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Chile/Antarctica

Expedition Antarctica: Fly to and Discover This Icy World

Program No. 21788RJ
Experience three nights in a luxury camp in Patagonia after embarking a special study cruise that flies over the Drake Passage instead of sailing it!
Length
16 days
Rating (5)
Activity Level
Starts at
18,499

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At a Glance

Discover the ethereal, ice-covered world of Antarctica on the only study cruise that flies over the Drake Passage instead of sailing it. Rather than voyaging two-plus days in each direction, you’ll take a short flight over the passage from Chile to an Antarctic base where you meet the ship and immediately start your exploration. After your journey to the southernmost continent, experience cosmopolitan Santiago and discover the dramatic natural beauty of Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Make the most of your journey to Antarctica by flying over the Drake Passage in just two hours instead of four days at sea sailing across it.
  • Marvel at fjords, icebergs and wildlife like whales, seals and penguins from hand-picked landing sites by Zodiac boat and from aboard your ice-strengthened vessel.
  • Spend three nights at an eco-camp in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park and discover the dramatic mountains, glaciers, and lagoons of Chilean Patagonia.

General Notes

Flights to Antarctica can be delayed due to weather conditions. There is a contingency plan in place in the event of a multi-day delay that will be sent with your first mailing.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Wallpaper City Guide Santiago
by Rachael Moloney
A stylish, thin (it fits in your back pocket) city guide compiled by the design magazine Wallpaper's local reporters. Well-organized, with chapter tabs, many photographs and of-the-moment recommendations.
Torres del Paine Map
by Zagier & Urruty Maps
This detailed walking map (1:80,000) includes trekking routes, refuges and color topography.
In Patagonia
by Bruce Chatwin
A masterpiece of travel, history and adventure, this award-winning book captures the spirit of the land, history, wildlife and people of Patagonia. There's no travel writer as engaging, insightful and just plain wonderful as Bruce Chatwin.
Chilean Wine: The Heritage, a Journey from the Origins of the Vine to the Present
by Rodrigo Alvarado
Alvarado does justice to the long winemaking tradition of Chile in this narrative, which explores the history of Chile's vineyards and wine production. Ideal for anyone on the path to becoming a connoisseur, or interested in gaining a deeper understanding of this long-standing tradition in Chile.
The Oceanites Site Guide to the Antarctic Peninsula
by Ron Naveen
The guide, which supports the Antarctic Site Inventory Project, covers 40 prime visitor sites in detail. It also includes some of the best photography we've seen. Second edition.
1912, The Year the World Discovered Antarctica
by Chris Turney
Turney looks at the great leap forward in Antarctic science that was made 100 years ago with the expeditions of not just Scott and Amundsen but also those of Mawson, Filchner and Shirase. A brisk and engaging history of science and exploration in the Antarctic. An Australian scientist himself, Turney sees Mawson as the scientific hero of the age.
Antarctica, A Guide to the Wildlife
by Tony Soper
Designed for the field, this compact handbook features all the species of birds, seals and whales the traveler is likely to encounter on an Antarctic voyage.
Night Flight
by Antoine de Saint Exupery
Saint Exupery captures the thrill and mystery of early flight in this tale of a pilot alone in a storm over the Andes en route to Buenos Aires.
A Wildlife Guide to Chile
by Sharon Chester
Chester's splendid guide, featuring 120 color plates, covers the wildlife, plants and natural history of Chile from the Atacama Desert and Patagonia to Easter Island and Antarctica
The Crystal Desert
by David Campbell
A biologist with the heart of a poet, Campbell focuses on the fossils, glaciers and wildlife of the Antarctic Peninsula in these vivid essays.
Torres Del Paine, Trekking in Chile's Premier National Park
by Rudolf Abraham
This hiking guide covers the Torres del Paine Circuit in Chile and 10 shorter excursions, including two just over the border in Argentina.
Frozen in Time, Murder at the Bottom of the World
by Theodore Jerome Cohen
A scientist with the 16th Chilean Antarctic Expedition in the 1960s, Professor Cohen turns his experiences and actual events from the time into a novel with a strong setting at Deception Island and the South Shetlands.
Travels in a Thin Country, A Journey through Chile
by Sara Wheeler
British author Sara Wheeler deploys her wit, intelligence and powerful investigative skills on the Republic of Chile in this insightful travelogue.
Penguins, The Ultimate Guide
by Tui De Roy
Featuring more than 400 photographs, this is the traveler's ultimate guide to the world's 18 species of penguins. Includes scientific discussions on penguin conservation, profiles, facts and tips on where to see them in Antarctica.
Alone in Antarctica, The First Woman to Ski Solo Across the Southern Ice
by Felicity Aston
In this inspirational memoir, Felicity Aston describes her pioneering journey -- skiing across the whole of Antarctica -- while meditating on human vulnerability, struggle and the experience of solitude in the Information Age.
Patagonia Chronicle: On Foot in Torres del Paine
by Susan Alcorn
A comprehensive guide to Torres del Paine National Park, featuring journal entries, interviews, historic documents and essays alongside maps, time and mileage charts and elevations.
Ines of My Soul
by Isabel Allende
Allende turns the amazing life of Spanish conquistadora and founder of Santiago, Ines Suarez (1507-1580), into a gripping novel.
Endurance, Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
by Alfred Lansing
Lansing's gripping day-by-day story of Shackleton's legendary perseverance is essential reading for any Antarctic traveler.
Melting Away, Images of the Arctic and Antarctic
by Camille Seaman
In her masterful series of 75 portraits and essays, Camille Seaman shows how climate change has wreaked havoc on both the North and South Poles.
Forgotten Footprints, Lost Stories in the Discovery of Antarctica
by John Harrison
A frequent lecturer aboard expedition ships to the Antarctic, John Harrison mixes his own adventures with tales of the seamen, sealers, whalers and plain lunatics who have journeyed to the Ice to make their fame and fortune. He focuses not on Shackleton, Scott and Amundsen but lesser-known tales of the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetlands and Weddell Sea.
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16 days
15 nights
38 meals
13 B 12 L 13 D
DAY
1
Flights depart North America
In Flight
DAY
2
Flights arrive in Santiago de Chile.
Santiago
D
DoubleTree by Hilton Santiago

Activity note: You will arrive in Santiago de Chile. Follow Immigration and Custom procedure. Please note that you will have to take a PCR test before leaving the Airport. You will be transferred to the hotel to wait for the result of the test in isolation. Road Scholar Staff will be at the airport to assist you.

Afternoon: After checking in to the hotel and getting your room, take some time to freshen up and relax to wait for the results of your PCR test taken at arrival. Until you do not get the negative result you are not allowed to leave your room. Whatever needs you might have, please contact to your Group Leader by phone. She is at the hotel. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Welcome dinner.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Punta Arenas
Punta Arenas
B,L,D
Hotel Cabo de Hornos

Activity note: Transfer and Flight to Punta Arenas.

Breakfast: Light breakfast (take away) to be picked up at the reception after check out. .

Morning: Transfer to the Airport. Arrival to Punta Arenas after 3.5 hs of flying. We will be transferred to the Expedition Hotel.

Lunch: Light Lunch

Afternoon: Briefing with the expedition staff to provide important information about your upcoming voyage and review the essential guidelines for your Antarctic voyage

Dinner: Enjoy a welcome dinner to meet your Antarctica expedition staff and other Antarctica travelers. The following voyage to Antarctica aboard the Magellan Explorer will also include non-Road Scholar passengers from around the world.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Punta Arenas - Fly to Antarctica
At Sea - Antarctica
B,L,D
M/V Magellan Explorer

Activity note: The distance between the airfield and the shoreline is a downhill 15-20 minute (1.5 mile) easy walk. Staff is available to drive those passengers who prefer not to walk. The transfer to the ship is done by Zodiac boat. Mobility is essential for getting on and off the ship.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Morning at leisure as you prepare for your flight to Antarctica. Transfer to the airport. Your Antarctic adventure begins with a two-hour flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands.

Lunch: Lunch en route

Afternoon: Arrive in Antarctica! As you exit the airplane, the clear Antarctic air fills your lungs for the first time. Explore the surrounding Chile's Frei Station and Russia's Bellingshausen station, before boarding a Zodiac to embark your vessel. At Frei Base, facilities are quite essential - do not expect an air and a sea terminal as you may find in most cities of the world. The airfield, called Aerodromo Teniente Marsh, is located in the heights of Frei Base. At a distance of about 3km (1.5miles) downhill, close to the shoreline of Fildes Bay, passengers can take advantage of transit facilities. Here hot drinks are available, as well as toilets. The "Ocean Nova" is anchored in the middle of Fildes Bay. Since at Frei Station there are no docking facilities, the transfer of passengers and their luggage between the coast and the vessel is performed by Zodiac Boats. Staff will take care of transporting participant luggage on board the aircraft and the ship. Participants are required to take care only of their personal carry on luggage. At Frei Base you will be provided with a lightweight life jacket that must be worn at all times in the Zodiac while cruising.

Dinner: Dinner on board

DAY
5
Antarctica
At Sea - Antarctica
B,L,D
M/V Magellan Explorer

Activity note: Getting in/out of Zodiac boats. Walking on uneven, snow covered, and sometimes icy conditions. Landings are all dependent on weather conditions

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.

Morning: No journey to Antarctica is the same, and flexibility is the key to a successful voyage. The on board Expedition Team sets the voyage route to take advantage of the ever-changing opportunities provided by nature, crafting unique and extraordinary experience each time. While the exact itinerary changes with each expedition, you will explore several spots that offer the best possible overview of the varied Antarctic environment. Your voyage may include visits to sites such as Paulet Island, Hope Bay, Port Lockroy, Petermann Island, Paradise Bay, Deception Island, the Lemaire Channel or many other magnificent places.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.

Afternoon: On board the ship, attend an engaging program of lectures and presentations, and enjoy spectacular vistas from the glass-enclosed lounge while sharing your daily adventures with fellow Road Scholar participants and ship guests.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.

DAY
6
Antarctica
At Sea - Antarctica
B,L,D
M/V Magellan Explorer

Activity note: Getting in/out of Zodiac boats. Walking on uneven, snow covered, and sometimes icy conditions. Landings are all dependent on weather conditions

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship

Morning: Cruise between the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, sailing along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs, while enjoying the compnay of sea birds, penguins, seals and whales. Each day, disembark by Zodiac and explore the landscape together with expert polar guides.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.

Afternoon: On board the ship, attend an engaging program of lectures and presentations, and enjoy spectacular vistas from the glass-enclosed lounge while sharing your daily adventures with fellow Road Scholar participants and ship guests.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.

DAY
7
Antarctica
At Sea - Antarctica
B,L,D
M/V Magellan Explorer

Activity note: Getting in/out of Zodiac boats. Walking on uneven, snow covered, and sometimes icy conditions. Landings are all dependent on weather conditions

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.

Morning: Cruise between the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, sailing along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs, while enjoying the compnay of sea birds, penguins, seals and whales. Each day, disembark by Zodiac and explore the landscape together with expert polar guides.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.

Afternoon: On board the ship, attend an engaging program of lectures and presentations, and enjoy spectacular vistas from the glass-enclosed lounge while sharing your daily adventures with fellow Road Scholar participants and ship guests.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.

DAY
8
Antarctica
At Sea - Antarctica
B,L,D
M/V Magellan Explorer

Activity note: Getting in/out of Zodiac boats. Walking on uneven, snow covered, and sometimes icy conditions. Landings are all dependent on weather conditions

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.

Morning: Cruise between the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, sailing along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs, while enjoying the compnay of sea birds, penguins, seals and whales. Each day, disembark by Zodiac and explore the landscape together with expert polar guides.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.

Afternoon: On board the ship, attend an engaging program of lectures and presentations, and enjoy spectacular vistas from the glass-enclosed lounge while sharing your daily adventures with fellow Road Scholar participants and ship guests.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.

DAY
9
Antarctica / Fly to Punta Arenas
Punta Arenas
B,L,D
Hotel Cabo de Hornos

Activity note: The distance between the shoreline and the airfield is an uphill 15-20 minute (1.5 mile) easy walk. Staff is available to drive those passengers who prefer not to walk. The transfer to the shore is done by Zodiac boat.

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.

Morning: Return to King George Island and bid farewell to Antarctica before boarding the flight back to Punta Arenas.

Lunch: Served on the plane.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to pack and prepare for your transfer to Torres del Paine.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.

DAY
10
Punta Arenas - Torres del Paine
Torres del Paine National Park
B,L,D
Lago Grey Hotel

Activity note: Five hours transfer in private bus with a couple of stop in the way from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine National Park.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel

Morning: Transfer by private bus to Torres del Paine National Park.

Lunch: Light Lunch on route.

Afternoon: Arrive at Hotel Lago Grey , located in the National Park. Welcome Toast hosted by the Group Leader to discuss all the options you have for the next days to make your experience at Paine unforgettable. Free time before dinner to walk around and admire the surroundings.

Dinner: Dinner at the lodge

DAY
11
Torres del Paine National Park
Torres del Paine National Park
B,L,D
Lago Grey Hotel

Activity note: The field trip listed today is only an example of the type of activities available at Lago Grey. While at the hotel, you will be able to pick and choose from a variety of activities depending on your own fitness level and interests. Your Group Leader will help you to chose the right activity for you.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the Lodge

Morning: Condor Lookout (2 hs) : We will drive about 45min towards the center of Torres del Paine National Park, where we begin our hike. It is a simple trek with a maximum height of 400 m.a.s.l, starting at 45 m.a.s.l. There is an incredible view of the Paine River and Lake Pehoé, with it’s turquoise colors facing the magnificent Paine Range. At the top of this viewpoint, with some luck, it is possible to see Condors. As a platform for taking off, juvenile condors are taught by their parents to undertake the flight or many times to rest on days that are not so windy in the conglomerate formations that originated there. After the descent we return to the hotel.

Lunch: Lunch at the Lodge

Afternoon: Choriilos Salmones. We will walk from our hotel towards Pingo River to start our trek on a flat path with slights ascents and descents. After a couple of minutes we will enter in a forest with view towards Big Paine and Cordón Olguín. An hour and a half later, will arrive at the viewpoint of “Chorrillo Los Salmones” named for the salmons which are possible to see descending downstream the waterfall. It is important to mention that this area is only possible to be visited with a certified hotel guide because its forest has not been affected by the last fires inside the par

Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.

DAY
12
Torres del Paine National Park
Torres del Paine National Park
B,L,D
Lago Grey Hotel

Activity note: Activity Notes The field trip listed today is only an example of the type of activities available at Lago Grey. While at the hotel, you will be able to pick and choose from a variety of activities depending on your own fitness level and interests. Your Group Leader will help you to chose the right activity for you.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge.

Morning: Waterfalls& lookouts Points ( 7 Hs) Great field trip for those who want to contemplate and enjoy most of the Torres del Paine National Park in one day and without any physical effort. We will start our excursion at the Forestry Corporation Visitor Center where we will receive general information about everything that constitutes this magnificent World Biosphere Reserve. Our trip continues towards the Great Waterfall, an imposing waterfall that can be seen after a short walk and where we have a view of the Paine Grande Mountain, and can observe the highest peak of the Paine Range. Then we will go to the Lago Nordenskjöld viewpoint, place where we will appreciate this lake and we will be very close to the Horns of the Paine. The excursion continues towards the Amarga Lagoon area to see the Paine River Falls, and begin to see the first panoramic views of the famous Torres del Paine.

Lunch: Pic nic lunch during the field trip

Afternoon: We will continue to the other end of the Park, to have lunch in Laguna Azul, a quiet and beautiful area of the park where we will have our moments to admire the beauty of the surroundings and listen only to the wind.

Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.

DAY
13
Fly to Santiago de Chile
Santiago
B,L,D
DoubleTree by Hilton Santiago

Activity note: Transfer to the airport. Flight to Santiago de Chile.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge.

Morning: Transfer to the Airport on time to take flight to Santiago.

Lunch: Lunch box - on route.

Afternoon: Arrival to Santiago de Chile. On our way to the hotel we will enjoy a orientation sightseeing rendered by our local expert who will show us the city's main landmarks including the La Moneda presidential palace. Originally a colonial mint, it was designed by Italian architect, Joaquín Toesca. Walk through the Plaza de Armas main square, surrounded by beautiful buildings.

Dinner: Dinner at a local Restaurant walking distance from the hotel.

DAY
14
Santiago, Chile - Wines of Chile
Santiago
B,L,D
DoubleTree by Hilton Santiago

Activity note: The drive to the wine estate is about 18 miles (28km), approximately 1/2 hour. Walking about one mile, standing indoors and out approximately one hour; unpaved ground in garden.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel.

Morning: This morning we head south of Santiago to the Maipo region to explore historic Santa Rita Wine Estate, situated at the foot of the Andes. First, we discover the exquisite private collection of 1,800 Pre-Columbian gold artefacts in the Andean Museum. Next, we stroll through the beautiful private botanical gardens that surround the estate's original colonial house.

Lunch: Lunch at La Casa de Dona Paula Restaurant, currently a National Monument named after Ms. Paula Jaraquemada, the former manor owner of Santa Rita estate over 200 years ago.

Afternoon: After lunch explore the Museum of the Andes (Museum Andino), which houses a stunning private collection of indigenous art and culture of Chile.Then discover one of the most important and productive wineries in Chile, Concha y Toro Vineyard. Founded in 1883 near the picturesque little town of Pirque, it still maintains all the traditions of Chilean wines. The Wine Advocate awarded their icon Carmenere wine, Carmin de Peumo 2005, 97 points.

Dinner: Light dinner at the hotel.

DAY
15
Santiago, Chile - Departures
In Flight
B

Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel

Afternoon: Check out hotel by 4 PM and transfer to Santiago International Airport.

DAY
16
Flights return to North America
In Flight

Activity note: Arrive back home.






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