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

When booking your flights, please take the following points into account:

  • From Ushuaia - 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.
  • From Punta Arenas - If you are flying to Antarctica from Punta Arenas a night’s pre voyage accommodation is built into your voyage package and you can arrive on Day 1 of your itinerary (Day 2 being the day you actually fly to Antarctica).

Return

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To Ushuaia

If you are sailing back into Ushuaia you will disembark immediately after breakfast at around 08:30 - 09:00 and typically a group transfer back to the airport is provided by the boat 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.

To Punta Arenas

  • From Antarctica: If you are flying back into Punta Arenas direct from Antarctica by charter flight, in case of delay its crucial that you plan to spend that night in Punta Arenas. A night’s hotel accommodation is included in some voyage packages, but not all, so please check your Confirmation details from Swoop carefully. You are free to depart Punta Arenas any time the following day, however it is prudent to book an afternoon flight if possible, in case the flight from Antarctica is delayed. In exceptional circumstances, flights can arrive back in Punta Arenas that morning.
  • From The Falklands: If you are flying back into Punta Arenas by scheduled flight from The Falklands, these flights have fixed schedules and unless you are very unlucky they will run on time and you can plan your onward travel accordingly. All these flights from The Falklands continue on to Santiago, which means you don't have to stop in Punta Arenas unless you need to.

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Airports

Buenos-Aires-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 length 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 El Calafate, and travel onwards by bus or transfer to areas such as El Chalten and Puerto Natales.

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 allow at least 5 hours between arriving in one and departing the other.

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 get internal flights to/from Punta Arenas and travel onwards by bus to reach areas such as Puerto Natales & Torres del Paine.

Immigration can be a lengthy process. On arrival, you'll need to pay your reciprocity fee (if required) and you will have to fill out two forms: a customs declaration and an entrance slip which will be stamped, and you will return upon leaving the country.

Customs are very strict in Chile, so be sure to declare any items you are unsure of, including any food, as you may be charged if you do not.

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.

Baggage Allowances

Please be aware the baggage allowances on the internal (domestic) flights in South America may well differ from the allowances on your international flights:

LATAM/ LAN

20kg per person baggage allowance for checked in hold luggage

Sky Airlines

20kg per person baggage allowance for checked in hold luggage

Aerolineas Argentinas

15kg* per person baggage allowance for checked in hold luggage

*However, it’s worth noting that Aerolineas aren’t strict in endorsing this weight allowance and you should be safe with 20kg. In the unlikely event that you need to pay for excess baggage, the charges are modest.