Across the Antarctic Circle
Cross latitude 66° 33’ South in the wake of hallowed explorers including the first to do so, Captain James Cook. It’s a moment to celebrate, and we oblige 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 background 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.
Prices quoted are per person in US$, based on twin-share. Single occupancy is 1.7 times the twin share price. No single travel fees apply if you are willing to share your cabin (triple & twin cabins only). Fuel surcharge may apply in the event of significant fuel price increases. No refund for unused services.
Please note: ANP111 and ANP116 operate approximately in reverse to the itinerary above. Once we leave King George Island, we sail south, making two to three landings per day as we head for the Antarctic Circle and beyond. Returning north, it’s likely we’ll plot a new course without returning to the South Shetland Islands.
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.
Day 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.