Spirit of Antarctica: Greg Mortimer

Antarctic Peninsula

Antarctic adventures are best enjoyed in the early summer, when near-midnight sun powers an explosion of life along the shore and brightens the thought of camping out, early alpine climbing starts or extended kayaking trips. Penguin highways are busy with traffic as parents hurry to fatten chicks and waterways are alive with whales and seals. We visit historic sites and step onto the most spectacular continent on Earth

  • Penguin colonies alive with nest building
  • Zodiac cruise amoungst water-sculpted icebergs
  • Step ashore the Antarctic continent!
  • Visit historic huts and scientific stations
  • Antarctic marine life - seals and whales
  • Kayak, climb, camp or snorkel!

Earlybird Offers

10% discount available on remaining 2019 departures until March 31. Use Promocode GM10

2020-21 SEASON:

Save up to 25% for all departures in the 2020/21 season - the discount varies by cabin category. Please contact us for details!

Stewart's Take

An expeditionary voyage with many adventure options and the very latest in small ship cruising

Overview

Antarctic adventures are best enjoyed in the early summer, when near-midnight sun powers an explosion of life along the shore and brightens the thought of camping out, early alpine climbing starts or extended kayaking trips. Penguin highways are busy with traffic as parents hurry to fatten chicks and waterways are alive with whales and seals. We visit historic sites and step onto the most spectacular continent on Earth.
Day 1 – Arrive Ushuaia Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a representative and transferred to your downtown hotel (preferred flights only). Day 2 – Embark the Greg Mortimer in Ushuaia This morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before exploring Ushuaia on a half-day city tour. Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego is located at the shores of the Beagle Channel and surrounded by the Martial Mountains giving you a unique landscape in Argentina, which is the combination of mountains, sea, glaciers and forests. On this half day introductory tour, you will visit “La Mision” neighbourhood, the old Government House, and the upper area of the city, which offers beautiful panoramic views of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel. During the excursion you will see the antique houses that belonged to the first families settled in Ushuaia. The excursion ends with a visit to the End of the World Museum before transferring to the pier for embarkation at approximately 4.00 PM. Please note that opening hours to the museum can change without notice, and if the End of the World Museum is closed, we may visit the nearby Old Prison Museum. As the Greg Mortimer pulls away from port, we’ll gather on the deck to commence our adventure with spectacular views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings. This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners and friendly expedition team and crew at a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure to Antarctica. (Breakfast and dinner included. Lunch is at own expense) Day 3 – Drake Passage crossing As we commence the Drake Passage crossing, we make the most of our time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Our expedition team prepare you for our first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures, and start our lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment. Our wildlife experiences begin as we enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following in our wake. They rise and fall skilfully, using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum. Day 4 – Drake Passage & South Shetland Islands 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 our first iceberg. The ocean takes on a whole new perspective once we are below the Antarctic Convergence and are 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, we may attempt our first landing in Antarctica by late afternoon. Days 5-9 – Antarctic Peninsula Over the next few days a host of choices are open to us, and depending on ice and weather conditions, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula is ours to explore. Our experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design our voyage from day to day. This allows us to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities. Because we are so far south, we will experience approximately 18-20 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish. We will generally 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 of our other favourite 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 our warm and comfortable ship with its hot showers will only be a short distance away! There are many exciting places we can choose to visit and our itinerary is deliberately flexible to allow us to pick the best spots on the day based on ice and weather conditions. A sample of some of the types of places where we may 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 as we keep our eyes open for humpbacks, orcas, minkes, and crabeater seals, as we 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 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 our voyage. Cliffs tower 700 metres / 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 our Captain and crew; occasionally they may even obstruct our passage. Send a post card home from the Penguin Post Office, the world’s most southern Post Office! Days 10-11 – Drake Passage crossing Today, our landings come to an end as we re-enter the Drake Passage for our return journey to Ushuaia. With lectures and film presentations to complete our Antarctic experience, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the magic of Southern Ocean and the life that calls it home. There is time for reflection and discussion about what we have seen and experienced, and the impact this voyage has had on our attitude to life. As we approach the tip of South America, our Captain may sail close to legendary Cape Horn, weather and time permitting. Day 12 – Disembark Ushuaia During the early morning, we sail along the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, where we begin disembarking at around 8.00 am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow travellers as we all continue our onward journeys, 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.

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Expedition Vessel: The Greg Mortimer

Greg Mortimer expedition vessel

This state-of-the-art 104-metre ship is a purpose-built expedition vessel for just 120 passengers, to be launched in 2019. Capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, the Greg Mortimer is built to world-class polar standards – designed in close consultation with expedition specialists. The Greg Mortimer redefines expedition cruising for the future. Not only can the ship contend with the most adverse weather conditions, its added creature comforts make for a more enjoyable journey out on the open ocean. As a modern and custom-designed ship, the Greg Mortimer is at the cutting edge of nautical technology. Robust, powerful and built with guests in mind, this ship marks a significant investment in expedition capabilities. From the European Arctic to the depths of Antarctica, and other far-flung destinations in-between, the Greg Mortimer will make your journey a breeze!

For full information about this vessel click here:

Included
  • Group transfer to hotel from the preferred group flight.
  • One night pre-voyage hotel accommodation and luggage transfer to ship on embarkation day
  • Group transfer from ship to downtown or airport post voyage
  • Fully-serviced accommodation in your chosen stateroom
  • Daily shore excursions, guided walks, Zodiac cruises
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information kit and destination resource guide
  • An experienced team of destination specialists and activity leaders
  • An informative and entertaining lecture program by our team of experts
  • Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner including house wines, beers and soft drinks, afternoon tea and snacks
  • Captain's Welcome and Farewell drinks including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
  • Pre-dinner drinks including canapes and bar snacks
  • Complimentary 3-in-1 polar jacket
  • Complimentary use of rubber boots
  • Complimentary use of fitness centre
  • Complimentary access to on board expedition doctor and medical clinic
  • Personalised photo book (post voyage)
  • Entry fees to historic or tourist sites
  • Port, pilotage charges and landing fees
Excluded
  • International or domestic flights to or within South America, unless specified
  • Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Visa, passport, and vaccination charges
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
  • Hotels or meals not included in voyage itinerary
  • Optional activity surcharge
  • All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, and email or phone charges.
Prices and Share Policy Prices quoted are per person in US$, based on twin-share. Single occupancy is 1.7 times the twin share price. No single travel fees apply if you are willing to share your cabin. Fuel surcharge may apply in the event of significant fuel price increases. No refund for unused services. Deposits Reservations require a deposit of $2500 per person at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 90 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments Balances are due 90 days prior to departure. You will be invoiced at the appropriate time. Balance payments can be made by bank transfer or on request by major credit card, subject to a 2% surcharge. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations made before 90 days of voyage departure are subject to a non-refundable deposit of $2500, however your deposit may be transferred towards a different voyage on board Polar Pioneer at a fee of $500. Transfers are subject to availability and are only valid on voyages that depart within 12 months from date of transfer. You must pay the difference between the original booked price and the price of any transferred booking including the new deposit amount. If cancellation occurs less than 90 days prior to departure, you will be required to pay for the full cost of the trip. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Aurora Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking along with a separate Booking Form.
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