We'll retrace much of the route Sir Ernest Shackleton took to save his men as we enjoy the late Austral summer and all it brings. Visit the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands enjoying some of the world's most spectacular scenery and wildlife along the way!
Fly from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams, enjoy a lovely tour of this scenic port town, before stepping aboard Polar Pioneer to a warm welcome, safety and introductory briefing, before setting off down the Beagle Channel.
As we cross Drake Passage, we keep watch for giant petrels, wandering and black-browed albatross and our first icebergs. Fur seals and penguins pepper the sea surface as we approach our first landing in the South Shetland Islands.
An autumn dawn greets us in spectacular Antarctic Sound where we may stop at towering Brown Bluff before pushing on into the Weddell Sea. There's a strong fossil focus this time of year, as the pack ice movement may allow a continental landing and the world-renowned fossil beds of Seymour, Vega and James Ross islands, and Nordenskjold's Hut on Snow Hill Island.
So exposed is Cape Wild on Elephant Island, landings are rare, but we'll try, if only to pay tribute to the man who's leadership kept Shackleton's men alive for four months while awaiting rescue. We keep watch for great whales while sailing to South Georgia, with a possible detour to the remote South Orkney Islands.
We enter King Haakon Bay and attempt a ceremonial landing at Cave Cove, Shackleton's first landfall before continuing up past Peggotty Bluff, where Shackleton, Worsley and Crean set off to cross the island.
We immerse ourselves 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 walk the final leg of Shackleton's epic, from Fortuna Bay to Stromness, before visting "The Boss's" grave and whaling museum in Grytviken.
Crossing the Scotia Sea, we watch for whales and enjoy entertaining talks by our expedition team.
In Stanley, beautiful Falkland Islands capital, enjoy its excellent museum, post office, picturesque houses, welcoming shops and pubs. Sea Lion Island is home to extraordinarily diverse wildlife—from steamer ducks to magellenic and rockhopper penguins, ruddy-headed geese and cormorants, elephant seals and sea lions.
Magnificent seabirds accompany us as we pass Isla de los Estados and sail up the Beagle Channel to dock in Ushuaia at dawn.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of expedition cruising, itineraries are subject to change due to weather, ice conditions, natural and cultural events, wildlife viewing opportunities and other logistical considerations. In general, a ship's crew will endeavor to complete the itinerary provided, but the ultimate decision lies with the ship's captain and expedition leaders.