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Antarctica21 people

Polar Circle Air-Cruise

An in-depth expedition cruise to the Polar Circle you'll never forget aboard the Ocean Nova

Length

10 Days

Ship category

Classic

Ship type

Small Ship

Capacity

72 Passengers

Polar Circle Air-Cruise

5 Reviews

Trip highlights

Ice-filled fjords

Immense glaciers and icebergs

Seals and whale watching

Observe penguins in their natural habitat

The Polartours experience

Fly the Drake Passage

Up to 5 hours of excursion per day

1:5 crew to passenger ratio

Dedicated transfer team in Punta Arenas

The Polar Circle air-cruise is one of the most adventurous expeditions offered. The main goal of this air-cruise expedition is to try and reach the Antarctic Polar Circle located at approximately 66° south of the equator. The expert Expedition Team caters every voyage depending on the Antarctic weather and each day of the Polar Circle air-cruise is filled with ample opportunities for exploration, education, and fun.

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.

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

Arrival at 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.

Punta Arenas
Punta Arenas

Flight to King George Island

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.

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

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

1

Jan

2025

10

Jan

2025

4 Spots

Book now

From

USD 18,795

1

Jan

2025

10

Jan

2025

4 Spots

Book now

From

USD 18,795

16

Feb

2025

25

Feb

2025

Available

From

USD 15,995

16

Feb

2025

25

Feb

2025

Available

From

USD 15,995

1

Jan

2026

10

Jan

2026

Available

From

USD 15,995

1

Jan

2026

10

Jan

2026

Available

From

USD 15,995

1

Feb

2026

10

Feb

2026

Available

From

USD 15,995

1

Feb

2026

10

Feb

2026

Available

From

USD 15,995

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.

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😘

Katie Salvia

Ocean Nova Antarctica Cruises

Classic

Ocean Nova was great, I would 10/10 do it again. Hopefully one day I can return as a crew member. It had all the accommodations I could ask for. The food was great and there was always plenty of options. The coffee machine was my favorite amenity. It was also nice that it had a small gym. (Copied from Swoop Antarctica)

John-UK

Ocean Nova Antarctica Cruises

Classic

The ship was very comfortable, food was excellent, with a variety of menus onboard, including a barbeque on deck. The crew and expedition staff were excellent and extremely knowledgeable. (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
Polar Circle Air-Cruise

4.8

(5)

Classic

From

USD 15,995



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