In 2003 Fly/Cruise voyages were pioneered by the operators of the Ocean Nova and since then they have very successfully operated 140+ voyages with few delays. The purpose of these unique voyages is to fly passengers across the Drake Passage which is the body of ocean separating South America from the Antarctic Peninsula, as it is one of the most treacherous ocean passages on earth.
For some crossing, the Drake Passage is exciting and about earning their right to explore Antarctica. For others, the thought of being at sea in huge waves and strong winds is simply unbearable. If you find yourself sitting on the fence, then we have a number of voyages which cruise one way and fly the other.
BENEFITS OF FLYING THE DRAKE PASSAGE:
Great for the time poor traveller
Reaching Antarctica quickly and safely
Avoid getting sick or enjoyed on the Drake Passage
Extended time in Antarctica
Flights to Antarctica are operated by DAP Antarctic Airways on board a BAe 146-200 aircraft with capacity for just 70 passengers. The flight takes just two hours from when it departs Punta Arenas, Chile to arrive at King George Island, Antarctica.
HOW LIKELY ARE DELAYS:
Delays on flights to King George Island (KGI) are slim however they can occur due to low lying clouds, fog and heavy winds around KGI.
Since 2003, 81% of Ocean Nova flights have departed on the scheduled day, while 26% left a day earlier or within 2 days of the scheduled departure. The Ocean Nove reports that only 2 flights in their 14 year history have been delayed so significantly that the voyages had to be cancelled.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY FLIGHT IS DELAYED:
If your flight is delayed your expedition operator will have contingency plans in place. This will obviously depend on if you are departing Punta Arenas, Chile or KGI. However, in both instances, the operator will accommodate and feed you. They may also organise some short tours for you in the region you find yourself.
In the event that your flight is delayed so significantly that your expedition operator decides to cancel the voyage altogether in most instance you will be completely refunded. This is subject to which expedition operator you are travelling with.
WHICH SHIPS OFFER FLY / CRUISE PROGRAMS:
iExpedition has Fly / Cruise programs across 8 different expedition vessels. It is important to note that not all of these vessels provide flights both ways across the Drake Passage, you can quickly check this by viewing the voyage map on the voyages you are interested in.
Expedition vessels with Fly / Cruise programs include;
Ocean Nova (Fly/Cruise pioneers) / (Expedition Standard Vessel)
Akademik Ioffe (Expedition Standard Vessel)
Akademik Vavilov (Expedition Standard Vessel)
Hans Hansson (Expedition Standard Vessel)
Hebridean Sky (Luxury Expedition Vessel)
Island Sky (Luxury Expedition Vessel)
Ocean Adventurer (Expedition Standard Vessel)
Polar Pioneer (Expedition Standard Vessel)
Overall, if you are time poor, concerned about the Drake Passage our Fly / Cruise programs offer an amazing way to experience Antarctica and in many cases will see your time on the continent extended.
iExpedition is Australia’s only dedicated expedition specialist. We deliver an advanced, search and booking site for Australian travellers interested in expedition travel. With a selection of more than 600 Antarctic and Arctic expedition departures, across close to 40 expedition vessels, we make it easy for you to search, compare, save and reserve or book your next expedition.
We are here to help, so please feel free to Contact Us via email or on 1800 960 577. Ready for adventure? Your expedition begins here.