Antarctic Explorer

Antarctic Explorer

From USD $9,700


This new 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!

Your Voyage Includes: Flight from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams + Flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas (17/02/18 departure); Flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island (25/02/18 departure); One night accommodation in Punta Arenas; 1 nights’ accommodation in Punta Arenas pre-voyage + Flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island (19/03/19 departure).

Trip Name
Antarctic Explorer
Vessel Type: Expedition Length: 71 metres Passenger Capacity: 50 Built / refurbished: 1985 / 2000 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, maneuverability 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. Dining Our professional chefs present three healthy, delicious meals daily, with morning and afternoon tea available in the dining rooms in between. All of our produce is sourced locally, with fresh fruit and vegetables, and freshly baked bread and pastries, served wherever possible. We are able to cater for a range of special meal requests, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, lactose free and other allergy specific requirements – please ensure you list this on your personal details form. Observation Decks Our spacious observation decks provide a congenial place to watch for wildlife or follow the ship’s progress on nautical charts. Rug up for unparalleled scenery from the outer decks or flying bridge, where our naturalists help you identify wildlife. Learning and Lectures At sea, join our polar specialists as they entertain and inform us with illustrated talks, and prepare us for making shore visits with mandatory safety and environmental briefings. Captain and Crew Our highly experienced Russian captain and crew are among the best ice navigators in the world. Our efficient stewardesses attend to rooms and serve our meals, whilst the crew work mainly behind-the-scenes to help our expedition leader get the ship to where we want to go. Getting Ashore Polar Pioneer boasts a fleet of Zodiacs that transport us ashore to penguin rookeries, scientific stations and historic sites, and provide us with a platform for photography. Our small excursion crafts take us beyond the reach of giant cruisers, and our philosophy of “getting out amongst it” is put to practice. Medical Clinic A basic medical clinic is managed by our English-speaking Ship’s Doctor, who is available at all times to assist with bouts of sea sickness and other unexpected emergencies. On-board Entertainment From socialising in our fully-stocked lounge bar to enjoying Captain’s drinks, trivia nights and charity auctions, or escaping to the sauna for some R&R; our small ship offers some fun entertainment options for when we’re not out and about. Technology and Connectivity Polar Pioneer has communication services that are available for an additional fee. These include satellite telephone, email and fax. Please note that these services are basic and not suitable for continuous use. Internet access is available on board for an additional cost. Please note that due to the remote nature of our expeditions, connection cannot always be guaranteed. 


Day 1 - Day 1 – Beagle Channel
Fly from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams, enjoy a tour of the scenic port before being warmly welcomed aboard Polar Pioneer. We’ll have introductory and safety briefings before our evening’s cruise down the Beagle Channel.
Day 2 - Days 2 to 3 – Drake Passage
Ease into shipboard life as we cross the Drake Passage. Our naturalist and paleontologist expand our Antarctic knowledge and prepare us for landings. The outer decks and flying bridge provide excellent space to see and photograph wildlife.
Day 3 - Days 4 to 6 – Weddell Sea
We spend the next few days exploring the ice-filled Weddell Sea where weather systems and shifting pack ice dictate our schedule: we hope to visit the large Adelie and gentoo penguin colonies of Brow Bluff, 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 lasted memories.
Day 4 - Days 7 to 9 – Antarctic Peninsula
The Antarctic Peninsula's western flanks offer long summer daylight and ice-free waters; we visit historic huts and Zodiac cruise through narrow straits and majestic icebergs, and if we're lucky, whales. The few landing points we hope to visit are Half Moon Bay, Lemaire Channel, Hydrurga Rocks and more.
Day 5 - Day 10 – King George Island
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 6 - Day 11 – Punta Arenas
After breakfast at the Cabo de Hornes Hotel, bid a fond farewell to your fellow passengers as you make your journey home or continue on with your own arrangements.
Day 7 - Please Note:
Please note that all of our itineraries are at the mercy of weather conditions and not all landings are guaranteed. Our itineraries are flexible and will change voyage to voyage, allowing the best chance to make the most of surprising wildlife displays and unexpected opportunities.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
10-03-201920-03-2019USD $0Triple Cabin
10-03-201920-03-2019USD $0Twin Public
10-03-201920-03-2019USD $0Twin Economy Private
10-03-201920-03-2019USD $0Twin Private
10-03-201920-03-2019USD $0Mini Suite
10-03-201920-03-2019USD $0Captain's Suite


    • Fly/Sail Itinerary: more time to explore!
    • Spectacular icebergs in the Weddell Sea
    • Discover fossil-rich Seymour Island
    • Gorgeous long summer days on the peninsula
    • Some of the region's largest penguin colonies
    • Historic huts and volcanic landscapes