Quest for the Antarctic Circle

Punta Arenas, Chile

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Take an exhilarating twist on a classic expedition to the Antarctic Circle, combining passage by air and sea to maximize your experience. Cross the Drake Passage from the Falkland Islands, enjoying exciting days of onshore exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula. Journeying south, cruise among dramatic ice floes in Zodiac boats, and witness magnificent wildlife and seabirds, including humpback whales and albatross. Experience fertile ocean habitats, the thrilling moods of the water and weather, and optional kayaking. End your voyage with a two-hour flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas.


Duration: 12 Days
Starts in: Punta Arenas, Chile
Ends in: Punta Arenas, Chile
Group Size: 1-96

Operated by:

MT Sobek

MT Sobek, the originators, innovators and leaders in adventure travel for more than five decades, crafts journeys to the world's most memorable places.


Fly from Punta Arenas to Stanley

Meet in Punta Arenas and transfer to the airport for a short flight to Stanley, Falkland Islands. Take some time to explore this rural town with its brightly colored houses, pretty flower-filled gardens, cathedral and pubs. Then board the expedition ship, settle in, and gather with the expedition team. Enjoy a welcome cocktail, dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica - and the adventure of a lifetime.

Cross the Drake Passage

Chart a southerly course for Antarctica through a bio-diverse stretch of the South Atlantic called the Antarctic Convergence. Here the cold waters of the Antarctic meet the warmer seas of the Atlantic, and the surfacing nutrients attract seabirds and whales. The Drake Passage can have some treacherous ocean conditions at times. Crossings can be rough, but are usually tolerable. (Seasickness medication helps.)

Sail to the Antarctic Peninsula

Join the Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of the ship, a modern research vessel. Watch interesting presentations about the environment, wildlife, and history of Antarctica. Weather-dependent landings may include Elephant Island, of Shackleton fame, and the thrilling Point Wild.

Explore the South Shetland Islands & Bransfield Strait

Arrive at King George Island — the largest in the South Shetlands group — in the morning. These islands offer good opportunities for shore landings to view Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins before the ship journeys further south, navigating the wildlife rich Bransfield Strait. Large icebergs will be present from this point onwards and make for striking photographs in the evening light.

Visit Wilhelmina Bay & Cuverville Island

Take in the towering mountain peaks of the Antarctic continent and try for landfall at Wilhelmina Bay. This is truly an 'A-list' location and a place often inhabited by sizeable pods of humpback whales. Navigate under the towering cliffs of Spigot Peak and into the Errera Channel, and have the chance to land at Cuverville Island — home to a rookery of gentoo penguins. This is a fantastic location for a Zodiac cruise or a paddle in the kayaks (optional program.)

Journey South To the Antarctic Circle & Gerlache Coast

Soak up the scenery on the outer decks as the ship passes through ice-strewn waters toward the Antarctic Circle. Given favorable ice conditions, the first objective is to sail south of the Circle and into Crystal Sound.

Land at Detaille Island & Winter Island

While ever-changing Antarctic conditions always determine the itinerary, the next four days include a variety of landing possibilities. Explorations ashore may include Detaille Island and Winter Island. If the conditions are right, enjoy a thrilling overnight camping experience!

Head North Along the Antarctic Peninsula

Returning north along the dramatic coastline of the Peninsula, possibilities include landings at Petermann Island and Pleneu Island. Explore the area with guided walks on shore, visits to penguin colonies, and Zodiac cruising among the ice with expert guides providing insight and interpretation.

Cruise Lemaire Channel and Walk on the 7th Continent

Cruise through the breathtaking Lemaire Channel, with mountain walls rising thousands of feet straight out of the water. This is one of the most scenic locations in Antarctica. However, the passage may sometimes become impassable.
Journey towards Paradise Harbor which may be the first chance to set foot on the shores of Antarctica itself! Nearby Neko Harbour offers another landing. Take advantage of hiking trails with panoramic views and kayaking opportunities.

Explore Deception Island

At this point in the voyage, be fully engaged in the sights, sounds, and sensations of the Arctic. Weather permitting, sail into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island, where history abounds. Explore abandoned whaling station ruins, if the conditions are right, partake in the "polar plunge" in the thermal waters along the shore. Charting a course for King George Island in the early evening light, enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.

Fly from King George Island to Punta Arenas

Anchor off King George Island in the morning, bid farewell to the crew and transfer ashore by Zodiac. From the island airstrip, board your two-hour flight to Punta Arenas. From there, transfer to your comfortable downtown hotel.

Depart from Punta Arenas

After breakfast at the hotel, airport transfers will be provided in time for your homeward-bound journey.


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