21788
Antarctica
Expedition Antarctica: Fly to and Discover This Icy World
Join us on the only study cruise that flies over the Drake Passage instead of sailing it! Discover the fantasy-like wonders of Antarctica on this one-of-a-kind adventure.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21788RJ
Length
15 days
Starts at
14,995
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
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15 days
14 nights
35 meals
12 B 11 L 12 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrival in Santiago, Chile; Welcome and Overview of Santiago
Santiago
L,D
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels Santiago - Viticura

Morning: Arrive in Santiago, Chile, and transfer to the hotel. Please Note: Rooms are not guaranteed to be available for check-in until 2 p.m.

Lunch: Arrive in Santiago, Chile, and transfer to the hotel. Please Note: Rooms are not guaranteed to be available for check-in until 2 p.m. We’ll meet in a private room in the hotel for our Welcome and Orientation Briefing, followed by a light lunch. During our program 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.

Afternoon: Check into your rooms and take some time to freshen up, before heading out for an introduction to Santiago. Chile's capital city is a sophisticated, sprawling metropolis wedged between the Andes and mountainous coastal range, and is home to 6 million Santiaguinos - one third of Chile's population. On an overview of the city by private motorcoach, we will discover the city's main landmarks and take some time to walk around the Plaza de Armas - the main square - surrounded by beautiful buildings including La Moneda, which houses the presidential palace. La Modena was originally designed by Italian architect, Joaquín Toesca, as a colonial mint. After that, we will drive up San Cristobal Hill, where you'll get a panoramic view of the city and the omnipresent Andes.

Dinner: Welcome dinner at a local restaurant within walking distance of the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Santiago, Chile - Wines of Chile
Santiago
B,L,D
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels Santiago - Viticura

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel restaurant, featuring an extensive selection of hot and cold dishes, cereal, cheese, meats, fresh fruit, coffee, tea, milk and juice.

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: Enjoy a gourmet lunch with wine pairings at Dona Paula Restaurant. The restaurant is housed in the original main house of the estate, which is listed as a National Monument and named after Paula Jaraquemada. Dona Paula was a former owner of Santa Rita estate who played an important role in the Chilean war for independence. In 1818, the estate provided refuge for soldiers after a battle against the Spanish Crown.

Afternoon: Return to Santiago after lunch.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: Evening at leisure.

DAY
4
Fly to Puerto Natales, Transfer to explora Patagonia
Torres del Paine National Park
B,D
explora Patagonia

Activity note: explora Lodge vans will meet and transfer us from the Puerto Natales Airport to the camp. The drive is approximately 2 hours. At explora, you will be provided with a refillable water bottle that you may take home with you.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We check out of the hotel and depart to Santiago International Airport for the flight to Puerto Natales.

Lunch: A light snack is served on board the flight. You may wish to pick up additional snacks in the airport.

Afternoon: Arrival in Puerto Natales, the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park, in the heart of Chilean Patagonia. We are met by explora Patagonia Lodge’s vans, to transfer from the airport to the shores of Lake Pehoé, in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park. After settling in to our rooms, we’ll reconvene with local experts for a briefing on Torres del Paine and discuss our activities during out stay.

Dinner: In the lodge dining room, we’ll enjoy a 3-course table d’hote menu of seasonal ingredients, sourced locally, accompanied by your choice of beverage. Open bar including all beverages is included during your stay at explora (premium wines excluded.)

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Torres del Paine National Park
Torres del Paine National Park
B,L,D
explora Patagonia

Activity note: Driving in the morning in vans with multiple stops. Afternoon hikes and activities according to your interest and chosen activity level.

Breakfast: At the lodge

Morning: We depart in vans with our explora Patagonia Lodge experts, for a morning field trip customized for Road Scholar participants that provides an overview encompassing the most scenic viewpoints of Torres del Paine National Park. The exact routing and inclusions that you experience is based on the specific weather conditions on the day.

Lunch: We’ll meet at the explora Quincho for an important gaucho tradition – spit roasted Patagonian lamb, sausages, fish and a buffet of side dishes

Afternoon: Separate into small groups for your chosen activity. Choose between a gentle, “digestive stroll” of 40 minutes along the Laguna Azul, a gaucho-led horse ride, or perhaps a more demanding hike lasting a couple of hours. We will return to the lodge in the late afternoon.

Dinner: In the lodge dining room. We’ll meet with our local experts for a briefing on the activities that we’ll choose individually for tomorrow, according to each individual preference of activity level and interests.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Torres del Paine National Park
Torres del Paine National Park
B,L,D
explora Patagonia

Activity note: The field trip listed today is only an example of the type of activities available at explora. While at the lodge, you will be able to pick and choose from a variety of activities depending on your own fitness level and interests. Please see the end of this booklet for a description of the other hikes and activities available.

Breakfast: At the lodge

Morning: Today you may choose between a half-day or full day activity. The following is an example of a half-day activity: We will leave the hotel by van for a 2.5 hour exploration and head towards the Grey Lake station. We’ll begin the excursion by crossing the hanging bridge over the torrential Pingo River and cross a lenga forest until we reach the shores of Lake Grey- it is generally quite windy- where we will be able to see the enormous icebergs that break off the Grey Glacier. After a moderate ascent of 118 feet, we will be able to see the Grey Glacier up close. Finally we will return to the Grey station where a van will be waiting to take us back to the hotel.

Lunch: If you choose a full day activity, a packed lunch is provided to take with you. If you choose a half-day activity, lunch will be served at the lodge.

Afternoon: Another example of a hike you may wish to choose is the 2-hour Mirador Pehoé hike. We leave the hotel by foot, walking along the Pehoé Lake, observing the various orchids and ñirre trees that comprise the local flora. We will ascend to a triangular rock from where we will be able to see the intense blue of Lake Pehoé and the Paine ridge. If the day is clear we will be able to enjoy a unique view from above, quite different from that of the hotel. Finally we will descend, observing the turquoise tones of the Paine River from afar.

Dinner: At the lodge

DAY
7
Transfer to Punta Arenas
Punta Arenas
B,L,D
Cabo de Hornos Hotel

Activity note: The drive from explora in Torres del Paine National Park to Punta Arenas is approximately 5 hours, over paved road, with a rest stop en route.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: Depart by private motorcoach to Punta Arenas.

Lunch: A packed lunch is provided to eat at your leisure.

Afternoon: Arrive in Punta Arenas and check in at the hotel. Up until now, you have traveled exclusively as a Road Scholar group. The following voyage to Antarctica aboard the Ocean Nova will also include non-Road Scholar passengers from around the world. In the late afternoon, we meet with the ship’s expedition leaders and other ship passengers for an important briefing about your Antarctic voyage.

Dinner: Enjoy a welcome dinner in a local restaurant to meet Road Scholar participants joining the program, as well as our expedition travel mates.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Punta Arenas - Fly to Antarctica
At Sea - Antarctica
B,L,D
M/V Ocean Nova

Activity note: The distance between the Antarctic airfield and the shoreline where the Zodiacs launch is a downhill 15-20 minute (1.5 mile) moderate walk on unpaved ground. A 4x4 vehicle is available to transport participants who prefer not to walk. The transfer from the shore to the ship is done by Zodiacs. You must be able to climb in and out of Zodiacs to board and disembark the ship, and to participate in the excursions in Antarctica.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

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 and restrooms are available. The "Ocean Nova" is anchored in the middle of Fildes Bay. Since there are no docking facilities at Frei Station, 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 only take care 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: On board the MV Ocean Nova

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Antarctica
At Sea - Antarctica
B,L,D
M/V Ocean Nova

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: 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: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Antarctica
At Sea - Antarctica
B,L,D
M/V Ocean Nova

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: 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: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Antarctica
At Sea - Antarctica
B,L,D
M/V Ocean Nova

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 company of sea birds, penguins, seals, and whales. Each day, we will disembark the ship by Zodiac and explore the landscape together with expert polar guides.

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: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Antarctica
At Sea - Antarctica
B,L,D
M/V Ocean Nova

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 company of sea birds, penguins, seals, and whales. Each day, we will disembark the ship by Zodiac and explore the landscape together with expert polar guides.

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: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Antarctica / Fly to Punta Arenas
Punta Arenas
B,L,D
Cabo de Hornos Hotel

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: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to pack and prepare for your flight home.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Punta Arenas - Departures
In Flight
B

Breakfast: At the hotel

DAY
15
Flights return to North America
In Flight





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