Explore the Antarctic Peninsula and the Weddell Sea on this journey aboard the Greg Mortimer
From: USD 12,661
The Trip Highlights
Immense icebergs in the Weddell Sea
Learn about volcanic islands from experts
Spot seals and whales in their natural habitats
Your Polartours 'Plus' Experience
Expert guides answer all questions
Your trip is 100% carbon offset
Expedition Parka to take home
Famed for its really cool tabular icebergs, year-round sea ice, interesting fossils and the important role it played in Shackleton’s Endurance expedition, the Weddell Sea offers unforgettable opportunities for exploration. Embark on a true Antarctic expedition as we not only explore the west Antarctic Peninsula, but also attempt to venture east towards the icy perimeter of the Weddell Sea, often guarded by impenetrable pack ice and home to awe-inspiring icebergs.
Your ship: Greg Mortimer
Welcome aboard the Greg Mortimer, a cruise ship built for expeditions to the most remote places on earth. The first passenger cruise ship to feature the revolutionary Ulstein X-BOW®, allowing the ship to cross polar oceans more comfortably and efficiently. A Greg Mortimer polar cruise is designed for rugged remote areas. The ship accommodates roughly 126 passengers per voyage, and with an expansive observation deck, the ship brings you closer to the incredible secluded environment the Arctic and Antarctic have to offer. With unsurpassed environmental credentials and a perfect base camp for far … Read more about Greg Mortimer
Food & Drinks
One can argue the most important part of any trip is the food! A Greg Mortimer polar cruise offers hearty delicious cuisine with a variety of options and courses for each meal. Mealtimes are a great way to get to know your fellow travelers in the open-seating dining room. Tea, coffee, and various snacks are available 24 hours a day. Enjoy a wide range of house wines, beers, and soft drinks included with dinner, perfect after a long day of exploration.
Every passenger is also invited to join the cruise ship captain and expedition team for Welcome and Farewell drinks, which include complimentary cocktails and appetizers. The bars and lounges aboard the Greg Mortimer are a tasteful, yet inviting place to gather with new friends. Enjoy the sunset through the floor-to-ceiling windows that offer stunning views. The friendly bartenders aboard the ship will quench your thirst and entertain you with tales of previous adventures.
All of our seafood onboard is sustainably sourced in accordance with the Marine Stewardship Council guidelines. We also cater to vegetarian and vegan diets (please mention this when booking).
Optional activities during your cruise
Day 1 • Your incredible Antarctic adventure starts in Punta Arenas
Arrive in Punta Arenas, where you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to our group hotel. Upon arrival at your included hotel, kindly remind hotel check-in staff to provide you with Aurora Expeditions cabin tags. Please clearly label the tags with your name and ship cabin number.
Overlooking the Straits of Magellan, the city sits astride one of the world's most historic trade routes. Today, Punta Arenas reflects a great mix of cultures, from English sheep ranchers to Portuguese sailors, and it remains an utterly fascinating testament to Chile's rich history.
Enjoy free time to explore Punta Arenas at your own pace and discover the town’s excellent restaurants. Between 5.00-7.00 pm, meet your fellow expeditioners at a Welcome Reception and Pre-Embarkation Briefing. Afterwards, there’s free time to dine at your leisure. (Dinner not included).
Accommodation: Hotel Cabo de Hornos (or similar)
Punta Arenas ("Sandy Point" in Spanish) is the capital city of Chile's southernmost region, Magallanes and Antarctica Chilena.
Punta Arenas is the largest city below the 46th parallel and is one of the largest cities in the entire Patagonian Region.
It is only 870 miles from the coast of Antarctica, yet Punta Arenas is a vibrant and modern city that's the perfect starting point for Antarctic exploration.
Day 2 • Fly to King George Island
This morning we will be transferred to Punta Arenas airport for our charter flight to King George Island, Antarctica (weather permitting). The flight will take approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes.
On arrival into King George Island our expedition team is on hand to greet you for your Zodiac transfer to board the vessel. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings.
The largest of the South Shetland Islands, King George Island lies only 75 miles from the coast of the Antarctic continent. With historical claims made by Britain, Chile and Argentina, the island is also known as Isla Rey Jorge and Isla 25 de Mayo.
The importance of King George Island to many Antarctic bases is the 1,300m long airstrip maintained by the permanently occupied Chilean Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva. This provides a lifeline as an airbridge for personnel and supplies for many other Antarctic bases and research stations.
The presence of the airstrip allows King George Island to be used as a "fly-cruise" destination. Flying from Chile across the Drake Passage saves up to 3 days at sea, allowing Antarctic exploration for those with less time to take a full cruise.
Day 3-9 • Set foot on the Antarctic Continent
The North-West portion of the Antarctic Peninsula is the most frequently visited by expedition cruises and is home to many of the most popular landing sites. The Gerlache Strait is renowned for the stunning scenery with the snow covered mountains, as if covered in icing sugar, with numerous glaciers tumbling down to the sea.
Being the most northerly part of the whole continent, the Peninsula enjoys the mildest Antarctic condition, with temperatures in winter averaging a balmy -20 degrees C (-4 degrees F)! In the summer, things warm up to an average of just above freezing. Large areas of this part of the peninsula are ice-free in the early season, being important breeding and feeding grounds for many iconic Antarctic species.
It's here that many of the historic Antarctic expeditions began, and where early military and scientific bases were first established, some of which you will be able to visit if conditions allow. These remarkable artefacts have been left as time capsules, their contents showing remarkable levels of preservation thanks to the dry and cold climate.
Day 10-11 • Cross the infamous Drake Passage
The Drake Passage is the name given to the infamous stretch of open ocean between the tip of South America and the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.
It usually takes 2 or 3 days to cross the Drake Passage, and this is a great time to learn from your expert Antarctic naturalist guides. Through a series of fascinating talks and lectures, you'll begin to learn more about the remarkable wildlife and awe-inspiring geology of the Antarctic continent.
Your guides are always on hand to help you identify the sea bird species that always follow the ships, as well as spotting whales and other cetaceans that can be seen en route to the Antarctic Peninsula or the South Shetland Islands.
Day 12 • Your unforgettable Antarctic cruise comes to an end in Ushuaia
During the early morning, we cruise up the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, where you will be free to disembark around 8.00 am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow passengers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to Ushuaia airport or to your hotel is included in the voyage fare.
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.
Ushuaia is often called the "Gateway to Antarctica". Thanks to its position on the shores of the Beagle Channel at the southern tip of Argentina, Ushuaia's harbor is equally popular with luxury cruise vessels and huge, rugged ice breakers. A vital port for the resupply of many of the Antarctic research bases, Ushuaia is also a beautiful city that really does feel like it's at the edge of the world. You can have a walk in the city to explore fascinating museums like "the end of the world" musem and other cultural centers. It is the perfect place to start boat trips along the Beagle Channel to get up close and personal with penguins and seals. Ushuaia is definitely a remarkable destination in its own right, as well as a wonderful place to start any kind of cruise and trip through Patagonia.