In Shackleton's Footsteps Cruise

Andrew Halsall
A Base camp on Antarctica.
Andrew Halsall
Hiking through through the snow.
Peyton McCollum
King Penguins
Hannah Conduct
Penguins on a rocky beach in Antarctica.
Mark Jones
Heading out on a zodiac tour.
Polar Pioneer's dining room.
Polar Pioneer's bar and lounge.


  • 100-year anniversary of Shackleton's South Georgia crossing
  • Vast tabular icebergs in the Weddell Sea
  • Historic huts and whaling history
  • Fur seals, albatross & thousands of King penguins
  • Attempt to land at Elephant Island

On the 100-year anniversary of Shackleton's famous voyage, follow in the explorer's footsteps on this 18-day cruise. 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. 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

Embark in Ushuaia, Argentina

Step aboard Polar Pioneer in the late afternoon to a warm welcome, introductory briefing and an evening departure along the Beagle Channel with your shipmates.

Days 2-3

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Crossing the Drake Passage

As the ship crosses the 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 the ship approaches its 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 the ship 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 visits to 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

Elephant Island's Cape Wild is so exposed that landings are rare, but your capable crew may make an attempt, 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 the Scotia Sea to South Georgia.

Day 10

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

South Georgia

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 11-14

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

South Georgia Islands

While negotiating Shackleton’s historic route, immerse yourself in one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles. King penguin rookeries half-million strong, chinstrap, gentoo and macaroni penguin colonies, wandering albatross on nests, beaches thick with elephant and fur seals. Walk the final leg of Shackleton’s epic, from Fortuna Bay to Stromness, before visiting “The Boss’s” grave and whaling museum in Grytviken.

Days 15-17

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Crossing the Scotia Sea

Crossing the Scotia Sea, watch for whales and enjoy entertaining talks by the expedition team as the ship cruises back towards the Falklands Islands/Malvinas. This leg usually travels into the prevailing weather so it is difficult to estimate arrival time in the Falklands.

Day 18

  • Breakfast

Disembark in Stanley, Falkland Islands

Dawn greets you in the Falkland Islands/Maldivas capital: Stanley. Here, bid farewell to Polar Pioneer. Either spend more time exploring the Falkland Islands or continue on to Punta Arenas or Santiago, Chile.

 Triple SharedTwin SharedTwin PrivateMini SuiteSuite
Kayaking Option: $1,325
Alpine Crossing Option: $1,250
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

• 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)
• 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
• Loan of gumboots during the voyage
• Daily cabin service
• Comprehensive pre-departure information
• Aurora Expeditions waterproof jacket
• Professionally produced voyage journal (one per booking)
• Port taxes and charges
• All entry fees to historic landing 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.