12-2020AUD $ 19,725-
12-12-202019-12-2020AUD $ 21,375-
12-12-202019-12-2020AUD $ 24,750-
17-12-202024-12-2020AUD $ 15,800-
17-12-202024-12-2020AUD $ 18,000-
17-12-202024-12-2020AUD $ 20,300-
17-12-202024-12-2020AUD $ 21,800-
17-12-202024-12-2020AUD $ 18,000-
17-12-202024-12-2020AUD $ 19,725-
17-12-202024-12-2020AUD $ 21,375-
17-12-202024-12-2020AUD $ 24,750-
22-12-202029-12-2020AUD $ 16,500-
22-12-202029-12-2020AUD $ 18,800-
22-12-202029-12-2020AUD $ 21,000-
22-12-202029-12-2020AUD $ 23,300-
22-12-202029-12-2020AUD $ 25,500-
22-12-202029-12-2020AUD $ 20,850-
22-12-202029-12-2020AUD $ 22,500-
22-12-202029-12-2020AUD $ 24,750-
27-12-202003-01-2021AUD $ 16,500-
27-12-202003-01-2021AUD $ 18,800-
27-12-202003-01-2021AUD $ 21,000-
27-12-202003-01-2021AUD $ 23,300-
27-12-202003-01-2021AUD $ 21,675-
27-12-202003-01-2021AUD $ 23,630-
27-12-202003-01-2021AUD $ 30,000-
27-12-202003-01-2021AUD $ 28,050-
16-01-202123-01-2021AUD $ 16,500-
16-01-202123-01-2021AUD $ 18,800-
16-01-202123-01-2021AUD $ 21,000-
16-01-202123-01-2021AUD $ 23,300-
16-01-202123-01-2021AUD $ 21,675-
16-01-202123-01-2021AUD $ 23,630-
16-01-202123-01-2021AUD $ 25,500-
16-01-202123-01-2021AUD $ 33,000-
26-02-202105-03-2021AUD $ 18,800-
26-02-202105-03-2021AUD $ 27,000-
26-02-202105-03-2021AUD $ 25,500-
26-02-202105-03-2021AUD $ 30,000-
26-02-202105-03-2021AUD $ 32,300-
26-02-202105-03-2021AUD $ 34,500-


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