Fly/Cruise: fly the Drake passage, get more time to explore
Fly the Drake
Your adventure starts in Punta Arenas, Chile where you'll attend a briefing to learn more about the expedition, enjoy a welcome dinner and meet your fellow adventurers. You then fly over the Drake passage to King George Island, where you'll feel the clear Antarctic air fill your lungs for the first time before boarding your expedition vessel.
Polar Circle & Penguins
The goal of the expedition is to sail far south in the attempt of reaching the Polar Circle. Along the way you'll witness spectacular scenery & wildlife cruising between the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, where you'll sail along ice-filled fjords, massive icebergs, and enjoy the company of sea birds, penguins, seals and whales. On board the ship, attend an engaging program of lectures and presentations, and enjoy spectacular vistas from the glass-enclosed lounge while sharing your daily adventures with fellow guests.
Zodiac past Icebergs & Fjords
Each day, you'll disembark by Zodiac and explore the landscape together with expert polar guides. The Expedition Team sets the voyage route to take advantage of the ever-changing opportunities provided by Nature. Depending on conditions your voyage may include visits to sites such as Paulet Island, Hope Bay, Port Lockroy, Petermann Island, Paradise Bay, Deception Island and the Lemaire Channel.
Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 1. Punta Arenas, Chile
ANTARCTICA XXI staff welcome you in Punta Arenas, Chile. You will be transfered to your hotel and attend a briefing that provides important information about your voyage 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. [D]
Day 2. Punta Arenas – King George Island
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. Explore the area surrounding Chile’s Frei Station and Russia’s Bellingshausen station, before boarding a Zodiac to embark your expedition vessel. [B,L,D]
Days 3-8. Exploring Antarctica
Sail along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs, while enjoying the company of sea birds, 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. 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 sets 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 expedition may include visits to sites such as Port Lockroy, Petermann Island, Paradise Bay, the Lemaire Channel, Prospect Point or other magnificent places. Each voyage is unique and each is crafted to provide the best possible overview of the varied Antarctic environment. [B,L,D]
Day 9. King George Island – Punta Arenas
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. [B]
Day 10. Punta Arenas
Your incredible adventure comes to an end today. We trust you leave with wonderful memories of your Antarctic adventure! [B]
Please Note: Polar exploration can be unpredictable, which regularly causes variations to our itineraries. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a 'guide only' and may change. The ship's Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavy ice may block out a planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.
- All cruising on board the Ocean Nova
- Return flights from Punta Arenas to King George Island
Accommodation & Meals
- 2 nights accommodation in Punta Arenas
- 7 nights on board the Ocean Nova
- Cost based on twin cabin
- 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 8 dinners
- English-speaking naturalist guides on board
- Transfers airport/hotel on Day 1 (only available to those who arrive before 3pm).
- 1 overnight with breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar, with a welcome dinner including drinks on Day 1.
- 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.
- Transfers airport/hotel on the day of the scheduled return flight from Antarctica, and transfers hotel/airport on last day of the air-cruise program.
- Daily buffet breakfast and lunch on board ship offering a wide choice of dishes.
- Daily dinner served on board ship offering a choice of three main courses.
- Wine, beer, juice, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board ship.
- Coffee, tea, chocolate, cappuccino, water and snacks on board ship throughout the expedition.
- All guided shore excursions.
- Lectures and entertainment on board.
- Comprehensive pre and post-voyage information material.
- Loan of waterproof boots for landing in Antarctica.
Please Note: The maximum weight allowed on the flights to and from Antarctica is 20 kg per passenger, including hand luggage.
Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices
|Valid From:||This tour does not include flights from Australia to Chile. Please contact our office for the latest special fares to match your independent tour.|
|Other departure cities:|
|Tips:||Tipping payable locally, suggested amounts are approx. $10-$15pp US per day|
Single Travellers, please note:
- Booking a dedicated single cabin - No supplement is applied for single use of dedicated single cabins.
- Booking a twin cabin for single use - An 85% supplement will be applied to the twin cabin per person rate.
- Sharing with another passenger of the same gender - Available on Ocean Nova in a twin cabin. No supplement is applied, and ANTARCTICA XXI will take care of finding the matching companion.
Sharing a cabin also implies sharing any hotel accommodation.
Cabin upgrades and itinerary length variations may be available, please contact Bunnik Tours for more details.
Fitness to Travel
Let's Talk Fitness
At Bunnik Tours we don’t put specific age limits on our tours, but we also recognise some travellers may find our itineraries challenging.
We have a duty of care to all tour participants and the tour guides, so we do impose a firm policy on the level of fitness required by all our clients to attempt to ensure your safety and the safety of other travellers on our tours.
At Bunnik Tours our goal is for all our travellers to enjoy their tour, not struggle through it! Which is why we want to work with you to ensure you are on the best possible trip for your fitness level. We do reserve the right to refuse bookings if we feel that the requirements of the tour are too demanding.
Bunnik Tours are for independently minded travellers with good levels of mobility.
Our tours include:
1. Generous amounts of free time
2. Lots of walking
3. Local and authentic experiences including various modes of transport and accommodation
In some regions travellers can also expect:
1. Long days of travelling, at times on dirt and gravel roads in Africa
2. Extended periods at high altitude (3,000-4,000 metres) in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Ethiopia
3. Extended periods of walking/hiking through humid forest areas in Rwanda, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Costa Rica
4. Limited medical facilities in remote areas
Bunnik Tours travellers are required to at least:
1. Be able to walk 2-3 hours on uneven surfaces without the use of any walking aid, on any given day
2. Walk up multiple flights of stairs and short, steep hills
3. Stand for 20 minutes without needing to sit down, often in hot/humid climates
4. Carry their own luggage
5. Get on and off various modes of transport without assistance, including small boats
ON BOARD CRUISE SHIP
Sea kayaking - $895.00pp US
The sea kayaking program offered by ANTARCTICA XXI is a group experience limited to a maximum of 10 participants, under the guidance and leadership of an experienced Kayak Master. Every day you are in Antarctica, your Kayak Master will work with the Expedition Team to look for the best kayaking opportunities within the trip’s schedule, based on suitable and safe weather conditions. The group will be supported by a dedicated safety Zodiac. Each kayaking excursion will be approximately one and a half hours in duration. At the end of the excursion the Kayak Master will strive to offer the group some time at the landing site so you can explore.
Please note: To take part in the kayaking program you must have previous kayaking experience. The minimum age for participation is 16 years. Payment of the participation fee is due at time of reservation.
Hiking and Snowshoeing – $195.00 US
The hiking and snowshoeing program offered by ANTARCTICA XXI is a group experience limited to a maximum of 12 participants led by a Mountain Guide. Every day you are in Antarctica your Mountain Guide will work with the Expedition Leader to look for the best hiking or snowshoeing opportunities within the trip’s schedule, based on suitable and safe weather conditions. Each excursion will be approximately one and a half hours in duration.
Please note: To take part in the hiking and snowshoeing program you do not need previous experience. However, your level of physical fitness should be good. Minimum age for participation is 12 years. Payment of the participation fee is due at time of reservation.
Accommodation is subject to change and every effort is made to avoid this. However if a change does become necessary, accommodation of a similar standard will be used.
M/V Ocean Nova
Ocean Nova is a modern and comfortable expedition vessel with an ice-strengthened hull ideally suited for expedition travel in Antarctica. This expedition ship has capacity for 72 passengers accommodated in comfortable outside cabins. The ship offers three categories of accommodation: dedicated Single cabins, Twin cabins, and Triple cabins. In addition to a glass-enclosed observation lounge and presentation room, Ocean Nova also has a spacious dining room, a bar, a library, a small gym, and an infirmary.
Please note, a Reciprocity Fee is payable upon arrival in Chile for Australian passport holders. Please check with your travel agent for further details.
- Australian passport holders
- A Chile Reciprocity Fee of $117pp US is payable upon arrival by cash or credit card.
- Non-Australian passport holders
- Please check with your travel agent on visa requirements.
The following government websites are also a handy source of general information.
Reviews for Polar Circle
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Have you been on this tour? Have your say below:
- Be one of the few adventurous travellers to cross the Antarctic Circle
- Marvel at the abundant wildlife on the Antarctic Peninsula including sea birds, penguins & seals
- Cruise past towering icebergs & along Ice-filled fjords
- Spend time whale spotting
- Enjoy time at the South Shetland Islands, home to several Antarctic Research stations and abundance of Flora and fauna.
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Polar Expedition ship, Plane
Tipping payable locally, suggested amounts are approx. $10-$15pp US per day
The expedition team sets the voyage route to take advantage of the ever-changing opportunities provided by Nature, crafting a unique and extraordinary experience for each voyage. Sites may include Paulet Island, Hope Bay, Port Lockroy, Petermann Island, Paradise Bay, Deception Island and the Lemaire ChannelView Tour Map