Silversea to offer fly cruises to Antarctica
Silversea is to charter two private jets for a new fly-cruise programme to Antarctica in 2021.
The 75-seater aircraft will fly from Punta Arenas, Chile, to King George Island in Antarctica as part of the new Antarctica Bridge programme which goes on sale on December 10 this year. The new offering was announced at this year's ILTM show in Cannes.
Silversea said the fly-cruise would save passengers around four days at sea as it would avoid sailing through Drake Passage.
The line is using a BAE 146-200, four engine, all-business class jet for the service, with the flight flying over Drakes Passage. The aircraft will offer Silversea's catering service.
Zodiac and International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) briefings will be played to passengers during the two-hour flight over Drake Passage.
The nine-day fly-cruises will operate on 12 dates in December 2021 on Silver Explorer with fares starting from £13,300 based on two people sharing.
The trip includes six nights on the 144-passenger ship departing from King George Island.
Passengers will visit the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands during the voyage.
Speaking at ILTM, the line's chief executive Roberto Martinoli admitted they weren't the first brand to offer fly-cruises to Antarctica, however he insisted Silversea was the first to do so with "business class" flights.
The line said guests flying on the new service would get the same amount of time in Antarctica.
The full itinerary includes a night’s stay either side of the sailing and international air travel via Santiago to and from Punta Arenas.
Conrad Combrink, Silversea’s senior vice president of tour operating, expedition and destination management, said the fly-cruise option was “perfect for time-conscious travellers”.
He said: “This is a defining moment for Silversea’s expedition offering: Antarctica Bridge will revolutionise the way in which our guests discover Antarctica. The luxury of choice is a key feature of our cruise line’s offering; our new Antarctica Bridge service expands our guests’ choices.
“This builds on our existing offering, which comprises many 10-day voyages, as well as 18-day expeditions and longer, which are the ultimate in deep exploration. With the launch of Antarctica Bridge, our guests will be able to choose from 59 Antarctica voyages.”
Polar expedition lines Quark Expeditions and Aurora Expeditions also offer fly-cruise itineraries departing from Punta Arenas.