Spirit of Antarctica
DURATION:12 Days/ 11 NightsREGION:AntarcticaSHIP:Polar Pioneer
Antarctic adventures are best enjoyed midsummer, when near-midnight sun powers an explosion of life along the shore and brightens the thought of camping out, early alpine climbing starts or extended kayaking trips. Penguin highways are busy with traffic as parents hurry to fatten chicks and waterways are alive with whales and
seals. On this 12-night voyage from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia aboard the classic ice-rated Polar Pioneer you will visit historic sites and step ashore onto the most spectacular continent on Earth. And, travelling with an experienced expedition team and knowledgeable guest lecturers will ensure your Antarctica experience is complete.
We have multiple departure dates for this cruise. Select a year and month to view itineraries for alternative departure dates.
Operated by: Aurora Expeditions
Polar Pioneer is one of the most popular style of vessels 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 offers you a far more personal and intimate experience of the destination.
The following additional options may be added to your cruise.
One of the most unique ways to experience Antarctica. The experience of sea kayaking in the humbling wilderness of Antarctica is guaranteed to stir your soul. Paddle between brash ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes, skim past penguin rookeries or under soaring bird cliffs, or drift quietly as you watch wildlife unobtrusively, absorbing the majestic scenery. Led by experienced guides, paddling in small groups allows us the opportunity to paddle between ice floes, brash ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes as well as allowing easy and intimate access to beautiful coastlines. Rather than travelling large distances, the aim is to see as much as possible. Paddle anywhere between 5 to 15 kilometres (2 to 4 hours) per outing, sometimes taking a snack and a flask of hot chocolate to enjoy mid excursion. Each group of 4 to 12 kayakers generally visit the same wildlife sites as fellow expeditioners, however smaller craft often means there is the opportunity to access areas that are often not accessible by Zodiacs. There will also be time to do some shore landings with the rest of the group.
This latest innovative activity option is led by expert polar diving guides from diving specialist Waterproof Expeditions, and utilises state of the art equipment including specially designed Waterproof© Snorkel-Drysuits, gloves, hood, fins, mask, and snorkel. Participants will be provided with all of the training and equipment they need to experience Antarctica from this truly unique angle. Passengers who take part will enjoy the opportunity to snorkel daily (weather dependant), taking delight in sheltered bays, off shore islands and secluded ship wrecks which make for spectacular wildlife viewing.
Along the Antarctic Peninsula coastline, hundreds of peaks rise several thousand feet, snow-clad and beckoning eager adventure seekers. From ascents of alpine peaks to ice climbing on grounded icebergs, this program aims to give participants a taste of the region’s fantastic climbing opportunities. During the voyage, climbs for the moderately fit, from easy ascents to more technical routes, ranging from 4 to 10 hours are available. The plan is to make at least two one-day alpine ascents and attempt some iceberg climbing. Previous experience with crampons and ice axe is necessary.
Camping has become a very popular optional activity on Polar Pioneer expeditions in Antarctica. All the equipment you need to experience – albeit it in a more comfortable and civilised fashion – the feelings of the early Antarctic explorers is provided. There really is no better way to witness the stunning silence and array of colours of an Antarctic night sky. Camping is a free, completely optional activity. Please note: Camping is heavily dependent on weather conditions and the expedition schedule.
Your cruise price includes:
- Flight from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams
- Transfer from Puerto Williams airport to Polar Pioneer
- Puerto Williams and surrounds sightseeing tour
- Accommodation on board Polar Pioneer 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
- Daily cabin service
- Complimentary custom-designed polar expedition jacket
- Professionally produced voyage journal (one per booking)
- Free gumboot hire during the voyage
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- All entry fees to historic landings sites.
- Port taxes and charges
Your cruise price does not include:
- 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, mountaineering or snorkelling
- All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, and email or phone charges.
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Please note: This cruise is sold in USD
Please note that all Polar itineraries are at the mercy of weather conditions and not all landings are guaranteed. These itineraries are flexible and will change voyage to voyage, allowing the best chance to make the most of surprising wildlife displays and unexpected opportunities.
Single occupancy is 1.7 times the twin share price. No single travel fees apply if you are willing to share your cabin (twin and triple cabins only).