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The unique Fly and Cruise format of this Antarctica itinerary offers the benefit of speed and comfort. From Punta Arenas, you will board a four-engine jet plane and and in just two hours arrive in Antarctica, where your ship will be waiting. Sail along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs, while enjoying the company of sea birds, penguins, seals and whales. Each day, Zodiac excursions will get you close to the wildlife. The goal of this expedition is to sail far south and reach the Polar Circle.
M/V Ocean Nova
7 nights premium boat
2 nights comfortable hotel
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
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.
Hotel in Punta Arenas to be confirmed
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.
M/V Ocean Nova
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.
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.
From the glass-enclosed lounge, enjoy spectacular views while sharing your daily adventures with fellow guests over a drink. The goal of the expedition is to sail far south in the attempt of reaching the Polar Circle. The expedition team sets the specific voyage route based on local conditions, and takes advantage of the ever-changing opportunities provided by nature. Flexibility will be the key to a successful voyage.
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.
Enjoy more shore landing and get acquainted with the locals ! There are three main varieties of penguin on the peninsula:- gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap and you will soon become an expert on spotting your favourite kind.
Back at King George Island, bid farewell to Antarctica as you board the flight to Punta Arenas. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel for the night.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Punta Arenas airport for your onward flight.
Polar Temperatures during Antarctic season: Min.: -15°C; Max. 12°C; Average 0°C.
2 Pin Round
Kayaking, hiking and snowshoeing - all are bookable in advance via the ship's operator.
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.
Complimentary waterproof boots will be supplied on-board. However, if you have extra small or large feet, you are advised to bringyour own. Also ensure you take good walking boots and trainers for relaxing.
One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.
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.
M/V Ocean Nova, Zodiac
The M/V Ocean Nova is a modern vessel that offers the exclusive Fly and Cruise combination. Built in Denmark in 1992 and completely rebuilt, the boat has an ice-strengthened hull ideally suited for expedition travel in Antarctica. Capacity is limited to 68 passengers, accommodated in cabins with en-suite facilities. On-board is a panoramic observation lounge and presentation room, spacious dining room, bar and library. The ship has a fleet of seven Zodiac boats that are well suited for disembarking and wildlife watching.
Prices are based on the use of outward facing, twin share cabins, situated on the upper decks. They are spacious and comfortable, with private facilities and a window. The Ocean Nova offers single, twin and triple cabins, all with en suite facilities. Call us for details on the cabin choice to fit your requirements.
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.
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 citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
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.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
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 be able to apply 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.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
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.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
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 Polar 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
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.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
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.
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.
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.