ANTARCTICA XXI came to life in 2001 based on the idea of developing an air bridge between Punta Arenas, the main urban centre of Chilean Patagonia, and the Antarctic Station President Eduardo Frei Montalva. Very quickly the enormous potential of this innovative concept is revealed in various fields, including tourism, a newborn industry that was in full growth at an international level in those years. Following a search to mark a difference among the existing options available at the time and setting the challenge of being able to visit Antarctica without suffering the difficulties presented by navigating the “fearful” Drake Passage, a tourism product which joins the advantages of air and maritime transport in a unique and new combination was born. Several strategic partners were contacted in order to develop the concept of Antarctic fly-cruise, such as Aerovías DAP, a regional company with vast experience in flying to the White Continent and international ship owners for chartering an ice-class vessel. At this same time, there begins work in order to comply with the rules required to operate in Antarctica, and a request is made to be incorporated to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). ANTARCTICA XXI becomes the first Chilean Tour Operator to be a full member of this prestigious association and the first Chilean Tour Company ready to operate in the continent. In 2003 the first air-cruise trip to Antarctica in history takes place. In the following years a wise and careful growth policy has been followed, consolidating in this manner a clear vision of the future. The experience obtained has permitted a path of perfecting the various logistical aspects involved. The infrastructure used has also been improved by adding transport material that has made the tours increasingly more efficient. ANTARCTICA XXI has gained a high reputation of professionalism and reliability, both nationally and internationally. At present, ANTARCTICA XXI continues to be the leader operator in the world organizing air-cruises to Antarctica, promoting it’s trips as an exclusive “boutique” product which offers the opportunity of living the memorable experience of a custom-made four-star and environmentally responsible expedition.
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