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Cruises

Greg Mortimer: Wild Antarctica

Antarctica, Chile

13 days

Summary

Spend more time exploring Antarctica with FLY/SAIL itineraries, including a new FLY/FLY voyage that skips the Drake entirely! Wild Antarctica journey will take you to the ice factory of the South. The Weddell Sea is one of Antarctica’s unique regions, mainly because of its abundant wildlife. Weddell seals and killer whales and Adelie penguins are iconic species in the area. However, it is frequently possible to see humpback whales, minke whales, crabeater seals, and leopards seals.

Another fascinating feature of the Weddell Sea is the massive tabular icebergs which are responsible for waters rich in krill and breathtaking landscapes. The Greg Mortimer is a new expedition ship, with ice-strengthened technology. It will take you safely and comfortably between the Weddell Sea and the Antarctic Peninsula’s west coast; you’ll get the best of both worlds during this journey.

In true expedition style, this journey encourages exploration and adventure. It endeavours flexibility in challenging environments to see and do as much as possible. Weather permitting you will have the possibility of doing kayak, snorkel, stand-up paddleboard, or scuba diving in Antarctica.

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:
3 Mar 2020 to 15 Mar 2020 (Fly/Sail – 13 days – Punta Arenas/Ushuaia)
21 Feb 2021 to 3 Mar 2021 (Fly/Fly – 11 days – Punta Arenas/Punta Arenas)

This itinerary is a guide only and is subject to change due to ice and weather conditions.

Highlights

  • Experience the thrill of kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving (available to experienced dry-suite divers only) or stand-up paddleboarding (additional cost)
  • Marvel at enormous tabular icebergs in the Weddell Sea
  • Retrace some of Shackleton’s and Nordenskoljd’s route
  • Learn from a palaeontologist as you set foot upon incredible fossil-rich volcanic islands
  • Capture Antarctic light with a polar photography guide
  • Delight in Adelie, gentoo and chinstrap penguins
  • Hunting orcas, feeding humpbacks and slinky minkes
  • Search for feeding whales and hunting seals

Inclusions

  • One night’s pre-voyage accommodation and arrival airport transfer
  • Fully-serviced accommodation in your chosen stateroom or suite.
  • All meals, snacks, house wines, beer and soft drinks included with dinner.
  • An experienced team of destination specialists and activity leaders.
  • Daily shore excursions, guided walks, Zodiac-cruises 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 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 Punta Arenas

Arrive in Punta Arenas, where you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to your downtown hotel. Overlooking the Straits of Magellan, the city sits astride one of the world’s most historic trade routes. Today, Punta Arenas reflects a great mix of cultures, from English sheep ranchers to Portuguese sailors, and it remains an utterly fascinating testament to Chile’s rich history.

Tonight, we will gather to meet our fellow expeditioners and a briefing on the first leg of our expedition – our flight to Antarctica!

Day 2 Punta Arenas/Cruise

Punta Arenas to King George Island-
This morning we will be transferred to Punta Arenas airport for our early morning charter flight to King George Island, Antarctica. The flight will take approximately one-and-a-half hours. On arrival into King George Island our expedition team is on hand to greet you for your Zodiac transfer to board the Greg Mortimer. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings.

Day 3 Cruise

Weddell Sea & Antarctic Peninsula West Coast-
After settling into shipboard life, we will head through the Antarctic Sound to the eastern side of the Peninsula to reach the Weddell Sea.
Access into the Weddell is heavily dependent on ice conditions, and the experienced leader will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day. Weather permitting you will make landings or Zodiac excursions two to three times a day. Days will be spent 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 rookies, seal haulouts, historic huts, and a few of our other favourite spots along the peninsula.

Day 4 Cruise

Weddell Sea & Antarctic Peninsula West Coast-
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

Weddell Sea & Antarctic Peninsula West Coast-
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.

Day 6 Cruise

Weddell Sea & Antarctic Peninsula West Coast-
Whether in the lounge bar, dining room or out on deck, you’ll find that the friendly expedition team and small ship create a relaxed and informal atmosphere making your time aboard unique and memorable. Sharing adventures, photos, tall tales, and communal dining naturally encourages the expeditioners, especially solo travellers, to mingle and form new friendships. The approachable expedition team will make every effort to make you feel at home on the ship.

Day 7 Cruise

Weddell Sea & Antarctic Peninsula West Coast-
Give ‘up-close and personal’ a new meaning by hopping aboard one of our Zodiacs. It’s the best way to explore and see wildlife in hard-to-reach places. Zodiac’s unique design allows us to easily navigate harder-to-reach places while having plenty of fun!

Day 8 Cruise

Weddell Sea & Antarctic Peninsula West Coast-
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, there are experts who 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 just watch the surroundings and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, you have access to two bars/lounges where the stunning floor to ceiling windows offer a special perspective on the landscape.

Day 9 Cruise

Weddell Sea & Antarctic Peninsula West Coast-
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 10 Cruise

Weddell Sea & Antarctic Peninsula West Coast-
Attend informative lectures to learn about Antarctica as we sail. Treat yourself to a massage in the wellness centre or stay active in the gym; the choice is yours on how you want to enjoy days at sea.

Day 11 Cruise

Weddell Sea & Antarctic Peninsula West Coast-
Sailing. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced photographer, let our onboard guides offer handy tips to improve your skills. Photography guides are available on selected voyages where indicated.

Day 12 Cruise/Punta Arenas

As you approach Frei Base on King George Island, it is time to farewell Antarctica and your amazing adventure before boarding the return flight to Punta Arenas, Chile. On arrival at the Punta Arenas airport, you will be transferred to the hotel.
Some departures finish in Ushuaia.

Day 13 Punta Arenas

After breakfast, bid a fond farewell to your fellow passengers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature.

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