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If you only have one chance to visit Antarctica this 23-day voyage is for you. This epic voyage will let you see many of the main highlights in Antarctica including the Antarctic Peninsula, The Falkland Islands and South Georgia, and if conditions allow you will even cross the Antarctic Circle.
The voyage will give you an in-depth appreciation of the wildlife that thrives in one of the most inhospitable places on the planet, seeing everything from ferocious leopard seals to curious penguins and humpback whales. Wandering Albatross and giant petrels will often follow in the wake of the ship and were believed to bring good luck by ancient mariners. Seeing these magnificent birds with their vast 3-metre wingspans for the first time is truly an unforgettable experience.
In South Georgia you will see some of the largest colonies of king penguins on the planet with hundreds of thousands of pairs calling the coves and beaches around South Georgia home, walking among them as they are completely unperturbed by your presence. You will also have the chance to visit the grave of Ernest Shackleton. He and a handful of his men made a perilous crossing from Elephant Island in a lifeboat the James Curd to summon help for his stranded men after their ship, Endurance was crushed by pack ice.
In Antarctica, you will marvel at the serene beauty of the frozen continent. The voyage includes a photography workshop so that you can get the most out of your camera in this truly spectacular part of the world. There are optional excursions including kayaking,
Visit South Georgia - renowned for its historic whaling stations, vast colonies of king penguins and elephant seals, and the final resting place of the iconic polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Explore the Antarctic peninsula, landing in zodiacs, and coming face to face with inquisitive colonies of Gentoo and Adele penguins. You will sail between vast icebergs marvelling at the contrasting shades of blue and white.
Sea Ice and weather permitting the voyage will cross the Antarctic circle at 66 degrees south, allowing you to become one of the few to venture this far into Antarctica proper.
See the incredible wildlife of the Falkland Islands and explore the quintessential charm of Stanley.
Day 1 – Arrive Ushuaia
Day 2 - Embark the Greg Mortimer
Day 3 – At Sea
Day 4 – Falkland Islands
Day 5 -7 At Sea
Day 8 -12 South Georgia
Day 13-14 At Sea
Day 15-20 Antarctica
Day 21 -22 At Sea
Day 23 Disembark in Ushuaia
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You will arrive in Ushuaia, the Southernmost city in the world, the day before your expedition cruise. On arrival you will get a transfer from the airport to your pre-cruise hotel.
The next day you will have the morning to explore Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego National park. You will board the ship in the late afternoon and have a chance to settle down and enjoy the ship’s amenities before departing through the Beagle Channel.
As we commence our trip across the South Atlantic Ocean towards the Falklands~Malvinas, we make the most of our time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Our expedition team prepare you for our first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures and start our lecture program to help you learn more about the region’s history, wildlife and environment. Our wildlife experiences begin as we enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following in our wake. They rise and fall skillfully, using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.
Day 4 – Falkland Islands
Located 477 kilometres/296 miles east of southern Argentina, the Falklands~Malvinas are a unique mix of 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. Our time in the Falkland~Malvinas includes a short walk in historic Stanley town and Sealion Island located in East Falkland’s south, where you can get insight into the unique experience of Sealion Island Nature Reserve. You will discover how the raw beauty and solitude of the island makes it a haven for wildlife and visitors alike. In 2009, Sealion Island has officially been declared a National Nature Reserve, with no introduced predators living on the island.
You will cross the Antarctic convergence into, the rich upwelling waters and feeding grounds that mark the boundary of the Southern Ocean. You will be sure to come across plenty of wildlife including whales, to penguins, seals, petrel, skuas and albatrosses.
Over the next few days, marvel at South Georgia’s incredible scenes such as enormous and bustling king penguin colonies, fur seals jostling for space on the beach, jaw-dropping mountain landscapes and learn of Shackleton’s epic rescue journey. On Zodiac-cruises, discover bays filled with raucous and playful fur seals, and land on pebble beaches to meet curious penguins. Challenge yourself on hikes and enjoy dazzling pristine landscapes seen by few. South Georgia is a place where you can truly feel like you’ve really escaped from your normal daily life.
Attend informative lectures to learn about Antarctica as we sail across the Scotia Sea towards the white continent. Treat yourself to a massage in the wellness centre or stay active in the gym; the choice is yours on how you want to enjoy days at sea.
Over the next few days, a host of choices are open to us and depending on ice and weather conditions, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula is ours to explore. Our experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design our voyage from day-to-day. This allows us to make the best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.
As we come to the end of our incredible journey and commence our return sailing to Ushuaia, you may choose to spend the sea days editing photos, stay active in the gym, treat yourself to a massage in the wellness centre, or attending an informative lecture; there’s plenty to keep you busy.
During the early morning, we sail along the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, where we begin disembarking at around 8.00 am. Bid farewell to your expedition team and fellow travellers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to either downtown Ushuaia or to the airport is included in the cost of the voyage.
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The Greg Mortimer is named after the Australian polar explorer, mountaineer and Aurora founder, Greg Mortimer. Its the first ship in a series of landmark, purpose-built Polar Expedition ships for Aurora and features a state-of-the-art 'x-bow design', which has a piercing effect on smaller waves, making for a much smoother voyage.
The 104-metre purpose-built Expedition ship featuring a state of the art ‘x-bow design’ which has a piercing effect on smaller waves, making for a smoother voyage. Accommodating a maximum of 126 passengers in the polar regions, the Sylvia Earle has one of the smallest capacities in expedition cruising, which makes for a truly intimate experience.
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