Today you make your own way to the group hotel where you will meet your fellow expeditioners and enjoy your first group dinner. Overnight at the hotel.
Fly from Punta Arenas, Chile to King George Island, Antarctica, to be warmly welcomed aboard Polar Pioneer. Settle in for safety and environmental briefings to prepare for landings as your expedition cruise sets off across Bransfield Strait.
Access to the Weddell Sea is totally ice-dependent. Calved from massive ice shelves, the tabular icebergs of Antarctic Sound create a memorable sight. The ice-strengthened Polar Pioneer, helmed by a highly-experienced Russian Captain, gives the best chance to thread through waters alive with penguins against a backdrop of breathtaking volcanic scenery.
Weather systems and shifting pack ice dictate the schedule. Perhaps visit the vast Adélie and gentoo penguin colonies of Brown Bluff or Paulet Island, fossil-rich Seymour Island, and historic Snow Hill Island. Or hike to spectacular vantage points on Beak and Devil Islands. The ship may even reach the islands of Prince Gustav Channel. Wherever you go, wildlife, Heroic Age relics, and haunting landscapes await.
Head for the Peninsula’s beautiful western flanks to make full use of the late summer daylight hours and relatively ice-free waters. Make wildlife offshore islands, a continental landing, visit historic huts, and Zodiac cruise amidst bergs. Whales are abundant as they prepare to migrate north. Listen carefully for the otherworldly courtship song of the leopard seal.
Petrels, prions and albatross accompany the ship across the Drake Passage. Final talks help polish your Antarctic education before making a ceremonial rounding of Cape Horn, time and weather permitting. Gather for a celebratory dinner as you enter the Beagle Channel.
A pre-dawn sail along the Beagle Channel and an early breakfast prepare for docking in Puerto Williams at dawn. Enjoy a tour of the rustic port and surrounds before boarding your flight to Punta Arenas, Chile.