The Continental DRIFTER®
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2 reviews
Feb 1 - 8, 2025
Group size: 10 - 12

The Continental DRIFTER®
  • Email address verified
  • Facebook verified
  • LinkedIn verified
  • Twitter verified
2 reviews

Feb 1 - 8, 2025
Group size: 10 - 12

About this trip


Fly and Cruise to Antarctica

Join Us for this Once-In-A-Lifetime Trip!

"The one thing you’ll never regret spending money or time on is a great experience."

                                                                                  ~ Bobby "Axe" Axelrod

This trip is one worth saving for and should be at or near the top of everyone's bucket list who enjoys travel.

Overview of this Incredible Adventure

Join us for an 8-day, 7-night, once-in-a-lifetime adventure to Antarctica!

The itinerary for this Fly & Cruise trip to Antarctica is our Tour Operator’s most popular expedition.

Once arriving by flight to Antarctica, you’ll sail between the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Marvel at ice-filled fjords and spectacular iceberg formations while spotting penguins, seals, orcas, and whales that call the White Continent home.

Daily excursions include hiking, kayaking (extra fee required), zodiac cruising, polar plunge opportunities, onboard presentations, and more.


Important Details



Departure is limited to just 12 participants.  Single rooms are strictly limited.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When off the ship, you’ll want to wear good, sturdy walking boots specifically made for Antarctic conditions, and those will be provided during the trip.

Throughout this adventure, you’ll be getting on and off the ship to board Zodiacs to take you to land, and of course, there’s snow, ice, water, gravel, dirt, and other conditions that require excellent footwear.

If you are even slightly unsure of your walking capability in these conditions it’s HIGHLY recommended that you use a quality set of telescoping walking sticks (these will be provided).


About Your Flights

Only after having been given the go-ahead by Continental DRIFTER® (CD) administrators, please arrange your flight to Punta Arenas, Chile (PUQ) to allow you to arrive at the hotel by 2 pm local time (this is mandatory). All participants will have an airport transfer included on arrival that will take them directly to the hotel where you'll meet your hosts.  The next day, you'll fly down to Antarctica.


Regarding Your Flight Home

In order to take into account any flight delays due to weather, flights home should be arranged to leave PUQ as late as possible on the final tour date and your airport transfer will be included (please don’t make any non-refundable travel arrangements until given the go-ahead by CD administrators).

You can certainly choose to stay over in this area or move on to other parts of the region to enjoy the many other things to do (we may be able to assist) or transfer on your own to other parts of Chile and South America to continue your adventure, but please arrange these additional services on your own.

We wish you safe travels and happy memories of what will surely be an unforgettable trip!

Testimonials about this Trip


"Great trip, highly recommended!"

~ Sharon B. (Antarctica)

“Flying was a great alternative to at least 4 days of sailing across open seas. The 3 days that we did actually get off the ship and on to shore were exceptional with diverse locations that created really good photographic opportunities, and multiple interesting landings. L

The ship staff laid things out on shore really well, in advance of the guests’ arriving, and they offered good alternate services like snow-shoeing and kayaking. 

The comparatively small size of the ship was its greatest asset. In the days we did get off the boat we got much more up close and personal than visitors on much bigger cruise ships - a much more immersive Antarctic experience. And we never had to wait in the lines or shifts that are common on large cruise lines. 

For someone who really wants to experience Antarctica, this approach is a much better alternative.”

~ Keith S. (Antarctica)

“Thanks for being a fantastic group leader.  I thoroughly enjoyed the journey to Antarctica.”

~ N.S. (Antarctica)

“Traveling to the 7th Continent with Continental Drifter was the trip of a lifetime. My wife spent 10 years persuading me to go to Antarctica and I'm happy to say that I am glad we took the plunge. What we saw and experienced there can hardly be put into words. Simply an amazing experience!!!”

~ Mark K. (Antarctica, Tuscany, Cuba, India)

“I had an amazing time in Antarctica. One of the best things about Ralph and his tours is that each location and local tour provider is thoroughly vetted for the best travel experience…all the expedition staff throughout the trip were knowledgeable, friendly and helpful, and in the end, you felt like a special guest. I highly recommend this trip.”  

~ Patrick M. (Antarctica, Cambodia, Spain, France, Armenia & Georgia, others)

“This was the travel experience of a lifetime! …every aspect of the trip met or exceeded my expectations! Because we were a small group (about 50 people), we were able to do a large number of on-land expeditions, which most travelers to Antarctica don’t get to experience. Also, flying there (rather than wasting 2 days each way traveling across the rough Drake Strait) was a tremendous benefit! Yes, the trip was pricey, but definitely worth the money when you compare apples to apples!”  

~ Matthew E. (Antarctica, Romania, Cuba)

Special Notes to Start

Unlike most other trips to Antarctica you may have seen, it’s very important to note that this trip does NOT require an additional 4+ days (roundtrip) to sail through the notoriously rough Drake Passage in the Southern Ocean.  All participants will FLY from Punta Arenas, Chile, to the continent of Antarctica to meet the ship, and this flight is included in your fee.

It’s also worth noting that you’re going to experience this incredible destination on a 67-passenger boat, which is relatively small and intimate by most standards, and yet this former icebreaker is big enough to get all participants safely through this remote part of the world, and so it’s perfect for this adventure.  

See photos of the ship and its cabins.

Of course, Mother Nature governs Antarctica and weather controls all on the harshest continent on Earth. This is why our Tour Operator has the best Contingency Plan in the industry, guided by consistency, transparency, and fairness, offering value and comfort should the weather delay the expedition.

Activity Level

Participants on this trip should know that the overall activity level can be considered Moderate to Strenuous.  There will be a fair amount of walking on snow, ice, gravel, wet ground, mud, shallow water, and other unfavorable walking conditions, so using a quality set of Walking Poles is highly recommended.

Those having difficulty walking or getting on and off an inflatable Zodiac a number of times each day should reach out to me in order to get more information about what to expect on this adventure.

Our main goal is the absolute safety of our guests.

Sea Kayaking and/or Hiking & Snowshoeing

For the more adventurous types you can also choose to add a sea kayaking package to your trip for an additional fee of $895 per person, and this includes instruction, training, and all equipment throughout your journey so you can plan to go as much as possible and as conditions and landing points allow.  Because this is a very special skill and participants will be trained by highly skilled personnel, kayaking packages are not shareable or transferrable to anyone other than the original registrant.

For a fee of $85 per person/per excursion, you can choose to join a group of up to 12 other adventurous participants for a hiking and snowshoeing experience that will take you to vantage points on the continent that other guests won’t be able to see.  Registration will be available on board the ship.

Please ask for more details should this interest you.

About this Itinerary

Please note that if we don't get 12 passengers for this trip it's possible Ralph will not be able to join the group.  That said, all participants will still go and will be taken care of very well by the local staff and ship's crew.

All aspects of this itinerary are subject to change.  We ask that you remain flexible, as there are often circumstances beyond our control and modifications may be necessary.


Most meals are included and B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, and D = Dinner

Continental DRIFTER® Experiences' Terms & Conditions can be found at the link.

What’s included

  • Internal Airfare
    Your flight from Punta Arenas to and from Frei Station on King George Island aboard a large 70+ passenger airplane designed to fly in these conditions (this saves 4+ days of sailing).
  • Airport Transfers
    Airport transfers to and from the hotel in Punta Arenas (PUQ) and for flights to and from the continent.
  • Accommodations
    7 nights’ accommodation consisting of 2 nights in Punta Arenas (Days 1 and 7) and 5 nights on board the 67 passenger Ocean Nova (formerly an ice breaker).
  • Welcome Dinner
    Welcome Dinner in Punta Arenas, Chile, on Day 1.
  • Meals
    Buffet breakfast daily (B), plus 5 Buffet Lunches (L) and 5 other Dinners (D).
  • Beverages
    Unlimited water, juice, soft drinks, beer and wine at each meal. Outside of meals the ship has a cash bar with reasonable prices.
  • Gratuities
    ALL GROUP TIPS for ship crew and guides are included.
  • Snacks
    Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cappuccino, water, and snacks onboard the ship throughout this expedition.
  • English-Speaking Guides
    All shore excursions including Zodiac transfers with English-speaking guides, naturalists and crew throughout.
  • Activities
    Lectures and entertainment onboard.
  • Information Brochures
    Comprehensive pre- and post-voyage information.
  • Special Equipment
    Loan of waterproof expedition-style boots for landing in Antarctica (so you don’t have to bring your own!).

What’s not included

  • International Airfare
    International flights or other transportation to and from Punta Arenas, Chile (PUQ), the starting point.
  • Additional Transfers
    Optional airport transfers outside of included transfers on tour dates.
  • Optional Activities
    Optional activities such as sea kayaking (may be limited availability) or snowshoeing which can be purchased on board.
  • Additional Accommodation
    Pre- or post-trip accommodations outside of tour dates.
  • Insurance
    Personal travel and/or medical insurance is required (please see SquareMouth @ for a FREE quote).
  • Extra Meals
    Meals not specifically outlined in the itinerary as included (the only meal not included is dinner on last full evening).
  • Drinks/Alcohol
    Drinks or other alcoholic beverages not specifically mentioned as included.
  • Extra Gratuities
    Additional tips for crew, guides and other service providers.
  • Personal Items
    Items of a personal nature, such as laundry, phone calls and WiFi access which may be available for an extra fee.

Available Packages

Double Occupancy (per person)
Available until January 29, 20258 left

You can save the Single Supplement by sharing a room in Double Occupancy.

Deposit: $4,000
Single Occupancy
Available until January 29, 2025only 1 left

If you'd like your own room throughout this experience, please add $6,000 for Single Supplement.

Single cabins are strictly limited on this departure.

Deposit: $4,000


Day 1
Arrival in Punta Arenas (PUQ)

Meals: D

Fly from your home country to Punta Arenas, Chile (PUQ), and there you can look forward to being welcomed by local staff who will transfer you to your hotel (it's mandatory to arrive well before 2:00 pm).

2 pm - You'll have boot pick-up and then a mandatory briefing with important trip information.

Dinner of typical Chilean food with your fellow adventurers.

Your Organizer

The Continental DRIFTER®
2 reviews
Since 2008, Continental DRIFTER® founder Ralph Velasco has been organizing and leading once-in-a-lifetime small group cultural tours around the world (all of which have been 5-star rated on Google and Facebook). Our guides, drivers, accommodations, restaurants, experiences, and activities are all thoroughly vetted in advance so that your trip goes without a hitch. Come learn about the people, food, drink, and many other cultural aspects of the incredible destinations we visit. Remember, DRIFTER...Life's too short not to travel!


Continental DRIFTER’s Northern Spain trip was the trip of a lifetime, but I will definitely travel with Ralph again, so there’s going to be competition for that “trip of a lifetime” title! With a small group of delightful companions, we saw spectacular views and architecture, ate amazing local food, drank delicious local wine, visited interesting locations with fun and knowledgeable local guides, and had so many laughs. Highlights included the sheer cliff faces overlooking Zumaia Beach, the lush terraced vineyards over the impossibly blue Bay of Biscay, the charming beachfront of San Sebastian, the ridiculously delicious tapas crawl on Calle Laurel in Logroño, and spending part of the trip in a little 13th century walled town in Rioja. Ralph takes care of every detail, so all that’s left to do is to marvel, learn, and enjoy. And eat. And eat. I loved spending enough time in each location to really get a feel for it instead of rushing from place to place checking items off a list, and Ralph curates the coolest experiences, like olive oil farm tours and cooking classes. 47 thumbs up from me!
By Karen Gareis G for Northern SPAIN’s Basque Country & La Rioja on Sep 20, 2023
Karen, thank you SO much for the wonderful review. I'm so happy you enjoyed our trip to Spain, it was a pleasure having you along and I can't wait until the next one!
By The Continental DRIFTER® on Nov 02, 2023
I have recently returned from this trip to Northern Spain and I highly recommend it! We toured wineries, had an olive oil tasting in an olive grove, attended a cooking class, took tours of churches and architecture, and so much else! At each stop Ralph had hired guides with extensive knowledge of their area, who were interesting, helpful, and punctual. (In Ramon's case, hilarious as well!) After daily excursions, we had the late afternoon and evening free to wander on our own and explore the three different cities we stayed in. The food was fantastic and fresh. We never had a bad meal. The hotels were beautiful. My favorite memory will always be sitting on the outdoor patio of a beautiful winery in the sun, eating pintxos (Basque tapas), drinking incredible wine, chatting with the really nice group of people on the trip; all with a beautiful view of the Bay of Biscay. It was definitely one of the highlights for me! I would recommend Ralph and Continental Drifter to anyone looking for an amazing travel experience!
By Diana S for Northern SPAIN’s Basque Country & La Rioja on Sep 18, 2023
Thank you, Robin, for the amazing 5-star review. I can't tell you how happy I am to know that this trip exceeded all your expectations and I look forward to seeing you on the road again real soon!
By The Continental DRIFTER® on Nov 02, 2023