Scotia Sea Springtime Cruise

Andrew Halsall
Zodiac tour through the icebergs.
Andrew Halsall
A woman posing on the snow in front of penguins.
Andrew Halsall
A Base camp on Antarctica.
The Polar Pioneer sits off a beach that is covered in penguins.
Mirrored reflection on our kayak excursion
Polar Pioneer's dining room.
Polar Pioneer's bar and lounge.


  • World's largest king penguin rookeries
  • Basking elephant seals and fur seals
  • Albatross courtship
  • Visit Shackleton's grave
  • Land on Antarctica & daily excursions
  • Tour of Puerto Williams & flight to Punta Arenas
  • Included flight to Stanley, Falkland Isl.

As the days grow longer, the mountains shed their snowy mantle, king penguins shuffle eggs on their feet, elephant seals pup, and fur seals are rambunctious. Currents of krill sweep up from the Weddell Sea, providing food for one of the greatest wildlife concentrations on the planet. Join this 18-day voyage to immerse yourself in whaling history, visit Shackleton’s grave, and then reverse his route to Elephant Island. Finish off by exploring the spectacular Antarctic Peninsula, photographing penguins, seals, whales and historic sites and hopefully stepping onto the continent itself before crossing Drake Passage to Puerto Williams.

Day 1

Punta Arenas, Chile / Fly to Stanley, Falklands / Embark

Fly from Santiago or Punta Arenas, Chile, and explore the historic Falkland Islands’ capital, Stanley before embarking Polar Pioneer in the late afternoon.

Days 2-3

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Crossing the Drake Passage

At sea, albatrosses, giant petrels and tiny Wilson’s storm petrels escort the ship, bound for South Georgia. On-board naturalists and historians enliven the crossing with informative talks. Meanwhile, keep a watchful eye out for seabird-peppered shag rocks.

Days 4-8

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

South Georgia

Spring brings an explosion of life to South Georgia and there is ample time to explore the island’s spectacular northern coast. Visit wildlife havens that include the world’s largest king penguin rookeries, majestic albatross nests, and beaches cluttered with basking elephant seals, feisty fur seals, and penguins. Inspired by Shackleton’s epic, hope to retrace the expedition’s final steps from Fortuna Bay to Stromness.

Days 9-10

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Crossing the Scotia Sea

Crossing the Scotia Sea, watch for seabirds, icebergs, and great whales, including blues, fin and sei. Take some time to reflect on South Georgia and prepare for Antarctica, the next leg of your adventure.

Day 11

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Elephant Island

Conditions permitting, approach Cape Wild - a bleak, rocky spit along Elephant Island's dramatic north coast. Join a Zodiac cruise and possibly even step ashore to pay tribute to Shackleton's 22 men who survived 4 months on the island.

Days 12-15

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

South Shetland Islands / Antarctic Peninsula

Hope to land in the South Shetland Islands before sailing down Gerlache Strait, and awaken to the drama of Antarctica. Encounter pack ice and penguin rookeries which are alive with courtship, mating, and nest-building. Visit historic sites and land on the continent proper.

Days 16-17

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Crossing the Drake Passage

Return to the realm of the albatross. Enjoy some time to celebrate and reflect as you head north across the Drake Passage.

Day 18

  • Breakfast

Disembark in Puerto Williams / Fly to Punta Arenas, Chile

Dawn greets you in the Beagle Channel. Dock in Puerto Williams before a tour of the town. Board your flight to Punta Arenas to continue your independent homeward journey.

 Triple SharedTwin SharedTwin PrivateMini SuiteSuite
Kayaking Option: $1,325
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 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
• 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 the expert team
• Access to an on board doctor and basic medical services
• Loan of gumboots during the voyage
• Daily cabin service
• Comprehensive pre-departure information
• Aurora Expeditions waterproof jacket
• A printed photo book produced with imagery from your voyage (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.