The Polar Circle Air-Cruise is one of the most adventurous expeditions that we offer. Our main objective on this air-cruise expedition is to try and reach the Antarctic Polar Circle located at approximately 66° south of the equator. The Expedition Team handcrafts every voyage depending on the Antarctic weather and each day of the trip is filled with ample opportunities to explore.
• Try and reach the polar circle, going farther south than most Antarctic explorers.
• Spend your time exploring outdoors by participating in our kayaking or hiking and snowshoeing programs.
• In the company of our expert polar guides, learn about the majestic wildlife that calls Antarctica home during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer months.
• Fly from Punta Arenas, Chile, to the White Continent and start your expedition directly in Antarctica
• With different sized tables and no pre-assigned seating, you can choose to sit privately or join other travelers.
Antarctica21 staff members welcome you in Punta Arenas, Chile, before 2 PM. Transfer to your hotel and attend a mandatory briefing that provides important information about your air-cruise and reviews the essential guidelines for Antarctic visitors. A welcome dinner introduces you to the local gastronomy as you meet fellow adventurers from around the world.
A smooth two-hour flight takes you efficiently from Punta Arenas to King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands. Your Antarctic adventure begins as you exit the airplane and the clear Antarctic air fills your lungs for the first time. You then walk 2-km (1.25-mi) passing Chile’s Frei Station and Russia’s Bellingshausen Station to reach the shore and board a Zodiac that will take you to your boutique expedition vessel.
Sail along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs, while enjoying the company of seabirds, penguins, seals and whales. Visit the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, disembarking by Zodiac each day. In small groups, hike to extraordinary sites and take part in exploratory Zodiac excursions to otherwise inaccessible areas. Our expert polar guides share their passion for Antarctica through an engaging program of illustrated presentations, and lead you ashore to interpret the wildlife, the history and the many wonders of the Antarctic environment. From the glass-enclosed lounge, enjoy spectacular views while sharing your daily adventures with fellow guests over a drink. The goal of the expedition is to sail far south in the attempt of reaching the Polar Circle. The Expedition Team plans the specific voyage route based on local conditions, and takes advantage of the ever-changing opportunities provided by Nature. Flexibility will be the key to a successful voyage. Your voyage may include visits to sites in the South Shetland Islands, the Antarctic Sound, the Garlache and Penola Straits, and the Crystal Sound. Each voyage is unique and each is crafted to provide the best possible overview of the varied Antarctic environment.
Back at King George Island, bid farewell to Antarctica as you board the flight to Punta Arenas. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. (Note: Meals in Punta Arenas are at your leisure and not included in the program).
Every effort will be made to adhere to the planned program. However, with this type of adventurous travel to Antarctica, changes to the itinerary may occur due to severe and unpredictable weather. We need to emphasize the fact that weather conditions are unpredictable and that safety is always the paramount concern on any Antarctic voyage.
The ice-strengthened expedition ship Ocean Nova was built in Denmark in 1992 with high ice class to serve Greenland’s west coast. In 2004 to 2005 she was completely refurbished and has now a career as a small and comfortable expedition ship. The Ocean Nova accommodates 86 passengers in single, double and triple cabins, all with sea-view and private facilities. The double cabins have either two lower beds or upper and lower beds. The triple cabins have upper and lower beds. In your cabin you will also find a desk with chair and ample storage space for clothes and equipment.
In the dining room you are treated to delicious meals in between landings and in the panorama lounge you can enjoy a drink with a breathtaking view of the surrounding polar landscape. This is where PolarQuest’s on board specialists entertain and educate you with lectures on polar biology, history, geology and conservation. There is also a library with panoramic views and a good selection of polar books. On board there is a satellite phone, gym and medical doctor. Passengers are welcome on the bridge around the clock and there is always something to see or search for from the spacious observation decks. The ship has North European officers and there is a friendly and informal atmosphere on board. Travelling with this small expedition ship offers an entirely different experience and perspective than you can get on a larger and more conventional cruise ship.
Ice Class: Ice 1B, E0 (Hull Ice 1A)
Sea Kayaking in Antarctica. From
See Antarctica from the unique vantage point of a sea kayak. Join a small group of participants and paddle in Antarctica under the leadership of an experienced Kayak Master.
Hiking and Snowshoeing in Antarctica. From
Gain greater mobility and see more of the Antarctic landscape with our hiking and snowshoeing program.
Preferred Seating. From
For an extra level of comfort, travellers can purchase Preferred Seats on their Antarctic flight. This option offers a guaranteed aisle or window seat at the front of the aircraft, and a guaranteed empty middle seat. It also offers priority boarding when departing from Punta Arenas and an amenities kit.
Hotel and Transfer Package
Accommodation at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel, the same hotel included in your Antarctic Air-Cruise itinerary.
The package is available pre-expedition and post-expedition and includes group airport transfers, 1 night hotel accommodation, breakfast and drink voucher.
• Port Fees/Taxes • All meals on board the ship • Complimentary Coffee/Tea and water throughout the voyage • Complimentary Wine, beer, juice, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner while on board • Flight from Punta Arenas to Frei Station on King George Island and/or vice versa as indicated in the program corresponding to each voyage • Group transfers airport - hotel on the Day of the Scheduled Return Flight from Antarctica • Group transfers hotel - airport on last Day of the itinerary • All Zodiac excursions • On board lectures • Evening entertainment • Comprehensive Pre-departure materials • Rubber boots to borrow for the voyage • 1 overnight with breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar on the Day of the Scheduled Return Flight from Antarctica
Trip specific inclusions; For air-cruises starting in Punta Arenas: Group transfers airport - hotel on Day 1 1 overnight with breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar, with a welcome dinner including drinks on Day 1
• International airfares • Pre and post voyage accommodation unless specified in the itinerary • Travel insurance including mandatory Medical Evacuation insurance • Beverages not listed in inclusions • Meals when not on board the ship unless specified in the itinerary • Transfers not listed in the itinerary • Passport and visa costs if applicable • Personal expenses including any medical expenses incurred on board • Optional excursions (eg kayaking where available) • Gratuities (recommended USD$15.00 per passenger per day)
Featuring the latest small ship cruises to a number of destinations, our Small Ship Cruising brochure is carefully curated to include small ship cruises from expeditions to luxury cruises to the world's most fascinating destinations including Alaska, Croatia, the Galapagos and the Antarctic and Arctic.