ANTARCTIC EXPLORER (FLY NORTH)
|Day at leisure
|Board the ship and cross the Beagle Channel
|Days 3 & 4
|Cross the Drake and arrive at the South Shetland Islands
|Days 5 - 10
|Explore the Peninsula by zodiac and ship. Make landings on the continent and visit Penguin Rockeries
|King George Island
|Flight from King George Island to 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!
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! Rest assured our warm and comfortable ship with its hot showers will only be a short distance away!
As the ship cruises North continue your adventure visiting Penguin colonies, spotting leopard seals, and make a stop at Deception Island.
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.