Flights to Antarctica

Interested in skipping the choppy waters of the Drake Passage during your first and last two days traveling to Antarctica? Fly to Antarctica and spend the majority of your trip exploring, rather than traveling. If you experience sea-sickness or simply want to spend the most time on the continent rather than taking four days total getting there and back, then consider traveling by plane. Read through our different Antarctic flight trip options available to travelers. We want to help you choose an adventure that best aligns with the experience you’re looking for. Contact us today to speak about Antarctic flights currently available!

Why Fly To Antarctica?

A flight to Antarctica provides travelers with a comfortable and quick journey to the continent from Punto Arenas, Chile. The route over the Drake Passage is otherwise traveled by ship. The waters of the passage are notorious for causing motion-sickness in susceptible passengers, and can make the two day trip there and two day trip back, unpleasant for those guests. Flying directly to Antarctica provides travelers with a smooth journey and the ability to focus on exploring! Once landed, different flight trips have different itineraries. Some trips involve exploring the continent through activities once landed, and then returning. Others may involve embarking a cruise ship and sailing around the Antarctic waters. We even offer a fly-cruise that takes passengers down to the Antarctic Circle aboard their ship! 

If you want a quick trip down to the continent where you can focus on the adventures that await without the long voyage there and back, then inquire about a flight or fly-cruise trip!

Fly to antarctica route
Possible fly-cruise route

Fly-Cruise Trips

The most popular option among flying tourists, a fly-cruise trip allows for passengers to avoid up to a total of 4 travel days through flying the Drake Passage. At the same time, it also provides time aboard the ship! Once fly-cruise travelers reach Antarctica they will trade the plane for a cruise ship. Guests enjoy sailing down the peninsula with other shipmates, enjoying the calmer waters. This is the perfect choice for travelers who want both the flying and cruising experience without the specifically rough waters of the Drake Passage. Most fly-cruises leave from Punta Arenas, Chile and take roughly 2 hours to reach the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula (King George Island). Other cruise routes and cruise destinations are available! Availability is limited.

The Best Fly-Cruise Trip For You

This trip option grants adventurers the opportunity to experience a shorter, yet exhilarating adventure. Flying to Antarctica across the Drake Passage takes about 2 hours, as opposed to the two days it takes by ship. Flying cuts your expedition duration down by a total of four days, two days there and two days back. Depending on the length of time you have available, flying could be a favorable choice for those wanting the entire Antarctic experience without the long travel time to and from the remote continent.

Another reason passengers opt for flying is the motion sickness that some guests experience when voyaging through the Drake Passage, which is famously known for its rocky waters. The Drake Passage is located between Cape Horn in South America and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. Of course, some ships offer more stability than others so each trip will differ. That being said, flying can eliminate this possibility altogether. Therefore, we recommend prospective travelers choose to fly if they are worried about becoming motion-sick on their first two and last two days of their trip. We want our guests to have the best possible experience while visiting Antarctica! If you have questions or are interested in a fly-cruise experience contact us today! Bookings fill quickly as reservations are limited.

Route to fly to Antarctica
Fly-cruise route to the Antarctic Circle

When To Book Your Fly-Cruise Trip

Regular flight departures are available from early December through February. However, it is important to plan and book your flight ahead of time. Fly and cruise trips are popular, and they frequently get booked up well in advance. We recommend booking your fly and cruise adventure around 12-18 months in advance. However, the earlier the better.


For a complete list of cabins and departure dates, contact us to start planning your adventure today!

What To Do If Your Flight Is Delayed

The unpredictable Antarctic weather is the main reason for flight delays. If a flight is delayed due to weather concerns, the wait is usually only a few hours. There are contingency plans in case of a delay. However, a passenger cannot make up any lost time. Fortunately, it is generally only a few hours. 

If the flight is delayed upon departure from Antarctica, guests can use ships as their place of stay, with no additional costs, until new flights are arranged. 

Weather is an uncontrollable factor when planning any trip, but we do our absolute best to make any bumps a smooth experience for our guests. 

Planes That Fly To Antarctica

BAE 146 200, Avro RJ 85 & 100 – British Designed, 80 Passengers, 6 Seats in a Row (w/ 1 aisle)

These British-made aircraft are used for the majority of flights and feature large airbrake, full-width wing spoilers, and relatively quiet operation. Their large airbrakes allow the crafts to descent at steep rates if necessary. The full-width wing spoilers are deployed immediately upon landing, thus resulting in a smooth arrival. These aircrafts have proven to be useful on “high-density” regional and short-haul routes.  

Fly to Antarctica in the BAE 200
Fly to Antarctica in the De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter

De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter – Canadian Designed, 5-6 Passengers

This Canadian made aircraft features twin turboprop engines, tricycle undercarriage, and STOL (short takeoff and landing) capabilities, making it possible to go where most aircrafts cannot. This aircraft also offers high climb rates, making it a successful commuter passenger airliner, along with its uses as a cargo and medical evacuation aircraft. A fun fact about the De Haviland DHC-6 Twin Otter, is that it is a popular choice for commercial skydiving operations.

Ilyushin IL-76TD – Soviet Designed, 60 Passengers, 6 Seats in a Row (w/ 1 aisle) 

This Ilyushin made aircraft is a multi-purpose four-engine turbofan strategic airlifter. This craft was first developed to be a commercial freighter in the late 60’s to deliver heavy machinery to remote areas. The Ilyushin IL-76TD has the ability to operate from unpaved runways in underdeveloped areas – making it a useful form of transportation for emergency response scenarios as well.

Fly to Antarctica in the Ilyushin IL-76 TD
Fly to Antarctica in the Basler BT-67

Basler BT-67 – US Designed, 12-15 Passengers, 4 Seats in a Row (w/ 1 aisle) 

This American made aircraft offers a simple and spacious travel option for Antarctic travelers. The Basler BT-67 is a modified version of the original Douglas DC-3. This craft is only used within Antarctica’s interior for groups larger than the De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter can carry. Much like the Twin Otter, the Basler is adaptable and tough which makes for smooth travel to and from remote locations.

Beechcraft King Air 300 – 

Being the world’s most popular business turbo aircraft, the Beechcraft is used for fly-in adventures in Antarctica. This craft provides a comfortably accommodating option for a smaller group of passengers. It is also ideal for chartering, with twin turboprops powering four blade propellers and a max speed of 583km/h (362mph).

Fly to Antarctica in the Beechcraft King Air 300

Ready to Book Your Polar Expedition?

Ready to find your dream trip?  Have questions? Contact Polar Holidays to schedule a free consultation with one of our booking specialists today!