The Antarctic is one of the few places in the world that can be categorised as being unique. There does not exist a better assessment if we intend futilely try to describe the white continent. It is one of the few natural places that is extremely inhospitable to human habitation whilst a seeming paradise for certain bird and marine life. In the Antarctic, nature dominates the time and space; it imposes on the landscapes a beauty that escapes conventional classification. It is not enough to take hundreds of photos and record hours of videos. It is not possible to trap the silence of this area where the land still shows its primitive form, nearly unaltered. It is difficult to compare and attach descriptions, Antarctic is an experience that has to be seen and felt at first hand and this expedition is close to being the best way that you can live it to the full.
It is the ideal expedition to get to know the most attractive places of the South Shetland Isles and the Antarctic Peninsula, the richest biological region of the white continent. This option allows the observation of the wildlife that has developed in the polar environment, today it is desolate and arid but in prehistoric times it possessed a profuse flora and fauna. During all the itinerary there follows extraordinary landscapes of snow and ice covered mountains and hundreds of glaciers and imposing icebergs that slide slowly through the cold waters of the summer Antarctic, and when the sun does not fall from the horizon, forming the polar night and day. Not one land animal lives in the cold continent; without doubt the diverse wildlife that exists has been developed by the oceans and seas that surround it. Many different species of birds such as seagulls, petrels, cormorants and albatross share their habitats with mammals such as seals, sea lions, whales and orcas.
12 days - 11 nights
Day 1 - Ushuaia
We will be waiting for you at the airport in the city of Ushuaia to transfer you to your hotel in the center of the city.
Day 2 - Boarding and departure from the port of Ushuaia, previous visit to the city.
This morning, enjoy a nice breakfast at the hotel before exploring Ushuaia on a half-day tour of the city. Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego, is located on the banks of the Beagle Channel and surrounded by the Martial Mountains, which gives it a unique landscape in Argentina, which is the combination of mountains, sea, glaciers and forests.
On this half-day introductory tour, you will visit the "La Misión" neighborhood, the old Government House and the upper area of the city, which offers beautiful panoramic views of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel. During the tour, you will see the old houses that belonged to the first families settled in Ushuaia. The tour ends with a visit to the End of the World Museum before moving to the pier to embark at approximately 4:00 PM. Please note that the museum's opening hours may change without prior notice, and if the End of the World Museum is closed, we can visit the nearby Old Prison Museum.
While the M/V Greg Mortimer moves away from the port, we will meet on the deck to begin our adventure with spectacular views of Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego. You will have time to settle in your cabin before our important informative meetings. Tonight, meet your expedition partners and crew at a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of an exciting adventure in Antarctica. Breakfast and dinner included. Lunch is on your own.
Day 3 - Drake Passage
At the beginning of the crossing of the Drake Passage, we make the most of our time to feel comfortable with the movements of the sea. Our expedition team prepares you for our first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures and begins our conference program to help you learn more about the history, wildlife and environment of Antarctica. Our experiences with wildlife begin when we enjoy observing and photographing the many marine birds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels that follow us. They rise and fall skillfully, using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.
Day 4 - We are approaching the South Shetland Islands
The fourth day we approach the South Shetland Islands and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, the emotion is palpable with each of the meeting points on one of the observation platforms, on the horizon we see the first icebergs. The ocean acquires a new perspective once we are below the Antarctic Convergence and we are surrounded by the surrealist presence of floating ice sculptures. It is likely that the memory of your first great iceberg sighting remains with you throughout your life. If the weather permits, we can try our first landing in Antarctica at the end of the afternoon.
Day 5 to 9 - Antarctic Peninsula
During the next few days, we have a large number of options available, and depending on the ice and weather conditions, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula is ours to explore. Our experienced expedition team, which has made countless trips to this area, will use their experience to design our day-to-day trip. This allows us to take full advantage of the climate, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.
Because we are so far south, we will experience approximately 18 to 20 hours of natural light and the days can be as busy as you want. Generally we will try two landings or excursions in zodiac boats. During this trip, there will be an opportunity to camp on land (weather permitting). This will give you the opportunity to try the adventure style that Scott, Shackleton and other legendary Antarctic explorers experienced, albeit with slightly better and more comfortable equipment! Rest assured that our warm and comfortable boat with its hot showers will be a short distance away!
There are many interesting places we can choose to visit and our itinerary is deliberately flexible to allow us to choose the best places of the day according to the ice and weather conditions. A sample of some of the types of places we can navigate, disembark, walk, photograph or see the spectacular wildlife include: Beautiful protected bays around the Antarctic Peninsula surrounded by magnificent peaks and spectacular glaciers, areas that are shelters for whales while we keep our eyes open to see humpback whales, killer whales, mink and crabeater seals, while we explore bays in Zodiacs. Wildlife-rich islands where we observe Weddell seals, chinstrap penguins raising their families on rocky cliffs, nesting seagulls, sea lions and elephant seals that own the beach.
El Canal Lemaire: si las condiciones del hielo lo permiten, pararse en la plataforma de observación del M/V Greg Mortimer en silencio mientras el barco navega a lo largo del estrecho Canal Lemaire podría ser uno de los puntos destacados de nuestro viaje. Los acantilados se elevan a 700 metros / 2,296 pies que salen del océano a ambos lados del barco. El agua a veces puede estar tan quieta que las montañas se reflejan en la superficie del canal y es claro por qué este canal a menudo se lo llama "Kodak Alley". Los icebergs gigantescos pueden obstruir el canal, creando desafíos de navegación para nuestro Capitán y tripulación; ocasionalmente pueden incluso obstruir nuestro paso.
Day 10 to 11 - Returning again to the Drake Passage
The boat points its bow to the north to face again the impetuous waters of the Drake Passage. Meanwhile we leave behind the Antarctic Peninsula and the boat life changes to include conferences and talks that go to enrich what we have seen and learnt on our expedition. Together with the activities programmed by the crew and the delicious food on board, we enjoy the return to Ushuaia.
Day 12 - Ushuaia
During the early morning, we sail through the Beagle Channel, before arriving at the Ushuaia pier, where we can disembark around 8:00 am. We bid farewell to the expedition team and fellow travelers. The cost of the trip includes a transfer to the center of Ushuaia before continuing to the airport.
Note: That all our travel programs are subject to weather conditions and landings not always can be guaranteed. Trips to Antarctica are flexible and never a journey are alike therefore the detailed activities on the itineraries are only illustrative reference.
Map of Route
- Arrival transfer from airport to hotel on Day 1 (preferred flights only)
- One night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia on Day 1
- Half day city tour in Ushuaia on Day 2 (lunch not included)
- Transfer from pier to downtown Ushuaia or to airport on Day 12
- Onboard accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
- All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
- Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
- Captain’s Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
- All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
- Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team
- Free access to our onboard doctor for consultations relating to sea-sickness. A standard fee of US $60.00 (reclaimable through your travel insurance provider) applies for medical consultations not related to sea-sickness
- A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
- Complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- A printed photo book produced with photos from your voyage
- Port surcharges, permits and landing fees
Services not included
- 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 including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges