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Cruises

Greg Mortimer: Antarctic Explorer

Antarctica, Argentina, Chile

12 days

Summary

Spend more time exploring the Antarctic Peninsula with Fly/Sail itineraries, including a new Fly/Fly voyage that skips the Drake entirely! The Antarctic Explorer journey will take you up close with iridescent icebergs and vast colonies of Adelie and Gentoo penguins. You’ll step foot on the white continent and its offshore islands where you’ll visit seal haulouts, historic huts and a few other spots along the peninsula. You’ll explore islands where leopard seals are busy with courtship, and maybe feeding whales!

Depending on the voyage, sea kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling, alpine trekking/climbing, snowshoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding might be available. Whereas all departures will have the experienced guides giving you handy tips to improve your photographic skills.

Spend time with our expedition leaders and guides exploring some of the wildest landscapes on the planet. Because of the small-ship capacity of the Greg Mortimer, you will spend more time on land, with generally two excursions per day. There is a range of guided walks available that will enable you to immerse yourself in flora and fauna of Antarctica.

On the other hand, take camping up a hundred notches by snoozing under the Antarctic twilight sky. Polar camping allows you to settle in for the night in the most spectacular and surreal surroundings. It is available on selected voyages, weather permitting.

About the vessel: The Greg Mortimer is a new and custom-designed ship, at the cutting edge of nautical technology. It features the patented X-BOW™, hydraulic viewing platforms and environmentally friendly virtual anchoring. It has four dedicated sea level launching platforms that provide smoother and safer zodiac transfers. Once you are back from the explorations, you will be able to relax in the Wellness Centre comprising with sauna, spa and gym equipment. Whatsmore, all staterooms have private bathrooms and twin and double-bed configuration options. It has ample storage, international power outlets, daily cabin service, as well as all the necessary amenities.

Departs on:
25 Jan 2020 to 04 Feb 2020 (Fly/Sail – 11 days – Punta Arenas/Ushuaia)
27 Dec 2020 to 07 Jan 2021 (Sail/Fly – 12 days – Ushuaia/Punta Arenas)
05 Jan 2021 to 15 Jan 2021 (Fly/Fly – 11 days – Punta Arenas/Punta Arenas)
13 Jan 2021 to 23 Jan 2021 (Fly/Sail – 11 days – Punta Arenas/Ushuaia)
12 Feb 2021 to 23 Feb 2021 (Sail/Fly – 12 days – Ushuaia/Punta Arenas)
01 Mar 2021 to 11 Mar 2021 (Fly/Sail – 11 days – Punta Arenas/Ushuaia)

Note: Voyages ending in Ushuaia are one day shorter than the reverse direction as they do not include post-night accommodation.

Highlights

  • Skip one or both Drake Passage crossings
  • Gorgeous long summer days on the peninsula
  • Zodiac-cruise in search of feeding and breaching whales
  • Discover Antarctica’s mysterious underwater world by participating in the dive or snorkel program or experience the thrill of kayaking in Antarctica (additional cost)
  • Tour scientific research stations and historic huts
  • See, hear and smell the full-on activity of a penguin city
  • Spot leopard seals on ice floes from our Zodiacs
  • Optional activities sea kayaking, snorkelling, snowshoeing, camping, alpine trekking and climbing

Inclusions

  • One night’s pre-voyage accommodation and arrival airport transfer.
  • Fully-serviced accommodation in your chosen stateroom or suite.
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and snacks. House wines, beer and soft drinks included with dinner.
  • An experienced team of destination specialists and activity leaders on board.
  • Daily shore excursions, guided walks, Zodiac-cruise and some activities (weather permitting).
  • Entry fees to historic or tourist sites (weather permitting), port surcharges, permits and landing fees.
  • An informative and entertaining lecture program by a team of experts.
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell drinks including four-course dinner, house cocktail, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Complimentary 3-in-1 polar jacket and use of Muck boots during the voyage.
  • Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic.
  • Personalised voyage photo book (post-voyage).
  • Zodiac cruises, walks & hikes, photography, expert lectures, polar plunge, birdwatching, research stations.

ITINERARY

Day 1 Ushuaia

Arrive in Ushuaia (or Punta Arenas) where you’ll be met by an Aurora Expeditions representative and transferred to your downtown hotel. Enjoy rugged mountain scenery, lively cafés, restaurants and bars.

Day 2 Ushuaia/Cruise

After checking out of your hotel, enjoy free time exploring Ushuaia and surrounds. Embark the Greg Mortimer late afternoon and sail down the wildlife-rich Beagle Channel.

Day 3 Cruise

Photograph seabirds and the swell of the Drake Passage, marvel at first icebergs and landing in South Shetland Islands.

Day 4 Cruise

From the moment you step onto the Greg Mortimer, the crew aims to give you the best hospitality service possible. Starting with the official Captain’s Welcome, you’re welcome to 24 hours complimentary coffee, tea and snack facilities in addition to a range of different menu options and courses for each meal.
Meals are served in a large restaurant with family-style dining, perfect to swap stories with your new expedition family. Additionally, a private dining area will also be available on request. Enjoy the range of house wine, beers and soft drinks included with dinner after a long day in the wild, preparing yourself for another exciting day to follow.

Day 5 Cruise

The Antarctic Peninsula’s western flanks offer long days and relatively ice-free waters. We visit historic huts and Zodiac cruise through narrow straits and majestic icebergs, and if we’re lucky, whale watch from the bow of the ship. A few landing points we hope to visit include Half Moon Bay, Lemaire Channel, Hydrurga Rocks and more.

Day 6 Cruise

Weather permitting, you’ll visit the large Adélie and gentoo penguin colonies of Brown Bluff or Paulet Island, and fossil-rich Seymour Island. We may hike to spectacular vantage points on Beak or Devil Islands; large tabular icebergs and volcanic scenery create long-lasting memories. Wherever we go, wildlife, Heroic Age relics and haunting landscapes await.

Day 7 Cruise

During selected voyages, there will be an opportunity to camp ashore (weather and time permitting). Camping in Antarctica will give you the chance to sample the adventures experienced by Scott, Shackleton and other legendary Antarctic explorers – in slightly more comfort.

Day 8 Cruise

When you’re relaxing during a sea day or you have a little downtime on the ship between excursions, what is there to do onboard the Greg Mortimer? Plenty!
On all expeditions, some experts lead presentations in the spacious lecture room so you can understand the region a little better. These often include topics as broad as history and culture to biology and climate change. These presentations aim to educate and entertain.
If you’re keen to watch the surroundings, then keep your eyes peeled for wildlife from the Observation lounge. Alternatively, head to the bars/lounges where the stunning floor to ceiling windows offer a special perspective on the landscape.

Day 9 Cruise

Small groups make a big difference, especially when visiting Antarctica. The Greg Mortimer boast one of the lowest passenger capacities in expedition cruising, and the treks take a maximum of 14 hikers. This leads to smoother transitions, longer and more relaxed landings, and more personal experience with nature. Usually, you’ll have two daily excursions, and in some cases, it can be up to three excursions per day. Greg Mortimer is also built for expedition cruising with sea-level Zodiac-launching platforms, special adventure preparation spaces and fantastic viewing platforms. You’ll be whisked ashore on an adventure or be cruising in a Zodiac in no time!

Day 10 Cruise

The Greg Mortimer is also decked out with other facilities for your enjoyment. There is a library on Deck 7 with books and maps and a Wellness Centre complete with gym equipment, sauna and spa. Keen photographers and artists will revel in the multimedia room on deck 5.
Sea days are perfect for learning about the wildlife and history of the places you’ll be visiting, photographing seabirds and editing photos, or simply getting to know your fellow expeditioners.

Day 11 Cruise/Punta Arenas

Landing on King George Island, home to scientific bases; board our flight to Punta Arenas, enjoying a final night’s stay in town.

Day 12 Punta Arenas

After a delicious breakfast, bid new friends goodbye as you leave for home or to extend your adventure in South America.

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