polartours header c

Silversea Antarctica Photos

Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake

Discover the main polar attractions in this Antarctic Express aboard the Ocean Adventurer Arctic

Length

11 Days

Ship category

Classic

Ship type

Mid-Sized Ship

Capacity

128 Passengers

Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake

5 Reviews

Trip highlights

Experience amazing wildlife animals

Spot seals and whales in their natural habitats

Step a foot on the 7th continent

Cross the drake passage in only a few hours!

The Polartours experience

Hike up a sparkling glacier

Experience the chill of a polar plunge

Your booking contributes to our Conservation Project

Learn from Polar experts

Don't waste any time and fly over the infamous Drake Passage by charter plane and land on King George Island before starting your polar adventure. Antarctica will enchant you with its breathtaking scenery, snow-capped peaks and huge icebergs. Get to know the local wildlife: walk among the famous king penguins, watch whales and photograph thousands of seabirds. Explore historic sites, climb a sparkling iceberg and make the most of your landmark visit to the 7th continent.

Your ship: Ocean Adventurer

Ocean Adventurer Exterior
Ocean Adventurer deck plan
Ocean Adventurer Exterior

The Ocean Adventurer is a comfortable vessel with spacious cabins. All cabins have private bathroom facilities and exterior views. This vessel is designed to carry travelers in comfort to the most remote corners of the world. Ocean Adventurer was built in 1976 and underwent extensive upgrades in 2017. This multi-million dollar investment included renovations to the interior of the ship, significant technical upgrades, and the addition of a new cabin category, the Owner’s Suites. The refurbishment included new bathrooms in every cabin and upgrades to the lounge, dining room, gym, and suites.

W … Read more about Ocean Adventurer

Cabins

Ocean Adventurer Deluxe
Deluxe Suite

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Ocean Adventurer owners suite
Owner's Suite

Type:

Matrimonial

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Ocean Adventurer suite
Suite

Type:

Matrimonial

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Ocean Adventurer lower twin
Lower Twin Cabin

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Ocean Adventurer triple
Triple Cabin

Type:

Triple

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

Ocean Adventurer superior
Superior Cabin

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Ocean Adventurer twin window
Twin Window

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Ocean Adventurer twin porthole
Twin Porthole

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.

Paddling Excursion

0 Days

Paddling Excursion

Please note that depending on the ship, length of your cruise, and the itinerary, this price may vary. Inquire with your Polar Specialist. Enjoy being out on Polar waters on a two-person inflatable kayak, which enables you to enjoy a more intimate sailing experience in an unforgettable location. The kayaks are stable and comfortable, the perfect vehicle to see the Polar regions from a different perspective. This is a one-time activity, and no prior experience is necessary. IMPORTANT: This activity is dependent on weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Sea-Kayaking-What-To-Wear-In-Antarctica

0 Days

5.0

(1)

Sea Kayaking

Embark on an exhilarating sea kayaking adventure in some of the world's most magnificent and biodiverse wilderness areas, including Antarctica and the Arctic. Take in the breathtaking scenery as you navigate through ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes. In Antarctica, spend unforgettable moments with penguins, seals and whales, and keep an eye out for the occasional encounter with leopard seals or killer whales. In the Arctic, paddle through bird colonies, past massive glaciers and around huge icebergs. Led by experienced guides, you will join a small group of like-minded adventurers to explore the picturesque coastlines of these wild and remote destinations. Paddling offers an intimate and unique way to experience the beauty of these regions and make the most of your time there. Important: This activity is subject to weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

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.

Visitors can also take advantage of the city's rich history, cultural heritage and bustling urban life before embarking on their adventure to the white continent. Whether you're an avid nature lover, a history buff, or an adventurous traveler, Punta Arenas is the perfect starting point for an unforgettable journey to Antarctica.

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

Embark at King George Island

Flight to 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.

Antarctic Peninsula
Before and After Antarctic Peninsula
South Georgia

Cuverville Island

Wordie House, Winter Island

Yankee Harbour

Georges Point, Rongé Island

Neko Harbour

Pleneau Island

Goudier Island

Port Charcot, Booth Island

Damoy Point

Danco Island, Errera Channel

Yalour Islands

Jougla Point

Astrolabe Island

Orne Harbour

D’Hainaut & Trinity Island

Orne Islands

Portal Point

Petermann Island

The North-West portion of the Antarctic Peninsula is the most frequently visited by expedition cruises and is home to many of the most popular landing sites. The Gerlache Strait is renowned for the stunning scenery with the snow covered mountains, as if covered in icing sugar, with numerous glaciers tumbling down to the sea.

Being the most northerly part of the whole continent, the Peninsula enjoys the mildest Antarctic condition, with temperatures in winter averaging a balmy -20 degrees C (-4 degrees F)! In the summer, things warm up to an average of just above freezing. Large areas of this part of the peninsula are ice-free in the early season, being important breeding and feeding grounds for many iconic Antarctic species.

It's here that many of the historic Antarctic expeditions began, and where early military and scientific bases were first established, some of which you will be able to visit if conditions allow. These remarkable artefacts have been left as time capsules, their contents showing remarkable levels of preservation thanks to the dry and cold climate.

Antarctic Peninsula
Before and After Antarctic Peninsula
Antarctic Peninsula

South of the Polar Circle

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is both a memorable experience and impressive achievement, as few travelers reach so far south. If conditions allow us to cross this famed latitude of 66°33 ́ S, we’ll toast the first explorers who ventured here, and you can raise a glass and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, Weddell seals, and your best chances of encountering sea ice – the foundation of the Antarctic marine ecosystem.

Ocean Adventurer
Antarctic Peninsula
Before and After Antarctic Peninsula

Cuverville Island

Wordie House, Winter Island

Yankee Harbour

Georges Point, Rongé Island

Neko Harbour

Pleneau Island

Goudier Island

Port Charcot, Booth Island

Damoy Point

Danco Island, Errera Channel

Yalour Islands

Jougla Point

Astrolabe Island

Orne Harbour

D’Hainaut & Trinity Island

Orne Islands

Portal Point

Petermann Island

If you haven’t had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you’ll surely be satisfied by the time you return to King George Island. You will continue to explore by Zodiac or on land as you travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula.

Your Expedition Team will always be on the lookout for species of seabirds, seals and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south.

Business Flight to 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

End of Air Cruise

After breakfast, you are welcome to continue on your own travels or make your way to the Punta Arenas airport for your homeward flights.

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

Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities

All Zodiac transfers and cruising as per the daily program

All shore landings as per the daily program

Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping

All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)

Select beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock

Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled

A photographic journal documenting the expedition

A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions

An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep

Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin

All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program

All luggage handling aboard the ship

Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person

A group arrival transfer in Punta Arenas from airport to pre-expedition hotel on Day 1

One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas with breakfast (Note: The number of guests per room is the same as cabin occupancy on the ship. Due to limited availability, travelers who reserve a suite on board are accommodated in standard rooms at the hotel. Triple rooms may not be available.)

A briefing dinner on Day 1 in Punta Arenas

A pre-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the hotel to the airport

Flights to and from King George Island

A post-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to the hotel

One night’s post-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas with breakfast

What's not included

International airfare

Passport and applicable visa expenses

Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned

Meals unless otherwise specified

Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended

Excess-baggage fees on international flights

Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac landing and cruising excursions, or any other gear not mentioned

Laundry, bar, spa services and other personal charges, unless specified

Phone and Internet charges

Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and shipboard crew

Additional overnight accommodation

Arrival and departure transfers, except where explicitly stated

Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities

Credit Card charges may apply

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

Reviews

Ocean Adventurer Exterior

John

Ocean Adventurer Arctic and Antarctic Cruises

Classic

We were upgraded to the Owners Suite so we were over the moon about that. Food and service were excellent. (Copied from Swoop Antarctica)

Ocean Adventurer Interior

Stephanie

Ocean Adventurer Arctic and Antarctic Cruises

Classic

Food was AMAZING!! I am glad I have 9 months until my wedding. (Copied from Swoop Antarctica)

Ocean Adventurer Exterior

Steve Kelemen

Ocean Adventurer Arctic and Antarctic Cruises

Classic

Comfortable accomodations with good service and solid food. (Copied from Swoop Antarctica)

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
Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake

4.8

(5)

Classic

Price

Upon Request




2024 Polartours, a Ventura TRAVEL GmbH brand

All rights reserved

Polar Specialist

Your contact

Bruna

Book a video consultation

15min face to face consultation

Polar Specialist