- Polar Pioneer
- Research Ship
- 54 Capacity
- 18 Days
- Price from
Summary : Late summer offers the best chance to chart a course through the Weddell Sea’s shifting pack ice and vast tabular bergs, where Shackleton’s ship Endurance was trapped. Explore fossil-rich islands, historic huts and set foot on the continent before retracing Shackleton’s heroic journey to save his men – first to Elephant Island, then on through waters where blue, sei and fin whales roam. South Georgia offers nesting albatross, mating elephant seals, the world’s largest king penguin rookeries and a visit to Shackleton’s grave.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking
$14,300 to $23,090
Step aboard the ship in the late afternoon to a warm welcome, introductory briefing and an evening departure along the Beagle Channel.
Get to know fellow passengers and take time to explore the ship. The Drake Passage offers excellent bird-watching from the outer decks or the warm bridge. Expedition team members present Zodiac and environmental briefings, and enlightening talks on Antarctica. Keen eyes watch for icebergs, penguins, whales, seals and cormorants as we approach our first landing in the South Shetland Islands.
An autumn dawn greets you in the spectacular Antarctic Sound where you may stop at towering Brown Bluff before pushing on into the Weddell Sea. There’s a strong fossil focus this time of year, as the pack ice movement may allow a continental landing and visits to the world-renowned fossil beds of Seymour, Vega and James Ross Islands, and Nordenskjold’s Hut on Snow Hill Island.
So exposed is Cape Wild on Elephant Island, landings are rare, but it may be possible, if only to pay tribute to the man who’s leadership kept Shackleton’s men alive for four months while awaiting rescue. Keep watch for whales while sailing the Scotia Sea to South Georgia.
Enter King Haakon Bay and attempt a ceremonial landing at Cave Cove, Shackleton’s first landfall before continuing up past Peggotty Bluff, where Shackleton, Worsley and Crean set off to cross the island.
While alpine crossers (optional, on 3/9/2016 voyage only) negotiate Shackleton’s historic route, others can immerse in one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles. King penguin rookeries half-million strong, chinstrap, gentoo and macaroni penguin colonies, wandering albatross on nests, and beaches thick with elephant and fur seals. Attempt to walk the final leg of Shackleton’s epic journey, from Fortuna Bay to Stromness, before visiting his grave and the whaling museum in Grytviken.
Crossing the Scotia Sea, watch for whales and enjoy entertaining talks by your expedition team as you cruise back towards the Falklands Islands also known as the Malvinas.
Dawn greets you in the Falkland Islands capital, Stanley. Bid farewell to the ship and crew. Enjoy an included tour of Stanley and transfer to the airport before flying to Punta Arenas or Santiago, Chile.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to have emergency medical evacuation travel insurance coverage. 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 at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for Antarctic trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
Kayaking Option: All departures
If you wish to take this option, please advise us when you make your booking as numbers are limited. Please note, some sea kayaking experience is necessary.
Alpine Crossing Option: 3/9/2016 only
Attempt to repeat the epic crossing of Ernest Shackleton and trek for up to three days from King Haakon Bay to Stromness. The crossing distance is 35 to 50 kilometres depending on the route, and involves crossing large, heavily crevassed glaciers and alpine passes. Experience in crevassed alpine terrain is essential.
Luggage transfer from hotel in Ushuaia to ship on day of boarding; transfer from ship to Stanley airport, including tour of Stanley; transfer from ship to Stanley airport, including tour of Stanley; flight from Stanley to Punta Arenas or Santiago (no reduced fare for finishing in Punta Arenas); cabin accommodation on the ship; daily cabin service; meals, snacks, tea and coffee during the voyage; shore excursions; lectures and guide services; gumboots (for loan onboard); polar expedition jacket (to keep); printed photo book produced with imagery from your voyage (one per booking); access to on board doctor and basic medical services; port taxes and service charges; entry fees to historic landings sites. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare except flight from Stanley to Punta Arenas or Santiago; accommodation and transfers not mentioned in the itinerary; visa, passport, and vaccination charges; airport arrival or departure taxes; fuel surcharge may apply; optional sea kayaking and alpine crossing; optional excursions not included in the itinerary; items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, internet or phone charges; travel insurance and/or emergency evacuation charges.