Take an exhilarating twist on a classic expedition to the Antarctic Circle, combining passage by air and sea to maximize your experience. Cross the Drake Passage from the Falkland Islands, enjoying exciting days of onshore exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula. Journeying south, cruise among dramatic ice floes in Zodiac boats, and witness magnificent wildlife and seabirds, including humpback whales and albatross. Experience fertile ocean habitats, the thrilling moods of the water and weather, and optional kayaking. End your voyage with a two-hour flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas.
Enjoy pristine wilderness and see massive wind-sculpted icebergs as you journey toward the Antarctic Circle
Save precious time on your voyage by combining passage by ship and by plane
Discover abundant wildlife and hear adventure tales from onboard experts throughout your bucket-list expedition
Meet in Punta Arenas and transfer to the airport for a short flight to Stanley, Falkland Islands. Take some time to explore this rural town with its brightly colored houses, pretty flower-filled gardens, cathedral and pubs. Then board the expedition ship, settle in, and gather with the expedition team. Enjoy a welcome cocktail, dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica - and the adventure of a lifetime.
Chart a southerly course for Antarctica through a bio-diverse stretch of the South Atlantic called the Antarctic Convergence. Here the cold waters of the Antarctic meet the warmer seas of the Atlantic, and the surfacing nutrients attract seabirds and whales. The Drake Passage can have some treacherous ocean conditions at times. Crossings can be rough, but are usually tolerable. (Seasickness medication helps.)
Join the Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of the ship, a modern research vessel. Watch interesting presentations about the environment, wildlife, and history of Antarctica. Weather-dependent landings may include Elephant Island, of Shackleton fame, and the thrilling Point Wild.
Arrive at King George Island - the largest in the South Shetlands group - in the morning. These islands offer good opportunities for shore landings to view Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins before the ship journeys further south, navigating the wildlife rich Bransfield Strait. Large icebergs will be present from this point onwards and make for striking photographs in the evening light.
Take in the towering mountain peaks of the Antarctic continent and try for landfall at Wilhelmina Bay. This is truly an 'A-list' location and a place often inhabited by sizeable pods of humpback whales. Navigate under the towering cliffs of Spigot Peak and into the Errera Channel, and have the chance to land at Cuverville Island - home to a rookery of gentoo penguins. This is a fantastic location for a Zodiac cruise or a paddle in the kayaks (optional program.)
Soak up the scenery on the outer decks as the ship passes through ice-strewn waters toward the Antarctic Circle. Given favorable ice conditions, the first objective is to sail south of the Circle and into Crystal Sound.
While ever-changing Antarctic conditions always determine the itinerary, the next four days include a variety of landing possibilities. Explorations ashore may include Detaille Island and Winter Island. If the conditions are right, enjoy a thrilling overnight camping experience!
Returning north along the dramatic coastline of the Peninsula, possibilities include landings at Petermann Island and Pleneu Island. Explore the area with guided walks on shore, visits to penguin colonies, and Zodiac cruising among the ice with expert guides providing insight and interpretation.
Cruise through the breathtaking Lemaire Channel, with mountain walls rising thousands of feet straight out of the water. This is one of the most scenic locations in Antarctica. However, the passage may sometimes become impassable.
Journey towards Paradise Harbor which may be the first chance to set foot on the shores of Antarctica itself! Nearby Neko Harbour offers another landing. Take advantage of hiking trails with panoramic views and kayaking opportunities.
At this point in the voyage, be fully engaged in the sights, sounds, and sensations of the Arctic. Weather permitting, sail into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island, where history abounds. Explore abandoned whaling station ruins, if the conditions are right, partake in the "polar plunge" in the thermal waters along the shore. Charting a course for King George Island in the early evening light, enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.
Anchor off King George Island in the morning, bid farewell to the crew and transfer ashore by Zodiac. From the island airstrip, board your two-hour flight to Punta Arenas. From there, transfer to your comfortable downtown hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, airport transfers will be provided in time for your homeward-bound journey.
MT Sobek's Polar Value Promise means that we offer in-house services to help plan and execute you polar adventure for no added cost.
We include emergency medical insurance and emergency evacuation coverage as a value-added benefit at no additional cost to you.
Over 30 years offering polar voyages we have built strong relationships with polar outfitters and ships that cruise the 7th continent.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Expert polar interpretation and presentations, professional navigation through Antarctic waters, and up-close wildlife experiences on shore and by Zodiac.Optional kayaking for a fee.
Stylish and well-appointed polar expedition vessels offer a luxurious way to explore Antarctica. One night included at the Hotel Cabo de Hornos in Punta Arenas.
The weather in Antarctica is unpredictable. There may be warm sunshine, but be prepared for wind, rain, and snow. Daytime temperatures are usually 20-32F.
You need to arrive in Punta Arenas on the day before the start of the trip. Hotel accommodations are not included that night, but we can help make necessary reservations.
You should plan your outbound flight from Punta Arenas for 12:00pm or later on Day 12. Group airport transfers will be provided from the hotel in time for scheduled flights.
The flight from Punta Arenas to Falkland Islands is included in the total trip cost. The flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas is also included.
Days 2 & 3 may have rough sea conditions while crossing the Drake Passage. Crossings can be rough, but usually tolerable. We recommend consulting your doctor or bringing seasickness medication.
Large variety of options at buffet breakfasts and lunches. Dinners include plated entrée choices (including vegetarian) appetizers, and desserts. Full-bar onboard payable with onboard account.
Yes, each guest will have use of a complimentary rental package including a quality waterproof/windproof jacket, bib-pants, and insulated rubber boots. Includes a pair of binoculars and a waterproof backpack.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"I have taken 12 trips with MT Sobek. Each has left a positive imprint on me-widening my view of the world and its peoples."
MT Sobek Guest
"MT Sobek took care of everything for our extended family vacation. Not a hiccup in the planning, the itinerary, the lodging or the guide. Everything in life should be so easy."
MT Sobek Guest