opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse in Antarctica
South Georgia, retrace Shackleton’s legendary mountain
crossing (on foot) – additional cost
past glittering grounded bergs on your kayaking adventures in Antarctica
fur seal beach masters protecting their harem in ferocious battles in
Adélie penguins nest-building, occasionally stealing rocks
from their unsuspecting neighbors
DATES / RATES
Rates are listed per person in USD
|Start Date||End Date||Stateroom Triple||Stateroom Twin||Balcony Stateroom C||Balcony Stateroom B||Balcony Stateroom A||Balcony Suite||Junior Suite||Captains Suite|
|Nov 24, 2021||Dec 15, 2021||23,699||26,299||28,099||28,799||29,599||36,295||43,799||51,199|
Rates are listed per person in USD
|Start Date||End Date||(Starting from)|
Balcony Stateroom A
|Nov 24, 2021||Dec 15, 2021||23,699||29,599||51,199|
1: Arrive Ushuaia
in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a representative and transferred
to your downtown hotel (for preferred flights only).
2: Embark the Greg Mortimer in Ushuaia
morning after a leisurely breakfast, please check-out of your room by
11.00 AM. Your luggage will be collected from your hotel and
transferred directly to port for clearance and loading onto the ship.
You have time at leisure before meeting in the hotel lobby to commence
a half day tour of Ushuaia at 1.00 PM.
capital of Tierra del Fuego is located at the shores of the Beagle
Channel and surrounded by the Martial Mountains giving you a unique
landscape in Argentina, which is the combination of mountains, sea,
glaciers and forests. On this half day introductory tour, you will
visit “La Mision” neighborhood, the old Government
House, and the upper area of the city, which offers beautiful panoramic
views of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel.
the excursion you will see the antique houses that belonged to the
first families settled in Ushuaia. The excursion ends with a visit to
the End of the World Museum before transferring to the pier for
embarkation at approximately 4.00 PM. Please note that opening hours to
the museum can change without notice, and if the End of the World
Museum is closed, we may visit the nearby Old Prison Museum.
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.
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.
and dinner included. Lunch is at own expense)
3: Drake Passage crossing
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
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 skillfully, using air
currents created by the ship to gain momentum.
4: Drake Passage & South Shetland Islands
the tip of the South Shetland Islands on day four, the excitement is
palpable with everyone converging on the bridge 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.
5-9: Antarctic Peninsula
the five 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.
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 favorite spots along the peninsula. There
will be plenty of time for sleep when you get home!
are many exciting places we can choose to visit; a sample of some of
the places where we may land, hike, photograph or view spectacular
protected bay surrounded by magnificent peaks and spectacular glaciers,
the rocky cliffs of this spectacular harbor provide perfect nesting
sites for blue-eyed shags, terns and gulls. The serenity of Paradise
Harbor envelops us once the ship’s engine is turned off. This
is a haven for whales and we keep our eyes open for humpbacks, orcas,
minkes, and crabeater seals, as we explore the bay in Zodiacs.
group of low-lying unprotected granitic rocks protrude from the sea,
swept by ocean swells. At first these rocks appear uninteresting, but
on closer investigation, calm channels lead to a hidden interior where
Weddell seals are hauled out on protected snow beds and noisy chinstrap
penguins raise their families on rocky platforms. Hydrurga is the Latin
family name for leopard seal (Hydrurga Leonina), and on occasions we
see some skulking in the shallows. There are many places to simply sit
and watch the rise and fall of clear green water and listen to the
magic sounds and calls of the wildlife.
wildlife-rich island is tucked into a neat bay at the eastern end of
Livingston Island. On a clear day, the glaciers and mountains of
Livingston Island dominate the vista. There is a large chinstrap
penguin colony tucked in between basaltic turrets colored by yellow and
orange lichens. Gulls nest on these turrets and there are often fur
seals and elephant seals hauled out on the pebble beaches. There is a
large rookery of nesting blue-eyed shags at one end of the island,
while at the other end of the island lies a small Argentinian station
that is sometimes occupied by scientists conducting research on the
penguin colony and surrounding waterways.
ice conditions allow, standing on the observation deck of the Greg
Mortimer quietly as the ship sails along the narrow Lemaire Channel
could certainly be one of the highlights of our voyage. Cliffs tower
700 meters / 2,296 feet straight out of the ocean on either side of the
ship. The water can sometimes be so still that perfect reflections are
mirrored on the surface and it is clear to see why this Channel is
often called “Kodak Alley”. Gigantic icebergs may
clog the channel, creating navigational challenges for our Captain and
crew; occasionally they may even obstruct our passage.
on Goudier Island, British Port Lockroy is an important site for both
scientific research and visitors to the Antarctic continent. Designated
a historic site in 1994 and opened to the Antarctic tourism industry in
1996, it was discovered in 1904 and used by the whaling industry in the
first half of the 1900s. It was part of the British Operation Tabarin
during World War II, and was later used as a British Research Station.
Today, Pork Lockroy is manned by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust and
operates as a museum, gift shop and post office for visitors from
passing Antarctic expeditions. You can even send a post card home from
the Penguin Post Office, the world’s most southern Post
in Andvord Bay, Neko Harbor is an inlet home to gentoo penguins, and
regularly welcomes Weddell seals. The scenery is dramatic - towering
peaks and calving glaciers surround the harbor. The thundering crack of
the glaciers as they calve is sure to stop you in your tracks.
fine example of the South Shetland Islands – tiny toes of
land that are literally alive with wildlife. Here, there are two
species of penguins breeding - chinstrap and gentoo. It is not uncommon
to find wallows of elephant seals that are 60 beasts strong. Giant
petrels nest on the ridgeline.
10: Elephant Island, Weddell Sea
morning, if weather permits, we set course for Elephant Island, a
half-submerged mountain cloaked with an ice sheet at the outer limits
of the South Shetlands. We’ll learn the story of Shackleton
and hear how his ship, the Endurance, was crushed in pack ice in the
Weddell Sea, before him and his men climbed into three open boats,
spending 16 months at sea, before finally making landfall on this tiny
toe of rock and ice in the vastness of the Southern Ocean on 14 April,
1916. We plan to sail past Cape Valentine to see the beach where the
men first put ashore over 100 years ago. Weather permitting; we hope to
follow the coastline 9.65 km/6 miles west to Point Wild, where the men
eventually set up camp under two of their upturned open boats and some
old tents. If weather permits, we’ll attempt to make a
landing on historic Point Wild, Elephant Island.
then begin to position our ship in prime location for the eagerly
awaited solar eclipse.
11: Solar Eclipse
to NASA, the optimum position to experience the solar eclipse is well
into the Weddell Sea. The eclipse is visible from the following
geographic regions: Antarctica, South Africa, south Atlantic, but the
full eclipse will only be visible in Antarctica.
instant of greatest eclipse takes place on Dec 04 at 07:34:38 TD
(Terrestrial Dynamical Time) or (07:33:28 UT1).
early December would be considered too early to visit South Orkney
Islands because of extensive sea ice. However, conditions have been
changing every year and it may be possible to get into the South
Orkneys on 04 December, 2021 – the unknown is part of what
makes the experience even more thrilling.
eclipse belongs to Saros 152 and is number 13 of 70 eclipses in the
series. All eclipses in this series occur at the Moon’s
descending node. The total solar eclipse of 2021 Dec 04 is preceded two
weeks earlier by a partial lunar eclipse on 2021 Nov 19. These eclipses
all take place during a single eclipse season. An eclipse season is a
period during which the Sun appears close enough to one of the
Moon’s nodes to permit an eclipse to occur. Each season lasts
approximately 34 days and repeats at about 173-day intervals.
12-13: Scotia Sea
route for South Georgia we'll head across the Scotia Sea, following the
route that Shackleton and five of his men took in order to find help
for the rest of their crew. On 24 April, 1916, they piled into the
James Caird, the most seaworthy of their open boats, to attempt this
perilous journey to South Georgia, some 1290 km (802 miles) distant.
Shackleton hoped to reach South Georgia in two weeks. There he would
enlist the help of the whalers to return to Elephant Island and rescue
the men who had been left behind. As excitement builds for South
Georgia, catch up with fellow expeditioners in the bar, keep watch for
wildlife alongside our naturalist from the open bridge, or learn more
of the Shackleton story from our historian.
14-17: South Georgia
Georgia is one of the world’s most amazing natural
environments. Just a speck in the vastness of the South Atlantic Ocean,
and lying wholly within the Antarctic Convergence, South Georgia and
the South Sandwich Islands are a life-sustaining haven to some of the
world’s largest congregations of wildlife. The surrounding
sea is one of the most productive areas on Earth and supports the life
of millions of seals, whales, penguins and other seabirds.
3,000-metre (9,843 feet) mountain range forms the spine of this long,
narrow island. Between the mountains, shattered glaciers carve their
way through tussock grass to the deeply indented coastline –
a landscape that is synonymous with the epic expedition of survival by
Shackleton, Worsley and Crean. Abandoned rusting whaling stations and
remnants of explorers reflect a time of long ago, while summer workers
conduct scientific and regeneration projects.
speaking, South Georgia lies north of 60° South latitude and is
therefore not part of the Antarctic treaty. It is a wholly British
possession, claimed and named for King George III on 16 January, 1775
by Captain James Cook.
recorded in his journal:
wild rocks raised their lofty summits till they were lost in the clouds
and the valleys lay buried in everlasting snow. Not a tree or a shrub
was to be seen, no, not even big enough to make a toothpick. I landed
in three different places, displayed our colors and took possession of
the country in His Majesty's name under a discharge of small arms."
of the destinations we may visit in South Georgia are:
a Norwegian sealing and whaling station, it was finally closed in 1965.
Now it is the administrative center and a hub of activity in South
Georgia. The former whaling station stands as a solemn testament of the
whaling days, but the museum offers much more than a whaling past. It
has many of the local animals on display as well as the
island’s history of exploration. As we wander around the
site, skirting the ruins of factory buildings, peering into the past,
we must be careful to avoid sleeping elephant seals or disturbing small
groups of king penguins as we imagine what it was like when whale
processing was in full swing. Abandoned ships lie sunken alongside
hundred-year old wharves, while pitted concrete walls remind us of the
more recent Falkland's War, which started here.
Ernest Shackleton died from a heart attack during his final expedition
on board the Quest on 5 January 1922. His body was laid to rest at
Grytviken. We pay our respects at his grave and possibly visit the
cross his men erected in his memory looking out across beautiful
long black sandy beach fronts a broad valley that stretches well back
from the sea. This valley shelters the largest king penguin colony on
South Georgia. Toward the landing beach on the north end of the bay,
the beach is a resting place for hundreds of elephant seals that haul
out on the shore to moult. Behind the beach and as you move along to
the south, the sight and sound (and smell) of over 200,000 pairs of
King Penguins at different stages of their breeding cycle will be
the colony is so dense that the penguins prevent even the seals from
using the beach! The glacial river that runs into the sea here will be
alive with penguin chicks and elephant seal pups testing their skills.
If we lift our gaze from the wildlife for a moment, we will glimpse the
snow-capped peaks of some of the world's most spectacular mountains.
indented bays lined with bleached whalebones, teeming with fur seals
and penguins just ‘hanging about’. In Godthul you
have the opportunity to clamber through the tussock to a spectacular
plateau offering magnificent views across the island and the waters
beyond. A careful descent leads us to a magnificent Macaroni penguin
Plain has one of the largest King Penguin colonies on South Georgia.
With about 100,000 pairs, the shore and beach are simply covered with
penguins. Along the beach you will also find Fur and Elephant seals in
the mix. There is a tremendous scope for walking and exploring on your
own during this landing, allowing you to enjoy some personal time
amongst the kings.
Bay & Stromness
Bay is surrounded by high mountains with glaciers dropping out of the
high country to terminate in the open valley that is home to a small
king penguin colony. This is where Shackleton, Worsley, and Crean came
down off the treacherous glaciers of the interior on their way to
Stromness whaling station. If conditions allow, we can walk in the
footsteps of Shackleton and follow their track over the last mountain
pass. It’s a moderately difficult 6km walk over a 300-metre
pass, and is well worth the experience for those that are fit and able.
The Greg Mortimer will meet us as we stagger into Stromness Bay just as
Shackleton and his men did 100 years ago.
of the wildlife highlights will be visiting the serene wandering
albatrosses sitting proudly on their cute downy chicks. We can sit
within respectful meters of these gentle birds whilst they perform
intimate courtship dances, feed their young or clumsily launch
themselves into the air, bound for a fishing trip.
18-19: Sea Crossing
route to the Falklands Malvinas, you will be entranced by the ceaseless
flight of the many seabirds that follow our wake, skillfully using the
air currents created by the ship to gain momentum. On this leg, we are
usually travelling into the prevailing weather so it is difficult to
estimate our arrival time in the Falklands Malvinas. Our lecture
program will continue and highlight all of the amazing sights we have
witnessed over the past few days. We’ll have ample time to
enjoy the rest of our time observing the sea birds, whale watching from
the bridge, or simply relaxing with a book.
20: Falklands Malvinas
477 kilometers/296 miles east of southern Argentina, the Falklands
Malvinas are a unique mix of wildlife hotspot and inhabited outpost. An
archipelago of over 700 islands, but consisting of two main islands,
East and West, only seven of the islands are inhabited. The cold
nutrient-rich waters surrounding the islands makes them a prime
location for marine life including seabirds and seals. Our time in the
Falkland Malvinas includes a short walk in historic Stanley town, and
Sealion Island located in East Falkland’s south, where you
can get insight into the unique experience of Sealion Island Nature
Reserve. You will discover how the raw beauty and solitude of the
island makes it a haven for wildlife and visitors alike. In 2009,
Sealion Island was officially declared a National Nature Reserve, with
no introduced predators living on the island.
grass covers much of the island providing an ideal habitat for elephant
seals and sea lions that can be found on many of the island’s
spectacular beaches. A plethora of birds such as thrushes, finches,
tussac birds and Megallenic penguins also inhabit the tussac. Pods of
orcas, Peale's dolphins and leopard seals are regularly seen in the
waters around the island.
island's southern giant petrels, with a wingspan of two meters, act as
a welcoming party to ships as they approach Sealion Island. Rockhopper,
gentoo and Magellanic penguins come to Sealon Island to breed.
Macaroni, king penguins and Striated and Crested Caracaras are also
common seen on the island.
21: Sea Crossing
may choose to spend the sea days returning to Ushuaia editing your
photos, enjoying the onboard facilities, or listening to an informative
lecture. Celebrate the end of an unforgettable voyage with newfound
friends at a special Captain’s farewell dinner.
22: Disembark in Ushuaia
disembarkation, transfer to Ushuaia airport to continue on your onward
Greg Mortimer (Luxury Expedition, 120-guests)
Capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, the Greg Mortimer is built to world-class polar standards. It is designed in close consultation with expedition specialists, taking advantage of Auroras more than 25 years of experience.
(Click image to view Ship details)
transfer from airport to hotel on Day 1 (preferred flights only)
night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia on Day 1
day city tour in Ushuaia on Day 2 prior to embarkation (lunch not
transfer from your hotel in Ushuaia to ship on Day 2
accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
house wine and soft drinks with dinner
Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house
cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
lectures and guiding services from expedition team
to our onboard doctor and basic medical services
3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
use of muck boots during the voyage
printed photo book produced with photos from your voyage
surcharges, permits and landing fees
Kayaking: USD 1,470 per person
USD 370 per person
Crossing on Foot:
USD 2,220 per person