Summary : Antarctica at its most accessible! Cruise down to Antarctica and fly back on this time-saving ‘Sail/Fly’ voyage to the icy continent’s picturesque west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. 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.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Diving, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins, Antarctica Air-Cruise
- Save up to 15% per person
$11,500 to $24,300
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.
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.
As you approach Frei Base on King George Island, it is time to farewell Antarctica and your amazing adventure before boarding your flight (approximately one-and-a half-hours) to Punta Arenas, Chile. On arrival at the Punta Arenas airport, you will be transferred to your included downtown hotel.
NOTE: King George Island is located at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula in the South Shetland Islands and is one of the most remote place on Earth. A clear sky with perfect visibility is required in order to take off and land safely. Please see the contingency plan in the Notes and Payment/Cancellation Policy section so you know what to anticipate should there be any delays due to weather.
After breakfast, bid a fond farewell to your fellow travelers as you continue your onward journeys with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature (breakfast included).
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.
Charter Flight Contingency Plan:
You acknowledge that weather conditions may delay or require a cancellation of this 'Sail/Fly' itinerary. Due to weather conditions, flying in some regions can be difficult and beyond the shipping company's control. If a voyage’s charter flight has been delayed due to weather conditions, the shipping company will attempt for up to 72 hours with the airline to fly to the destination. See Payment & Cancellation Policies page for more details regarding the 'Sail/Fly' charter flight continengency plans.
Charter Flight Luggage Weight Limit:
Punta Arenas/King George Island: 7kg per person carry on; 20kg per person checked
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: 12/27/2020 only
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: Select Departures
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.
Kayaking: All Departures
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.
Alpine Trekking/Climbing: Select Departures
Stand atop an Antarctic summit for views few others have experienced. Internationally-qualified climbing guides plan to help you make at least two, one-day alpine ascents (weather dependent) as well as some ice-climbing. Fee required to participate. Please contact ExpeditionTrips to book.
Snorkeling: All Departures
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: Select Departures
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.
Stand Up Paddleboarding: Select Departures
A hybrid of paddling and surfing, paddleboarding is absolutely thrilling for adventurous expeditioners who want to experience Antarctica up close from this unique vantage point. Some paddleboarding experience is required to participate in this activity as weather and sea conditions in Antarctica can be challenging and unpredictable. Fee required to participate. Please contact ExpeditionTrips to book.
Scuba Diving: Select Departures
Imagine exploring new dive sites, diving where very few have dived before with the chance to encounter beautiful sea stars, sea spiders, nudibranchs, soft corals, penguins, seals and whales. Diver 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.
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); one-way flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas on disembarkation day; transfer from Punta Arenas airport to hotel; one night post-voyage hotel in Punta Arenas with breakfast; shipboard accommodations; camping (12/27/2020 only, 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