Ultimate Antarctica by Expedition Yacht

© Justin Hofman

Sail to Antarctica and Fly Back to Punta Arenas

Itinerary Map
Day 1: Punta Arenas, Chile
Arrive in Punta Arenas, the most southern town in Chile at the bottom of Tierra del Fuego. Overlooking the Strait of Magellan, Punta Arenas was a gold rush boomtown in the late 19th century. By the early 20th century it had become a center for large-scale sheep farming, which remains an important economic enterprise today. Meet your Expedition Leader and fellow adventurers at a welcome dinner this evening.

Day 2: Magallanes National Reserve / Punta Arenas Highlights
There's plenty to see around this scenic region, and we begin with a hike in Magallanes National Reserve. This nearly 50,000-acre nature preserve contains a diverse range of native flora and fauna, including Andean and gray foxes, Darwin's leaf-eared mouse and abundant birdlife—look for Magellanic woodpecker, Chilean flicker, black-chested buzzard eagle, austral thrush and more. On a walk through the mixed deciduous forest, we observe native trees such as lenga and Magellan's beech and stunted nirre, an Antarctic beech with crinkled, irregular leaves.

Return to Punta Arenas for lunch, then visit its famous cemetery, established in 1894, with elaborate tombs lining neat pathways flanked by manicured cypress trees. Continue to the Nao Victoria Museum, containing life-size replicas of notable explorers' ships. The museum is named for its exact copy of Ferdinand Magellan's 1519 expedition ship and perfectly recreates the context in which the Nao Victoria set sail from Spain to circumnavigate the globe and unite two oceans. Also on display is a replica of the James Caird, a lifeboat from Shackleton's ill-fated Endurance expedition, which sailed 800 nautical miles from Elephant Island to South Georgia in 1916 and is still considered one of the greatest small-boat journeys ever undertaken. After our visit, there's free time to explore town before dinner.

Days 3-4: Puerto Williams—Embark Ship / Sailing the Drake Passage
Today we fly to Puerto Williams and board the Hanse Explorer. Built and outfitted to navigate the daunting conditions in the world's polar regions, this elegant vessel has been designed with every conceivable amenity to make our experience comfortable and inspiring. After introductions and a safety orientation, we set sail into the waters of the Antarctic Peninsula with an eminent polar mariner, seasoned crew and Nat Hab Expedition Leader at the helm.

As we sail southward through the scenic marine route from Puerto Williams, we bid farewell to the endless mountain ridges lining either side of the channel. Leaving the protected waters of the Beagle Channel. as we cruise into the open Southern Ocean and the legendary Drake Passage. Named for renowned explorer Sir Francis Drake who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake is notorious for its often-fierce gales, creating large, wind-whipped swells. But the Hanse Explorer is a hardy vessel and we are in good hands, embracing a journey that is sure to be exhilarating. The southern portion of the Drake marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological zone where a great upwelling of nutrients draws an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses that follow in our wake. The exact timing of our 600-mile Drake crossing depends on weather and sea conditions, but we generally expect it to take approximately two days.

Days 5–10: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula by Luxury Expedition Yacht
In the South Shetlands, step ashore for our first encounter with penguins and other wildlife of this southern polar wonderland. For the week to come, we follow the best weather and safest water, exploring the remote bays and fjords of the Antarctic Peninsula. Nothing prepares us for the scale and scope of this icebound wilderness, and the phrase "awe-inspiring" takes on totally new meaning here. Walls of blue ice rise 300 feet from the surface of the steel-gray sea, and it is as if the entire landscape is one massive glacier. Though our environs are austere, these waters are a haven for a remarkable collection of wildlife, including vast penguin rookeries and beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and southern elephant seals. Taking advantage of the perpetual light, we spend long days cruising among the icebergs, watching for whales and seals. Sometimes, we get so close we can hear a whale blow, and we may even feel the spray from its spout. Birdlife is extraordinary, with huge populations of albatross, petrel, skua, gull, tern and cormorant.

Every day holds something different. While at times we are struck by the depth of silence, other times we're amidst a cacophony of squawking penguins, honking seals and crackling ice. Zodiacs offer access for close-up exploration, and kayaks allow opportunities to observe wildlife, such as inquisitive seals and darting penguins, at eye-level. Where landings permit, we step ashore to hike. On these on pristine polar beaches, we share solitude with the legions of wildlife. There are few places on the planet where the natural world feels more intact and grandiose, while we have never felt smaller.

After each monumental day, settle into the exceptional comfort and hospitality provided on board the Hanse Explorer. Relax with a cocktail in the lounge, or if you're not quite ready to retreat from the open air, take a soak in the hot tub on the top deck and watch the iceberg parade drift past. Each evening, the chef and culinary team prepare memorable dinners, while the expanse of windows in the dining room ensures you won't miss a thing happening beyond. With the late light of the austral summer lingering until well after dinner, it's tough to pull away from the magnificent scenery surrounding our ship, but a restorative night's sleep awaits in well-appointed staterooms, renewing us for the next day's slate of adventures.

Day 11: King George Island
The only airstrip on the Antarctic Peninsula archipelago that can reliably serve the South American continent on a regular basis is located on King George Island in the South Shetland group. We arrive here today, one day prior to meeting up with our return flight home, as a hedge against potential weather problems. Tomorrow morning, it will be time to say farewell to the Hanse Explorer and her valiant crew.

Day 12: Fly to Punta Arenas from KGI
Weather permitting, we board our airplane for the 2-hour flight back to Punta Arenas on the southern tip of Chilean Patagonia. On arrival, we check in to our hotel. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner in town, regaling one another with stories and indelible memories of this truly singular adventure.

Day 13: Punta Arenas / Depart
Fly homeward today from Punta Arenas, with a cache of memories to last a lifetime and then some!

Important note regarding flights:
When flying from King George Island on the Antarctic Peninsula, weather determines all schedules. If weather does not allow us to travel as scheduled, we must wait on King George Island for the weather to clear. Though historic weather patterns dictate that we should not be delayed for more than a few days, we can never predict when, or even if, inclement weather will clear to allow our departure. While we have "padded" our itinerary a bit as a precaution against such circumstances, we ask that all guests purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance to cover tour costs should your adventure be delayed or canceled because of the weather.


Physical Rating: Moderate - Remote

Repeater Layout : vertical
Questions?
We've Got Answers!
Talk with an Adventure Specialist
Call Our Boulder Office at 800-543-8917 or contact your travel advisor.
We're Proud of the Reputation We’ve Earned
Outside
Voted "World's Best Travel
Company"
by Outside Magazine
Outside
Natural Habitat Adventures Ranked
“Best Outfitter”
NatGeo
Voted Best Winter Trip: Natural Habitat Adventures' Monarch Butterfly Migration, Mexico
VIEW MORE AWARDS
Physical Requirements
WWF Logo

Learn More

Customize Your African Safari

Let our in-house safari experts create your perfect African adventure. Whether you'd like to travel as a private group on this safari or you'd like to create an itinerary all your own, simply fill out the form to the right or give us a call at 800-543-8917.

Natural Habitat Adventures Logo WWF Logo
Learn More
Text Messaging Policy Message and data rates may apply. You can unsubscribe from SMS at any time by texting STOP. Reply HELP for help. 2-4 promotional msgs/month. Informational msg frequency varies.
Thank you for your interest!
We'll be in touch soon to help with your custom African safari!

Learn More

Customize Your Trip

Let our in-house trip experts create your perfect adventure. Whether you'd like to travel as a private group on our ${tripName} or you'd like to create an itinerary all your own, simply fill out the form to the right or give us a call at 800-543-8917.

Natural Habitat Adventures Logo WWF Logo
Ultimate Antarctica by Expedition Yacht
Learn More
Text Messaging Policy Message and data rates may apply. You can unsubscribe from SMS at any time by texting STOP. Reply HELP for help. 2-4 promotional msgs/month. Informational msg frequency varies.
Thank you for your interest!
We'll be in touch soon to help with your private trip!

Download Trip Details

Discover the World's Best

Nature Travel Experiences

Get our downloadable trip details in PDF format, a handy resource for your travel planning. Inside, you'll find all the info from our website—highlights of the trip, itinerary, accommodations, and full details on dates, prices and logistics—plus a few extras!

Natural Habitat Adventures Logo WWF Logo
Download Trip Details
Text Messaging Policy Message and data rates may apply. You can unsubscribe from SMS at any time by texting STOP. Reply HELP for help. 2-4 promotional msgs/month. Informational msg frequency varies.
Your download awaits…

Thank you for your request! Click here to see your trip details PDF now. You’ll also receive it by email momentarily.

Ask a Question

Ask a Question

Fill out our form to receive additional information about our ${tripName}, or give us a call at 800-543-8917.

Natural Habitat Adventures Logo WWF Logo
Ultimate Antarctica by Expedition Yacht
Ask a Question
Text Messaging Policy Message and data rates may apply. You can unsubscribe from SMS at any time by texting STOP. Reply HELP for help. 2-4 promotional msgs/month. Informational msg frequency varies.
Thank you for your note!

We’ll be in touch soon with more details.

Send Me Travel Emails

Get the Inside Scoop on the

World of Nature Travel

Our weekly eNewsletters highlights new adventures, exclusive offers, webinars, nature news, travel ideas, photography tips and more. Sign up today!

Natural Habitat Adventures Logo WWF Logo
Send Me Travel Emails
Text Messaging Policy Message and data rates may apply. You can unsubscribe from SMS at any time by texting STOP. Reply HELP for help. 2-4 promotional msgs/month. Informational msg frequency varies.
Privacy Policy
Thank you for joining our email list

Look for a special welcome message in your inbox, arriving shortly! Be sure to add naturalhabitat@nathab.com to your email contacts so you don’t miss out on future emails.

Request Your 2023 Catalog

Discover the World's Best

Nature Travel Experiences

Nathab 2024 Catalog

Together, Natural Habitat Adventures and World Wildlife Fund have teamed up to arrange nearly a hundred nature travel experiences around the planet, while helping to protect the magnificent places we visit and their wild inhabitants.

Natural Habitat Adventures Logo WWF Logo
Request Your 2024/2025 Catalog
Text Messaging Policy Message and data rates may apply. You can unsubscribe from SMS at any time by texting STOP. Reply HELP for help. 2-4 promotional msgs/month. Informational msg frequency varies.
Continued - Page 2 of 2
To help us customize your catalog request, please tell us more about your travel needs:
Thank you for requesting a catalog
We’ve received your request. If you have any questions about our trips, please feel free to contact an Adventure Specialist today by calling 800-543-8917.

Get Weekly Updatess

Discover the World's Best

Nature Travel Experiences

Our weekly eNewsletter highlights new adventures, exclusive offers, webinars, nature news, travel ideas, photography tips and more. Sign up today!

Natural Habitat Adventures Logo WWF Logo
Send Me Travel Emails
Text Messaging Policy Message and data rates may apply. You can unsubscribe from SMS at any time by texting STOP. Reply HELP for help. 2-4 promotional msgs/month. Informational msg frequency varies.
Privacy Policy
Thank you for joining our email list!

Look for a special welcome message in your inbox, arriving shortly! Be sure to add naturalhabitat@nathab.com to your email contacts so you don’t miss out on future emails.

Send Us a Message

Send Us a Message

Have a question or comment? Use the form to the right to get in touch with us.

Natural Habitat Adventures Logo WWF Logo
Send Us a Message
Text Messaging Policy Message and data rates may apply. You can unsubscribe from SMS at any time by texting STOP. Reply HELP for help. 2-4 promotional msgs/month. Informational msg frequency varies.
Thank you for your message

We’ll be in touch soon with a response.

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend,
Get $250 Off
Earn rewards for referring your friends! We'd like to thank our loyal travelers for spreading the word. Share your friend's address so we can send a catalog, and if your friend takes a trip as a first-time Nat Hab traveler, you'll receive a $250 Nat Hab credit you can use toward a future trip or the purchase of Nat Hab gear. To refer a friend, just complete the form below or call us at 800-543-8917. It's that easy! See rules and fine print here.
Natural Habitat Adventures Logo WWF Logo
Refer a Friend

Earn rewards for referring your friends! We'd like to thank our loyal travelers for spreading the word. Share your friend's address so we can send a catalog, and if your friend takes a trip as a first-time Nat Hab traveler, you'll receive a $250 Nat Hab credit you can use toward a future trip or the purchase of Nat Hab gear. To refer a friend, just complete the form below or call us at 800-543-8917. It's that easy! See rules and fine print here.

Text Messaging Policy Message and data rates may apply. You can unsubscribe from SMS at any time by texting STOP. Reply HELP for help. 2-4 promotional msgs/month. Informational msg frequency varies.
Thank you for the referral!

We've received your friend's information.

View Our 2023 Digital Catalog

View Our 2024/2025

Digital Catalog

Help us save paper! We offer a digital version of The World's Greatest Nature Journeys. If you'd prefer a mailed copy, please provide your contact details here. To view our digital catalog, please enter your info in the form to the right.
Natural Habitat Adventures Logo WWF Logo
View Digital Catalog
Text Messaging Policy Message and data rates may apply. You can unsubscribe from SMS at any time by texting STOP. Reply HELP for help. 2-4 promotional msgs/month. Informational msg frequency varies.
Happy browsing!

Thanks for requesting access to our digital catalog. Click here to view it now. You’ll also receive it by email momentarily.

Our Trips

Polar Bear Tours

Polar Bear Tours

African Safaris

African Safaris

Galapagos Tours

Galapagos Tours

Alaska Adventures

Alaska Adventures

U.S. National Parks Tours

U.S. National Parks Tours

Canada & the North

Canada & the North

Europe Adventures

Europe Adventures

Mexico & Central America Tours

Mexico & Central America Tours

South America Adventures

South America Adventures

Asia & Pacific Adventures

Asia & Pacific Adventures

Antarctica & Arctic Journeys

Antarctica & Arctic Journeys

Adventure Cruises

Adventure Cruises

Photography Expeditions

Photography Expeditions

Women's Adventures

Women's Adventures

Family Adventures

Family Adventures

New Adventures

New Adventures

Questions? Call 800-543-8917

Contact Us

Have a question or comment?
Click any of the buttons below to get in touch with us.

Hours
Mountain Time

  • 8 am to 5 pm, Monday - Friday
  • 8 am to 3 pm on Saturday
  • Closed on Sunday
Call 800-543-8917
Questions? Click to Chat
Questions? Click to Chat
/antarctica-and-arctic/antarctica-tour-by-expedition-yacht/itinerary/sail-antarctica-fly-punta-arenas/