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Greg Mortimer: Antarctic Explorer

Overview

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This fly/sail itinerary allows you to maximise your time in Antarctica amongst the incredible wildlife and stunning landscapes of the White Continent. Zodiac through narrow straits, past majestic iridescent icebergs in search of feeding whales, visit scientific stations and historic huts and marvel at vast penguin colonies. Possible highlights include Half Moon Bay, fossil-rich Seymour Island, Hydrurga Rocks and the serenely beautiful Lemaire Channel, a narrow iceberg-filled passage hemmed in by steep imposing cliffs.  

Optional Activities : Kayaking Photography Camping Snorkelling Snowshoeing Stand-up Paddle Boarding

Trip Code: ACTSGMAE

Location: Antarctica

Ship: Greg Mortimer

CRUISE ITINERARY

You will be met on arrival (preferred flights only) and transferred to your downtown hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure to take in the breathtaking scenery of the “End of the World” – Ushuaia.

Ushuaia, Argentina

This morning, your luggage will be collected from your hotel and transferred directly to port for clearance and loading onto the ship. You’ll have the day at leisure before making your own way to port in the late afternoon to meet your expedition team and commence boarding at approximately 4.00 pm (final embarkation time will be provided in your final documentation). As the Greg Mortimer pulls away from port, we’ll gather on the deck to commence our adventure with spectacular views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings. 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.

Ushuaia, Argentina - Embarkation

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 in our wake. They rise and fall skilfully, using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.

Drake Passage

Nearing the South Shetland Islands and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula on 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. Weather permitting, we may attempt our first landing in Antarctica by late afternoon.

Drake Passage & South Shetlands

Over the next six days a host of choices are open to us, and depending on ice and weather conditions, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula is ours to explore. Our experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design our voyage from day to day. This allows us to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.

Because we are so far south, we will experience approximately 18-20 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish. We will generally make landings or Zodiac excursions two, and occasionally three, times a day; cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, following whales that are feeding near the surface, and landing on the continent and its off-shore islands to visit penguin rookeries, seal haul outs, historic huts, and a few of our other favourite spots along the peninsula. There will be plenty of time for sleep when you get home!

During this voyage, there will be an opportunity to camp ashore (weather and time permitting). This will give you the chance to sample the style of adventure that Scott, Shackleton and other legendary Antarctic explorers experienced, although with slightly better equipment! Rest assured our warm and comfortable ship with its hot showers will only be a short distance away!

Antarctic Peninsula - Day 5 to 10

As we approach Frei Base on King George Island, it is time to farewell Antarctica and our amazing adventure before boarding our flight (approximately one-and-a half-hours) to Punta Arenas, Chile. On arrival at the Punta Arenas airport, you will be transferred to our preferred downtown hotel.

NOTE: King George Island is located at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula in the South Shetland Islands and is one of the most remote place on Earth. A clear sky with perfect visibility is required in order to take off and land safely. We apologise in advance if you experience any delays.

King George Island to Punta Arenas

After breakfast, bid a fond farewell to your fellow passengers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. (Breakfast included)

NOTE: Please advise your Reservations Consultant or travel agent if you require an airport transfer, so it can be booked in advance. The departure airport transfer is not included in your voyage cost and will be at an additional cost.

Punta Arenas
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

Pricing & date

Departing Ending Duration
27 Dec 2020 07 Jan 2021 12
12 Feb 2021 23 Feb 2021 12
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OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Kayaking

Kayaking

Photography

Photography

Camping

Camping

Snorkelling

Snorkelling

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

Stand-up Paddle Boarding

Stand-up Paddle Boarding

Important Information

  • Group transfer to hotel from preferred flight
    One night pre-voyage hotel accommodation
    Luggage transfer to ship on embarkation day
    Flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas Day 11
    Transfer to preferred hotel in Punta Arenas Day 11
    One night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast in Punta Arenas Day 11
    Fully-serviced accommodation in your chosen stateroom
    Daily shore excursions, guided walks, Zodiac cruises
    Comprehensive pre-departure information kit and destination resource guide
    An experienced team of destination specialists and activity leaders
    An informative and entertaining lecture program by our team of experts
    All meals daily including house wines, beers and soft drinks, afternoon tea and snacks
    Captain's Welcome and Farewell drinks including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
    Pre-dinner drinks including canapes and bar snacks
    Complimentary 3-in-1 polar jacket
    Complimentary use of gumboots
    Complimentary use of fitness centre
    Complimentary access to on board expedition doctor and medical clinic
    Personalised photo book (post voyage)
    Entry fees to historic or tourist sites
    Port, pilotage charges and landing fees


    Exclusions:

    International or domestic flights to or within South America, unless specified
    Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
    Airport arrival or departure taxes
    Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination charges
    Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
    Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
    Optional excursions not included in the itinerary
    Optional activity surcharges
    All items of a personal nature

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

GUIDANCE FOR VISITORS TO THE ANTARCTIC

RECOMMENDATION XVIII-1, ADOPTED AT THE ANTARCTIC TREATY MEETING, KYOTO, 1994

Activities in the Antarctic are governed by the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 and associated agreements, referred to collectively as the Antarctic Treaty System. The Treaty established Antarctica as a zone of peace and science.

In 1991, the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties adopted the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, which designates the Antarctic as a natural reserve. The Protocol sets out environmental principles, procedures and obligations for the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment, and its dependent and associated ecosystems. The Consultative Parties have agreed that as far as possible and in accordance with their legal system, the provisions of the Protocol should be applied as appropriate. The Environmental Protocol was ratified in January 1998.

The Environmental Protocol applies to tourism and non-governmental activities, as well as governmental activities in the Antarctic Treaty Area. It is intended to ensure that these activities, do not have adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment, or on its scientific and aesthetic values.
This Guidance for Visitors to the Antarctic is intended to ensure that all visitors are aware of, and are therefore able to comply with, the Treaty and the Protocol. Visitors are, of course, bound by national laws and regulations applicable to activities in the Antarctic.


PROTECT ANTARCTIC WILDLIFE

Taking or harmful interference with Antarctic wildlife is prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by a national authority.

Do not use aircraft, vessels, small boats, or other means of transport in ways that disturb wildlife, either at sea or on land.
Do not feed, touch, or handle birds or seals, or approach or photograph them in ways that cause them to alter their behavior. Special care is needed when animals are breeding or molting.
Do not damage plants, for example by walking, driving, or landing on extensive moss beds or lichen-covered scree slopes.
Do not use guns or explosives. Keep noise to the minimum to avoid frightening wildlife.
Do not bring non-native plants or animals into the Antarctic, such as live poultry, pet dogs and cats, or house plants.


RESPECT PROTECTED AREAS

A variety of areas in the Antarctic have been afforded special protection because of their particular ecological, scientific, historic, or other values. Entry into certain areas may be prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by an appropriate national authority.
Activities in and near designated Historic Sites and Monuments and certain other areas may be subject to special restrictions.

Know the locations of areas that have been afforded special protection and any restrictions regarding entry and activities that can be carried out in and near them.
Observe applicable restrictions.
Do not damage, remove, or destroy Historic Sites or Monuments or any artifacts associated with them.

RESPECT SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

Do not interfere with scientific research, facilities or equipment.

Obtain permission before visiting Antarctic science and support facilities; reconfirm arrangements 24-72 hours before arrival; and comply with the rules regarding such visits.
Do not interfere with, or remove, scientific equipment or marker posts, and do not disturb experimental study sites, field camps, or supplies.
BE SAFE

Be prepared for severe and changeable weather and ensure that your equipment and clothing meet Antarctic standards. Remember that the Antarctic environment is inhospitable, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous.

Know your capabilities and the dangers posed by the Antarctic environment, and act accordingly. Plan activities with safety in mind at all times.
Keep a safe distance from all wildlife, both on land and at sea.
Take note of, and act on, the advice and instructions from your leaders; do not stray from your group.
Do not walk onto glaciers or large snow fields without the proper equipment and experience; there is a real danger of falling into hidden crevasses.
Do not expect a rescue service. Self-sufficiency is increased and risks reduced by sound planning, quality equipment, and trained personnel.
Do not enter emergency refuges (except in emergencies). If you use equipment or food from a refuge, inform the nearest research station or national authority once the emergency is over.
Respect any smoking restrictions, particularly around buildings, and take great care to safeguard against the danger of fire. This is a real hazard in the dry environment of Antarctica.

KEEP ANTARCTICA PRISTINE

Antarctica remains relatively pristine, the largest wilderness area on Earth. It has not yet been subjected to large-scale human perturbations. Please keep it that way.

Do not dispose of litter or garbage on land. Open burning is prohibited.
Do not disturb or pollute lakes or streams. Any materials discarded at sea must be disposed of properly.
Do not paint or engrave names or graffiti on rocks or buildings.
Do not collect or take away biological or geological specimens or man-made artifacts as a souvenir, including rocks, bones, eggs, fossils, and parts or contents of buildings.
Do not deface or vandalize buildings or emergency refuges, whether occupied, abandoned, or unoccupied.​​