In Shackleton's Footsteps

Polar Pioneer Cruise Ship
Polar Pioneer
56 Passengers
Adventure Options

Our emphasis is on highlighting aspects of Shackleton's voyage, unique wildlife encounters, exploring pristine landscapes, visiting sites of historical interest and the occasional visit to scientific stations. The Erebus & Terror Gulf and the Weddell Sea itself are home to huge tabular icebergs that have split from the Larsen, Ronne and Filchner ice shelves further to the south. Nestled amongst ice floes of the northern Weddell Sea is the little known Seymour Island. Locked away in its fossil-rich rocks is the story of the disappearance of the dinosaurs and the collapse of the mythical Gondwanaland. One of the aims of this voyage is to explore these fossil beds, as well as to enjoy the wildlife treasure chest of the northern Weddell Sea.

Polar Pioneer is not a luxury ship although she is very comfortable with well-appointed cabins and common areas. She is maneuverable and strong, ideally suited for the sea passages between the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. The bridge is open to us at all times unless there is some tricky navigational situation or we have a pilot onboard. Our actual program will vary to take best advantage of local conditions, spontaneous opportunities and wildlife. No two voyages are the same; there is always an element of the unexpected.


Voyage Highlights

- Subantarctic wildlife – albatross, king penguins, fur seals etc.
- Falkland Islands and the magnificent South Georgia.
- Historic sites, including Shackleton’s last resting place.
- Narrow sheltered waterways and fjords.
- Spectacular mountains rising directly from the sea, icebergs and active glaciers.
- The most accessible and wildlife-rich part of Antarctica - penguins, whales, seals, sea birds.
- Great variety of terrain over short distances.
- Opportunity to cross the mountains of South Georgia in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Day 1

Step aboard in the late afternoon to a cordial welcome, introductory briefing and an evening departure along the Beagle Channel. Settle into your homely cabin, explore the ship and enjoy a drink with your shipmates.

Day 2

Tune into the Southern Ocean as we cross Drake Passage. Our naturalist and historian inform us about Antarctica and the weeks ahead. Safety and environmental briefings prepare us for landings, while the outer decks and flying bridge offer the best vantage points for photography and wildlife viewing.

Day 3

The temperature plummets as we cross the biological boundary of the Antarctic Convergence. Cormorants, penguins and seals mark our approach to the South Shetland Islands, where we may well land.

Days 4 to 6

Sail through Antarctic Sound with its spectacular iceberg parade, and into the Weddell Sea. Along the way we may set foot on the Antarctic continent, watch for whales and seals in a sea of abundance, and visit magnificent penguins rookeries at the Antarctic Peninsula’s northern end. In the Weddell Sea we begin to trace Shackleton’s path.

Day 7

Approaching the steep slopes of Elephant Island, home to 22 of Shackleton’s men for four months, we hope for a clear view of the spot where the men wintered beneath upturned boats. With luck we go ashore to pay tribute to these hardy souls.

Day 8

Following in Shackleton’s wake, we sail across the Scotia Sea, we may detour to the remote, mountainous South Orkney Islands. Zodiac cruise through a maze of icebergs, landing at a beach decorated with autumnal-hued lichen-encrusted boulders.

Day 9

Time to reflect on all we’ve seen and learned, to prepare for the next phase of our journey as we continue across the Scotia Sea.

Day 10

We enter King Haakon Bay on South Georgia’s southern coast and may make a ceremonial landing at Cave Cove, Shackleton’s first landfall after his epic open boat voyage. We farewell our alpine crossing party here as they begin their own adventurous journey through the crevassed terrain of the island’s interior.

Days 11 to 13 - South Georgia

While the alpine party crosses the mountains and passes of South Georgia, the shipboard party explores the bays and promontories, reveling in the island’s extraordinary diversity of wildlife. We are spoiled for choice of landings: the world’s largest penguin rookeries, wandering albatross on nests, beaches of elephant and fur seals, and Grytviken’s whaling museum vie for our attention. You may choose to hike from Fortuna to Stromness, whose whaling station marked the ending of Shackleton’s arduous island crossing.

Days 14 to 16 - At Sea

Back to the Scotia Sea for a relaxing interlude. We continue our Antarctic education and wildlife watching en route to the Falkland Islands.

Day 17

Stanley, the Falklands undeniably British capital, features an excellent museum, post office, picturesque houses, welcoming shops and pubs. We will spend the morning exploring the beautiful capital of the Falkland Islands.

Day 18

Sea Lion Island offers a welcome opportunity to stretch our legs. Amongst a treasure trove of birdlife, Falkland Island steamer ducks and Magellanic penguins enliven walks through the tussock. There are cliff tops to explore, birds and southern sea lions to watch.

Day 19

Prions, petrels and albatross accompany us on the last leg of our voyage as we swap photos and stories and reflect on shared adventures.

Day 20

In the wee hours we sail up the Beagle Channel to dock in Ushuaia. A hearty breakfast and fond farewell prepare us for leave-taking and the next leg of our respective journeys.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates 2014-2015
Triple Shared
Twin Shared
Twin Private
Mini Suite
Captain's Suite
Kayaking
Option
Charter
Air
Photography, Kayak
-Limited Availability-
15% Discount on all remaining berths
$13,660
Full
$16,200
Full
$18,900
$16,065
$20,700
Full
$21,990
Full
$1,295
Full
 
Camp, Mountaineering, Photography, Kayak
15% Discount on all remaining berths
$8,700
Full
$10,290
Full
$11,550
Full
$12,900
Full
$14,290
Full
$995
Full
 
Kayak
-Limited Availability-
15% Discount on all remaining berths
$13,660
Full
$16,200
Full
$18,900
Full
$20,700
Full
$21,990
Full
$1,250
Full
 
Kayak
-Limited Availability-
15% Discount on all remaining berths
$13,660
Full
$16,200
Full
$18,900
Full
$20,700
Full
$21,990
Full
$1,250
Full
 
Camp, Kayak
-Limited Availability-
15% Discount on all remaining berths
$8,700
Full
$10,290
Full
$11,550
Full
$12,900
Full
$14,290
Full
$995
Full
 
Mountaineering, Kayak
Shackleton Crossing
-Limited Availability-
15% Discount on all remaining berths
$13,660
Full
$16,200
Full
$18,900
Full
$20,700
Full
$21,990
Full
$1,295
Full
 
Kayak
-Limited Availability-
15% Discount on all remaining berths
$7,100
Full
$8,750
Full
$10,200
Full
$11,300
Full
$12,600
Full
$925
Full
 
Kayak
Snorkeling
-Limited Availability-
15% Discount on all remaining berths
$7,100
Full
$8,750
Full
$10,200
Full
$11,300
Full
$12,600
Full
$925
Full
 
Kayak
15% Discount on all remaining berths
$12,660
Full
$15,200
$12,920
$17,900
Full
$19,700
Full
$20,990
Full
$1,295
Full
 
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Airfare Not Included. Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single costs are 1.7 times the twin rate.

Mandatory Flight for Fly/Cruise (Punta Arenas to Antarctica) and Cruise/Fly (Antarctica to Punta Arenas) - $1200
Optional Flight Punta Arenas / Falklands or Falklands / Punta Arenas $660

Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

Optional Activities: Kayaking $925-1295, South Georgia Alpine Crossing $1250, Climbing $250, Photography Free, Camping  Free.

Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Insurance Required. All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates 2015-2016
Triple Shared
Twin Shared
Twin Private
Mini Suite
Captain's Suite
Kayaking
Option
Charter
Air
Kayak
$14,300
 
$16,900
 
$19,800
 
$21,700
 
$23,090
 
$1,295
 
 
Camp, Mountaineering, Photography, Kayak
$8,310
 
$9,825
 
$11,025
 
$12,325
 
$13,650
 
$1,050
 
 
Camp, Kayak
$7,800
 
$9,600
 
$11,220
 
$12,430
 
$13,860
 
$995
 
 
Camp, Kayak
$7,800
 
$9,600
 
$11,220
 
$12,430
Full
$13,860
Full
$995
Full
 
Kayak
$14,300
 
$16,900
 
$19,800
 
$21,700
 
$23,090
Full
$1,295
 
 
Kayak
$14,300
 
$16,900
 
$19,800
 
$21,700
 
$23,090
 
$1,295
 
 
Camp, Kayak
$8,310
Full
$9,825
 
$11,025
 
$12,325
 
$13,650
 
$1,050
 
 
Kayak
$7,800
Full
$9,600
 
$11,220
Full
$12,430
 
$13,860
 
$1,050
 
 
Kayak
$7,800
 
$9,600
 
$11,220
 
$12,430
 
$13,860
 
$1,050
 
 
Mountaineering
$14,300
 
$16,900
 
$19,800
 
$21,700
Full
$23,090
 
$1,295
 
 
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

International Airfare Not Included. Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single costs are 1.7 times the twin rate.

Flights included for Fly/Cruise itineraries.

Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

Optional Activities: Kayaking $925-1295, South Georgia Alpine Crossing $1250, Climbing $450, Photography Free, Camping  Free.

Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Insurance Required. All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

Polar Pioneer Deck Plan