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Highlights
  • Fly/Sail voyage means only one Drake Passage crossing
  • International scientific stations
  • Antarctic circle crossing celebrations
  • Reach 66° 33’ South or futher!
  • Penguin chicks preparing to fledge
  • Orca, humpback and minke whales

Cross the geographical milestone of the Antarctic Circle in the wake of hallowed explorers. It’s 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

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11
Aurora Expeditions Travel Reviews & Ratings
91% Recommend

4.5 out of 5
Excellent 8 Great 2 Average 0 Disappointing 1 Terrible 0
Value
4.5 Guide
4.5 Activities
4.5 Lodging
4.5 Transportation
4.5 Meals
4.5
Across the Antarctic Circle

P

Recommends

Fantastic August 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We went on the Polar Pioneer to Antarctica and it was fantastic. Now back for more - just booked on Jewels of the Arctic trip. Cannot wait.

Operator Aurora Expeditions

S

Recommends

Amazing January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Amazing crew, amazing ship, amazing times! Loved every second.

Operator Aurora Expeditions

M

Recommends

Highly Recommend Aurora Expeditions to anyone looking at going! January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Unfortunately, I can only give 5 stars when I would like to give at least 10! Aurora organised our whole Antarctica trip including all flights & hotels & everything went to plan so smoothly & perfectly & stress free! We did the Polar Pioneer & it was well above any expectations. The staff & the crew on board were so friendly & amazing & each one was full of so much knowledge! The food also needs to get a mention as it was top restaurant quality & you would certainly never starve on this journey! Antarctica is a beautiful & magical place that needs to be seen to be believed. I would highly, highly recommend Aurora Expeditions to anyone looking at going!
Read more

Operator Aurora Expeditions

L

Recommends

Just had the most amazing incredible indescribable journey to Antarctica with Aurora! December 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Just had the most amazing incredible indescribable journey to Antarctica with Aurora! 10/10 for the staff and crew of Polar Pioneer, as well as the booking staff. Everything was absolutely perfect from start to finish. Would definitely travel Aurora again!
Read more

Operator Aurora Expeditions

K

Recommends

Most amazing experiences of my life December 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Most amazing experiences of my life. Both times! Can't wait to make number 3

Operator Aurora Expeditions

Itinerary

Day 1

Step aboard Polar Pioneer in Ushuaia and settle in to your comfortable cabin. There is time to greet fellow passengers and explore the ship before evening cruise down the Beagle Channel.

Day 2

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 and Zodiac briefings.

Day 3

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 go ashore this afternoon.

Days 4-9

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 turning north to warmer climes.

Day 10

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.

Day 11

After breakfast bid farewell to fellow expeditioners before continuing on with your own arrangements.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 8,725

Price Per Day:

$ 793 per person
 
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Ship Name

Polar Pioneer

Ship Stats

Passengers: 54

Staff: 10 to 12

Crew: 23

Cabins: 26

Decks: 3

Built: 1982

Refurbished: 2000

Length: 71.6m

Beam: 12.8 metres

Draft: 4.5m

Cruising Speed: 10 knots

Gross tonnage: 1753

Registry: Russian

Voltage: 220v. European round, two pin plug.

Active Stabilzers

Ship Description

Polar Pioneer is one of the most popular style of vessel currently used in Antarctica and the Arctic. Originally built as an ice-strengthened research vessel in Finland in 1982, she was refurbished in 2000 and converted into a passenger ship for expeditions to the Polar Regions.

Polar Pioneer’s excellent reputation for polar expedition cruising is due to her strength, manoeuvrability and size. She is small and nimble, which means she can sail up close to landing sites and venture where other, larger ships can’t. Carrying just 54 passengers, she allows us to offer you a far more personal and intimate experience of the destination we are visiting.

Deck & Cabin Plans

Polar Pioneer Deckplan

Trip Includes
  • Luggage transfer from Ushuaia hotel to Polar Pioneer on day of voyage departure
  • Luggage transfer from Polar Pioneer to King George Island airstrip
  • Flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas
  • Transfer from Punta Arenas airport to hotel
  • One night accommodation in Punta Arenas post voyage (29 Feb 2016).
  • Accommodation during the voyage
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during the voyage
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac (inflatable boat) cruises
  • Educational lectures and guiding services from our expert team
  • Access to our on board doctor and basic medical services
  • Complimentary custom-designed Polar Expedition jacket
  • Free gumboot hire during the voyage
  • Daily cabin service
  • An Aurora Expeditions' multi-purpose waterproof jacket
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Professionally produced voyage journal (one per booking)
  • Port taxes and charges
  • All entry fees to historic landings sites.
Trip Excludes
  • International or domestic flights to or from ship, unless specified
  • Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Visa, passport, and vaccination charges
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
  • Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
  • Optional excursions not included in the itinerary
  • Optional activity surcharge. Please contact us if you wish to book any optional activities, such as sea kayaking
  • All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses,
Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Start City
Ushuaia, Argentina
End City
Punta Arenas, Chile
Cancellation Policy:

We recommend cancellation insurance. If it becomes necessary to cancel your expedition, we ask that you notify your Travel Agent or our Sales Team immediately in writing. Cancellation will take effect upon receipt by Aurora Expeditions of your written notice. Cancellation made before 90 days of expedition departure are subject to a non refundable deposit of $2,500, however your deposit may be transferred towards a different expedition for a fee of $500. Transfers are subject to availability and are only valid on expeditions that depart within 12 months from date of transfer and you are permitted one transfer only. Funds will not be held in suspense and new booking must be advised at time of requested transfer. You must pay the difference between the original booked price and the price of any transferred booking including the new deposit amount. If cancellation takes place less than 90 days prior to departure, you will be required to pay the full cost of the expedition.

Additional Information:

Health, Fitness, Trip Grades and Age Limits

It is your responsibility to advise Aurora Expeditions of any preexisting medical conditions and /or disability that might reasonably be expected to increase risk of you requiring medical attention, or that might affect the normal conduct of an expedition and the enjoyment of other expedition members. You are required to provide an assessment of your medical condition from a fully qualified medical practitioner.

Aurora Expeditions reserves the right, at its reasonable discretion, to cancel your booking and refund the money paid by you, less any unrecoverable costs. Aurora Expeditions also reserves the right to cancel your participation in an expedition at any time, including after the commencement of the trip, with no right of refund if your medical condition and/or disability could be reasonably expected to aff ect the normal conduct of the trip and the enjoyment of other expedition members.

Trip ID#: AcrAntAur

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