The 'Fly & Cruise' concept works exactly as it sounds. Established
over ten years ago, flying to Antarctica is now a tried & tested
and increasingly popular way to access Antarctica, particularly if you
are either short on time or concerned about the sea crossing.
5 Reasons to Fly & Cruise Antarctica
- Save time by flying to Antarctica in under 2 hours, rather than 2 day at sea
- Ideal for anxious sailors by avoiding the potentially turbulent waters of the Drake Passage
- Once in Antarctica you'll enjoy all of the zodiac landings, close
wildlife encounters and stunning scenery that you would if you had
- Includes all the principal sites - Deception Island, Port Lockroy, Paradise Bay and the Lemaire Channel
- More time exploring, less time travelling
Fly & Cruise the Antarctic Peninsula
Fly and Cruise Across the Polar Circle
66 Degrees South Fly Cruise
Flying there & back, enjoy 6 days on the Peninsula as you cross the Circle with a highly experienced Fly & Cruise specialist. You’ll sail aboard a small & intimate vessel and have the opportunity to kayak amid the seals…
Crossing the Antarctic Circle
Sailing one way & flying the other, you’ll enjoy 6 days to explore the Peninsula. For adventurous spirits seeking a small & expeditionary ship. Options for kayaking, snorkelling & scuba diving attract an active…
Fly & Cruise Polar Circle
Aboard a larger, mid-sized vessel you'll spend 6 days on the Peninsula soaking up the stunning scenery & wildlife. Flights across the Drake Passage are incl., and an option to explore the coastline with…
Fly & Cruise with the Falklands
Fly, Cruise, Fly: Falklands & Antarctica
Fly out to the Falklands and then sail south, enjoying high levels of service whilst spotting the marine mammals and seabirds that patrol the waters to Antarctica. During your 4 days on the Peninsula you can camp out overnight for…
Fly, Cruise, Fly: Antarctica & Falklands
Fly out to Antarctica for 2 days on the Peninsula and 3 days exploring the Weddell Sea & Antarctic Sound. For the adventurous, camping is included and kayaking offered, too. You’ll then sail north to the Falklands for your flight…
Fly & Cruise with South Georgia
Fly & Cruise: South Georgia
Flying in from Punta Arenas (Chile) to the Falklands, you'll enjoy 10 whole days to immerse yourself in the wildlife of South Georgia. Explore by snow-shoe, or camp out overnight (both included). You'll then sail to Ushuaia…
Fly, Cruise, Fly: Falklands & South Georgia
Spend 8 whole days on the windswept wildlife haven of South Georgia. You’ll fly between Punta Arenas (Chile) and Port Stanley (Falklands), so you can spend more of your holiday immersed in nature instead of sailing at sea. Ideal for…
Fly, Sail, Fly: Antarctica, S. Georgia & the Falklands
Short on time, but want to see all the wildlife? With this trip you'll fly to Antarctica for 4 days on the Peninsula; sail north for 3 days amid the wildlife of South Georgia, and then to the Falklands for…
Fly One Way, Cruise the Other
South Georgia, Falklands & Antarctica Cruise
Flying into (or out of) the Falklands, you’ll save 2 days of sailing & enjoy more time on wind-swept South Georgia (4 days) and exploring the Antarctic Peninsula (4 days). Sailing aboard a very small & expeditionary vessel, you’ll also…
Christmas Peninsula Voyage
Celebrate Christmas from aboard a small & intimate ship. Sail the Drake for 5 days on the Peninsula getting close to wonderful wildlife and landscapes, including camping out under the midnight sun and experiencing a true White Christmas! Flight…
New Year in Antarctica
Bring in the New Year in style with 6 days discovering the delights of the Antarctic Peninsula via zodiac boats and camping (incl.). Optional kayaking gives some the chance to get even closer to the magnificent icebergs & wildlife of…
Antarctic Cruise, Fly Out
Aboard a mid-sized vessel you'll sail out from Ushuaia for 4 days on the Antarctic Peninsula. This voyage allows time for exploring the South Shetlands and the Antarctic wildlife & landscapes before flying back to Punta Arenas. Pre-…
Express Tour of Antarctica
If you've only got a few days (or want to combine a visit to Antarctica with Patagonia) then this is a great option. You'll sail out from Ushuaia to the South Shetlands, jump in a zodiac to land and walk…
Penguins & Seabirds: Fly & Cruise
Exploring the lesser visited Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea (2 days) and Elephant Island (1 days) in addition to the well-known colonies on the Antarctic Peninsula (2 days) and the Falklands (1 day). All from the comfort of a mid-sized…
Fly-and-Cruise trips to Antarctica - Your Questions Answered
How does it work?
This infamous body of water is located between the tip of Patagonia (Cape Horn) and the South Shetland Islands and is the point at which the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans meet, causing a great swell known as the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The current causes huge upswellings, or 'Waves of Terror', often reaching heights of 15 metres that for some people produce serious sea sickness. However, the roughest stretch of ocean in the world is also a haven for a variety of seabirds and whales and so make it a great place for wildlife spotting if you can stomach it.
All Fly and cruise trips to Antarctica start in the Chilean town of Punta Arenas in southern Patagonia. You can reach Punta Arenas by flying to Santiago and then south to Punta Arenas with LAN.
Once in Punta Arenas, all passengers stay overnight at the same hotel before being woken early the next morning for their flight to Antarctica. The charter flight takes approximately 2 hours and goes from Punta Arenas airport direct to the Chilean Eduardo Frei Station on King George Island in the South Shetland Islands (close to the Antarctic Peninsula). Once on King George Island you take a 30 minute walk to the ship and start your adventure along the Antarctic Peninsula.
Trips that cruise one way to Antarctica start in the Argentinian town of Ushuaia in southern Patagonia and fly back from the Chilean Eduardo Frei Station to Punta Arenas.
What is the Drake Passage & why do I want to avoid it?
This infamous body of water is located between the tip of Patagonia (Cape Horn) and the South Shetland Islands and is the point at which the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans meet, causing a great swell known as the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The current causes huge upswellings, or 'Waves of Terror', at times reaching heights of 15 metres that for some people produce serious sea sickness.
However, the roughest stretch of ocean in the world is also a haven for a variety of seabirds and whales and so make it a great place for wildlife spotting if you can stomach it.
What can I expect to see and do?
Prepare yourself for the biggest icebergs you've ever seen, Weddell Seals lounging on blue ice floes and penguins
waddling up and down huge ice-covered mountains bringing food back and
forth to the rookery. You'll spend several hours a day getting up close
to Chinstraps, Adelie and Gentoos and hop straight into the Zodiacs if there's a pod of whales nearby.
Itineraries are flexible up to a point, and the expedition leaders will plan each day as they go according to weather conditions. Trips in the Antarctic Peninsula could include sailing through the Gerlache Strait, famed for its spectacular icebergs in all their strange blueish forms, the Lemaire Channel, a narrow strait which leads down and across the Antarctic Circle and Deception Island, a volcanic island where you can bathe in the warm-ish waters. You can even take part in the Polar Plunge, a spine tinglingly cold experience involving jumping into waters of 0 degrees.
Slightly longer trips aim to cross the Antarctic Circle at 66 degrees south venturing to some of the more secluded spots of Marguerite Bay and Petermann Island. If you're looking to explore further afield, you can venture out to the Falklands or South Georgia Islands where you'll really see an abundance of wildlife.
It largely depends on the time of year that you visit, and our Which Month? calendar at the top right of this page will help you decide when to visit if, for example, you're keen to see penguin chicks hatching, fluffy baby seal pups or large whale pods.
When should I book my trip?
Demand for fly-and-cruise trips is high and they often get booked up well in advance. For the full choice of cabins and departure dates, we strongly advise you get in touch and start the planning process early.
We can also provisionally hold a cabin on your behalf for several days whilst you make up your mind. Most people book their cruise around 12-18 months in advance, before availability really starts tightening up.
Will the weather affect my trip?
Through careful planning and years of experience, our partners are able to estimate that the chances of a flight to Antarctica suffering a delay are low, at about 10%. However, on voyages to such a remote part of the world where the climate is constantly changing, there is no real way of predicting the weather, although it's fair to say that from November to February it will be warmer and brighter than from March to October.
We therefore strongly suggest allowing at least two days either side of your trip for contingency. This way if you are unable to fly back from Antarctica to Punta Arenas due to bad weather, you will not miss your internal or international flight. In the event that you're unable to depart from Punta Arenas for Antarctica, our partner would put into practice their contingency plan so that alternative wildlife activities would be provided in Punta Arenas. Please note that the team will do all that they can to get you to and from Antarctica on time.
What if I'm travelling alone?
Solo travellers are welcome on board all Antarctica Fly and Cruise trips. We'd be happy to help you with these arrangements if you decide to go ahead with a cruise by yourself.
On some trips, there is the option of a single cabin, though these will be more expensive. Your other option is to either share a cabin with someone of the same sex, or have a twin cabin to yourself and pay a single occupancy cabin rate of between 1.5 and 1.7 times the rate based on two persons sharing a standard twin cabin.
What type of plane will it be?
The planes used by all our Fly and Cruise partners are operated by DAP, a Chilean airline that takes more than 1000 passengers to Antarctica per year. The company's planes include a BAE 146 with capacity for 99, Twin Otter DHC-6, Beechcraft and Cessna 402.
In the unlikely event that there is too much ice on the runway on King George Island, you may have the opportunity to fly on a C-130 Hercules plane, which is able to land on ice.
What's the luggage allowance?
Travelling to Antarctica by plane definitely requires light packing! The luggage allowance is 20kg per passenger including hand luggage. This is due to the fact that you'll be flying on a small, lightweight plane, designed to get you across the Drake Passage as quickly as possible. If you're worried about the luggage restriction, please be assured that you'll be provided with an extensive kit list to help with your packing well in advance of the trip and you will be able to safely leave your luggage with the operator and it will be returned to you at the airport or on your return to the hotel in Punta Arenas.
How much does it cost?
A Fly and Cruise trip in a triple cabin costs $10,795 USD per person on this 8-day voyage. This price includes:
- Your return flights from Punta Arenas to King George Island in Antarctica
- Daily guided excursions in Zodiac boats and 2-3 hour explorations on the ice
- Accommodation in a comfortable, modern twin shared cabin
- Themed lectures from your expert expedition leaders whilst on board
- All meals (international cuisine) and an open bar (on most cruises)
- Hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas
- Airport-hotel transfers
Whilst flights between Punta Arenas and Antarctica are included in the price of the voyage, you will need to book your international and domestic flights to and from Punta Arenas separately. We can help you book these if you'd like - take a look at our advice on how to get to Antarctica in the meantime.
Some Fly & Cruise trips also give you the option to kayak, hike, climb or camp
in Antarctica, and the cost varies depending on the operator. Some
operators include these activities in their trip price, but most charge
an additional surcharge for your guides and equipment
which can range from $350 - $1,250 depending on the excursion. For rates
please see the information beneath the rates and dates as you visit each of the
above trips. Please be aware that you will probably be required to take
out travel insurance for climbing and kayaking excursions.
Although on a per day basis, a Fly and Cruise option is more expensive than a standard Antarctic cruise, it certainly has its advantages. It's one of the quickest ways of seeing all that Antarctica has to offer in just 5 - 9 days, something which a traditional Antarctic cruise just can't offer. And to top it off, it means cutting out around 4 days of cruising in open waters, thus giving you a more comfortable journey to and from Antarctica, avoiding potential sea-sickness.
Feeling inspired & ready to start planning?
Start planning your Antarctic adventure with Alex, who's been specialising in Antarctica for over ten years.
He understands how crucial it is to choose exactly the right trip and is experienced at guiding polar travellers through the maze of options to the perfect voyage.
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