Antarctica, Falklands & South Georgia 21 DaysAboard: Greg Mortimer Sylvia Earle
This fantastic itinerary will take you to discover all that makes the Antarctic region so remarkable. Covering 3 incredible areas in one journey, you will sail to and from Ushuaia, with the enthralling Antarctic Peninsula as your first destination. Discover a land of towering icebergs, pristine scenery and enchanting wildlife before sailing on to the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, home to millions of fur seals and penguins, wallows of elephant seals, and nesting albatross, as well as captivating historic sites. Your exceptional itinerary will be rounded off with a 2 day exploration of the beautiful wildlife-rich Falkland Islands.
Various departures available aboard 2 different vessels. Itinerary may operate in reverse on certain departure dates. Mentioned activities may not be applicable to all departure dates. Please enquire for full rates and dates.
- Discover three remarkable areas in one epic journey
- Spectacular Antarctic scenery
- Explore the wildlife paradise of South Georgia
- Step foot on the Antarctic Peninsula
- Enjoy an exploration of the Falklands
- Amazing wildlife including an abundance of penguins, birds and whales
- Activity options including kayaking, snorkelling, camping on ice, snowshoeing and Shackleton crossing mountaineering adventure (select departures - costs apply)
- Enjoy exciting Zodiac cruises throughout
- Visit historical and scientific sites
- Resident photography guide
- Full board accommodation on board ship with daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, afternoon tea and snacks
- Wines, beers and soft drinks with dinner
- 1 night accommodation in Ushuaia pre-voyage, with breakfast and half-day city tour included
- Transfers from ship & luggage transfer to ship
- Captain's Welcome and Farewell drinks including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
- All Zodiac landings and excursions
- Programme of expert lectures
- Loan of rubber boots
- Complimentary 3-in-1 polar jacket
Book select 2024 departures now and receive a £ air credit discount! OR book select 2025 departures and receive up to 20% discount!
Offer applicable when booked before 1st April 2024
Applies to new bookings in select cabins on select departures only. Subject to availability, cannot be combined with any other offer, and may be withdrawn at any time. Full terms & conditions apply. / Available on selected dates/vessels.
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Your journey begins in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city. Arrive independently and transfer to the hotel for your included overnight stay. Enjoy time seeing the sights and sounds of this city which is renowned for its enchanting scenery, before enjoying a good night’s sleep in preparation for the adventures ahead.
Ushuaia - Embarkation
After a leisurely breakfast at your hotel, you can join your included half-day tour of Ushuaia and its surrounds. This beautiful city is the capital of the Tierra del Fuego province and its unique landscape of mountains, sea, glaciers and forest is simply a delight to explore. This fantastic tour will take you to some of Ushuaia’s most impressive areas including The Mission, Solier and Brown neighbourhoods where you can see the ancient houses belonging to the first families in Tierra del Fuego, and the nearby Martial Glacier where you can enjoy a chair lift ride to some excellent hiking trails that reward in superb views over Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel. There will also be time to visit the End of the World Museum where you can get an insight into the history of Tierra del Fuego, before heading to the port in the mid-afternoon to board your ship. Settle into your comfortable cabin and get to know your home for the next 19 nights as the ship sets sail through the scenic Beagle Channel and we begin our epic adventure of a lifetime. A luggage transfer from the hotel is included today.
At Sea - Drake Passage
As your ship sails south through the famous Drake Passage keep an eye out in one of the many observation areas for the whales and seabirds, including albatross, which follow the ship, and the first of many iceberg sightings. Enjoy informative lectures on the wildlife, history and geology of the areas you are about to discover and attend bio security briefings for your time in Antarctica. As we approach the Shetland Islands on day 4, the excitement will build as we prepare the first of many landings in Antarctica. Possible landing sites here may include the Aitcho, Robert or Deception Islands.
As you awake on day 5 the sight that awaits this morning is the stunning Antarctic Peninsula. A land of superlatives, Antarctica’s vast proportions are a sight to behold. Enjoy twice daily Zodiac excursions to explore penguin rookeries, visit historic sites and scientific stations, and get up close to the masses of elaborate icebergs. Watch seals basking on the ice floes, join an excursion in search of orca sightings, and enjoy the exhilaration of stepping foot on the white continent. As with all polar expeditions, your exact itinerary in Antarctica will be dictated by weather and wildlife sighting opportunities so be prepared for the unexpected. Making the most of every moment, your captain will choose the best course each day for wildlife viewings and adventures, with a new experience guaranteed each day.
Some of the fantastic landing sites we expect to visit throughout your time in Antarctica include the beautiful protected bay of Paradise Harbour where you can enjoy an exciting Zodiac cruise in search of whales including humpbacks, minkes and orcas, seals and various bird species including terns, gulls and blue-eyed shags. If ice conditions allow, your ship will sail through the exceptionally scenic Lemaire Channel, where time in the observation lounge or on deck will reward in incredible views of the surrounding towering cliffs and majestic icebergs reflecting off the silky still water surfaces.
Other areas along the Peninsula we hope to visit include the Hydrurga Rocks where you can search for observations of Weddell seals, leopard seals and chinstrap penguins, Neko Harbour where dramatic scenery of towering peaks and calving glaciers plays host to a large colony of gentoo penguins and more Weddell seals, and the important scientific research spot of Port Lockroy where we can learn all about Antarctica’s history and where you can send a postcard from the world’s most southern Post Office! Other possible landing sites include the Petermann and Pleneau Islands, Cuverville Island, Danco Island and the Melchior Islands.
If time allows we may make our way to the South Shetland Islands to visit the wildlife-rich Half Moon Island where beautiful glaciers and mountains coloured by yellow and orange lichens are home to a large chinstrap penguin colony, fur and elephant seals and various birds including gulls and blue-eyed shags. We may also visit the small Argentinean research station here.
Throughout your time in Antarctica we will have approximately 18-20 hours of daylight in which to enjoy exploration on land and by sea, with your expert expedition team and resident photography coach accompanying you throughout. For the more adventurous there will be ample opportunities for kayaking, snowshoeing, and camping on ice excursions. Please note, kayaking, snowshoeing, and camping on ice are only available on select departures, incur an additional cost and should be booked in advance.
As we leave Antarctica behind, your ship will follow in Shackleton’s wake across the Scotia Sea towards South Georgia. Make sure to spend time on deck or in one of the many observation areas to watch for whales and icebergs riding up from the Weddell Sea. Take the time to reflect on the exciting experiences you will have had in Antarctica and join interesting lectures and discussions on South Georgia’s wildlife and history. There will also be bio-security briefings to prepare you for your time on South Georgia.
Welcome to the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, a mostly uninhabited land filled with historic associations, spectacular scenery and the world’s largest king penguin rookeries. Lying wholly within the Antarctic Convergence, South Georgia is a life-sustaining haven to some of the world’s largest congregations of wildlife, and your time here will allow for an in-depth exploration of the island, with your captain choosing each day the best spots to visit for the ultimate wildlife and scenic experiences. You will explore the stunning northern coast as well as the Stromness and Grytviken harbours, where 3000-metre peaks form dramatic backdrops to the remains of whaling stations. You can enjoy Zodiac excursions each day, and for the kayakers there are plentiful areas along the beautiful coastline to explore and get up close to the playful seals that frequent the waters. Enjoy walks along the beaches where an abundance of basking elephant seals, feisty fur seals and busy penguins jostle for the perfect spot, and take the time to soak up the sights and sounds of this simply remarkable island.
Synonymous with the epic expedition of survival by Shackleton, Worsley, and Crean, our expert historians will share tales along the way of these hardy explorers’ feats and fates. We will also be able to pay our respects at Shackleton’s final resting place in Grytviken.
As well as gaining some in-depth knowledge of Shackleton’s feats, our main focus here will be on the indescribable numbers of wildlife that is found here. In St Andrews Bay you can enjoy a walk along the long black sandy beach to visit the largest King penguin colony on the island as well as hundreds of elephant seals. The sight and sound of over 200,000 pairs of King penguins at different stages of their breeding cycle jostling with the seals for prime spots along the beach, all set amongst the most incredible backdrop of spectacular snow-capped mountains, is something you won’t forget in a hurry. In Godthul you can enjoy a gentle walk along the tussock to a spectacular plateau offering magnificent views across the island, and seek out the large Macaroni penguin colony on the way back down, whilst in Salisbury Plains you will be greeted by 100,000 more pairs of king penguins as well as fur and elephant seals.
Aside from the penguins, there will be ample opportunities for enjoyable Zodiac cruises and walks, including in Fortuna Bay and across the landscapes of Grytviken where you can see the reminders of the historic whaling days. Another highlight will be the Bay of Isles where you can observe, from a safe distance, the magnificent wandering albatrosses proudly protecting their chicks. Other areas we may visit include Cooper Bay, Drygalski Fjord and Elsehul Bay.
As we leave South Georgia behind your ship will sail towards the Falkland Islands. As you pass the Shag Rocks keep an eye out on deck for the seabirds that follow the ship. Enjoy further presentations from your onboard experts on the history, wildlife and geology of the areas, and take the time to revel in the memories you will have made. There will also be bio-environmental briefings for your time in the Falklands.
The Falkland Islands
Today it’s time for your final adventure as we enjoy a 2-day visit to the wildlife hotspot of the Falkland Islands. Over the next 2 days we hope to visit a number of the islands, enjoying twice daily landings or Zodiac excursions. Your expert expedition team will assess the elements and choose the perfect landing sites for each adventure. There will be Zodiac cruises through rocky coves and along sea cliffs in search of sightings of seals, sea lions, penguins, dolphins and an abundance of seabirds. We will hope to visit albatross colonies, penguin rookeries and maybe even enjoy a cup of tea with the locals in some of the traditional cottages on the islands. Whichever islands in the archipelago that we visit, the scenery will be beautiful, and the wildlife even more so.
We will also visit historic Stanley, the uniquely charming capital of the archipelago, where you can enjoy a short walk around to get an insight into the way of life in this remote town. With a distinctly British feel, Stanley is home to lots of quaint cafes, pubs and souvenir shops, a fascinating museum and various historic sites.
Back to Ushuaia
As your adventure sadly comes to an end, we will spend a final day at sea sailing back towards Ushuaia. On the morning of day 21 you will awake to your ship gently cruising along the Beagle Channel into Ushuaia, and after breakfast it will be time to say goodbye as you disembark and transfer to the airport or to a downtown location should you wish to extend your time here.
A view from Above
The brand new (2018-19) “Greg Mortimer” is a purpose-built expedition vessel capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, and has been built to world-class polar standards. The Greg Mortimer redefines expedition cruising for the future, utilising the ULSTEIN X-BOW, a cutting edge nautical technology which allows for gentle travel and motion at sea, reduced vibrations, improved comfort and safety on board, virtual anchoring, lower fuel consumption and lower air emissions.
Robust, powerful, and built with passengers’ comfort and safety at the forefront of design, the Greg Mortimer features a modern ice-strengthened hull at ice class 1A, four sea-level launching platforms for fast and efficient access to Zodiacs, a custom-built activity platform, the most up-to-date and concise safety features including the latest ‘return to port’ technology, and has been built to meet and exceed the strict environment standards of the Polar Code, for non-intrusive and low-impact voyages.
For exceptional at sea wildlife and scenery viewing opportunities the ship has custom-built hydraulic platforms offering unobstructed views, an indoor observation lounge, side viewing platforms and an outdoor top deck which allows for 360-degree views.
With space for 132 passengers the ship has 80 well designed staterooms with en-suite bathrooms, ranging from porthole to balcony categories, a large dining room/restaurant with family style dining, a spacious lecture room, a well stocked library, Wellness Centre complete with gym equipment, sauna and spa, a multimedia room and a fully-stocked medical centre.
Setting sail for her maiden voyage in December 2022, this outstanding purpose-built expedition vessel honours the long-standing conservation efforts of the highly accomplished marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer, Sylvia Earle. Capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, the vessel has been built to world-class polar standards and utilises the ground-breaking ULSTEIN X-BOW technology which allows for faster, more comfortable travel, improved safety, reduced emissions and lower fuel consumption. The vessel boasts one of the lowest polluting marine engines in the world and also utilises virtual anchoring to protect the sea floor.
In terms of safety, the ship will feature industry-leading safety technology that exceeds the requirements for a ship of this size and will also feature world class return-to-port equipment and a fully-stocked medical clinic.
In terms of comfort onboard, the Sylvia Earle will be hard to beat. The vessel features a distinctive Glass Atrium Lounge at the bow of the ship with a stunning panoramic view on both port and starboard side, a swimming pool and jacuzzi where you can admire impressive scenery while watching the world go by. A gym, sauna and wellness centre add to the luxury touches onboard and there are various places to relax after a long day of adventures including a beautiful library and a number of bars, lounges and observation areas. Delicious meals will be served in the elegant dining room and presentations will be provided in the state-of-the-art lecture theatre.
With capacity for 132 passengers, the ship has 74 elegantly designed staterooms with en-suite bathrooms, ranging from porthole to balcony categories. Each cabin features stylish design, a flat screen TV, large comfortable beds, windows or balconies and closet spaces.
Please note - for now, images shown are artist impressions/renders only
we work hard to earn passionate reviews from our clients.
Now that I am back from my odyssey voyage, I thought I would let you know that after all that planning it really did exceed my expectations – we managed landings everywhere even on Tristan da Cuhna and had great bird sightings. The guides all knew what they were talking about too and made sure I got some great photos – still sorting them all out! Thanks for everything and see you at Birdfair!Dave Martin
Overall I think that it was an excellent trip that was well worth the price paid and I would have no hesitation recommending your company to others.Steve Sutton
Just a quick note to express my sincere thanks to you and all your staff for making this an epic adventure of immense proportions. Everything went smoothly, pickups, hotels and most of all the expedition itself. Truly a mind blowing experience unlike any I have ever taken.Mr J Borg, Malta
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