plancius antarctic circle cruise

Across the Antarctic Circle

  • Overview
    Crossing the geographical milestone of the Antarctic Circle is a moment to celebrate, and we do so with enthusiasm. In this frozen area of extraordinary beauty, powerful orcas and leopard seals patrol the waters, while ethereal snow petrels grace the skies against a backdrop of bristling mountain ranges and surreal icebergs. Threading our way through an intricate system of icy waterways, we aim for the glorious Crystal Sound at the mouth of The Gullet.
    Duration: 11 days
    Passengers: 54 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Punta Arenas, Chile
    Disembarkation Point: Punta Arenas, Chile
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Mandatory extra flight
    Single Supplement: 1.7x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Ushuaia (or Punta Arenas); Embarkation Day

      Step aboard Polar Pioneer in Ushuaia and settle into your comfortable cabin. There is time to greet fellow passengers and explore the ship before evening cruise down the Beagle Channel.

      NOTE: Some departures will start with a flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island and will sail back to Ushuaia.

    • Day 2/3 - Drake Passage

      We cross the Drake Passage, accompanied by albatross, petrels, fulmars and prions. Our polar experts speak about Antarctica’s unique wildlife and history, and prepare us for landings with environmental and Zodiac briefings.

      All eyes are peeled for first iceberg, first penguin and first glimpse of land, the mercurial sea stacks outlying the South Shetland Islands. If conditions allow, we go ashore this afternoon.

    • Day 4/9 - Antarctic Peninsula

      We explore the Peninsula’s west coast, with the frenzied activities of penguin parents and chicks as the summer days begin to shorten. Cormorant chicks bravely making their first flights from sea cliffs. Zodiac cruise amongst ice floes replete with basking Weddell and leopard seals and revel in unparalleled beauty of Antarctica’s landscape. We make a continental landing, possibly hiking up for spectacular views.

      As we continue south, ice conditions govern our movements. Whether we cross the Circle via the 'inner route' or the Bellingshausen Sea, we celebrate in style. With luck we reach magnificent Crystal Sound, pass through the Gullet and steam on to Marguerite Bay. Orcas, humpbacks and minkes feed in the channels. If ice conditions allow, we may visit historical Stonington, Pourquoi Pas and Detaille islands before turning north to warmer climes.

    • Day 10 - King George Island

      We arrive at mountainous King George Island. If time and weather permit we explore penguin and seal-rich waters of Fildes Bay and visit the surprising Trinity Church at Bellingshausen Station, before catching our charter flight back to Punta Arenas in Chile, where we transfer to our overnight accommodation.

    • Day 11 - Punta Arenas (or Ushuaia); Disembarkation

      After breakfast bid farewell to fellow expeditioners before continuing on with your own arrangements.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your Captain and Expedition Leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Polar Diving

    The icy waters of Antarctic and the Arctic guarantee amazing new experiences.

    Antarctic diving reveals a world of ice, where glaciers, gigantic icebergs and a unique blend of marine life greet us, whilst the possible presence of walrus and polar bears makes Arctic diving a very special experience. With numerous diving opportunities along your voyage, no two days will be alike – a truly inspiring and unforgettable experience awaits.

    Min. Experience requirement of 20 logged dry-suit dives

    USD 975 per person

    Kayaking

    One of the most unique ways to experience Antarctica and the Arctic.

    The experience of sea kayaking in the humbling wilderness of Antarctica or the European Arctic is guaranteed to stir your soul. Paddle between brash ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes, skim past penguin rookeries or under soaring bird cliffs, or drift quietly as you watch wildlife unobtrusively, absorbing the majestic scenery.

    USD 1,050 per person

    Polar Snorkeling

    Witness wildlife and scenery unlike any other place on earth. Through crystal clear waters you'll discover the amazing mobility and speed of penguins entering and exiting from the ice, marvel at beautiful sculpted icebergs below the water and witness marine life such as crustaceans, isopods, starfish and nudibranchs!

    USD 600 per person

    Antarctica's Babies

    During January and February Antarctica's babies are born and fledging, its a magical time as new
    life comes to Antarctica. The experience of seeing newly hatched penguins and seals pups just days old, is an
    experience that will last forever.

    Cross the Antarctic Circle

    The moment you step foot into the circle, you’ll have a deep sense of wonder knowing you’ve just trodden where few have gone before. When you’re this far south, nature bares its secrets.

    South Shetland Islands - Antarctica's Capital

    The South Shetland Islands are the undisputed capital of Antarctica, with some 12 different nations having research bases on the islands. Located on the very northern reaches of the Antarctic, the islands comprise of some of the Antarctic Peninsula prized sited, including; Elephant Island, Deception Island and Penguin Island. As the islands are further north, they are more temperate and thus home to large numbers of wildlife, the islands offer a great diversity of Antarctic landscape, geology and sights of interest including the King George Island airport and Russian Orthodox Church. For most cruises the islands will almost always be the first glimpse of Antarctica you will have from the decks of your expedition vessel.

    Fly/Cruise voyage

    Our Fly/Cruise programs an excellent choice to navigate the Drake Passage quickly. This expedition comprises of 1 or 2 charter flights across the Drake Passage, so you need not worry about crossing the passage by sea. These expeditions are great options and often allow for an increased amount of time around the continent.

  • Inclusions

    Expedition_Gear

    On board you will be provided with expedition boots and a highquality wind and waterproof expedition jacket

    Photography Workshops

    Catering to both amateurs and the more experienced photographers, our onboard team of photography guides deliver photography workshops and one-on-one instruction from the deck or Zodiacs and during landings.

    Charter Flight

    Your expedition on board the Polar Pioneer includes a charter flight to/from the ship

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Comprehensive pre-departure information
    - Entry and landing fees while on board
    - Port taxes and charges
    - Professionally produced voyage journal
    - All shore excursions and lectures
    - All accommodation and meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Items of a personal nature such as; Beverages / Laundry / Medical expenses / Gratuities / Internet & Wifi
    - Optional excursion and activity surcharges
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Visa & Passport charges
    - Arrival and departure taxes
    - Transfers not specified in the itinerary
    - International and domestic airfares to or from ship unless specified
  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 04 at 5.23.53 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    POLAR PIONEER

    Polar Pioneer is one of the most popular style of vessels currently used in Antarctica and the Arctic. Originally built as an ice-strengthened research vessel in Finland in 1982, she was refurbished in 2000 and converted into a passenger ship for expeditions to the Polar Regions. Polar Pioneer’s excellent reputation for polar expedition cruising is due to her strength, manoeuvrability and size. She is small and nimble, which means she can sail up close to landing sites and venture where other, larger ships can’t. Carrying just 54 passengers, she allows us to offer you a far more personal and intimate experience of the destination we are visiting.

    Features & Facilities
    • Basic accommodation
    • Lounge bar
    • Spacious viewing platforms and decks
    • Presentation room
    • Sauna
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 3
    Guests #: 54
    Crew #: 23
    Ice Class: 1A
    Speed: 14
    Refurbished: 2000
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 1982
    Length: 71m
    Width: 13
    Draft: 4
    Tonnage: 1753
    Registry: Russia
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability

Triple

07 Feb 2018 - 17 Feb 2018
Triple public cabin, 3 x berths and shared facilities
USD 9,500pp
USD 9,500pp

Twin Public

07 Feb 2018 - 17 Feb 2018
Twin cabin with shared facilities
USD 11,200pp
USD 11,200pp

Twin Private

07 Feb 2018 - 17 Feb 2018
Twin cabin, with private facilities and window
USD 13,500pp
USD 13,500pp

Mini-Suite

07 Feb 2018 - 17 Feb 2018
Suite cabin with double bed, separate sitting room and private facilities
USD 14,500pp
USD 14,500pp

Captain's Suite

07 Feb 2018 - 17 Feb 2018
Suite cabin with double bed, separate sitting room and private facilities
USD 15,900pp
USD 15,900pp