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A comprehensive 'fly-sail' itinerary retracing Shackleton’s voyage from Elephant Island to South Georgia, ending in the Falkland Islands.

The voyage starts in Puerto Williams, Chile’s gateway to the Antarctic, and one of the most pristine destinations in the world. Sailing along the Beagle Channel, you will cross the Drake Passage, which offers excellent birdwatching.

A shore landing on Elephant Island, where Shackleton’s men wintered beneath their upturned boats, allows you to pay tribute to these hardy souls. Following in Shackleton’s wake, the voyage then crosses the Scotia Sea, possibly detouring to visit the remote South Orkney Islands if ice conditions allow. 

There is ample time to explore South Georgia’s spectacular northern coast, including the world’s largest king penguin rookeries and majestic albatross nests. There are opportunities for kayaking before sailing to the Falkland Islands. 

A typical Antarctic Odyssey itinerary is shown below, on board Polar Pioneer

Typical itinerary

  1. Day 1: Fly from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams and board your vessel

    Enjoy a guided tour of this rustic port and beautiful surroundings. Embark your vessel in the late afternoon, then sail along the Beagle Channel.

  2. Days 2-3 : Cross the Drake Passage

    The Drake Passage offers excellent birdwatching, and you should also watch out for penguins, seals and cormorants as you approach your first landing in the South Shetland Islands.

  3. Days 4-6 : Antarctica

    Awaken to the thrill of Antarctica, where you will visit busy penguin rookeries, historic sites and make a continental landing.

  4. Day 7: Elephant Island

    Land on Elephant Island, where Shackleton’s men wintered beneath their upturned boats. 

  5. Days 8-10 : Cross the Scotia Sea

    Following in Shackleton’s wake, you will cross the Scotia Sea, possibly detouring to visit the remote South Orkney Islands if ice conditions allow.

  6. Days 11-14 : South Georgia

    Explore South Georgia’s spectacular northern coast, including the world’s largest king penguin rookeries and majestic albatross nests. Kayakers can paddle the coastline’s nooks and crannies, accompanied by playful seals (extra cost). In Stromness and Grytviken harbours, 3000-metre peaks form dramatic backdrops to the remains of whaling stations. Kelp-strewn beaches are cluttered with basking elephant seals, feisty fur seals and penguins.

  7. Days 15-17 : Cross the Scotia Sea

  8. Day 18: Arrive at the Falkland Islands, disembark and fly to Punta Arenas

    Early this morning you will arrive in Stanley, capital of the Falkland Islands. There is time for a quick tour of Stanley before transferring to the airport for a flight to Punta Arenas, Chile.

You should note: This voyage includes a flight from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams and Stanley to Punta Arenas (some dates will start in Ushuaia instead of Puerto Williams). Exact itinerary and duration will depend on your chosen vessel, departure date and local conditions.

Key info

  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 18 days from £15,415 pp
  • Group size: Varies according to vessel
  • When to go: Nov-Mar
  • Departures: Please contact us for departure date details.
  • Included in the price/package:
    • Accommodation in twin-share cabin
    • All meals on board ship
    • Guided shore excursions
  • Activities available:
    • Sea kayaking
Featured locations:

Antarctic Peninsula

The Antarctic Peninsula is the most accessible part of the great white continent with some of its best wildlife and scenery. Ice-choked waterways, sculpted icebergs, imposing glaciers and rugged mountains provide the back drop to an area with more whales and dolphins than anywhere else on earth.

  • Ideal for viewing: elephant seal, hourglass dolphin, humpback whale, minke whale, orca
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Whale watching, Penguin watching

South Georgia

South Georgia is a remote, rugged and hauntingly beautiful sub-Antarctic island. Its scenery ranges from impressive mountains and mighty glaciers to deep fjords and low-lying grassland. Renowned as an excellent birdwatching destination, it has more wildlife than virtually anywhere else on the planet.

  • Ideal for viewing: wandering albatross, elephant seal, king penguin, macaroni penguin, sperm whale
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Wildlife festivals, Photography tours with Nick Garbutt, Penguin watching, Birdwatching

South Shetland Islands

The South Shetland Islands are situated north of the Antarctic Peninsula. Most of the land is permanently glaciated, yet, despite the harsh conditions, the islands do support a large variety of seals, penguins – including Adelie and chinstrap - and seabirds – including Antarctic terns and giant petrels.

  • Ideal for viewing: Adélie penguin, elephant seal, chinstrap penguin, gentoo penguin, southern right whale
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Penguin watching, Birdwatching
This itinerary is available on the following cruise vessel:

Polar Pioneer

Small and manoeuvrable, the Polar Pioneer is an ice-strengthened vessel, capable of venturing into remote corners of the world that many larger ships cannot reach. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal, and you will be in the company of an experienced team of expedition experts and crew.