This expedition is perfect for your first trip to Antarctica, seeing the continent at it’s most pristine. Witness the spectacle of penguin colonies building their nests, seals basking on the ice flows, cruise around spectacular icebergs aboard Zodiacs, visiting working research stations and gain a unique insight into Antarctica. You’ll be amongst the few to set foot on the least visited continent on earth!
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
Day 2: Depart Ushuaia
Days 3-5: Drake Passage
Days 6-8: Antarctic Peninsula
Days 9-10: Drake Passage
Day 11: Disembark Ushuaia
Day 1 – Ushuaia, Argentina
Arrive at the southernmost city of the world, Ushuaia, surrounding by spectacular scenery. The city nestles on the edge of the Beagle Channel, with the majestic mountains of the Martial range to the north, and the infamous Tierra del Fuego national park to the west. You will be met by your expedition representative and transferred to your hotel to relax following your flight, enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 2 – Depart Ushuaia
Enjoy the sights of Ushuaia in the morning or perhaps go for a walk in the nearby National Park. In the mid-afternoon, you will be welcomed aboard the Greg Mortimer, where your adventure to Antarctica begins with sailing through the Beagle channel.
Days 3-4 Drake Passage
Voyage the ‘Rite of Passage’ southbound to Antarctica. En-route, there is the potential to spot albatross and whales, and the first magical glimpses of icebergs coming into view. A landing at Robert, Aitcho or Deception Island in the South Shetlands is also a possibility if you are ahead of schedule.
Days 5-8 Antarctic Peninsula
Crossing the Gerlache Strait, you will arrive at the Antarctica Peninsula where you will spend the next few days exploring. Your expedition team will guide you around the breath-taking landscapes, using Zodiacs to explore penguin colonies, scientific research outposts, various historical points of interest and cruising around wonderous ice floes (where you may spot lazy seals basking) and glistening icebergs. Kayakers can navigate the maze of ice passages, discovering nature and majestic scenery at every paddle stroke. You will have opportunity to set foot on land, and hike to viewpoints for spectacular photo opportunities. The expedition guides will make the very best of your time in Antarctica, with the long hours of daylight giving flexibility for landings. There may even be the chance to camp out on the ice, following in the footsteps of the great explorers of the past.
Days 9 – 10 Drake Passage
You leave northbound across the Drake Passage, with the last glimpses of ice disappearing into the horizon. With a fond farewell to Antarctica, you share memories and photos with your fellow explorers, expedition leaders & new friends in onboard talks. With fortune, you will make a rounding of Cape Horn to celebrate the expedition, before indulging in a sumptuous farewell dinner.
Day 11 Disembark Ushuaia
Cruising up the Beagle Channel, we dock into Ushuaia. Following breakfast, your voyage reaches its finale as you bid farewell to your fellow passengers and disembark the ship.
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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