Day 1 – Beagle Channel Step aboard Polar Pioneer in Ushuaia in the late afternoon to a warm welcome, introductory briefing and an evening departure along the Beagle Channel with your shipmates. Days 2 to 3 – Drake Passage As we cross Drake Passage, we keep watch for giant petrels, wandering and black-browed albatross and our first icebergs. Fur seals and penguins pepper the sea surface as we approach our first landing in the South Shetland Islands. Days 4 to 6 – Antarctica Peninsula An autumn dawn greets us in spectacular Antarctic Sound where we may stop at towering Brown Bluff before pushing on into the Weddell Sea. There’s a strong fossil focus this time of year, as the pack ice movement may allow a continental landing and visits to the world-renowned fossil beds of Seymour, Vega and James Ross islands, and Nordenskjold’s Hut on Snow Hill Island. Days 7 to 9 – Scotia Sea So exposed is Cape Wild on Elephant Island, landings are rare, but we’ll try, if only to pay tribute to the man who’s leadership kept Shackleton’s men alive for four months while awaiting rescue. We keep watch for great whales while sailing the Scotia Sea to South Georgia. Day 10 – South Georgia We enter King Haakon Bay and attempt a ceremonial landing at Cave Cove, Shackleton’s first landfall before continuing up past Peggotty Bluff, where Shackleton, Worsley and Crean set off to cross the island. Days 11 to 14 – South Georgia While our “Crossers” negotiate Shackleton’s historic route, we immerse ourselves in one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles. King penguin rookeries half-million strong, chinstrap, gentoo and macaroni penguin colonies, wandering albatross on nests, beaches thick with elephant and fur seals. We hope to walk the final leg of Shackleton’s epic, from Fortuna Bay to Stromness, before visiting “The Boss’s” grave and whaling museum in Grytviken. Days 15 to 17 – Scotia Sea Crossing the Scotia Sea, we watch for whales and enjoy entertaining talks by our expedition team as we cruise back towards the Falklands Islands/Malvinas. On this leg we are usually travelling into the prevailing weather so it is difficult to estimate our arrival time in the Falklands. Day 18 – Falkland Islands/Malvinas Dawn greets us in the Falkland Islands/Malvinas capital, Stanley; where we bid farewell to Polar Pioneer. You have the option of either spending more time exploring the Falkland Islands or continuing on to Punta Arenas or Santiago, Chile.
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.
|South Georgia Alpine Crossing||Follow in Shackleton’s footsteps across South Georgia on skis. It takes up to three days, weather permitting. Alpine climbing experience is essential||US$1250|
|Buenos Aires 4-day stopover (3-star)||Buenos Aires, the elegant Capital of Argentina, is one of the largest cities in the world. This great metropolis renowned for its sophistication stands out for being the most cosmopolitan and European city in South America, displayed through its mixed architecture and diverse culture. The Tango ambience can still be felt here, from the outdoor performances in San Telmo or La Boca to the evening shows in glitzy theatres. This 4 day/3 night stopover includes 3-star accommodation with breakfast, return airport transfers, a tour of the city and an evening dinner and Tango show at one of the famed Tango houses. Note: Itinerary can be customised and based on higher-standard hotels on request. *Prices are per person share twin (contact us for single or triple prices) and are subject to change and surcharge for Christmas/New Year.||US$450|
|Climbing in Antarctica||Reach new heights in Antarctica! From easy ascents to more technical routes, our mountaineering and climbing activity is available for experienced climbers on our Antarctica expeditions.||US$900|
|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|
|Santiago 4-day Stopover (4-star)||Santiago - 4 days/3 night Chile’s charming capital is nestled on an inland plain, with the snow-capped Andes towering in the background. It is one of the most modern cities on the continent, yet still retains a colonial influence with many beautiful historical buildings and plazas. It is also a city surrounded by fertile wine-producing valleys and world-class ski resorts, and is within an hour’s drive of the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the fabulous museums, shops and restaurants. Your 3 night stay includes 4-star accommodation with breakfast, airport transfers, a half day private city tour and a shared full day tour to Viña del Mar and colourful Valparaiso on the coast. Prices shown are per person twin share and subject to change (contact us for single or triple pricing and other hotel standards). Itinerary can also be customised please contact us for details.||US$650|
|Antarctic Sale||Book selected 2017/18 Antarctica expeditions and save between US$1000 and $1500 on all cabin categories (subject to availability).||US$-1500|