One Ocean Expeditions Opens Punta Arenas To Antarctica Fly/Cruise Departures From the Falklands and King George Island
06/10/2014 Leave a comment
Many years ago, Punta Arenas was used as an important setting off point for cruises to Antarctica. In more recent years, however, it has become more of a wayport for cruise ships running between Brazil and Argentina and Chile’s west coast port of Valparaiso. Ushuaia, meanwhile, in Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego, has picked up the lion’s share of Antarctic departures.
Last month, however, One Ocean Expeditions announced its itineraries and fares for its 2015-16 Antarctica season for voyages on board the Akademik Ioffe and Akademik Sergey Vavilov.
In addition to its regular departures from Ushuaia, One Ocean will introduce a new program of expedition fly/cruises starting in Punta Arenas. The Punta Arenas fly/cruise program will be undertaken by the Akademik Sergey Vavilov, while the Akademik Ioffe carries on with its usual direct departures from Ushuaia.
Only the first voyage, on December 8, 2015, will involve boarding at Punta Arenas, as none of the subsequent Vavilov voyages will sail from the Chilean port. Instead, One Ocean will use scheduled flights between Punta Arenas and Stanley in the Falkland Islands, and flights that operate between Punta Arenas and the Chilean Antarctic base on King George Island, to get their passengers to and from the ship, which will sail between Stanley and King George Island. There are of course no flights between Argentina and the Falklands.
In addition to the direct departure from Punta Arenas, three Vavilov departures will be made from Stanley and three more from King Edward Island, where passengers will board or disembark by Zodiac. The resulting 10- and 11-night itineraries have been designed to allow passengers more time in Antarctica – with the added bonus of seeing the king penguins of the Falkland Islands on most departures.
After the Vavilov’s December 8 sailing from Punta Arenas, subsequent fly/cruise departures through to February 2016, will leave from Punta Arenas airport for either Stanley or King George Island and return to Punta Arenas airport at the end of the voyage.
All flights between Punta Arenas and the ship will be included in the fare. The Akademik Sergey Vavilov will then complete her season in March with two 10-night voyages from Ushuaia.
One Ocean customers have also frequently asked the company to offer a South Georgia-only voyage. In response to these requests, the Vavilov will now offer a 14-night South Georgia-only departure, sailing from Stanley on October 17, 2015, and ending in Ushuaia. This will be followed by two chartered departures, after which the ship will position round to Punta Arenas to start the new program out of Chile.
In order to provide additional space, One Ocean will also bring the passenger capacity on both ships down from 96 to around 70 per voyage, and this on ships that used to carry 110.
One Ocean also has in place an Early Booking Offer of $750 per person off the cruise fare for all departures, subject to availability and withdrawal at any time.
As well as the Vavilov’s single season-opening sailing, One Ocean will be bringing some new hotel, tour and flights business to Punta Arenas.
But it will not be the only operator there. For twenty-three years now Cruceros Australis, South America’s only local cruise line, has been operating 3-, 4- and 7-night voyages through the Chilean fjords between Punta Arenas and Ushuaia.
Its present fleet consists of the 210-berth Stella Australis, built in 2010, and the 136-berth Via Australis, built in 2005.
For details of the 2015-16 Punta Arenas departures and other polar cruise adventures please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. In North America please call 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail email@example.com.