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  • Camping is an adventure option in Antarctica
    Camping is an adventure option in Antarctica
  • Trekking and climbing are offered
    Trekking and climbing are offered
  • Gentoo penguin greeting
    Gentoo penguin greeting
  • Polar Pioneer in Antarctica as Zodiac heads off
    Polar Pioneer in Antarctica as Zodiac heads off
  • Pristine Antarctic scenery
    Pristine Antarctic scenery
  • Experience solitude and magnificent light!
    Experience solitude and magnificent light!
  • Excitement builds as we approach Antarctica!
    Excitement builds as we approach Antarctica!
  • Kayaking is an Antarctic adventure option
    Kayaking is an Antarctic adventure option
  • Young elephant seal
    Young elephant seal

Spirit of Antarctica: Polar Pioneer

Antarctic adventures are best enjoyed midsummer, when near-midnight sun powers an explosion of life along the shore and brightens the thought of camping out, early alpine climbing starts or extended kayaking trips. Penguin highways are busy with traffic as parents hurry to fatten chicks and waterways are alive with whales and seals. We visit historic sites and step onto the most spectacular continent on Earth.
  • Penguin colonies alive with nest building
  • Zodiac cruise amoungst water-sculpted icebergs
  • Step ashore the Antarctic continent!
  • Visit historic huts and scientific stations
  • Antarctic marine life - seals and whales
  • Kayak, climb, camp or snorkel!

Day 1 - Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams Day 1 Fly from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams. Enjoy a guided tour of the rustic port and beautiful surrounds. Embark Polar Pioneer in the late afternoon for introductory and safety briefings, then set sail along the Beagle Channel. Days 2-3 - Drake Passage Our Drake Passage crossing offers cape petrels darting about the ship, black-browed and wandering albatross soaring, and Wilson’s storm petrels flitting above the sea. Learn about Antarctica from our expert naturalist and safety and environmental guidelines from our expedition team as we prepare for our first landing, possibly late on Day 3. Days 4-9 - Antarctica An overnight passage along Gerlache Strait delivers us to the stunning Antarctic Peninsula, an ethereal wonderland of vast proportions. Aboard Zodiacs, we explore penguin rookeries, historic sites and scientific stations and cruise near exquisite icebergs. Our kayakers glide into secluded bays, climbers ascend pristine peaks and our snorkellers delight in marine discoveries. Stepping ashore on the continent creates an everlasting memory. We make the most of every day and a fair bit of each night. A curious leopard seal cruising amongst spectacular icebergs may mean postponing lunch (ours, not the leopard seal’s); loading Zodiacs after dinner for an orca cruise. If the weather allows, we may even sleep-out on the ice – a must for any Antarctic explorer! Days 10-11 - Drake Passage As the Captain steers the ship north across Drake Passage, our minds and souls revel in rich Antarctic experiences. There’s time to watch for seabirds, enjoy entertaining talks, discuss what we’ve seen and learned, exchange photos and stories. With luck, we may make a ceremonial rounding of Cape Horn before sharing a farewell dinner. Day 12 - Ushuaia We enjoy a gentle cruise along the Beagle Channel in the early morning. Disembark after breakfast for onward travel or to savour more time in Ushuaia. Please note that all of our itineraries are at the mercy of weather conditions and not all landings are guaranteed. Our itineraries are flexible and will change voyage to voyage, allowing the best chance to make the most of surprising wildlife displays and unexpected opportunities. Kayaking Option If you’re an intermediate kayaker, are active in the outdoors and have an adventurous spirit, join us as we paddle between ice floes, brash ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes. Quiet enough to hear a whale blow or leopard seal sing! Kayaking (including drysuit) is available to intermediate paddlers. A surcharge applies. Camping Option Real Antarctic heroes sleep on ice! There’s no better way to experience Antarctica’s stunning silence and mesmerising, often colourful night sky. Camping is our most popular optional activity, with some passengers camping for the very first time in their lives. Camping is free and organised onboard our ship, totally dependent on weather and schedule. We provide all the equipment you need. Photography Antarctica and the Arctic are a photographers dream. Whether it be sitting quietly in the middle of a penguin rookery, visiting quaint historic sites or enjoying the thrill of breaching whale or polar bear in pack ice, there are an overwhelming number of opportunities to snap to your heart’s content. Catering to both amateurs and the more serious photographer, our on board professionals deliver Canon-accredited photography workshops and one-on-one instruction from the deck or Zodiacs and during landings. Expeditions are strictly limited to 54 passengers offering you an intimate, personal experience and more opportunities to get out amongst the nature and wildlife. Climbing At the cutting edge of climbing exploration in the Antarctic Peninsula, our guides have forged new routes on many of the continents magnificent peaks. From first ascents to ice climbing on grounded icebergs, we cater to all levels of expertise and interests. On voyages with our climbing option, we plan to make at least two one-day alpine ascents and have a go at ice climbing where possible. Polar Snorkelling This is your chance to don a dry-suit and take the ultimate plunge into the icy waters of Antarctica for an up-close underwater experience. Not for the faint-hearted!

Expedition Vessel: Polar Pioneer

Polar Pioneer is a small and sturdy expedition ship and a regular in polar waters. Built in Finland in 1985 as an ice- strengthened research vessel, she was refurbished in 2001 to provide a comfortable range of triple, twin and suite cabin options for a maximum of 54 expeditioners. Her excellent reputation for polar expedition cruising is due to her strength, maneuverability and size, allowing her to access areas where larger vessels simply can’t reach.

For full information about this vessel click here:

deckplans for ship

Dates, Costs & Booking

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Choose Number of Berths & Category

Date Selected: 6th Jan 2019

Adult (1) US$9700
Sub total US$9700

Expedition Options

Name Description Price
Skiing in Antarctica Our new Ski Touring activity will set the adventurers apart from the pack as they clip in and take off to explore Antarctica & South Georgia’s untouched terrain. US$900
Snowshoeing in Antarctica Snowshoeing is our new and unique way to explore Antarctica. Snowshoeing makes walking up gentle slopes a breeze, allowing you to explore places others struggle to reach in boots alone. US$250
Kayaking option Antarctica Kayaking in the far-flung corners of the world is an experience guaranteed to refresh your soul. Paddling in small groups, glide between ice floes, brash ice and icebergs dotted with wildlife. (Price varies according to departure date) US$1050
Antarctic Sale Book selected 2017/18 Antarctica expeditions and save between US$1000 and $1500 on all cabin categories (subject to availability). US$-1500

Essential Information

Prices and Share Policy Prices quoted are per person in US$, based on twin-share. Single occupancy is 1.7 times the twin share price. No single travel fees apply if you are willing to share your cabin (triple & twin cabins only). Fuel surcharge may apply in the event of significant fuel price increases. No refund for unused services. Deposits Reservations require a deposit of $2500 per person at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 90 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments Balances are due 90 days prior to departure. You will be invoiced at the appropriate time. Balance payments can be made by bank transfer or on request by major credit card, subject to a 2% surcharge. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations made before 90 days of voyage departure are subject to a non-refundable deposit of $2500, however your deposit may be transferred towards a different voyage on board Polar Pioneer at a fee of $500. Transfers are subject to availability and are only valid on voyages that depart within 12 months from date of transfer. You must pay the difference between the original booked price and the price of any transferred booking including the new deposit amount. If cancellation occurs less than 90 days prior to departure, you will be required to pay for the full cost of the trip. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Aurora Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking along with a separate Booking Form.


  • Accommodation during the voyage.
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during the voyage.
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac (inflatable boat) cruises.
  • Flight from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams.
  • Transfer from Puerto Williams airport to Polar Pioneer, including Puerto Williams town and surrounds tour.
  • Luggage transfer from hotel in Ushuaia to Polar Pioneer on day of boarding.
  • Educational lectures and guiding services from our expert team.
  • Access to our on board doctor and basic medical services.
  • Loan of gumboots during the voyage.
  • Daily cabin service.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information.
  • Professionally produced electronic voyage journal.
  • Port taxes and charges.


  • Air transport or transfers to and from the ship, not included in the above.
  • Visa, passport and vaccination charges and airport departure taxes.
  • Hotels and meals not included in cruise itinerary.
  • Optional excursions not included in the cruise itinerary.
  • Laundry, postage, personal clothing, medical expenses, personal travel insurance and items of a personal nature such as bar charges and phone calls.
  • Emergency evacuation charges.