Antarctic cruise and hiking in Chile

“This month-long expedition visits some of the Earth's most extreme frontiers: the barren Atacama Desert, the wilderness of Patagonia and the vast continent of Antarctica.”


Atacama Desert | San Pedro de Atacama | El Tatio Geysers | Bike ride across salt flats | Hot springs | Trekking along Inca Paths | Torres del Paine "W" hike | Patagonia | Tierra del Fuego | Ushuaia | Beagle Channel | Drake Passage | Wiencke Island | Antarctic photography class | Lemaire Channel | Penguin and whale sightings | Research station visit | Zodiac trips | Buenos Aires | Optional: kayaking, mountaineering in Antarctic mountains

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this vacation or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Our top tip:
Camera batteries have a shorter lifespan in cold climates - be sure to carry spares.
Trip type:
Small group tour and expedition cruise.
Activity level:
Moderate-active. Trekking up to 5hrs, cycle up to 3hrs (flat).
13 nights in hotels, 4 in refugios, 11 on board the ship.
Solo travelers welcome. Single rooms available with surcharge.
Accommodation., some meals, tour leader, listed activities.
All breakfasts, 16 lunches, 16 dinners.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

We are passionate about the places we visit. To help preserve the integrity of these destinations we:
• Keep groups small to minimise environmental impact.
• Are rigorous in following 'take it in, take it out' guidelines when visiting the national parks.

We promote only responsible travel to Antarctica. In our opinion, well-regulated small ship travel is the only sustainable means of tourism. We are strongly of the opinion that flying to Antarctica is not acceptable as it will quickly lead to unsustainable increases in visitor numbers. Nor do large ships not belong in such a sensitive environment. The small ship crossing of the Drake Passage maintains the White Continent for those dedicated enough to make the crossing.

We are a member of IAATO (the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators). As members of IAATO we are committed to procedures and guidelines that ensure appropriate, safe and environmentally sound travel to the Antarctic. Antarctic Dream is also a full member of IAATO, and like us are totally committed to promoting only responsible small group travel to the Antarctic.

Small groups in Antarctica minimise impact on wildlife. Traveling on a ship of less than 100 passengers is the ideal way to visit the continent, not least because international regulations do not permit more than 100 people ashore at any one time. You must wear boots that we provide on shore at all times. These are cleaned and disinfected by staff before and after all shore visits to ensure that no ‘alien matter’ is transferred onto the shore.

Taking or harmful interference with Antarctic wildlife is prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by a national authority.
• Do not use aircraft, vessels, small boats, or other means of transport in ways that disturb wildlife, either at sea or on land.
• Do not feed, touch, or handle birds or seals, or approach or photograph them in ways that cause them to alter their behavior. Special care is needed when animals are breeding or molting.
• Do not damage plants, for example by walking, driving, or landing on extensive moss beds or lichen-covered scree slopes.
• Keep noise to the minimum to avoid frightening wildlife.
• Do not bring non-native plants or animals into the Antarctic such as live poultry, pet dogs and cats or house plants.

The Impacts of this Trip

Our passion for the places we visit extends to the people who live there. To help support them, we:
• Work directly with local businesses and organisations to directly benefit local economies. We use small, locally owned hotels and restaurants. We know the owners except in the large cities.
• Work with local guides so that our vacations are more interesting for clients and more beneficial locally.

Plancius is also a member of IAATO. Expert guides and leaders know how best to minimise the impact of any landings and have the most experience of locally working in these extreme and remote conditions.


3 Reviews of Antarctic cruise and hiking in Chile

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 03 Apr 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

It is impossilbe to pick only one memorable part of a vacation that had many highlights and such a variety of scenery and activities. It was very well organised
all guides were knowledgable, friendly and encouraging, The geology in Torres del Paine was fascinating and beautiful, The lagoons and mountains the Atacama area were magnificent. Antartica was different again, awe inspiring to look at and a privilege to have seen animals and birds in their natural environment.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

You need to stay 5 nights in San Pedro to do the higher altitude outing so allow for that though there is plenty to do that is less active. Don't forget your
swimming gear. Expect to get sea sick! Don't delay - go while you are still able to be active and enjoy it all.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Tourism is important to the local economies. There will be environmental impacts but there seemed to be effort and thought put in to reducing that impact.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

One of the best vacations I've had. Well organised, variety of scenery and activities, lots of local information provided, opportunity for peace and reflection as well.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Lorna,

Thank you for taking the time to write your review, it's fantastic to hear you had such a wonderful time.

I'd have to say that yours was certainly a jealousy-inducing trip for us here in Brighton! I've been lucky enough to explore Chile and Antarctica myself, so your comments transported me happily back to what, as you say, are some of the most beautiful places anywhere.

It's great that you felt the trip was well organised and well supported with our detailed local information. We think this is so important, particularly on complex trips such as this which combine multiple countries, and many, many points of contact. The fact we work directly with lodges, guides and all other local partners, and have our own office in Chile, go a long way to making our trips both a success and minimises their impact, so we particularly appreciate the
fact you noticed our efforts to make sure our vacations are as sustainable as possible.

I hope we will be able to have you travel with us again if you have another trip to Latin America on the cards (or indeed Spain or Portugal), and thank you again
for taking the time to write a review.

Best wishes,


Reviewed on 27 Nov 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The entire trip was magical and I loved almost every moment. The landings were
supplemented with presentations that helped me to put my experiences into the
perspective of wider Antarctica issues.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

I had some kayaking lessons before going to Antarctica because I thought I would get the opportunity to kayak while I was there. I was told on arrival that this was not possible when I had not signed up for the whole kayak programme. This was despite kayakers being able to snow shoe etc. when they decided to have a day off from kayaking. I think the company needs to consider allowing non-kayakers to kayak when space is available.

I had also hoped for some more challenging walking options including a whole day expedition. This was not on offer.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

There are no locals in Antarctica. I think the company worked hard to reduce our
environmental impact and some of the presentations were focused on what individuals on the ship and the company had done to protect the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

I think my vacation was amazing even taking into consideration the issues I mentioned above.

Reviewed on 24 Nov 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Antarctica was magnificent but if I had to choose but one most memorable moment it would be the sunset and scenes on the night we
elected to camp out...

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Being prepared for the rapidly changing conditions and being equipped with the correct clothing.
Respect where you are and its beauty. Sadly too many noisy co travelers missed out on taking in the beauty and reflecting on the moment..

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Tour operators were excellent in maintaining a strict ecological respecting discipline... Great to see so little pollution. Also great to learn more about our changing planet and this wonderland...

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent ??

NB Scope for improvement depending what O E broader goals are....

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Edmund,

Thank you for taking the time to review your vacation on the Responsible Travel site. We're absolutely delighted to hear you had such a wonderful time in Antarctica, it sounds like you really appreciated it for the exceptionally unique place it is. Having just returned from the 'White Continent' myself, I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments - it's a place
which I found to have a profound impact on my view of the world too.

Thanks again for the review, and for choosing to travel with us.

All the best,


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