Home » Polar Pioneer: Antarctic Explorer Fly/Sail
This fly/sail itinerary features the best of Antarctica across ten days and allows for more exploration, with only one crossing of the Drake Passage. Get up close with tabular icebergs, vast colonies of Adelie and gentoo penguins and dramatic volcanic landscapes in the ice-filled Weddell Sea; the Antarctic Peninsula’s many islands are alive with leopard seals busy with courtship, bustling penguins and maybe whales!
Duration: 11 Days
Our voyage begins in Punta Arenas, Chile, the southern-most city on Earth. Overlooking the Straits of Magellan, the city sits astride one of the world's most historic trade routes. Today, Punta Arenas reflects a great mix of cultures, from English sheep ranchers to Portuguese sailors, and it remains an utterly fascinating testament to Chile's rich history.
This evening, meet your fellow expeditioners for a briefing by your tour guide.
Our early morning charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica will take approximately two and a half hours. The flight first takes us over the Strait of Magellan then over the Cordillera Darwin with its magnificent glaciers, narrow austral channels and hidden coloured lagoons. Before too long we are out over the Drake Passage and then to King George Island in the Antarctic Peninsula. King George Island is the first landfall in the South Shetland Islands so once you can spot land, you will land shortly. Satellite and weather information will be consulted before departure and during the flight to ensure a safe trip. Bad weather in Antarctica can delay our charter flight from departing on time. We’ll have optional activities available in case of such delay.
The Antarctic Peninsula's western flanks offer long days and relatively ice-free waters. We visit historic huts and Zodiac cruise through narrow straits and majestic icebergs, and if we're lucky, whale watch from the bow of the ship. A few landing points we hope to visit include Half Moon Bay, Lemaire Channel, Hydrurga Rocks and more. Expeditions onboard the Polar Pioneer will also venture into Weddell Sea if weather and ice conditions permit. We hope to visit the large Adelie and gentoo penguin colonies of Brown Bluff or Paulet Island, and fossil-rich Seymour Island. We may hike to spectacular vantage points on Beak or Devil Islands; large tabular icebergs and volcanic scenery create long lasting memories. Wherever we go, wildlife, Heroic Age relics and haunting landscapes await.
Time to head back to Argentina’s Tierra del Feugo as we cross the famous Drake Passage, with lectures and videos to complete our Antarctic education. This is a time for reflection and discussion about what we have seen and felt, and the impact this voyage has had on us all. If we have a good crossing and weather permitting, we will try our best to approach the legendary Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America
During the early morning we cruise up the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, where you will be free to disembark as soon as the ship clears immigration—around 09:00. It’s a busy time, saying farewell to our expedition staff, crew and fellow passengers who have shared the intensity of exploring this magnificent white wilderness. We head off in our different directions, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. At the conclusion of the voyage, flights are not to be booked from Ushuaia prior to 12 noon on the day of disembarkation.
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.