Since the advent of holidays to Antarctica, the only viable way of getting there from Argentina was by sailing for up to two days across the Drake Passage. Not any more. It is now possible to reach the great white continent by flying from Punta Arenas in Chile to King George Island just off the coast of Antarctica.
Fly to and from Antarctica
If you are short on time or simply aren’t that keen on long journeys in the open sea, reaching Antarctica – one of the most remote places on Earth – probably hasn’t seemed like a possibility. It can take up to two days to cross from Ushuaia to Antarctica across the notorious waters of the Drake Passage. While for some people this is all part of the Antarctic adventure, for others it can be a daunting prospect. Our Classic Antarctica Fly and Cruise (7 days) and Polar Circle – Fly and Cruise (9 days) polar adventures provide the perfect answer.
Your journey time across the Drake Passage is cut from two days to about two hours using a flight which goes direct from Punta Arenas in Chile to King George Island, which sits just off the Antarctic Peninsula. Here you will board the M/V Ocean Nova and spend time exploring the South Shetland Islands and along the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Zodiac inflatable boats are used for shore landings where you can walk amongst busy colonies of Gentoo and chinstrap penguins and see Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals hauled up on the beaches. You’ll also visit the historical scientific research station at Port Lockroy and the shores of Deception Island where the beach is scattered with structures and artefacts from the whaling industry. Once you’ve completed your Antarctic journey, you will return to King George Island for your flight back to Punta Arenas where you have the option to continue your travels or return home.
Sail to Antarctica and fly back
If you’d like the best of both worlds – a short flight in one direction and a sea crossing in the other – then take a look at our Antarctica Express – Fly and Cruise voyage. The flight leg saves you time but sailing across the Drake Passage gives you more time to enjoy on-board lectures from the ship’s polar experts, as well as giving you bragging rights when you get home!