Home » Polar Pioneer: Across the Antarctic Circle Cruise/Fly ex. Ushuaia
Crossing the geographical milestone of the Antarctic Circle is a moment to celebrate, and we do so with enthusiasm. In this frozen area of extraordinary beauty, powerful orcas and leopard seals patrol the waters, while ethereal snow petrels grace the skies against a backdrop of bristling mountain ranges and surreal icebergs. Threading our way through an intricate system of icy waterways, we aim for the glorious Crystal Sound at the mouth of The Gullet.
Duration: 12 Days
Welcome to Ushuaia! You will have some free time today to explore the charming town before making your own way down to the Harbour to board the Polar Pioneer. In the late afternoon, the ship will prepare to cruise towards the Drake Passage. In the meantime, settle in to your cabin and meet your fellow passengers!
We cross the Drake Passage, accompanied by albatross, petrels, fulmars and prions. Our polar experts speak about Antarctica’s unique wildlife and history, and prepare us for landings with environmental, activity and Zodiac briefings. All eyes are peeled for first iceberg, first penguin and first glimpse of land, the mercurial sea stacks outlying the South Shetland Islands. If conditions allow, we may have a chance to go ashore by late afternoon on Day 3.
We explore the Peninsula’s west coast, with the frenzied activities of penguin parents and chicks as the summer days begin to shorten. Cormorant chicks bravely making their first flights from sea cliffs. Zodiac cruise amongst ice floes replete with basking Weddell and leopard seals and revel in unparalleled beauty of Antarctica’s landscape. We make a continental landing, possibly hiking up for spectacular views. As we continue south, ice conditions govern our movements. Whether we cross the Circle via the 'inner route' or the Bellingshausen Sea, we celebrate in style. With luck, we reach 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, we may visit historical Stonington, Pourquoi Pas and Detaille Islands before returning north to warmer climes.
We arrive at mountainous King George Island. If time and weather permit we explore penguin and seal-rich waters of Fildes Bay and visit the surprising Trinity Church at Bellingshausen Station, before catching our charter flight back to Punta Arenas in Chile, where we transfer to our overnight accommodation.
The Polar Pioneer will reach Puerto Williams in the morning where you will enjoy a hearty breakfast before disembarking and enjoy a town tour. Afterwards, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Punta Arenas. There will be transfers available should you wish to stay another night in Punta Arenas, or to the airport for your outbound flight home.
10.2sqm, deck 3, two lower bunk beds and one upper bunk bed, outside porthole, wash basin, lounge, desk, cupboard with hanging space, air-conditioning control, shared bathroom facilities on the same deck and outside deck accessed via deck 4.
9.8sqm, deck 3, two lower bunk beds, outside porthole, wash basin, lounge, desk, cupboard with hanging space, air-conditioning control, shared bathroom facilities on the same deck and outside deck accessed via deck 3 and 4.
12sqm, deck 4, upper and lower bunk, couch, private ensuite, side-facing window, desk and chair, cupboard with hanging space, air-conditioning control and outside deck access to the main deck.
12sqm, deck 4 & 5, two lower bunk beds (note: #402 and #403 have an upper and lower bunk and a couch), private ensuite, side-facing window, desk and chair, cupboard with hanging space, and air-conditioning control. Outside deck access to main deck (deck 4 cabins only) and outside deck access to the upper deck (deck 5 cabins only)
16.8sqm, deck 5, double bed (in a separate room), private ensuite, side-facing windows, separate lounge area*, desk and chair, cupboard with hanging space, TV, DVD player, mini-fridge, air-conditioning control and outside deck access from deck 5. *Please note: Image depicts cabin #503 only. Cabin #502 has a foldable chair that can be laid out like a bed or couch.
22.5sqm, deck 5, double bed (in a separate room), private ensuite, forward- and side-facing windows, separate lounge area, desk and table area, TV, DVD player and mini-fridge, air-conditioning control and outside deck access from deck 5.