Antarctica Express: One or Two-Day Programs

Can I Visit The Antarctic in One or Two Days?

Interested in flying to Antarctica? Want to visit the Antarctic, but have limited time? Now, more than ever, you can tailor your trip to the Antarctic.

You can take a flight to Antartica and visit the region in as little as one day.

Instead of crossing the Drake Passage from South America by ship—a voyage of approximately 50 hours—you can make the journey by plane, bypassing 500 miles of potentially rough sea.

On most of these flights, travelers fly over the Magellan Strait, Tierra del Fuego Island, the Darwin Mountain Range, and Cape Horn before crossing the Drake Passage to King George Island in the South Shetland Islands–gateway to the Antarctic. Flights depart from Punta Arenas, Chile and arrive on King George Island in approximately 2.5 hours. The return trip takes approximately the same time. These commercial flights are not available from Ushuaia, Argentina.

If you’re short on time but long to visit the Antarctic, contact LANDED about flights to Antarctica and our One-Day Antarctic Program.

Between October and March, you can take a flight from Punta Arenas in southern Chile to King George Island, visit cultural and natural sites in the Antarctic region, and return to Chile on the same day.

King Air 300 Aircraft: Antarctica Aircraft Program

The Beechcraft King Air 300 is a twin-engine, turbo-prop aircraft, with a 16.6 meter wingspan and length of 13.15 meters. These regional aircrafts are suitable for short landings and takeoffs on unprepared surfaces.

The King Air 300 has a maximum capacity of six passengers, in addition to its two pilots. The cabin is pressurized. No toilet service is available during the flight.

On board meal service is provided on both ways. Given the reduced size of this aircraft, it operates as serf-service, a lunchbox will be provided upon entering the plane. Premium seats—window seats coveted by photographers—can also be booked.

BAe 146-200 Aircraft: Eventual Aircraft

The BAe (British Aerospace) 146 is a four-engine jet aircraft, flown by two pilots.

These regional jets are designed for short landings and takeoffs on unprepared surfaces. The engines are unusually quiet.

Flight time from Punta Arenas, Chile to King George Island in the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica (and vice versa) is approximately 2 hours.

The BAe 146 regional jet has a maximum capacity of 70 passengers, with a wingspan of 26.21 meters, length of 28.6 meters and height of 8.61 meters.

On board meal service is provided on both ways.

Full Day Programs

Antarctica Express Sample Itinerary

The itinerary for the express Antarctica programs follows this plan:

  • Mandatory briefing the night before departure—Arrival to Punta Arenas, the day before the trip, must be no later than 5PM in order to be part of the briefing.
  • Early morning flight to Antarctica from Punta Arenas, Chile—Fly over the Straits of MagellanTierra del Fuego and the Darwin Mountains, Cape Horn, and the Drake Passage. Times vary with weather conditions. Flight time is approximately 2.5 hours.
  • Land at Frei Station, King George Island in the South Shetland Islands—Visit to Villa Las Estrellas, the island’s colorful Chilean town first populated by civilians.
  • Zodiac navigation to Ardley Island to visit the Gentoo Penguin colony (approximately 4,500 breeding pairs)—The island is also home to smaller populations of Adelie Penguins and Chinstrap Penguins, as well as petrels, skuas, and terns.
  • Continue by Zodiac to the Collins Glacier—Take in Antarctic views from the sea.
  • Lunch or Snack—Depending on time of flight arrival.
  • Visit the Russian Orthodox Church— Located at Bellingshausen Station in Collins Harbor (Russia).
  • Flight from Frei Station to Punta Arenas, Chile—Times vary with weather conditions. Flight time is approximately two hours.

Total time on King George Island during the Antarctica Express itinerary is usually around five hours. Each journey is a unique expedition; times and itineraries vary with the weather and other local conditions.

For full day programs, we recommend a small backpack of maximum 11 pounds. Boots and coats will be provided if needed and must be requested in advance.

Food preparations during the flight and tour will be simple, and highlight traditional ingredients  of Patagonia. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated, with sufficient advance notice.

The price of this program is approximately US$5,500 per person. Speak with a travel expert at LANDED for dates of operation and more details.

Overnight Programs

Antarctica Overnight Sample Itinerary

The itinerary for the overnight Antarctica programs follows this plan:

  • Full day Antarctica Express Program—First day of the program is carried out in the same way as the full day program.
  • Transfer to the Ice Camp—After the activities of the full day, transfer to the Ice Camp based, near the Colins glacier, located about 6 miles from the runway.
  • Morning visit to the “Elefanteras”—Take a walk to the sea elephant colony on the island.
  • Visit the Great Wall— Located at the Chinese Station. The visit to other tourist attractions will depend on weather conditions.
  • Flight from Frei Station to Punta Arenas, Chile—Times vary with weather conditions. Flight time is approximately two hours.

For overnight programs, a luggage of maximum 22 pounds is allowed. As well as for full day tours we recommend a small backpack to carry personal belongings during the tour.

Temporary Ice Camps offer accommodation on a private basis, or for groups of up to 16 guests. The shelters at these camps are basic but comfortable. Meals and transport (via Hagglunds or snowmobiles) can also be arranged.

The Ice Camp includes a thermic tent (module) as a group-basis dinning room; double-occupancy insulated tents for the overnight rest; and one bathroom tent with toilet.

Each journey is a unique expedition; times and itineraries vary with the weather and other local conditions.

During your stay, LANDED can arrange wildlife viewing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and Zodiac cruising.

The price of this program is approximately US$6,500 per person for double-occupancy. Speak with a travel expert at LANDED for dates of operation and more details.

*If for any reason it is not possible to carry out an Overnight program on the established date, the program will be attempted again on the next day. If it’s necessary to postpone this for one more day, the program will be changed to a Full Day structure.

All Antarctic activities and the flights are subject to weather conditions.

Because the programs are weather dependent, passengers need to be prepared (physically and mentally) for early or late departures. Accommodation in Punta Arenas (based in double-occupancy rooms) with dinner are included in full day and overnight tours (day of arrival, day of the trip, and two more nights in case waiting is necessary). Alternative programs in and near Punta Arenas during the wait for the flight can be arranged. Single rooms are available at an additional cost.

Take off time is determined the night before the flight, and will be announced during the mandatory briefing. Everything is weather dependent and subject to change. When booking a flight to Antarctica, travel insurance is a must.

LANDED can arrange one or two-day programs in Antarctica. We can also arrange air travel, touring, and accommodations in Chile. Speak with one of our expert travel planners today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.

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