Answer the call of Antarctica by flying over the notorious Drake Passage by charter plane to land at King George Island before exploring the Antarctic Peninsula by ship. In just 8 adventure-packed days, you’ll experience rewarding shore visits and Zodiac cruises, marvel at intimate wildlife encounters, explore historic sites and make the most of your landmark visit to the 7th Continent. Select from a range of adventure options and onboard activities that match your personal interests and make your expedition uniquely yours.
Your adventure begins in Punta Arenas, Chile, the most populated city in southern Patagonia. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and shops to keep you busy for days. By early afternoon, a Quark Expeditions® representative will meet you at the official starting point hotel, where you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about preparing for your embarkation day.
Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica will have you crossing the legendary Drake Passage in only two hours. Far below, the ship will approach King George Island for your arrival. Your first glimpse of dramatic Antarctic landscapes will be from a unique perspective, as your plane descends for landing in the South Shetland Islands. After landing, stretch your legs with a one-mile (1.6 km) walk to the shore, before being transferred by Zodiac to your ship to set sail for the Antarctic Peninsula!
There are few places in the world as evocative as Antarctica. As your ship approaches the White Continent, you may be overcome by feelings of excitement and awe. Antarctica is indescribable and can only be fully appreciated through your own eyes.
As your Captain and Expedition Team keep a lookout for whales and seabirds, you’ll be alerted to any new sightings. Our team of expert presenters will deepen your experience with explanations of the glaciology, history and wildlife of the region.
Even more exciting are your daily excursions. Your first Zodiac landing is something you’ll never forget! Walking on a beach dotted with penguins is the most intimate way to experience the unique wildlife of Antarctica.
Each landing is different and is dependent on weather, but every day presents new sightings and photo opportunities, and it won’t be long before you can tell the difference between an Adélie, gentoo and chinstrap penguin.
You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs one day, followed by a hike to a penguin rookery the next day. From the booming sound of a calving glacier to the thrill of spotting apex predators like leopard seals and orcas in action, you’ll wake up early and welcome each day with a sense of adventure and a desire to explore during this unrivaled travel experience.
Your Expedition Team will accompany you all along the way, providing insights into the places you visit.
After your week of exploration, you’ll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and disembark at King George Island. Your two-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile, brings your adventure to an end. After your group transfer to the hotel, you are free to explore and enjoy an evening on your own, in the city or at the hotel to reminisce about the sights and sounds of Antarctica.
Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.
Need more dates?
8 or 9 Days
Punta Arenas, Chile
Maple Explorer was established in Vancouver in 2015 with a focus on providing comprehensive travel experiences in the polar regions. We are dedicated to facilitating greater access to the wonders of the Antarctic, the Arctic, and the Tibetan Plateau, allowing people to discover the stunning beauty and cultural richness of these extraordinary places on our planet.
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