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 Days 2-3 : Crossing the Drake Passage Days 4-8 : South Georgia Days 9-10 : Crossing the Scotia Sea Day 11 : Elephant Island Days 12-15 : South Shetland Islands / Antarctic Peninsula Days 16-17 : Crossing the Drake Passage Day 18 : Disembark in Puerto Williams / Fly to Punta Arenas, Chile
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.
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.
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.
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.
Day 12-15 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.
Apologies for the inconvenience. Prices for not yet published.
Below per person rate based on previous season.
Contact us to confirm upcoming season pricing.
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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.
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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.
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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).
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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.
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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
• 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
• 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.
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!