In Shackleton's Footsteps 2015 Cruise

Mark Jones
Kayakers in the waters of South Georgia.
Mark Jones
Elephant Seals hanging out on the beach.
An ocean of icebergs.
Sue Adams
An Albatross in the grass.
Sue Adams
A large colony of King Penguins.
Polar Pioneer's dining room.
Polar Pioneer's bar and lounge.
Celebrating one of the greatest survival stories in Antarctic exploration, this voyage takes you into the wild Weddell Sea, where Ernest Shackleton planned to start a daring feat – the first crossing of Antarctica. Follow in his wake, albeit in comfort and safety, to Elephant Island and South Georgia, shining a light on his heroic voyage. The Weddell Sea offers huge glaciers that pour down between the mountains from the polar plateau, and plates of ice the size of city blocks cover the ocean’s surface. Attempt to visit fossil-rich islands, wildlife havens, remnants of historic explorers’ huts, and even land on the Antarctic continent itself. On South Georgia's windswept islands see some of the world’s greatest wildlife sanctuaries. Famed for its abandoned whaling stations and Shackleton’s epic journey across the island's center, South Georgia is home to millions of fur seals and penguins, wallows of elephant seals, herds of reindeer and nesting albatross.

Day 1

    Embark in Ushuaia

    Step aboard in the late afternoon to a warm welcome, introductory briefing and an evening departure along the Beagle Channel. Settle into your homely cabin, explore the ship and enjoy a drink with your shipmates.

    Day 2

      Drake Passage

      Tune into the Southern Ocean as you cross the Drake Passage. Your naturalist and historians will inform you about Antarctica and the weeks ahead. Safety and environmental briefings prepare us for landings, while the outer decks and flying bridge offer the best vantage points for photography and wildlife viewing.

      Day 3

        Crossing the Antarctic Convergence

        The temperature plummets as you cross the biological boundary of the Antarctic Convergence. Cormorants, penguins and seals mark your approach to the South Shetland Islands, where you may well land.

        Days 4-6

          Weddell Sea

          Sail through Antarctic Sound with its spectacular iceberg parade, and into the Weddell Sea. Along the way set foot on the Antarctic continent, watch for whales and seals in a sea of abundance, and visit magnificent penguins rookeries at the Antarctic Peninsula’s northern end. In the Weddell Sea begin to trace Shackleton’s path.

          Day 7

            Elephant Island

            Approaching the steep slopes of Elephant Island, home to 22 of Shackleton’s men for four months, hope for a clear view of the spot where the men wintered beneath upturned boats. With luck go ashore to pay tribute to these hardy souls.

            Day 8

              South Orkney Islands

              Following in Shackleton’s wake, sail across the Scotia Sea, hoping to detour to the remote, mountainous South Orkney Islands. Zodiac cruise through a maze of icebergs, landing at a beach decorated with autumnal-hued lichen-encrusted boulders.

              Day 9

                Scotia Sea

                Time to reflect on all you’ve seen and learned, to prepare for the next phase of your journey as your ship continues across the Scotia Sea.

                Day 10

                  King Haakon Bay, South Georgia

                  Enter King Haakon Bay on South Georgia’s southern coast and may make a ceremonial landing at Cave Cove, Shackleton’s first landfall after his epic open boat voyage. Bid a farewell your alpine crossing party here as they begin their own adventurous journey through the crevassed terrain of the island’s interior.

                  Days 11-13

                    South Georgia exploration

                    While the alpine party crosses the mountains and passes of South Georgia, the shipboard party explores the bays and promontories, reveling in the island’s extraordinary diversity of wildlife. You will be spoiled for choice of landings: the world’s largest penguin rookeries, wandering albatross on nests, beaches of elephant and fur seals, and Grytviken’s whaling museum vie for your attention. You may choose to hike from Fortuna to Stromness, whose whaling station marked the ending of Shackleton’s arduous island crossing.

                    Days 14-16

                      At sea enroute to the Falkland Islands

                      Back to the Scotia Sea for a relaxing interlude. Continue your Antarctic education and wildlife watching en route to the Falkland Islands.

                      Days 17-18

                        Falkland Islands

                        In Stanley, 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

                          At Sea / Disembark

                          Magnificent seabirds accompany you as you pass Isla de los Estados and sail up the Beagle Channel to dock in Puerto Williams at dawn. Enjoy a tour of the lovely port before boarding your flight to Punta Arenas, Chile (included in cruise fare). Once arriving in Punta Arenas, begin your independent journey home.
                           Triple SharedTwin SharedTwin PrivateMini SuiteSuite
                          Kayaking Option: $1295
                          Alpine Crossing Option: $1250
                          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 are quoted in U.S. dollars and 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

                          General Voyage Inclusions
                          · Accommodation during the voyage
                          · Flight from Puerto Williams to Punta Arenas a the conclusion of the voyage
                          · Transfer from the ship to the Puerto Williams airport on day of disembarkation, including a town tour
                          · Luggage transfers from Ushuaia hotel to the ship on the day of departure
                          · All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during the voyage
                          · All shore excursions and Zodiac (inflatable boat) cruises
                          · Educational lectures and guiding services from our expert team
                          · Access to our 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