Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams / EmbarkFly from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams (included in cruise fare). Enjoy a guided tour of the rustic port and beautiful surrounds. Embark Polar Pioneer in the late afternoon for introductory and safety briefings, then sail along the Beagle Channel.
Drake PassageDrake Passage offers excellent birdwatching from the outer decks or the warm bridge. The expedition team presents Zodiac and environmental briefings, and enlightening talks on Antarctica. Keen eyes watch for icebergs, penguins, seals and cormorants as you approach your first landing in the South Shetland Islands.
Antarctic PeninsulaAwaken to the thrill of Antarctica, where your expedition team plans numerous visits to busy penguin rookeries, historic sites, and to make a continental landing. Upon arrival in the calmer waters of the Bransfield and Gerlache Straits, plan to make landings or Zodiac excursions two to three times a day. Days are spent cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, following whales that are feeding near the surface, and landing on the continent and its offshore islands to visit penguin rookies and seal haul-outs.
Elephant IslandVisit Elephant Island, where Shackleton’s men wintered beneath their upturned boats. With luck and weather permitting, go ashore to pay tribute to those hardy souls.
Scotia SeaFollowing in Shackleton’s wake, cross the Scotia Sea, possibly detouring to visit the remote South Orkney Islands if ice conditions allow. Take in a whole new perspective as you are surrounded by the surreal presence of floating ice sculptures.
South GeorgiaEnjoy ample time to explore South Georgia’s spectacular northern coast, including the world’s largest king penguin rookeries and majestic albatross nests. Kayakers revel in paddling the coastline’s nooks and crannies, accompanied by playful seals. In Stromness and Grytviken harbors, 3000-meter peaks form dramatic backdrops to the remains of whaling stations. Kelp-strewn beaches are cluttered with basking elephant seals, feisty fur seals and penguins.
Scotia SeaBetween South Georgia and the Falklands you may be entranced by the ceaseless flight of the many seabirds that follow the ship's wake. Keep watch for Shag Rocks, a fascinating group of jagged rocky islets protruding from the sea.
Stanley, Falkland Islands / DisembarkDawn greets you in the capital of the Falkland Islands: Stanley. Here, bid farewell to Polar Pioneer. Either spend more time exploring the Falkland Islands or continue on via an included flight to either Punta Arenas or Santiago, Chile. From there begin your independent journey home.