SPIRIT OF ANTARCTICA
Day Place Highlights 1 Ushuaia Day at leisure. You may wish to explore Tierra Del Fuego National Park, Martial Glacier 2 Beagle Channel Board the ship in the afternoon and set sail down the Beagle Channel. 3 & 4 Drake Passage Giant Petrels and birdlife, possibly South Shetland Islands 5 - 9 Antarctic Peninsula Gentoo, Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Leopard Seals and Whales 10 & 11 Drake Passage Cape Horn 12 Ushuaia Disembark
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.
This purpose built expedition vessel, honours the highly accomplished marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer, Sylvia Earle and is the sister ship to the revolutionary Greg Mortimer. Accommodating on average 126 guests for each voyage, those lucky enough to experience an Antarctic journey on her can be assured of comfort and luxury coinciding with exploration and adventure. Besides the same revolutionary Ulstein X BOW hull design like her sister ship 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.
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.
After an overnight passage along Gerlache Strait you will wake to the stunning Antarctic Peninsula, an ethereal wonderland of vast proportions. Aboard robust Zodiacs, explore penguin rookeries, historic sites and scientific stations, and cruise up close to intricately shaped icebergs and seals basking on ice floes. Kayakers paddle through narrow waterways in search of wildlife and serenity. Stepping ashore on the continent creates an everlasting memory. The expedition team make the most of every day and a fair bit of each night. A curious leopard seal cruising among spectacular icebergs may mean postponing lunch or loading Zodiacs after dinner for an orca cruise. If the weather allows, you may be able to camp-out on the ice – a must for any Antarctic explorer!
As the Captain steers the ship north across Drake Passage there’s time to watch for seabirds, enjoy entertaining talks, discuss what you’ve seen and learned, exchange photos and stories. With luck, the ship may make a ceremonial rounding of Cape Horn before sharing a farewell dinner with your newfound friends.
Cruise up the Beagle Channel early this morning before slipping into to dock in Ushuaia, where your voyage concludes after breakfast. Farewell your expedition team and disembark the ship.
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 some of the Patagonia sample itineraries below and contact us to begin creating your perfect holiday.