polartours header c
South georgia explorer

South Georgia Explorer aboard the Polar Pioneer

An intimate cruise to South Georgia on board one of the smallest expedition ships

Length

15 Days

Ship category

Classic

Ship type

Small Ship

Capacity

54 Passengers

South Georgia Explorer

Trip highlights

A full week exploring the stunning South Georgia.

Develop your photography skills with the help of experienced guides.

Explore key wildlife sites including Saint Andrews Bay, Salisbury Plain and Gold Harbour.

Expect an abundance of baby fur seals and penguin chicks

The Polartours experience

Comfortable, and intimate ice-strengthened expedition vessel.

Led by highly experienced expedition leaders and photography guides.

only 48 passengers on board

Your trip is 100% carbon offset

Join us on a 15-day in-depth wildlife viewing and photography exploration of South Georgia’s spectacular nature. This expedition is aimed at those wanting to spend the maximum amount of unhurried time ashore observing wildlife and is suited for photographers and wildlife watchers.

What makes this trip even more special is our vessel takes just 48 guests and when you are ashore you will be in a small group of just 12 guests for an intimate wildlife and photography experience. Travelling on a small expedition vessel allows us to visit many sites along the coast that larger ships are not allowed to land and get closer to South Georgia’s incredible nature.

Your ship: Polar Pioneer

Polar Pioneer
Polar Pioneer
Polar Pioneer Deck plan

The well-known MV Polar Pioneer is a durable, capable veteran expedition ship (19 seasons strong) loved by guests and expedition leaders for its capability to explore remote polar regions with ease despite its small size.

Its new Scandinavian owners have done an extensive refit upgrading it to today’s standards and is ready for the 2022 Arctic season.

The Polar Pioneer benefits from holsting maximum 48 guests on an authentic expedition adventure free from the crowds of larger vessels. All guests can fit in the Zodiacs at once ensuring there is no waiting to go ashore and everyone can explor … Read more about Polar Pioneer

Cabins

Polar Pioneer triple cabin
Triple Cabin

Type:

Triple

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

polar pioneer Twin cabin (private)
Twin Cabin (private facilities)

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Polar Pioneer Captain's suite
Captain's Suite

Type:

Matrimonial

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

polar pioneer mini suite
Mini Suite

Type:

Matrimonial

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Polar pioneer twn cabin (shared facilities)
Twin Cabin (shared facilities)

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Map

Itinerary

Keep in mind this is an expedition cruise, so your itinerary will depend greatly on the weather, amount of ice and wildlife breeding behavior.

Falkland Islands
Albatros Expeditions Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica
Albatros Expeditions Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica

Stanley

Embark in Port Stanley

In the afternoon you'll embark the Polar Pioneer in Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands ready for an adventure of a life time. The Falkland Islands is accessible by flights from Chile and the UK. You will depart late afternoon and set sail towards South Georgia.

Oceanwide expeditions South Georgia Special
Albatros Expeditions Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica
Albatros Expeditions Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica

The passage to South Georgia to or from the Falklands or South America is usually a 2-day sailing. On your way to the magnificent yet remote South Georgia, your expert guides will enthrall you with a range of talks and lectures all about the remarkable concentrations of Antarctic wildlife that can be found on the island.

As well as the huge numbers of breeding birds and sea mammals, you'll also learn about the geology and human history of the island, and its importance in the exploration (and exploitation) of the Southern Ocean.

On deck, your guides will help you to identify the bird species that frequently follow the ships, as well as spotting cetaceans and other marine life you can spot en route.

Albatros Expeditions Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica
Oceanwide Expeditions Falklands, South Georgia, Antarctica
Oceanwide Expeditions Falklands, South Georgia, Antarctica

Elsehul Bay

Gold Harbour

Grytviken, Fortuna Bay

St. Andrew's Bay

Ocean Harbour

Cooper Bay

Salisbury Plain

Prion Island

This remote and mountainous island might seem to be barren at first, given that it has no trees and is snow-covered for much of the year. However, appearances can be deceptive, and South Georgia is teeming with life!

Not only is it home to important breeding grounds for fur seals, elephant seals, and king penguins, it is also the only known habitat of the South Georgia Pipit - the Antarctic's only songbird - and the South Georgia Pintail duck.

High, rugged mountains and stunning coastal fjords make cruising the coast of South Georgia a spectacle you will remember.

Used as a base for early-20th century sealers, there are relics of this industry at various places around the island - a reminder of the human history of exploitation of Antarctica and its natural resources.

The Falkland Islands
Sail Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands

As you sail towards the Falkland Islands your guiding team will do a series of lectures to finish off our exciting adventure. The final 2 sailing days offers a chance to relax onboard, take a sauna and share stories from the expedition with fellow guests. On safe arrival in Port Stanley you will disembark after breakfast on the final day.

The above itinerary is a guide only. A part of any expedition is the flexibility to take advantage of the weather conditions which are highly variable in South Georgia. Your expedition team will make sure you see as much a possible.

Info

Single Cabin Supplement

When booking online, you can choose the option to "Upgrade to single occupancy". This will guarantee you the whole cabin to yourself, for an additional fee. If you don't select this option, then another traveler of the same sex might be placed into the same cabin with you.

What's included

Expert South Georgia Guiding Team

Lectures on South Georgia

Use of Zodiac (Dinghies) for shore landings and photography opportunities

Full Board (breakfast, lunch and dinner )

Bedding and towels

Highly experienced Captain and Cook

Rubber boots for shore landings

Transfers from hotel to vessel for embarkation + vessel to airport/hotel after disembarkation

What's not included

International Flights

Travel and cancellation insurance

Any additional expenses such as museum entry

Alcohol and spirits

FAQ

When it comes to traveling to Antarctica, one of the first questions that often arises is, "Can I fly to Antarctica?". The answer is: Yes, you can. Most trips start in Patagonia (Ushuaia and Punta Arenas) and cross the Drake Passage by ship, but there are also trips that use planes to cross that infamous sea passage. Here are the Pros and Cons for each method:

Flying to Antarctica:

  • Pros: Flying to Antarctica is the quickest way to reach the continent. It offers convenience and is often the choice for those with very limited time.

  • Cons: There are limited commercial flights to Antarctica, and these are primarily reserved for research and expedition purposes. Tourist accessibility is limited, and it can be costly. Also, as not many trips include flights, you'll be limiting your choice a lot if you decide to only look for such trips.

Crossing the Drake Passage by ship:

  • Pros: If you choose to cross the Drake Passage by ship, you embark on an incredible adventure. This journey is not just a means of transportation; it's an expedition in itself. The crossing takes 1.5 - 2 days, which are filled with scientific lectures that prepare you for the experience. You'll witness diverse wildlife, including penguins and whales, as your anticipation starts building up. To us, the crossing is a quintessential experience of a true Antarctic explorer.

  • Cons: Crossing the Drake Passage takes some time, and the seas can be rough. It's not the quickest way to reach the continent, and you need to allocate more time for your expedition.

In conclusion, when it comes to traveling to Antarctica, you have these two choices. Flying offers efficiency and direct access, perfect for specific purposes. Crossing the Drake Passage by ship provides an unmatched adventure and connection with Antarctica's unique environment. Consider what truly matters to you, and you'll find the Antarctic transportation choice that suits your goals and spirit of exploration.

All cruises in the polar regions operate to itineraries that are more-or-less fixed. We say "more or less", because wildlife (breeding, seasonality) and weather always play an important role in routing. Most cruises will offer a range of land-based and water-based activities that you will enjoy at various points in your cruise, including:

  • Land excursions (including hiking trails, visitor centers, time relaxing on beaches, observing animals, etc.)
  • Bird Watching
  • Snorkeling (from ship or beaches)
  • Dinghy rides
  • Kayaking
  • Diving (on ships with diving itineraries)
  • Naturalist presentations. These usually take place every evening - on board the bigger ships also with help of projectors, microscopes etc.

All boats carry English speaking, scientifically trained guides. They will lead you on your excursions, allowing you to learn as much as possible about the unique wildlife and habitats of the Polar Regions.

Choosing the right ship for a cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic seems difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Our fleet is over 30 vessels, we are sure that there is the perfect one for you. Please, follow these simple steps, and you will be able to find your ideal ship:

  • Determine your budget and desired level of comfort: Are you looking for luxury or more budget-friendly options? On our website you can set the price range.
  • Consider ship size: Large ships offer more amenities and facilities, but they can also feel crowded and impersonal. Smaller ships offer a more personal experience, but may not have as many amenities.
  • Look at the cabins: Although you probably won’t spend much time in your cabin, look at the photos and read the descriptions to make sure you're happy with the one you choose.
  • Consider the activities on board: Are you interested in kayaking, camping, diving or a photography workshop? Or maybe you want to take part in a Citizen Science Program? These activities can enhance your overall experience. See what our ships have to offer.
  • Read customer reviews: Learn about other travelers' experiences by reading reviews.
  • Ask your Polar Specialist: Feel free to contact your Polar Specialist. They are happy to share their knowledge and are always ready to help.

In addition: We work with responsible partners who provide a great experience for their passengers. All of our providers are committed to sustainability and to preserving the beauty of the polar regions. You don’t need to worry about the impact of your cruise, because we’ve already taken care of it.

We love to help people find their dream vacation to the Arctic and Antarctic. Whether you give us a call, contact us via email, or use our website inquiry form, one of our Polar travel experts will be more than happy to answer any questions, recommend ships and itineraries, and walk you through the whole process!

Step 1: Find your perfect trip. If you have already started looking for Polar Cruises, you will have quickly noticed that the sheer amount of options can be quite overwhelming. To help you navigate the countless departures and itineraries that our fleet offers, we have put together a great filter page for Antarctic and Arctic Expedition Cruises. Use this page to filter all trips by price, date, ship category, and even destinations you wish to visit. We update all dates, prices, and availabilities daily, and are proud to host what is doubtlessly the world's most complete collection of information.

Step 2: Found something you love? We'll hold your spaces, free of charge! If you find a cruise you like, you can either inquire directly with us or make an unbinding booking online. We will then reach out to the shipowners to put a hold on your spaces for a limited time, free of charge. Once we have confirmed your block with the ship, we will send you a written confirmation of your reservation and include full payment details in an invoice. Typically, we are able to hold unpaid reservations for up to 1 week*. This gives us time to clarify all your remaining questions, and also ensures that no other passengers can book your spaces, while we continue our conversation.

Step 3: Confirm your booking. In order to confirm your booking, we ask for a deposit payment. You can pay via bank transfer or credit card. Keep in mind, that we can only hold your spaces for a limited amount of time. If we don't receive your payment after this time, we can no longer guarantee that the places will be available or that the price won't increase. To prevent disappointment, we will automatically cancel your reservation if we don't receive your deposit by the due date stated on your booking reservation.

Step 4: Booking confirmation & Payment. As soon as we have received your deposit and a completed passenger information form, we will be pleased to send your booking confirmation and updated invoice, along with your trip itinerary, important information, and other great tips for your cruise.

Step 5: Final payment. In your initial invoice, we will define a final payment date by when you need to pay us the remaining amount of your trip. Once we have received your final payment we'll send you your cruise documents and voucher. As your trip approaches, we make sure to pass along all necessary information, so you feel super prepared and stress-free.

*For last-minute bookings, we might not be able to hold your spaces for so long. We will also require the full payment of your cruise upon booking.

An expedition cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic is a big deal! Most people plan for this type of trip at least 8 months in advance. This means the earlier you book, the better chance you'll have to reserve your prefered cabins. Early bird discounts are also popular and a great way to get 10-30% off your cruise.

Most expedition cruises offer optional activities like camping and kayaking, but the spaces are limited. A cruise with 120 passengers can have only 10-15 spaces for kayaking. These are reserved on a first come first served basis. The earlier you book, the higher your chance of grabbing a spot.

Even though last minute deals do occur, keep in mind that the airline prices will be much higher if you purchase them last minute. You may save a few hundred on your cruise, but you may end up paying the most for airfare.

If you are prone to motion sickness then here are a few hints to help you.

Firstly, book a cabin in the middle of the ship. The middle of the ship will move less, both in roll and in pitch. Secondly, chose a larger ship. Bigger vessels typically are more stable, and some of them are even equipped with "stabilizers", fins under water that remove the rolling in the swells. Thirdly, take medical advice on anti-seasickness medication. Some traditional remedies are said to be very effective, such as taking ginger or using commercially-available acupressure wristbands.

Watch this informative video about life onboard an expedition ship and seasickness from our expert guide and Polartours Brand Ambassador, Kevin.

Life Onboard & Seasickness
South Georgia Explorer
Classic
New

Price

Upon Request


Discover more adventures

Secret Atlas Svalbard
Secret Atlas Svalbard
Secret Atlas Svalbard

Svalbard Explorer

A small Arctic expedition cruise around beautiful Svalbard

New
Classic

10 Days

Only 48 passengers- one of the smallest expedition ships

1 guide for every 10 guests aboard

Expert guides to answer all questions

We plant trees in Greenland to compensate for your trip!

Price on request


2024 Polartours, a Ventura TRAVEL GmbH brand

All rights reserved

Polar Specialist

Your contact

Bruna

Book a video consultation

15min face to face consultation

Polar Specialist