Tuesday 2 February 2010

Fly the Drake Passage, Cruise Antarctica

Photos: Ben Cooper
Quark Expeditions takes the shake out of the Drake!

Travelers to Antarctica can skip the Drake Passage when traveling to Antarctica with Quark Expeditions. This time saving addition to the polar specialist’s extensive selection of Antarctic cruises reduces the Drake Passage crossing from over 2 days to less than 2 hours!

A flight from Punta Arenas, Chile, to Antarctica is the key. The BAE 146 jet aircraft carries 62 passengers and is built to land on short runways, essential in Antarctica. The Antarctic fly and cruise program saves travelers approximately 100 hours of sailing time when compared to traditional expeditions!

A quick crossing does not mean reduced time in Antarctica. Travelers spend the same amount of time exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands as they would on traditional Antarctic expeditions – 5 days – they just get there more quickly! They board the expedition vessel, Ocean Nova, directly in Antarctica, off the Chilean Research Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva, on King George Island.

Ocean Nova, with an ice-strengthened hull, was built for navigating the ice dotted waters of coastal Greenland. All cabins have exterior views and bathrooms en suite. A glass-enclosed observation lounge converts to a modern presentation room. The vessel has navigated Antarctic waters with unparalleled success, including the challenging Weddell Sea.

Quark Expeditions offers this 8-day, Antarctica Fly and Cruise program operated by Antarctica XXI, beginning December 13, 2010. There are seven departures available. Per person prices, inclusive of the roundtrip Antarctic flight, are $8,990 for triple occupancy and USD$9,990 for twin occupancy. Travelers can book online (www.quarkexpeditions.com/antarctic/antarctica-flights) or call 1-866-961-2960 to speak to a polar travel consultant.

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