Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- The ultimate destination for experienced skydivers
- Flexible choice of days to dive
- In addition to skydiving, you can hike, cycle and ski
- Stay at a remote basecamp in the Antarctic Interior
Arrival in Chile:
We ask you to arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile at least two full days prior to your scheduled Antarctic flight in order to fully prepare you for your upcoming experience. These days also allow a buffer for flight and luggage delays should your travels to Chile not go as scheduled. We do not hold Antarctic flights for delayed passengers or luggage, so be sure to keep your skydiving equipment in your carry-on.
We will arrange a specific time to come to your hotel and review your personal clothing and equipment. Please lay out all of the items on our Required Clothing and Equipment List in your hotel room so we can go through each item with you. We will help sort the items to pack in your checked luggage vs. your carry-on bag and what items to leave behind in Punta Arenas
On the morning before your Antarctic flight, we will come to your hotel at your scheduled Luggage Pick-Up time. Please be ready in the lobby with ALL of the luggage you will be taking to Antarctica including checked luggage and items that will be carried on. We will weigh everything but will only collect your checked luggage at this time. You will need to separate your luggage into three categories: Checked Luggage, Carry-on Luggage, and Left Luggage.
The evening before your Antarctic flight, you are invited to our office for an important safety briefing. Here, we will describe the flight dispatch process, update you on the current weather, and prepare you for arrival at Union Glacier. Please stay to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and pisco sours served over Antarctic ice with your fellow travelers. And don’t forget to take your boarding pass and commemorative cocktail glass with you!
Day 1: Fly to Antarctica
We will call you at your hotel in the morning to advise you of current conditions in Antarctica. If the weather is suitable for our flight, we will pick you up at your hotel within the hour. Please meet us in the lobby with hotel bills paid, ready to board the bus. At the Punta Arenas airport, we board our chartered jet for the 4¼ hour flight to Antarctica. Our route crosses the Drake Passage, then follows the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the spine of the Ellsworth Mountains.
We land on a naturally occurring blue-ice runway on Union Glacier where you will take your first steps in Antarctica. Climb aboard one of our specially-adapted vehicles for the 5 mi (8 km) shuttle to our main camp. Our friendly staff will provide a welcome tour of camp and show you to your tent.
Every effort will be made to keep to the scheduled flight date and we will depart as soon as weather and runway conditions permit. Please understand that delays are common in Antarctic travel. All flights are dependent on weather, aircraft serviceability, and local conditions. Our staff will stay in close contact with you and will provide you with regular flight updates.
Days 2-6: Explore Union Glacier
During your week stay in Antarctica, you’ll have multiple days to explore Union Glacier. Our meteorologists will carefully monitor the weather conditions and identify the best days for skydiving. A typical day at Union Glacier starts with a briefing after breakfast where you’ll meet with our Skydive Master to discuss the day’s options and choose an activity tailored to the weather and the group’s interests.
Union Glacier excursions can include any of the following destinations: Elephant’s Head Ride in one of our wheeled vehicles to this dramatic marble buttress overlooking the blue-ice runway. Geology lovers will be delighted to find this is a hotspot for ichnofossils. Our experienced guides can help you navigate by GPS to known trace fossils or accompany you on a mission to discover new ones. For photographers, beautiful ice pools and moraines offer endless opportunities to capture close-up frozen formations or wide angle glacial landscapes. Hikers can trek up to the base of Elephant’s Head or all the way to the top of Rhodes Bluff for panoramic views of Union Glacier and the Heritage Range.
Board our one-of-a-kind Tucker Bus, a custom designed tracked vehicle, for the scenic drive to the remote Buchanan Hills. You’ll arrive at a high pass that offers expansive views of Union Glacier as it flows into Constellation Inlet. Higgins Nunatak pokes through the ice, like an atoll in a frozen ocean. For the fit and adventurous, there are two easy hiking routes that require no prior experience and grant you the rare opportunity to summit a peak in the heart of Antarctica.
Named in the 1960s after geologist Benjamin Drake IV, this impressive icefall tumbles off the polar plateau into Union Glacier. Winds from the South Pole carve huge waves into the blue-ice and polish the surface into a high shine.
Charles Peak Windscoop
Discover the power of wind on ice as you wander through a sparkling turquoise corridor. If you’re truly adventurous, this is a prime place to try ice climbing with one of our experienced guides. For the less vertically inclined, you can rock hunt to your heart’s content. Just remember to leave them in place, as nothing may be removed from Antarctica.
The Beach at Rossman Cove
Another spectacular setting for blue-ice photography and panoramic views! Take cross-country skis with you or a picnic lunch and enjoy Antarctica’s version of a glacial beach getaway. If you’d prefer to stay closer to camp, we have a variety of activities for all abilities. You can check out a pair of cross-country skis or a fat-tire bike and take a spin around our groomed 10k loop or you can enjoy a cup of tea, an Antarctic book, or fun game in our camp library. In the evenings, we regularly offer lectures and films tailored to your experience.
To freefall over the Ellsworth Mountains of Antarctica is quite simply the most spectacular and surreal skydive you will ever have. The landscapes here are almost beyond words. Our experienced team will select the best possible times for your jumps and our Skydive Master will keep you informed of current weather conditions during daily briefings. Safety is our top priority and jumps will proceed as conditions and flight operations allow.
When conditions are optimal, you will board the Twin Otter and head for the skies! Breathe in the crisp Antarctic air as you freefall for 50-60 seconds, high over the polar landscape, viewing mountain ranges, glaciers, and an endless expanse of white. Open your chute and gain a unique perspective on Union Glacier as you float towards your temporary home on ice.
Twin Otter Capabilities
Ski-equipped Twin Otters are a staple in Antarctic aviation. They are used by the British Antarctic Survey, the United States Antarctic Program, as well as the Argentine and Chilean air force. The DHC-6 is a twin engine, turbo prop, STOL (short take-off and landing) aircraft is used throughout the world to access remote locations on wheels, floats, tundra tires and skis. Their rugged landing gear and STOL characteristics allow them to take off land where other aircraft cannot. The Twin Otter can accommodate up to 6 skydivers plus the Skydiver Master.
You will land near our main camp on a 492 ft x 492 ft (150 m x 150 m) groomed drop zone. A 13 ft x 7 ft (4 m x 2 m) orange arrow will be placed within the landing area to indicate wind direction and the center of the drop zone. As a precaution, travel safety and medical personnel will be on standby at the landing area. All skydivers will carry a personal locator beacon (provided) to locate you in the event of a landing outside the drop zone.
Day 7: Return to Chile
When weather and runway conditions permit, our intercontinental aircraft will arrive at Union Glacier to transport you back to Chile. Our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you back to your hotel.
We recommend booking your flight home one week after your return Antarctic flight. If you purchase a full-fare ticket, most airlines will allow you to move your departure date. It is important to give yourself a buffer as delays are common in Antarctic travel. Our Punta Arenas team can provide a list of local tour operators and excursions if you wish to explore Chile before you return home. When it is time for your flight home, our staff will provide transportation from your hotel to the Punta Arenas airport.
NOTE: This itinerary is for guidance only as each voyage will vary depending on ice and weather conditions, and opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is key and all part of the adventure of an expeditionary cruise.
Expert Impartial Advice At No Extra Cost
Antarctic travel options are complicated. We help you choose the right ship, the right cabin, and at the right point in the season.
A Depth Of Knowledge On Board
As a team of ex-guides, tour leaders, & polar adventurers our Antarctic knowledge is leagues ahead of the rest.
For The Ends Of The Earth
Swoop is proud to be B Corp Certified as we know sustainability is more than our carbon footprint (but we’re reducing that too).
We’re With You At Every Step
We’ll make sure you have the adventure of a lifetime.
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
- Airport transfers in Punta Arenas, Chile
- Round trip flight to Antarctica from Punta Arenas
- 2 skydive jumps over Union Glacier – additional jumps may be booked contingent on weather and aircraft availability
- Meals and tented accommodation in Antarctica
- Skydive Master, Antarctic guides, and lecturer
- Celebration dinner and Certificate of Achievement
- Checked luggage up to 88 lb (40 kg)
*Additional jumps may be booked in Antarctica contingent on weather and aircraft availability.
- Insurance – personal, medical, evacuation, or otherwise
- Commercial flights to and from Punta Arenas
- Airport transfers outside of Punta Arenas
- Meals and accommodation in Punta Arenas
- Additional flights within Antarctica
- Personal equipment and clothing
- Expenses incurred due to delays
- Luggage over 88 lb (40 kg)
- Satellite phone charges