The Polar Pioneer; built in Finland in 1985, as an ice-strengthened research ship, specifically for exploring polar waters. The highly-experienced Russian captain and crew are amongst the best navigators in the World. The Polar Pioneer provides comfortable accommodation for 54 passengers and has a variety of public areas, including the bridge, outer decks (ideal for viewing spectacular polar landscapes and wildlife), lecture room, dining rooms as well as a lounge/bar, library and sauna. The delicious meals are prepared by international chefs. There are 5 cabin types (all cabins have ocean views) triple & twin with shared facilities and twin with private facilities. The mini suite and the captain’s suite both offer a double bed and private facilities.
Each ship will offer a slightly different cruise itinerary which may include a flight sector or pre embarkation accommodation. Itineraries vary in duration, additional or less time being spent in the Antarctic Circle. All voyages are expeditions and are dependent on local weather and ice conditions.
Terms and conditions apply. Please contact Antarctic Travel Specialists for full details and departure dates.
You will board Polar Pioneer in Ushuaia and settle in to your comfortable cabin. Explore the ship before evening cruise down the Beagle Channel. (D)
Day 2Drake Passage
Today you will cross Drake Passage, accompanied by albatross, petrels, fulmars and prions. Listen to polar experts speak about Antarctica’s unique wildlife and history, safety and environmental briefings. (B, L, D)
Day 3Antarctic Peninsula
Today you will see your first iceberg, first penguin and first glimpse of land, outlying the South Shetland Islands. If conditions permit, you will go ashore to explore. (B, L, D)
Days 4 - 9Antarctic Peninsula
During these days you will explore the Peninsula’s west coast, viewing penguin parents and chicks as the summer days begin to shorten. Cormorant chicks bravely make their first flights from sea cliffs. Zodiac cruise amongst ice floes as you watch basking Weddell and leopard seals. There may be an opportunity for hiking to spectacular heights.
Weather permitting, you may cross the Circle via the 'inner route' or the Bellingshausen Sea. We may reach the 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, visit historical Stonington, Pourquoi Pas and Detaille islands before turning north. (B, L, D)
Day 10King George Island
Today you will arrive at King George Island. If time and weather permit you can explore penguin and seal-rich waters of Fildes Bay and visit the surprising Trinity Church at Bellingshausen Station, before catching your charter flight back to Punta Arenas in Chile, where you will be transferred to your overnight accommodation. (B, L, D)
Day 11Punta Arenas (or Ushuaia)
After breakfast, the expedition ends and you continue on with your own arrangements. (B)