ACROSS THE ANTARCTIC CIRCLE-CHRISTMAS VOYAGE
Venturing below the Antarctic Circle is about more than just earning bragging rights. It is the chance to enter a different world more rarely seen, it feels more isolated and colder than further north, with great swathes of pack-ice and dreamlike icebergs. Thread through pack ice and narrow channels where scenes of ice-clad mountains, feeding whales and lively penguin colonies become lasting memories.
|1||Ushuaia, Argentina||Day at Leisure|
|2||Ushuaia embarkation||Embark and sail along the Beagle Channel|
|3 & 4||Drake Passage||Crossing the Drake Passage and arrive at the South Shetland Islands|
|5 - 12||Antarctic Peninsula||Crossing the Antarctic Circle and explore the Antarctic Peninsula|
|13 & 14||Drake Passage||Seabirds, educational program|
|15||Arrive in Ushuaia||Disembark in Ushuaia|
The Greg Mortimer is a new purpose built, polar expedition vessel taking 120-132 guests. This vessel has been designed in close consultation with Antarctic expedition specialists and is the first expedition cruise ship designed with the ULSTEIN X-BOW hull. This cutting edge nautical technology allows for gentle travel and motion at sea, improved comfort and safety on-board, reduced vibrations, lower fuel consumption and emissions and ‘virtual anchoring’ which means the ship can float anchor-less while launching the Zodiacs without disturbing delicate sea floor areas. There are four sea-level launching platforms for fast and efficient access to and from Zodiacs.
Arrive in Ushuaia, renowned for its breathtaking scenery. Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world set on the shores of the Beagle Channel. Ushuaia is a major tourist centre, particularly for people cruising to Antarctica. The city offers magnificent hiking in Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, the only coastal national park in Argentina.
After transferring to your downtown hotel, the rest of the day is at your leisure.
After breakfast, check out of your hotel. You will have time to do some more exploring of Ushuaia and surrounds and pick up some last minute items from the local stores. In the afternoon, settle into the Greg Mortimer for an early evening departure down the Beagle Channel.
As the captain and expedition leader chart a course south, bound for the Antarctic Peninsula. Prepare for your landings with bio security briefings and informative lectures. Keep an eye on the horizon for albatross and the first iceberg spotting of the voyage. Possible landings as you approach the South Shetland Islands include Aitcho, Robert or Deception Islands.
Explore the Peninsula’s west coast, with the frenzied activities of penguin parents and chicks. Cormorant chicks bravely making their first flights from sea cliffs. Zodiac cruise amongst ice floes replete with basking Weddell and leopard seals and revel in unparalleled beauty of Antarctica’s landscape. Make a continental landing, possibly hiking up for spectacular views. Continue south where the weather and ice conditions govern the ships movements. Hopefully the ship will be able to cross the Antarctic Circle and you will celebrate in style. With luck, the ship will reach magnificent Crystal Sound, pass through the Gullet and steam on to Marguerite Bay. Orcas, humpbacks and minkes feed in the channels. If ice conditions allow, you may visit historical Stonington, Pourquoi Pas and Detaille Islands before returning north.
As the ship navigates North you will pass more incredible scenery, enormous icebergs, and incredible wildlife. Your days will be filled with Zodiac cruising and you may visit scientific stations such as Vernadsky and historic sites such as Port Lockroy.
Cross the Drake Passage whilst enjoying a recap from the expedition team and continuing educational program. Keep a lookout for sea birds and other wildlife as you travel back to South America.
After breakfast farewell your fellow travellers and expedition team as you disembark the ship. Make your way to the airport or you may wish to spend a few additional days exploring Ushuaia and Patagonia.
To make the most of your time in South America we can tailor a holiday to Patagonia to suit your voyage dates. If you have a bit more time we can create a tailor-made itinerary to some of the highlights of South America. Take a look at the Patagonia sample itineraries below and contact us to begin creating your perfect holiday.