Antarctica Express: Fly the Drake

This eight-day all-action adventure allows you to experience all the highlights of a trip to Antarctica, as well as a spectacular scenic flight over the Drake Passage. The package includes direct flights to Antarctica from South America - perfect for travellers short on time or those who are uncomfortable with the thought of a potentially rough sea crossing.

You’ll land on King George Island ready to explore the majesty of the Antarctic Peninsula. This convenient fly/cruise expedition allows you to make the most of every minute. We will have you kayaking the bays, cruising around icebergs and camping out under the Antarctic night sky in next to no time.

Your version of a perfect Antarctica tour will be different from the next person so we have designed this trip with multiple options to personalise your experience depending on your interests. Rewarding shore visits and daily Zodiac cruises are a given so that you can enjoy intimate wildlife encounters and explore the historic sites dotted throughout the polar landscape. The more adventurous may wish to book sea-kayaking or stand up paddleboarding.

The White Continent offers so many extraordinary things to see and do, you’ll find yourself thankful for the near-constant sunlight by which you can take it all in.

Departure dates

The Antarctica Express: Fly the Drake journey with Quark Expeditions departs from Punta Arenas, Chile on the following dates only:

Ocean Adventurer:

  • 3rd December 2019
  • 8th December 2019,
  • 13th December 2019
  • 10th January 2020
  • 15th January 2020
  • 7th December 2020
  • 12th December 2020
  • 17th December 2020
  • 22nd December 2020
  • 27th December 2020
  • 16th January 2021

World Explorer:

  • 9th February 2020
  • 14th February 2020
  • 19th February 2020
  • 7th December 2020
  • 12nd December 2020
  • 17th December 2020
  • 22nd December 2020
  • 27th December 2020
  • 26th February 2021

 

Duration
8 days
Options
Group basis, Escorted
Start your journey

Trip highlights

  • Enjoy spectacular aerial views of the majestic seventh continent during the charter flights between Punta Arenas and Antarctica.
  • Walk on beaches dotted with leopard seals and penguins against a backdrop of icy plateaus and snow-capped mountain peaks.

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. 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 flies over the legendary Drake Passage in only a few hours. Far below, the ship will be approaching King George Island, ready 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 Antarctica cruise ship.

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. The captain and Expedition Team will keep a lookout for whales and seabirds, alerting you 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 Antarctica animals and birds. 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 adélie, gentoo and chinstrap penguins. 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 predators like leopard seals and killer whales in action, you’ll wake up early and welcome each day with a sense of adventure and a desire to explore during this unrivalled travel experience. Your Expedition Team will accompany you all along the way, providing insights into the places you visit.

After a whole week of exploration, you’ll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and disembark at King George Island. Your two-and-a-half-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 your trip to Antarctica.

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