Antarctica travelers Zodiac cruising amongst massive icebergs in icy blue and turquoise waters on a sunny day in Port Charcot.
Passengers on the Polar Circle Air Cruise load an airplane on the tarmac, en route to Antarctica
Penguins scamper on rocks while a ship from the Polar Circle Cruise navigates an open bay in Antarctica
Guests on the Polar Circle Air Cruise take in the view from land of antarctica's snowy vistas and mountains
A landscape portrait of the horizon in Antarctica during sunset, with pink sky reflecting on the ocean and an iceberg
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Polar Regions Antarctica Cruise

Polar Circle Air Cruise

Fly over Cape Horn and the famous waters of the Drake Passage to more quickly begin your sailing adventure across the Antarctic Circle. This 10-day Polar Circle Air Cruise takes you to one of the most remote places on earth: the coldest, highest, windiest, driest and most inhospitable continent of Antarctica. Sail where few others have gone while enjoying spectacular views and an expedition team that takes advantage of the ever-changing opportunities provided by nature. 

Sail along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs, watching for seabirds, penguins, seals and whales. Visit the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, disembarking by Zodiac each day to hike and explore the White Continent with expert polar guides. Visit sites such as Port Lockroy, Petermann Island, Paradise Bay, the Lemaire Channel, Prospect Point and other magnificent places, while always keeping an eye on the goal of reaching the Polar Circle.

This expedition expertly merges education, experience, and science. Participate in interactive workshops, open discussions, photography workshops and participation in Citizen Science programs that collect data in support of scientists around the world. As you explore collect phytoplankton samples, document migrating whales, gather photos of wildlife with polar tags and conduct seabird surveys.

This 10-day itinerary includes flying to and from Antarctica by air, then cruising by ship along the Antarctic Peninsula as far south as the Polar Circle. Your flight is aboard a BAE 146 plane; starting with the 2021-22 season, the flight may also be in an AVRO RJ 85 or AVRO RJ 100 jet. Each aircraft features high wings and engineering for very short runway requirements, perfect for landing in Antarctica. By flying over Cape Horn and the legendary waters of the Drake Passage, you will enjoy more time exploring the dramatic Antarctic continent.

Your vessel is either the 72-guest Ocean Nova or the 2019-built, 73-guest Magellan Explorer. The strong and agile Magellan Explorer offers luxury Antarctica cruises from her stylish interiors, combining excellence in expedition and boutique hospitality.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Antarctica cruises.



Itinerary

Polar Circle Air Cruise Itinerary

Fly over Cape Horn and the famous waters of the Drake Passage to more quickly begin your sailing adventure across the Antarctic Circle. This 10-day Polar Circle Air Cruise takes you to one of the most remote places on earth: the coldest, highest, windiest, driest and most inhospitable continent of Antarctica. Sail where few others have gone while enjoying spectacular views and an expedition team that takes advantage of the ever-changing opportunities provided by nature.

Polar Circle Air Cruise route map to Antarctica.
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Day 1
Arrive Punta Arenas, Chile

Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile, before 2:00pm and transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon, attend a mandatory briefing that provides important information about the voyage and reviews the essential guidelines for Antarctic visitors (hosted at Explorer House in 2021-22 season). Later, gather for a welcome dinner and meet fellow adventurers from around the world while enjoying the local gastronomy.

Accommodations

Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar

Meals

dinner

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Day 2
Fly to King George Island & Embark

The polar circle adventure begins with a smooth two-hour flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island in the South Shetland Islands. Exit the airplane to the first experience of clear Antarctic air. Explore the area surrounding Chile’s Frei Station and Russia’s Bellingshausen Station before boarding a Zodiac to embark the expedition vessel.

Accommodations

M/V Ocean Nova or Magellan Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 3 - 8
Explore Antarctica

Sail along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs while enjoying the company of seabirds, penguins, seals and whales. Visit the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, disembarking by Zodiac each day. In small groups, hike to extraordinary sites and take part in exploratory Zodiac excursions to otherwise inaccessible areas. Expert polar guides share their passion for Antarctica through an engaging program of illustrated presentations and lead you ashore to interpret the wildlife, history and many wonders of the Antarctic environment. From the glass-enclosed lounge, enjoy spectacular views while sharing the day’s adventures with fellow guests over a drink. The goal of the expedition is to sail south in an attempt of reaching the Polar Circle. The expedition team sets the specific voyage route based on local conditions and takes advantage of the ever-changing opportunities provided by nature. Flexibility and a spirit of adventure will be key to a successful voyage. The expedition may include visits to sites such as Port Lockroy, Petermann Island, Paradise Bay, the Lemaire Channel, Prospect Point or other magnificent places. Each voyage is uniquely crafted to provide the best possible overview of the varied Antarctic environment.

Accommodations

M/V Ocean Nova or Magellan Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Disembark King George Island & Fly to Punta Arenas

Back at King George Island, bid farewell to Antarctica while boarding the flight to Punta Arenas. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. Except for breakfast, meals in Punta Arenas are at your leisure and not included.

Accommodations

Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar

Meals

breakfast

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Day 10
Depart Punta Arenas, Chile

After breakfast, transfer to the Punta Arenas airport for your onward flight.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

For Air Cruises starting in Punta Arenas, group transfers airport/hotel on day 1; for Air Cruises starting in Punta Arenas, 1 overnight with breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar, with a welcome dinner including drinks on day 1; one overnight with breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar on the day of scheduled return flight from Antarctica; group transfers airport/hotel on the day of scheduled return flight from Antarctica, and group transfers hotel/airport on last day of the Air Cruise program; exclusive access to the Explorers House Expedition Center (opening 2021-22 season); flight from Punta Arenas to Frei Station on King George Island and/or vice versa as indicated in the program corresponding to each voyage; ship cruise along the Antarctic Peninsula as indicated in the program corresponding to each voyage; daily buffet 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 as described in material; IAATO passenger fee.

Exclusions

Accommodation, meals, excursions and transfers other than those included in the itinerary and the Contingency Plan corresponding to each voyage; dinner in Punta Arenas upon return from Antarctica; beverages purchased at the ship’s bar; personal insurance of any kind; extra expenses (communication, laundry, souvenirs, etc.); gratuities; visas for Chile and/or Argentina, passport expenses; any arrival and/or departure tax, if applicable; and optional activities.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $2,500 (2020/2021) or $3,000 (2021/2022) is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 120 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:

2020-21 season:
Up to 180 days – full refund except for $500
179 to 120 days – 100% of deposit
119 to 90 days – 85% of total trip cost
89 to 60 days – 90% of total trip cost
59 to 30 days – 95% of total trip cost
29 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

2021-22 season:
Up to 180 days – full refund except for $1,000
179 to 120 days – 100% of deposit
119 to 90 days – 90% of total trip cost
89 to 60 days – 92.5 % of total trip cost
59 to 30 days – 95% of total trip cost
29 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

If full payment has not yet been received at 120 days prior, the full penalty will still apply and unpaid amount is due immediately.

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Polar Circle Air Cruise begins and ends in Punta Arenas, Chile (PUQ). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan your flight to arrive to Punta Arenas by 2:00pm on day 1 of the itinerary. The same deadline applies to travelers arriving directly at the hotel on day 1. Travelers who miss their arrival deadline will be considered “no-show.” They will not be able to participate in the expedition and will receive no refund. In the afternoon, all travelers must attend a mandatory safety and Antarctic guidelines briefing, an information session covering important practical details and fitting session for expedition boots. Participation in these activities is essential for the success of the expedition. Depart from Punta Arenas anytime on the final day of your trip, however, AdventureSmith strongly suggests that a flexible air ticket be held for your journey home in case you need to change your travel arrangement following a delay of the return flight from Antarctica. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

Upon arrival at Frei Base airfield on King George Island, travelers are required to walk approximately 1 mile to the vessel mooring (20-30 minutes). Checked luggage will be transferred to the vessel by staff. If you think that you will not be able to walk this distance, then please inform your Adventure Specialist.

The maximum weight allowed on the flights to and from Antarctica is 20 kg (44 lb.) per passenger, including hand luggage. For Polar Circle Air Cruises, excess luggage will be kept in custody in Punta Arenas and will be handed over to travelers upon their return from Antarctica. The baggage weight limit is a technical requirement imposed by the flight operation. Unfortunately, it is not possible to purchase extra allowance. Note that at certain points during the expedition you will be required to handle your own luggage.

Seats are not assigned on the charter flights between Chile and Antarctica, however preferred seating may be pre-booked for an extra level of comfort ($495 in 2020-21 & 2021-22). This option offers a guaranteed aisle or window seat at the front of the aircraft (limited to rows 2-5), and a guaranteed empty middle seat. It also offers priority boarding in Punta Arenas and an amenities kit.

Activities

Kayaking is available on all departures at $895 per person (2020-21 & 2021-22 seasons). To take part in the program participants must have previous kayaking experience. Minimum age is 16 to participate, and the group is limited to a maximum of 10 participants. Please contact AdventureSmith to reserve activity space with your booking.

Snowshoeing is available on selected departures at $85 per person per excursion and can be booked and paid for on board the ship (2020-21 & 2021-22 seasons seasons). All snowshoeing excursions are a maximum of 12 participants (minimum age 12).

Room Configuration

In addition to listed Single cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at an 85% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select Porthole and Veranda Cabins (Magellan Explorer) or Twin Cabins (Ocean Nova) upon availability; all other categories incur a 100% supplement. Sharing a cabin with another passenger of the same gender is also an option (same cabin categories apply). Passengers who book a Twin Cabin on a shared basis are accommodated in single rooms at the hotel in Punta Arenas and must pay a Single Hotel Room Supplement that varies based on departure selected. 

Note: Single travelers who use CPAP machines or other assistive devices, as well as those who have conditions that can be disrupting to others (loud snoring, sleepwalking etc.) can only book their Air Cruise in a Single Cabin or in a Twin Cabin for single use. They cannot book on a twin-share basis.

Families & Children

Children are admitted from the age of 8 years if accompanied by a fully responsible adult. A 5% discount on the rate per person is offered for children up to 12 years of age.

Travel Insurance

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $100,000 USD per person. In addition to the emergency evacuation insurance, we highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and other benefits. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions and the wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flights to and from Antarctica operate based on weather conditions. While historically only a minority of flights have experienced a delay, be prepared for that possibility by reading this trip’s Contingency Plan. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Antarctica expedition. Visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Contingency Plan

In the unlikely event that the flight to Antarctica cannot take place on the scheduled day due to unfavorable weather conditions, a Contingency Plan, included in the cost of your expedition, will apply. The primary goal of the plan is to provide an engaging and comfortable travel experience while adapting to the weather. A change in the flight schedule can impact travel to Antarctica or the return back, and the plan includes a range of activities determined by the circumstances. Additionally, the Contingency Plan offers financial protection by providing a refund should weather conditions prevent you from reaching Antarctica. Please read the full Contingency Plan and contact your Adventure Specialist for more details.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

See Deals section for details on flexible booking policies.
Jan 01 - Jan 10, 2021
Ocean Nova • 10 days
From $15495USD
Per Person
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Jan 24 - Feb 02, 2021
Magellan Explorer • 10 days
From $18995USD
Per Person
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Feb 16 - Feb 25, 2021
Ocean Nova • 10 days
From $15495USD
Per Person
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Jan 01 - Jan 10, 2022
Ocean Nova • 10 days
From $15495USD
Per Person
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Jan 24 - Feb 02, 2022
Magellan Explorer • 10 days
From $18995USD
Per Person
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Feb 16 - Feb 25, 2022
Ocean Nova • 10 days
From $15495USD
Per Person
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Accommodations

Learn About the Small Ships on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
Magellan Explorer

The 73-guest Magellan Explorer is a brand new expedition ship built specifically for Antarctica fly cruises. This polar class 6 vessel features stylish design with technical advances for smooth and safe expeditions.

Expedition Ship
Ocean Nova

The 72-guest Ocean Nova is a comfortably compact and nimble expedition vessel cruising the Antarctic. Options to fly over the Drake Passage and then board the Ocean Nova make her itineraries appealing.

Deals

Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires December 31st, 2020
Relaxed Cancellation Policy for 2021-22 Antarctica Expeditions

Book your Antarctica expedition with confidence using these relaxed cancellation conditions.

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Offer expires December 31st, 2020
Complimentary Preferred Seating On 2021-22 Antarctic Flight Cruises

Receive complimentary preferred seating on your Antarctic flight ($495 value) on 2021-22 Antarctica expeditions in this early-booking deal.

Testimonial

Hear It from Travelers Who Have Explored with Us

"Penguins, Whales, Seals & Spectacular Ice Formations"

We thoroughly enjoyed all the land activities --- penguins, whales, seals, and spectacular ice formations. The Zodiacs were an excellent way to see all of this.

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Accommodations
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Meals
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Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Extend Your Trip

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