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Elephant Seals hanging out on the beach.

The Shackleton Spirit 2015

Example 20 Day Cruise aboard Polar Pioneer
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Late summer offers the best chance to chart a course through the Weddell Sea’s shifting pack ice and vast tabular bergs, where Shackleton’s ship Endurance was trapped and crushed. Hope to explore fossil-rich islands, historic huts, and set foot on the continent before retracing Shackleton’s heroic journey to save his men – first to Elephant Island, then on through waters where blue, sei and fin whales roam. South Georgia offers nesting albatross, mating elephant seals, the world’s largest king penguin rookeries, and a visit to Shackleton’s grave.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Fly from Punta Arenas / Embark in Puerto Williams
Days 2-3 : Drake Passage
Days 4-6 : Into the Weddell Sea
Days 7-9 : Elephant Island / South Orkney Islands
Day 10 : South Georgia - King Haakon Bay
Days 11-13 : South Georgia Exploration
Days 14-16 : At Sea
Days 17-18 : Falkland Islands
Days 19-20 : Return to Ushuaia, Argentina

Ship

Polar Pioneer

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Elephant Seals hanging out on the beach. Albatross cruising the Drake Passage to Antarctica Kayakers in the waters of South Georgia. A beautiful view from the Polar Pioneer. Humpback whale in Antarctica

Day 1 Fly from Punta Arenas / Embark in Puerto Williams

Fly from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams (included in cruise fare). Enjoy a lovely tour of this scenic port town before stepping aboard Polar Pioneer to a warm welcome and a safety and introductory briefing before setting off down the Beagle Channel.

Day 2-3 Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As you cross Drake Passage, keep watch for giant petrels, wandering and black-browed albatross, and your first icebergs. Fur seals and penguins pepper the sea surface as you approach your first landing in the South Shetland Islands.

Day 4-6 Into the Weddell Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
An autumn dawn greets you in spectacular Antarctic Sound where you 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 the world-renowned fossil beds of Seymour, Vega and James Ross islands, and Nordenskjold’s Hut on Snow Hill Island.

Day 7-9 Elephant Island / South Orkney Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
So exposed is Cape Wild on Elephant Island, landings are rare, but your expedition team will try, if only to pay tribute to the man whose leadership kept Shackleton’s men alive for four months while awaiting rescue. Keep watch for great whales while sailing to South Georgia, with a possible detour to the remote South Orkney Islands.

Day 10 South Georgia - King Haakon Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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.

Day 11-13 South Georgia Exploration

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Marvel at one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles - king penguin rookeries half-million strong, chinstrap, gentoo and macaroni penguin colonies, wandering albatross on nests, and beaches thick with elephant and fur seals. Walk the final leg of Shackleton’s epic, from Fortuna Bay to Stromness, before visting “The Boss’s” grave and whaling museum in Grytviken.

Day 14-16 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Crossing the Scotia Sea, watch for whales and enjoy entertaining talks by your expedition team.

Day 17-18 Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In Stanley, the beautiful Falkland Islands capital, enjoy its excellent museum, post office, picturesque houses, welcoming shops and pubs. Sea Lion Island is home to extraordinarily diverse wildlife – from steamer ducks to Magellenic and rockhopper penguins, ruddy-headed geese and cormorants, elephant seals and sea lions.

Day 19-20 Return to Ushuaia, Argentina

  • 1 Breakfast
Magnificent seabirds accompany you as you pass Isla de los Estados and sail up the Beagle Channel to dock in Ushuaia at dawn. Disembark for your continued journey home.

Polar Pioneer

Per person starting at
$12,660
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.
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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.
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Suite
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.

Notes

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


Voyage Inclusions
· Flight from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams
· Transfer from Puerto Williams airport to Polar Pioneer, including Puerto Williams town and surrounds tour
· 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 on board doctor and basic medical services
· Loan of gumboots during the voyage
· Daily cabin service
· Comprehensive pre-departure information
· Professionally produced electronic voyage journal
· Port taxes and charges

Included

  • 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 Dinners
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