polar pioneer south georgia and antarctica cruise

In Shackleton's Footsteps

  • Overview

    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. We hope to 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.

    Duration: 18 days
    Passengers: 54 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    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; Embarkation Day

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

    • Day 2/3 - Drake Passage

      As we cross Drake Passage, we keep watch for giant petrels, wandering and black-browed albatross and our first icebergs. Fur seals and penguins pepper the sea surface as we approach our first landing in the South Shetland Islands.

    • Day 4/6 - Antarctic Peninsula

      An autumn dawn greets us in spectacular Antarctic Sound where we 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.

    • Day 7/9 - Scotia Sea

      So exposed is Cape Wild on Elephant Island, landings are rare, but we’ll try, if only to pay tribute to the man who’s leadership kept Shackleton’s men alive for four months while awaiting rescue. We keep watch for great whales while sailing the Scotia Sea to South Georgia.

    • Day 10/14 - South Georgia

      We 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.

      While our “Crossers” negotiate Shackleton’s historic route, we immerse ourselves 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. We 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.

    • Day 15/17 - At Sea

      Crossing the Scotia Sea, we watch for whales and enjoy entertaining talks by our expedition team as we cruise back towards the Falklands Islands/Malvinas. On this leg we are usually travelling into the prevailing weather so it is difficult to estimate our arrival time in the Falklands.

    • Day 18 - Punta Areas; Disembarkation

      Dawn greets us in the Falkland Islands/Malvinas capital, Stanley; where we bid farewell to Polar Pioneer. You have the option of either spending more time exploring the Falkland Islands or continuing on to Punta Arenas or Santiago, Chile.

    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

    Photography

    All of our expeditions and itineraries offer fantastic photography experiences, however on selected expeditions we offer specialised photography workshops with our expert photography guides.

    Included

    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 $1,350 per person

    South Georgia Alpine Crossing

    South Georgia offers a spectacular yet extreme mountain environment, which must be approached with great caution. Although the crossing does not involve any actual technical climbing, there is a steep ground crossing from the Tridents down to the Crean Glacier, as well as potential risks with crevasses.

    For the more experienced hiker or climber our South Georgia Alpine Crossing offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience and the chance to delve deep into some of the world’s most rugged and remote terrain.

    USD $2,150 per person

    Mountaineering

    Along the Antarctic Peninsula coastline, hundreds of peaks rise several thousand feet, snow-clad and beckoning eager adventure seekers. From ascents of alpine peaks to ice climbing, our program aims to give participants a taste of the region’s fantastic climbing opportunities.

    During the voyage we offer climbs for the moderately fit, from easy ascents to more technical routes, ranging from 4 to 10 hours. We hope to make at least two one-day alpine ascents and attempt some ice climbing. Previous experience with crampons and ice axe is necessary and a surcharge applies.

    USD $900 per person

    Falkland Islands

    Boasting rugged scenery and excellent wildlife opportunities, including the Black-browed albatross, Elephant seals and a number of penguin species not found in Antarctica.

    South Georgia; Wildlife Mecca

    One of the true wildlife experiences on our planet, often the wildlife displays here are referred to as the greatest on Earth. Set amongst awe inspiring scenery and home to King penguins, Wondering albatross and Elephant seals, it’s hard to imagine how early pioneers survived in this harsh landscape.

    Shoot to your shutter's content!

    For aspiring photographers, the best time to shoot the Antarctic landscape is definitely October, November and March. At these times the sun is much lower in the sky and thus creates beautiful twilight hues and shadows, which contrast the landscape magnificently.

    Of course, if it is wildlife and Antarctica’s babies you are hoping to shoot, then January and February are the best times. Alternatively, consider an early season South Georgia & Antarctica expedition for the best of wildlife and photo opportunities in Antarctica.

    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

    - Entry and landing fees while on board
    - Port taxes and charges
    - Professionally produced voyage journal
    - Comprehensive pre-departure information
    - 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 05 at 3.42.25 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    EXPEDITION 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

20 Mar 2019 - 06 Apr 2019
Triple public cabin, 3 x berths and shared facilities
USD $14,600pp
USD $14,600pp
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Twin Public

20 Mar 2019 - 06 Apr 2019
Twin cabin with shared facilities
USD $17,900pp
USD $15,215pp
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Twin Private Economy

20 Mar 2019 - 06 Apr 2019
Twin cabin, with private facilities and window
USD $20,600pp
USD $20,600pp
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Twin Private

20 Mar 2019 - 06 Apr 2019
Twin cabin, with private facilities and window
USD $21,700pp
USD $18,445pp
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Mini-Suite

20 Mar 2019 - 06 Apr 2019
Suite cabin with double bed, separate sitting room and private facilities
USD $24,000pp
USD $24,000pp
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Captain's Suite

20 Mar 2019 - 06 Apr 2019
Suite cabin with double bed, separate sitting room and private facilities
USD $25,400pp
USD $25,400pp
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