Embark on a journey to the remote interior of the great white continent. Antarctica is a land of extremes and only a select few have the opportunity to visit the highest, driest, windiest, coldest continent on earth! Immerse yourself in the ultimate wilderness, surrounded by pristine views, untouched spaces, and profound silence. Enjoy 24-hour daylight and gain an appreciation for the land that has drawn explorers, adventures, and scientists for over a century
Enjoy a Scenic Flight over over Ellsworth Mountains (weather permitting)
An opportunity to hike up to the base of Elephant's head
A chance to meet visiting scientists and learn about their current project
A variety of activities to enjoy in Union Glacier
Itinerary in Brief
Day 0: Pre-tour Briefing
Day 1: Fly to Antarctica
Day 2-5: Explore Union Glacier
Day 6: Return to Chile/Fly Home
*This tour also offers a 7 day itinerary where passengers spend
an extra day in the Union Glacier. Please refer to Dates Tab for
Day 0: Pre-tour Briefing
The evening before your Antarctic
flight, you will be met by your Guide at the tour office for an
important safety briefing. The briefing will describe the flight
dispatch process, current weather, and landing preparations.
No meals included.
Day 1: Flight to Antarctica
We will call you at your hotel in the morning to
advise you of current conditions in Antarctica. If the weather is
suitable for our flight, we will pick you up at your hotel by bus.At the
Punta Arenas airport, we board our chartered jet for the 4¼ hour flight
to Antarctica. Our route crosses the Drake Passage, then follows the
west side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the spine of the Ellsworth
Mountains. We land on a naturally occurring blue-ice runway on Union
Glacier where you will take your first steps on Antarctica.Climb aboard
one of our specially-adapted van for the 5 mi (8 km) shuttle to our main
camp. Our friendly staff will provide a welcome tour of camp and show
you to your tent.
Lunch & dinner included.
Day 2 - 5: Explore Union Glacier
A typical day at Union Glacier starts with a guest
briefing after breakfast where you’ll meet with your guide to discuss
the day’s options and choose an activity tailored to the weather and
your interests. Union Glacier excursions can include any of the
*Passengers who have booked the 7 Day departure will spend an extra day exploring the Union Glacier.
Ride in one of our vehicles to this dramatic
marbles buttress overlooking the blue-ice runway. Beautiful ice pools
and moraines offer endless opportunities for photography. If you’re
looking for something more active, you’ll have the opportunity to hike
up to the base of Elephant’s Head or all the way to the top of Rhodes
Bluff for panoramic views of Union Glacier and the Heritage Range.
Named in the 1960s after geologist Benjamin Drake
IV, this impressive ice fall tumbles off the polar plateau into Union
Glacier. Winds from the South Pole carve huge waves into the blue-ice
and polish the surface into a high shine.
Charles Peak Wind Scoop
Discover the power of
wind on ice as you wander through a sparkling turquoise corridor. If
you’re truly adventurous, this is a prime place to try ice climbing with
one of our experienced guides. For the less vertically inclined, you
can rock hunt until your heart’s content. Just remember to leave them in
place, as nothing may be removed from Antarctica.
The Beach at Rossman Cove
setting for blue-ice photography and panoramic views! Take cross-country
skis with you or a picnic lunch and enjoy Antarctica’s version of a
glacial beach getaway.
Our staff’s favorite getaway—this secret canyon
opens up to a beautiful valley prime for hiking, climbing, and
If you’d prefer to stay closer to camp, we have a
variety of activities for all abilities. You can checkout a pair of
cross-country skis or a fat-tire bike and take a spin around our groomed
10k loop or you can enjoy a cup of tea, an Antarctic book, or fun game
in our camp library. In the evenings, we regularly offer lectures and
films tailored to your experience.
Day 5: Flexible Flight Day over Ellsworth Mountains
Once weather conditions permit, you will board our ski aircraft and get a bird’s eye view of the breathtaking Ellsworth Mountains including the Heritage and Sentinel Ranges. Majestic peaks and nunataks rise out of the endless Antarctic ice and form some of the most spectacular scenery on the continent.
You may even get a chance to see Mount Vinson, Antarctica’s highest peak and one of the World’s Seven Summits. View the 16,050 ft (4892 m) peak from all angles and watch for mountaineers making their way to stand on top of the bottom of the world. No matter where your flight takes you, enjoy a truly unique perspective of a landscape few will ever experience.
Breakfast, lunch & dinner included.
Day 6: Return to Punta Arenas
When weather and runway conditions permit, the
Ilyushin will arrive at Union Glacier to transport you back to Chile.
Our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you back to your
Please understand that delays are common in
Antarctic travel. All flights are dependent on weather, aircraft
serviceability, and local conditions. Our staff will stay in close
contact with you and will provide you with regular flight updates.
Departs - Selected dates (listed below)
main Antarctic camp is located in the southern Ellsworth Mountains, on
the broad expanse of Union Glacier. Our double-walled sleeping tents are
roomy and comfortable. They are well suited to Antarctic conditions and
are based on a design used by Shackleton’s Endurance expedition. Each
tent houses two guests. You sleep in your polar sleeping bag with a
double mattress, pillow and linen provided by ANI. The tents are
naturally heated by the 24-hour sunlight and interior temperatures range
from 25°F – 68°F (4°C - 20°C).
About Ilyushin 76
The Ilyushin is our Intercontinental flight
work-horse, ideal for transporting both passengers and cargo between
Punta Arenas Chile and Antarctica. The robust, four engine Russian jet
is well-suited to off-strip landings and lands on wheels on Union
Glacier ice runway. The aircraft is fully certified and insured for
passengers. It is fitted with normal airline seats for passenger comfort
and carries standard emergency equipment as well as Antarctic survival
equipment. The flight from Chile to Antarctica takes approximately 4 ¼
hours, at a flight level of 31,000-35,000 ft (9450-10670m). Return fuel
is carried on all flights.
The Ilyushin 76 was originally conceived for
delivering heavy machinery to remote, poorly-serviced areas of the USSR.
As such it needed to meet the requirements for a heavy-lift freighter
with good speed and range, able to operate from short and unprepared
airstrips, and capable of coping with the worst weather conditions
likely to be experienced in Siberia and the Soviet Union's Arctic
The Ilyushin 76 has seen extensive service as a
commercial freighter, especially for outsized or heavy items unable to
be otherwise carried. It has been used as emergency response transport
for civilian evacuations and to deliver humanitarian/disaster relief aid
around the world, especially to undeveloped areas due to its ability to
operate from unpaved runways. The Il-76TD has a greater range and load
capacity than the original Il-76.
Round trip flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica
Airport transfers in Punta Arenas
Tented accommodation in Antarctica
Tours led by English-speaking Guide
Meals as specified
Scenic flight over Ellsworth Mountains
Celebration dinner and Certificate of Achievement
Checked luggage up to 25kg
What's not included?
International flights to/from Punta Arenas
Passport, visa and immigration fees
Airport arrival/departure taxes
Travel protection plan
Additional hotel nights
Airport transfers outside of Punta Arenas
Personal equipment and clothing
Expenses incurred due to delays
Extra luggage over 25kg
Satellite phone charges
Possible fuel surcharges
Any items not mentioned as included
*It is recommended that you arrive at least two full days prior to your scheduled tour in preparation for a complete experience.
These days also allow a buffer for flight and luggage delays that may
The interior of Antarctica has a cold, dry, windy climate. Average
mid-season temperatures at our base camp range from -12C to
-4C. On a sunny windless day it can feel quite warm but, when the wind
blows, you will be glad of warm layers and a wind jacket. Temperatures
can drop as low as -30C in early November.
Layer clothing: Full length thermals, fleece tops & bottoms,
light insulated jacket, windproof jacket and pants, hooded jacket and
pants to protect from extreme wind and cold