BOOK AND SAVE: Up to 20% off select cabins and departures*
Enjoy this amazing, bucket-list voyage, which was created as Ernest Shackleton’s odyssey. Retrace his steps, but do so in style and comfort! Head from the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, dipping in on the Weddell Sea before continuing to Elephant Island, where Shackleton’s crew were stranded for many months. Set sail cross the Scotia Sea to South Georgia, where Shackleton, Worsely and Crean encountered many new challenges on land. The expedition team will provide interesting facts and stories and you will see the main points of interest from epic adventure that these explorers undertook.
*Save up to 20% discount on the 2024/25 season valid for new bookings until 31 Oct 2023. Offer available on selected cabin categories and selected departures only with some exclusions. Not combinable with any other promotion. Offers apply to new bookings only. Cabins are subject to availability and currency fluctuations. Further conditions apply, please contact us for more information.
PLEASE NOTE: Pricing is subject to change and availability at the time of booking. Contact us for more information.
Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred with your fellow expeditioners to your assigned pre-voyage hotel. If you are already in Ushuaia, we ask you to make your way to your hotel. Check-in is from 3.00 pm. This afternoon, visit the Aurora Expeditions hospitality desk in the lobby at Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort, Luis Fernando Martial 1650, between 8.00 am and 12.00 pm, or 3.00 pm and 7.00 pm, to collect your luggage tags, and confirm if you wish to join our Beagle Channel and Isla de Los Lobos Cruise (sea lion island) tomorrow. Our team will confirm details regarding your embarkation day, answer any questions and provide you with information on where to dine or purchase last minute items. Expeditioners arriving after 7.00 pm will find a welcome pack waiting for them at check-in. We ask you to visit our hospitality desk tomorrow between 8.00 am – 10.00 am.
The remainder of your time is at leisure. All meals today are at your own expense.
Assigned accommodation: Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort or Los Acebos Ushuaia Hotel (subject to change)
This morning, enjoy breakfast and check-out. Please ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Take your cabin luggage to hotel reception, prior to, or at check-out. Your luggage will be stored and transferred directly to the port for clearance, to be placed in your cabin ahead of your arrival on board. Please keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day.
Your morning is at leisure to explore Ushuaia.
Those wishing to join our afternoon catamaran cruise, meet back at the hotel lobby at 12.45 pm ready to transfer to the port at 1.00 pm. Here we board our catamaran and sail the Beagle Channel, towards the city’s iconic Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. Crossing the Bridges Archipelago we’ll slow down to watch colonies of sea lions and imperial cormorants sun themselves on the rocky outcrops, while gulls, rock cormorants, skuas, petrels, albatrosses and cauquenes are often sighted. Our cruise offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountain range, in addition to hearing tales of the people and communities of the region.
Alternatively, enjoy your day at leisure and meet at your hotel lobby at 3.45 pm to be transferred to the pier for embarkation.
Once onboard, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important mandatory briefings. As the ship pulls away from port, we’ll gather on the deck to commence our adventure with spectacular views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego.
This evening get to know your fellow expeditioners and friendly expedition team and crew at a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure to Antarctica.
As we commence the Drake Passage crossing, we make the most of our time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Our expedition team prepare you for our first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures and start our lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment.
Our wildlife experiences begin as we enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following our vessel. On sea days, you may can enjoy the facilities on board the vessel including the gym, wellness centre or the relaxing in one of the observation lounges.
Nearing the South Shetland Islands and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula on the afternoon of day four, the excitement is palpable with everyone converging on one of the observation decks 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 for a lifetime.
It’s almost impossible to describe the feeling of arriving in Antarctica. Spotting your first iceberg and taking a deep breath of some of the most fresh, crisp air on earth is an experience to cherish forever.
Once we arrive, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are ours to explore, and we have a host of choices available to us. Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.
While on the Peninsula, we generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. Make sure you rug up before joining Zodiac cruises along spectacular ice cliffs or among grounded icebergs, keeping watch for whales, seals and porpoising penguins. Zodiacs will also transport you from the ship to land, where you can visit penguin rookeries, discover historic huts and explore some of our favourite spots along the peninsula.
While ashore we aim to stretch our legs, wandering along pebbly beaches or perhaps up snow-covered ridgelines to vantage points with mountains towering overhead and ice-speckled oceans below. If you have chosen an optional activity, you will have the option to do that whenever conditions allow, and of course keen polar plungers will have the chance to fully immerse themselves in polar waters - conditions permitting!
In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, we may ship cruise some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to marvel at sculptural icebergs and photograph spectacular scenery. This is a great time to enjoy the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge (open at the Captain’s discretion) for uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendour. Keep an ear out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve into the sea. Take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of this incredible white continent.
The famed Weddell Sea is central to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, which we are here to retrace. In the summer of 1914 Shackleton and his crew of 27 men sailed into the Weddell Sea to attempt the first overland crossing of Antarctica. As they approached their starting point, their ship the Endurance became trapped in sea ice, sinking any hopes they may have had of completing their objective. Little did they know, this was the beginning of a completely unexpected and remarkable journey. The incredible series of events that followed have made Shackleton’s voyage one of the most celebrated in polar history.
Remote and inaccessible, entry into the Weddell Sea is highly prized among polar adventurers. Your passage begins at the northernmost extreme of the Antarctic Peninsula, in the beautifully barren Antarctic Sound. In this seldom-visited part of the Peninsula volcanic peaks tower above penguin colonies, and wave-sculpted icebergs parade through the deep channels leading to the Weddell Sea.
Continuing further east, embrace the expedition spirit as you forge your way as far as possible into the Weddell Sea. The Weddell Sea is renowned for its breathtaking tabular icebergs and expansive sea ice, which attracts an abundance of wildlife, including crabeater seals, Weddell seals and an array of seabirds. Take some time out on deck to observe the flight of storm petrels, prions and Antarctic cormorants drawn here by the rich blooms of Antarctic krill that flourish in the shelter of this ice-covered sea.
As you travel, take a moment to reflect on the truly historic seas you’re sailing. It wasn’t so far from here that the wreck of the Endurance was discovered, mostly intact, on March 5, 2022. Researchers aboard the polar research vessel S.A. Agulhas II were astonished to find the well-preserved vessel only 6.4km (4 miles) south of the position calculated by Captain Worsley in 1915, when he last laid eyes on his ship.
Today we set a course for Elephant Island, the lonely outpost where 22 of Shackleton’s men survived several winter months under the shelter of two upturned boats.
In the morning, join your expedition team in the lecture room to hear the awe-inspiring story of Shackleton and his men, who spent 9 months stuck in Weddell Sea pack ice and 6 months camping on drifting sea ice before making a desperate escape from the sea ice in three open boats. They spent almost a week battling the wind, currents, swell and treacherous ice to finally make landfall on Elephant Island, a striking, ice-covered extremity of the South Shetland Islands, after 497 days at sea.
We plan to sail past Cape Valentine to see the beach where the men first put ashore over 100 years ago, then follow the coastline west to the exposed promontory of Point Wild. This is where Shackleton’s 22 men survived several bitter winter months under their upturned boats, hoping for rescue. Weather permitting, we will take a Zodiac cruise or make a landing at historic Point Wild.
After an exciting program of excursions and activities in Antarctica, relax and enjoy the slower pace of sea days as you sail towards South Georgia.
As you make your way across the Scotia Sea you’re following the route taken by Shackleton and five of his men when they sailed from Elephant Island in search of rescue. In their open wooden boat, the James Caird, they spent 17 days sailing into the unknown across this perilous patch of ocean. This boat journey, which concluded with their safe arrival in King Haakon Bay on the west coast of South Georgia, remains one of the greatest stories of maritime navigation and survival in polar history.
As you sail the onboard lecture program continues, with a series of entertaining presentations on South Georgia’s wildlife, geology and history in the lecture room. Or you might prefer to simply unwind: take a long lunch, catch up on your gym sessions, or curl up with a book from our polar library.
The Scotia Sea is known for its abundant wildlife including fin, humpback and blue whales. Keep watch for these gentle giants and elusive orca, which patrol these waters. Venture out on deck with your camera to capture cape petrels and prions wheeling, and albatross soaring gracefully amidst the swell. Of course, thoughts of Shackleton and his voyage are never far away.
“Nearly always there were gales. So small was our boat and so great were the seas that often our sail flapped idly in the calm between the crests of two waves. Then we would climb the next slope and catch the full fury of the gale where the wool-like whiteness of the breaking water surged around us.”
- Ernest Shackleton
As you near the rugged island of South Georgia, spare a thought for Captain James Cook, who arrived here in 1775 and believed it to be the northern tip of a great southern continent! In fact, it is a small island only 176 km (110 mi) long, but with a 3,000 m (9,842 ft) snow-capped mountain range, some of the world’s largest congregations of wildlife and a truly fascinating human history, South Georgia is an island of incredible riches.
As you approach, jagged mountain peaks rise steeply, while seabirds are often spotted soaring around the ship. You will sail along the coast, taking in the spectacular glaciated scenery and enjoying a little shelter from the prevailing westerly winds. This enchanting coastline is yours to explore!
Zodiac cruise around craggy coves and along the rocky coastline in search of penguins, seal haul-outs and bird cliffs. Remember to keep an eye out for South Georgia’s kelp forests—these remarkable underwater ecosystems are quite mesmerising as their fronds sway back and forth on the water’s surface.
Zodiacs will also shuttle you from ship to shore, where you can visit some of the largest king penguin colonies on Earth, take a guided walk among fur seals and elephant seals (making sure you listen to your guides and keep your distance!) and wander along pebbled streams and grassy glacial outwash plains. We also hope to visit the remnants of South Georgia’s thriving whaling stations and visit the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose incredible voyage of survival is synonymous with this island.
In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, we may ship-cruise through fjords with towering cliffs of ancient stone, or into deeply indented bays towards dramatic glacier fronts. This is a great time to find a comfy spot in the observation lounge to enjoy uninterrupted views of South Georgia’s majestic coast.
For some intrepid Shackleton fans, the optional hike from Fortuna Bay to Stromness will be a highlight. This route follows the final stage of Shackleton, Worsely and Crean’s improbable traverse of South Georgia, from their landing place in King Haakon Bay on the east coast to Stromness in the west, where they finally found safety after 24 harrowing months at sea.
From Fortuna Bay the trail rises to a spectacular alpine plateau, before angling steeply down towards the abandoned Stromness whaling station. Conditions permitting, we aim to repeat this final section of their traverse.
“Bright moonlight showed us that the interior was tremendously broken,” Shackleton wrote. “High peaks, impassable cliffs, steep snow- slopes, and sharply descending glaciers could be seen in all directions.”
As we sail from South Georgia, you will be enthralled by the ceaseless flight of the many seabirds that follow the vessel, skilfully using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.
If time and weather conditions permit, we could pass close to Shag Rocks, a fascinating group of jagged rocky islets protruding from the sea, in the proximity of South Georgia.
As we sail on towards Ushuaia you may choose to spend your final precious moments at sea soaking up the views on deck, enjoying the onboard facilities, or attending final lectures. There is plenty of time to enjoy the magic of the Southern Ocean, have a drink with newfound friends and reflect on the voyage you’ve shared.
On the final night, celebrate your unforgettable voyage with newfound friends at a special Captain’s farewell dinner.
We hope you will become ambassadors for the Antarctic region, telling your family, friends and colleagues about your journey to this magical place, and advocating for its conservation so that they might one day visit the region to experience what you have been lucky to see and do here.
Cruise up the Beagle Channel in the early morning, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, where you are free to disembark around 8.00 am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow passengers as you continue your onward journeys with a newfound sense of the immense power and beauty of nature.
On disembarkation, passengers on flights departing prior to 2.00 pm will be transferred directly to Ushuaia Airport, while those fortunate enough to be continuing their travels in this spectacular region of the world, will be transferred to their post-voyage Ushuaia accommodation. Passengers flying after 2.00 pm will have time to explore Ushuaia, prior to an afternoon airport transfer, the details of which will be provided onboard prior to disembarkation.
Note: At the conclusion of the voyage, we do not recommend booking flights departing Ushuaia prior to 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation in case there are delays.
Built to world-class polar standards, the Greg Mortimer is a state of the art, custom-built expedition ship. Due to be launched in 2019, this modern, robust and powerful 104-metre ship is at the cutting edge of nautical technology. With its patented Norwegian-designed X-BOW, the Greg Mortimer is capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, and the most adverse weather conditions. Named after Aurora’s co-founder, the Greg Mortimer carries up to 120 passengers in a range of well-appointed suites and staterooms. All feature private bathrooms, with the majority of suites and staterooms having panoramic windows and private balconies. There are twin and double bed configurations available, ample storage, international power outlets and a daily cabin service. The ship itself features unique viewing platforms that fold out hydraulically to give unobstructed views. The ship carries 15 Zodiacs that are launched from specially designed launching platforms to ensure fast and easy boarding for shore landings and Zodiac cruises. Itineraries aboard the Greg Mortimer also offer a range of optional activities including kayaking, diving, climbing and ski touring, and the ship’s design includes a spacious prep and loading platform.
Built to world-class polar standards, the Greg Mortimer is a state of the art, custom-built expedition ship. Due to be launched in 2019, this modern, robust and powerful 104-metre ship is at the cutting edge of nautical technology. With its patented Norwegian-designed X-BOW, the Greg Mortimer is capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, and the most adverse weather conditions.
Named after Aurora’s co-founder, the Greg Mortimer carries up to 120 passengers in a range of well-appointed suites and staterooms. All feature private bathrooms, with the majority of suites and staterooms having panoramic windows and private balconies. There are twin and double bed configurations available, ample storage, international power outlets and a daily cabin service. The ship itself features unique viewing platforms that fold out hydraulically to give unobstructed views. The ship carries 15 Zodiacs that are launched from specially designed launching platforms to ensure fast and easy boarding for shore landings and Zodiac cruises. Itineraries aboard the Greg Mortimer also offer a range of optional activities including kayaking, diving, climbing and ski touring, and the ship’s design includes a spacious prep and loading platform.
Breadth: 18.4 metresMax
Speed: 15.5 Knots
Electricity: 220V, 50HZ AC Passenger
Capacity:160 (120 in polar regions)
View Ship Details
We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.
Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.
Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.
Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.
Optional Activities vary for each itinerary. Limited spaces available. Contact your Destination Specialist for pricing & availability.
|In Shackleton's Footsteps | Greg Mortimer from USD 18,076|
1 Night hotel accommodation in Ushuaia, pre-cruise Day 1
Cabin accommodation on board Greg Mortimer
Half day excursion in Ushuaia on Day 2
All meals whilst on board ship
All scheduled landings & excursions
Guiding and lectures by English-speaking expedition leader and team
All port fees
All landing fees
Expedition jacket provided (yours to keep)
A pair of expedition boots for use during voyage
Group arrival and departure transfers
Airfares to and from embarkation/disembarkation city
Visa fees (if applicable)
Beverages (other than tea and coffee)
Personal expenses such as laundry, on board communication (telephone calls, fax, email)
Gratuities for the crew
Pre or post cruise travel expenses
Available on request. Please Contact Us for more information.
Prices are based on per person, twin share* (unless otherwise stated for triple/quad cabins)
Prices are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change at any time.
Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions
Departure date, fuel surcharges, cabin category, currency fluctuations, seasonality and availability.