Celebrate in style with a toast as you cross the Antarctic Circle, the ultimate polar geographical milestone! En-route, Zodiacs provide opportunity for you to deeply immerse with the wildlife. Spot leopard seals basking on ice floes, humpback whales gorging on krill and penguin chicks leaving the nest for the first time. Set foot on land visiting historic sites and working scientific stations, for a complete Antarctic Peninsula experience.
Day 1: – Ushuaia
Day 2: – Embarkation in Ushuaia
Days 3-4: Drake Passage Crossing
Days 5-10: Antarctic Peninsula
Days 11-12: Drake Passage Crossing
Day 13: Ushuaia
Day 1 – Arrive in Ushuaia
Welcome to the southernmost city of the world, Ushuaia. Your representative will meet you on arrival at the airport and transfer you to a downtown hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure exploring the wealth of cafes, restaurants and shops on offer, or perhaps go for a stroll along the waterfront and enjoys views of the Beagle Channel and surrounding snow-capped mountains.
Day 2 – Depart Ushuaia
Enjoy the morning at leisure, or perhaps take a trip to explore the nearby Tierra Del Fuego National Park. In the afternoon, you will board the Greg Mortimer where the expedition crew will offer the warmest of welcomes. Your expedition begins as you sail through the Beagle Channel enjoying the wonderful vistas from the open deck, en-route to Antarctica!
Days 3-4 Drake Passage
As you cross the Drake Passage, you will enjoy fascinating lectures from polar experts about the history and wildlife of Antarctica, as well as preparatory briefings on the activities, Zodiacs and the environment. Keep watch for albatross, prions and petrels which grace the ocean, and as you near the South Shetlands Islands, excitement builds as you spot your first icebergs and penguins, with possibility of making your first zodiac landing.
Days 5 – 10 Antarctic Peninsula
You will explore the Antarctic Peninsula’s west coast, sailing down the Gerlache Strait and the beautiful Lemaire Channel. The Captain and expert expedition team will evaluate weather and ice conditions and arrange a unique daily program to ensure the very best from your time in Antarctica. You may make a continental landing with a possibility of hiking up to panoramic view point for the perfect photo opportunity. Or you may Zodiac cruise through the ice floes spotting leopard and Weddell seals basking in the late summer sun, or to see the magnificent humpback whales feasting on krill.
The crew will continue to direct the ship on a southerly heading, making landings en-route, with aim to cross the Antarctic Circle via the ‘inner route’ or the Bellingshausen Sea, subject to ice conditions. Once you cross latitude 66° 33' South, there will be a celebration reflecting on this extraordinary achievement - a wonderful experience few have shared. Conditions permitting, the voyage will aim to head to the channels surrounding Marguerite Bay, a spectacular feeding region for humpbacks, minkes and orcas. As you head north to slightly warmer climes, you will enjoy further landings, including the potential to visit scientific research stations and historic sites such as Port Lockroy.
Days 11 – 12 Drake Passage*
As the last glimpses of icebergs fade into the distance, your Captain directs the ship northbound to cross the Drake Passage. Your expedition team will lead talks discussing the highlights of the expedition, and you will get to enjoy time to relax with your fellow adventurers and share your stories and photos.
Day 13 Disembark Ushuaia
You will disembark the ship in Ushuaia with a fond farewell to your newfound friends and expedition family, ready for your onwards voyage
*On day 11 for the 14th Feb 2020 itinerary, if time and weather permits, you will enjoy a further day exploring the region around King George Island, where there is an abundance of penguin and seal habitats. A flight is included from King George Island to Punta Arenas on day 12, where you will overnight in Punta Arenas.
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.
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