Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; all meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board; coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock; all shore landings per the daily program; leadership throughout the voyage by an experienced expedition leader; all Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; formal and informal presentations by the expedition team and special guests as scheduled; a photographic journal documenting the expedition; waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; an official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep; hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin; all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; all luggage handling aboard the ship; beer and wine during dinner; emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person; group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to the pre-expedition hotel on Day 1; one night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas, with breakfast; a briefing dinner on day 1 in Punta Arenas; pre-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the hotel to the airport; flights to and from Antarctica (King George Island); post-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to the hotel; one night’s post-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas, with breakfast.
International airfare; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above; meals ashore unless otherwise specified; baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended; excess-baggage fees on international flights; mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned; laundry, bar, massage services and other personal charges unless specified; phone and internet charges; additional overnight accommodation; optional adventure activities; transfer from the hotel to the airport at the end of the expedition; voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew; arrival and departure transfers, except where explicitly stated.
Payment & Cancellation
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 120 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 180 days – $1,250 fee
179 to 120 days – 100% of deposit
119 to 90 days – 50% of total trip cost
89 to 60 days – 75% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost
Terms & Conditions
This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.
Arrival & Departure
The Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake adventure begins and ends in Punta Arenas, Chile, (PUQ). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to Punta Arenas with enough time to check into the hotel by 3:00pm (2023-24) or 1:00pm (2024-25) and attend a 6:00pm meeting on Day 1. An arrival transfer from the airport to the hotel on Day 1 is included, as are group transfers in conjunction with the charter flights to and from Antarctica. However, a departure transfer from the hotel to the Punta Arenas airport on the final day is not included. Plan flights to depart Punta Arenas anytime on the final day. Arrival and departure times vary for alternative itineraries; inquire with your Adventure Specialist upon booking for details. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.
The flight to Antarctica is expected to depart after breakfast from Punta Arenas for King George Island on Day 2 of the itinerary. Although the flight is scheduled to depart at 9:00am, there is significant variability based on weather conditions. Be prepared to depart the hotel for the airport on the group transfer at any time.
Upon arrival at Frei Base airfield on King George Island, travelers are required to walk approximately 1 mile to the vessel mooring (20-30 minutes). Checked luggage will be transferred to the vessel by staff. If you think that you will not be able to walk this distance, then please inform your Adventure Specialist.
There is a strict luggage limit of 33 lbs (15 kg) checked luggage and 11 lbs (5 kg) cabin baggage on the flights between Punta Arenas and King George Island. Should you have additional luggage, it can be stored at the hotel in Punta Arenas. There is no option to pay for additional luggage.
Various optional activities may be available on your Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake adventure. Per-person prices for the 2023-24 & 2024-25 seasons: kayaking $995; stand-up paddleboarding $295. One-time paddling excursions are available for $295 per person, per outing, for those who want something less in-depth than the full sea kayaking program; no experience is necessary. Each departure’s first paddling excursion may be pre-booked and all subsequent outings are booked on the ship. Please contact AdventureSmith to reserve activity space with your booking.
Select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. Solo travelers willing to share can reserve a triple or twin-shared cabin, where you will be matched with a person of the same gender. If the other cabin berth goes unsold, you will be guaranteed the double rate. Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 1.7x (2x for Premium cabins) the per-person listed rate in select cabins based upon availability. Premium Cabins are as follows:
Ocean Adventurer: Superior, Deluxe, Suite & Owner’s Suite
World Explorer: Superior Suite, Deluxe Suite & Owner’s Suite
Families & Children
At date of embarkation, a minimum age restriction of 8 years and minimum height and weight requirements (weight of 64lbs or 29kg and 48 in. or 1.2 m. tall) must be met. Children under 16 years of age must be supervised by a parent/guardian at all times and may not participate in adventure options.
Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of up to $500,000 USD per paying traveler provides coverage between the first and last day of ship-based travel and is included in the cost of this trip. For ship- and land-based trips, additional days of travel pre- and post-expedition are not covered. Travelers are responsible for having adequate international medical coverage prior to embarkation, with a minimum benefit of $50,000 USD. In addition, we highly recommend our travelers also protect their investment with travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and other benefits. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions, wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flights to and from Antarctica operate based on weather conditions. While historically only a minority of flights have experienced a delay, be prepared for that possibility by reading this trip’s Contingency Plan. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Antarctica expedition. Visits to research stations depend on final permission.
In the unlikely event that the flight to Antarctica cannot take place on the scheduled day due to unfavorable weather conditions, a Contingency Plan, included in the cost of your expedition, will apply. The primary goal of the plan is to provide an engaging and comfortable travel experience while adapting to the weather. A change in the flight schedule can impact travel to Antarctica or return back to Punta Arenas, and the plan includes a range of activities determined by the circumstances. Additionally, the Contingency Plan offers financial protection by providing an opportunity to rebook or a refund should weather conditions prevent you from reaching Antarctica. Please read the full Contingency Plan and contact your Adventure Specialist for further clarification.