South Georgia and Weddell Sea

Polar Pioneer Cruise Ship
Polar Pioneer
56 Passengers
Adventure Options

Celebrating one of the greatest survival stories in Antarctic exploration, this voyage takes you into the wild Weddell Sea, where Ernest Shackleton planned to start a daring feat – the first crossing of Antarctica. We follow in his wake, albeit in comfort and safety, to Elephant Island and South Georgia, shining a light on his heroic voyage.

The Weddell Sea offers huge glaciers that pour down between the mountains from the polar plateau, and plates of ice the size of city blocks cover the ocean’s surface. We attempt to visit fossil-rich islands, wildlife havens, remnants of historic explorers’ huts, and even land on the Antarctic continent itself.

On South Georgia's windswept islands we see some of the world’s greatest wildlife sanctuaries. Famed for its abandoned whaling stations and Shackleton’s epic journey across the island's centre, South Georgia is home to millions of fur seals and penguins, wallows of elephant seals, herds of reindeer and nesting albatross.

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 naturalists 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 - 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, detouring 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 - 14

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 15 - 17

Back to the Scotia Sea for a relaxing interlude. We continue our Antarctic education and wildlife watching en route to 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 clifftops 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
Use the up/down arrows on your keyboard to adjust price.
Per Person USD
Rates 2014-2015
Triple Shared
Twin Shared
Twin Private
Mini Suite
Captain's Suite
Kayaking
Option
Charter
Flight
Photography, Kayak
$13,660
 
$16,200
 
$18,900
 
$20,700
 
$21,990
 
$1,295
 
 
Camp, Mountaineering, Kayak
$8,700
 
$10,290
 
$11,550
 
$12,900
 
$14,290
 
$995
 
 
Kayak
$13,660
 
$16,200
 
$18,900
 
$20,700
 
$21,990
 
$1,250
 
 
Kayak
$13,660
 
$16,200
 
$18,900
 
$20,700
 
$21,990
 
$1,250
 
 
Camp, Kayak
$8,700
 
$10,290
 
$11,550
 
$12,900
 
$14,290
 
$995
 
 
Mountaineering, Kayak
Shackleton Crossing
$13,660
 
$16,200
 
$18,900
 
$20,700
 
$21,990
 
$1,295
 
 
Kayak
Snorkeling
$7,100
 
$8,750
 
$10,200
 
$11,300
 
$12,600
 
$925
 
 
Kayak
$12,660
 
$15,200
 
$17,900
 
$19,700
 
$20,990
 
$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.

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
Use the up/down arrows on your keyboard to adjust price.
Per Person USD
Rates 2015-2016
Triple Shared
Twin Shared
Twin Private
Mini Suite
Captain's Suite
Kayaking
Option
Charter
Flight
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
 
$13,860
 
$995
 
 
Kayak
$14,300
 
$16,900
 
$19,800
 
$21,700
 
$23,090
 
$1,295
 
 
Kayak
$14,300
 
$16,900
 
$19,800
 
$21,700
 
$23,090
 
$1,295
 
 
Camp, Kayak
$8,310
 
$9,825
 
$11,025
 
$12,325
 
$13,650
 
$1,050
 
 
Kayak
$7,800
 
$9,600
 
$11,220
 
$12,430
 
$13,860
 
$995
 
 
Kayak
$7,800
 
$9,600
 
$11,220
 
$12,430
 
$13,860
 
$995
 
 
Mountaineering
$14,300
 
$16,900
 
$19,800
 
$21,700
 
$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.

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

Polar Pioneer Deck Plan