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Antarctic Explorer aboard the Greg Mortimer

The Antarctic Peninsula provides a haven for the greatest concentration of wildlife on the continent. We have scheduled three days 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. 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

11 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 9 dinners
One night hotel accommodation in Ushuaia pre voyage (twin share)
One night hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas post voyage (twin share)
Flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas
Comfortable cabin accommodation and use of all public areas on cruise
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
Great variety of terrain over short distances
Icebergs and active glaciers
Spectacular mountains rising directly out of the sea
Historic sites
Active scientific stations
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
12
Price From
AUD $9,700
Start Location
Punta Arenas, Antarctica
End Location
Antarctica
Age Range
Min :14
Group Size
1 to 120
Tour Style
Standard
Tour Themes
Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Mild
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
16 Jan 202027 Jan 2020AvailableAUD $9,700
ItineraryExpand
Day 1
Join in Ushuaia and transfer (off selected flights) to the group hotel for overnight accommodation in a twin share room.
Day 2
This morning is at leisure to explore Ushuaia and mid afternoon we will board the Greg Mortimer and settle in. Early evening we set sail down the Beagle Channel and enjoy our welcome dinner aboard the ship.
Days 3-5
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. The mood on board is definitely casual. 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. During our Drake crossing, we will commence our lecture program about the wildlife, geology, history and geography of the Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctica is a photographers' paradise, for the professional and amateur alike. There will be discussions about how to protect your equipment from salt water, and tips about taking good pictures. Nearing the tip of the Peninsula towards the end of day three, excitement reaches fever pitch with everyone on the bridge watching for our first iceberg. The ocean takes on a whole new perspective once we are below the Antarctic Convergence and are surrounded by the surreal presence of floating ice sculptures. The memory of your first big iceberg sighting is likely to remain with you forever.
Days 6-10
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 11
This morning we disembark the ship and take a flight to Punta Arenas to King George Island. We transfer to the hotel for overnight accommodation on a twin share basis.
Day 12
After breakfast at the hotel the trip concludes.