Antarctica Express Air-Cruise
A perfect trip to Antarctica for those with limited vacation time. Join this Ocean Nova Antarctica Cruise!
From: USD 4,995
A 6-day expedition cruise
The Trip Highlights
Whale watching from the open deck
Immense icebergs and glaciers
Observe penguins in their natural habitat
Your Polartours 'Plus' Experience
Fly the Drake Passage
Up to 5 hours of excursion per day
Your trip is 100% carbon offset
Dedicated transfer team in Punta Arenas
The Antarctica Express Air-Cruise was designed for travelers looking for a quick and affordable Antarctica expedition cruise. This trip offers you the chance to visit Cape Horn, cruise the Drake Passage, land in Antarctica, and fly back.
Your ship: Ocean Nova
The Ocean Nova is a sturdy but nimble expedition vessel, originally built in Denmark to sail through the ice-packed waters off Greenland. With its ice-strengthened hull, and after a full refit in 2006, she was converted to become the perfect Antarctic cruise ship. Since then, she has been upgraded and improved every year to maintain her excellent reputation.
For our air-cruises, Ocean Nova has capacity for only 67 passengers who will find themselves in comfortable outside cabins. The ship offers three categories of accommodation for Antarctic cruises: dedicated Single Cabins, Twin Cabins, … Read more about Ocean Nova
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Day 1 • The end of the world. The beginning of everything.
Ushuaia is often called the "Gateway to Antarctica". Thanks to its position on the shores of the Beagle Channel at the southern tip of Argentina, Ushuaia's harbor is equally popular with luxury cruise vessels and huge, rugged ice breakers. A vital port for the resupply of many of the Antarctic research bases, Ushuaia is also a beautiful city that really does feel like it's at the edge of the world.
From the rugged peaks that soar high about the town to the aptly named "Train and the End of the World" steam railway; from fascinating museums and cultural centers to boat trips along the Beagle Channel to get up close and personal with penguins and seals, Ushuaia is a remarkable destination in its own right, as well as a wonderful place to start or finish your Antarctic cruise.
Day 2 • Cape Horn Visit
Also known as Fjordland, Patagonia is the sparsely populated southern tip of South America. It’s split across both Argentina and Chile and is notably for the sheer variety of terrain you can find here.
From the uplands of the southern edge of the Andes range to deserts, glaciers, fjords and lakes, and barren steppes, Patagonia is rich in geological and wildlife interest.
The Patagonian port of Punta Arenas is one of the largest cities in the region and is the staging point for many Antarctic expedition cruises and for resupply ships that service the Antarctic research stations.
Day 3 • Cross the Drake Passage & arrive at the South Shetland Islands
The Drake Passage is the name given to the infamous stretch of open ocean between the tip of South America and the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.
It usually takes 2 or 3 days to cross the Drake Passage, and this is a great time to learn from your expert Antarctic naturalist guides. Through a series of fascinating talks and lectures, you'll begin to learn more about the remarkable wildlife and awe-inspiring geology of the Antarctic continent.
Your guides are always on hand to help you identify the sea bird species that always follow the ships, as well as spotting whales and other cetaceans that can be seen en route to the Antarctic Peninsula or the South Shetland Islands.
Day 4 • Explore Antarctica's South Shetland Islands
Sometimes overlooked as a destination by people keen to set foot on the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands are a must-see destination in their own right.
Often the first and last landfall on an Antarctic cruise, many people are taken aback by the stunning beauty of these islands. What better way to make contact with the Antarctic than by making your first beach landing here surrounded by gentoo penguins?
Apart from some of the most southerly species of penguin, the South Shetlands are home to a huge range of Antarctic wildlife, and they make a superb introduction to the wildlife of the whole region, including key species like elephant seals, humpback whales, and more.
With active volcanoes, the relics and remains of its history as a centre for whaling, and some of the most beautiful Antarctic mountain scenery, the South Shetland Islands are a fitting first destination for any Antarctic cruise.
Day 5 • Antarctica and Scheduled Return Flight
The largest of the South Shetland Islands, King George Island lies only 75 miles from the coast of the Antarctic continent. With historical claims made by Britain, Chile and Argentina, the island is also known as Isla Rey Jorge and Isla 25 de Mayo.
The importance of King George Island to many Antarctic bases is the 1,300m long airstrip maintained by the permanently occupied Chilean Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva. This provides a lifeline as an airbridge for personnel and supplies for many other Antarctic bases and research stations.
The presence of the airstrip allows King George Island to be used as a "fly-cruise" destination. Flying from Chile across the Drake Passage saves up to 3 days at sea, allowing Antarctic exploration for those with less time to take a full cruise.
Day 6 • Your unforgettable Antarctica air-cruise comes to an end in Punta Arenas
Punta Arenas ("Sandy Point" in Spanish) is the capital city of Chile's southernmost region, Magallanes and Antarctica Chilena.
Punta Arenas is the largest city below the 46th parallel and is one of the largest cities in the entire Patagonian Region.
It is only 870 miles from the coast of Antarctica, yet Punta Arenas is a vibrant and modern city that's the perfect starting point for Antarctic exploration.