|1||Ushuaia||Day at leisure|
|2||Ushuaia embarkation||Board the ship and cross the Beagle Channel|
|3 & 4||Drake Passage||Cross the Drake and arrive at the South Shetland Islands|
|5 - 10||Antarctic Peninsula & Crossing the Antarctic Circle||Explore the Peninsula by zodiac and ship. Make landings on the continent and visit Penguin Rockeries, cross the Antarctic Circle|
|11||King George Island||Flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas|
|12||Punta Arenas||Itinerary ends in Punta Arenas|
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, the Southernmost city in the world, where you’ll be met by an expedition representative and transferred to your downtown hotel. Enjoy rugged mountain scenery, lively cafes, restaurants and bars. You have the day at leisure to explore this interesting place.
After checking out of your hotel, enjoy free time exploring Ushuaia and surrounds and picking up any last minute items. Embark on the Greg Mortimer in the late afternoon and sail down Beagle Channel.
As you cross the infamous Drake Passage keep an eye out for seabirds and whales. Your expedition team will run an educational program to prepare you for your experience ahead. Eventually you will spot your first icebergs and you may be able to make your first landing on the South Shetland Islands. Enjoy the scenery of the Gerlache straight as you sail through.
Cruise Southbound along the Antarctic Peninsula. Visit historic Port Lockroy, cruise along the renowned Lemaire Channel, enjoy continental landings, hiking on Antarctica, and Zodiac cruising among icebergs.
Over the next six days a host of choices are open to you and depending on ice and weather conditions, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula is yours to explore. The experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day. This allows you to make the best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.
Because you are so far south, you will experience approximately 18-20 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish. There will generally make landings or Zodiac excursions two, and occasionally three, times a 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 the expedition team’s other favourite spots along the peninsula. There will be plenty of time for sleep when you get home!
On this voyage, we plan to cross the Antarctic Circle, an imaginary line located at the Antarctic Circle at latitude 66°33′ South (approximately). This is certainly a special highlight for everyone, and the moment will be celebrated with a toast on the deck. You’ve earned some boasting privileges, joining a small group of lucky adventurers who’ve made it to this part of the world. As you approach and cross the circle, you will notice subtle changes in the landscape, ice-scape, and also in the distribution of wildlife. The waters at this time of year are rich with krill and you can hope to see plenty of whales – particularly humpbacks and minkes, and enjoy the spectacle of penguins feeding their ravenous chicks.
Return to King George Island and bid farewell to Antarctica before boarding the flight back to Punta Arenas. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. (Note: Meals in Punta Arenas are at your leisure and not included in the program).
After breakfast, check out of your hotel. You may wish to extend your time in Patagonia or head to the airport for your homeward flight.