SOUTH GEORGIA AND ANTARCTIC ODYSSEY
Combine the history and landscapes of the Falklands-Malvinas with the scenery and wildlife of South Georgia and the Antarctica Peninsula making for a truly unforgettable voyage. On top of world-class bird-watching opportunities on the Falklands-Malvinas, you’ll be breath taken by the wildlife of South Georgia. Vast king penguin colonies exist next to beaches covered with fur seals and elephant seals, fighting, mating and caring for their young.
|Day 1||Ushuaia||Day at leisure, overnight in Ushuaia|
|Day 2||Embarkation Ushuaia||Embark and sail the Beagle Channel|
|Day 3||At Sea||Toward the Falklands|
||Falklands-Malvinas||Discovering amazing bird-watching opportunities|
||At Sea||Continue your journey at sea toward South Georgia|
|Days 8-12||South Georgia||Experience the beauty and sheer magnitude of wildlife on South Georgia|
|Days 13-14||At Sea||Toward the Antarctic Peninsula|
|Days 15-19||Antarctic Peninsula||Visit Elephant Island, reach and explore the southern most continent of the world|
|Day 20||Drake Passage Crossing||Reflect on your journey whilst you cross this famous stretch of sea|
|Day 21||Disembark in Ushuaia||Farewell your fellow expeditioners|
The Greg Mortimer is a new purpose built, polar expedition vessel taking 120 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.
The 2nd purpose built expedition vessel by Aurora Expeditions honours the highly accomplished marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer, Sylvia Earle. As 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.
Besides the same revolutionary Ulstein X BOW hull design like the Greg Mortimer, the Sylvia Earle features a distinctive Glass Atrium Lounge at the bow of the ship with a stunning panoramic view on both port and starboard side, Lecture theatre and lounge, a swimming pool and jacuzzi where you can admire impressive scenery while watching the world go by.
Please Note: The Sylvia Earle is currently under construction so all images are renders.
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.
You’ll embark on your voyage onboard the Greg Mortimer in Ushuaia in the late afternoon. Settle into your cabin and meet your fellow travellers as well as the expedition team as you set sail along the Beagle Channel.
As you commence your trip across the South Atlantic Ocean, make the most of your time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. The expedition team will prepare you for your first landing with important wildlife guidelines and bio-security procedures, and start the lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment. Enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following in the ships wake. They rise and fall skillfully, using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.
Located 477 kilometres east of southern Argentina, the Falklands~Malvinas is a unique mix of being a wildlife hotspot and inhabited outpost. An archipelago of over 700 islands, but consisting of two main islands, East and West, only seven of the islands are inhabited. The cold nutrient-rich waters surrounding the islands makes them a prime location for marine life, including seabirds and seals. Your time in the Falklands~Malvinas includes a short walk in historic Stanley town. The experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design the voyage over the next two days. This allows you to make best use of the prevailing weather and wildlife opportunities.
Between the Falklands~Malvinas and South Georgia, you will be entranced by the ceaseless flight of the many seabirds that follow your wake. Usually travelling into the prevailing weather on this leg it is difficult to estimate the precise arrival time in South Georgia. The lecture program will continue highlighting all of the incredible sights you would have witnessed over the past few days. You will have ample time to enjoy observing the sea birds, whale-watching from the observation areas, or simply relaxing with a book. If time and weather conditions permit, you may pass close to Shag Rocks, a fascinating group of jagged rocky islets protruding from the sea, in the proximity of South Georgia.
Over the next few days explore South Georgia’s spectacular north coast. Visit the world’s largest king penguin rookeries, the nesting grounds of majestic wandering albatross and if weather allows, follow Shackleton’s route from Fortuna Bay to Stromness. Kayakers revel in paddling waters alive with king penguins and playful seals. Photographers will enjoy a backdrop of 3000-metre peaks, basking elephant seals, feisty fur seals and penguins cluttering kelp-strewn beaches.
Follow in Shackleton’s wake across the Scotia Sea, watching for great whales and big icebergs riding up from the Weddell Sea. It’s a great time to relax and reflect on what you’ve accomplished so far. The naturalist and historian will conduct talks on Antarctica’s wildlife and history which will add to the excitement about arriving in the Southernmost Continent.
Awaken to the site of Antarctica, where the expedition team plan to visit busy penguin rookeries, historic sites and make a continental landing. The Antarctic Peninsula’s west coast is yours to explore. The experienced expedition team, many who’ve been to Antarctica over dozens of summers, create the best daily itinerary that prevailing weather and ice conditions allow. A sense of excitement abounds as you use every moment of daylight to enjoy the best that Antarctica has to offer. This could mean two to three excursions in a day, whether it be to penguin colonies, historic huts, a working scientific station or a Zodiac cruise through a sculpture garden of grounded icebergs.
As you sail back to Ushuaia, an albatross or two may be spotted along the way. As the ship pulls into the port in Ushuaia farewell your expedition team and fellow travellers.
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.