Planning Your Trip
The Nature of Expedition
air-cruise expeditions are suitable for adventurous travelers
who enjoy full mobility and reasonably good health. Expedition
travel to Antarctica requires flexibility and adaptation to
ever-changing circumstances. There is no airport or port
infrastructure at King George Island, or anywhere in the
Antarctic Peninsula. Travelers reach the ship by Zodiac boat.
Your Travel Companions
Antarctica21 offers its expeditions worldwide. Each year we
welcome travelers from over 40 different countries. They may
travel alone, as a family, or as part of a group. While some of
your traveling companions may speak different languages and have
different customs, they will share your passion for adventure
and interest in the natural world.
About Your Arrival and
Magellan Explorer Inaugural Air-Cruise will start with a 3 PM
transfer from the Cabo de Hornos Hotel in Punta Arenas to the
you are joining any other air-cruise starting in Punta Arenas,
you must plan to arrive with a flight that is scheduled to land
in Punta Arenas no later than 2 PM on Day 1 of the itinerary. The same deadline applies to travelers arriving directly at the
hotel on Day 1. That afternoon, all travelers must attend a
mandatory safety and Antarctic guidelines briefing, and an
information session covering important practical details. You
must also attend a fitting session for your expedition boots.
Participation in these activities is essential for the success
of the expedition. Travelers who miss the 2 PM arrival deadline
will be considered “no-show”. They will not be able to
participate in the expedition and will receive no refund. Remember that scheduling tight connections is never wise when
traveling to remote places with limited services. Protect your
travel investment by building some buffer in your travel plans
in case of problems with luggage delivery, flight delays etc. In
case your flight into Punta Arenas is delayed for reasons beyond
your control, Antarctica21 will do everything possible to
accommodate your late arrival. However, Antarctica21 cannot
assume any responsibility for any resulting complications,
including your inability to join the expedition. We recommend
you purchase a trip cancellation and interruption insurance
policy to cover this risk.
For Antarctica Express Air-Cruises: boarding in Ushuaia is
between 3 PM and 4 PM. At 4 PM boarding will close. Antarctica21
strongly suggests that a flexible air ticket be held for your
journey home in case you need to change your travel arrangement
following a delay of the return flight from Antarctica. Please
ask your travel consultant for assistance. See also the sections
on possible flight delays and related contingency plans further
Participants are required to fill and sign an on-line
Participation Form, and to return it to Antarctica21 at least
120 days prior to departure. Participants 75 years of age and
older must submit a medical certificate.
Antarctica21 requires participants to be adequately covered by a
travel insurance policy that covers aero-medical evacuation from
Antarctica as a result of a medical emergency during the trips,
including emergencies related to pre-existing health conditions.
effort will be made to adhere to the planned program. However,
with this type of adventurous travel to Antarctica, changes to
the itinerary may occur due to severe and unpredictable weather. We need to emphasize the fact that weather conditions are
unpredictable and that safety is always the paramount concern on
any Antarctic voyage. For this reason Antarctica21 reserves the
right to change the itinerary described due to weather
conditions or other factors beyond Antarctica21’s control
without consulting the participants.
Antarctica21 strongly urges participants to be adequately
covered by trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
Baggage and Baggage
recommend that clients avoid expensive designer luggage that is
easily damaged. We also strongly recommend that clients take out
a luggage insurance policy that covers the cost of repairs or
replacement in case their luggage is damaged. Due to the
nature of the expedition, and as stated in our Terms and
Conditions of Sale, we cannot be responsible for any
damage to a customer’s luggage.
maximum weight allowed on the flights to and from Antarctica is
20 kg (44 Lb.) per passenger, including hand luggage. For
Classic Antarctica and Polar Circle Air-Cruises, excess luggage
will be kept in custody in Punta Arenas and will be handed over
to travelers upon their return from Antarctica. For
Antarctica Express Air-Cruises, excess luggage will be
disembarked at Port Williams and will be sent to Punta Arenas by
air cargo at the traveler’s expense. It will be available
for pick up in Punta Arenas upon the traveler’s return from
Antarctica. 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
official expedition language of our air-cruises is English.
The voyage will take travelers to remote destinations where the
interaction with our polar guides is essential. In the
interest of safety and for the enjoyment of the experience we
strongly recommend that travelers who do not understand English
are accompanied by someone who does, such as a friend, a family
member, or a Tour Leader.
Possible Flight Delays and Contingency Plan Flights to and from
Antarctica operate based on weather conditions. While
historically only a minority of flights have experienced a
delay, you should be prepared for that possibility.
average temperature in the Antarctic Peninsula area during the
austral summer is about 0°C (32°F), although sometimes it may
feel a little lower because of the wind chill factor. For this
reason, it is best to wear several layers of light, warm
clothing. The suggested clothing for Antarctica is very similar
to that recommended for skiing: thermal underwear, a couple of
warm and wicking mid layers, and windproof and waterproof jacket
and pants as the outer layer. You will also need a hat, a scarf,
waterproof and insulated gloves, and sunglasses with high UV
protection. The pre-departure material provides further details.
most landings in Antarctica are “wet landings”, the best
footwear is knee-high waterproof boots. You will not need
to carry them with you since Antarctica21 will provide you with
a pair of thermal rubber boots before arriving in Antarctica.
quality UV filtering sunglasses are essential. Glacier glasses
have leather flaps at the sides to stop the light from passing
through. Due to the high reflectance of UV radiation, you will
also need good sun block lotion for your face (protection factor
30 and above) and lip balm.
see the wildlife you should have a good pair of lightweight
binoculars (the suggested magnification is 7x or 8x). If you are
passionate about photography, do not forget a good zoom lens to
shoot wildlife while avoiding close approaches. Also, take
with you a good supply of memory cards and spare batteries since
cold temperatures can reduce their life span.
not forget to take with you:
• Backpack to carry your belongings during shore excursions.
Antarctica21 has been organizing Antarctic air-cruises since
2003. Over these years we have gained extensive experience in
the delicate coordination of land, air and sea operations in the
extreme Antarctic environment. While historically a
majority of flights has operated on the scheduled day, in some
instances weather conditions have required that adjustments to
the departure time of Antarctic flights be made to avoid
protracted delays. In the unlikely event that the flight
to Antarctica cannot take place on the scheduled day due to
unfavorable weather conditions, we will apply a Contingency
Contingency Plan is included in the cost of your expedition.
The primary goal of the plan is to provide an engaging and
comfortable travel experience while we adapt 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 you financial protection by providing a
refund should weather conditions prevent us from reaching
In case the outbound flight to
Antarctica is moved forward
In some cases it may be
necessary to move forward the Antarctic flight to the afternoon
or evening of Day 1 of the itinerary. This will result in early
departure from Punta Arenas and early arrival in Antarctica.
In case the outbound flight to
is delayed The group will remain in Punta Arenas while waiting
for an improvement in the weather and for the opportunity to fly
to Antarctica. Included are accommodation at the Cabo de Hornos
Hotel or similar, meals, and guided excursions to local
attractions. If by 2 PM on Day 4 of the itinerary it is still
impossible to reach Antarctica, the trip will be interrupted and
the cruise fare will be refunded.
In case the return flight to Punta
Arenas is moved forward
In those cases when the forecast suggests the likelihood of
unfavorable weather conditions in Antarctica persisting for
several days, the flight back to Punta Arenas may be moved
forward to the previous evening as a way to avoid a protracted
delay in Antarctica. Accommodation at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel
or similar is included upon arrival. All other inclusions will
remain per the original itinerary.
In case the return flight to Punta
Arenas is delayed
group will remain in Antarctica and wait for the opportunity to
fly to Punta Arenas. In the extremely unlikely event that the
delay exceeds 2 days and the weather forecast indicates the
impossibility to fly over several more days, on OCN10-PC,
OCN18-PC, MAG08-CA and HEB05-CA for safety reason the captain of
the vessel may decide to sail back to South America. Included
are meals and accommodation on the ship, and local excursions. Upon arrival in Punta Arenas, the trip will end at the airport. Travelers are responsible for any expenses associated with the
rescheduling of their airline tickets or onward travel plans.
Please refer to the Contingency
Plan section of our Terms and Conditions for further
details. Terms and Conditions are covered in our