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Air Tours to Antarctica

By Viator, April 2013

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An increasingly popular option for people who want to visit Antarctica but don’t have weeks to spare is a fly-cruise. These typically leave from Punta Arenas, Chile, the southernmost urban center in the country. Punta Arenas is a working class city of around 150,000 people and is the starting point for travelers on their way to explore both Antarctica and nearby Patagonia. Given the number of connecting flights involved, it is recommended that passengers arrive in Punta Arenas at least a day or two before their scheduled departure to Antarctica.

Unlike a standard trip to Antarctica, passengers on this style of trip fly directly from Punta Arenas to Antarctica. Frei Station and the adjacent landing strip are located on the South Shetland Islands and accommodate more than 200 flights a year. After landing, passengers are ferried to their expedition-style cruise ship for a 4-5 day tour of Antarctica. Itineraries vary based on many factors including weather and time of year, but most guarantee plenty of wildlife sightings and a lot of time on the ground exploring the peninsula and nearby islands firsthand.

Following the conclusion of the tour, guests fly back to Punta Arenas via Frei Station. The great advantage of taking a fly-cruise is the time saved by not crossing the Drake Passage as well as avoiding the nausea -nducing swells for which the Passage is so very well known.

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