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Polar Pioneer: Across the Antarctic Circle

11 Days FROM AUD 12,935

Overview

Crossing the geographical milestone of the Antarctic Circle is a moment to celebrate, and we do so 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 backdrop 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.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACTSPAC

Location: Punta Arenas, Cape Horn, Drake Passage, Antarctic mainland

Ship: Polar Pioneer

CRUISE ITINERARY

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.

Embarkation

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.

Drake Passage

We explore the Peninsula’s west coast, with time to watch the frenzied activities of penguin parents and chicks as the summer days begin to shorten. Watch for imperial cormorant chicks bravely making their first flights from sea cliffs. Zodiac cruise amongst icebergs and floes replete with basking Weddell and leopard seals and revel in the unparalleled beauty of vast, Antarctic landscape. Besides landing on wildlife-rich offshore islands, 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, where relatively few have gone before. Orcas, humpbacks and minkes feed in the channels. We may visit historical Stonington, Pourquoi Pas and Detaille islands before turning north to warmer climes.

Antarctic Peninsula - Days 4 to 9

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. On arrival into Punta Arenas we will be transferred to our hotel, where tonight’s accommodation is included.

King George Island

Enjoy breakfast with your fellow expedition members in the hotel before saying your farewells and continuing with your own arrangements.

*** Important - Please be sure not to book flights out of Ushuaia before 12PM on the day of your cruise departure.

Departure
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Pricing & date

Polar Pioneer: Across the Antarctic Circle from AUD 12,935
Departing Ending Duration
02 Mar 2019 13 Mar 2019 11
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Important Information

  •  - Breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner and welcome cocktail
    - Use of the library and sauna
    - On board lectures and exhibits
    - Information on the region
    - Transfers airport/hotel/port
    - Emergency medical attention on board

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions. We can place a hold on a cabin without deposit for up to 4 days, Kayak option available on some expeditions for a surcharge.

  • Season and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

GUIDANCE FOR VISITORS TO THE ANTARCTIC
RECOMMENDATION XVIII-1, ADOPTED AT THE ANTARCTIC TREATY MEETING, KYOTO, 1994
Activities in the Antarctic are governed by the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 and associated agreements, referred to collectively as the Antarctic Treaty System. The Treaty established Antarctica as a zone of peace and science.
In 1991, the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties adopted the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, which designates the Antarctic as a natural reserve. The Protocol sets out environmental principles, procedures and obligations for the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment, and its dependent and associated ecosystems. The Consultative Parties have agreed that as far as possible and in accordance with their legal system, the provisions of the Protocol should be applied as appropriate. The Environmental Protocol was ratified in January 1998.
The Environmental Protocol applies to tourism and non-governmental activities, as well as governmental activities in the Antarctic Treaty Area. It is intended to ensure that these activities, do not have adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment, or on its scientific and aesthetic values.
This Guidance for Visitors to the Antarctic is intended to ensure that all visitors are aware of, and are therefore able to comply with, the Treaty and the Protocol. Visitors are, of course, bound by national laws and regulations applicable to activities in the Antarctic.

PROTECT ANTARCTIC WILDLIFE
Taking or harmful interference with Antarctic wildlife is prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by a national authority.
Do not use aircraft, vessels, small boats, or other means of transport in ways that disturb wildlife, either at sea or on land.
Do not feed, touch, or handle birds or seals, or approach or photograph them in ways that cause them to alter their behavior. Special care is needed when animals are breeding or molting.
Do not damage plants, for example by walking, driving, or landing on extensive moss beds or lichen-covered scree slopes.
Do not use guns or explosives. Keep noise to the minimum to avoid frightening wildlife.
Do not bring non-native plants or animals into the Antarctic, such as live poultry, pet dogs and cats, or house plants.
RESPECT PROTECTED AREAS
A variety of areas in the Antarctic have been afforded special protection because of their particular ecological, scientific, historic, or other values. Entry into certain areas may be prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by an appropriate national authority.
Activities in and near designated Historic Sites and Monuments and certain other areas may be subject to special restrictions.
Know the locations of areas that have been afforded special protection and any restrictions regarding entry and activities that can be carried out in and near them.
Observe applicable restrictions.
Do not damage, remove, or destroy Historic Sites or Monuments or any artifacts associated with them.
RESPECT SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
Do not interfere with scientific research, facilities or equipment.
Obtain permission before visiting Antarctic science and support facilities; reconfirm arrangements 24-72 hours before arrival; and comply with the rules regarding such visits.
Do not interfere with, or remove, scientific equipment or marker posts, and do not disturb experimental study sites, field camps, or supplies.
BE SAFE
Be prepared for severe and changeable weather and ensure that your equipment and clothing meet Antarctic standards. Remember that the Antarctic environment is inhospitable, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous.
Know your capabilities and the dangers posed by the Antarctic environment, and act accordingly. Plan activities with safety in mind at all times.
Keep a safe distance from all wildlife, both on land and at sea.
Take note of, and act on, the advice and instructions from your leaders; do not stray from your group.
Do not walk onto glaciers or large snow fields without the proper equipment and experience; there is a real danger of falling into hidden crevasses.
Do not expect a rescue service. Self-sufficiency is increased and risks reduced by sound planning, quality equipment, and trained personnel.
Do not enter emergency refuges (except in emergencies). If you use equipment or food from a refuge, inform the nearest research station or national authority once the emergency is over.
Respect any smoking restrictions, particularly around buildings, and take great care to safeguard against the danger of fire. This is a real hazard in the dry environment of Antarctica.
KEEP ANTARCTICA PRISTINE
Antarctica remains relatively pristine, the largest wilderness area on Earth. It has not yet been subjected to large-scale human perturbations. Please keep it that way.
Do not dispose of litter or garbage on land. Open burning is prohibited.
Do not disturb or pollute lakes or streams. Any materials discarded at sea must be disposed of properly.
Do not paint or engrave names or graffiti on rocks or buildings.
Do not collect or take away biological or geological specimens or man-made artifacts as a souvenir, including rocks, bones, eggs, fossils, and parts or contents of buildings.
Do not deface or vandalize buildings or emergency refuges, whether occupied, abandoned, or unoccupied.​​
 

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