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Antarctica and South Georgia - Fly and Cruise - M/V Magellan Explorer
16 days
Antarctica, Chile - Trip code MEAS

Antarctica and South Georgia - Fly and Cruise - M/V Magellan Explorer

Fly to Antarctica and re-trace the route of the early explorers...
Travel to the extremes of the Southern Hemisphere in the footsteps of explorer Ernest Shackleton. Enjoy views of spectacular mountains, towering icebergs, and abundant wildlife in Antarctica and in South Georgia. The unique Fly and Cruise format of this itinerary offers the benefit of speed and comfort. Instead of spending multiple days sailing from South America, across the notorious Drake Passage - renowned for its stormy waters, you will board a four-engine jet and in just about two hours arrive in Antarctica, where your ship will be waiting.

Trip highlights

  • Fly to Antarctica - maximising your time on the White Continent and with the wildlife
  • Explore the South Shetland Islands - enjoy its surrounding ice-choked waterways
  • Incredible wildlife - see penguins, seals and sea birds up-close on land and from your Zodiac
  • Visit an array of islands - on the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Follow in the footsteps of Shackleton - enjoy the abundant wildlife on South Georgia
  • See King penguins - soak up the surroundings of the vast King penguin colonies
Accommodation grade:
Premium
Our premium accommodation is hand-picked and chosen for its character, location or local importance. These properties have excellent facilities and a higher level of comfort and service. They provide the perfect wind down after an active day.
Trip pace:
Relaxed
You can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences on these Relaxed pace tours, with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings, but still come home feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Arrive Punta Arenas

Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile, where you are welcomed and transferred to your hotel. You should plan to be in Punta Arenas at 14:00 hours, at the latest. Later, gather for a welcome dinner and meet your fellow adventurers while enjoying a typical regional menu.

Accommodation: Hotel in Punta Arenas to be confirmed(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Dinner
Day 2 - Fly to King George Island

Your Antarctic adventure begins with a two-hour flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands. As you exit the airplane, the clear Antarctic air fills your lungs for the first time. Explore the area surrounding Chile's Frei Station and Russia's Bellingshausen station, before boarding a Zodiac to embark your expedition vessel.

Accommodation: M/V Magellan Explorer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 3 - Explore the Antarctic Peninsula

Sail along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs, while enjoying the company of sea birds, penguins, seals and whales. Visit the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, disembarking by Zodiac each day. In small groups, hike to extraordinary sites and take part in exploratory Zodiac excursions to otherwise inaccessible areas.

Accommodation: M/V Magellan Explorer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 4 - Explore the Antarctic Peninsula

Expert polar guides share their passion for Antarctica through an engaging program of illustrated presentations, and lead you ashore to interpret the wildlife, history and many wonders of the Antarctic environment.

Accommodation: M/V Magellan Explorer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 5 - Explore the Antarctic Peninsula

Your expedition may include visits to sites such as Port Lockroy, where you can send a postcard home ! Other stops may include:- Petermann Island, Paradise Bay, the Lemaire Channel or Prospect Point. Each voyage is unique and each is crafted to provide the best possible overview of the varied Antarctic environment. You will spend time on and off shore - boarding Zodiacs to enjoy the various rookeries or simply, cruising amidst the ice floes and dramatic shapes, carved by the sea. This truly is a magical wilderness and no two voyages are the same, flexibility is key to any successful voyage and the Expedition team will set the voyage route, while taking advantage of the ever-changing opportunities that nature provides during your visit.

Accommodation: M/V Magellan Explorer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 6 - Elephant Island

Sailing north, we hope to stop at Elephant Island. It was here that the crew of Shackleton's Endurance found refuge while he and five handpicked men carried on to South Georgia. While the stormy conditions of this area rarely allow a shore landing, you will see the island from the ship.

Accommodation: M/V Magellan Explorer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 7 - Sailing to South Georgia

As we sail northward, our historian and our naturalists offer a series of presentations. There is time to socialise in the ship's lounge, while keeping an eye out for the region's abundant birdlife.

Accommodation: M/V Magellan Explorer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 8 - Sailing to South Georgia

More time at sea to prepare for your upcoming landings on magnificent South Georgia. The briefings on board will guide you through the endemic wildlife and the incredible history of the region.

Accommodation: M/V Magellan Explorer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 9 - South Georgia

The island of South Georgia is a diverse landscape of majestic mountains, massive glaciers, grassy uplands and deep fjords. Over the next three days, there will be plenty of opportunity to uncover all that the island has to offer, including the wildlife havens of Salisbury Plain and St Andrew's Bay, where Kings can be seen in their thousands.

Accommodation: M/V Magellan Explorer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 10 - South Georgia

South Georgia is steeped in polar history and you will be able to visit the former whaling outpost of Grytviken, where you may pay your respects at the simple grave of Ernest Shackleton. At Cooper Island, the nesting home of thousands of black-browed albatrosses, see a large colony of macaroni penguins. If the weather is favourable, visits are also planned at Fortuna Bay, Salisbury Plains, Prion Island, and Elsehul Bay.

Accommodation: M/V Magellan Explorer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 11 - South Georgia

This isolated island also supports substancial populations of fur and elephant seals which can be seen hauling out onto the beach. The wildlife found here will certainly not disappoint and for those who like to spend their time behind the lens, South Georgia is often referred to as a photographer's paradise and you will very quickly understand why !

Accommodation: M/V Magellan Explorer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 12 - Sail to Ushuaia

As the ship heads towards South America, you will have plenty of time to reflect on the past few days spent in this incredible wilderness.

Accommodation: M/V Magellan Explorer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 13 - At Sea

During the days at sea, the program of presentations will continue, further enhancing your knowledge and understanding of this region.

Accommodation: M/V Magellan Explorer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 14 - At Sea

As the ship edges closer to Ushuaia, enjoy the company of your fellow expeditioners. Spend time out on deck spotting marine wildlife or make use of the time in the ship's presentaion room, editing the photos from your fabulous trip.

Accommodation: M/V Magellan Explorer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 15 - Beagle Channel

Today, you will sail along the Beagle Channel. Take in the beauty of Tierra del Fuego and Navarino Island, as you make your way into Ushuaia.

Accommodation: M/V Magellan Explorer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 16 - Tour ends Ushuaia

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Polar information

Ship information
The MV Magellan Explorer is a new and modern expedition vessel, custom-built for Antarctic air-cruises. She was built in Chile to the latest Polar Code specifications and carries a Polar Class 6 ice-class. Due to start service in the 2019 Antarctic season, the ship accommodates 69 passengers in seven categories of accommodation, including dedicated single cabins. All cabins have a wardrobe, individually controlled heating system, a sitting area and a private bathroom with shower. Most cabins, with the exception of porthole cabins, also have a balcony. The ship features a glass-enclosed observation lounge and presentation room with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, a spacious and stylish dining room, well-stocked bar, a library, gym and sauna. The forward-facing observation deck leads to the bow of the ship and offers a fantastic viewpoint, from which to observe the passing marine wildlife.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 15
  • Lunch: 14
  • Dinner: 15
Transport
  • M/V Magellan Explorer
  • Zodiac
Trip staff
  • Expedition Crew
  • Naturalist(s)
Accommodation
  • 28 nights premium boat
  • 1 nights standard hotel

Trip information

Country information

Antarctica

Climate

Polar Temperatures during Antarctic season: Min.: -15°C; Max. 12°C; Average 0°C.

Time difference to GMT

-3

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Chile

Climate

The best time to visit is spring (Sept-Nov) and autumn (March- April). Between June and September the heat in the northern part of the country is less intense. Remember rain can fall at any time of the year and the weather is changeable in the mountains. Easter Island has a tropical climate so is likely to be quite hot and humid. It can also rain there in the evenings and become chilly.

Time difference to GMT

-4

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Predominantly Roman Catholic.

Language

Spanish, Aymara, Rapanui.

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


Kayaking is bookable in advance via the ship's operator. The hiking and snowshoeing program is a small-group experience limited to a maximum of 12 participants, led by a Mountain Guide. This optional excursion is offered and organised on board by the ship operator.

Clothing


Dress on board is informal. Pack comfortable, casual clothing for all activities. Wind and waterproof outer layers are essential, and themost important piece of clothing you will bring is a parka. Beware of tight clothing that leaves no room for trapped air, which is an excellent insulator. Wool, silk and some of the new synthetic fibres, like polar fleece, retain heat better than cotton.
Parkas
You should look for a lightweight, roomy, wind and water-resistant parka with some insulation. Bright colors are more visible - and thus safer - in polar environments.
Gloves
Keeping your hands warm and dry can be a challenge. Thin polypropylene gloves can be worn underneath warm outergloves. This allows you some protection from the cold when removing your gloves to operate your camera etc. We strongly recommend that you bring more than one pair of gloves, in case one gets wet (or lost).
Hat/Cap
Warm, woollen hat/cap to protect your ears, as well as a scarf, neck gaiter or other face protection, such as a balaclava.
Trousers
Water-resistant trousers of coated nylon or, even better, Gore-Tex® are essential for your comfort. They can be worn over your regular clothes to keep you warm and dry. We suggest that you purchase trousers a few sizes larger than you normally wear as you will be wearing them over other clothing. Gore-Tex® or similar fabrics are excellent for keeping out wind and water without trapping excess heat. Rain gear and Gore-Tex® products can be found in any outdoor sport clothing store. In addition to your waterproof trousers, warm ski pants are suggested if you have them. Warm trousers such as jeans, corduroys etc are also good.
Socks
Warm wool socks worn over a thin pair of silk, polypropylene socks should provide enough warmth and insulation for your feet. Bring several pairs of socks, since you will inevitably get your feet wet.
Outer Clothing
Woollen, knit or cotton sweaters/tops, polar fleece tops (medium weight), several cotton turtlenecks and T-shirts for layering on and off the ship.
Underclothing
Thermal underwear is highly recommended as it will keep you warm without adding bulk. Most polar travellers prefer a lightweight version.

Footwear

As most landings in Antarctica are wet landings, the best footwear is knee-high waterproof boots. You will not need to carry them with you, as you will be provided with a pair of thermal rubber boots to use, before arriving in Antarctica. Ensure you take some comfortable shoes or trainers for relaxing in whilst on board.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

The maximum weight allowed on the flights to and from Antarctica is 20 kg (44 lbs) per passenger, including hand luggage. The baggage weight limit is a technical requirement imposed by the flight operation. Unfortunately, it is not possible to purchase extra allowance. Note that at certain points during the expedition you will be required to handle your own luggage.


Equipment

Sunglasses and sun cream
Personal toiletries
A refilllable water bottle
Books/reading material
Camera and memory cards (and something to protect the camera when out in the elements)
Seasickness remedy
Walking poles
A hairdryer is available in each cabin.

Tipping

Local crew
Tipping is collected at the end of the voyage and is divided among the crew. Tipping is a very personal matter and the amount you wish to give is at your discretion, but as a generally guideline, we suggest US$12 per person per day.
International Departure Taxes
Airport Departure Tax - USD $5.00 from Ushuaia, USD $18.00 from Buenos Aires
Country Information

Antarctica

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Foreign Exchange
Recommended Currency For Exchange
A combination of US dollars cash and cards is best. It is advisable to take a minimum of US$200-500 of your total spending money in cash, in mixed denominations (notes should be in good condition).
Where To Exchange
Banks or Forex offices in major cities.
ATM Availability
Cash can be drawn on credit or debit cards from ATMs in major cities
Credit Card Acceptance
Credit cards are useful and can be used in many places, but may be subject to a service charge. The ship accepts Visa and Mastercard.
Travellers Cheques
Travellers Cheques can be difficult to exchange and are not accepted aboard.

Chile

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£13
Dinner price
£20
Beer price
£3.00 - 4.00
Water price
£2
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Peso.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Carry all your funds in US cash NOT Sterling. We recommend to take a minimum of US$400-$500 of your total spending money in cash for your tour, in mixed denominations. Notes should be in good condition otherwise they might be difficult to exchange.
Where To Exchange
Tour Leader will advise on arrival
ATM Availability
Available in Major towns. Always have some cash as back-up as they are not always reliable
Credit Card Acceptance
Credit cards are useful and can be used in many places, but may be subject to a service charge.
Travellers Cheques
Travellers' Cheques can be awkward or expensive to change

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

M/V Magellan Explorer, Zodiac

Ship description

The MV Magellan Explorer is a new and modern expedition vessel, custom-built for Antarctic air-cruises. She was built in Chile to the latest Polar Code specifications and carries a Polar Class 6 ice-class. Due to start service in the 2019 Antarctic season, the ship accommodates 69 passengers in seven categories of accommodation, including dedicated single cabins. All cabins have a wardrobe, individually controlled heating system, a sitting area and a private bathroom with shower. Most cabins, with the exception of porthole cabins, also have a balcony. The ship features a glass-enclosed observation lounge and presentation room with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, a spacious and stylish dining room, well-stocked bar, a library, gym and sauna. The forward-facing observation deck leads to the bow of the ship and offers a fantastic viewpoint, from which to observe the passing marine wildlife.

Cabins

Prices are based on the use of outward facing, twin share Porthole Cabins. They are spacious and comfortable, with private facilities and a porthole. The MV Magellan Explorer offers single, twin/doubles and triple suites, all with en suite facilities. Call us for further details of cabin choices and we will talk you through the options.

Ship dining

Daily buffet breakfast and lunch are served on board the ship, offering a wide choice of dishes. For dinner, you will be offered a choice of three main courses. Wine, beer, juice and soft drinks are served with lunch and dinner and are included in the cost of the trip. Complimentary coffee, tea, hot chocolate, water and snacks are available throughout the day.

Essential Information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related issues with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.

USA (If flights transit): you will need to apply for an ESTA if you are transiting the USA as you will have to disembark and clear immigration before re-boarding for the onward flight.

Citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and passport holders from several EU countries can enter the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) - where you apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), which applies if you enter the country by sea or by air. This must be done on line - https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov no later than 72 hours prior to travel.
Travellers who have not registered before their trip are likely be refused boarding. When completing an application for transit you should enter the words 'In Transit' with your final destination location in the address line

You must have an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner. UK passports which are biometric feature a small gold symbol (camera) at the bottom of the front cover.

If you have visited Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan in the past five years or are dual nationals of these countries, you cannot travel under the Visa Waiver Programme. Instead you will need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. If you are unable to provide a valid visa before boarding flights to the US, or entering via another method, you may not be permitted to travel.

For further information please check out the US embassy website.
Visa applications - http://london.usembassy.gov/niv/apply.html



If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Antarctica

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Chile

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A. Please consult your travel clinic for the latest advice on Malaria, Dengue Fever and Zika Virus. Please take preventative measures to avoid mosquito bites - these include mosquito repellent as well as long trousers and long sleeve shirts to cover up when necessary. Please note many countries in Central America, South America and the Caribbean require a yellow fever vaccination certificates if travelling from infected areas. A detailed list of these countries can be found on the NaTHNaC website - http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries. Also on the NaTHNaC site there is a list of Countries (and specific areas within a country) which are at risk of infection and a vaccination is therefore recommended. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Dates, prices and booking

Date
Price from
Sunday 1 March 2020 - Monday 16 March 2020
MEAS_2020
From £11750
Single room option
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Punta Arenas
Time and place
14:00 at
Ending Point
Town
Ushuaia
Time
09:00
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes

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