Best of Antarctica from Punta Arenas
from $8765
Duration: 11 Days
Cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula on an 11-day polar expedition from the southern shores of Chile’s Puntas Arenas. Taking on the Magellan Strait and the mighty Drake Passage, jump aboard Intrepid’s Ocean Endeavour in search of rare bird and marine life, jagged icebergs and mountainous landscapes like no other. Travel with experts who will present a comprehensive lecture program, head on extraordinary Zodiac shore landings and take advantage of onboard comforts after a day of exploring. If you thought the remote reaches of Antarctica were out of reach, think again.
  • Discover the historic Chilean town of Puntas Arenas – a second South American gateway to the Great White Continent and future home to the International Antarctic Center.
  • On Intrepid’s comfortable and well-equipped Ocean Endeavour, learn a thing or two about your upcoming explorations with a series of lectures and workshops presented by photographers, marine biologists and glaciologists.
  • Zodiac excursions open up exploration opportunities in Antarctica’s glacial waters, icy coves and wildlife-rich shores. Get on board with a number of trips scheduled during your Antarctic expedition.
  • Antarctica’s wildlife is varied, unique and undeniably incredible. Penguins, seals, whales, albatross – your expedition crew will curate your adventure to ensure you’ve got the best chance of multiple sightings.
  • Disembark the Ocean Endeavour at the Argentinean port of Ushuaia, with the option to extend your adventure in this vibrant city at the end of the world.
Day 1 Location: Punta Arenas
Welcome to Chile! Puntas Arenas is one of the country’s fastest growing cities and the perfect gateway to your Antarctic expedition. You can arrive at any time today, as there are no activities planned until a welcome meeting tonight, usually around 6 pm. Until then, fly in, transfer to your accommodation and get exploring this slice of Patagonian history. Why not take a visit to the $50 million International Antarctic Center (set to open in 2021) which functions as a research hub and museum for all things Antarctica. After your important briefing tonight, perhaps get together with a few of your fellow travellers for a meal – your local leader will be able to recommend you a restaurant or two.
Day 2 Location: Punta Arenas – Embarkation Day
Today, you’ll set off through the picturesque Strait of Magellan on board the Ocean Endeavour towards the Drake Passage, ready for your crossing to the Antarctic Peninsula. Your group leader will confirm with you all the relevant embarkation details at your welcome meeting on Day 1. If you’ve got some spare time this morning, it’s a good idea to stock up on supplies; otherwise, take a walk along Bories Street and check out the shops.
Day 3-4 Location: Drake Passage
With nothing but you and the big blue for the next couple of days, take advantage of all of the amenities and activities on board your fully equipped vessel. Spot seabirds flying with your ship to the Great White Continent, keeping an eye out for albatross on their migration route. Keep your eyes peeled for breaching whales and other marine mammals in the southern oceans, and cosy up with a drink, getting to know your shipmates at the bar. Throughout the day, there will also be a series of lectures and presentations to educate you about the geography, environment and wildlife you’ll expect to see along the Antarctic Peninsula. Knowledge of this part of the world is key for polar explorers, so take it all in!
Day 5 Location: Drake Passage – Antarctic Peninsula
You’re expected to make your first sightings of land this morning as you cruise towards the volcanic South Shetland Islands. Take to the bridge for epic views towards the large icebergs and rugged mountaintops of this archipelago, often frequented by chinstrap penguins, elephant seals and fur seals. This afternoon, take to the ship’s specialised Zodiac boats for a shore excursion at one of the many landing sites around the area. Exploration starts here, so be ready with your polar gear and charged camera.
Day 6-8 Location: Antarctic Peninsula
Voyage further south across the Bransfield Strait towards continental Antarctica. For the next three days, head on wildlife sightings, take to Zodiacs for small-group outings and soak up unforgettable vistas that greet you at every turn. With multiple landing sites available, your Ocean Endeavour crew will work out the best places to stop, taking into account the elements, accessibility and the possibility for wildlife sightings. There may be the chance for snowshoeing, kayaking and camping adventures, which are weather and timing dependent. Well-known sites like Neko Harbour, Orne Harbour and Skontorp Cove will be on the captain’s radar, as well as a working science base.
Day 9-10 Location: Drake Passage
Settle back into your comfortable surroundings for the return journey across the Drake Passage. The Ocean Endeavour will track north towards Cape Horn and your destination in Ushuaia, Argentina. During this time, you can attend more onboard lectures and workshops, including one on photo editing – sure to make your nature snaps the best they can be. Now is also the chance to catch up with your shipmates and share stories about your voyage over a meal or a drink at the bar.
Day 11 Location: Ushuaia – Disembarkation Day
This morning, farewell the Ocean Endeavour as you disembark in Ushuaia. With no further activities planned for today, you’re free to depart at any time. With much to see and do in Ushuaia, including the Museo Maritimo, Avenida San Martin or even an adventurous hike to the Martial Glacier, your adventure doesn’t have to end today. If you would like to spend more time in Ushuaia, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Dates
Prices
Availability
Departure Date:
02NOV2021
Return Date:
12NOV2021
8765NZD
available
Departure Date:
02NOV2021
Return Date:
12NOV2021
15875NZD
available
Departure Date:
02NOV2021
Return Date:
12NOV2021
17390NZD
available
Departure Date:
02NOV2021
Return Date:
12NOV2021
10580NZD
available
Departure Date:
02NOV2021
Return Date:
12NOV2021
18145NZD
available
Departure Date:
02NOV2021
Return Date:
12NOV2021
10580NZD
available
Departure Date:
02NOV2021
Return Date:
12NOV2021
11490NZD
available
Departure Date:
02NOV2021
Return Date:
12NOV2021
11490NZD
available
Departure Date:
02NOV2021
Return Date:
12NOV2021
12700NZD
available
Departure Date:
02NOV2021
Return Date:
12NOV2021
13605NZD
available
Last modified (date)

21 Jan 2020

Trip title

Best of Antarctica from Punta Arenas

Trip code

GQMDP

Validity

Validity: 02 Nov 2021 to 21 Nov 2021

Introduction

Cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula on an 11-day polar expedition from the southern shores of Chile’s Puntas Arenas. Taking on the Magellan Strait and the mighty Drake Passage, jump aboard Intrepid’s Ocean Endeavour in search of rare bird and marine life, jagged icebergs and mountainous landscapes like no other. Travel with experts who will present a comprehensive lecture program, head on extraordinary Zodiac shore landings and take advantage of onboard comforts after a day of exploring. If you thought the remote reaches of Antarctica were out of reach, think again.

Style

Comfort

Themes

Polar,Wildlife

Transport

Expedition cruise ship,zodiac

Physical Rating

1

Physical preparation

Although you don't need to be particularly fit to take part in an Antarctic expedition, you do need to have a good level of mobility. You must be able to complete the on board safety drills and emergency evacuation procedures unaided. Rolling seas and windy conditions require you to be stable on your feet while negotiating the ship over potentially slippery decks and gangways. The zodiacs are accessed via a gangway which is reached via some steep and narrow internal stairs. The Ocean Endeavour has a lift (elevator), but it does not access all decks so some stair climbing on board will be necessary. On shore conditions will vary. Ice and snow underfoot can make conditions slippery. Some locations have steep climbs or longer walks to reach a place of interest but wherever possible, the expedition guides will offer options of shorter or longer stays on shore, and varying levels of activity. The crew are on hand to assist passengers on and off the zodiacs at all landings.

Joining point

Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas

CHILE

Finish point

Ushuaia

Ushuaia

ARGENTINA

Important information

BOOKING CONDITIONS Arctic and Antarctic bookings have an increased deposit requirement of 20% of the full voyage cost (before any discount). The balance is due 125 days before departure. If a booking is cancelled 125 days or more before departure – the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid. If a booking is cancelled between 125 days and departure – the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage. Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a Polar voyage.

Group leader

Your expedition will be led by an experienced expedition leader and at least one assistant leader. In addition, there will be a team of Polar experts who will be with you throughout. These experts will have various areas of expertise to inform you about the wildlife you may see, the terrain you'll pass through, the history of the area and to help you get the most out of photography opportunities, there will be a photography guide on board. In addition there will be specialist guides for kayaking, a yoga instructor and on some voyages, special guest presenters. With a passenger to guide ratio of 8:1, there will always be someone around to answer any questions you may have.

Safety

On your way to join your voyage, you may take advantage of the opportunity to visit a larger South American city such as Buenos Aires or Santiago. It is worth researching matters of personal safety and security in these places before your departure. Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Communications

The Ocean Endeavour has facilities to communicate with the outside world. Satellite phone communications are available but be aware that this connection is only available in certain locations and may not be possible from your cabin. Satellite communications can be intermittent and may not be available at all times or in all locations. Phone calls are charged per minute of usage. Internet access is possible via wifi on your personal laptop or device in certain areas of the ship and is charged via a pre-paid card which can be purchased through the hotel manager. Please be aware, accessing some websites from the ship will be very expensive as downloading picture heavy content will use up a large amount of data. Text only emails use up much less data and is a very affordable way to communicate with friends and family at home. All communications from the ship are a bit intermittent as when travelling through mountainous areas or through narrow channels, signals can be disrupted and may not be transmitted until clearing this terrain or until satellites next pass overhead. Please make sure your loved ones have realistic expectations of your ability to communicate with them so they don’t worry about you.

Visas

No visas are required to visit the Antarctic continent or its offshore islands. However, you will need to have your passport with you on the ship, as port authorities will wish to inspect passports on departure from Ushuaia and also again at the end of your voyage. For this departure, the Ocean Endeavour departs for the Antarctic continent from the port of Punta Arenas in Chile, and returns to Ushuaia, at the southern tip of Argentina. At the time of printing, no visas for Chile or Argentina are required by holders of Australian, New Zealand, British, Canadian, U.S.A. or European passports however visa requirements can change with little warning so please check DFAT or with your travel agent 3 months before travel. Passengers holding passports issued by other countries should carefully check the situation with their travel agent or consular authorities. For the voyages scheduled to visit the Falkland Islands, visitors from Britain, the Commonwealth, North America, Chile and the European Community do not need visas as at the time of printing. Visitors should check their particular situation with us, their travel agent, the nearest British Consulate, or contact the Travel Co-ordinator at the Falkland Island Government Office in London (tel: 020 7222 2375).

Why we love it

Discover the historic Chilean town of Puntas Arenas – a second South American gateway to the Great White Continent and future home to the International Antarctic Center.

On Intrepid’s comfortable and well-equipped Ocean Endeavour, learn a thing or two about your upcoming explorations with a series of lectures and workshops presented by photographers, marine biologists and glaciologists.

Zodiac excursions open up exploration opportunities in Antarctica’s glacial waters, icy coves and wildlife-rich shores. Get on board with a number of trips scheduled during your Antarctic expedition.

Antarctica’s wildlife is varied, unique and undeniably incredible. Penguins, seals, whales, albatross – your expedition crew will curate your adventure to ensure you’ve got the best chance of multiple sightings.

Disembark the Ocean Endeavour at the Argentinean port of Ushuaia, with the option to extend your adventure in this vibrant city at the end of the world.

Is this trip right for you

Although our ice-strengthened ships are big and sturdy, the Antarctic waters can be unpredictable and rough. Some people may experience seasickness, especially through the Drake Passage and other open water crossings, so please be prepared with medications to combat this – we’d hate for you to miss a single minute of this journey. There is also a doctor on board should you need further assistance. Of course, temperatures in the Antarctic can be freezing, but it can get surprisingly warm – when the sun comes out, for instance, or with increased physical activity. It’s best to dress in layers when you journey outside and we’ll provide you with waterproof boots that are sturdy and warm. Please see the Essential Trip Information for notes on what to bring. Depending on the weather, you’ll be zipping around in a Zodiac boat quite regularly to explore the area and search for wildlife. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac, so make sure you dress appropriately and keep your camera safe and dry. Enduring the elements is one thing, having no photos to show for it is another. Sturdy sea legs are needed for wet and dry landings from the boat, as well as on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. The Ocean Endeavour has a lift, but you’ll need to take the stairs to get to the gangway and some other parts of the ship that the lift does not provide access to. The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure and, although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially in such a remote area. There are nearly 200 recognised sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands; the places mentioned in the itinerary may need to be changed to others (which are just as interesting). We may also be confined to the ship during rough weather. The ship’s library and educational lectures are ideal ways to stay entertained, while the wellness spa, saunas, gym and yoga classes will keep you fresh for when the weather clears.

Health

GENERAL HEALTH All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with this style of travel. Please also bear in mind the isolation of where you will be travelling, and the distance to medical facilities. Please note that if, in the opinion of staff, any traveller is found to be unfit to complete the itinerary on the day of embarkation, they may be denied boarding and excluded from the trip without refund. VACCINATIONS Vaccination requirements do change, but generally you do not need vaccinations for this voyage but some may be required or recommended for countries you are visiting enroute to Antarctica. It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain any vaccinations or preventative medicines for the countries you are visiting – or any which may be required by your home country upon your return. To find out which, if any, vaccinations are mandatory or recommended for your destination contact your local doctor, immunisation centre or medical centre for up-to-date information. You should be issued with an International Certificate of Vaccination booklet that records each vaccination. Always carry this with you on your travels; it could provide essential information for doctors in the event that you fall ill whilst travelling. MEDICAL FACILITIES ON BOARD There will be a licensed English-speaking physician on board. Your vessel will have a medical clinic with a limited supply of prescription medicines and basic first aid equipment. The clinic will not be stocked with every drug or piece of equipment required for every medical problem. If you are under regular treatment for any ailment, you must bring a sufficient supply of medicines for yourself. We cannot accept responsibility for not having a specific brand or type of drug on board. It is wise to carry an extra week’s supply of prescription medications just in case of flight delays or other unforeseen circumstances. If you have particular health needs, please bring with you a signed and dated letter from your physician explaining your health problems and/or the dosage required for the prescribed medication. The letter will assist our doctor on board, and any emergency medical personnel to care for you should you become ill. Please hand the letter to the ships' doctor once you are on board. MOTION SICKNESS The waters of the Drake Passage can be some of the roughest seas in the world, although at other times they are so smooth that it is referred to as the 'Drake Lake'! Although our vessels are among the most stable ships in their class, we will still inevitably encounter motion. Unless you are certain you are impervious to the problem, you should take precautions against seasickness. Your doctor can advise you as to the best methods for avoiding this uncomfortable condition.

Food and dietary requirements

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the dining room. Hours of operation will be posted and are subject to change to accommodate the expedition. Coffee, tea and cocoa are available around the clock. The tap water on board is safe to drink. We're able to meet most special dietary requests, as long as you have clearly indicated your requirements far in advance of your voyage via your online Polar forms. Kosher food cannot be prepared.

Money matters

SPENDING IN ANTARCTICA The US Dollar is the standard currency on board. Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Discover Card and American Express are accepted on board for settling your shipboard account. An account will be opened for your cabin for purchases aboard ship. This will include bar services, laundry and communication charges. A ‘chit’ system will operate for on board payments. You will sign for any bar, wine, communication charges, laundry, etc. An account for payment will be presented to you on the final day of the voyage. Final payment can be made using cash or major credit cards. Personal cheques are not accepted on board. If you are sharing a cabin and would like separate accounts, you must advise the reception. It is wise to travel with sufficient cash to pay for incidentals such as shipboard items on the last day of the voyage, airport taxes and taxi transfers. In Antarctica, there are limited opportunities to spend money other than on the ship. If you are visiting the Falklands, it is advisable to have Pounds Sterling or US dollars to spend while in Stanley. Argentinean Pesos are not accepted. Please note there are no ATM’s on the Falkland Islands. For trips to the Peninsula, you may visit Port Lockroy which is a small museum and has a souvenir shop, as does the museum in Grytviken on South Georgia. TIPPING The voyage fare does not include the customary, optional gratuity which is divided between the ships' crew, and hospitality staff. We suggest US$13 - US$15 per day as a guide. For the expedition team, between US$3 and US$5 per day. Both of these are entirely at your discretion Gratuities can be added to your onboard account at the end of the voyage or paid in cash on board. Full details will be provided before you settle your onboard account. AIRPORT DEPARTURE TAXES Most countries have airport departure and security taxes. These are generally now added to the cost of your flight ticket and will be quoted to you when you are arranging your flights. However, there is a departure tax of 28 pesos (or US$8) payable when leaving Ushuaia and this must be paid in cash at the airport. From Buenos Aires International airport, in addition to a number of taxes built into your airline ticket, there is also an additional tax now payable in cash at the airport. MEALS NOT INCLUDED All meals are included once your board the Ocean Endeavour, but we suggest you allow US$100 per person for meals prior to boarding the ship or after you have disembarked.

What to take

The Antarctic Peninsula has relatively mild weather conditions when compared to the rest of the continent. As a result, you should not need to make many expensive specialist gear purchases, although you do need good wet weather pants and warm clothing. Wet weather jacket and boots are available to loan on board the ship. The dress code on board is relaxed and casual and you will not need to dress formally for meals. The inside of the ship is well heated, so you will not require special clothing on board. Indeed, you could spend most of your time in light trousers and a t-shirt! However, it is not unusual for you to want to go out on deck suddenly – a whale sighting or seals on a nearby ice-floe nearly always produce a major exodus, so you need to keep warm clothing handy at all times, even when a shore excursion is not imminent. When you do go ashore you will require warm clothing - a few layers of light and medium-weight items which can be easily adjusted rather than one or two large and bulky items - and wet weather gear to protect you from the spray which can sometimes be encountered on the Zodiacs. Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday. Laundry facilities are available on board the ship. A more detailed packing list is provided in the pre departure information that will be provided after booking. Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts, Trip Notes Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance Spare passport photos Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card Money belt (for travelling en route) Small first-aid kit Seasickness medication Ecologically friendly laundry soap Daypack (lightweight and waterproof) Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries) Electrical adapter plug Toiletries/travel wipes Sunscreen, lip balm, moisturising cream, sunhat and sunglasses (with UV protection) Swimsuit for the Polar plunge Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers) Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required) 2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain) Refillable water bottle Phrase book (if travelling en route to ship) Gloves (2 pairs minimum) Hat that covers ears Scarf or other face protection Wind and waterproof pants (a few sizes larger) Warm pants Comfortable shoes Long wool or cotton socks (for expeditions) Silk or polypropylene socks (for inside the ship) Thermal underwear (silk or polypropylene) Jumpers/sweaters/fleeces Cotton t-shirts Camera and device for backing up photos Plastic bags with zippers (for keeping small items waterproofed) Binoculars

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what could be done better. It allows us to suggest improvements for future travellers.

Emergency contact

Issues on your trip: While we always endeavour to provide you the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your expedition leader straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognize that there may be times when your expedition leader may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leaderto speak to their direct manager. In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below: Chimu Argentina: +54 15 53056456

Responsible travel

As a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), we support responsible tourism that mitigates the impact of our shore landings on the landscape or wildlife. • Having our vessels burn Marine Gas Oil (MGO) a clean burning fuel with a low emission factor. • Conforming to all international regulations/policies governing disposal of waste. • Sorting recyclables on board to prevent waste going to land fill • Serving only sustainable seafood. • Using only eco-friendly laundry chemicals • Using only biodegradable toiletries in bathrooms • Removing single use plastics on trips. • Taking steps towards preventing lint fibres being released into the ocean from laundering linen and passenger laundry IAATO members also operate according to established rules of conduct, which, while you travel with us, we ask you to respect.

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website:

Travel insurance

It is a condition of travel that you have taken out a comprehensive travel insurance policy to cover you for all eventualities and that covers you for travelling in the Polar regions.

Itinerary disclaimer

No two Polar voyages are the same and this is part of the excitement of travelling in these remote regions. Weather, ice conditions and wildlife will all affect where your ship is able to access, and most importantly, where your Expedition Team think you will get the best possible experience from your trip. On board, daily updates are given to advise what the specific itinerary will be for the next day based on local conditions. Published itineraries cannot be guaranteed but an amazing voyage full of adventure and once-in-a-lifetime experiences is guaranteed.

Accommodation

1 night comfortable hotel,9 nights expedition cruise ship

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