- Polar Pioneer
- Research Ship
- 54 Capacity
- 20 Days
- Price from
Summary : Celebrating one of the greatest survival stories in Antarctic exploration, this voyage takes you into the Weddell Sea, where Ernest Shackleton planned to start a daring feat – the first crossing of Antarctica. Follow in his wake, from the comfort and safety of your ship, 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. Attempt to visit fossil-rich islands, wildlife havens, remnants of historic explorers’ huts, and even land on the Antarctic continent itself. Visit South Georgia, home to millions of fur seals and penguins, wallows of elephant seals and nesting albatross. Experience Antarctica on this epic adventure.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Hiking
$12,415 to $19,990
Step aboard in the late afternoon to a warm welcome, introductory briefing and an evening departure along the Beagle Channel. Settle into your comfortable cabin, explore the ship and meet your fellow shipmates.
Cross the Drake Passage and use this time to settle in and prepare for your Antarctic journey. Your naturalist and historian inform you about Antarctica and what you’ll experience in the weeks ahead. Safety and environmental briefings prepare you for landings, while the outer decks and flying bridge offer the best vantage points for photography and wildlife viewing.
As you cross the Antarctic Convergence, a biological boundary where cool Antarctic waters meet the warmer waters of the north, you may begin to see your first icebergs. Cormorants, penguins and seals mark your approach to the South Shetland Islands where you may attempt to make your first landing.
Sail through Antarctic Sound with its spectacular iceberg parade, and into the Weddell Sea. Along the way, you 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, begin to trace Shackleton’s path.
Approaching the whale-rich waters and steep slopes of Elephant Island, home to 22 of Shackleton’s men for four months, hope for a clear view of the spot where the men wintered beneath upturned boats. You may go ashore to pay tribute to these hardy explorers.
Follow in Shackelton's wake as you cruise across the Scotia sea. You may detour to the remote, mountainous South Orkney Islands. Zodiac cruise through a maze of icebergs, landing at a beach decorated with the warm hues of lichen-encrusted boulders
Reflect on all you've seen and learned. Prepare for the next phase of your journey as you continue across the Scotia Sea.
Enter King Haakon Bay on South Georgia’s southern coast and you may make a ceremonial landing at Cave Cove, Shackleton’s first landfall after his epic open boat voyage. The alpine crossing party begins their adventurous journey through the crevassed terrain of the island’s interior. 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. There are several options for landings: the world’s largest penguin rookeries, wandering albatross on nests, beaches of elephant and fur seals, and Grytviken’s whaling museum are all amazing places to explore.
Continue your Antarctic education and wildlife watching en route to the Falkland Islands.
Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands, features an excellent museum, picturesque houses, and welcoming shops and pubs. Spend the morning exploring this beautiful British outpost. Sea Lion Island offers a welcome opportunity to stretch your 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.
Prions, petrels and albatross accompany you on the last leg of your voyage as you swap photos and stories and reflect on your adventures.
In the early morning, sail up the Beagle Channel to dock in Ushuaia. A hearty breakfast and fond farewells fill the morning before departing for home or the next part of your adventure.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage, including coverage for emergency medical evacuation. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The policy provider, policy number and emergency contact phone number must be provided prior to departure date. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends that the travel insurance policy covers trip cancellation insurance, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage and repatriation. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
Alpine Crossing Option: $1,250 per person (3/11/2014). Follow in Shackleton’s footsteps across South Georgia with the alpine crossing option. The crossing takes up to three days, weather permitting. Alpine climbing and trekking experience are essential. Please inquire at time of booking.
Cabin accommodation on the ship; all meals onboard; all shore excursions; lectures and guide services; boots (for loan onboard); medical service of the resident medical officer onboard; port taxes and service charges.
Airfare; accommodation or transfers before or after the cruise; fuel surcharge may apply; optional alpine crossing activity and related gear, items of a personal nature; travel insurance; and gratuity to the ship's crew is at your discretion.