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Antarctic Express Sail & Fly

Enjoy the best of both worlds by sailing south, experiencing the journey across the Drake Passage and the elation of spotting your first iceberg, then expedite your return to civilisation by plane at the end. In between, spend four days exploring the White Continent with the pioneers of Antarctic expedition cruising. Complimentary kayaking session included.

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Antarctic Express Sail & Fly

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Trip type

Fly & Cruise

Trip length

10 Days

From

$11,950 -$26,900

Ship Comfort

Comfort & Adventure

Antarctic Express Sail & Fly - 10 Days - $11,950

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

Start from Ushuaia and end at Puerto Natales

Landmarks potentially visited on Antarctic Express Sail & Fly

Operator's Itinerary

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. 


NOTEThis 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.

Why Swoop

Expert Impartial Advice At No Extra Cost

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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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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

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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

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We’ll make sure you have the adventure of a lifetime.

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.

2024

2025

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.

Activity Cost Additional Information
Add on icon Snowshoeing Snowshoeing Complimentary Available only on November departures and subject to the appropriate weather conditions.
Add on icon Skiing Skiing Complimentary Available only on November departures and subject to the appropriate weather conditions. Previous experience is required.
Add on icon Paddling Paddling Complimentary One-off paddle session. Available on all departures, subject to weather and ice conditions. Cannot be booked in advance; onboard booking only.

Includes

  • 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

Excludes

  • 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)

Questions about this Voyage?