8-Day Itinerary for A Polar Adventure in Antarctica
Circumvent the Drake Passage and fly from Chile to the South Shetland Islands to make far-flung Antarctica more accessible. Explore the untamed life around the bays, beaches, and glacial walls with your Zodiac boats. The 8-day itinerary makes your trip in unfettered Antarctica a lifelong treasure.
Discover chinstrap penguins on Half Moon Island
Traverse the Lemaire Channel, populated with massive tabular icebergs, and view the hour-long sunset
Observe the waters of Paradise Harbor reflecting the coastal glaciers and snow-capped mountain peaks
Explore the varied colonies of Penguins found around Neko Harbor
Seek the distinctive types of seals on the landscape
Our private tours typically range from $500 - $1000 per person/per night depending on chosen hotels and room categories, vehicles used, types of tours, flight cost, time of year and other factors. Make an inquiry for a customized trip quote.
Day 1: Punta Arenas Arrive in Chilean Patagonia at the City of Punta Arenas
Your private guide will greet you at Presidente Carlos Ibanez del Campo International Airport and escort you to your gorgeous hotel near the heart of Southern Patagonias largest city. Punta Arenas is a jump-off point from where you can go hiking and explore the Southern depth of Antarctica.
Visit the house of Braun-Menendez sitting on the northern end of Plaza Munoz Gamero.
The house represents the city's historic status during the Wool Boom of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The house continues to host the Club de la Union and is ever-evolving with the other main sectors of the city. See the work of French architect Numa Mayer in the houses interior. Take note of the fine furniture galleries and stop by the cafe serving delicious pisco sours. Enjoy tasting traditional brandy, a staple to Chile and Peru. Spend this evening settling in and anticipate all that is about to come.
Day 2: King George Island Fly Over the Drake Passage to King George Island
After breakfast, board a flight with your private guide for King George island on the South Shetland archipelago, the largest island in the group covering an area of 440 square miles.
Your plane will lift off and carry you over the tumultuous waters of the infamous Drake Passage. Fly above the fray and land after a two-hour journey on the 4,265-foot-long runway at the Chilean base of Eduardo Frei Montalva Station. Visit one of the 15 stations on the island and later board your cruise ship. The Chilean government created the groundwork in the 1950s. The complex now houses 170 people, most of them military, and civilians are around 25 percent. The unique location of the isolated research stations will captivate you. Visit the complex of 40 buildings, including a large gymnasium that hosts a weekly tournament held between local bases. Next, you board a zodiac boat and continue to your ship for the first voyage on the small but mighty vessel.
Day 3: South Shetland Islands Visit Half Moon and Deception Islands
King George Island is well known as the Gateway to Antarctica. Pass past the gates that reveal a unique topography of mountains emerging from cold landscapes and beaches teeming with penguins. Your boat will anchor near Half Moon Island, a minor island with a surface area of 420 acres. Take a zodiac boat ride, and be on the lookout for whales. Absorb the spectacles of snow-capped mountains. The lowlands provide shelter to lichen and mosses.
Step onto the pebbled beach to hunt for 2,000 pairs of chinstrap penguins nesting on the sheltered landscape. Spot a Wedell seal lazing on the rocks away from the colony of penguins.
Day 4: Antarctic Peninsula Discover Neko Harbor Island en route to Paradise Bay
The inlet of Neko Harbor spreads across the natural contours of Andvord Bay on the west coast of Graham Land. The harbor is seven miles south of the Errera Channel and north of Paradise Bay. Your private guide will hire a kayak for you. Explore the stunning texture of the land and sea at your leisure. Come across the 250 breeding pairs of Gentoo penguins nesting in the remains of the hut built by an Argentinian expedition team decades ago. Linger in the water, watching the penguins, until you hear a thunderous clap as an iceberg begins to calve away from the glacier.
Day 5: Antarctic Peninsula Reach Paradise Harbor for a Full Day Exploration
Your boat will anchor in Paradise Bay. Mountains and glaciers reflect off the calm waters that indent Graham Land's western shore. On the site, a small shelter erected in the 1950s remembers the former Chilean excursion and the International Geophysical Year, a scientific project that initiated collaboration between the East and West during the Cold War. View the impressive channel from the quiet beach as crabeater seals relax on the snowy shoreline.
Your guide will share the curious cases of crabeater seals discovered over 60 miles from shore and nearly 3,300 feet above sea level. The mountains, in the distance, reach 3,400 feet above sea level and overlook Ferguson Channel. Venture to the summit of Mount Banck and witness the rewarding panorama over the bay.
Day 6: South Shetland Islands Search Pleneau Island for Penguins and Seals
In the morning, leave the Pleneau Island coast and Petermann Island to sail through the maze of icebergs in the Lemaire Channel. The passageway is 5,250 feet wide at its narrowest point. Paddle a kayak to the coastline to relish the tranquility of icebergs and the Gentoo penguin colony.
Be on the lookout for Southern Elephant seals with your guide. You may often spot them hauling out of the waters or onto the beaches where penguins waddle.
Later, take the kayak back to the ship, and sail back to the South Shetland Islands. While traversing the Lemaire Channel, be heedful of the Weddell seals and Adelie penguins on the coastline.
Day 7: Punta Arenas Disembark at King George Island and Fly to Punta Arenas
Disembark from the ship at the coast of King George Island. Sip coffee and savor the scenes over water. After breakfast, take a zodiac boat from the ship to shore.
Nearby, Polands Arctowski station houses 40 people and first opened in 1977. An English-language booklet with graphics illustrates a brief history of the region and walking paths heading out from the station to vast Gentoo and Adelie penguin rookeries protected by moss beds. Return to Chiles Eduardo Frei Montalva Station and board your flight to Punta Arenas.
Arrive in Punta Arenas and land at Presidente Carlos Ibanez del Campo International Airport. Your private guide will transfer you to your luxurious hotel that overlooks the Strait of Magellan. Then you are free to explore the charms of the Patagonian city at your own pace.
Day 8: Punta Arenas International Departure
In the morning, sip the famous Colombian roast coffee layered with cream, chocolate, and foam before heading to the Torres del Paine National Park. Shop for perfumes, apparel, and outdoor gear at the point of La Cruz Hill to Zona Franca, the duty-free shopping district. Check-out of the hotel. Your guide will then escort you to the airport for international departure.