ANTARCTIC EXPLORER –
|1||Punta Arenas,Chile||Briefing and welcome dinner|
|2||King George Island||Fly to South Shetland Islands Antarctic Peninsula|
|3||Antarctic Sound||Enjoy the wildlife and stunning landscpapes of this stretch of water|
|4-6||Antarctic Peninsula||Experience the wonder and awe of the incredible Antarctic Peninsula|
|7||South Shetland Islands||Explore these islands, what many consider the jewel in Antarctica's crown|
|8||King George Island||Flight back to Punta Arenas|
|9||Punta Arenas,Chile||Transfer to the airport for onward flight|
The Silver Explorer was built in Finland in 1989 and was designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations including Antarctica, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. The vessel was acquired by Silversea in late 2007 and has been fully refurbished in 2017 as an elegant luxury expedition cruise ship. Its ice-strengthened hull enables the ship to safely push through ice floes with ease, while a fleet of Zodiac boats allows guests to visit even the most incredible locations accompanied by the expert Expedition Team.
Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile, where you are welcomed by staff and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, you attend a briefing that provides important information about your voyage and reviews the essential guidelines for Antarctic visitors. Later, gather for a welcome dinner and meet your fellow adventurers while enjoying a typical regional menu.
• Passengers should plan to be in Punta Arenas at 15:00 hours, at the latest. Pick-up at the Punta Arenas airport and transfer to the hotel cannot be guaranteed for travellers arriving later than 15:00 hours.
Your Antarctic adventure begins with a two-hour business class flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands. As you exit the airplane, the clear Antarctic air fills your lungs for the first time. Explore the area surrounding Chile’s Frei Station and Russia’s Bellingshausen station, before boarding a Zodiac to embark your expedition vessel.
Few voyages ignite the imagination like a journey down to one of the planet’s most remote, extreme and enchanting wilderness, Antarctica. An adventure in its purest form, only a handful of people will ever be lucky enough to experience the majestic beauty of these monochrome landscapes first-hand. The Antarctic Sound will be one of your first encounters of this whitewash kingdom, located at the northerly tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Taking its name from the first ship to brave the passageway between the peninsula and the Joinville Island groups back in 1902, the Sound is a raw, sensory assault of imposing iceberg slabs, broken away from the disintegrating Larsen Ice Shelf. Come face-to-face with stadium-sized islands of ice and meet the extraordinary birdlife that call this whitewash kingdom home. Watch on, as colonies of Gentoo penguins hop around, and cape petrels sweep overhead, as the continent’s unique wildlife thrives around you.
Cruise the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, sailing along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs, while enjoying the company of sea birds, penguins, seals and whales. Each day, disembark by Zodiac and explore the landscape with your expert polar guides. On board the ship, attend an engaging program of lectures and presentations, and enjoy spectacular vistas from the glass-enclosed lounge while sharing your daily adventures with fellow guests.
No journey is the same, as flexibility is the key to success in Antarctica. The Expedition Team sets the voyage route to take advantage of the ever-changing opportunities provided by Nature, crafting a unique and extraordinary experience each time. While the itinerary will change with each expedition, you will explore several spots that offer the best possible overview of the varied Antarctic environment. Your voyage may include visits to sites such as Paulet Island, Hope Bay, Port Lockroy, Petermann Island, Paradise Bay, Deception Island, the Lemaire Channel, or many other magnificent places.
Lying close to the northwestern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, separated by the Bransfield Strait, the South Shetland Islands fall under the jurisdiction of the Antarctic Treaty, suspending claims on their sovereignty. Several countries maintain research bases here, and with plump elephant seals, and crowds of Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie Penguins also calling the islands home, it can even feel a little crowded at times. King George Island is the largest and most hospitable island, hosting the majority of the research stations – some of which are populated all-year-round by tiny, hardy crews. Don’t be fooled though, these islands offer extraordinary adventure in one of the most remote locations on earth. The triple peaks of Mount Foster tower above the archipelago, and you’ll feel your heart pumping a little quicker, as you sail into the core of Deception Island’s magnificent collapsed volcano caldera. Hike the luna landscapes within, and even dip into the improbably warm, geothermally-heated waters of Pendulum Cove. Elephant Island, meanwhile, is written deep into the annals of Antarctic expedition legend, as the site where Ernest Shackleton and the stricken crew of the Endurance miraculously survived a harsh Antarctic winter, in 1916.
Return to King George Island and bid farewell to Antarctica before boarding your business class flight back to Punta Arenas. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. (Note: Meals in Punta Arenas are at your leisure and not included in the program).
After breakfast, transfer to the Punta Arenas airport for your onward flight.