A21 Magellan Explorer

Antarctica Express Air Cruise

A quick and affordable trip to the incredible White Continent.

Antarctica Express Air Cruise

On board the Magellan Explorer
6-day cruise
Antarctic Cruise
air cruise
100 Reviews
5/5
flight icon
Private Flight to Antarctica
Medical Service Icon
Medical Services
24h Doctor Station
Our Antarctica Express Air-Cruise was designed for travelers looking for a quick and affordable visit to the White Continent. This expedition offers you the chance to visit Cape Horn, cruise the Drake Passage, land in Antarctica, and fly back.

Your itinerary

Day 1, AM
Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival at Ushuaia
Welcome to Ushuaia. It's official, you have arrived at the world's most southerly city with the evocative motto "End of the World, Beginning of Everything". Over 50,000 people call Ushuaia home. Its unusual name derives from the language of the Yaghan people, indigenous to the Tierra del Fuego region, and translates as "deep bay". The city was formally founded in 1884 after a small settlement and a prison had been built there in the years before, but by 1893 the population was still less than 150 thanks to a series of epidemics and the remote location. The prison population began to grow as it was used to house dangerous and repeat offenders. In effect, for the first 50 years of the city's existence, the prisoners became forced colonists, helping to build up the town and to secure the Argentine claims to the Tierra del Fuego region. Today, Ushuaia is a busy port and a hub for adventure travel to the Antarctic and South Atlantic. Lying below the lovely snow-capped Martial Mountains, the city has grown in a rather jumbled way, expanding from its sole main street and waterfront thanks to an increase in tourism and travel. If you want to relax before your Antarctic adventure, then a stroll along the waterfront - pausing for a selfie in front of the "end of the world" sign, of course! - is a pleasant way to spend your time. If you're feeling more energetic there are many options for hiking, biking, and boat rides into Beagle Channel. You can even take spectacular helicopter tours! In town, there are plenty of restaurants, shops, and a recent boom in craft beers means there are several places now vying for the title of the world's most southerly brewery!
Day 1, PM
Embarking ship
Embark
Boarding usually begins in the afternoon. Everyone will have a safety briefing and demonstration, and then you are free to explore your new floating home and meet your fellow Antarctic explorers! Later, you'll get an expedition overview from your fantastic expedition guides. You'll spend the night on board as your ship begins its journey south.
Day 1, PM
Beagle Channel
Sail the Beagle Channel & Lectures
This 150-mile long channel between Chile and Argentina leads from Ushuaia towards the open Southern Ocean. It's only 3 miles wide at its narrowest point, giving you some spectacular scenery as your ship navigates its way to or from the ocean. You can spot rare local dolphins here, as well as a huge variety of sea and shorebirds.
Day 2, AM
Cape Horn
After an overnight crossing of Nassau Bay, you awake in full view of legendary Cape Horn!
Day 3, AM
Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
An 800 km body of water that connects Cape Horn in Chile to the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, the shortest crossing from Antarctica to any other land mass. The crossing takes about 48 hours. At some point on the first day, cross the Antarctic Convergence, a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer sub-antarctic water moving in the opposite direction. It is the largest biological barrier on earth and is marked by a change in temperature, salinity and nutrient levels. The north flowing Antarctic waters predominantly sink beneath southward moving sub-antarctic waters. While further south associated areas of mixing and upwelling create an ocean very high in marine productivity. During the long voyage across the Drake Passage, Attend lectures hosted throughout the day on everything from local wildlife to geology to history. The exceptional crew aboard your Antarctic cruise consists of professional and highly skilled historians, marine biologists, and naturalists who offer keen insight and a unique personal perspective to each and every adventure. There is always someone on hand to answer questions and provide greater insight and appreciation of the world at its extremes.
Day 4, AM
Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
An 800 km body of water that connects Cape Horn in Chile to the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, the shortest crossing from Antarctica to any other land mass. The crossing takes about 48 hours. At some point on the first day, cross the Antarctic Convergence, a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer sub-antarctic water moving in the opposite direction. It is the largest biological barrier on earth and is marked by a change in temperature, salinity and nutrient levels. The north flowing Antarctic waters predominantly sink beneath southward moving sub-antarctic waters. While further south associated areas of mixing and upwelling create an ocean very high in marine productivity. During the long voyage across the Drake Passage, Attend lectures hosted throughout the day on everything from local wildlife to geology to history. The exceptional crew aboard your Antarctic cruise consists of professional and highly skilled historians, marine biologists, and naturalists who offer keen insight and a unique personal perspective to each and every adventure. There is always someone on hand to answer questions and provide greater insight and appreciation of the world at its extremes.
Day 4, AM
South Shetland Islands
Sail to the South Shetland Islands & Lectures
As you sail towards the South Shetland Islands your expert guides will entertain and educate you with a series of lectures and talks. From natural history to human history, geology to marine biology, there's something for everyone. All of the crew are experts in the field chosen not only for their huge depth of knowledge but also for their passion and enthusiasm. They really make this most remote of the world's regions come alive.
Day 4, PM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Baily Head, Deception Island
Baily Head on Deception Island
Deception Island one of the South Shetland Islands off the Antarctic Peninsula. The island is actually the top of the cone (the caldera) of an active shield volcano that last erupted in 1969. This flooded caldera makes a remarkable natural harbor, although Baily Head itself is on the eastern outer flank of the cone. The geography here makes a natural bowl in the landscape, with the long rocky beach leading up to a curving ridge above. To the north is an impressive glacier. As you approach the beach at Baily Head you will begin to hear the amazing noise that a colony of over 200,000 chinstrap penguins can make! During the summer, the glacial melt stream allows them to create a penguin “highway” that the birds follow to and from the sea, hundreds moving back and forth at any time. Your expert Antarctic guides will take you to the edge of the breeding groups, allow you to experience this remarkable sight without disturbing the birds. Other regular visitors to the Head include Antarctic Fur Seals who regularly haul up on to the beach, with crabeater, elephant, Weddell, and leopard seals also sometimes being seen in the surrounding waters. Overhead you will find skuas, petrels, and sheathbills, all of whom also like to nest in the sheltered rocks of Baily Head.
Day 4, PM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Telefon Bay
Telefon Bay on Deception Island
Deception Island is the eroded cone of an active volcano, that last erupted in 1967. It sits in the Bransfield Strait and is part of the South Shetland Islands. Telefon Bay is on the northwest coast of the volcano and is overlooked by Telefon Ridge. Despite the name, the bay has nothing to do with communications! It was first mapped in 1908 and was named after a Norwegian ship, the SS Telefon, that had been damaged and was put aground here for repairs later that year before being refloated. The backdrop to the beach is dramatic. In the rising land behind it, you will see a number of volcanic craters, some of which are up to 150ft deep - although gradually being filled in with ice and sediments. To the east and west are cliffs made of ash that were the result of activity in the 1967 eruption that impacted Telefon Bay. You will be allowed to roam freely here, provided you stick to the main paths and give any penguins a wide berth! You will often see scientific equipment placed around the bay that is used for monitoring any seismic disturbances - it will be clearly marked to help you avoid it. The shallow beach here is a favorite place for seals to haul out, and you can often encounter both Weddell and fur seals as you come in for a landing.
Day 5, AM
King George Island
King George Island
King George Island is widely known as the “Gateway to the Antarctic”. More than 10 different nations have permanent scientific bases here, and that’s reflected in the different names the island is known as: “Isla 25 de Mayo” in Argentina, “Isla Rey Jorge” in Chile, and “Ватерло́о Vaterloo” in Russia. King George has the only airport in the South Shetland Islands, and its strategic location just 75 miles from the Antarctic Peninsula makes it the most important staging and connection hub in the region. By maintaining a base here, a nation is granted membership of the Antarctic Treaty, and hence there is a cosmopolitan population of scientists in residence most of the time. This might explain why there’s a Russian Orthodox church here (one of the very few permanent buildings in the whole of Antarctica) with a priest always in residence! All this is even more impressive when you realize that more than 90% of the 59 miles long by 16 miles wide island is permanently covered with ice and snow. This suits the native wildlife just fine, and King George Island is home to many different species including Weddell, leopard, and elephant seals, gentoo, chinstrap, and Adelie penguins, and many seabirds such as skuas and southern giant petrels.
Day 5, PM
A21 Magellan Explorer
Return Flight to Punta Arenas
Return to King George Island and bid farewell to Antarctica before boarding your flight back to Punta Arenas. Upon arrival from the 7th continent, transfer to your hotel for the night and enjoy an evening at your own leisure.
Day 6, AM
End of Air Cruise
After a peaceful night in your hotel, you will board the transfer vehicle to Punta Arenas airport for your flight home.

Dates & Prices

Select date and passengers
Number of passengers
2

Your ship: Magellan Explorer

Welcome aboard the Magellan Explorer, an ultra-modern expedition cruise ship built for the Antarctic. An Antarctic trip aboard the Magellan Explorer is unlike the rest. Instead of boarding your cruise ship right away and spending long days crossing the Drake Passage to get to the Antarctica, you’ll take a two-hour plane ride from Punta Arenas straight to the continent itself. This flight will save you time, and you’ll be able to head straight to the Antarctic action. A Magellan Explorer is a pioneer air-cruise is designed for adventure and with your comfort in mind. To manage environmental impact, the Antarctic Treaty limits the numbers of visitors on shore to maximum 100 at one time. A Magellan Explorer air-cruise comfortably accommodates only 73 guests so everyone can go ashore at the same time. This means that you will spend more time ashore, rather than waiting your turn to disembark the ship. The Magellan Explorer cruise ship offers 7 different categories of accommodation, including dedicated single cabins. All cabins except for the Porthole cabins have a private balcony for your enjoyment. All cabins feature a wardrobe, an individually controlled heating system, a private bathroom, a sitting area, and heated floors. The Magellan Explorer cruise ship also features a beautiful glass-enclosed observation lounge deck for guests to awe over the incredible Antarctic views. Guests are welcome to take part in the polar discussions in the presentation room with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment. The polar cruise ship also offers a library, a boutique gym built by the professionals at Anytime Fitness, a sauna, and a medial clinic. The Magellan Explorer comes equipped with a fleet of 10 Zodiac boats, perfectly suited for an Antarctic adventure and a closer look at the flora and fauna. The observation deck aboard the cruise ship also leads to the bow of the ship where guests and crew can better spot marine wildlife. A Magellan Explorer air-cruise is the most modern way to explore the amazing Antarctic region. Time-saving, comfortable, and intimate, this air-cruise rethinks polar exploration for those who have a limited amount of travel time.

Amenities

Observation Lounge Icon
Observation Lounge
Cocktail Symbol
Bar
Library Icon
Library
Conference room icon
Conference Room
Fitness Center Icon
Fitness Center
Sauna Icon
Sauna
Zodia Symbol
Zodiac Fleet

Sustainability

All CO2 emissions of your trip (e.g. local transport, hotel) will be 100% compensated for you by a Gold Standard climate protection project.

Similar Experiences