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Antarctic Express: Crossing the Circle

11 days with Quark Expeditions   Rating: First Class

Book this Trip Now and Save!

  • Receive a $300 per couple onboard credit on this sailing. This offer is combinable with other promotions. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.


Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 — Punta Arenas, Chile
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 all passengers at the official starting point hotel, where you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about preparing for your embarkation day.

Day 2 — Embarkation Day
Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica will have you crossing the legendary Drake Passage in only a few 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 and spend time exploring the island before being transferred by Zodiac to your ship to set sail for the Antarctic Peninsula! 

Days 3 to 5 — Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
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. Much of 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 lecturers will also provide in-depth explanations of the geology, history and wildlife of the region.

Even more exciting are your daily land excursions. Your first Zodiac landing is something you’ll never forget! Walking up to a beach dotted with penguins and seals 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 Ade´lie, gentoo or chinstrap penguin.

You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs around Pleneau Island one day, followed by a hike to a penguin rookery the next day. From the booming sound of a calving glacier at Neko Harbour to the thrill of watching a leopard seal as it hunts a penguin, you’ll wake up early and welcome each day with a sense of excitement and a desire to explore that which is unrivaled by any other travel experience.

Your Expedition Team will be with you all along the way, providing insights into the places you visit.

Days 6 and 7 — The Antarctic Circle
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula do not reach 66°33' S. If conditions allow us to cross this famed line, you and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of champagne!

As you toast the first explorers who ventured this far south, you can take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, Weddell seals and some of the most magical, odd ice formations you’ll see anywhere on the continent.

Days 8 and 9 — Northbound Along the Peninsula
If you haven’t had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you’ll surely be satisfied by the time you return to King George Island. You will continue to journey onto land by Zodiac twice daily as you travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula.

Your Expedition Team will always be on the lookout for species of penguins, seals and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south.

Day 10 — Disembarkation and Fly to Punta Arenas
After your week of exploration, you’ll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and disembark at King George Island. Your three-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile, brings your adventure to an end. After the group transfer to your hotel, enjoy an evening on your own, in the city or at the hotel.

Day 11 — Depart Punta Arenas
After breakfast, you are welcome to continue on your own travels or make your way to the Punta Arenas airport for your homeward flights.


Map
All This Included
A short, comfortable flight from Punta Arenas, Chile, to King George Island in Antarctica has you with boots on the ground in no time, overtaken by the sheer magnitude of the 7th Continent. Fully immersed in the Antarctic environment, you’ll experience a roller coaster of emotions, from excitement to exquisite solitude to incredible gratitude for the wonder of it all.

You may go in search of whales and find yourself bearing witness to a glacier calving. Or you may plan to climb one more peak for a better vantage point and find yourself in a rookery of curious penguins. Antarctica will leave you in awe, but it won’t leave you unchanged.

  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board
  • Complimentary house wine, beer and spirits on board
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled
  • A photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
  • An official Quark Expeditions parka to keep
  • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • A hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
  • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • Gratuities for shipboard staff and crew
  • Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person
  • Flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas
  • Group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to the pre-expedition hotel on Day 1
  • One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas, with breakfast
  • A briefing dinner on Day 1 in Punta Arenas
  • Pre-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the hotel to the airport
  • Flights to and from Antarctica
  • Post-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to the hotel
  • One night’s post-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas, with breakfast
  • Group transfer from the Punta Arenas hotel to the airport on the final day of the expedition
  • Flight from Punta Arenas to Santiago
Highlights
  • Experience the fastest, most direct way to Antarctica
  • Fly over the Drake Passage
  • Marvel at all the Antarctic Peninsula highlights, including crossing the Antarctic Circle
  • Take advantage of optional polar camping along the Peninsula
  • For voyages aboard the all-suites ship, Island Sky, take advantage of such inclusions as domestic flights, gratuities, and drinks
  • Enjoy on-board lectures and educational presentations from polar specialists
Accommodations
Punta Arenas: To be determined
Cruising: Cabin onboard Ocean Adventurer or World Explorer
Notes
  • Itinerary is subject to change.
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • 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.
  • Please ask your Vacations to Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Quark Expeditions 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.