Summary : Meet penguins in person, aim to step foot on the White Continent, and hear the crackle of sea ice on this epic otherworldly adventure! Exploring the modern traveler’s final frontier, you’ll discover the iconic sights and sounds that make Antarctica one of the Earth’s most pristine, unforgettable, and coveted destinations.
NOTE: This is a NEW ship for this season. All details are subject to change.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
$10,500 to $20,000
Arrive in Ushuaia where you’ll be met by a expedition representative and transferred to your downtown hotel (if taking the designated group flight). The rest of the day is at your leisure.
This morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before exploring Ushuaia on a half-day city tour.
The city tour will aim to visit The Mission, Brown and Solier neighborhoods, where you can see old houses belonging to the first families in Tierra del Fuego, such as the Beban, the Pastoriza, and the Ramos. Head 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) out of town to Martial Glacier. The ride in the chair lift to the trails leading up to the glacier provides wonderful regional views of Ushuaia, the Beagle Channel and its islands. Afterwards, continue to the End of the World Museum with exhibitions explaining the history of Tierra del Fuego.
Transfer to the pier where your expedition team will warmly welcome you on board the Greg Mortimer at approximately 4:00pm.
Crossing the Drake is a rite of passage that signifies your journey to the White Continent has begun! As you sail from the southern tip of South America to the Antarctic Peninsula, enjoy time on deck in the cool salt breeze as you spot sea birds gracefully soaring in the wind. Attend engaging presentations, enjoy the ship’s amenities, and get to know your fellow traveling companions as excitement builds in anticipation of your first excursion. The first iceberg will flash into sight as you near the South Shetlands Islands, and you may even see penguins swimming!
Nearing the South Shetland Islands and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula on day four, the excitement is palpable with everyone converging on one of the observation decks, watching for the first iceberg. The ocean takes on a whole new perspective once the ship is below the Antarctic Convergence and surrounded by the surreal presence of floating ice sculptures. The memory of your first big iceberg sighting is likely to remain with you for a long time. Weather permitting, your first landing in Antarctica could be in the late afternoon.
As you navigate historic waterways and visit prime sites along the Antarctic Peninsula and neighboring South Shetland Islands, the goal is to attempt 1-2 excursions per day. Your Captain and Expedition Leader continually monitor weather and ice conditions, working together to insure you experience the best of Antarctica whether you’re exploring Paradise Bay, the Lemaire Channel, Port Lockroy, Deception Island, or the many other locations available for landings and Zodiac cruising in the region.
Sailing in the wake of the 19th century’s great explorers—Sir Ernest Shackleton, Adrien de Gerlache, Robert Falcon Scott, and Roald Amundsen (to name just a few)—you’ll photograph the same towering mountain peaks they saw, hear raucous penguin colonies as you go ashore, see dazzling shades of blue and white as you navigate bays with impressive ice sculptures, and gain a new perspective of what it takes for wildlife—from penguins and giant petrels to elephant seals and humpback whales—to thrive in the beauty of this environment.
The forecast for conditions across the Drake Passage will determine when you’ll say a fond farewell to Antarctica and sail back to South America. Enjoy the ship’s amenities as the coastline drifts out of view, take time for bird watching and searching the horizon for whales, and enjoy final presentations by the expedition staff as you relax and reflect upon your Antarctic adventure.
Disembark the ship after breakfast, and say farewell to your expedition team and fellow travelers and continue your onward journey with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to either downtown Ushuaia or to
the airport is included in the cost of the voyage.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions—and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
NOTE: This is a NEW ship, and as with any new vessel, we strongly suggest selecting a departure date at least six weeks after launch. All details are subject to change.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase emergency evacuation/repatriation insurance at a minimum coverage of $250,000. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. Insurance should cover personal accident and medical expenses, evacuation and repatriation, baggage loss, and cancellation or curtailment of holiday. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Photography Program: All departures
Scott Portelli, a photography expert will offer complimentary lectures and presentations to help improve your skills. Whether a beginner or experienced photographer, you will find the presentations and informal tuitions, while either on board or during landings and excursions, will help you capture those memorable moments. Scott is an international award-winning wildlife, nature and underwater photographer. A member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP), Scott has spent over a decade working in the polar regions with a focus on Antarctica and the Sub-Antarctic areas.
Camping is complimentary and is subject to weather, time and operational conditions. Places are limited to 40 campers on a first-come first-served basis, so early booking is encouraged. A camping mat and thermal sleeping bag will be provided. PLEASE NOTE: tents are not used for the camping experience as it is best enjoyed without blocking the amazing surrounds you've come to admire.
Exploration by sea kayak is an ideal way to surround yourself in the sights and sounds of Antarctica. Paddle among icebergs and brash ice, get up close to wildlife and observe in an unobtrusive manner. Some kayak excursions may be long in duration and on choppy water, so a reasonable level of kayaking experience is required to participate in this activity. Fee required to participate. Please contact ExpeditionTrips to book.
Along the Antarctic Peninsula coastline, hundreds of peaks rise several thousand feet, snow-clad and beckoning eager adventure seekers. From ascents of alpine peaks to ice climbing, this program aims to give participants a taste of the region’s fantastic climbing opportunities. Climbs range from easy ascents to more technical routes, ranging from 4 to 10 hours. Weather and other factors permitting, the hope is to make at least two one-day alpine ascents and attempt some ice climbing. Previous experience with crampons and ice axe is necessary. There are many requirements as to experience, gear, and insurance in order to be able to participate in this activity. Minimum participant number must be met in order for program to take place. Please inquire with an Expedition Specialist.
From alpine bowls and crevassed glaciers to long open slopes, summit and ski a range of Antarctic landscapes. While the aim is to get out as often as possible, the number of outings will be dependent on weather and other factors. The average number of outings is usually six. There are many requirements as to experience, gear, and insurance in order to be able to participate in this activity. Minimum participant number must be met in order for program to take place. Please inquire with an Expedition Specialist.
Snowshoeing is an excellent way to ascend to some of Antarctica’s best vantage points, stretch the legs and take in the most spectacular scenery on the planet—no previous experience required. Join in on the fun and discover a different slice of Antarctica! You’ll be led by an experienced guide who will provide all the instruction you need. The aim is to get out as often as possible, the number of outings will be dependent on weather and the itinerary’s landing points. Minimum participant number must be met in order for program to take place. The average number of outings is usually six, lasting up to three hours per outing.
One pre-cruise hotel night in Ushuaia with breakfast; group transfers from Ushuaia airport to hotel if on the group flight; half-day tour of Ushuaia before embarkation (lunch not included); transfer from ship to Ushuaia airport or downtown on disembarkation day; shipboard accommodations; camping (limited to 40 spots, pre-book); printed photo book from your voyage (post voyage, one per booking); gear to keep (expedition jacket); gear on loan (boots); all meals onboard ship; house wines, beers, and soft drinks with dinner onboard ship. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; passport and visa expenses; hotels and meals not included in itinerary transfers not mentioned as included; optional activity supplements: kayaking, mountaineering, snowshoeing, and/or ski touring; alcohol and beverages not mentioned as included; items of a personal nature such as Wi-Fi, laundry service, spa charges, medical expenses; required travel insurance; excess baggage charges; airport arrival or departure taxes; gratuities (NOTE: Gratuities for crew will automatically be added to your bill. Please advise at the time of settlement if you would like this to be removed); fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos: © Aurora Expeditions