South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey 22-day

Greg Mortimer Luxury Expidition Cruise Ship
Greg Mortimer
120 Passengers
Adventure Options

Combine the best of the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia on one incredible voyage. Antarctica offers spectacular frozen landscapes, feeding whales and unsurpassed adventure activities. Cross the majestic Scotia Sea to South Georgia and visit the world's largest king penguin colonies and beaches filled with fur seal pups and elephant seals. Weather conditions permitting, we plan to make a landing at Cape Horn towards the end of the voyage, a challenging proposition due to the rough seas and gale force winds that batter the promontory.

Expedition Highlights
• Witness king penguins in South Georgia either mating, molting or sitting on their eggs
• Watch your step to avoid treading on Antarctic fur seal pups hiding in the tussac grass in South Georgia
• Experience the thrill of Antarctic kayaking(additional cost)
• Daily shore visits and Zodiac cruises offer close encounters with penguins, whales, seals and sea birds
• In Falklands~Malivinas visit historic Stanley town, a British outpost, as well as wildlife-rich Sealion Island

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Ushuaia, Argentina
Day 2 Embark the Greg Mortimer in Ushuaia
Day 3 Drake Passage Crossing
Day 4 Drake Passage & South Shetland Islands
Days 5 to 7 Antarctic Peninsula
Day 8 Elephant Island
Days 9 & 10 Scotia Sea
Days 11 to 15 South Georgia
Days 16 to 18 At Sea
Day 19 Falklands~Malvinas
Day 20 At Sea
Day 21 Disembark Puerto Williams, fly to Punta Arenas
Day 22 Punta Arenas, Chile

Day 1 — Arrive Ushuaia, Argentina

Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel (preferred flights only).

Day 2 — Embark the Greg Mortimer in Ushuaia

Ushuaia, 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.

During 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 Old Prison Museum before transferring to the pier for embarkation.

After embarkation, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin. 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.

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.

Day 3 — Drake Passage Crossing

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 skillfully, using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.

Day 4 — Drake Passage & South Shetland Islands

Nearing 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.

Days 5 to 7 — Antarctic Peninsula

Over the next few 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 favorite spots along the peninsula. There will be plenty of time for sleep when you get home!

There are many exciting places we can choose to visit. A sample of some of the places where we may land, hike, and photograph or view spectacular wildlife follows:

Paradise Harbor
A 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.

Hydrurga Rocks
This 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.

Half Moon Island
This 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.

Lemaire Channel
If 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 2,300 ft (700 m) 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.

Port Lockroy
Located 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 Office!

Neko Harbor
Located 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.

Robert Point
A 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.

Other places we may visit around the Antarctic Peninsula are:
Pleneau Island • Vernadsky; a Ukrainian scientific base • Petermann Island • Penola Strait • Antarctic Sound • Cuverville Island • Danco Island • Enterprise Island • Melchior Islands

Day 8 — Elephant Island

Today, 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 six 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.

Days 9 & 10 — Scotia Sea

En 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 800 mi (1,300 km) 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.

“Nearly always there were gales. So small was our boat and so great were the seas that often our sail flapped idly in the calm between the crests of two waves. Then we would climb the next slope and catch the full fury of the gale where the wool-like whiteness of the breaking water surged around us.”
- Ernest Shackleton

Days 11 to 15 — South Georgia

South 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.

A 9,850 ft (3,000 m) 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.

Politically 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.

Cook recorded in his journal:
"The 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."

On 20 May, 1916, Sir Ernest Shackleton, Tom Crean, and Frank Worsley stumbled into the busy whaling station at Stromness; hungry, exhausted and covered in grime. They had just made the first ever crossing of the mountains of South Georgia, from King Haakon Bay, to find help for their three exhausted companions left at Cave Cove and to rescue the men they had left on Elephant Island. They had sailed in the James Caird for 16 days under horrendous conditions and finally found safety in the tiny entrance of Cave Cove. This epic story of survival began with the sinking of his ship, the Endurance, in the Weddell Sea, six months earlier. 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 Shackleton, Worsley, and Crean’s footsteps and complete the final leg of their walk from Fortuna Bay to Stromness.

A sample of some of the places where we may land in South Georgia include:

Originally 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 glimpse into Grytviken’s whaling past, including exhibitions of many of the local animals on display as well as the island’s history of exploration. As you wander around the site, skirting the ruins of factory buildings, peering into the past, you must be careful to avoid sleeping elephant seals or disturbing small groups of king penguins as you 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.

Sir 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 Cumberland Bay.

St Andrews Bay
The 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 molt. 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 overwhelming. The colony can be 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.

Imagine 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 rookery.

Salisbury Plains
Salisbury Plain has one of the largest King Penguin colonies on South Georgia. With about 100,000 pairs, the shore and beach can be completely crammed with penguins. Along the beach you will also find fur and elephant seals in the mix. You will have plenty of free time for walking and exploring independently during this landing, allowing you the opportunity to enjoy some personal time amongst the kings.

Fortuna Bay & Stromness
Fortuna Bay is surrounded by high mountains with glaciers pushing down from 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 descended from the treacherous glaciers of the interior on their way to Stromness whaling station. If conditions allow, we can retrace the footsteps of the explorers and follow their track over the last mountain pass. It’s a moderately difficult 3.7 mi (6 km) walk over a 1,000 ft (300 m) pass, and is well worth the experience for those that are fit and able. The Greg Mortimer will meet us as we arrive into Stromness Bay.

Bay of Isles
One of the wildlife highlights will be visiting the serene wandering albatrosses sitting proudly on their cute downy chicks. We can observe within respectful distance of these magnificent gentle birds while they perform intimate courtship dances, feed their young or clumsily launch themselves into the air, bound for a fishing trip.

Other stunning wildlife destinations we may visit include:
Elsehul Bay • Royal Harbor • Cooper Bay • Drygalski Fjord • Larsen Harbor • Gold Harbor • Right Whale Bay • Possession Bay • King Haakon Bay • Moltke Harbor • Larsen Harbor • Shag Rocks

Days 16 to 18 — At Sea

Between South Georgia and 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 traveling 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 in the bar with a book.

If time and weather conditions permit, we could pass close to Shag Rocks, a fascinating group of jagged rocky islets protruding from the sea, in the proximity of South Georgia.


Day 19 — Falklands~Malvinas

Located 300 miles (480 km) 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 Sea Lion Island located in East Falkland’s south, where you can get insight into the unique experience of Sea Lion 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, Sea Lion Island was officially declared a National Nature Reserve, with no introduced predators living on the island.

Tussac 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.

The island's southern giant petrels, with a wingspan of six feet, act as a welcoming party to ships as they approach Sea Lion Island. Rockhopper, gentoo and Magellanic penguins come to Sea Lion Island to breed. Macaroni, king penguins and Striated and Crested Caracaras are also common seen on the island.

Day 20 — At Sea

You may choose to spend the sea days returning to Ushuaia editing your photos, enjoying the onboard facilities, or listening to an informative lecture.

Day 21 — Disembark Puerto Williams, fly to Punta Arenas

During the early morning, we slip into dock in Puerto Williams. Farewell your expedition team and transfer to the airport for your flight to Punta Arenas. Transfer to your hotel for your overnight stay.

Day 22 — Punta Arenas, Chile

Bid new friends goodbye as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

Only show rates under
$ X
Due to COVID-19 trip availability is not being updated. Please contact Polar Cruises to check on specific trips availability.
Per Person USD
Rates Antarctica 2021-22
XC Ski, Kayak, Snowshoe
Santiago ✈ Falklands
Antarctica - Ushuaia
$20,795 $22,995 $25,095 $25,595 $26,295 $31,895 $38,495Full$44,995 
Camp, XC Ski, Kayak, Snowshoe
Ushuaia - Antarctica - Ushuaia
$10,795 $11,995 $13,095 $13,395 $13,695 $16,595 $19,995 $23,395 
Mountaineering, Kayak, Snorkeling, Snowshoe
Ushuaia - Antarctica
Falklands - Ushuaia

- Call for Availability -
$23,700Full$26,300 $28,100 $28,800 $29,600Full$36,300 $43,800 $51,200 
Mountaineering, Kayak, Snowshoe
Ushuaia - Antarctica - Ushuaia

Save up to 10% (Prices in Red)
Discounts are subject to change & capacity controlled, call for currently available discounts
Expires Jan 21st 2021
$16,895 $18,695 $20,395 $20,795$18,716$21,395$19,256$25,995 $31,295 $36,595 
Camp, Kayak, Snorkeling
Ushuaia - Antarctica - Ushuaia

Save up to 10% (Prices in Red)
Discounts are subject to change & capacity controlled, call for currently available discounts
Expires Jan 21st 2021
$13,395 $14,795 $16,095 $16,495$14,846$16,895$15,206$20,495 $24,695 $28,795Full
Kayak, Snorkeling
Ushuaia - Antarctica - Ushuaia

Save up to 10% (Prices in Red)
Discounts are subject to change & capacity controlled, call for currently available discounts
Expires Jan 21st 2021
$13,395 $14,795 $16,095 $16,495$14,846$16,895$15,206$20,495 $24,695 $28,795 
Kayak, Snorkeling
Ushuaia - Antarctica ✈ Punta Arenas
$12,495Full$13,595 $14,695Full$14,995Full$15,395Full$18,295 $21,695 $25,095 
Kayak, Snorkeling
Punta Arenas ✈ Antarctica ✈ Punta Arenas
$14,795 $16,095 $17,295 $17,595 $17,995Full$21,195 $25,095 $28,795Full
Kayak, Snorkeling
Punta Arenas ✈ Antarctica - Ushuaia

Save up to 10% (Prices in Red)
Discounts are subject to change & capacity controlled, call for currently available discounts
Expires Jan 21st 2021
$14,495$13,046$15,895$14,306$17,295 $17,595$15,836$17,995$16,196$21,595 $25,795 $29,895 
Kayak, Snorkeling
Ushuaia - Antarctica ✈ Punta Arenas

Save up to 10% (Prices in Red)
Discounts are subject to change & capacity controlled, call for currently available discounts
Expires Jan 21st 2021
$13,595$12,236$14,895$13,406Full$16,195 $16,495 $16,895 $20,095 $23,895Full$27,695 
Kayak, Snorkeling
Punta Arenas ✈ Antarctica ✈ Punta Arenas

Save up to 10% (Prices in Red)
Discounts are subject to change & capacity controlled, call for currently available discounts
Expires Jan 21st 2021
$13,795 $14,995 $16,095 $16,395$14,756$16,795$15,116$19,795 $23,195 $26,695 
Kayak, Snorkeling
Punta Arenas ✈ Antarctica - Ushuaia

Save up to 10% (Prices in Red)
Discounts are subject to change & capacity controlled, call for currently available discounts
Expires Jan 21st 2021
$13,995 $15,395 $16,695 $16,995$15,296$17,395$15,656$20,895 $24,895 $28,895 
Kayak, Snorkeling
Ushuaia - Antarctica
Falklands - Ushuaia
$20,795 $22,995 $25,095 $25,595 $26,295 $31,895 $38,495 $44,995Full
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

International Airfare Not Included. Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single costs are 1.5 times the twin rate in all cabin categories. Twin share, with no supplement, is available in Aurora Stateroom and Balcony Stateroom categories.

Flights included for Fly/Cruise itineraries.

Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

Optional Activities: Kayaking $1,260 (trips < 20-days) $1,470 (trips > 20-days). Photography Free. Snowshoeing $320 (trips < 20-days) $370 (trips > 20-days). Snorkeling $640 (trips < 20-days) $740 (trips > 20-days). Camping $150. Ski/Snowboard touring $1,470 (Oct 29th & Nov 24th 2021), $1,260 (Nov 14th 2021). Alpine Trekking (climbing) $1,260 (Dec 14th 2021). South Georgia Alpine Crossing $2,220 (by skis on Oct 29th 2021, by foot on Nov 8th & 24th 2021).

A $15 per person per day gratuity for the crew is automatically added to your onboard account. It is at your discretion if you would like to remove the tip (or increase/decrease the amount) when you settle your account. It is not necessary to tip the expedition team members.

Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Insurance Required. All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

DeckPlan_GregMortimer 2021-22

         Captain's Suite *
480 Sq Ft / 44.5 m² including balcony
Deck 4
Twin or double bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • Separate lounge area • 42" flat-screen TV
         Junior Suite *
420 Sq Ft / 38.9 m² including balcony
Deck 7
Twin or double bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV • Separate lounge area
         Balcony Stateroom Superior
* This category receives Suite benefits* in the 2020-21 Season only
328-433 Sq Ft / 30.5-40.2 m² including balcony
Deck 4 & 6
Twin or double bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV
         Balcony Stateroom-A, Balcony Stateroom-B, Balcony Stateroom-C
225-337 Sq Ft / 20.9--31.3 m² including balcony
Decks 4 & 6
Twin or double bed • Private En-suite • Floor to ceiling window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV
Many "B" staterooms are fitted with interconnecting features making them great for families or groups
         Aurora Stateroom  Twin & Triple (on select voyages)
170-245 Sq Ft / 15.8-22.8 m²
Deck 3
Twin or double bed (Three twin beds in Triple) • Private En-suite • Porthole window • Desk area • Closet space • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV


      Suite benefits include:
• One free pair of binoculars per suite
• 1-hour spa treatment (per person)
• Free stocked mini bar (Balcony & Junior stocked once, Captain’s replenished as needed)
• Gratuities/tips for crew included to the value of $15 per person per day
• 1 free bottle of champagne per suite