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Join one of the most incredible expedition voyages on this planet. Journey below the Antarctic Circle and deep into the Weddell Sea, a part of Antarctica that few get to experience. Encounter huge tabular icebergs and an array of marine wildlife on this trip of a lifetime to the world's most remote continent.

Exclusive to New Scientist, you will be accompanied by marine biologist and author Helen Scales along with a highly knowledgeable and supportive expedition team (experts in exploration, science and wildlife).

Retrace the paths of early British explorer Ernest Shackleton, one of the greatest known survival stories of polar exploration. Hear first-hand from broadcast presenter and producer, Saunders Carmichael-Brown, who was aboard the Endurance 22 expedition that discovered the remains of Shackleton’s ship on the Antarctic seabed in 2022. 

Aboard a new state-of-the-art polar expedition vessel, the Sylvia Earle. With a capacity for just 132 guests, it is large enough to offer luxury and to navigate deep into the ice but remains an intimate and highly personalised experience. With a full programme of talks, shore visits and Zodiac boat safaris.

Travel through the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires before setting sail from the port of Ushuaia, nicknamed the ‘end-of-the-world’.  Embark on an incredible journey to the South Shetland Islands, before venturing into the Antarctic Sound, the gateway to the Weddell Sea. Follow Shackleton’s extraordinary adventure as you voyage further east, navigating as far as possible into the Weddell Sea, known for its vast tabular icebergs, abundant wildlife and historical significance.

Be rewarded with unforgettable encounters with wildlife that breeds and birth on sea ice. Keep watch for minke and humpback whales, abundant Adelie penguins and crabeater seals. Your expert expedition team will be by your side to enrich your journey with polar insight, wildlife spotting and stories of epic adventure. Zodiac-cruise on seas that have been declared by scientists as the clearest on Earth, around icebergs the size of skyscrapers to remote beaches to visit penguin rookeries and historic huts.

Onboard Expert

Your expedition is a carefully curated mixture of daytime activity designed to immerse you in your polar surroundings and talks in the evenings and whilst sailing across the Drake Passage. During the day the itinerary remains flexible as the captain will look at prevailing conditions and sightings, to give you the best opportunity for wildlife and iceberg encounters.

Biologist Alison George will accompany you on the activities and also give a series of private talks and fireside chats covering a broad range of polar science including how microbes rule Antarctica, lessons from overwintering in Antarctica, cold water therapy, hidden Antarctica from 50 million years ago, investigating ice cores and the science behind ice-proofing from penguins to humans.

Saunders Carmichael-Brown will also be onboard. As part of the Endurance 22 expedition team, he will give talks on this amazing adventure, sharing his experiences from the expedition and the challenges involved including:

  • The story of Shackleton and the Endurance.
  • The Endurance 22 expedition - What was it, why did it happen and what it discovered?
  • The advanced technology involved in staging a deep Antarctic exploration.  
  • Behind the scenes of filming in Antarctic conditions.
  • The unexpected natural phenomena they found on the expedition and on the Endurance’s hull.
  • The legacy of the expedition and how it helped gained data that was previously uncharted.

You can watch some amazing footage of the Endurance on the sea floor here.

The onboard expedition team (at least one for every eight passengers) will help you experience a range of activities centered around daytime exploration via Zodiac boat safaris (investigating coves, icebergs and wildlife), guided hikes (exploring pristine beaches and stunning wilderness) and photography (helping you to improve your skills with a camera). In the evening and whilst transferring between sites, the team will give informative lectures on board covering wildlife, marine biology, exploration, history, photography and research.  

In addition, there will be unique and engaging encounters with the ship's operational crew, allowing you the opportunity to go behind the scenes of polar exploration and cruising. 

• How to navigate in the polar environment.

• Reading the weather patterns, the ice and the currents.

• If operational circumstances allow, we will take you in small groups for informative tours around the bridge and the engine room.

You will also have the opportunity to participate in AE’s unique Citizen Science Program which is designed to be a hands-on, immersive and transformative experience that helps you to protect the beauty of our planet. Various sampling and data collection projects will be conducted on your voyage and a Citizen Science Coordinator will be on hand to introduce and assist you. 


  • Experience the enormity of Antarctic ice and enormous tabular icebergs in the Weddell Sea.

  • Zodiac cruises in secluded bays and quiet coves filled with brash ice. Photograph enormous glaciers and spectacularly shaped icebergs.
  • Learn all about the Antarctic’s unique ecosystems from marine biologist Helen Scales.
  • Be awestruck by the array of wildlife that frolic, forage and hunt in Antarctic Sound including whales, penguins and seals.
  • Uncover the fascinating history of Shackleton’s expedition, including the Endurance 22 expedition discovery of the Endurance shipwreck from film producer Saunders Carmichael-Brown.
  • Travel aboard the recently launched purpose-built expedition vessel, the Sylvia Earle.

Price Includes

  • 12 nights aboard the polar expedition vessel, the Sylvia Earle.
  • Full board throughout your time on Sylvia Earle including snacks, tea and coffee. Plus beer, house wine and soft drinks at dinner.
  • Captains Welcome and Farewell receptions.
  • Private talks and informal seminars from Helen Scales.
  • Talks and activity support from the onboard expedition team and Saunders Carmichael-Brown.
  • All zodiac cruising and landing activities led by the expedition team.
  • Free wi-fi onboard.
  • Initial consultation with the ship's doctor.
  • 3-in-1 AE Expeditions polar jacket.
  • Complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage.
  • Digital photo log book.
  • Coastal catamaran cruise from Ushuaia and half day tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park.
  • 2 nights at five-star hotel in Buenos Aires and a four-star hotel in Ushuaia.
  • Transfers between airports, hotels and your ship.
  • Internal return flight between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia.
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees.
  • Gratuities.
  • 24-hour support.

Secure your space today by calling one of our Travel Specialists on 020 8038 1630 or enquire here


Day 1 - Arrive Into Buenos Aires

After touching down in Buenos Aires, check into the five-star Sofitel Buenos Aires, located in the Recoleta district of the city, home to grand buildings, fine restaurants and the Recoleta Cemetery, the final resting place of Eva Peron. You may choose to arrive a few days earlier and explore this cosmopolitan and historic city.

In the evening, our partner Polar Routes will hold a drinks reception where you will be briefed on the expedition ahead and you will also enjoy an introductory talk from the New Scientist accompanying expert Helen Scales. Throughout the expedition, Helen will be on hand to provide insight, accompany your polar excursions and give private talks on a wide range of topics.

Day 2 - Travel To Ushuaia, The End Of The World
Day 3 - Explore Ushuaia Then Embark On The Sylvia Earle
Days 4 & 5 - Drake Passage Crossing
Days 6-12 - Antarctic Peninsula, The Weddell Sea And Shackleton
Days 13-14 - Drake Passage Crossing
Day 15 - Arrive Into Ushuaia And Explore The Tierra Del Fuego National Park

Departures and Prices

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From your first booking with us, you’ll become a member of My Routes Rewards and begin collecting points for every holiday you book!


We'll compare a huge selection of expedition ships, cruises and operators to find your perfect cruise.

Our prices are amongst the best you'll find, plus look out for Polar Routes exclusive offers!

As supporters of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, booking with us helps support the work of the trust within Antarctica.

All our holidays are ATOL protected (11104), for your complete peace of mind.


Why book with Polar Routes?

  • We can compare a huge selection of expedition ships, cruises and operators.
  • From former Russian research vessels to larger and luxurious ships - there is an expedition cruise to suit you. 
  • Our Polar Specialists will help you choose the perfect expedition cruise for your requirements.
  • We are the expedition cruise specialists and know all the polar destinations inside out.
  • Our expert team of Polar Specialists have extensive knowledge of all the expedition ships & operators.
  • All of our Polar Specialists have first-hand experience of expedition cruising to the polar regions.
  • Our prices are amongst the best you'll find, plus look out for Polar Routes exclusive offers!
  • All our holidays are ATOL protected (11104), for your complete peace of mind.
  • As supporters of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, booking with us helps support the work of the trust within Antarctica.