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Ocean Nova

Antarctica Express Air-Cruise

A perfect trip to Antarctica for those with limited vacation time. Join this Ocean Nova Antarctica Cruise!

Length

6 Days

Ship category

Classic

Ship type

Small Ship

Capacity

72 Passengers

Antarctica Express Air-Cruise

6 Reviews

Trip highlights

Cape Horn

Whale watching from the open deck

Immense icebergs and glaciers

Observe penguins in their natural habitat

The Polartours experience

Best price guaranteed

Fly the Drake Passage

Your booking contributes to our Conservation Project

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

Ocean Nova Deck Plan

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

Cabins

Ocean Nova Single Cabin
Single Cabin

Type:

Single

Max. occupancy:

1

More about this cabin

Ocean Nova triple Cabin
Triple Cabin

Type:

Triple

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

Ocean Nova Twin Cabin
Twin Cabin

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Map

Itinerary

Keep in mind this is an expedition cruise, so your itinerary will depend greatly on the weather, amount of ice and wildlife breeding behavior.

Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival to Ushuaia
Laguna Esmeralda

Beagle Channel

Arrival at Ushuaia

Embark in Ushuaia

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.

Patagonia Trekking Header
Darwin range
Darwin range

Cape Horn

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.

Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
Beagle Channel

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.

South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands

Northeast beach Ardley Island

Penguin Island

Telefon Bay

Hannah Point

Pendulum Cove

Elephant Island

Point Wild

Turret Point

Barrientos Island

Whalers Bay

Baily Head on Deception Island

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.

Business Flight to King George Island
King George Island
King George Island

King George Island

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.

Punta Arenas
Punta Arenas

Arrival at Punta Arenas

End of Air Cruise

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.

Dates & Prices

From

Until

Info

Availability

Price

29

Nov

2025

4

Dec

2025

Available

From

EUR 4,603

29

Nov

2025

4

Dec

2025

Available

From

EUR 4,603

14

Jan

2026

19

Jan

2026

Available

From

EUR 4,603

14

Jan

2026

19

Jan

2026

Available

From

EUR 4,603

Preferred date unavailable? Contact us

Info

Single Cabin Supplement

When booking online, you can choose the option to "Upgrade to single occupancy". This will guarantee you the whole cabin to yourself, for an additional fee. If you don't select this option, then another traveler of the same sex might be placed into the same cabin with you.

What's included

For air-cruises starting in Punta Arenas, group transfers airport/hotel on Day 1.

For air-cruises starting in Punta Arenas, one overnight with breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar, with a welcome dinner including drinks on Day 1.

1 overnight with breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar on the Day of the Scheduled Return Flight from Antarctica.

For air-cruises starting in Punta Arenas, enjoy special access to Explorers House.

Group transfers airport/hotel on the Day of the Scheduled Return Flight from Antarctica, and group transfers hotel/airport on last Day of the air-cruise.

Flight from Punta Arenas to Frei Station on King George Island and/or vice versa as indicated in the program corresponding to each voyage.

Daily breakfast and lunch on board ship offering a wide choice of dishes.

Daily served dinner on board ship offering a choice of three main courses.

Wine, beer, juice, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board ship.

Coffee, tea, chocolate, cappuccino, water and snacks on board ship throughout the expedition.

All guided shore excursions.

Lectures and entertainment on board.

Comprehensive pre- and post-voyage information material.

Loan of waterproof boots for landing in Antarctica.

Contingency Plan.

IAATO passenger fee.

What's not included

Accommodation, meals, excursions and transfers other than those included in the itinerary and the Contingency Plan corresponding to each voyage. Specifically, dinner in Punta Arenas upon return from Antarctica is not included.

Beverages purchased at the ship’s bar.

Internet connection on board the ship.

Personal travel insurance.

Extra expenses (communication, laundry, souvenirs, etc.).

Gratuities.

Visas for Chile and/or Argentina, passport expenses, and any arrival and/or departure tax, if applicable.

Credit Card charges may apply

A fuel surcharge may apply at a later stage. More info

Reviews

Jihyun Lee

Ocean Nova Antarctica Cruises

Classic

Wonderful experience I might have once in my life. It was our Honeymoon trip. To be actually at that time i was on the board, the weather was very bad so i got sea sick and I was provided quite limited activities. Despite the situation , the staff members was nice and foods was good. And anyway i arrived at Antarctica with little delay than i expected. It was unforgettable experience for us! Thanks😘

Jihyun Lee

Ocean Nova Antarctica Cruises

Classic

Eine wunderbare Erfahrung, die ich vielleicht einmal in meinem Leben machen werde. Es war unsere Flitterwochenreise. Um genau zu sein, zu dieser Zeit war ich an Bord, das Wetter war sehr schlecht, so dass ich seekrank wurde und ich war ziemlich begrenzt Aktivitäten zur Verfügung gestellt. Trotz dieser Situation war das Personal sehr nett und das Essen war gut. Außerdem erreichte ich die Antarktis mit etwas mehr Verspätung als ich erwartet hatte. Es war ein unvergessliches Erlebnis für uns! Danke😘

Jihyun Lee

Ocean Nova Antarctica Cruises

Classic

Une expérience merveilleuse que je pourrais avoir une fois dans ma vie. C'était notre voyage de noces. En fait, à l'époque, j'étais à bord, le temps était très mauvais, j'ai eu le mal de mer et on m'a proposé des activités assez limitées. Malgré la situation, les membres du personnel étaient gentils et la nourriture était bonne. Et de toute façon, je suis arrivé en Antarctique avec un peu plus de retard que prévu. C'était une expérience inoubliable pour nous ! Merci😘

FAQ

When it comes to traveling to Antarctica, one of the first questions that often arises is, "Can I fly to Antarctica?". The answer is: Yes, you can. Most trips start in Patagonia (Ushuaia and Punta Arenas) and cross the Drake Passage by ship, but there are also trips that use planes to cross that infamous sea passage. Here are the Pros and Cons for each method:

Flying to Antarctica:

  • Pros: Flying to Antarctica is the quickest way to reach the continent. It offers convenience and is often the choice for those with very limited time.

  • Cons: There are limited commercial flights to Antarctica, and these are primarily reserved for research and expedition purposes. Tourist accessibility is limited, and it can be costly. Also, as not many trips include flights, you'll be limiting your choice a lot if you decide to only look for such trips.

Crossing the Drake Passage by ship:

  • Pros: If you choose to cross the Drake Passage by ship, you embark on an incredible adventure. This journey is not just a means of transportation; it's an expedition in itself. The crossing takes 1.5 - 2 days, which are filled with scientific lectures that prepare you for the experience. You'll witness diverse wildlife, including penguins and whales, as your anticipation starts building up. To us, the crossing is a quintessential experience of a true Antarctic explorer.

  • Cons: Crossing the Drake Passage takes some time, and the seas can be rough. It's not the quickest way to reach the continent, and you need to allocate more time for your expedition.

In conclusion, when it comes to traveling to Antarctica, you have these two choices. Flying offers efficiency and direct access, perfect for specific purposes. Crossing the Drake Passage by ship provides an unmatched adventure and connection with Antarctica's unique environment. Consider what truly matters to you, and you'll find the Antarctic transportation choice that suits your goals and spirit of exploration.

All cruises in the polar regions operate to itineraries that are more-or-less fixed. We say "more or less", because wildlife (breeding, seasonality) and weather always play an important role in routing. Most cruises will offer a range of land-based and water-based activities that you will enjoy at various points in your cruise, including:

  • Land excursions (including hiking trails, visitor centers, time relaxing on beaches, observing animals, etc.)
  • Bird Watching
  • Snorkeling (from ship or beaches)
  • Dinghy rides
  • Kayaking
  • Diving (on ships with diving itineraries)
  • Naturalist presentations. These usually take place every evening - on board the bigger ships also with help of projectors, microscopes etc.

All boats carry English speaking, scientifically trained guides. They will lead you on your excursions, allowing you to learn as much as possible about the unique wildlife and habitats of the Polar Regions.

Choosing the right ship for a cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic seems difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Our fleet is over 30 vessels, we are sure that there is the perfect one for you. Please, follow these simple steps, and you will be able to find your ideal ship:

  • Determine your budget and desired level of comfort: Are you looking for luxury or more budget-friendly options? On our website you can set the price range.
  • Consider ship size: Large ships offer more amenities and facilities, but they can also feel crowded and impersonal. Smaller ships offer a more personal experience, but may not have as many amenities.
  • Look at the cabins: Although you probably won’t spend much time in your cabin, look at the photos and read the descriptions to make sure you're happy with the one you choose.
  • Consider the activities on board: Are you interested in kayaking, camping, diving or a photography workshop? Or maybe you want to take part in a Citizen Science Program? These activities can enhance your overall experience. See what our ships have to offer.
  • Read customer reviews: Learn about other travelers' experiences by reading reviews.
  • Ask your Polar Specialist: Feel free to contact your Polar Specialist. They are happy to share their knowledge and are always ready to help.

In addition: We work with responsible partners who provide a great experience for their passengers. All of our providers are committed to sustainability and to preserving the beauty of the polar regions. You don’t need to worry about the impact of your cruise, because we’ve already taken care of it.

We love to help people find their dream vacation to the Arctic and Antarctic. Whether you give us a call, contact us via email, or use our website inquiry form, one of our Polar travel experts will be more than happy to answer any questions, recommend ships and itineraries, and walk you through the whole process!

Step 1: Find your perfect trip. If you have already started looking for Polar Cruises, you will have quickly noticed that the sheer amount of options can be quite overwhelming. To help you navigate the countless departures and itineraries that our fleet offers, we have put together a great filter page for Antarctic and Arctic Expedition Cruises. Use this page to filter all trips by price, date, ship category, and even destinations you wish to visit. We update all dates, prices, and availabilities daily, and are proud to host what is doubtlessly the world's most complete collection of information.

Step 2: Found something you love? We'll hold your spaces, free of charge! If you find a cruise you like, you can either inquire directly with us or make an unbinding booking online. We will then reach out to the shipowners to put a hold on your spaces for a limited time, free of charge. Once we have confirmed your block with the ship, we will send you a written confirmation of your reservation and include full payment details in an invoice. Typically, we are able to hold unpaid reservations for up to 1 week*. This gives us time to clarify all your remaining questions, and also ensures that no other passengers can book your spaces, while we continue our conversation.

Step 3: Confirm your booking. In order to confirm your booking, we ask for a deposit payment. You can pay via bank transfer or credit card. Keep in mind, that we can only hold your spaces for a limited amount of time. If we don't receive your payment after this time, we can no longer guarantee that the places will be available or that the price won't increase. To prevent disappointment, we will automatically cancel your reservation if we don't receive your deposit by the due date stated on your booking reservation.

Step 4: Booking confirmation & Payment. As soon as we have received your deposit and a completed passenger information form, we will be pleased to send your booking confirmation and updated invoice, along with your trip itinerary, important information, and other great tips for your cruise.

Step 5: Final payment. In your initial invoice, we will define a final payment date by when you need to pay us the remaining amount of your trip. Once we have received your final payment we'll send you your cruise documents and voucher. As your trip approaches, we make sure to pass along all necessary information, so you feel super prepared and stress-free.

*For last-minute bookings, we might not be able to hold your spaces for so long. We will also require the full payment of your cruise upon booking.

An expedition cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic is a big deal! Most people plan for this type of trip at least 8 months in advance. This means the earlier you book, the better chance you'll have to reserve your prefered cabins. Early bird discounts are also popular and a great way to get 10-30% off your cruise.

Most expedition cruises offer optional activities like camping and kayaking, but the spaces are limited. A cruise with 120 passengers can have only 10-15 spaces for kayaking. These are reserved on a first come first served basis. The earlier you book, the higher your chance of grabbing a spot.

Even though last minute deals do occur, keep in mind that the airline prices will be much higher if you purchase them last minute. You may save a few hundred on your cruise, but you may end up paying the most for airfare.

If you are prone to motion sickness then here are a few hints to help you.

Firstly, book a cabin in the middle of the ship. The middle of the ship will move less, both in roll and in pitch. Secondly, chose a larger ship. Bigger vessels typically are more stable, and some of them are even equipped with "stabilizers", fins under water that remove the rolling in the swells. Thirdly, take medical advice on anti-seasickness medication. Some traditional remedies are said to be very effective, such as taking ginger or using commercially-available acupressure wristbands.

Watch this informative video about life onboard an expedition ship and seasickness from our expert guide and Polartours Brand Ambassador, Kevin.

Life Onboard & Seasickness
Antarctica Express Air-Cruise

4.8

(6)

Classic

From

EUR 4,603



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