Summary : Explore Antarctica at its most pristine. Experience whales, penguins and seals as they rush to find the best place to court, feed and breed. Experience continental landings and visits to historic sites. Observe penguin colonies alive with nest building; Zodiac cruise amongst water-sculpted icebergs; step ashore on the Antarctic continent. Optional kayaking or camping for added adventure!
NOTE: This is ship is currently being built and all details are subject to change.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins
- Save up to 25% per person
$10,900 to $23,600
Arrive in Ushuaia where you’ll be met by an expedition representative and transferred to your downtown hotel (if taking the designated group flight).
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.
NOTE: Lunch is not included today.
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. The information below is subject to change at any time.
NOTE: This is ship is currently being built and 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.
All the equipment you need to experience the feelings of the early Antarctic explorers is provided—albeit in a more comfortable and civilized fashion. 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. This activity will only be offered on board if there is still availability at the time of embarkation. If you are interested in the Camping activity, please contact ExpeditionTrips. 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.
Imagine climbing some of the world’s most remote peaks, revelling in amazing vistas and pushing off to enjoy the thrill of skiing or snowboarding back down. Offered to experienced skiers, you will have the chance to enjoy day-trips alongside qualified mountain guides to climb and ski/snowboard some of Antarctica’s finest slopes. Fee required to participate. Please contact ExpeditionTrips to book.
Witness wildlife and scenery unlike any other place on earth. Through crystal clear waters you'll discover the amazing mobility and speed of penguins entering and exiting from the ice, marvel at beautiful sculpted icebergs below the water and witness marine life such as crustaceans, isopods, starfish and nudibranchs! Participant numbers are limited to ensure the highest safety standards and an experienced dive guide will oversee the program. Fee required to participate. Please contact ExpeditionTrips to book.
Snowshoeing makes walking up gentle slopes and across Antarctica’s soft, powdery snow a breeze, allowing you to explore places where others struggle to reach in boots alone. Armed with your very own set of snowshoes and ski poles, you’ll be led by guides who will provide all the instruction you need for a thrilling experience. No previous experience is required, but a good level of fitness is necessary. Fee required to participate. Please contact ExpeditionTrips to book.
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; alcohol and soft drinks not mentioned as included; items of a personal nature such as Wi-Fi, laundry service, spa charges, medical expenses, etc.; required travel insurance; excess baggage charges; airport arrival or departure taxes; gratuities (Note: A $15 USD per person per day gratuity for the crew is automatically added to your onboard account. It is at your discretion if you would like to remove the tip (or increase/decrease the amount) when you settle your bill); fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos: © Aurora Expeditions