Across the Antarctic Circle - Fly/Sail

From Ushuaia to Punta Arenas
  • All Antarctic Cruises
  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Cruising
  • Wildlife
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Tour Description

In this frozen region 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. Taking in the Drake Passage, the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula we thread our way on our Antarctic cruise through an intricate system of icy waterways, as we aim for the glorious Crystal Sound at the mouth of The Gullet. Crossing the geographical milestone of the Antarctic Circle is a moment to celebrate, and we do so with enthusiasm.

You will be joined on your expedition cruise by knowledgeable experts delivering a variety of presentations on the natural wonders of the polar region as well as historical accounts of the great Antarctic explorers. At this time of year, wildlife viewing opportunities are abundant as mother birds encourage their fledgeling young out into the open and minke and humpback whales and orcas feed in the still waters. An Antarctic cruise like this is a trip of a lifetime.

Viva's Best Bits...

Attempt to cross the Antarctic Circle, then celebrate with a champagne toast

Splendid wildlife activity

Opportunities to explore Antarctica on Land & by sea in Zodiacs

Tour 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. NOTE: Some departures will start with a flight from Punta Arenas to either King George Island or Puerto Williams. Please check the port for each departure date. The following itinerary is a guide and will change dependent on the voyage departure.
We recommend at least 1 night pre-cruise in Ushuaia/Punta Arenas. Please ask for more details
Overnight on board Polar Pioneer in your selected cabin

NOTE: Itinerary varies depending on date. Please contact us for more details.

Day 2-3
Drake Passage

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, activity and Zodiac briefings. 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 may have a chance to go ashore by late afternoon on Day 3.
Overnight on board Polar Pioneer in your selected cabin

Day 4-9
Antarctic Peninsula

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 returning north to warmer climes.
Overnight on board Polar Pioneer in your selected cabin

Day 10
King George Island Punta Arenas

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.
Overnight in Punta Arenas

Day 11
Punta Arenas

After breakfast bid farewell to fellow expeditioners before continuing on with your own arrangements. Additional Information: On arrival in Punta Arenas a transfer is included to Aurora Expeditions preferred hotel. It is advised that you overnight in Punta Arenas, but not mandatory. Onward flights from Punta Arenas should not be booked until after 1700 hours. PLEASE NOTE: The above itinerary is an example. Expedition itinerary will change dependent on departure and arrival points. Please ask for more details

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 Triple cabin on board Polar Pioneer
  • Included Copy 7 Cabin upgrades available
  • Included Copy 20 Daily cabin service
  • Included Copy 7 Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
  • Included Copy 20 All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during the voyage
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Luggage transfer from Ushuaia hotel to Polar Pioneer on day of voyage departure
  • Included Copy 20 Luggage transfer from Polar Pioneer to King George Island airstrip
  • Included Copy 20 Flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas
  • Included Copy 20 Transfer from Punta Arenas airport to hotel
  • Included Copy 20 All shore excursions and Zodiac (inflatable boat) cruises
  • Included Copy 20 Educational lectures and guiding services from our expert team
  • Included Copy 20 Access to our on board doctor and basic medical services
  • Included Copy 20 Free gumboot hire during the voyage
  • Included Copy 20 An Aurora Expeditions' multi-purpose waterproof jacket
  • Included Copy 20 Professionally produced voyage journal (one per booking)
  • Included Copy 20 Port taxes and charges
  • Included Copy 20 All entry fees to historic landings sites
  • Included Copy 7 International or domestic flights to or from ship, unless specified
  • Included Copy 7 Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Included Copy 7 Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Included Copy 7 Visa, passport, and vaccination charges
  • Included Copy 7 Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
  • Included Copy 7 Please contact us if you wish to book any optional activities, ie sea kayaking. Fees Apply
  • Included Copy 7 Personal Items i.e. alcoholic & soft drinks, laundry, medical expenses, gratuities etc.
  • Included Copy 31 Itinerary varies - Please ask for details
Polar Pioneer

54 Passengers

Greg Mortimer

160 (120 in polar regions) Passengers

Click here for dates & prices

12 days

Price from

$9,100 USD

Per person, twin share

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