Wild Antarctica - Fly/Fly

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

Welcome to the ice factory! Thanks to vast ice shelves that calve monstrous tabular icebergs, waters rich in krill and other-worldly landscapes, the Weddell Sea is one of Antarctica’s unique regions. Our new expedition ship, Greg Mortimer, is ice-strengthened to take you safely and comfortably between the Weddell Sea and the Antarctic Peninsula’s west coast for the best of both worlds.

Expedition Highlights
• Kayakers and paddle-boarders may experience close encounters with feeding whales and seals hauled out on ice floes (additional charge for optional activities)
• Enjoy daily Zodiac cruises in Antarctica and marvel at enormous tabular icebergs in the Weddell Sea
• Learn from a Palaeontologist as you set foot upon incredible fossil-rich volcanic islands
• Avoid the Drake passage by flying to/from King George Island

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Punta Arenas, Chile
Day 2 Fly Punta Arenas to King George Island
Days 3 to 9 Weddell Sea & Antarctic Peninsula West Coast
Day 10 Fly King George Island to Punta Arenas
Day 11 Punta Arenas

Day 1 — Arrive Punta Arenas, Chile

Arrive in Punta Arenas, where you will be met by a representative and transferred to your downtown hotel (preferred flights only).

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. Tonight, we will gather to meet our fellow expeditioners and a briefing on the first leg of our expedition – our flight to Antarctica!

Day 2 — Fly Punta Arenas to King George Island

This morning we will be transferred to Punta Arenas airport for our early morning charter flight to King George Island, Antarctica (weather permitting). The flight will take approximately one-and-a half-hours. On arrival into King George Island our expedition team is on hand to greet you for your Zodiac transfer to board the Greg Mortimer. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings. 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 in Antarctica.

Days 3 to 9 — Weddell Sea & Antarctic Peninsula West Coast

After settling into shipboard life, we will head through the Antarctic Sound to the eastern side of the Peninsula to reach the Weddell Sea.

Access to the Weddell is heavily dependent on ice conditions, and our experienced leader will use their expertise to design our voyage from day to day.

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, photograph or view spectacular wildlife follows:

Brown Bluff
Situated on the eastern side of Tabarin Peninsula, the spectacular 2,500 ft (745m) promontory of Brown Bluff towers over some 20,000 nesting pairs of Adélie penguins and hundreds of Gentoo penguins. Nesting skuas, snow petrels and pintados inhabit the upper slopes and kelp gulls screech overhead. Brown Bluff's volcanic origins have created some fantastically shaped boulders that lie scattered across the ash beach and make colorful nesting sites for some of the penguins.

Paulet Island
This tiny volcanic island forms the nesting grounds of some 120,000 pairs of Adélie penguins, and the surrounding seas literally teem with penguins. There is also a blue-eyed shag colony situated at one end of Paulet's long beach front. Leopard seals are often seen cruising offshore, in search of their next meal. Weddell seals sometimes haul out here for a quiet nap on the beach. Apart from its plentiful wildlife, Paulet is also rich in the history of Antarctic exploration, for it was here that the 22 men of Larsen's ship Antarctic arrived on 28 February 1903 after their ship had sunk. The men wintered on Paulet, living on penguins and seals until eventually Larsen and five of the men rowed across Erebus and Terror Gulf to be reunited with members of Otto Nordenskjold's geological exploration party.

James Clark Ross Island
Separated from Trinity Peninsula by Prince Gustav Channel, the beaches and rocks of this mighty island are a mix of volcanic and sedimentary; creating a geologists’ paradise. The beaches are populated with kelp gulls while Antarctic terns and skuas nest on the island's higher slopes. Many of the island's rocks are decorated with bright red and orange lichens, presenting fantastic photographic opportunities. Ice floes in the surrounding waters provide temporary floating homes for Weddell and Leopard Seals. We may walk up to Hidden Lake, following a stream rich in fossilized remains of deciduous trees, ferns, and even clamshells. If ice conditions and time permit, we may also circumnavigate this fantastic island; a rarely-accomplished feat.

Devil Island
This very rarely-visited island was named for its two striking peaks or 'horns'. It is the nesting site for some 10,000 pairs of Adelie penguins. If weather conditions permit, we may walk up a scree slope to the top of the island's western peak. A few hundred yards in height, the summit provides superb views into Erebus and Terror Gulf. On the upper slopes, you may even see nesting snow petrels and Wilson's Storm Petrels. For those who are less active, the continuous commute of penguins on the beach and the accompanying skua population provide endless fascination. We may also cruise in our Zodiacs amongst the large numbers of icebergs that are often grounded offshore.

View Point, Duse Bay
View Point is one of the few places where we may be able to set foot on the Antarctic continent proper. A British hut was built here in 1953 and an Argentine refuge hut was established a few years later. In front of the old hut are the remains of crabeater seal carcasses, which provided food for the sledge dogs. Thanks to the cold conditions, the well-preserved hut looks just as it did all those years ago – a fascinating place to get a feeling for the olden days of Antarctic exploration.

Lemaire Channel
If ice conditions allow, standing on the observation deck of the Greg Mortimer quietly moving through the narrow Lemaire Channel could be one of the highlights of our voyage. Cliffs tower 2,300 ft (700m) straight up out of the ocean on either side of the ship. The water can be so still that perfect reflections are mirrored on the surface and it is clear to see why this Channel is also known as “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 1900’s, 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 postcard home from the Penguin Post Office, the world’s most southern Post Office!

Other places we may visit around the Weddell Sea area and on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula are:
Joinville Island • D'Urville Island • Hope Bay • Seymour Island • Snow Hill Island • Vega Island, Prince Gustav Channel • Beak Island • Crystal Hill • Herbert Sound

Day 10 — Fly King George Island to Punta Arenas

As we approach Frei Base on King George Island, it is time to farewell Antarctica and our amazing adventure before boarding our flight (approximately one-and-a half-hours) to Punta Arenas, Chile. On arrival at the Punta Arenas airport, you will be transferred to our preferred downtown hotel.

Day 11 — Punta Arenas

After breakfast, bid a fond farewell to your fellow travelers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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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-ship
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