Polar Pioneer
Aurora Expeditions
Polar Pioneer, In Shackletons Footsteps ex Ushuaia to Punta Arenas
Cruise Line: Aurora Expeditions
Selected Sailing Date: 20 Mar 2019
Available Sailing Dates


Make a Booking Enquiry

Request quote
Request quote
Request quote
Request quote
Prices displayed are retail per person, twin share, to the Australian Travel Trade. Consumers please contact your local cruise agent to request this Cruise Abroad package. At time of booking please check current cruise fare and any inclusions. Prices are indicative only, subject to currency fluctuations and may change at any time without notice.

Cruise Itinerary
Itinerary may vary by sailing date and itineraries may be changed at the cruise lines discretion. Please check itinerary details at time of booking and before booking other travel services such as airline tickets.
Cruise Description

17 Night Cruise sailing from Ushuaia to Port Stanley aboard Polar Pioneer. Flight from Port Stanley to Punta Arenas post-cruise.

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 and crushed. We hope to 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.

Day 1
Step aboard Polar Pioneer in the late afternoon to a warm welcome, and set sail along the Beagle Channel bound for Antarctica. Additional Information: We recommend you arrive into Ushuaia at least one day prior to your expedition start date. A luggage transfer from your Ushuaia hotel to the ship is included today. Ushuaia port is a short walking distance from town; you are required to make your own way to port for boarding this afternoon.

Days 2-3
As we cross the Drake Passage, we keep watch for giant petrels, wandering and black-browed albatross. Our on-board historian introduces us to Shackleton, while our expedition guides prepare us for our first landing in the South Shetland Islands.

Days 4-6
An autumn dawn greets us in spectacular Antarctic Sound where we may make a continental landing at towering Brown Bluff before pushing on into the Weddell Sea. Amidst shifting pack ice and tabular icebergs the Endurance story comes alive. If ice conditions allow, we visit world-renowned fossil beds on Seymour, Vega or James Ross islands, perhaps even Nordenskjold’s Hut on Snow Hill Island – and learn of a survival story nearly equal to Shackleton’s.

Days 7-Elephant Island
Point Wild on Elephant Island is so exposed it’s hard to imagine Shackleton’s men landing three lifeboats there, let alone surviving four dark winter months before rescue. If conditions allow we hope to take our Zodiacs as close as possible, perhaps even stepping ashore.

Days 8-9 Scotia Sea
Retracing James Caird’s epic voyage to South Georgia, we traverse some of the most productive waters in the world, keeping watch for fin, sei and possibly even blue whales. We have time to reflect on our journey so far, and learn more about Shackleton’s life-saving crossing to South Georgia.

Day 10 South Georgia
Entering King Haakon Bay, if conditions allow, we land in tiny Cave Cove to fully appreciate the skills of Worsely, Shackleton’s skipper and navigator, then continue to near Peggotty Bluff, where Shackleton, Worsely and Crean set off to cross the island. It is from here where our crossing party alights to tackle the 50km trek.

Days 11-15
While our South Georgia ‘Crossers' negotiate the rugged interior, we delight 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, beaches thick with elephant and fur seals. We hope to join our mountaineers on the final leg of the Shackleton Crossing – the Shackleton Walk – from Fortuna Bay to Stromness, before visiting 'The Boss’s' grave and the whaling museum in Grytviken.

Days 16-17
We’re entertained by whales, dolphins and seabirds as we cross the Scotia Sea to the Falkland Islands. At sea, our final days are a flurry of shared photos, memories and a farewell drink with the Captain.

Day 18
After an early breakfast, we bid farewell to Polar Pioneer and transfer to Stanley airport for our onward flight to Santiago or Punta Arenas, Chile.