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Wild Antarctica aboard the Greg Mortimer

When the mountains reach the sea along the Antarctic Peninsula they discharge huge glaciers into the narrow fjords and sheltered bays. This hauntingly beautiful part of Antarctica provides a haven for the greatest concentration of wildlife on the continent. We plans to explore the deep bays and fjords of the western Antarctic Peninsula. With regular landings on our zodiacs, we walk among the multitude of penguin rookeries and seal colonies in the vicinity of Deception Island, Gerlache Strait, Paradise Bay and the Lemaire Channel. Nestled amongst ice fls of the northern Weddell Sea is the little known Seymour Island . Locked away in its fossil-rich rocks is the story of the disappearance of the dinosaur and the collapse of the mythical Gondwanaland. There are also ample opportunities to observe the abundant variety of seabirds and sight Humpback and Minke Whales as they surface close to our boat. Our time onshore will also include visits to scientific stations and historic sites.

Inclusions

12 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 10 dinners
Comfortable cabin accommodation and use of all public areas on cruise
One night hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas - pre voyage (twin share)
Specialist expedition staff
All shore excursions from the ship including the use of Zodiacs
Lectures, videos, slide and film shows and guide services
Medical services (there is a resident medical officer and infirmary on board)
Port taxes and port charges imposed by government authorities
Pre-departure information
Complimentary Polar Expedition Jacket
Keepsake Photo Book (one per booking) created from photography taken during your voyage
Hightlights
Visit the remote Weddell Sea
Icebergs and active glaciers
Active scientific stations
Historic sites
Spectacular mountains rising directly out of the sea
The most wildlife-rich part of Antarctica - penguins, whales, seals, sea birds
Narrow sheltered waterways and fjords
Kayaking through Antarctic waters (optional charges applies)
Tour Provider World Expeditions
Number of Days
13
Price From
AUD $11,200
Start Location
Punta Arenas, Antarctica
End Location
Antarctica
Age Range
Avg. 100+
Group Size
1 to 120
Tour Style
Standard
Tour Themes
Small Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Mild
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
03 Mar 202015 Mar 2020AvailableAUD $11,200
ItineraryExpand
Day 1
Join in Punta Arenas and transfer (off selected flights) to the group hotel for overnight accommodation in a twin share room.
Day 2
Fly to King George Island and explore the port until we embark the ship in the afternoon. You will be warmly greeted by the crew and expedition staff as you embark the Greg Mortimer. We will settle into shipboard life and enjoy our first meal on board.
Days 3-7
We spend the next few days exploring the ice-filled Weddell Sea where weather systems and shifting pack ice dictate our schedule: we hope to visit the large Adelie and gentoo penguin colonies of Brow Bluff, and fossil-rich Seymour Island. We may hike to spectacular vantage points on Beak or Devil Islands; large tabular icebergs and volcanic scenery create long lasted memories.
Days 8-11
The passage along Gerlache Strait delivers us to the stunning Antarctic Peninsula, an ethereal wonderland of vast proportions. Aboard robust Zodiacs, we explore penguin rookeries, historic sites and scientific stations. Zodiac cruising brings us close to intricately shaped icebergs and seals basking on ice fls. Dwarfed by massive bergs, kayakers glide into secluded bays. We focus on immersing ourselves in nature, spontaneity and flexibility enhancing our enjoyment. Bubble-netting humpbacks demand a wake-up call, even at midnight! A curious leopard seal cruising amongst spectacular icebergs may mean postponing lunch. A host of choices are now open to us, and depending on the ice and weather conditions. We may make landings at Paradise or Neko harbours, see gentoo penguins at Cuverville Island, and experience close up whale encounters. Our experienced leaders, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use this expertise to design our voyage from day to day. This allows us to make best use of the prevailing weather and ice conditions and wildlife opportunities. As we are so far south, we will experience approximately 20 hours' daylight. There is plenty of time for sleep when you get home..... ! To get ashore we will use Zodiacs (inflatable rubber boats). Sometimes we will cruise along spectacular ice cliffs, or follow whales that are feeding near the surface.
Day 12
Some of us will approach this historic crossing with more than a little trepidation. But despite its reputation, there are many times when the Drake Passage resembles a lake, with lazy Southern Ocean swells rolling under the keel. On the other hand, we sometimes encounter rough crossings with large waves. The size of the waves and the force of the gale will take on gigantic proportions when related around the fire back home. A favourite pastime is to stand at the stern deck watching the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels, following in our wake, skillfully using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum. We will enjoy our final dinner onboard as we recap our adventure.
Day 13
After breakfast at the hotel the trip concludes.