Embark in Ushuaia, ArgentinaStep aboard Polar Pioneer in the late afternoon to a warm welcome, introductory briefing and an evening departure along the Beagle Channel with your shipmates.
Crossing the Drake PassageAs the ship crosses the Drake Passage, keep watch for giant petrels, wandering and black-browed albatross, and our first icebergs. Fur seals and penguins pepper the sea surface as the ship approaches its first landing in the South Shetland Islands.
Into the Weddell SeaAn 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.
Elephant IslandElephant 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.
South GeorgiaEnter 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.
Grytviken, South GeorgiaImmerse yourself in one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles. Marvel at king penguin rookeries half-million strong, chinstrap, gentoo, and macaroni penguin colonies, wandering albatross on nests, and beaches thick with elephant and fur seals. Hope to walk the final leg of Shackleton’s epic, from Fortuna Bay to Stromness, before visiting “The Boss’s” grave and whaling museum in Grytviken.
Crossing the Scotia SeaCrossing 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.
Disembark in Sanley, Falkland IslandsDawn 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.