Antarctica & South Georgia Air Cruise travelers walk amongst tall grasses as modern expedition ship sits offshore.
Lone gentoo penguin with white belly & black head stands atop blue iceberg chunk on an Antarctica & South Georgia Air Cruise.
Woman & man tandem kayakers in red boat with yellow paddles pause to photograph the Antarctic icescape in calm water.
Small jet painted like a macaroni penguin comes in for a misty landing on a gravel airstrip among snowdrifts in Antarctica.
Hundreds of king penuins with white bellies, orange necks & beaks & black heads stand together on a South Georgia Air Cruise.
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Polar Regions Antarctica Cruise

Antarctica & South Georgia Air Cruise

This remarkable air cruise takes you through the western Antarctic Peninsula, Elephant Island and South Georgia. Sail through the nutrient-rich waters and, each day, disembark with expert polar guides having time to either hike, snowshoe, or kayak in bays nearby. As you make your way to South Georgia, follow in the footsteps of famous Antarctic explorers like Ernest Shackleton, and learn about their daring southerly adventures. After reaching South Georgia, visit some of the largest colonies of penguins in the world, including the king penguin, and see the nesting grounds of thousands of albatrosses.

This cruise begins with a flight across the Drake Passage aboard a BAE 146, AVRO RJ 85 or AVRO RJ 100 jet. Each aircraft features high wings and engineering for very short runway requirements, perfect for landing in Antarctica. Then continue the expedition aboard the 76-guest Magellan Explorer. This modern ship is an ideal base for luxury Antarctica cruises due to her high ice class rating, safety features, long-range ability, spacious cabins and boutique feel.

With many departures to choose from, travelers can craft the right timing to fly to Antarctica and cruise for their needs. Enjoy an included one-way flight over the Drake Passage and a comprehensive introduction to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia Island.

Read on for details about this trip, or to learn more about AdventureSmith’s many Antarctica cruise itineraries, including other cruises with flights to Antarctica and other South Georgia cruises.



Itinerary

Antarctica & South Georgia Air Cruise Itinerary

This 18-day air cruise begins with a flight from Punta Arenas, Chile to meet the ship in Antarctica. Cruise the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia Island before ending by cruising to Ushuaia, Argentina for disembarkation.

Route map of Antarctica & South Georgia Air Cruise starting with a flight from Punta Arenas, Chile to King George Island, then cruising along the Antarctic Peninsula & South Georgia Island before ending in Ushuaia, Argentina.
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Day 1
Arrive Punta Arenas, Chile

Ship staff members welcome you in Punta Arenas, Chile, before 2:00pm. Transfer to your hotel, visit Explorers House, and attend a mandatory briefing that provides important information about your air-cruise and reviews the essential guidelines for Antarctic visitors. At Explorers House, enjoy local gastronomy as you meet your fellow adventurers.

Accommodations

Cabo de Hornos Hotel (or similar)

Meals

dinner

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Day 2
Fly to King George Island & Embark

A smooth 2-hour flight takes you from Punta Arenas to King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands. Your adventure begins as you exit the airplane, and the clear Antarctic air fills your lungs for the first time. A short vehicle transfer takes you to the shore of Fildes Bay where a Zodiac takes you to your boutique expedition vessel.

Accommodations

Magellan Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 3 - 6
Explore Antarctica

Cruise between the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, sailing along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs, while enjoying the company of seabirds, penguins, seals and whales. Each day, disembark by Zodiac and explore the landscape together with expert polar guides. On board the ship, attend an engaging program of educational presentations and enjoy spectacular views from the lounge while sharing your daily adventures with fellow guests.

No journey is the same and flexibility is the key to success in Antarctica. The expedition team plans the voyage route to take advantage of the everchanging opportunities provided by nature, crafting a unique and extraordinary experience every time. While the exact itinerary changes with each expedition, you will explore several sites that offer the best possible overview of the varied Antarctic environment. Your voyage may include visits to sites in the South Shetland Islands, the Gerlache Strait, the Penola Strait and the Antarctic Sound.

Accommodations

Magellan Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Elephant Island

Sailing north, hope to stop at Elephant Island. It was here that the crew of Shackleton’s Endurance found refuge while he and five handpicked men carried on to South Georgia. While the stormy conditions of this area rarely allow a shore landing, you will see the island from the ship.

Accommodations

Magellan Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 8 - 9
Sailing to South Georgia

As you sail northward, your onboard historian and naturalist guides offer a series of presentations. There is time to socialize in the ship’s lounge while keeping an eye out for the region’s abundant birdlife.

Accommodations

Magellan Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 10 - 13
Explore South Georgia

The island of South Georgia is a diverse landscape of majestic mountains, massive glaciers, grassy uplands and deep fjords. Visit the former whaling outpost of Grytviken, where you may pay your respects at the simple grave of Ernest Shackleton. At St. Andrew’s Bay be overwhelmed by the sight of 150,000 king penguins. At Cooper Island, the nesting home of thousands of black-browed albatrosses, see a large colony of macaroni penguins. At the peak of the breeding season, it is said to have the highest concentration of wildlife per square meter on the planet. If the weather is favorable, visits are also planned at Fortuna Bay, Salisbury Plains, Prion Island and Elsehul Bay.

Accommodations

Magellan Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 14 - 16
Sailing Towards South America

As the ship heads to South America, the program of presentations continues. Use this time to enhance your understanding of the region and its history.

Accommodations

Magellan Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 17
At Sea & Beagle Channel

Approach the South American continent and sail along the Beagle Channel. Take in the beauty of Tierra del Fuego and Navarino Island as you make your way to Ushuaia.

Accommodations

Magellan Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 18
Disembark Ushuaia, Argentina

Arrive into Ushuaia, where your journey ends.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

For Air Cruises starting in Punta Arenas, group transfers airport/hotel on Day 1; for Air Cruises starting in Punta Arenas, 1 overnight with breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar, with a welcome dinner including drinks on Day 1; group transfers hotel/airport on last day of the Air Cruise program; exclusive access to the Explorers House Expedition Center in Punta Arenas; flight from Punta Arenas to Frei Station on King George Island and/or vice versa as indicated in the program corresponding to each voyage; ship cruise along the Antarctic Peninsula as indicated in the program corresponding to each voyage; daily buffet breakfast and lunch on board ship offering a wide choice of dishes; daily served dinner on board ship offering a choice of three main courses; wine, beer, juice, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board ship; coffee, tea, chocolate, cappuccino, water and snacks on board ship throughout the expedition; all guided shore excursions; lectures and entertainment on board; comprehensive pre- and post-voyage information material; loan of waterproof boots for landing in Antarctica; Contingency Plan as described in material; IAATO passenger fee.

Exclusions

Accommodation, meals, excursions and transfers other than those included in the itinerary and the Contingency Plan corresponding to each voyage; beverages purchased at the ship’s bar; internet connection on board the ship; insurance of any kind; extra expenses (communication, laundry, souvenirs, etc.); gratuities; visas for Chile and/or Argentina; passport expenses; any arrival and/or departure tax, if applicable; and optional activities.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $4,000 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 – full refund except for $1,000
179 to 120 days – 100% of deposit
119 to 90 days – 90% of total trip cost
89 to 60 days – 92.5 % of total trip cost
59 to 30 days – 95% of total trip cost
29 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

If full payment has not yet been received at 120 days prior, the full penalty will still apply and unpaid amount is due immediately.

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 Antarctica & South Georgia Air Cruise begins in Punta Arenas, Chile (PUQ), and ends in Ushuaia, Argentina (USH). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan your flight to arrive to Punta Arenas by 2:00pm on Day 1 of the itinerary. The same deadline applies to travelers arriving directly at the hotel on Day 1. Travelers who miss their arrival deadline will be considered “no-show.” They will not be able to participate in the expedition and will receive no refund. In the afternoon, all travelers must attend a mandatory safety and Antarctic guidelines briefing, an information session covering important practical details and fitting session for expedition boots. Participation in these activities is essential for the success of the expedition. Depart from Ushuaia anytime on the final day of your trip. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

Upon arrival at Frei Base airfield on King George Island, a bus will bring travelers to the Zodiacs for ship embarkation (note: travelers may be required to walk approximately 1 mile, 20-30 minutes; if you think that you will not be able to walk this distance, then please inform your Adventure Specialist). Checked luggage will be transferred to the vessel by staff.

The maximum weight allowed on the flight to Antarctica is 20 kg (44 lb.) per passenger, including hand luggage(2024-25); or 25kg (55 lb.) checked luggage(2025-26): 20kg (44 lb.) checked luggage and 5kg (11 lb.) hand luggage. For Antarctica & South Georgia Air Cruises, excess luggage is not allowed as the start and end points are different. The baggage weight limit is a technical requirement imposed by the flight operation. Unfortunately, it is not possible to purchase extra allowance. Note that at certain points during the expedition you will be required to handle your own luggage. Seats are not assigned on the charter flights between Chile and Antarctica.

Activities

Kayaking is available on at $895. To take part in the program participants must have previous kayaking experience. Minimum age is 16 to participate, and the group is limited to a maximum of 10 participants(2024-25), or 20 participants with two groups of 10 alternating days (starting in 2025-26). Please contact AdventureSmith to reserve activity space with your booking.

Snowshoeing is available on selected departures at $85 per person per excursion and can be booked and paid for on board the ship. All snowshoeing excursions are a maximum of 12 participants (minimum age 12).

Room Configuration

In addition to listed Single cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at an 85% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select Porthole and Veranda Cabins upon availability; all other categories incur a 100% supplement. Sharing a cabin with another passenger of the same gender is also an option (same cabin categories apply). Passengers who book a Twin Cabin on a shared basis are accommodated in single rooms at the hotel in Punta Arenas and must pay a Single Hotel Room Supplement that varies based on departure selected. 

Note: Single travelers who use CPAP machines or other assistive devices, as well as those who have conditions that can be disrupting to others (loud snoring, sleepwalking etc.) can only book their Air Cruise in a Single Cabin or in a Twin Cabin for single use. They cannot book on a twin-share basis.

Families & Children

Children are admitted from the age of 8 years if accompanied by a fully responsible adult. A 5% discount on the rate per person is offered for children up to 11 years of age; also for family groups of 6 or more travelers (special booking conditions apply).

Travel Insurance

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $100,000 USD per person. In addition to the emergency evacuation insurance, we highly recommend our travelers 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.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions and the 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.

Contingency Plan

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 the return back, and the plan includes a range of activities determined by the circumstances. Additionally, the Contingency Plan offers financial protection by providing a refund should weather conditions prevent you from reaching Antarctica. Please read the full Contingency Plan and contact your Adventure Specialist for more details.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Mar 08 - Mar 25, 2026
Magellan Explorer • 18 days
brown kayaking icon depicting offered kayaking activity two brown snowshoes depicting snowshoeing activity offered
From $15995USD
Per Person
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Fly One Way
Cruise One Way
brown kayaking icon depicting offered kayaking activity Kayaking
two brown snowshoes depicting snowshoeing activity offered Snowshoeing
Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
Magellan Explorer

The 76- to 96-guest Magellan Explorer is a brand new expedition ship built specifically for Antarctica fly cruises. This polar class 6 vessel features stylish design with technical advances for smooth and safe expeditions.

Expert Review

Reviews from Our Experts So You Know What to Expect

Andrew Browning • December 1st, 2020
Expert Review: The South Georgia Expedition Experience

An AdventureSmith expert returns to Antarctica—this time stopping at the wildlife Mecca of South Georgia Island. Learn all about the Island's wildlife, landscape, trip highlights to differences and see if South Georgia should be part of your Antarctica expedition.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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Trips You Might Also Like

If you’re seeking to fly to Antarctica, we have a trip for you. Browse our additional Antarctica flight cruise itineraries to meet your best match. Choose from short routes for those who are short on time, longer routes to South Georgia and trips with one-way Antarctica charter flights.

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Antarctica & South Georgia Air Cruise