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Antarctic Express - Fly/Cruise Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falklands 2015-16

Trip Length

Trip Code

17 days PPFF15

Countries Visited

Antarctica, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Chile

Start City

End City

Punta Arenas Punta Arenas
Antarctic Express - Fly/Cruise Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falklands 2015-16

Our most immersive and diverse expedition, this voyage offers a comprehensive Antarctic and Southern Ocean experience in significantly less time. You’ll take a short three-hour flight to the white continent to see all the highlights, visit the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, as well as the distinct culture and charm of the remote Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). Exploring extremes is the hallmark of this voyage, which offers unprecedented pristine landscapes and wildlife viewing opportunities. Conclude your once-in-a-lifetime experience with a flight back to Punta Arenas, Chile.

Note: Weather, ice and other mitigating factors may result in changes to our itinerary and alteration to certain shore excursions.

Why we love it:

Antarctic Express - Fly/Cruise Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falklands 2015-16


Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Punta Arenas, Chile

Meals included: 1 dinner

Your adventure begins in Punta Arenas, Chile, the most populated city in Patagonia. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and shops to keep you busy for days. By early afternoon, a representative will meet everyone 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: Fly from Punta Arenas to King George Island

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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 is approaching King George Island for your arrival. Your first glimpse of dramatic Antarctica landscapes will be from a very unique perspective, as your plane descends for landing in the South Shetlands. After landing, stretch your legs and spend some time exploring the island before being transferred by Zodiac to your ship. Meet the rest of your shipmates and set sail for the Antarctic Peninsula!

(PLEASE NOTE: There is a luggage limit of 15kg checked baggage and 5kg hand baggage on the flight and this is strictly adhered to.)

Day 3-6: South Shetland Islands and Antarctica

Meals included: 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners

There are few places in the world as evocative as Antarctica. As your ship approaches the white continent, don’t be surprised if you are overcome by feelings of excitement and awe. Much of Antarctica is indescribable and can only be fully appreciated through your own eyes.

Your first sightings will be from the ship itself. As the captain and expedition team keep their eyes out 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 excursions to land. Your first Zodiac landing is something you’ll never forget! Walking up to a beach that is 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 Adelie, gentoo or chinstrap penguin.

You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs in Pleneau Island one day, followed by a hike to a penguin rookery the next day. From the booming shot of a calving glacier at Petermann Island to the complete silence of night while camping on the ice in Antarctica, you’ll welcome each day with the excitement and energy of a young child. Our expedition team will be with you all along the way, providing insights into the places you visit and offering photography tips to get the most out of your expedition.

Day 7-9: At Sea

Meals included: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Spend your days at sea enjoying the view from the deck, or taking in presentations by the expedition team.

Day 10-12: South Georgia

Meals included: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

With a rich history of exploration in the Antarctic, South Georgia has many stories to tell. You’ll learn that the original inhabitants here arrived to hunt whales and fur and elephant seals to perilously low levels. Thankfully populations have rebounded and whaling and sealing ceases to exist today. You will also see many remnants of these days gone by; including several whaling stations and other abandoned outposts.

Perhaps the most historic and famous site on the island is the grave of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. You can visit his grave at the settlement of Grytviken, which is also home to a museum, small gift shop, church and an active scientific research station.
After that history lesson, you’ll surely be ready for some wildlife encounters. South Georgia is sometimes called the “Galapagos of the Poles” as it is home to a captivating number of inquisitive and curious creatures. Indeed, the number of animals you’ll see here will rival that of all the other days of your voyage combined.

Each landing you make on South Georgia will open your eyes to a new wonder of wildlife; one day may be a beach filled with a hundred thousand pairs of king penguins, the next may present some close encounters with massive elephant seals or the smaller fur seals. Different penguin and bird species utilize the island landscape differently here, making it a fascinating destination teeming with wildlife from the shoreline to the top of the highest grassy hills.

Day 13-14: At Sea

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

The next few days at sea can be as busy or as relaxing as you desire. Go on deck to spot whales and sea birds flying overhead, or attend lectures from our on-board specialists. Whatever you choose, remember to take a moment to reflect on the amazing creatures you’ve met so far.

Day 15: Port Stanley, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Upon arrival in the Falkland Islands, you’ll be greeted by a feeling of rugged remoteness. Port Stanley is a unique outpost with a British countryside charm to it. There are plenty of churches and museums to explore, as well as some friendly locals willing to chat over a drink at the pub.

Day 16: Disembarkation and flight from Falklands to Punta Arenas

Meals included: 1 breakfast

After your fortnight of exploration, you say goodbye to your expedition team and disembark at Port Stanley. It's an hour's drive to Mount Pleasant Airport - the only international airport in the Falklands. Your 2 hours and 40 minutes flight takes you across the South Atlantic and back to Punta Arenas, Chile, bringing your adventure to an end. After we transfer you from the airport to the hotel, you are free to enjoy a final dinner in the city to reminisce about your amazing experiences in Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands.

Day 17: Punta Arenas, Chile

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Say farewell to your new friends as the trip ends this morning.


Your Trip

What's Included

Transport

Not Included


What to know

Vaccinations

Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.  We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.

Visas and Permits

Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.

Antarctica
No visas are required to visit the Antarctic continent or its offshore islands. However, you will need to have your passport with you on the ship, as port authorities will wish to inspect passports on departure from Ushuaia or Punta Arenas and also again at the end of your voyage. To facilitate matters, our ground operators in Ushuaia or Punta Arenas will usually collect your passport prior to departure in order that all passengers’ passports may be kept together for the duration of the voyage. After completion of port formalities on the return to Ushuaia or Punta Arenas, they will be handed back to you prior to your disembarkation from the ship. For most departures, your ship departs for the Antarctic continent from the port of Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, at the southern tip of Argentina. At the time of printing, no visas for Argentina are required by holders of Australian, New Zealand, British, Canadian, U.S.A. or European passports. Passengers holding passports issued by other countries should carefully check the situation with their travel agent or Argentinean consular authorities. For Fly/Cruise itineraries departing from Punta Arenas (Chile) or if your flight to Ushuaia travels via Santiago, tourist visas are required for Chile for some nationalities. Please check with your travel agent. For the voyages scheduled to visit the Falkland Islands, visitors from Britain, the Commonwealth, North America, Chile and the European Community do not need visas as at the time of printing. Visitors should check their particular situation with us, their travel agent, the nearest British Consulate, or contact the Travel Co-ordinator at the Falkland Island Government Office in London (tel: 020 7222 2375).

Falkland Islands
Visitors from the EEC, USA, Australia, Canada, Cyprus, New Zealand or South Africa do not need Visas. Check with the relevant Embassy or Consulate in their country for up to date visa information.

Chile

Australians, Americans, Canadians, New Zealanders or British do not currently require a visa for Chile. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent. If you are entering Chile at Santiago International Airport as a tourist, some nationalities are required to pay a reciprocity fee (Australians US$95, Canadians US$132, Americans US$140). The fee does not apply to travellers arriving at other airports or entering the country via land borders.

Insurance

You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.

Responsible Travel

Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.

Customs and Culture

Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.

Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.

Further Reading

Antarctica

1912: The Year the World Discovered Antarctica - Chris Turney:  To the Ends of the Earth: the Transglobal Expedition - Ranulph Feinnes:  Scott and Amundsen - Roland Huntford:  Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage - Alfred Lansing

Falkland Islands

The Falklands War 1982 (Essential Histories) - Duncan Anderson Penguin summer: An adventure with the birds of the Falkland Islands - Eleanor Rice Pettingill

South Georgia

Chile

Crisis in Allende’s Chile-E Kaufman The Pinochet Decade-P O’Brien & J Roddick


Important Information

These Trip Notes should be read in conjunction with Peregrine’s Antarctica pre-departure information that is provided to you shortly after booking (or which can be requested prior to booking).

1. Budgeting: in addition to funds for onboard expenses, it is sometimes possible to purchase souvenirs such as books, t-shirts, stamps, postcards, windcheaters, caps and similar items at some of the research stations in the Antarctic Peninsula area. Mail can sometimes be posted from these stations as well. Transactions are usually in US dollars cash.

2. Clothes: please read our Antarctic pre-departure information carefully. Although you don’t need to make expensive, specialist-clothing purchases for this trip, you will need clothes that adequately protect against cold and wet conditions. (Sea spray is common on board Zodiacs). It is recommended that you have warm, waterproof clothing available for use upon arrival in Punta Arenas, to protect yourself against the inclement weather.

3. Gratuities: we suggest you allow the equivalent of US$11-13 a day for gratuities for the crew and expedition staff. This is usually collected just prior to the end of the cruise. If you wish, the amount can be paid by Visa or MasterCard.

4. Sea kayaking: there are separate Trip Notes for the sea kayaking option. Please note that this option must be booked prior to your departure from home and it cannot be booked on the ship. Some prior experience is required and places are limited.

5. Camping: if you chose to camp on the continent, we’ll provide all the required gear such as tents or bivouac (or 'bivy') sacs and sleeping bags. This excursion is managed with strict environmental regulations - a portable toilet is used and absolutely everything is transported back to the ship afterwards. Please note that this option must be booked prior to your departure from home, it cannot be booked on the ship. Spaces are limited.

Contingency Plan for Antarctic Express (Cruise South, Fly North, Crossing the Circle and Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falklands) programmes.

Quark Expeditions will make every effort to ensure the Antarctic Express programs takes place, but due to weather conditions, flying in this region can be difficult and is beyond the control of Quark Expeditions. We strongly recommend that all expedition guests purchase a travel insurance policy including trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance.

On Fly South itineraries, in the unlikely event that the charter flight is unable to fly on Day 2 or Day 3 due to weather delays, Quark Expeditions will provide an additional night hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas.
On Day 4 should the charter flight not be able to take off by 1400hrs, Quark Expeditions will officially cancel the voyage and provide letters for all clients to submit to their travel insurance providers under trip delay/Interruption and cancellation clause.

QUARK AND PEREGRINE EXPEDITIONS WILL NOT OFFER PASSENGERS A REFUND IN THE EVENT OF TRIP CANCELLATION. QUARK AND PEREGRINE EXPEDITIONS WILL NOT OFFER PASSENGERS COMPENSATION IN THE EVENT OF A DELAY.


IF THE CHARTER FLIGHT IS NOT ABLE TO TAKE OFF BY 1400 HRS ON DAY 4. Quark Expeditions will make every effort to assist passengers with rebooking hotels or flights, but this will be at the cost of the passengers, and Quark Expeditions strongly recommends that all clients contact their insurance provider prior to changing any reservations.

Passengers on board the ship during these delays will remain on board with no additional cost until the charter flight is able to operate. Quark Expeditions advises all clients to book changeable airlines tickets along with cancellation and interruption insurance to assist with additional airline change fees. We advise all passengers to have flexible travel arrangements upon disembarkation of the voyage if delays arise. Quark Expeditions will not be held responsible for any change/cancellations fees due to weather related delays or any other delays arising from force majeure.

 

About this Information

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version.  If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

13 November 2014


General Contact Details

Peregrine AdventuresPhone: 855-832-4859
E-mail: sales@peregrineadventures.com
Web: Visit Peregrine