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 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 the 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: Aurora Expedition’s new ship – Sylvia Earle- is the 2nd purpose-built expedition vessel. It honors the highly accomplished marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer, Sylvia Earle; the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998. This vessel pays tribute to Sylvia’s long-standing conservation efforts for marine protected areas and ocean wildlife. Sylvia Earle features the same revolutionary Ulstein X-BOW® design as the Greg Mortimer. And it also features a swimming pool and jacuzzi and a distinctive Glass Atrium Lounge at the bow of the ship for stunning panoramic views.
– 16 Jan 2022 to 26 Jan 2022 (Sail/Fly – 11 days – Ushuaia/Pta. Arenas – Antarctic Explorer) Greg Mortimer
– 19 Jan 2022 to 29 Jan 2022 (Sail/Fly – 11 days – Ushuaia/Pta. Arenas – Antarctic Explorer) Sylvia Earle
– 24 Jan 2022 to 04 Feb 2022 (Fly/Fly – 12 days – Pta. Arenas/Pta. Arenas – Antarctic Explorer) Greg Mortimer
– 27 Jan 2022 to 07 Feb 2022 (Fly/Sail – 12 days – Pta. Arenas/Pta. Arenas – Antarctic Explorer) Sylvia Earle
– 02 Feb 2022 to 13 Feb 2022 (Fly/Sail – 12 days – Pta. Arenas/Ushuaia – Antarctic Explorer) Greg Mortimer
– 05 Feb 2022 to 16 Feb 2022 (Fly/Sail – 12 days – Pta. Arenas/Ushuaia – Antarctic Explorer) Sylvia Earle
– 21 Feb 2022 to 04 Mar 2022 (Fly/Fly – 12 days – Pta. Arenas/Pta. Arenas – Antarctic Explorer) Greg Mortimer
– 06 Mar 2022 to 15 Mar 2022 (Fly/Sail – 10 days – Pta. Arenas/Ushuaia – Antarctic Explorer) Sylvia Earle
Note: Voyages ending in Ushuaia are one day shorter than the reverse direction as they do not include post-night accommodation.
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.
After checking out of your hotel, enjoy free time exploring Ushuaia and surrounds. Embark the Sylvia Earle late afternoon and sail down the wildlife-rich Beagle Channel.
Photograph seabirds and the swell of the Drake Passage, marvel at first icebergs and landing in South Shetland Islands.
From the moment you step onto the Sylvia Earle, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Sylvia Earle? 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.
Small groups make a big difference, especially when visiting Antarctica. The Sylvia Earle 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. Sylvia Earle 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!
The Sylvia Earle 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.
Landing on King George Island, home to scientific bases; board our flight to Punta Arenas, enjoying a final night’s stay in town.
After a delicious breakfast, bid new friends goodbye as you leave for home or to extend your adventure in South America.