Polar Pioneer in Antarctica

Across the Antarctic Circle: Polar Pioneer

Antarctica

Celebrate crossing latitude 66° 33’ South in the wake of hallowed explorers including the first to do so, Captain James Cook. In this frozen area of extraordinary beauty, powerful orcas and leopard seals patrol, while ethereal snow petrels grace the skies against a background of bristling mountains and surreal icebergs. Threading our way through an intricate system of icy waterways, we aim for the glorious Crystal Sound at the mouth of The Gullet. It’s midsummer, moulting time for penguins and flight school for cormorant chicks

  • Spectacular seabirds
  • South Shetland Islands
  • Chinstrap and Adélie penguins
  • Fur and elephant seals
  • International scientific stations
  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Circle Crossing celebration
  • Rare glimpse of southern regions
  • Historic sites
  • Continental landing
  • Kayaking and diving options

Sale

20% discount on remaining berths while space lasts! Quote Promocode PP20.

Stewart's Take

A Fly/Cruise option, saving time on the Drake Passage to allow for more time exploring Antarctica and cruising beyond the Polar Circle!

Overview

Celebrate crossing latitude 66° 33’ South in the wake of hallowed explorers including the first to do so, Captain James Cook. In this frozen area of extraordinary beauty, powerful orcas and leopard seals patrol, while ethereal snow petrels grace the skies against a background of bristling mountains and surreal icebergs. Threading our way through an intricate system of icy waterways, we aim for the glorious Crystal Sound at the mouth of The Gullet. It’s midsummer, moulting time for penguins and flight school for cormorant chicks.
Day 1 - Ushuaia, Argentina Step aboard your home-away-from-home and settle in to your comfortable cabin. There is time to greet fellow passengers, meet the staff and explore the ship before we leave Ushuaia for our evening cruise down the Beagle Channel. Day 2 - Drake Passage We cross the Drake Passage, accompanied by albatross, petrels, fulmars and prions. Our polar experts speak about Antarctica’s unique wildlife and history and prepare us for landings with environmental and Zodiac briefings. Day 3 - Antarctic Convergence and South Shetland Islands Spirits soar as air and water temperatures fall, marking our crossing of the Antarctic Convergence. All eyes are peeled for the first iceberg, the first penguin and the first glimpse of land, the mercurial sea stacks outlying the South Shetland Islands. If conditions allow, we go ashore this afternoon. Days 4-9 - Antarctic Peninsula We explore the Peninsula’s west coast, with time to watch the frenzied activities of penguin parents and chicks as the summer days begin to shorten. Watch for imperial cormorant chicks bravely making their first flights from sea cliffs. Zodiac cruise amongst icebergs and floes replete with basking Weddell and leopard seals and revel in the unparalleled beauty of vast, Antarctic landscape. Besides landing on wildlife-rich offshore islands, we make a continental landing, possibly hiking up for spectacular views. As we continue south, ice conditions govern our movements. Whether we cross the Circle via the ‘inner route’ or the Bellingshausen Sea, we celebrate in style. With luck we reach magnificent Crystal Sound, pass through the Gullet and steam on to Marguerite Bay, where relatively few have gone before. Orcas, humpbacks and minkes feed in the channels. We may visit historical Stonington, Pourquoi Pas and Detaille islands before turning north to warmer climes. Day 10 - King George Island/Punta Arenas, Chile We arrive at mountainous King George Island. If time and weather permit we explore penguin and seal-rich waters of Fildes Bay and visit the surprising Trinity Church at Bellingshausen Station, before catching our charter flight back to Punta Arenas in Chile. On arrival into Punta Arenas we will be transferred to our hotel, where tonight’s accommodation is included. Day 11 - Punta Arenas, Chile Enjoy breakfast with your fellow expeditioners in the hotel before saying your farewells and continuing with your own arrangements. 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. Reverse itinerary The above itinerary is for the first Across the Antarctic Circle departure and includes a flight from King George Island, Antarctica to Punta Arenas, Chile and one night accommodation post-voyage. The second departure operates in reverse starting in Punta Arenas with one night accommodation pre-voyage and a flight to King George Island, Antarctica, ending in Ushuaia. Please contact us for a detailed itinerary.

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:

Included
  • Luggage transfer between Ushuaia hotel and Polar Pioneer on day of voyage departure
  • Luggage transfer between Polar Pioneer and King George Island airstrip
  • Flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas or vv
  • Transfer from Punta Arenas airport to hotel or vv
  • One night accommodation in Punta Arenas
  • Accommodation during the voyage
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during the voyage
  • 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
  • Loan of gumboots during the voyage
  • Daily cabin service
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Aurora Expeditions waterproof jacket
  • An Antarctic wildlife guide
  • A printed photo book produced with imagery from your voyage (one per booking)
  • Port taxes and charges
  • All entry fees to historic landings sites
Excluded
  • International or domestic flights to or from ship, unless specified
  • Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Visa, passport, and vaccination charges
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
  • Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
  • Optional excursions not included in the itinerary
  • Optional activity surcharge. Please contact us if you wish to book any optional activities, such as sea kayaking
  • 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
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.
Booking Request
Back To Top

Expeditions Online Newsletter

Sign up to be an Expeditions Online insider and receive info on exclusive deals, discounts and more!