Summary : Antarctic adventures are best when near-midnight sun powers an explosion of life along the shore and brightens the thought of camping out, early alpine climbing starts, or extended kayaking trips. Penguin highways are busy with traffic and waterways are alive with whales and seals. Visit historic sites and set foot onto the most spectacular continent on Earth.
NOTE: This is ship is currently being built and all details are subject to change.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins
- Save 10% per person
$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.
As you commence the Drake Passage crossing, make the most of your time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Your expedition team prepares you for your first landing with important wildlife guidelines and bio-security procedures, as well as start the lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment.
Your wildlife experiences begin as you enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following in the ship's wake. They rise and fall skillfully, using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.
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.
Over the next few days a host of choices are on offer, and depending on ice and weather conditions, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula is there to explore. Your experienced expedition team will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day. This allows the best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.
Because you are so far south, you'll experience approximately 18-20 hours of daylight each day. The aim is to try for two landings or Zodiac excursions each day; cruising along spectacular ice cliffs; following whales that are feeding near the surface; and landing on the continent and its off-shore islands to visit penguin rookeries, seal haul-outs, historic huts, and a few other favorite spots along the peninsula. There will be plenty of time for sleep when you get home!
During this voyage, there will be an opportunity to camp ashore (weather and time permitting). This will give you the chance to sample the style of adventure that Scott, Shackleton and other legendary Antarctic explorers experienced, although with slightly better equipment and in more comfort! Rest assured your warm and comfortable ship with its hot showers will only be a short distance away!
There are many exciting places to choose to visit and the itinerary is deliberately flexible to allow for the best spots of the day based on ice and weather conditions.
A sample of some of the types of places you might visit to cruise through, land, hike, photograph or view spectacular wildlife include:
Beautiful protected bays around the Antarctic Peninsula surrounded by magnificent peaks and spectacular glaciers—areas that are havens for whales. Keep your eyes open for humpbacks, orcas, minkes, and crabeater seals, as you explore bays in Zodiacs.
Wildlife-rich islands where Weddell seals are hauled out on protected snow beds and noisy chinstrap penguins raise their families on rocky platforms; gulls nest on turrets, fur seals and elephant seals are hauled out on the pebble beaches.
Lemaire Channel—if ice conditions allow—standing on the observation deck of the Greg Mortimer quietly as the ship sails along the narrow Lemaire Channel could certainly be one of the highlights of the voyage. Cliffs tower 700 meters (2,296 feet) straight out of the ocean on either side of the ship. The water can sometimes be so still that perfect reflections are mirrored on the surface and it is clear to see why this Channel is often called “Kodak Alley”. Gigantic icebergs may clog the channel, creating navigational challenges for the Captain and crew; occasionally they may even obstruct passage.
Send a post card home from the Penguin Post Office, the world’s most southern Post Office!
Today, your landings come to an end as the ship re-enters the Drake Passage for your return journey to Ushuaia. With lectures and film presentations to complete your Antarctic experience, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the magic of the Southern Ocean and the life that calls it home. There is time for reflection and discussion about what you have seen and experienced, and the impact this voyage has had on your attitude to life.
As the ship approaches the tip of South America, your Captain may sail close to legendary Cape Horn, weather and time permitting.
During the early morning, sail along the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia to disembark around 8.00 am. Say farewell to your expedition team and fellow travelers and continue your onward journey, hopefully 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 that is currently being built, 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.
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