Booking your Antarctic flights

If you are booking your own flights then you will need to check your voyage dates carefully and make double sure you are arriving in plenty of time for the vessel's departure. If you are late, you can’t expect the ship to wait for you.

Departure & return from Ushuaia

Flights

Departure

  • If you are embarking your ship in Ushuaia, please ensure you arrive one full day before departure. Your vessel will set sail at approximately 4pm on the day of embarkation.

  • To arrive in Ushuaia, you will need to fly via Buenos Aires with Aerolineas Argentinas, and there are a few things to consider with this route. 

Airports

Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini (EZE) Airport

In Argentina there two main airports. Ministro Pistarini is the main International Airport in Argentina that connects you to Patagonia and is 30km to the south of the main part of town.

Immigration in Buenos Aires can be a lengthy process depending on when your flight arrives.

Buenos Aires Jorge Newbery (AEP) Airport

Jorge Newbery is mainly used for domestic flights and is only a 10-15 minute taxi ride from the nicest parts of the city. From here you can get internal flights to Ushuaia.

International Flights will typically arrive into the main Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini (EZE) Airport, whereas most flights to Ushuaia will depart from the smaller domestic Jorge Newbery (AEP) airport. Moving between the two airports can take 1-2 hours depending on traffic, and as customs and baggage reclaim can take a while, we’d normally recommend having 5 hours connection time between arriving into one and departing from the other. 

When booking flights down to Ushuaia the day before your voyage, please ensure that you are not booking the last flight of the day from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia for added contingency in case of delays.

Airport Taxes

Argentina and Chile require people of certain nationalities to pay an entry fee on arrival in the country. This is called a reciprocity fee, and you can find out more about who has to pay them and how much they cost here.

There is an $18 USD departure fee for leaving Argentina and a $30 USD departure fee for leaving Chile. It is usually included in the price of your airline ticket.

Return

  • If you are sailing back into Ushuaia, you will disembark immediately after breakfast at around 8-9am and typically a group transfer back to the airport is provided by the operator. You can book a flight out of Ushuaia that day any time from midday onwards, but not before, in case the ship is delayed. 

  • Where the flight must be after 12pm, and the connection time required between the airports in Buenos Aires (see above), a post voyage night in Buenos Aires may be unavoidable.

Departure & return from Punta Arenas

Flights

Departure

  • If you are flying to the Falklands or Antarctica from Punta Arenas, please ensure you have read your confirmation documents prior to booking international flights. Your confirmation documents will outline any specific meeting or departure times.

Airports

Santiago de Chile (SCL) Airport

This is the main International Airport in Chile that connects you to Patagonia. From here you will be able to book internal flights to Punta Arenas.

Airport Taxes

Argentina and Chile require people of certain nationalities to pay an entry fee on arrival in the country. This is called a reciprocity fee, and you can find out more about who has to pay them and how much they cost here.

There is an $18 USD departure fee for leaving Argentina and a $30 USD departure fee for leaving Chile. It is usually included in the price of your airline ticket.

Return

  • Fly & Cruise voyages which include flights from the Falkland Islands (Stanley): these trips will include a flight from Mount Pleasant to Punta Arenas. This is a flight which continues onto Santiago with LATAM Airlines, and we will gladly assist in booking this continuation for you. This is a scheduled flight, which means onward travel can be booked according to the times suggested on your voyage itinerary.

  • Fly & Cruise voyages which include flights from King George Island (Antarctica): It is crucial that you plan to spend a night in Punta Arenas as these flights are often delayed. A post-voyage night’s accommodation is included in some voyages, but not all. You are free to depart from Punta Arenas any time the following day, however, it is prudent to book an afternoon flight if possible, in case of any delays returning from Antarctica.
Swoop Says background image

Swoop Says

Baggage Allowances

Please be aware that the baggage allowances on your internal (domestic) flights within South America may differ from the allowances on your international flights. All of the flight quotes provided by Swoop will include standard baggage allowance. If you are booking independently, please ensure you book a fare which includes baggage.

The standard baggage allowance for the domestic carriers are:

LATAM/ LAN

23 kgs per person baggage allowance for checked-in hold luggage

Sky Airlines

23 kgs per person baggage allowance for checked-in hold luggage

Aerolineas Argentinas

15 kgs per person baggage allowance for checked-in hold luggage*

* Please note that this baggage allowance is not strict. If your bag is not more than 23kgs, the most you could be charged for overweight baggage is ARS 650 (approximately $20 USD)

Chartered flights to and from Antarctica

Please be aware that the baggage allowance for chartered flights is very strict at 15 kgs per person baggage allowance for checked in hold luggage and 5kgs for hand luggage. You can lock up luggage at your hotel if required, please check with us or your hotel’s front desk.

Antarctica flight FAQs

  • Can Swoop help me book my flights?

    Our Flights Specialist can help find and book the right flights for you from anywhere in the world, email your Bookings Coordinator for a quote.

  • I’m booking my own flights, what do I need to know?

    If you are booking your own flights, please ensure you are checking your voyage dates and confirmation documents carefully to arrive in plenty of time for the vessel’s departure. If in any doubt, please contact us in advance.

  • Do I need a visa?

    It is your responsibility to ensure that you are adhering to any visa or travel document requirements. Please ensure that you go to our website here for details: Visas & Travel Documentation

  • Should I book my international and domestic flights separately or together?

    Sometimes it is best to book your domestic flights as part of your international flight ticket. There are a few benefits: often it is cheaper, your bags go all the way through to your final stop, and you get the same baggage allowance throughout the journey. However, it’s only possible to book all flights on the same ticket when the flights are part of the same alliance (for example Delta and Aerolineas Argentinas, American Airlines and LATAM Airlines).

    If you are booking your international flights separately from your domestic flights, then make sure you factor in a longer connection (3-4 hours) to collect your baggage and to check into your next flight.