Book your 2024 & 2025 adventures Risk free.

Antarctica Express Air Cruise 6 Days

Select a Trip Month
Nov 23 - 28, 2024
$6,495 per person
See cabins
$6,495 per person
1 spots left
Nov 29 - Dec 04, 2024
$5,995 per person
See cabins
$5,995 per person
3 spots left
Jan 14 - 19, 2025
$4,995 per person
See cabins
$6,995 per person
1 spots left
$5,995 per person
20 spots left
$4,995 per person
1 spots left

    What's Included?

  • One-Way Flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island
    *
  • Ship Cruise as indicated in Itinerary
  • All Meals & a selection of Drinks
  • Airport Transfer (On return)
  • One Night Accommodation in Punta Arenas with Breakfast (Day 5)
  • All guided shore excursions
  • Lectures and entertainment on board
  • Comprehensive pre- and post-voyage information material
  • Loan of waterproof boots for landing in Antarctica
  • Contingency Plan
  • IAATO passenger fee


Our Antarctica Express Air Cruise is a great package for those limited on time and is one of the most cost effective ways to set foot on the 7th continent. The Cruise starts from Ushuaia, in Argentina, and takes you through the Beagle Channel enroute to the legendary Cape Horn. Continuing from Cape Horn we will cruise across the often turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. Once we reach the South Shetland Islands we will have an entire day for sailing the ice filled bays of Antarctica and you will have the opportunity to make a shore excursion to one of the Penguin colonies. On the last day in the Arctic we will reach King George Island for our flight back to Punta Arenas. The final night hotel is included in the package as well your transfer back to the airport the following morning.

*Depending on the program this may be the return flight from King George to Punta Arenas

Antarctica Express Air Cruise 6 Days Route Profile

Day 1: Ushuaia (Argentina) - Start of Antarctica Cruise

Your journey begins in Ushuaia, Argentina. Board your ship in the afternoon and sail along the Beagle Channel towards Puerto Williams, Chile, the southernmost town in the world. Explore the surroundings before setting sail to Cape Horn.

Day 2: Cape Horn and Drake Passage

After an overnight crossing of Nassau Bay, you awake in full view of legendary Cape Horn! Weather permitting, board a Zodiac and be one of the few privileged adventurers to step foot on this famous and rarely visited island. Back on board, set sail towards Antarctica and cross the famous passage named in honour of Sir Francis Drake, the great 16th century British explorer.

Day 3: Drake Passage

As you sail through the Drake Passage en route to King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands, attend an engaging program of lectures and presentations. In the company of expert guides, watch for wildlife from the lounge or from the outside decks. You may spot magnificent seabirds, such as albatrosses and petrels, as well as different species of whales on their way south to Antarctica.

Day 4: Drake Passage and Antarctica

After crossing the Antarctic Convergence, the environment changes noticeably. Keep your camera ready, as this is the time to watch for the first icebergs and the first sight of Antarctic land. Reaching the South Shetland Islands, sail in ice-filled bays, while enjoying the company of seabirds, penguins, seals and whales. Board a Zodiac for your first memorable shore visit to a penguin colony. Taking advantage of the endless Antarctic daylight, exploration will continue well into the evening.

Day 5: Antarctica and scheduled return flight to Punta Arenas

Upon reaching King George Island, disembark at Fildes Bay and explore the nearby Chilean Base Frei and the Russian Base Bellingshausen. Bid farewell to Antarctica before boarding the flight back to Punta Arenas, Chile. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. (Note: Meals in Punta Arenas are at your leisure and not included in the program).

Day 6: Departure Day

After breakfast, transfer to the Punta Arenas airport for your onward flight.

    Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Accommodation in Ushuaia
  • Dinner in Punta Arenas
  • Beverages purchased at the ship's bar
  • Personal insurance
  • Extra expenses (communication, laundry, souvenirs, etc.)
  • Gratuities
  • Visas
At Patagoniahero, we love to trek!

FAQ

The Basics?
Why Choose PatagoniaHero?

It's always best to book with a local company that is directly involved in setting up your tours. PatagoniaHero specializes in organizing trips across Chile and to Antarctica and our main office is in Santiago Chile. All of our representatives have travelled and trekked in Patagonia and are familiar with all aspects of the trips to Antarctica. We offer cruises to Antarctica in partnership with Antarctica21 who facilitates the operations. All cruises are on small ships so you can be assured that you'll get less time waiting, and more time exploring with fast and efficient embarkation and disembarkation.

We have a high staff to traveller ratio, meaning you'll be well taken care of by a well-staffed team of passionate and engaging veteran Antarctic aircraft pilots, experienced sea captains, an international team of polar guides and academics, and a team of seasoned travel professionals. Our Antarctic Air-Cruises aim to strike that perfect balance between exploration and comfort. Every expedition is uniquely crafted and personalized to give you the best adventure possible. You can contact us anytime, 24 hours a day 7 days a week and we will provide a quick and knowledgeable response. Adventure is our passion and we’re excited to help you plan yours. (Meet The Team)

What is the best season for visiting the Antarctic?

Due to the cold and unyielding nature of the Antarctic there is only one season in which we run air-cruises, the austral Summer (End of November to Early March). During this time daytime temperatures on the peninsula can reach upwards of 10 C or 50 F. During this time the continent receives nearly 24 hours of daylight. If you are looking to do some excellent whale watching, February is the best time to go.

Are all your departures guaranteed?

Yes, but keep in mind that weather conditions are unpredictable and that safety is always our paramount concern. As such, while it is not likely, delays and cancellations can happen. Fortunately we have a comprehensive contingency plan in place in case of any unexpected changes to the trip. (See the details)

How long in advance should bookings be made?

Spots on the Antarctica Air Cruises are competitive and can sell out well in advance of the season. As space is limited bookings should be as far in advance as possible, and at least 120 days in advance of the departure date. If you have a limited travel window for the season please contact us early to discuss options.

If a reservation is made less than 120 days prior to the departure date, the total cost of the tour is due at once, as is the Participation Form. Failure to comply with any of these requirements will result in cancellation and withholding the return of all payments received.

What is the Expedition Language?

The official expedition language of our Air-Cruises is English. The voyage will take travellers to remote destinations where communication with our polar guides is essential. In the interest of safety and for the enjoyment of the experience we strongly recommend that travellers who do not understand English are accompanied by someone who does, such as a friend, a family member, or a Tour Leader.

Who can go?
What are the age limits for Antarctic Cruises?

Children as young as 8 years old may participate if accompanied by a responsible adult. A 5% discount is offered for children aged 8-12. Participants 75 years of age and older must submit a medical certificate.

What physical criteria will ensure I'm fit enough?

Our air-cruise expeditions are suitable for adventurous travellers who enjoy full mobility and reasonably good health. Participants should understand that there are certain known and unknown hazards involved in Antarctic voyages. Guests are travelling to remote areas without sophisticated medical facilities. If you do have prescriptions make sure to bring sufficient quantity. And if you have any questions on specific health related issues please ask us.

What are the visa requirements to visit Antarctica?

As no one owns the Antarctic continent, a visa is not required. Chile and Argentina both have specific requirements. Please read our blog post: Getting to Antarctica.

What about visas for Chile and/or Argentina?

Most nations do not require a visa to enter Chile or Argentina. However, in Chile Australians will need to pay a reciprocity fee of $117 USD and Nationals of Mexico need to pay a reciprocity fee of $23 USD. A valid passport and return ticket is required regardless of whether or not you’re required to obtain a visa. Please always check with your local consulate before traveling as visa requirements can change. Please read our blog post: Getting to Antarctica.

Payments & Extra Costs
What extra costs can I expect?

Extra expenses not included in the package are: accommodation, meals, excursions and transfers other than those included in the inclusions listed on the package and/or are as applicable with the Contingency Plan corresponding to each voyage, beverages purchased at the ship’s bar, personal travel insurance, wifi, laundry, souvenirs, gratuities, visas for Chile and/or Argentina, passport expenses, and any arrival and/or departure tax, if applicable.

What about solo travelers?

Solo travellers can book a single cabin at no additional cost. However if a solo traveler wants a higher level of accommodation an 85%-100% supplement will be added to their rate unless they elect to share with another passenger of the same gender, whom we will pair you with. There is also a single Hotel Room Supplement that varies based on the departure selected. Please inquire at time of reservation.

What extra activities or options exist?

Our Air-Cruises offer two excellent extra activities for passengers: Sea Kayaking, and Snowshoeing which you can learn more about by clicking on their respective links.

How does payment work?

A deposit of $1,500 to $2,500 USD per person (amount depends on the cruise) is made at the time of booking and can be paid by either by wire transfer or by major credit card (3% fee). The balance for the full payment should be made 150 days prior to arrival by wire transfer.

What about cancellations?

If you cancel the cruise 180 days or more before arrival we charge a $750 fee per/person. Cancellations made closer to the cruise date are subject to higher fees (Please see details).

Preparation & Packing
What are the next steps once I pay the deposit?

After paying your deposit of $1,500 to $2500 USD per person (amount depends on the cruise), you must fill out the participation form and pay the full balance 150 days prior to departure.

What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain a policy?

We require participants to be adequately covered by a travel insurance policy that covers aero-medical evacuation from Antarctica as a result of a medical emergency during the trips, including emergencies related to pre-existing health conditions. We also urge participants to obtain trip cancellation and interruption insurance as well as a luggage insurance policy that covers the cost of repairs or replacement in case their luggage is damaged.

What should I pack for my trip?

We have a complete Downloadable Packing List or if you want more details visit our blog post on Packing for Antarctic Cruises.

Do you rent any of the required gear?

We do not rent any required gear, though we do supply you with a pair of thermal rubber boots before arriving in Antarctica, and if you book the Sea Kayaking or Snowshoeing expedition we will supply you with the necessary equipment.

What about weight limits?

The maximum weight allowed on the flights to and from Antarctica is 20 kg (44 Lb.) 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.

Can I leave luggage in at the hotel during the cruise?

For Classic Antarctica and Polar Circle Air-Cruises, excess luggage will be kept in custody in Punta Arenas and will be handed over to travellers upon their return from Antarctica. The Antarctica Express Air-Cruise starts in Ushuaia and ends in Puenta Arenas so all luggage must be taken. Excess luggage for the Antarctica Express Air-Cruise will be disembarked at Port Williams and will be sent to Punta Arenas by air cargo at the traveller's expense. It will be available for pick up in Punta Arenas upon the traveller's return from Antarctica.

Arrival & Visas
Will somebody come to pick me up at the airport upon my arrival?

Yes. Airport and hotel transfers are included in the package and one of our representatives will be there to pick you up when you arrive.

Can I get the visa for Chile on arrival at the airport?

Please check the Chilean Visa Website for current regulations (click here).

What sort of hotel can I expect in Punta Arenas?

The hotel we typically use is the Cabo de Hornos Hotel, a modern and comfortable hotel in the historic town of Punta Arenas offering free breakfast, wifi, a fitness lounge, quest laundry and dry cleaning facility, restaurant and bar.

What about arranging extra hotel nights?

We offer a hotel and transfer package in which we can arrange an additional night for you ensuring your same room. Included in the package is also a dedicated group airport transfer, breakfast, and a drink voucher. The pricing for this package is $295 USD for single accommodation $185 USD for double accommodation and $165 USD for triple accommodation.

Room and Board
What kind of accommodation is there on the cruise?

We run three different ships; The Magellan Explorer which offers 7 different levels of accommodation, the Ocean Nova which has 3 different levels of accommodation, and the Hebridean Sky which boasts 8 different kinds of accommodation. Regardless of level, each cabin has its own private bathroom with a shower, window, individually controlled heating system, wardrobe or dresser, and depending on the ship many even have their own private balconies and/or sitting areas. You can find additional information about the different rooms and ships offered in our blog post Choosing Your Antarctic Cruise Ship

Is there a possibility of getting a private room on the cruise?

Yes. Each of our ships offers a number of dedicated Antarctica cruise single cabins, giving solo travellers the best value for single accommodation.

What kinds of meals are offered on the cruise?

On board, you'll enjoy a generous buffet breakfast and lunch each day. These buffets provide a wide variety of food options to accommodate nearly any dietary restrictions or preferences, if you have any questions or special requests, please let us know.

When the weather and the trip schedule allow, you may also enjoy a BBQ lunch on deck, so you can take in Antarctica's fresh air and beauty while dining. Dinners consist of a three-course plated meal, including soup or salad, a main course, and a dessert, paired with great wine selections. Some main course options include a grilled tuna steak, oven-roasted valley duck, breaded and fried pork escalope, oven-roasted rack of lamb or wild garlic ravioli. Dessert options include meringue nest, tiramisu, coconut pudding, cheesecake crumble, and even ice cream. You can also enjoy afternoon tea and snacks in the lounge.

What about drinks and beverages?

There is a selection of water, coffee, tea, and juices available throughout the day. Lunch and dinner are accompanied by a selection of twelve premium Chilean wines, paired to on the main courses available on any given day. Also served are Chilean and International beer brands and a variety of soft drinks.

Can you accommodate vegetarian or other special diets?

Our experienced onboard culinary team can cater to almost any dietary restriction (except, Kosher and Vegan, unfortunately). If you have any food allergies please be sure to include this information on your trip participation form upon reservation so the team on board can take great care of you.

What type of adapter might I need?

The Magellan Explorer is outfitted with combo Euro-American electrical outlets with a USB port. Electric outlets on board the Ocean Nova are 220V/50Hz, and are equipped with a standard 2-prong plug or Euro-Plug. Electric outlets on board the Hebridean Sky are 110V/50Hz, and are equipped with standard U.S. two-pin system (type B). Please bring with you the necessary converters and adapters based on this information.

What about wifi or phone calls?

Satellite internet service available at a charge and accessible wirelessly throughout the Magellan Explorer. Aboard the Ocean Nova you can buy an Internet Card with 1 GB with a Speed of 512 kb and a 1 hour hard disconnect for $49.00, a VOIP Phone for $20.00 allowing 60 min to the USA and a little less to other countries or an Iridium Card allowing for 45 min. Email can be purchased as well with a setup fee of $12. The Hebridean Sky wifi cost is 45 USD (500m) & 90 USD (1gb).

What are the Toilet facilities on board?

Each room on board comes with its own private bathroom and shower.

Is it possible to do laundry?

There are no facilities aboard the ship to do laundry. However, the hotel does have a guest laundry room.

Health and safety
What safety procedures are in place?

Safety is paramount to us, and as such, not only do we have a team of experienced expeditioners and professionals evaluating conditions each day to make for the safest and most enjoyable experience, there is also a mandatory safety and guidelines briefing on Day 1 of the itinerary. There is also a basic medical clinic aboard each vessel, lifeboats, and several safety measures and plans put into place.

What about sun protection?

The white snowy landscape of the antarctic reflects the sun's bright UV rays so it's important to bring sunscreen with a high SPF, lip balm with SPF and polarized sunglasses.

What happens if I get sick or injured during the cruise?

In the case of a medical problem arising during the tour, including those related to pre-existing conditions, which results in costs for evacuation or repatriation, the responsibility for payment of these costs belongs solely to the passenger. We require that such eventualities are covered by travel insurance. If not covered by travel insurance, the responsibility still remains with the passenger.

How cold does it get?

The average temperature in the Antarctic Peninsula during the summer is about 0°C (32°F), though it can at times feel a lower due to the wind chill factor.

What sort of footwear is recommended?

Because most landings are “wet landings” you’ll want knee-high water boots on excursions. We will provide you with these, a pair of thermal rubber boots, before arriving in Antarctica. You’ll want to bring your own comfortable shoes as well for lounging onboard the ship.

What immunizations will I need?

There are no required immunizations however all travellers should be up to date on their routine vaccinations such as hepatitis A and B, typhoid, influenza, etc. Check with your doctor to make sure you're up to date.

Practical Matters
What happens if the flights to or from Antarctica are delayed?

If the outbound flight to Antarctica is delayed the group will remain in Punta Arenas until there’s an improvement in the weather. During this time we will take care of accommodation at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar, meals, and guided excursions to local attractions. If by 2 PM on Day 4 of the itinerary it is still impossible to fly to Antarctica, the trip will be interrupted and the cruise fare will be refunded. If the return flight to Punta Arenas is delayed the group will remain in Antarctica and wait for the opportunity to fly to Punta Arenas. In the extremely unlikely event that the delay exceeds 2 days and the weather forecast indicates the impossibility to fly over several more days, the captain of the vessel may decide to sail back to South America. Included are meals and accommodation on the ship, and local excursions. Travellers are responsible for any expenses associated with the rescheduling of their airline tickets or onward travel plans which is why we suggest some cushion days before and after your cruise.

What is our contingency plan?

We have several contingency plans in place, such as the two outlined in the above “What happens if flights to or from Antarctica are delayed?” Also in some cases it may be necessary to move the Antarctic flight forward to the afternoon or evening of Day 1 of the itinerary. This will result in early departure from Punta Arenas and early arrival in Antarctica. In some cases when the forecast suggests the likelihood of unfavourable weather conditions in Antarctica persisting for several days, the flight back to Punta Arenas may be moved forward to the previous evening as a way to avoid a protracted delay in Antarctica. Accommodation at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar is included upon arrival. All other inclusions will remain as per the original itinerary. (See more details)

How much money should I bring along?

We suggest you bring enough money to take care of any accommodation, meals, excursions and transfers other than those included in the itinerary, beverages purchased at the ship’s bar, wifi, laundry, souvenirs, gratuities, and any other additional extra expenses.

What about tips for the staff?

$15 USD per person per day is suggested.

Do you have any extra charges for solo travelers?

In general no as long as you are willing to share your cabin. If a solo traveller wanted to book accommodation other than a single cabin, and they didn’t want to be roomed with another person, they would be required to pay a supplement depending on the desired room type. There is also a single Hotel Room Supplement that varies based on the departure selected. Please inquire at time of reservation.

What is your cancellation policy? How about other terms and conditions?

Please review current policies on our terms of service page. If the full payment and participation form is not received 120 days before the departure date, we reserve the right to cancel the booking and withhold return of all payments received. We reserve the right to cancel a tour prior to the scheduled date of departure for any reason whatsoever, and in this event a full refund will be given. You must plan to arrive with a flight that is scheduled to land in Punta Arenas no later than 2 PM on Day 1 of the itinerary. Travellers who miss the 2 PM arrival deadline will be considered “no-show”. They will not be able to participate in the expedition and will receive no refund. Protect your travel investment by building some buffer in your travel plans in case of problems with luggage delivery, flight delays etc. In case your flight into Punta Arenas is delayed for reasons beyond your control, we will do everything possible to accommodate your late arrival. However we cannot assume any responsibility for any resulting complications, including your inability to join the expedition. We recommend you purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance policy to cover this risk.

I would like to extend my holiday in Chile, any recommendations?

We at PatagoniaHero offer several amazing treks and tours in Chile. In particular we have some excellent tours that will give you a chance to experience a slice of the culture and you can view those here: Tours In Patagonia