Antarctica Air-Cruise; Towering Icebergs, Remote Penguin Colonies & Cosmopolitan Santiago

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Run by: Veloso Tours

Reference number: frei-air-cruise

From: £12431.00

Highlights

  • Combine Santiago de Chile with an Antarctica air-cruise
  • Choose to fly over the Drake Passage
  • Enjoy an intimate Antarctica cruise aboard the Ocean Nova
  • Marvel at glorious fjords and towering icebergs seen by few travellers
  • Get close to penguin colonies, sea birds, seals and whales
  • Gain incredible insights from experienced polar guides
  • Gain a deeper perspective on Santiago with our wonderful guide
  • Go hiking in the pristine Cajon del Maipo
  • Visit the colourful bohemian port city of Valaparaiso

Santiago de Chile - Days 1-3

Day 1 - Fly to Santiago - Depart on a direct overnight flight from London Heathrow to Santiago de Chile, arriving the next morning.

Day 2 - Santiago In-depth Tour - Upon arrival you will be welcomed to Chile by our friendly guide, your host for the next couple of days. We will go to your central hotel to settle in and your guide will orient you within the surrounding area. You will have the rest of the morning to relax and recover from your flight. In the afternoon we will explore the historic and modern sights of Santiago de Chile, visiting the main streets and squares of the capital. The tour will include the Government Palace, La Moneda, Plaza de Armas and Santa Lucia hill, the hill upon which the Spanish founded Santiago. Crossing the Mapocho River we exploret Bellavista, the cultural and artistic neighborhood of Santiago, at the foot of the Metropolitan Park's San Cristobal, the highest hill in town. Finally we will visit Providencia, one of the noble parts of Santiago, with top restaurants, elegant shops and modern high-rise buildings. (B)

Day 3 - Cajon del Maipo - Today we head out towards the Andes and the Maipo River Valley, where we will explore a park of rugged mountains and valleys, rivers, springs and waterfalls. Designed to help guests relax from the frantic pace of the modern world, this park is filled with flower gardens, and quiet forest trails for exploring. More adventurous activities include horse riding, trekking and hiking, white water rafting and zip line/canopy tour. (B,L)

Antarctica Air-Cruise - Days 4-10

Day 4 - Welcome to Patagonia - You will be collected from your hotel this morning by your host and transferred to the airport for your mid-morning flight to Punta Arenas, in the far south of Chilean Patagonia. Here you will be met by representatives of Ocean Nova and taken to your hotel. In the evening there will be a special Patagonian welcome meal.

Day 5 - Fly to South Shetland Islands - Embark the 71 passenger BAE-146 to being your Antarctic adventure with a two-hour flight to King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands. Explore the area surrounding Chile's Frei Station and Russia's Bellingshausen station, before boarding a Zodiac to embark your expedition vessel. 

Day 6-9 - Ocean Nova Antarctica Expedition Cruise - Cruise between the South Shetland Islands and 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 together with 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 exact itinerary changes 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.

Day 10 - Return Flight to Punta Arenas - Return to King George Island and bid farewell to Antarctica before boarding the flight back to Punta Arenas, with the afternoon at leisure to relax or explore the town.

Valaparaiso, Vina del Mar & Santiago - Days 11-14

Day 11 - Fly to Santiago & At Leisure - You will be taken to the airport for a mid-morning flight to Santiago, arriving mid-afternoon. From here you will be met by your guide and taken back to your hotel, with the rest of the day free.

Day 12 - Valparaiso, Vina del Mar & Pacific Coast - We finish your unforgettable trip with a full day excursion to the coastal cities of Vina del Mar and Valparaiso. En route we pass the agricultural valleys of Curacavo and Casablanca to reach Vina del Mar, famous for its shopping and its parks of huge trees and palms that gave it the well-deserved name of 'Garden City'. We will visit the beautiful park of Quinta Vergara with its amphitheatre, its arts museum and its public beaches.

We then travel down the coast to Valparaiso, whose picturesque bay is enhanced by surrounding hills covered in colourful houses. The city was once the most important maritime destination of the Pacific coast of South America and today offers a rich mix of arts and culture, as well as being the country's principal port and the home of the Chilean Navy. We will visit the downtown area, with its public buildings and monuments as well as its picturesque walkways and art galleries of the hill neighbourhoods. Return to Santiago for the evening.

Day 13-14 - Overnight Return Flight to UK - You will have the morning at leisure to do some last minute sightseeing or shopping and to say goodbye to Chile before being collected for your transfer to the airport. A mid-afternoon flight travels overnight and arrives in the UK the next morning.

What's Included

  • 14 Days / 11 Nights
  • International flights (2 overnight)
  • Internal flights & flights to/from South Shetland Islands
  • Accommodation as shown on the itinerary
  • 5 night Ocean Nova Expedition Cruise, all meals & excursions
  • Price based on air-cruise starting on 7th December. Other dates may vary.
  • Breakfast every day
  • Transfers to and from airports
  • Transport throughout the itinerary
  • Excursions listed, all with expert, English-speaking guides
  • Prices are per person

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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