Antarctica Discovery Fly & Cruise

Explore the Antarctic Peninsula on a Small Ship Experience

Punta Arenas, Chile

8 Days

December – February

from $17,995

Join a Secret Atlas group onboard Magellan Explorer, one of the smallest and most comfortable ships in Antarctica with just 73 guests in total. This Antarctica Air-Cruise is a unique and exciting way to explore the Antarctic Peninsula and its surrounding islands in a small group of fellow explorers and expert guides.

With flights included between Chile and Antarctica, you skip 5 days crossing the Drake Passage. When you land in King George Island you will board MV Magellan Explorer and head straight out to begin your expedition.

Our plan is to explore the South Shetland Islands and the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula known for their stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife, including penguins, seals, and whales. Daily activities include shore landings, wildlife watching, zodiac cruises, and kayaking is available as an optional extra. Observing these animals in their natural habitat is an unforgettable experience and offers a rare opportunity to connect with nature.

This expedition includes 2 nights in a hotel in Punta Arenas (the night before, and the night after the flight) and 5 nights onboard Magellan Explorer in a cabin of your choice.

Antarctica Air-Cruise Highlights

  • Unlike traditional cruises that sail to the Antarctic Peninsula, an air cruise allows you to fly directly to the continent. You’ll have the opportunity to witness stunning aerial views of Antarctica and its dramatic landscapes before even setting foot on land.
  • Small group experience! Our cruises have fewer passengers than traditional cruises, which means a more intimate and personalized experience.
  • Air cruises are designed to maximize your time in Antarctica, which means you’ll visit multiple locations during your trip. You’ll have the opportunity to explore different areas of the continent and see a variety of wildlife and landscapes.
  • You’ll have the chance to do plenty of zodiac landings, hiking, and even kayaking along massive glacier faces.
  • Your air cruise will be led by expert guides who have extensive knowledge of the region. They will share their expertise on the wildlife, geology, and history of Antarctica, enhancing your overall experience.
  • Antarctica is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including penguins, seals, and whales. You’ll have the chance to get up close and personal with these animals in their natural habitat.
  • The MV Magellan Explorer is equipped with luxurious cabins and amenities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip.

The Voyage

Day 1 Welcome to Punta Arenas, Southern Chile. Your expedition commences with a welcome briefing in the afternoon followed by a welcome dinner in the evening. Overnight in a hotel in Punta Arenas.

Day 2 The adventure begins as you fly from Punta Arenas to King George Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Here you will board MV Magellan Explorer by Zodiac and set sail exploring.

Days 3 – 6 Our expedition days will be spent exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands. During the days we will launch the Zodiacs to view wildlife and make landings at sites of interest. Expect to encounter an abundance of wildlife close ups. In the evenings you will learn about Antarctica from our expert guide team.

Day 7 Return flight to Punta Arenas. Overnight in a hotel in Punta Arenas.

Day 8 Transfer from the hotel to the airport or continue your stay in Punta Arenas. 

Antarctica fly cruise map secret atlas

Air-Cruise Day by Day

Day 1

Start of the Air-Cruise, Punta Arenas

Arriving in Punta Arenas, Chile, before 2 PM allows for a comfortable transition from the airport to the hotel, with ample time to settle in and prepare for the upcoming adventure. The transfer to the hotel is provided and takes the stress out of navigating a new city after a long flight. The mandatory briefing at Explorers House is an essential part of the experience, ensuring that all travellers are informed and prepared for the journey ahead. The briefing covers topics such as safety procedures which are all important considerations when visiting a remote and sensitive region like Antarctica. After the briefing, travellers gather for a welcome dinner, where they can meet their fellow adventurers and enjoy a typical regional menu. This is a great opportunity to socialise, ask questions, and get excited about the upcoming adventure. Overnight in hotel in Punta Arenas.

Day 2

Flight to King George Island in the South Shetland Islands

As travelers exit the airplane, they are immediately greeted with the clear and crisp Antarctic air. Walking 2-km (1.25-miles) to reach the shore and board a Zodiac is an excellent way to stretch your legs after the flight, and it’s also an opportunity to take in the stunning scenery of the South Shetland Islands.

Passing by Chile’s Frei Station and Russia’s Bellingshausen Station is a reminder that while the Antarctic is a remote and pristine wilderness, it’s also a place where humans have conducted research and exploration for many decades.

You will then board a Zodiac that takes you and the other guests to your expedition vessel, the MV Magellan Explorer.

 

Days 3 – 6

Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula

Cruising between the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula provides travelers with the opportunity to witness some of the most incredible scenery on the planet. Sailing along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs is an experience that few people get to enjoy, and it’s sure to be a highlight of the trip.

The company of seabirds, penguins, seals, and whales is another highlight of the expedition. These incredible creatures are uniquely adapted to survive in the harsh Antarctic environment, and travelers will have the opportunity to observe them in their natural habitat. Disembarking by Zodiac and exploring the landscape with expert polar guides is an excellent way to get up close and personal with the wildlife and to learn about the history and ecology of the region.

Day 7

Return Flight to Punta Arenas

Day 7 of the air-cruise marks the end of the expedition and a return journey to Punta Arenas. We return to King George Island, where we bid farewell to the stunning landscapes and wildlife of Antarctica. It’s a bittersweet moment, as the memories of the adventure will last a lifetime, but it’s time to say goodbye to this remote and beautiful part of the world.

After boarding the return flight to Punta Arenas, our guests will have time to reflect on the incredible experiences they’ve had and the new friendships they’ve made.

Day 8

End of Expedition

After breakfast on the final day of the air-cruise, you will be transferred to the Punta Arenas airport for your onward flight. This marks the end of the expedition, and you will return home with memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.

Inside This Antarctica Air-Cruise

Our trips are aimed at anyone with a passion for exploring the Antarctic Peninsula with a small group of like minded individuals on a comfortable small ship cruise and include :

Exploration

We will explore areas within the Antarctic Peninsula that are very rarely visited. This is a chance to experience a true, untouched wilderness in a small group.

Stunning Scenery & Wildlife

We will encounter mighty glaciers, cruise tranquil steep-sided fjords and spend time outside exploring the beautiful untouched wilderness.

Climate Compensated

We’re serious about the environment and wildlife, which is why we’re proud to be a member of 1% for the Planet—an organisation dedicated to supporting impactful global projects that give back to our planet.

Expedition Leader and Guide Team

An aspect of our journeys is to learn about the place you are visiting. Our onboard guides are the core of what we do and will share their passion and knowledge of Antarctica throughout the trip. We offer the best guide to guest ratio available.

Zodiac landing craft for shore landings

Shore landings are the essence of every expedition and your guides will take you exploring on a daily basis. The vessel is equipped with landing craft that can be used to reach remote beaches so you can experience the wilderness firsthand.

magellan explorer secret atlas

Expedition Vessel With 73 Guests

We believe the best way to experience an environmentally sensitive place such as Antarctica is with a small group of travelers. New expedition cruise ships now take up to 350 passengers, we believe smaller is better.

Your Ship - MV Magellan Explorer

Guests 89  | Cruising Speed 14knots | Ice Class LR PC6 | Length 91m

Introducing the Magellan Explorer, a remarkable vessel that holds a Polar Class 6 ice rating, making it one of the most advanced expedition ships in Antarctica. What makes it stand out? It caters to a maximum of 89 guests, providing an intimate and personalised journey. 

This ship is more than a mode of transportation; it serves as a sophisticated and modern base for guests, blending expedition expertise with boutique hospitality seamlessly. Notably, the Magellan Explorer offers stability, even in heavy seas, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all onboard. Given the remote locations of many voyages, the ship is equipped with energy-recovery technology, which ingeniously recycles the engine's heat. In turn, this is used to heat up the ship and its water supply, reducing its environmental impact.

Ship Specifications

  • Up to 89 passengers guarantees a very intimate polar experience
  • Built-in accordance with the most recent Polar Code criteria, she’s registered with a Polar Class 6 ice-class (Lloyd’s Register PC6)
  • Stabilizers, bow and stern thrusters, and ice-detecting radar allow for safe and comfortable navigation
  • Equipped with an energy-recovery technology that recycles engine heat to warm up the ship and its water supply
  • 10 Zodiac boats

Ship Cabins

  • Seven different types of accommodations available, including dedicated single cabins
  • Spacious cabins, ranging in size from 40 m2 to 20 m2
  • Private balcony in all suites and most cabins

Crew

  • Excellent quality cuisine and hospitality staff
  • Service-oriented expedition team that deliver considering individual guest interests
  • 6 Expert photography guides 

Facilities 

  • Glass-enclosed observation lounge
  • Sauna and fitness centre on board
  • Bow access to offer the guests proximity to marine wildlife
  • Well-stocked bar and meeting room for briefings and educational events
  • Large dining room that seats all guests and expedition staff at once
  • Library 
  • Gift shop
  • Outdoor protected BBQ area.
See Ship

Antarctica Cruise Dates and Prices

Prices quoted are per person in US Dollars. Twin and double cabins are based on double occupancy.

Date

Trip Name

Duration

Vessel

Cabin A

Cabin B

Cabin C

Cabin D

Cabin E

Cabin F

Cabin G

 
1 - 12 January 2024 Antarctica Explorer 12 Days MV Polar Pioneer US$ 15,990 US$ 14,790 US$ 13,790 US$ 12,870 US$ 11,490 n/a n/a Book
11 - 18 December 2024 Antarctica Discovery Fly Cruise 8 Days MV Magellan Explorer

US$ 19,795

US$ 17,995

US$ 21,995

US$ 23,995

US$ 27,495

US$ 28,995

US$ 28,995

Book
31 December 2024 - 7 January 2025 Antarctica Discovery Fly Cruise 8 Days MV Magellan Explorer

US$ 19,995

US$ 18,795

US$ 22,995

US$ 24,995

US$ 27,995

US$ 29,995

US$ 29,995

Book
24 January - 2 February 2025 Antarctica Polar Circle Fly Cruise 10 Days MV Magellan Explorer

US$ 24,995

US$ 22,795

US$ 26,995

US$ 29,795

US$ 32,995

US$ 36,495 

US$ 36,495

Book
5 - 12 February 2025 Antarctica Discovery Fly Cruise 8 Days MV Magellan Explorer US$ 19,795 US$ 17,995 US$ 21,995 US$ 23,995 US$ 27,495 US$ 28,995 US$ 28,995 Book

On Magellan Explorer departures kayaking is available for an additional $995 per person.

 

If you have any questions about this Antarctica Air-Cruise please get in touch

Useful Information

50 Interesting Antarctica Facts to Inspire Your Visit

Here are 50 of our favourite facts about Antarctica to help entice you into visiting this beautiful frozen continent. Read More >>
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Wildlife of Antarctica I Animals You can See on an Antarctic Micro Cruise

Antarctica is home to a stunning variety of wildlife from emperor penguins to seals and birdlife. Check out our Antarctica wildlife guide >>
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What Makes a Secret Atlas Small Ship Expedition Unique?

We are obsessed with small group polar exploration and we see low group numbers as the vital ingredient. See what makes our expeditions unique >>
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Air-Cruise FAQ

Departure Location Punta Arenas, Chile
Arrival Location Punta Arenas, Chile
Trip Style Exploration
Physical Rating Easy
Maximum Group Size 73
Accommodation Twins, Doubles, Suites & Singles
Duration 8 Days
Time of Year November, December, January, February
Included
Not Included

We offer payment via the following methods:

  • Credit card
  • Payment by bank transfer

Please let us know at the time of booking your preferred method.

You have the option to pay in full at time of booking or pay in the following instalments:

30% deposit is taken at the time of booking

30% 6 months before departure

40%  90 days prior to departure

It is mandatory you take out comprehensive travel insurance at the time of booking that also covers cancellation.

Solo travellers are welcome on all our voyages. We often host solo travellers, particularly on our photo voyages so the chances are you won’t be the only one. We offer the following accommodation options:

  • Single cabins available on select voyages on Polar Pioneer and Magellan Explorer and subject to availability.
  • Option to share a twin cabin with another traveller of the same gender if single cabins are unavailable.

This trip is operated by a trusted Secret Atlas partner and is subject to our terms and conditions of travel. You can read the full booking terms here.

What Our Customers Say

On each Antarctica cruise we welcome customers from all corner of the globe, with a variety of different ages and backgrounds all united in their passion to experience what Antarctica has to offer.

Pan – Business Executive from Italy

‘This is the closest you can come to a real expedition. We saw glaciers seals, whales, walruses and polar bears’

From an early age Pan dreamed of visiting the Arctic. At the age of 42 he made that dream come true by joining Secret Atlas on an expedition micro cruise.

Read his story

Annie – Interior Designer from the USA

‘The micro cruise experience felt like being on your own private boat. The crew were fantastic’’

Annie had always wanted to go an expedition in Svalbard and joined us as a solo traveler..

Read her story