Antarctic Express: Crossing the Circle

From Punta Arenas to Punta Arenas
  • All Antarctic Cruises
  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Small Ship Cruising
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

A short, comfortable flight from Punta Arenas, Chile, to King George Island in Antarctica has you with boots on the ground in no time, overtaken by the sheer magnitude of the 7th Continent. Fully immersed in the Antarctic environment, you’ll experience a roller coaster of emotions, from excitement to exquisite solitude to incredible gratitude for the wonder of it all.

Crossing the Antarctica Circle, that is travelling further south than 66⁰33´ S is what many dream off, well, tick this off without worrying about a Drake Passage crossing! Have plenty of time to experience the wonder of Antarctica, taking time for a couple of activities each day. Land ashore, and walk or hike around to find the perfect angle for your photograph, or enjoy the view overlooking an ice filled bay. Sit with the penguins on one of their colonies as they go about their busy lives. Take a zodiac exploration around shorelines and icebergs, and perhaps get up close to a whale or a swimming penguin. Check off more of your bucket list - a once-in-a-lifetime polar plunge, or paddle quietly in a kayak, listening to the sounds of nature.


Viva's Best Bits...

Marvel at all the Antarctic Peninsula highlights, including crossing the Antarctic Circle

"If you are worried about the Drake Passage crossing - then fly to Antarctica instead! This cruise still allows for plenty of time in Antarctica itself." Rachel, Team Viva

Discover the wide variety of Antarctic wildlife such as leopard seals, penguins and even whales if you are lucky.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile

Your adventure begins in Punta Arenas, Chile, the most populated city in southern Patagonia. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and shops to keep you busy for days.

Day 2
Fly to King George Island and Embarkation

Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica will have you crossing the legendary Drake Passage in only a few hours. Far below, the ship will approach King George Island for your arrival. Your first glimpse of dramatic Antarctic landscapes will be from a unique perspective, as your plane descends for landing in the South Shetland Islands. After landing, stretch your legs with a one-mile (1.6 km) walk to the shore, before being transferred by Zodiac to your ship to set sail for the Antarctic Peninsula!

Day 3-5
Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

There are few places in the world as evocative as Antarctica. As your ship approaches the White Continent, you may be overcome by feelings of excitement and awe. Much of Antarctica is indescribable and can only be fully appreciated through your own eyes.

As your captain and Expedition Team keep a lookout for whales and seabirds, you’ll be alerted to any new sightings. Our team of expert lecturers will also provide in-depth explanations of the glaciology, history and wildlife of the region.

Even more exciting are your land excursions. Your first Zodiac landing is something you’ll never forget! Walking on a beach dotted with penguins is the most intimate way to experience the unique wildlife of Antarctica.

Each landing is different and dependent on weather, but every day presents new sightings and photo opportunities, and it won’t be long before you can tell the difference between an Adélie, gentoo and chinstrap penguin.

You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs one day, followed by a hike to a penguin rookery the next day. From the booming sound of a calving glacier to the thrill of spotting apex predators like leopard seals and killer whales in action, you’ll wake up early and welcome each day with a sense of adventure and a desire to explore this unrivaled travel experience.

Your Expedition Team will accompany you along the way, ensuring safety and providing insights into the places you visit.

Day 6-7
Antarctic Circle

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is both a memorable experience and impressive achievement, as few travelers reach so far south. If conditions allow us to cross this famed line at 66°33´ S, we’ll toast the first explorers who ventured here, and you can raise a glass and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, Weddell seals, and your best chances of encountering sea ice – the foundation of the Antarctic marine ecosystem.

Day 8-9
Northbound Along the Peninsula

If you haven’t had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you’ll surely be satisfied by the time you return to King George Island. You will continue to explore by Zodiac or on land as you travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula.

Your Expedition Team will always be on the lookout for species of seabirds, seals and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south.

Day 10
Disembarkation and Fly to Punta Arenas

After your week of exploration, you’ll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and disembark at King George Island. Your two-and-a-half-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile, brings your adventure to an end. After your group transfer to the hotel, you are free to explore and enjoy an evening on your own, in the city or at the hotel to reminisce about the sights and sounds of Antarctica.

Day 11
Depart Punta Arenas

After breakfast, you are welcome to continue on your own travels or make your way to the Punta Arenas airport for your homeward flights.

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 One night pre and one night post hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas with breakfast
  • Included Copy 20 Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • Included Copy 20 All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
  • Included Copy 20 Activities / sightseeing as mentioned, zodiacs and shore landings
  • Included Copy 20 Parka for your warmth & comfort (to keep)
  • Included Copy 20 Flights to and from King George Island, Antarctica
  • Included Copy 20 Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person
  • Included Copy 20 A photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • Included Copy 20 A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
  • Included Copy 31 Kayaking, paddling, stand up paddle boarding (additional charge. select departures)
  • Included Copy 7 International flights, Gratuities, Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges
  • Included Copy 7 Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance — strongly recommended

Ocean Explorer

138 Passengers


  • Included Cross the Antarctic circle
  • Included Zodiac cruising through stunning landscapes
  • Included Land, walk, hike in Antarctica, the 7th continent
  • Included Optional activities: kayak, camp, stand up paddle board
  • Included Do something crazy - take a polar plunge!
  • Included Visit penguin colonies and research stations
  • Included Lectures on all things Antarctica history, geology and wildlife
Tour on Special!
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Tour on Special!
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11 days

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$23,495 $18,796 USD

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