Fly across the Drake Passage
Sailing across the squally Drake Passage is seen by many travellers as a rite of passage, all part of the adventure of visiting Antarctica. However, while it may earn you some serious traveller street cred, spending two days navigating these choppy waters just to reach your destination – and then two days back again – is not everyone’s idea of a holiday. So anyone deterred from visiting the frozen continent by the thought of being confined to their cabin as 10 metre waves tip their ship, will be delighted to know that flying to Antarctica is a possibility. The waters once you arrive at the Antarctic shores are tranquil – so you can make the most of your time taking photos from the deck, heading out in zodiacs and even kayaking around the icebergs if you choose.
Flying is also a
convenient way to travel for
anyone who can’t add an extra
four days onto an already fairly lengthy trip – bearing in mind the round trip to the southern tip of South America tagged onto either end. The flight across the Drake Passage takes just three hours each way, departing from the city of Punta Arenas in southern Chile, and landing on King George Island – the largest of the South Shetland Islands. You’ll then have a short connection via rigid-hulled inflatable (RIB) to your expedition ship – your home for the next few days as you voyage around Antarctica.
For more flexibility – and to gain the best of both worlds – you can always fly one way and cruise the other; ask your tour operator which options are available.