With only one crossing of the Drake Passage, these ‘fly & sail’ itineraries allow more time for exploration to discover Antarctica. Witness humpback and minke whales feasting on krill against a backdrop of mesmerising icebergs, Zodiac cruise around ice floes spotting leopard seals, set-foot on land amidst vast penguin colonies, hike to breath-taking panoramic viewpoints and visit working scientific research stations and historic huts.
Days 1-2: Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile
Day 2: Punta Arenas to King George Island
Days 3-8: Antarctic Peninsula
Days 9-10: Drake Passage
Days 11-12: Ushuaia
Day 1 Arrive in Punta Arenas
Arrive at the capital city of Chile’s southernmost region, Punta Arenas, just 300km south of the world-famous ‘Torres del Paine National Park’ in Patagonia. Your representative will greet you and take you to your hotel, to rest and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.
Day 2 Flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island
You will be transferred to Punta Arenas airport for your charter flight to King George Island. Note that due to the nature of flying to remote areas, flight schedules are dependant on weather in both Punta Arenas and King George Island.
Days 3-8 Antarctic Peninsula
Your Captain and expert expedition crew will create unique daily itineraries based on the current weather and ice conditions, using Zodiacs to observe wildlife intimately and to access destinations that would otherwise be inaccessible. Landing points may include the Lemaire Channel, nicknamed “Kodak Gap,” due to its outstanding natural beauty, Half Moon Island where you may see fur seals, chinstrap penguins and skuas, Blow Bluff or Paulet Island where you may see Adelie and Gentoo penguin colonies, or the fossil-rich world of Seymour Island. You may set foot on Antarctica and hike to magical vantage points or visit historical huts and working scientific research posts, or Zodiac cruise around awe-inspiring icebergs or spot hungry humpback and minke whales who have come to feast on krill. No two days will ever be the same, and your crew will ensure you will have the absolute trip of a lifetime!
Days 9-10 Drake Passage
As the last glimpses of ice disappear into the horizon, you Captain steers the ship northbound towards South America. Your expedition team arrange fascinating talks to the discuss the highlights of the trip and to share stories and photos amongst your newfound friends.
Days 11/12 Ushuaia
As you glide through the Beagle Channel and arrive into Ushuaia, you bid farewell to your new friends and expedition family ready for your onward journey.
(This itinerary also operates in reverse)
The Greg Mortimer is due for completion in 2019. It is named after the Australian polar explorer, mountaineer and Aurora founder, Greg Mortimer.
This new ship marks a new direction for Aurora, as it is their first purpose-built Polar Expedition ship. The vessel features a state-of-the-art 'x-bow design', which has a piercing effect on smaller waves, making for a much smoother voyage.
The Polar Pioneer was originally built as an ice-strengthened research in Finland in 1982, she was refurbished in 2000 and converted into a passenger ship for expeditions to the polar regions. The ship is small and nimble, carrying just 54 passengers, offering a truly intimate experience onboard.
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