• Polar Pioneer Long

Itinerary Summary

13 Days
Dec 2023
Small Group Safari
Duration Price When Destination Type
13 Days £9495 Dec 2023 Antarctica Small Group Safari
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Small Ship Antarctica Expedition

As the 24 hours of darkness that shrouds the continent for eight months of the year gives way to a brief austral summer, we are heading down to this vast wilderness to spend Christmas 2023 and New Year 2024 in one of the most unique and dramatic landscapes in the world. Join us for a guaranteed white Christmas!
No place on Earth compares to this vast white wilderness of elemental forces: snow, ice, water, rock. This frozen wilderness has long held much allure for adventurers and while it remains one of the hardest, most remote destinations to reach, it’s no longer the domain of a handful of bearded explorers or wintering research scientists.
We are delighted to have chartered the M/V Polar Pioneer, a small expedition ship, for an NWS exclusive trip to explore the very best spots of the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands. A team of expert guides, including historians and naturalists, will accompany you, offering an in-depth insight into the environment, wildlife and history of the continent as we utilise the benefit of having a small ship to reach often inaccessible landing sites.
There will be plenty of wildlife encounters; Antarctica is home to some of the world’s most extraordinary species. We’ll seek out gentoo, Adélie, and chinstrap penguins and keep an eye out for different whale and seal species as we explore.


What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Spend Christmas and New Year 2024 on the white continent
  • The opportunity to explore diverse, remote locations within the southern continent.
  • Conditions permitting, set foot on the continent of Antarctica.
  • A huge array of wildlife including several species of penguin living in vast colonies, whales, seals and other seabirds.
  • See the incredible landscape of Antarctica, cruising alongside vast icebergs and incredible ice formations.

Embedded Video Overview

An extensive 13 day expedition to Antarctica aboard the M/V Polar Pioneer -
from $12,154 per person, excluding international flights.

Day by day

Day by day

Day 1

20th December - Ushuaia

As your plane descends below the clouds, catch your first glimpse of Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Make your way to your hotel and admire the spectacular views over the Beagle Channel. After checking into your room, you are free to explore this picturesque city which has a good selection of restaurants, shops and bars, or relax at the hotel and prepare for your adventure!

Day 2

21st December - Embark Polar Pioneer

Today the adventure begins! The morning is free for you to explore Ushuaia before transferring as a group to embark the Polar Pioneer, your home for the next 11 nights.

Settle into your cabin and spend time familiarising yourself with the ship before a safety briefing and setting sail along the Beagle Channel with course set for Antarctica. The team will be introduced so you can get to know the experts who will be on hand throughout your expedition to help you make the most of your adventure. As you set sail, spend time on deck looking out for the first of the magnificent seabirds that will follow your journey.

Days 3-4

22nd - 23rd December - Sailing the Drake Passage

Your adventure begins with a 400 mile crossing of the passage that bears the name of the 16th century English explorer Sir Francis Drake. The ship will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Throughout the day your on-board experts educate you with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history of the Southern Ocean and the locations you will soon be visiting. As we get closer to the peninsula, keep an eye out for the first sightings of icebergs and whales announcing our arrival in Antarctic waters.

Days 5-10

24th - 29th December - Antarctic Peninsula

Waking up this morning you will feel you have entered a different world. For those who are visiting Antarctica for the first time, make sure you spend some time on the deck taking in the scale of the scenery around you, and of course, capturing it through your lens. After so much anticipation, we enter the icy waters of the Antarctic Peninsula in the vicinity of Mikkelson Harbour or Cierva Cove. Snow-covered mountains soar from the dark waters. Along the shoreline in the bays and harbours of the peninsula live an incredible abundance of wildlife.

Your days here will be spent exploring by Zodiac boat and ashore where a range of wonderful activities await. Locations we hope to visit include Wilhelmina Bay, Orne Harbour, Cuverville Island and the Errera Channel as we search for gentoo, Adélie, and chinstrap penguins, Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals, and orca, humpback and minke whales. Take close-up photos of the penguins, or of the impossibly blue ice in all its sea-sculpted forms. Enjoy a hike to the top of a snowy mountain saddle with one of our adventure guides and marvel at the sweeping views of the bays and ‘bergs.

If the opportunity presents itself, visit a science base or old historic hut to really appreciate the history of the peninsula. Each day, you have a range of great choices.

Days 11-12

30th-31st December - Sailing the Drake Passage

After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands, it’s time to return to South America. The educational presentations continue and you’ll enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by your Expedition Leader. If conditions allow we hope to make a rounding of the fabled landmark of Cape Horn on our way back to Ushuaia. We’ll aim to celebrate New Years Eve in the Beagle Channel and bring in the New Year with style!


Day 13

1st January - Disembark Polar Pioneer

As you reach the port of Ushuaia in the early hours of the morning, it’s time to disembark, say farewell to your expedition leaders and crew, and head back home.

Disembarkation begins after breakfast and you will be transferred to the town or the airport depending on your onward plans. We strongly advise you to book flights departing after midday in case of delays crossing the Drake Passage on the return journey.




This is an exclusive departure aboard the M/V Polar Pioneer - 20 December 2023 - 1 January 2024. Note that all prices exclude international flights.
We are offering an Early Bird Discount of £500 / $675 USD per person for all bookings made before March 1, 2022 off the prices listed below.





Triple, shared bathroom


£9,495 / $12,820 USD per person sharing


Twin, shared bathroom


£10,495 / $14,170 USD per person sharing


Twin, ensuite bathroom


£11,495 / $15,520 USD per person sharing


Mini Suite


£12,195 / $16,460USD per person sharing


Captain’s Suite


£12,495 / $16,870 USD per person sharing

Antarctica, Kate Waite

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