Leaving from Ushuaia, the Antarctica Express Cruises take you through the Beagle Channel and to legendary Cape Horn. From there you cross the mythical waters of the Drake Passage and spend a day in one of the most spectacular places on earth – Antarctica. There, you will disembark at Fildes Bay and explore the area, such as the Chilean Base Frei and the Russian Base Bellingshausen.
In the company of expert guides, attend an engaging program of lectures and watch for wildlife from the lounge or from the outside decks. You may spot magnificent sea birds, such as albatrosses and petrels, as well as different species of whales on their way south to Antarctica.
PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife.
Start of the Air-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
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.
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 sea birds, such as albatrosses and petrels, as well as different species of whales on their way south to Antarctica.
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 sea birds, 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.
Antarctica and scheduled return flight
Upon reaching King George Island, disembark at Fildes Bay and explore the area, such as the 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).
End of the Air-Cruise
After breakfast, transfer to the Punta Arenas airport for your onward flight.
Note: The December 31, 2017 – January 6, 2019 departure (AE03-HEB) on board Hebridean Sky is a day longer and operates in reverse, with start in Punta Arenas and end in Ushuaia. An itinerary description is available on request.