IAE 80 South Itinerary

IAE 80 South Itinerary

Embark on a journey to the remote interior of the great white continent, December 4th-12th, 2016. 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.

Live on a glacier where the ice is almost 5,000 ft. (1500 m) thick and explore all of the landscapes this unique environment has to offer. You’ll have the opportunity to hike over waves of blue-ice, ski across frozen sastrugi, or tour the polar wilderness aboard a snowmobile. Our experienced guides will tailor daily excursions to suit your personal goals. Then hop aboard one of our ski equipped aircraft for a spectacular scenic flight over the Ellsworth Mountains.


December 4th-12th, 2016

Arrival Day: Punta Arenas, Chile

Pre-departure Day: Gear Check and Briefing

Day 1: Fly to Antarctica

Day 2-6: Explore Union Glacier

Flexible Flight Day: Scenic Flight

Day 7: Return to Chile Flexible

Departure Day: Fly Home

What’s Included

• Airport transfers in Punta Arenas, Chile
• Round trip flight to Antarctica from Punta Arenas
• Scenic flight over Ellsworth Mountains
• Meals and tented accommodation in Antarctica
• Antarctic guides and lecturers
• Celebration dinner and Certificate f Achievement
• Checked luggage up to 55 lb. (25 kg)

Not Included

• Insurance coverage—personal, medical, evacuation, or otherwise
• Commercial flights to and from Punta Arenas
• Airport transfers outside of Punta Arenas
• Meals and accommodation in Punta Arenas
• Additional flights within Antarctica
• Personal equipment and clothing
• Expenses incurred due to delays
• Luggage over 55 lb. (25 kg)
• Satellite phone charges


Punta Arenas2We ask you to arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile at least two full days (48 hours) prior to your scheduled Antarctic flight in order to fully prepare you for your upcoming Antarctic Experience. These days also allow a buffer for flight and luggage delays should your travels to Chile not go as scheduled.

Upon arrival at Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport (PUQ), Robert Swan will be waiting for you at the exit from the baggage claim area and will take you to your hotel.


We will come to your hotel at the specified Gear Check time to review your clothing and equipment.Rob spec plans small

On the afternoon before your Antarctic flight we will schedule your Luggage and Equipment Pick-Up time. We will weigh and collect your checked luggage at your hotel at the specified time. Your checked luggage allowance on the flight from Punta Arenas to Union Glacier is 55 lb. (25 kg). Any checked luggage in excess of this amount will be charged at $30 USD per lb. ($66 USD per kg). Payment must be in US D cash.

For the safety of our staff, individual bags must not weigh more than 66 lb. (30 kg) each. All luggage must comply with international air transport regulations. Fuels or other hazardous substances are prohibited on flights to Antarctica. Sharp objects (e.g. multi-tools, Swiss Army knives) are prohibited in carry-on luggage. Carry-on luggage will be screened by airport security personnel.

Luggage will be collected the day before your flight to pre-load the aircraft to be ready to depart as soon as the weather is suitable on flight day. You will not have access to your checked luggage until you arrive in Antarctica. Do not put anything in your checked luggage that you might need during your stay in Punta Arenas or during the flight (e.g. passport, medications, cameras, sunscreen, and money).

You will keep your carry-on luggage and polar clothing (base layers, jacket, pants, gloves, hat, eyewear, & boots) with you. If you rented a sleeping bag from us, it will be delivered to your tent in Antarctica.

You can leave a bag at your hotel with your city clothes and other items you do not wish to take to Antarctica. We will provide luggage tags and ask you to fill out a form describing the left luggage in case we have to move the bags to an alternate hotel upon your return to Chile.

You are invited to a Welcome Briefing in Punta Arenas the night before your Antarctic flight. At the briefing, we will describe the flight dispatch process, update you on the current weather, and prepare you for your arrival at Union Glacier. Please stay to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and meet the other guests that will be traveling with you.


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 the specially-adapted vans for the 5 mi (8 km) shuttle to the main camp. We will provide a welcome tour of camp and show you to your tent.


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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. Meteorologists will carefully monitor the weather conditions and find the best day for your Scenic Flight.

Union Glacier excursions can include any of the following destinations:

Elephant’s Head

Ride in one of our vehicles to this dramatic marble 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.

Drake Icefall

Named in the 1960s after geologist Benjamin Drake IV, this impressive icefall 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 Windscoop

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.

Deception coverThe Beach at Rossman Cove

Another spectacular 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.

Hidden Valley

A favorite getaway—this secret canyon opens up to a beautiful valley prime for hiking, climbing, and backcountry skiing. If you’d prefer to stay closer to camp, we have a variety of activities for all abilities. You can check out 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, there are lectures and films on a variety of Antarctic topics. You may also have the opportunity to meet visiting scientists and learn about their current research projects.


When weather and runway conditions permit, the Ilyushin will arrive at Union Glacier to transport you back to Chile. We will transfer you back to your hotel or to the airport for your flight home.

Punta Arenas