The Shackleton Spirit 2015 Cruise

Mark Jones
Elephant Seals hanging out on the beach.
Albatross cruising the Drake Passage to Antarctica
Mark Jones
Kayakers in the waters of South Georgia.
A beautiful view from the Polar Pioneer.
Steve Dolberg
Humpback whale in Antarctica
Polar Pioneer's dining room.
Polar Pioneer's bar and lounge.
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 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.

Days 2-3

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Drake Passage

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.

Days 4-6

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Into the Weddell Sea

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.

Days 7-9

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Elephant Island / South Orkney Islands

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

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

South Georgia - King Haakon Bay

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 11-13

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

South Georgia Exploration

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.

Days 14-16

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At Sea

Crossing the Scotia Sea, watch for whales and enjoy entertaining talks by your expedition team.

Days 17-18

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Falkland Islands

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.

Days 19-20

  • Breakfast

Return to Ushuaia, Argentina

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.

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