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Antarctic Peninsula: Fly and cruise

14 days from £12,250pp

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Antarctic Peninsula: Fly and cruise

14 days from £12,250pp
 

Private Journey

 

Day 1

Arrive in Santiago. Transfer to your hotel in the smart residential district Providencia.
 

You will be met at the airport and escorted by one of our local representatives to your hotel in a modern district with shops, bars and restaurants nearby.

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Santiago

Day 2

Fly south to Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia; by road to Torres del Paine.
 
Fly to Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia. Continue by road across the vast expanse of Patagonian grasslands, remote and sparsely populated. Wildlife to look out for includes guanaco and the ostrich-like rhea (ñandu).  After about 5hrs on the road, arrive at your accommodation, a first class lodge on the edge of magnificent Torres del Paine National Park.

The park is dominated by a granite massif of smooth rock towers and icy pinnacles. Milky blue and gem-sharp emerald lakes, sinuous rivers, glaciers and wind-scoured steppes have created a remarkable and unique environment. Declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, the area is a natural habitat of over 150 species of birds (flamingos, condors, eagles and ostriches) and 25 species of mammal (including guanacos, armadillos, silver foxes and pumas).

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Torres del Paine

Days 3-4

Expeditions in Torres del Paine National Park.
 

Your designer hotel sits on a bluff overlooking Lake Sarmiento, with staggering views towards the Torres del Paine massif. A comprehensive programme offers you various options each day, on foot, by van, horseback and launch. Excursions vary in duration (full day or half day) and fitness requirements (from easy to difficult).

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Torres del Paine Chile

Day 5

By road to Punta Arenas, overnight.
 
Travel by road back to Punta Arenas, an atmospheric and often blustery Patagonian city, once an important commercial outpost. Its centre is lined with elegant mansions (built on the wealth of sheep farming and mining during the late 19th century) and colourful buildings with corrugated iron roofs. Overnight at a hotel not far from the centre.

In the afternoon, you attend a briefing that provides important information about your voyage and reviews the essential guidelines for Antarctic visitors.  Later there is a welcome dinner organised by the cruise operator at the Hotel José Nogueira which overlooks the main square, and is one of the oldest buildings in Patagonia.

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Punta Arenas

Day 6

Fly to King George Island, board MV Ocean Nova.
 
Transfer to the airport for your 2 hr(ish) flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island on the South Shetland Islands, just north of the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Explore the area surrounding Chile’s Frei Station and Russia’s Bellingshausen station, before boarding a zodiac to embark your expedition vessel Ocean Nova for your cruise around the peninsula.

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Antarctica iceberg

Days 7-10

Cruising the shores of the Antarctic Peninsula; land and sea excursions.
 
Cruise between the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, sailing along ice-filled fjords and among gigantic icebergs, while enjoying the company of sea birds, penguins, seals and whales. Each day, disembark by Zodiac and explore the landscape together with expert polar guides. On board the ship, you may attend a programme of lectures and presentations, and enjoy superlative vistas from the glass-enclosed lounge while sharing your daily adventures with fellow guests.

Wildlife you may encounter on your 4 full days on the South Shetlands and the Antarctic Peninsula includes: gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguins; petrel; shag; elephant, Weddell and fur seal; and perhaps whales. There is a planned visit to Deception Island, the centre of which is a volcanic caldera that last erupted in 1969, as well as other islands and bays. In Antarctica, silence is so complete that interruptions become indelible memories: noisy penguins squabbling over prized pebbles on Cuverville Island, the boom and crack of a calving glacier in Paradise Harbour, for example.

The soaring peaks and stark rocks of Lemaire Channel are just the excuse you need to grab your camera gear for a shooting session from the deck, if the channel is free of ice. Exactly where the ship lands will vary from one expedition to the next and according to the polar conditions as the ship edges its way southwards through the slush and abstract patterns formed by the sea ice.

(Some departures offer optional snow-shoeing and kayaking activities in addition to, or instead of, the traditional landings or zodiac sailings. These activities are subject to additional cost. If you are interested in confirming a place on these activities, it is best to book with us before departing on your holiday as places may be limited).

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Gentoo penguin with chick

Day 11

Fly back to Punta Arenas, overnight.
 

Return to King George Island and disembark. Fly back to Punta Arenas for one further night.

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Crabeater seal

Days 12-13

Fly to Santiago; by road to Casablanca, 2 nights at a winery. At leisure among the vineyards.
 
Transfer to Punta Arenas airport and fly to Santiago. Continue by road to Casablanca and the Casona de Matetic winery. 

This young vineyard is situated in the Antonio Valley, where a refreshing microclimate supports the cultivation of Pinot Noir and Shiraz grapes. This huge estate has a very peaceful, rural setting amid rolling hills covered in Mediterranean chaparral forest. It's a modern, state-of-the-art design winery with an historic estate house which has been painstakingly restored and is now a beautiful small hotel. It’s a great place to warm up in after your adventure in the icy wilderness of Antarctica.  A tour of the winery and tasting will be offered during your visit. It has already won awards for the quality of its wine.

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winery in Chile

Day 14

Return to Santiago airport.

14 days from £12,250pp

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