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Christmas in Antarctica: Polar Pioneer

Enjoy the ultimate White Christmas on a special celebratory season voyage. Penguin chicks hatch, skuas are on alert, and late-bloomers try to finish off their nests. With 24 hours of daylight, we pack in continental landings, visits to historic sites and scientific stations, and perhaps an after-dinner Zodiac cruise. You could share protected channels with minke and humpback whales, kayak amongst ice floes and drift near curious wildlife or sleep like a true Antarctic explorer when you camp out on the ice!

Early Bird Discount

2018/19 Season: Save 10% - only off twin public and twin private (not economy) berths. Enter Promocode PP10 when making booking request.

  • Celebrate a white Christmas in Antarctica!
  • Sleepy seals haul out on ice floes
  • Visit historic sites and working scientific stations
  • Camp out under the midnight sun
  • Kayak alongside friendly penguins (surcharge applies)

Celebrate Christmas Antarctica-style! Experience the best of the peninsula's wildlife and landscapes, with some time for onboard celebrations!

Camping Activity (Free)

There is no better way to enjoy Antarctica’s stunning silence (barring the odd raucous penguin) than camping out in the open. Be a true Antarctic explorer and experience what it feels like to be camping out on ice!


Day 1 – Beagle Channel Enjoy a warm, late afternoon welcome from our friendly staff and Russian crew. You have time to settle into your cabin and explore the ship before our evening departure. Excitement lifts as we leave Ushuaia and set sail down the Beagle Channel, keeping watch for Magellanic penguins, dolphins and albatross. Days 2 to 3 – Drake Passage Fall in love with gliding albatross or the heroics of tiny storm petrels as we cross Drake Passage. Outer decks and our warm bridge offer excellent bird watching and our naturalist’s informative talks, safety and environmental guidelines prepare us for Antarctica. We have time to meet fellow travellers, relax and prepare for the days ahead. Keen eyes watch for icebergs, and the appearance of penguins and seals in the waters around us herald our first landing – in the South Shetland Islands. Days 4 to 9 – Antarctic Peninsula If weather permits, early risers are rewarded with spectacular views of ice-clad mountains along the Danco Coast, then soaring Anvers Island as we reach the Antarctic Peninsula. Over the next five days we explore penguin rookeries, historic sites and scientific stations and celebrate Christmas with our expedition 'family' in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. In Zodiacs we cruise amongst an iceberg fantasia, where seals bask on floes and our kayakers glide into secluded bays. Off the ship is where we like to be, even camping out one night if conditions allow. Thanks to the small number of expeditioners on board, spontaneity and flexibility is possible, enhanced enjoyment the result. Day 10-11 – Drake Passage We arrive at mountainous King George Island, the largest of the South Shetlands. Time and weather permitting, we explore Fildes Bay and visit the Russian Orthodox Trinity Church at Bellingshausen Station, before catching our charter flight back to Punta Arenas in Chile and transferring to our hotel. Day 12 – Punta Arenas Dawn greets us in the Beagle Channel. After breakfast, we disembark for a tour of Puerto Williams before boarding our flight to Punta Arenas. Additional Information: On arrival in Punta Arenas a transfer is included to a central hotel. It is advised that you overnight in Punta Arenas, but not mandatory. PLEASE NOTE: A typical itinerary to the Weddell Sea, Antarctic Peninsula is illustrated above. All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The Expedition Leader on board will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Average cruising speed of m/v Plancius is 10.5 knots.

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

Choose Date

Choose Number of Berths & Category

Date Selected: 18th Dec 2018


Adult (1) US$9100
Sub total US$9100

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

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.

Included

  • Luggage transfer from Ushuaia hotel to ship on Day 1
  • Town tour and transfers in Puerto Williams on Day 12
  • Flight from Puerto Williams, Chile to Punta Arenas, Chile on Day 12
  • Transfer from Punta Arenas airport to Aurora Expeditions preferred hotel on Day 12
  • 11 nights’ ship accommodation in your chosen cabin category with daily cabin service
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
  • Traditional Christmas lunch with all the trimmings
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac (inflatable boat) cruises
  • Educational lectures and guiding services from our expert team
  • Access to our on-board doctor and basic medical services
  • A custom-designed polar expedition jacket to keep
  • Free gumboot hire during the voyage
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Professionally produced voyage journal (one per booking)
  • Port and landing fees and charges

Excluded

  • Internal or domestic flights to or from the ship, unless specified
  • Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Visa, passport and vaccination fees
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
  • Hotels or meals not included in itinerary
  • Optional activity surcharges. Please contact us if you wish to book any optional activities
  • Any optional excursions not included in the itinerary
  • All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities and email or phone charges