polar pioneer scotland cruise

Wild Scotland

  • Overview
    From the Hebrides in the west, to inhospitable windswept specks of land like St Kilda and Foula, and to the Orkney and Shetland islands in the north, we’ll explore the intriguing diversity of Scotland’s wild islands. We plan to take in Neolithic sites scarcely changed in 5,000 years, and ponder the mystery of huge monoliths that marked seasonal change. We visit picturesque villages, haunted castles that once were stronghold of the Scottish clans; birders will delight in Europe’s largest sea bird colonies and the Orkney Islands will please whiskey amateurs with a wee dram of Scotland’s finest!
    Duration: 11 days
    Passengers: 54 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Oban, Scotland
    Disembarkation Point: Aberdeen, Scotland
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 0.0x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Oban, Scotland; Embarkation Day

      Our staff welcome you aboard Polar Pioneer in Oban.

    • Day 2/3 - Inner & Outer Hebrides

      Overnight, we travel to Iona, birthplace of Christianity in Britain and burial ground of early Scottish kings. At Staffa, we visit Fingal’s Cave, set amidst spectacular basalt columns, and learn why it inspired Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture. In the Cuillin Hills, spiritual heart of Skye, we follow a lonely track to Rubh’an Dunain, an ancient passage grave with a nearby Iron Age fort and stone lined canal, possibly built by Vikings. If conditions allow, we may take longer walks into the hills. Canna offers golden and sea eagles, basking sharks, dolphins, grey seals and puffins.

    • Day 4/6 - St Kilda

      Conditions permitting, we land on Hirta, in remote St Kilda, home to Europe’s most important seabird colony and Britain’s highest sea stacks. We learn of the incredible islanders, who survived here for nearly 5,000 years, and their heroic courtship rituals. On Lewis we visit the Callanish Stones, sombre slabs placed upright nearly 3,000 years ago to mark burial sites. A Zodiac cruise takes us to pure white beaches where the brave might swim and Bostadh’s reconstructed Iron Age house. We aim to visit Sula Sgeir and North Rona, tiny islands with dramatic coastlines, inhabited by breeding seals and seabirds.

    • Day 7/8 - Shetland Isles

      Closer to Norway than Scotland, the Shetland Isles played a strategic role in Viking conquests. We visit the capital, Lerwick, and explore the complex Stone, Bronze and Iron Age settlement of Jarlshof. On Mousa, we walk to the world’s best-preserved Iron Age structure known as a ‘broch’ and our historian recounts its importance. Foula’s five dramatic peaks dwarf its crofting hamlets and its cliffs are alive with kittiwakes, razorbills, fulmars and skuas. Papa Stour’s coastline offers Zodiac exploration of dramatic caves.

    • Day 9/10 - Orkney Archipelago

      Blessed with red, fertile soil, the Orkney archipelago has welcomed people since ancient times. From Kirkwall, we visit 5,000-year old archaeological wonders like Skara Brae, excavated less than 100 years ago. We view relics of Viking occupation and World War II curiosities, includIng the exquisite Italian Chapel, built from scrap by Italian POWs. We sail past the giant sea stack ‘Old Man of Hoy’. On Papa Westray we see the Knap of Howar, the oldest standing dwelling in Europe before continuing on Fair Isle, a birdwatchers’ paradise, where the few inhabitants still live in traditional crofts and welcome us to admire and buy their exquisite knitwear.

    • Day 11 - Aberdeen, Scotland; Disembarkation

      In Aberdeen, we disembark and bid farewell to Polar Pioneer staff and crew and fellow passengers.

    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


    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.

    AUD$ 1,520 per person

    Picturesque Scottish Isles

    Scotland’s Islands are some of the most idyllic in the world. Our voyages around the Scottish Islands navigate among the most beautiful seabird islands in the North Atlantic. Dolphins, porpoises, seals and whales may be sighted from the ship and landings allow us to see reindeer and Arctic fox.

    Sailings are timed to coincide with a profusion of wild flowers and the sea cliffs of the Scottish Islands should look like rock gardens with the pink and white of sea pinks and sea campion. In addition to their natural history we will also focus on their human history and artefacts, such as old whaling stations.

  • Inclusions

    Expedition Gear

    Complimentary custom-designed polar expedition jacket and use of gumboots during voyage

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Professional produced voyage log
    - Comprehensive pre-departure information
    - Port taxes & entry fees
    - Medical services on board
    - All shore excursions and lectures during the voyage
    - All meals and accommodation during the voyage

    Not included in your Expedition

  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 05 at 2.12.14 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel


    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
All available dates
Ready to book your expedition?

We understand that the trip of a lifetime takes planning, so we make the financial commitments easy to manage.

  • Confirm your booking today with just AUD$ 1,000 per passenger.
  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.
polar pioneer triple cabin

Triple Porthole

22 Jun 2019 - 02 Jul 2019
Triple public cabin, 3 x berths and shared facilities
AUD$ 7,400pp
AUD$ 7,400pp
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polar pioneer twin public cabin

Twin Public

22 Jun 2019 - 02 Jul 2019
Twin cabin with shared facilities.
AUD$ 8,900pp
AUD$ 7,600pp
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polar pioneer twin private cabin

Twin Private (Econ)

22 Jun 2019 - 02 Jul 2019
Twin cabin (bunks), with private facilities and window.
AUD$ 10,400pp
AUD$ 10,400pp
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polar pioneer twin private cabin

Twin Private

22 Jun 2019 - 02 Jul 2019
Twin cabin, with private facilities and window.
AUD$ 10,700pp
AUD$ 9,200pp
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polar pioneer mini suite cabin


22 Jun 2019 - 02 Jul 2019
Suite cabin with double bed, separate sitting room and private facilities.
AUD$ 11,800pp
AUD$ 11,800pp
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polar pioneer owner's suite cabin

Owner's Suite

22 Jun 2019 - 02 Jul 2019
Suite cabin with double bed, separate sitting room and private facilities.
AUD$ 13,500pp
AUD$ 13,500pp
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