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Map of Antarctic Express – Crossing the Circle from Punta Arenas including Antarctica and Chile

Fly across the Drake Passage and cruise south to the Antarctic Circle

Enjoy Antarctica in style on this 11-day expedition, flying over the infamous Drake Passage and then cruising south of the Antarctic Circle! Skip the extra days at sea and enjoy only the best scenery and wildlife experiences of the Antarctic. Prepare yourself for sensory overload, as you’ll be inundated by the sheer beauty and dramatic landscapes of the Great White Continent. Our team of onboard polar experts will have you identifying different species of whales, hiking to penguin rookeries and, of course, crossing the Antarctic Circle.

Punta Arenas, Chile
Punta Arenas, Chile
Antarctica, Chile
Physical rating
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 176

Why you'll love this trip

  • Flying over the famous Drake Passage to King George Island is the fastest, most direct way to travel to Antarctica.

  • Become one of the few people on earth who can say they’ve crossed the Antarctic Circle – make sure you’ve got a camera ready to snap the GPS reading 66° 33’ S.

  • Your onboard experts make wildlife spotting easier than ever. Look for animals like humpback whales, chinstrap penguins, Wilson’s storm-petrels.

  • Optional activities such as sea kayaking and polar ice camping can take your Antarctic adventure to the next level.

  • Travel for good on a carbon-neutral voyage that only serves sustainable seafood, reduces single-use plastics and minimises environmental impact wherever possible.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip runs on a number of polar expedition vessels, depending on the departure date. Each ship is equipped with well-appointed and comfortable staterooms, spacious common areas and outdoor viewing decks, but the exact layout and features do vary between ships. When booking a polar expedition, ensure that you note the ship name carefully in the ‘Dates & Availability’ section and consult its individual boat page to learn more about your vessel. For further information, speak to a Peregrine booking agent.

  • Some people may experience seasickness during the voyage. Please see the ‘Medical and Health Information’ section of the Essential Trip Information for details on how to prepare.

  • As you’d expect, temperatures in the Antarctic are freezing. A warm parka will be provided along with waterproof boots and unlimited hot drinks, but please see the 'Packing' section of the Essential Trip Information for further important details on what to bring.

  • While this trip is not physically demanding, you will need to be mobile enough to walk up and down stairs between decks, make wet and dry landings by Zodiac and walk over sometimes rough terrain. The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure and although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially to such a remote area.

  • A certain level of mobility is required for wet and dry landings from the boat, as well as walking on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces.


Ocean Adventurer boat on adventure cruising tours

Ocean Adventurer

This sturdy expedition ship was built in 1975 and underwent an $8 million refurbishment in 2017 which included new engines and refurbished cabins...

World explorer boat on a tour in Polar region

World Explorer

Newly built in 2018 and designed specifically with polar cruising in mind, the beautiful World Explorer is one of our newest ships.


Welcome to Punta Arenas, Chile, the most populated city in Patagonia. In the early afternoon, meet your leader and fellow explorers at the joining point hotel. Enjoy a first meal together and be briefed on the necessary preparations for embarkation tomorrow. If you arrive into Punta Arenas early, there are plenty of things to see and do. For a poignant look into the city’s history, perhaps visit the Cementerio Municipal to see the lavish tombs of wool barons and the modest graves of immigrants and explorers.
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the embarkation briefing meeting tonight as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where and exactly when the meeting will take place.

An arrival transfer from the airport is included in your voyage fare. This transfer is only valid for passengers arriving in Punta Arenas on Day 1 of the itinerary. Please speak to a Peregrine booking agent no later than 15 days before departure to organise this.
Today, cross the famous Drake Passage on a 3-hour charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica. Get your first glimpse of the dramatic Antarctic landscape as your plane descends for landing on King George Island. As the largest island in the South Shetlands, King George is home to research stations belonging to Argentina, China, Russia, South Korea, Holland and the USA, among others. On landing, spend some time exploring before being transferred by Zodiac to the ship. Meet the rest of your shipmates and set sail for the Antarctic Peninsula.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
There is a strict luggage limit of 15 kilograms for checked baggage and five kilograms for hand baggage on the flight today.
Enter an otherworldly landscape and spend three days exploring the Great White Continent. Each day, if the weather allows, you’ll make two excursions that immerse you in this incredible environment. You might take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs around Pleneau Island one day, then hike to a penguin rookery the next. Your expedition team will help point out penguins, seals, seabirds and whales throughout the journey. You’ll also learn about the history, geology and wildlife of the region through in-depth presentations on board.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (3)
  • Lunch (3)
  • Dinner (3)
Special Information
The exact destinations you visit (and when you visit them) are dependant on factors such as weather conditions, sea ice and wildlife movement, but you can see a full list of potential landing sites at

If you would like to participate in optional activities such as kayaking, camping or cross-country skiing, you must organise this in advance. See the ‘Important Notes’ section for more detail on these options. As space is limited on optional activities, we recommend you speak to a Peregrine booking agent at the time of booking to secure your place.
Few people can say they’ve crossed the Antarctic Circle, and today you’ll become one of them! Toast to your adventure with a glass of champagne, while paying homage to the first explorers to journey this far south. This is now deep Antarctica, home to Weddell seals, spectacular ice formations and the midnight sun. This region is also home to the densest concentration of wildlife in Antarctica. While not a typical landing, the crossing of the Antarctic Circle is a moment to remember. The event will usually happen while at sea, so be sure to head up to the bridge and snap your photo of the GPS reading 66° 33’ S.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
As you travel north along the Antarctic Peninsula, your crew will continue to aim for twice-daily land excursions. You will likely find yourself able to tell the difference between different varieties of whale and penguin without assistance now.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Today, say goodbye to the expedition team and disembark the ship at King George Island. Take the 3-hour flight back across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas. You will be transferred from the airport to the hotel where you will enjoy a night of post-voyage accommodation.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities planned for today and your trip comes to an end after breakfast.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
No departure transfer is included in the price of this trip.


10 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 9 dinners


Expedition cruise ship, Plane, Zodiac


Expedition Voyage, Hotel

Dates & availability - 2021 season

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Antarctic Express – Crossing the Circle from Punta Arenas trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may go up, so secure your trip today!
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Important notes

Arctic and Antarctic bookings have an increased deposit requirement of 20 per cent of the full voyage cost (before any discount). The balance is due 120 days before departure.

If a booking is cancelled 120 days or more before departure – the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.

If a booking is cancelled between 119 days and departure – the cancellation fee is 100 per cent of the total price of the voyage.

Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a polar voyage.

Your voyage is operated by our partner, Quark Expeditions. All accommodation and transfer arrangements as listed in the itinerary are also operated by Quark Expeditions or their local representatives.

Strict luggage limits apply. Please see the 'Packing' section of the Essential Trip Information for details.

Kayaking is available to book on all Antarctic voyages. Some voyages also offer other activities such as those listed below. All of these activities must be booked prior to departure and incur an additional cost. Spaces are limited so please enquire at time of booking.

Taken in small groups of a maximum of 16 people, multiple times per voyage, kayaking adventures are only conducted during calm weather conditions. Kayaking in the polar waters is not suitable for novice kayakers. Beginners interested in kayaking should first take an introductory course prior to the voyage which includes how to do a wet exit. We recommend you take part in some kayaking practice prior to the voyage to ensure that you are comfortable on the water in the icy conditions.

To take part in mountaineering, you must have a good level of fitness as excursions can last up to 5 hours. A fitness waiver form must be completed before taking part.

Cross-country skiing is one of the most efficient ways to travel over ground that is covered in snow and ice, enabling you to travel in Antarctica the same way that pioneering explorers like Amundsen and Shackleton did. With journeys taking a few hours, it is imperative to be in good physical shape for this optional excursion. Ideally, you’ll have cross-country skiing experience to partake in this activity, however, exceptions may be made for those deemed physically capable. Quark provides essential gear.

Spend the night under the Antarctic sky on a unique camping adventure. The crew will determine the best location and conditions for your overnight adventure. Dress warmly and eat a hearty meal before you head out as no meals are permitted on shore.

Combining surfing with kayaking or canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding will give you a very personal and unique perspective on Antarctica. This activity is taken in small groups in good weather conditions on calm bays and harbours, with a Zodiac following for your safety.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information