Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- 4 full days in Antarctica = 8 planned ‘off ship’ excursions
- Sail across the Drake Passage from Argentina to Antarctica, then fly back to Chile in just 2 hours
- With capacity for 148 guests, the classic expedition-focused ship offers a wide range of comfortable cabin options
- Antarctic operational experience since 1966
- Expedition staff to guest ratio of 1:12
- Includes pre and post cruise hotel nights in Ushuaia and Puerto Natales
- Complimentary drinks and an Antarctic kayaking session for all guests
- National Geographic-certified photographer on every voyage and complimentary camera gear loan scheme available on board
- Unique onboard ROV submersible and divemaster capturing underwater footage to share with guests
Day 1: Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina
Make your own arrangements to arrive in Ushuaia no later than 6pm local time. The Argentine port city, known as “El Fin del Mundo”, or “The End of the World”, is a destination where snow-laced mountains overshadow streets facing the Beagle Channel. On arrival, you’ll be met and transferred to your included hotel.
Dinner is also included tonight, and you will be briefed on the plans for tomorrow’s embarkation.
Day 2: Embarkation
After breakfast, you will check out of the hotel and explore the lush landscapes of Tierra del Fuego National Park on an included group tour. Look out for Patagonian bird species as you experience the often windy but beautiful terrain. You will board a catamaran for a scenic lunch cruise, sailing back towards Ushuaia via rocky outcrops packed full of imperial cormorants and South American sea lions.
On your return to Ushuaia, you will head to the ship. After your mandatory safety briefings, the vessel will set sail and your Antarctic adventure begins in earnest. Make time to head out on deck as the Beagle Channel is a great location for wildlife sightings.
Days 3 to 4: Crossing the Drake Passage
Crossing this iconic stretch of water is a rite of passage for many and a vital part of the Antarctic experience. This trip gives you the best of both worlds as you can enjoy the thrill of the crossing in one direction but skip over it on the way home by flying back to South America from Antarctica.
Your time on the Drake will be busy as the ship’s experienced expedition team of naturalists will put on a comprehensive programme of mandatory briefings and educational lectures to make sure you are prepared on arrival in Antarctica.
If conditions allow, the Drake is the perfect place to get out on deck and do some wildlife watching. Here, you might spot a variety of birds following the ship, from tiny speckled cape petrels to curious albatross. As you draw closer to Antarctica, keep your eyes peeled for the first icebergs, and look for black specks that might be penguins resting on the ice!
Day 5 to 8: Exploring Antarctica
Having arrived at the spectacular white landscapes of Antarctica, you will spend the next 4 days exploring. As with any great adventure, there is no fixed itinerary. Your Captain and Expedition Leader will frequently adjust plans to make the most of the best weather conditions and wildlife opportunities.
Your experienced expedition team of naturalists will always be on hand to help explain the spectacular surrounding wildlife and landscapes. Using the ship’s fleet of sturdy zodiac boats, your guides will take you ashore to crunch through the snow as you soak up the incredible noise (and smell!) of busy penguin rookeries.
These capable zodiacs are also the perfect platform to cruise through Antarctica’s awe-inspiring iceberg graveyards. Each one is different, with sculptural shapes and textures begging to be photographed, challenging you to capture that unique hue of glacial blue.
Your expedition team will also look for an opportunity to offer a complimentary kayaking session. With nothing but the sound of your paddle and any curious wildlife that may come to investigate you, this is the most serene way to experience Antarctica.
There will be recaps of the day and educational talks from your naturalist team in the evenings, as well as briefings for the day ahead. Spend any free time you have out on deck – look out for the blow of passing humpbacks and seals hauled out onto the ice.
Day 9: Disembark & fly to Puerto Natales, Chile
Having arrived at King George Island in the South Shetland Islands, today you will bid the ship farewell. A zodiac will take you back to the shore in good time for your 2-hour flight back to civilisation, landing in Chile.
On arrival in Puerto Natales, you will be transferred to the hotel for a final included night with dinner provided. The town has a picturesque setting, with the Last Hope Sound inlet backed by the snow-dusted Cerro Benitez Mountain. Birders should head out for a stroll along the water’s edge to add some final species to their wildlife list.
Day 10: Depart from Puerto Natales
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and transfer to the airport to begin your journey homeward. Please make sure that your flight out of Puerto Natales is no earlier than 5pm local time. This may mean you need a final night in Santiago if your international flight does not have sufficient connection time.
Alternatively, this is the perfect launch point for exploring Patagonia's spectacular Torres del Paine National Park. Swoop would be delighted to talk through the possibilities for extending your stay.
NOTE: This itinerary is for guidance only as each voyage will vary depending on ice and weather conditions, and opportunities to see wildlife. It is also important to understand that charter flight(s) to and from Antarctica are particularly prone to weather, which requires a flexible flight schedule.
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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
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We’ll make sure you have the adventure of a lifetime.
About The Ship
- A highly manoeuvrable expedition vessel for 148 guests
- Sturdy 1A Ice Class hull for polar navigation
- Unique panoramic view gym means you don't miss a moment
- Onboard library of camera equipment available for guests to field test
- Fleet of inflatable kayaks allows guests to try out polar paddling
This ship has so many strong attributes, but it’s the overall feeling of spaciousness that I appreciated the most. Plus, the top-deck observation lounge and library offers the perfect panoramic space to observe wildlife or simply relax and watch icebergs roll past.
Alex Mudd Head of Swoop Antarctica
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
Prices quoted below are per person based on 2 people sharing and include your charter flight from Antarctica. Cabin availability changes all the time so please contact us for up-to-date details and information on specific cabin availability.
|Category 01 - Porthole
|Category 02 - Window
|Category 05 - Balcony
|Category 06 - Captain's Suite
|Category 07 - Superior Balcony
* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $11950
Single Supplement And Child Policy
For those travelling solo who want their own cabin, this ship has a good number of dedicated single cabins so please contact us for details and availability.
Children of all ages are permitted on this trip. Young travellers may receive a $500 discount off the voyage price, subject to availability. Please contact us for details.
Optional Adventure Activities
Enhance your trip with the following add ons. Limited places per activity.
Get in contact to check availability.
|Available only on November departures and subject to the appropriate weather conditions.
|Available only on November departures and subject to the appropriate weather conditions. Previous experience is required.
|One-off paddle session. Available on all departures, subject to weather and ice conditions. Cannot be booked in advance; onboard booking only.
- One night hotel pre-embarkation (Ushuaia, Argentina)
- One night hotel post-disembarkation (Puerto Natales, Chile)
- One way charter flight from King George Island, Antarctica, to Puerto Natales, Chile
- Accommodation and meals while onboard on full board basis
- Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- All shore excursions and zodiac boat activities
- One complimentary kayak session per guest
- Beverages including alcoholic drinks, except for certain super-premium brands
- One 3-in-1 lined expedition parka per guest
- Transfers to and from charter flight from Antarctica to Puerto Natales
- Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
- Access to an onboard doctor and basic medical services
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- Port taxes and any entry fees to historic landing sites
- Crew gratuities
- International and domestic air fares (other than the included one-way charter flight)
- Any additional pre/post land services
- Transfers not specified in the itinerary
- Waterproof boots (can be hired online and sent to the ship for approx. US $90 per person)
- Visa, passport and any vaccination expenses
- Airport arrival or departure taxes
- Personal travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature
- Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop, internet, laundry)