Fly-Cruise Antarctica

The last great wilderness

Overview

Flying over Cape Horn and the mythical waters of the Drake Passage, we take you to one of the most spectacular places on earth – the coldest, highest, windiest, driest, and remotest continent – Antarctica. Peaceful bays dotted with colossal icebergs, deep fjords and massive glaciers, along with an abundance of wildlife – penguins, seals, whales and seabirds – await your mindful attention and photographic eye. Follow in the footsteps of history’s greatest explorers, expertly guided by two photographic visionaries, as you step on Antarctic soil and cruise its waters in search of the perfect picture.

Highlights

  • Fly-Cruise – Get to Antarctica quickly and in comfort
  • Small, luxury expedition ship – max. 69 passengers
  • Two great photo leaders – Art Wolfe & Chris Weston
  • Get close to vast penguin colonies
  • Peak whale watching season
  • Many species of seabird
  • Daily landings plus zodiac photo-cruises
  • Private zodiac
  • Photography lectures and presentations
  • Ideal for travelling with non-photography spouses
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£12,885 - £21,895

per person

Location:
Antarctica
Date:
15-22 Feb, 2020
Duration:
8-days
Leader:
Chris Weston & Art Wolfe
Group Size:
9-18
Room type:
Luxury
Book now Gift options available > All of our safaris and workshops may be given as a gift to a loved one, friend or colleague. When purchased as a gift, we will send you a personalized electronic Gift Certificate and we promised to keep your surprise a secret!.

The fly-cruise advantage

There was a time when, to reach the Antarctic peninsula there was only one option, sailing across the infamous Drake Passage, with all its downsides – several unproductive days at sea, more time off work or away from home, and the potential of the notoriously stormy “Drake” making for an extremely unpleasant and uncomfortable crossing.

Now there’s another choice: flying over “The Drake” and boarding the ship on the other side. The flight from Punta Arenas, in Chile, takes just 2-hours, with stunning aerial views of Antarctica thrown in for good measure. We land on King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands, from where we board the ship. It’s a far better use of time and avoids all the potential hazards and unpleasantries of a sea crossing.

Magellan Explorer

Magellan Explorer is a brand new, custom-built luxury expedition vessel, designed for small-group adventures, with a maximum capacity of just 69 guests.

There are five main categories of cabin, plus one triple suite, all of which have a large window with private balcony (except Porthole Cabin), a seating area (all suites have a separate seating area), private shower room, individually-controlled heating and king-size or twin beds.

Porthole cabin: 20m sq. 1 King or 2 twin beds, seating are and private shower room.

Veranda Cabin: 20m sq. 1 King or 2 twin beds, large window with private balcony, seating area and private shower room.

Deluxe Veranda Cabin: 1 King or 2 twin beds, large window with private balcony, seating area, snacks and mini-bar restocked daily, and private shower room.

Penthouse Suite: 30m sq. 1 King or 2 twin beds, large window with private balcony, separate seating area, snacks and mini-bar restocked daily, and private shower room.

Grand Suite: 40m sq. 1 King or 2 twin beds, large window with private balcony, separate seating area, snacks and mini-bar restocked daily, and two private shower rooms.

Triple Suite: 40m sq. 1 queen double and 2 twin beds, large window with two private balconies, seating area, snacks and mini-bar restocked daily, and two private shower rooms.

In the public areas, the ship features a glass-enclosed observation lounge and multi-media presentation room with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment (for photographic lectures and presentations), library, meeting room, gym and sauna, and a medical clinic.

There is a spacious and stylish dining room with a well-stocked bar and al-fresco dining (weather permitting). Breakfast and lunch are buffet style, dinner is al a carte with table service. Premium Chilean wines are served with lunch and dinner.

There is an onboard intranet service and satellite internet (chargeable). The forward-facing observation deck leads to the bow of the ship, which is accessible to guests to offer proximity to marine wildlife.

Our group will have its own private Zodiac for peninsula landings and photographic excursions, giving us autonomy and dedicated photographic time.

Pricing Chart

Safety & Comfort

The ship is being built to the latest Polar Code specifications and carries a Polar Class 6 ice-class (Lloyd’s Register PC6). For comfortable navigation, the ship features stabilizers; for maneuverability, she features bow and stern thrusters. For safety in navigation, there is an ice-detecting radar. And
to reduce the environmental footprint, the vessel is equipped with an energy-recovery system that recycles the heat produced by the engines to warm up the ship and its water supply.

Wildlife

Antarctica is the last great wilderness and wildlife thrives here. There are four main species of penguin on the peninsula: chinstrap, gentoo, macaroni and adelie, seen alone, in small groups or vast colonies as they make their way from sea to land and back again; Whale species include humpback, orca and minke; There are four species of seal: elephant, leopard, Weddel and crab eater; and many varieties of sea birds, including albatross, skua, shag and petrels, fly overhead.

Sites of Interest

While it’s impossible to predict exact landing points, our expedition may include some of the following areas of interest:

Aitcho Island – Aitcho is located near the north entrance of the English Strait, in the South Shetland Islands, between Greenwich and Robert Islands. The main attractions here are the large colonies of chinstrap and gentoo penguins that cover the area. It is also possible to find great quantities of Antarctic giant petrels and some protected animals, such as the Weddell seal.

Lemaire Channel – Known for being one of the most beautiful spots in the area and this is why it is also known as the “Kodak Gap,” due to the impression it produces among photographers. If the weather allows and the channel is not blocked by the ice that is typical of this inhospitable corner of the world, you will see playful seals that rest on wandering icebergs, as well as minke whales that are frequently found in these cold waters.

Petermann Island – Petermann island is endowed with a unique beauty due to its immense granite walls and the abundant snow that composes the scenery. It also has the largest and southernmost colony of Adelie and gentoo penguins, migratory species typical of Antarctica. On Petermann Island you will be able to see a colony of Antarctic blue-eyed shag, a species much appreciated for its solemn stance and singular presence. During the summer, elephant seals come out in groups to enjoy the sun, basking on their sides over the rocks of the island.

Port Lockroy – Port Lockroy is a wide bay located on the southwestern point of Wiencke Island. This site was used by whalers almost one century ago. There is an old British scientific base which is now a museum. Nowadays it is not unusual to see minke and humpback whales cruising along the coast.

Livingstone Island – The beauty of this remote destination is created by its imposing glaciers, magnificent channels and the impressive fauna that inhabits the area. Livingston Island is a surprising spot where you will find a great variety of species – your attention will be captivated by chinstrap, gentoo and the magnificent macaroni penguins, with their distinctive orange/yellow crests. Elephant seals, Antarctic giant petrels and snowy sheathbill are also to be seen.

Itinerary

1 dayPunta Arenas, Chile

Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile, where we welcome you and transfer to our hotel. In the afternoon, attend a mandatory briefing that provides important information about the voyage and reviews the essential guidelines for Antarctic visitors. Later, gather for a welcome dinner and meet your fellow adventurers while enjoying a typical regional menu. (D)

2 dayPunta Arenas - South Shetland Islands

Our Antarctic adventure begins with a 2-hour flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands. As we exit the airplane, the clear Antarctic air fills your lungs for the first time. There’s time to photograph and explore the area before we board our Zodiac to embark Magellan Explorer. (B/L/D)

3-6 daysAntarctic peninsula

Four full days of photography, cruising between the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic peninsula, sailing along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs, while enjoying the company of seabirds, penguins, seals and whales. Each day, disembark by Zodiac and explore the landscape together with your photographic guide and expert polar guides.

No journey to Antarctica is ever the same, as flexibility is the key to success. The Expedition Team sets the voyage route to take advantage of the ever-changing opportunities provided by nature, crafting a unique and extraordinary experience each time. While the exact itinerary changes with each expedition, you will explore several spots that offer the best possible overview of the varied Antarctic environment. Your voyage may include visits to sites such as Paulet Island, Hope Bay, Port Lockroy, Petermann Island, Paradise Bay, Deception Island and the hauntingly beautiful Lemaire Channel. (B/L/D)

7 dayKing George Island

We return to King George Island and bid farewell to Antarctica before boarding the flight back to Punta Arenas. Upon arrival, we transfer to our hotel for the night. (B/L)

8 dayPunta Arenas, Chile

Transfer to the International Airport. (B)

Two great leaders, one great continent ... and a million penguins

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