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Rockhopper penguins hanging out on the rocky coast.

South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey

Example 18 Day Cruise aboard Polar Pioneer
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Explore the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula on this exciting 18-day polar voyage aboard the Polar Pioneer. Embark in Ushuaia, Argentina, and follow in the footsteps of Shackleton as you witness peak summer wildlife activity, learn about whaling history, visit research stations, and land on the Antarctic continent. Disembark and tour Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands, before flying to Santiago or Punta Arenas, Chile. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark
Days 2-3 : Drake Passage
Days 4-7 : Antarctic Peninsula
Day 8 : Elephant Island
Days 9-10 : Scotia Sea
Days 11-14 : South Georgia
Days 15-17 : Scotia Sea
Day 18 : Falkland Islands | Disembark | Fly to Santiago or Punta Arenas


  • Experience Antarctica's peak summer wildlife activity
  • Zodiac cruise to the South Shetland Islands, seeking icebergs and penguins
  • Enjoy continental landings to penguin rookeries and historic sites
  • Kayak the nooks and crannies of South Georgia's coastline alongside seals
  • Cross the Scotia Sea and watch for the kelp-skirted Shag Rocks


Polar Pioneer

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Rockhopper penguins hanging out on the rocky coast. Albatross cruising the Drake Passage to Antarctica Mirrored reflection on our kayak excursion Unforgettable wildlife encounters An ocean of icebergs.

Day 1 Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark

Embark in Ushuaia in the late afternoon to a warm welcome before setting sail along the Beagle Channel.

Day 2-3 Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
The Drake Passage offers excellent birdwatching from the outer decks or the warm bridge. The expedition team presents Zodiac and environmental briefings as well as enlightening talks on Antarctica. Keen eyes watch for icebergs, penguins, seals, and cormorants as you approach your first landing in the South Shetland Islands.

Day 4-7 Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Awaken to the thrill of Antarctica, where your expedition team plans to visit busy penguin rookeries, historic sites, and make a continental landing. A host of choices are now open and depending on the ice and weather conditions the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula is yours to explore. Your experienced leaders, who have made countless journeys to this area, use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day. This allows you to make best use of the prevailing weather and ice conditions and wildlife opportunities. Use daylight hours as vigorously as possible to make the most of your day.

Day 8 Elephant Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit Elephant Island, where Shackleton’s men wintered beneath their upturned boats. With luck and weather permitting, go ashore to pay tribute to those hardy souls.

Day 9-10 Scotia Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
En route to South Georgia, follow in Shackleton’s wake across the Scotia Sea, and reflect on what you've seen and learned so far.

Day 11-14 South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Enjoy ample time to explore South Georgia’s spectacular northern coast, including the world’s largest king penguin rookeries and majestic albatross nests. Kayakers revel in paddling the coastline’s nooks and crannies, accompanied by playful seals. In Stromness and Grytviken harbors, 3000-meter peaks form dramatic backdrops to the remains of whaling stations. Kelp-strewn beaches are cluttered with basking elephant seals, feisty fur seals, and penguins.

Day 15-17 Scotia Sea

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Between South Georgia and the Falklands you may be entranced by the ceaseless flight of the many seabirds that follow in the ship's wake. Keep watch for the kelp-skirted Shag Rocks, a fascinating group of jagged rocky islets protruding from the sea.

Day 18 Falkland Islands | Disembark | Fly to Santiago or Punta Arenas

  • 1 Breakfast
Dawn greets you in the capital of the Falkland Islands/Maldivas: Stanley. Here, bid farewell to the 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

Per person starting at
Polar Pioneer's Triple Cabin.
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Triple Shared
Triple Cabins have two lower and one upper berth, a desk, a small washbasin, storage and hanging space and portholes. Showers and toilets are very close by and are shared with other Main Deck cabins.
Polar Pioneer's Public Twin Cabin.
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Twin Shared
Twin Shared Cabins have two lower bunks, a desk, small washbasin, ample storage and hanging space and portholes. Showers and toilets are very close by and are shared with other Main Deck cabins.
Polar Pioneer's Private Twin Cabin.
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Twin Private
Twin Private Cabins have two lower bunks, a desk, windows, and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Two cabins have upper and lower bunks (cabins 402 and 403).
Polar Pioneer's Mini Suite.
Select a Date
Mini Suite
Mini Suites have a separate small bedroom with double bed, a sofa bed in the main room, a desk, video player and TV, windows and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin.
Polar Pioneer's Captain Suite.
Select a Date
The Suite features a large lounge area, a separate small bedroom with double bed, a sofabed in the main room, a video player and TV, refrigerator, large forward and side facing windows, and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin.


Please note that all of Polar Pioneer itineraries are at the mercy of weather conditions and not all landings are guaranteed. These itineraries are flexible and will change voyage to voyage, allowing the best chance to make the most of surprising wildlife displays and unexpected opportunities.

- Rates represent costs per person, double or triple occupancy. Request the Twin or Triple Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.

- Single costs are 1.7 times the twin rate

Ushuaia to Santiago/Punta Arenas Inclusions:
• Luggage transfer from hotel in Ushuaia to Polar Pioneer on day of boarding
• Transfer from Polar Pioneer to Stanley airport, including tour of Stanley
• Flight from Stanley to Punta Arenas OR Santiago (no reduced fare for finishing in Punta Arenas)

Santiago/Punta Arenas to Punta Arenas Inclusions:
• Flight from Santiago or Punta Arenas to Stanley (no reduced fare for starting in Punta Arenas)
• Transfer from Stanley airport to Polar Pioneer, including tour of Stanley
• Transfer from Polar Pioneer to Puerto Williams airport, including Puerto Williams town and surrounds tour
• Flight from Puerto Williams to Punta Arenas

Voyage Inclusions:
• 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 your expert team
• Access to an on-board doctor and basic medical services
• Complimentary custom-designed Polar Expedition jacket
• Free gumboot rental during the voyage
• Daily cabin service
• An Aurora Expeditions' multi-purpose waterproof jacket
• Comprehensive pre-departure information
• Professionally produced voyage journal (one per booking)
• Port taxes and charges
• All entry fees to historic landings sites.

Voyage Exclusions:
• 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.


  • 17 Breakfasts, 16 Lunches, 17 Dinners
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