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South Georgia and Antarctica Fly-Cruise with New Scientist

Start date End date Days
Prices from
Single Supplement Tour Expert Group Size Status
02/25/22 03/13/22 17 days $17,159 ex. flights $10,677 Leah Crane 70 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Magellan Explorer, Exterior View, Antarctica 1

Luxury expedition ship

A Steppes part-charter on a state of the art ship – the Magellan Explorer

Antarctica view from ship, Antarctic expedition 2


Four days in South Georgia and five days on the Antarctic peninsula including Elephant Island

King Penguins, South Georgia 3

Exceptional wildlife

Prolific wildlife against a spectacular backdrop combined with the history of Shackleton

Flight landing on South Shetland Islands 4


Save on time by flying direct to Antarctica from Chile and get straight into exploring

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1

    Punta Arenas

  • Day 2

    Punta Arenas to Antarctica

  • Days 3 - 4

    Antarctic Peninsula

  • Day 5

    Exploring Antarctica

  • Day 6

    Elephant Island

  • Day 7 - 8

    Elephant Island

  • Days 9 - 12

    Exploring South Georgia

  • Days 13 - 15

    Sailing towards South America

  • Day 16

    At sea and Beagle Channel

  • Day 17

    Ushuaia disembarkation

Day 1

Punta Arenas

Magellan Explorer, Exterior View, Antarctica

Arrive into Punta Arenas where you will be met and transferred to the group hotel.

Day 2

Punta Arenas to Antarctica

Flight landing on South Shetland Islands

Transfer to Punta Arenas airport for the 2-hour flight down to King George Island in the South Shetland Islands.

Days 3 - 4

Antarctic Peninsula

Rocky coastline overcrowded by gentoo pengins and glacier with icebergs in the background at Neco bay, Antarctica

Cruise between the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, sailing along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs. Each day, disembark by Zodiac for landings and cruises to explore the landscape together with expert polar guides.

Day 5

Exploring Antarctica

Paradise Bay Antarctica

Visit the mirror-like waters of Paradise Bay and sail through the steep and narrow cliffs of the Lemaire Channel, one of the most scenic areas in all of Antarctica.

Day 6

Elephant Island

Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands, Antartic Peninsula

Visit Elephant Island, known for providing refuge to the shipwrecked crew of Shackleton’s Endurance. While stormy conditions rarely allow for a shore landing, you will still see the historic island from the ship.

Day 7 - 8

Elephant Island

Lightmantled Sooty Albatross, Drake Passage

As you sail towards South Georgia there will be a number of educational presentations on the wildlife, ecology and history of the area, as well as the epic stories of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Days 9 - 12

Exploring South Georgia

King Penguins, South Georgia

Cruise the protected waters of South Georgia, perhaps landing at sites like Cooper Island and St Andrew’s Bay. Visit a rookery comprising of 150,000 king penguins or the nesting home of thousands of black-browed albatrosses are spectacular wildlife experiences.

Days 13 - 15

Sailing towards South America

Birding, Antarctica

As the ship heads to South America, the program of presentations continues. Use this time to enhance your understanding of the region and its history.

Day 16

At sea and Beagle Channel

Sail along the Beagle Channel, take in the beauty of Tierra del Fuego and Navarino Island as you head to Ushuaia.

Day 17

Ushuaia disembarkation

Catamaran boats in the Ushuaia harbour port, Tierra del Fuego province in Argentina

Arrive into Ushuaia, where your journey ends at the pier upon disembarkation.

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

Crabeater Seals, Antartica

In partnership with New Scientist

New Scientist logo
We are proud to be partnering with New Scientist Discovery Tours who provide science-inspired tours across the globe, with experts on-board and in the company of fellow travellers who enjoy the discovery of science.

Magellan Explorer, Penthouse Suite, Antarctica
Magellan Explorer, Antarctica
Bar, Magellan Explorer, Antarctica
Dining Room, Magellan Explorer, Antarctica
Dining Room, Magellan Explorer, Antarctica

Magellan Explorer

MV Magellan Explorer is the first small passenger ship purpose-built for Antarctica in the last 14 years. She has been designed to carry 100 passengers but our Steppes Travel private charter will be limited to a maximum of 69 clients. With a minimised carbon footprint, including state-of-the-art low emission engines, Magellan Explorer is renowned for its eco-credentials.

The bow of the ship is accessible to guests to offer expansive views during exploration, and there is also a gym and a sauna. Off-ship activities include zodiac cruising and optional activities such as kayaking and snowshoeing.

Read more

Magellan Statue Punta Arenas, Chile
Punta Arenas, Chile

Punta Arenas

Arrive into Punta Arenas. Situated at the foot of The Andes with striking views across the Straits of Magellan to Tierra Del Fuego, Punta Arenas is Patagonia’s liveliest and most interesting city. Made rich by the wool boom following the importation of sheep from The Falklands in the 19th century, vestiges of the town’s heyday remain today in the form of fine colonial architecture and interesting history.

Flight landing on King George Island

Fly cruise

Beginning the epic voyage fly from King George Island in the South Shetland Islands to Punta Arenas in Chile. Fly in around two hours rather than the conventional two-day sail across the idiosyncratic waters of the Drake Passage. This trip will appeal to those wanting to make the most of their time on the peninsula, or without good sea legs.

Icebergs, Antarctica
Icebergs, Antarctica


The Antarctic peninsula is breathtakingly beautiful. Such magnificence is best epitomised by Paradise Bay. Wildlife on the peninsula is remarkable and at this time of year chinstrap, gentoo and Adelie penguins can be seen rearing young chicks.

From here, continue north to Elephant Island, known as the temporary home of Ernest Shackleton’s fateful Endurance crew. From here, sail onwards to South Georgia.

King penguins with Bertrab Glacier, South Georgia
South Georgia
Ernest Shackleton's Grave, South Georgia
Ernest Shackleton's Grave, South Georgia

South Georgia

South Georgia is famed for its stunning scenery and spellbinding wildlife. It would be remiss of us to allow you to travel so far south and not visit this staggering island. Huge numbers of fur seals and the larger elephant seals can be found on the dark, volcanic sandy beaches. Seabirds are abundant. However, it is the vast penguin colonies that are perhaps the most enthralling – the visual spectacle of hundreds of thousands of king penguins is extraordinary.

Added to the landscape and wildlife of South Georgia is its history. In particular that of Shackleton and his remarkable crossing of South Georgia.

From here, sail across to South America, disembarking in Ushuaia,

Why travel with Steppes Travel to Antarctica?

We know what makes a fantastic holiday to Antarctica. We have been arranging expeditions and cruises to Antarctica for over 15 years and the team has visited 11 times so far.

What happens on a typical day on an expedition cruise in Antarctica?

Trying to outline a typical day in Antarctica is not easy – every day is different which is what makes an Antarctic holiday so special. There is no average day onboard an expeditionary boat as the day’s activities will be very much determined by the prevailing weather conditions, ice and the wildlife encountered. Flexibility here is the key, wherever possible we want to be off the ship twice a day either on landings or zodiac cruising.

Excursions may include exploring by Zodiacs, where you might cruise alongside magnificent glaciers with birds swirling overhead and rafts of penguins porpoising alongside. Shore excursions may find you exploring bird colonies, historic sites or just to stretch your legs amongst a colony of penguins.

Is February a good time to travel to Antarctica?

February is when most of this year’s chicks will fledge and they are at their most active. This makes it a bounty time for marine predators so clients will be very likely to encounter patrolling Leopard seals. The waters will be rich with krill and whales often gather in large numbers, minke and humpback are often quite curious and will approach the zodiac or the ship, during the ocean crossing you are much more likely to encounter some of the larger species such as fin and blue whales.

Is this expeditionary cruise accompanied by an onboard polar experts team?

The team and crew of the Magellan Explorer have years of experience. They are experts in operating safe, informative and exhilarating Antarctic experiences. Onboard, they will delight you with a fascinating programme of talks and lectures, ranging from natural history to the history of polar exploration.

In addition, to the onboard team, Leah Crane, a reporter for New Scientist, will be accompanying our Antarctic cruise. As part of this trip, Leah will be giving lectures on a number of topics.

How rough will the seas be?

This is a tricky one as the crossings can be anything from a millpond to a force nine hurricane, the latter being the less common. Ultimately, it’s down to a little luck, but most people find that their own experience wasn’t as bad as they thought it would be.

For those still worried, fear not, as part of this Antarctic fly-cruise, only a one-way sailing is required, as the journey to Antarctica is taken by a two-hour flight from Punta Arenas in Chile, rather than undertaking an additional two-day sea journey.

Do I have to be physically fit to join this expeditionary cruise?

This is an active cruise with optional daily walking excursions over uneven terrain and to be able to get the most out of it you should be in good general health. In order to join the excursions, you must be able to easily get up and down the gangway from the ship to the water level and to be able to get in and out of the awaiting zodiacs, which can be awkward, particularly in choppy seas. Staff will be on hand to assist all passengers, so don’t worry about this, it’s just something to be aware of.

Does this expeditionary cruise offer value for money?

There are of course cheaper ways to travel to Antarctica, but we are confident our voyage offers excellent value for money. This cruise offers a comprehensive 17-day Antarctic package that includes not only the Antarctic Peninsula but also the mountainous wildlife hotspot of South Georgia. We are offering the excitement of an expeditionary style cruise, where you get off the boat and get snow on your boots but travel in the comfort of a luxury boat.

Do I need specialist clothing?

You do not need to by specialist kit for this expedition a good waterproof coat and waterproof over-trousers are essential and under this layer up with thermals and fleece. The adage is dress like an onion with plenty of thinner layers which you can add to / take away to regulate your temperature, a full suggest kit list will be provided.

The ship is very informal and there is no need to dress up for dinner, comfort and practicality is the dress code

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?


Includes / Excludes

Important Information

Activity Level
Moderate Activity
Single Supplement

Travelling on your own? Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places provides security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour expert.


To allow flexibility, our group tours do not include international flights as standard. We can arrange international flights on your behalf, please get in touch with our travel experts for a quote. All international flights from the UK are ATOL protected.

What is included

  • Voyage onboard Magellan Explorer on a full board basis
  • Onboard expert lectures throughout
  • Charter flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island
  • Meals onboard
  • Gratuities on board the Magellan Explorer
  • 1 night in Punta Arenas post voyage
  • Transfers to and from the boat
  • £25 to help fund the communities, conservation agencies and NGOs that we work with
  • £25 contribution to ‘Trees and Science’ in mitigation of your carbon emissions

What is excluded

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Pre voyage accommodation

Why a Steppes expert-led group tour

1.Experience matters

We have been running insightful and groundbreaking group tours since our inception in 1989. We have worked with institutions such as the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum and run wildlife tours in conjunction with conservation agencies such as Fauna & Flora International, Wildlife Conservation Society, the Orangutan Foundation, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the Jane Goodall Institute.

2.Like-minded travellers

Steppes Travellers are like-minded people; interesting, interested and curious. Our group tours, usually consisting of eight to ten travellers, aim to create an easy and informal atmosphere – we have a lot of fun on our tours and many friendships have been formed.

4.Peace of mind

When you travel on one of our group tours, you will be looked after by our local agents and your tour expert with the back-up of our 24-hour emergency number and duty manager. All our holidays are fully bonded and protected – our ATOL number is ATOL 6495.

3.It’s about who you know

We have developed an enviable pool of expertise from which to choose our tour experts, who we carefully select based on their knowledge, companionship and personality. Often, these experts can use their influence to facilitate private access to sites not typically open to the public.

Our future tour dates

For further information about any of these tours please call 1 740 4000644

Start date End date Days
Prices from
Single Supplement Tour Expert Group Size Status
02/25/22 03/13/22 17 days $17,159 ex. flights $10,677 Leah Crane 70 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

Reserve your place on this group tour

Our travel experts have a wealth of first-hand knowledge, so if you have any questions about this expert-led group tour, please get in touch. They would love to help. We hope you can join us on this tour.

01285 880 980

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Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

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