21 days - 20 nights
Day 1 - Ushuaia
Reception at the airport of the city of Ushuaia and transfer to the hotel.
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
As we begin our journey across the South Atlantic Ocean to the Falkland Islands, 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 to 5 - Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are located 477 kilometers (296 miles) east of southern Argentina, Malvinas is a unique combination of being an access point to wildlife and an advanced town. An archipelago of more than 700 islands, but consisting of two main islands, east and west, only seven of the islands are inhabited. The cold and nutrient-rich waters surrounding the islands make them a privileged place for marine life, including seabirds and seals. Our time in the Falklands includes a short walk through the historic city of Stanley and the Sea Lions Island, located in the south of the East Falklands, to get to know the Natural Reserve of the Sea Lions Island. You will discover how the natural beauty and loneliness of the island make it a refuge for wildlife and visitors. In 2009, the Sea Lions Island was officially declared a National Nature Reserve, with no introduced predators living on the island.
Some of the places you can visit include:
- Steeple Jason (Wild West Island) On this island there is the largest black-browed albatross colony on earth, with more than 100 thousand birds, it is a wild island and practically not visited by tourism due to strong winds and waves. We depend on the weather conditions when arriving in this region. In Spanish it is known as the Wild Island of the West and is located northwest of the Falkland Islands archipelago, integrating the Los Salvajes Islands and is smaller in area than the eastern island Wild East. Until the end of the 20th century it was used for fattening sheep and there is a research station that was created at the beginning of the 21st century to protect the native fauna.
- Saunders Island (Trinidad Island) It is one of the islands of the Falklands archipelago, located northwest of the Gran Malvina island and north of the San Francisco de Paula bay. It has an area of 120 km² and is currently used for sheep farming. In this area we can see black-browed albatross nests, imperial cormorants, yellow plume penguins, king penguins, Magellanic and Papua penguins.
- Carcass Island (Rosario Island) It is one of the islands that make up the Falklands archipelago, located north of San Francisco de Paula Bay and west of Trinidad Island. We find high mountains such as the Stanley & Bing mountains that exceed 300 meters of altitude. Normally it disembarks in Leopardo beach and is characterized by the great amount of dunes and for being the most forested area of the Falkland Islands, being able to see the Monterey cypress that is an endemic species, next to grasses grasses like tussoks. This island is abundant in both sub-Antarctic birds, both beach and passerine, since there are no rodents, inhabited by the common martinete, witch heron, black swirl, seals, magellanic and papua penguins. The garden of Puerto Patterson is covered with exotic plant species, such as fuchsia, blue lupine and canine rose.
- West Point Island (Isla Remolinos) We disembark in a small cove, we can walk through the tussac grass and in an abundant breeding colony of black-browed albatrosses where they live next to rockhopper penguins. It is located in the northwest area of the Gran Malvina Island, formerly called Isla de los Albatros, it has a surface of 15 km2 and Cerro Miseria is the highest on the island with 370 meters.
- Sea lion Island The Sea Lion Island is a habitat area for birds such as Gentoo, Magellan and Rockhopper penguins, the Cobb dog, the Magellanic Snipe and the Tussac birds. 95 percent of the population of sea lions (sea elephants) is found on this island, hence its name. Sea Lion Island has a regular population of six residents who run a hotel and welcome the occasional tourists who visit it. An airstrip is available for small planes flying from Soledad Island.
Day 6 to 8 - At sea
During the trip from Falkland Islands to South Georgia Island, you will be fascinated by the incessant flight of the many seabirds that follow our wake, skillfully using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum. At this stage, we are usually traveling with some weather dependence, so it is difficult to estimate our precise arrival time to South Georgia Island. Our conference program will continue to highlight all the incredible views we have witnessed in recent days. You will have enough time to enjoy watching seabirds, watching whales from the observation areas or just relaxing with a book. If time and weather conditions permit, we can pass near Shag Rocks, a fascinating group of irregular rocky islets that protrude from the sea, in the vicinity of South Georgia.
The Shag Rocks are also called in Spanish the Aurora Islands, they are a group of ocean sedimentary rocks that we find over the South Atlantic, in the northernmost region of the Southern Antilles Arc. They are 1200 km east of States Island and about 232 km from San Pedro Island that belongs to the South Georgia. They are mountains that have stood out from the Scotia Dorsal, which is the underwater continuation of the Andes Mountains.
Day 9 to 12 - South Georgia Island
Over the next few days, marvel at the incredible scenes of South Georgia, such as the huge and bustling colonies of king penguins, sea lions fighting for space on the beach, amazing mountain landscapes and discover Shackleton's epic rescue trip. On daily departures with Zodiac boats, discover bays full of shrill and playful sea lions and disembark on pebble beaches (beaches with boulders - thick stones) to meet curious penguins. Test yourself with the walks and enjoy dazzling unspoiled landscapes seen by few. South Georgia is a place where you can really feel that you have really escaped from your normal daily life.
South Georgia is one of the most amazing natural environments in the world. Only one spot in the vastness of the South Atlantic Ocean, and which is entirely within the Antarctic Convergence, the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are a refuge for the life of some of the largest wildlife congregations in the world. The surrounding sea is one of the most productive areas on Earth and supports the lives of millions of seals, whales, penguins and other seabirds. A mountain range forms the backbone of this long and narrow island.
Between the mountains, the shattered glaciers make their way through the weed grass to the coast with deep indentation, a landscape that is synonymous with the epic survival expedition of Shackleton, Worsley and Crean. Rusty and abandoned whale hunting stations and the remains of explorers reflect the passage of time, while summer workers carry out scientific and regeneration projects. As we explore South Georgia, we will have the opportunity to reflect on Shackleton's epic journey. If conditions permit, we plan to follow in the footsteps of Shackleton, Worsley and Crean and complete the final leg of their walk from Fortuna Bay to Stromness.
A sample of some of the places where we can disembark on South Georgia Island include:
Day 13 to 14 - Towards the sea of Scotland
En route to South Georgia, we will go through the Sea of Scotland, following the route that Shackleton and five of his men took to find help for the rest of their companions. On April 24, 1916, they piled up in the James Caird, the most protected of their open boats, to attempt this dangerous trip to South Georgia, about 1290 km (802 miles) away. Shackleton hoped to reach South Georgia in two weeks. There he would count on the help of the whalers to return to Elephant Island and rescue the men left behind. As the excitement of South Georgia increases, catch up with fellow expeditionaries at the bar, watch wildlife with our naturalist from the open bridge.
Day 15 to 19 - 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. We will sail along spectacular ice cliffs, watching whales that feed near the surface and disembarking on the mainland and its islands on the coast to visit penguin colonies, historical ruins and some of our other favorite places along the peninsula.
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.
Islands rich in wildlife where glaciers and mountains dominate the view and we can see large colonies of chinstrap penguins caught between basaltic turrets colored by yellow and orange lichens and where we often find sea lions and sea elephants on pebble beaches. It houses the home of Gentoo penguins and Weddell seals. The landscape is dramatic, the high mountains and glaciers looming around the harbor. The thundering crack of the glaciers as they open will surely stop you along the way.
Lemaire Channel: if the ice conditions allow it, stand on the observation platform of the M/V Greg Mortimer in silence while the ship sails along the narrow Lemaire Channel, could be one of the highlights of our trip. The cliffs rise to 700 meters / 2,296 feet that leave the ocean on both sides of the ship. The water can be so still that the mountain is reflected on the surface and it is clear why this channel is often called "Kodak Alley". Gigantic icebergs can clog the canal, creating navigation challenges for our Captain and crew, occasionally they may even obstruct our passage.
Day 20 - At sea
On our return to Ushuaia, you can choose to dedicate your time to photo editing, to enjoy the facilities on board or to listen to an informative conference.
Day 21 - Ushuaia
During the early morning, we sail along the Beagle Channel. We arrive at the dock of the port of Ushuaia, where we begin to disembark around 8:00 am. We say goodbye to the expedition team and fellow travelers while we all continue our future trips, hopefully with a new sense of the immense power of nature. The cost of the trip includes a transfer to the center of Ushuaia or to the airport.
Map of Route
- Transfer from the airport to the hotel.
- Accommodation night the day before departure.
- Half-day city tour in Ushuaia before boarding (lunch not included)
- Luggage transfer from the Ushuaia hotel to the ship
- Transfer from the pier to the city center or to the airport, when you disembark.
- 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
- 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