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Best of Antarctica from Punta Arenas

11 days with Intrepid Travel   Rating: First Class

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Punta Arenas
Welcome to Chile! Puntas Arenas is one of the country’s fastest growing cities and the perfect gateway to your Antarctic expedition. You can arrive at any time today, as there are no activities planned until a welcome meeting tonight, usually around 6 pm. Until then, fly in, transfer to your accommodation and get exploring this slice of Patagonian history. Why not take a visit to the $50 million International Antarctic Center (set to open in 2021) which functions as a research hub and museum for all things Antarctica. After your important briefing tonight, perhaps get together with a few of your fellow travellers for a meal – your local leader will be able to recommend you a restaurant or two.

Day 2 Punta Arenas – Embarkation Day
Today, you’ll set off through the picturesque Strait of Magellan on board the Ocean Endeavour towards the Drake Passage, ready for your crossing to the Antarctic Peninsula. Your group leader will confirm with you all the relevant embarkation details at your welcome meeting on Day 1. If you’ve got some spare time this morning, it’s a good idea to stock up on supplies; otherwise, take a walk along Bories Street and check out the shops.

Days 3-4 Drake Passage
With nothing but you and the big blue for the next couple of days, take advantage of all of the amenities and activities on board your fully equipped vessel. Spot seabirds flying with your ship to the Great White Continent, keeping an eye out for albatross on their migration route. Keep your eyes peeled for breaching whales and other marine mammals in the southern oceans, and cosy up with a drink, getting to know your shipmates at the bar. Throughout the day, there will also be a series of lectures and presentations to educate you about the geography, environment and wildlife you’ll expect to see along the Antarctic Peninsula. Knowledge of this part of the world is key for polar explorers, so take it all in!

Day 5 Drake Passage – Antarctic Peninsula
You’re expected to make your first sightings of land this morning as you cruise towards the volcanic South Shetland Islands. Take to the bridge for epic views towards the large icebergs and rugged mountaintops of this archipelago, often frequented by chinstrap penguins, elephant seals and fur seals. This afternoon, take to the ship’s specialised Zodiac boats for a shore excursion at one of the many landing sites around the area. Exploration starts here, so be ready with your polar gear and charged camera.

Days 6-8 Antarctic Peninsula
Voyage further south across the Bransfield Strait towards continental Antarctica. For the next three days, head on wildlife sightings, take to Zodiacs for small-group outings and soak up unforgettable vistas that greet you at every turn. With multiple landing sites available, your Ocean Endeavour crew will work out the best places to stop, taking into account the elements, accessibility and the possibility for wildlife sightings. There may be the chance for snowshoeing, kayaking and camping adventures, which are weather and timing dependent. Well-known sites like Neko Harbour, Orne Harbour and Skontorp Cove will be on the captain’s radar, as well as a working science base.

Days 9-10 Drake Passage
Settle back into your comfortable surroundings for the return journey across the Drake Passage. The Ocean Endeavour will track north towards Cape Horn and your destination in Ushuaia, Argentina. During this time, you can attend more onboard lectures and workshops, including one on photo editing – sure to make your nature snaps the best they can be. Now is also the chance to catch up with your shipmates and share stories about your voyage over a meal or a drink at the bar.

Day 11 Ushuaia – Disembarkation Day
This morning, farewell the Ocean Endeavour as you disembark in Ushuaia. With no further activities planned for today, you’re free to depart at any time. With much to see and do in Ushuaia, including the Museo Maritimo, Avenida San Martin or even an adventurous hike to the Martial Glacier, your adventure doesn’t have to end today. If you would like to spend more time in Ushuaia, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Map
All This Included
Cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula on an 11-day polar expedition from the southern shores of Chile’s Puntas Arenas. Taking on the Magellan Strait and the mighty Drake Passage, jump aboard Intrepid’s Ocean Endeavour in search of rare bird and marine life, jagged icebergs and mountainous landscapes like no other. Travel with experts who will present a comprehensive lecture program, head on extraordinary Zodiac shore landings and take advantage of onboard comforts after a day of exploring. If you thought the remote reaches of Antarctica were out of reach, think again.
  • Meals - 10 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners
  • Transport - Expedition cruise ship, zodiac
Highlights
  • Discover the historic Chilean town of Puntas Arenas – a second South American gateway to the Great White Continent and future home to the International Antarctic Center.
  • On Intrepid’s comfortable and well-equipped Ocean Endeavour, learn a thing or two about your upcoming explorations with a series of lectures and workshops presented by photographers, marine biologists and glaciologists.
  • Zodiac excursions open up exploration opportunities in Antarctica’s glacial waters, icy coves and wildlife-rich shores. Get on board with a number of trips scheduled during your Antarctic expedition.
  • Antarctica’s wildlife is varied, unique and undeniably incredible. Penguins, seals, whales, albatross – your expedition crew will curate your adventure to ensure you’ve got the best chance of multiple sightings.
  • Disembark the Ocean Endeavour at the Argentinean port of Ushuaia, with the option to extend your adventure in this vibrant city at the end of the world.
Accommodations
1 night comfortable hotel
9 nights expedition cruise ship
Notes
  • Ages: Min 8
  • Group size: Min 1, Max 200
  • Although our ice-strengthened ships are big and sturdy, the Antarctic waters can be unpredictable and rough. Some people may experience seasickness, especially through the Drake Passage and other open water crossings, so please be prepared with medications to combat this – we’d hate for you to miss a single minute of this journey. There is also a doctor on board should you need further assistance.
  • Of course, temperatures in the Antarctic can be freezing, but it can get surprisingly warm – when the sun comes out, for instance, or with increased physical activity. It’s best to dress in layers when you journey outside and we’ll provide you with waterproof boots that are sturdy and warm. 
  • Depending on the weather, you’ll be zipping around in a Zodiac boat quite regularly to explore the area and search for wildlife. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac, so make sure you dress appropriately and keep your camera safe and dry. Enduring the elements is one thing, having no photos to show for it is another. Sturdy sea legs are needed for wet and dry landings from the boat, as well as on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. The Ocean Endeavour has a lift, but you’ll need to take the stairs to get to the gangway and some other parts of the ship that the lift does not provide access to.
  • The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure and, although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially in such a remote area. There are nearly 200 recognised sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands; the places mentioned in the itinerary may need to be changed to others (which are just as interesting). We may also be confined to the ship during rough weather. The ship’s library and educational lectures are ideal ways to stay entertained, while the wellness spa, saunas, gym and yoga classes will keep you fresh for when the weather clears.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Intrepid Travel terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.