Combine the best of the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia on one incredible voyage. Antarctica offers lively penguin colonies, feeding whales, and unsurpassed adventure activities. Cross the majestic Scotia Sea to visit the worlds largest king penguin colonies and for those who are interested follow Shackleton’s epic walk (on foot or ski) across South Georgia.
|Day 1||Ushuaia||Day at leisure|
|Day 2||Embarkation Ushuaia||Embark and sail the Beagle Channel|
|Day 3-4||At Sea||Crossing the Drake Passage|
||Antarctic Peninsula||Gentoo, Adelie & chinstrap penguins, seals and dramatic scenery|
||Elephant Island||Visit where Shackleton’s 22 men were stranded|
|Days 10-11||At Sea||Scotia Sea|
|Days 12-15||South Georgia||Millions of penguins, hundreds of thousands seals with a magnificent backdrop of snow-capped mountains|
|Days 16-18||At Sea||Albatross and whales. Educational program|
|Days 19||Falkland Islands||Four species of penguins, black-browed albatross, numerous bird species and dramatic Falklands scenery|
|Day 20||At Sea to Ushuaia||Sea birds, lectures|
|Day 21||Disembark 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.
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 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.
The Drake Passage offers excellent bird watching from the outer decks or the bridge. Your expedition team presents safety and environmental briefings, and enlightening talks on Antarctica. Keep your eyes peeled for icebergs, penguins, seals and cormorants as we approach our first landing in the South Shetland Islands.
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. Note – Weather and ice conditions permitting, Greg Mortimer voyages will attempt to explore the ice-chocked Weddell Sea region before moving onto the western side of the Peninsula.
Today you will hopefully be able to make a landing on Elephant Island, where Shackleton’s 22 men were stranded and wintered beneath their upturned boats. If weather and seas permit, Zodiacs will carry you close to Point Wild to pay tribute to these hardy souls.
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 South Georgia’s wildlife and history which will add to the excitement about arriving in 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.
The educational program will continue as you head to the Falkland Islands. Spend some time on deck admiring the sea birds and looking our for any wildlife that may be passing by.
Arrive at the Falkland Islands and make one or two shore excursions if weather permits. The archipelago contains two main islands – East and West Falkland – and in terms of wildlife, they boast the largest black-browed albatross colony in the world and are home to bustling rookeries of Magellanic, gentoo and rockhopper penguins; you may even spot king penguins here!
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.