Greg Mortimer, Antarctic Explorer Cruise ex Punta Arenas Return

Antarctica

Details

8 Night Cruise sailing from King George Island to Punta Arenas aboard Greg Mortimer. Hotel stay pre-cruise in Punta Arenas.

8 Night Cruise sailing from King George Island to Punta Arenas aboard Greg Mortimer. Hotel stay pre-cruise in Punta Arenas.

Day 1 Arrive Punta Arenas
Arrive in Punta Arenas, where you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to your downtown hotel. Upon arrival at your included hotel, kindly remind hotel check-in staff to provide you with Aurora Expeditions cabin tags. Please clearly label the tags with your name and ship cabin number.

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.

Enjoy free time to explore Punta Arenas at your own pace and discover the town’s excellent restaurants. Between 5.00-7.00 pm, meet your fellow expeditioners at a Welcome Reception and Pre-Embarkation Briefing, where you will receive a mandatory IAATO (International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators) briefing and also learn about the proposed flight times and logistics for tomorrow. Afterwards, there’s free time to dine at your leisure. (Dinner not included).

Day 2 Fly Punta Arenas to King George Island
This morning, please ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. After breakfast, we will conduct our final, mandatory pre-embarkation health screening and COVID (rapid antigen) testing before commencing check-out procedures.

Afterwards, you will be transferred to Punta Arenas airport for our charter flight to King George Island, Antarctica (weather permitting). The flight will take approximately 1.5 hours.

On arrival into King George Island our expedition team is on hand to greet you for your Zodiac transfer to board the vessel. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings.

Note: King George Island is located at the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula in the South Shetland Islands and is one of the most remote places on Earth. A clear sky with perfect visibility is required for the plane to take off and land safely. We apologise in advance for any delays.

Days 3-6 Antarctic Peninsula
It’s almost impossible to describe the feeling of arriving in Antarctica. Spotting your first iceberg and taking a deep breath of some of the most fresh, crisp air on earth is an experience that will stay with you forever.

Once we arrive, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are ours to explore, and we have a host of choices available to us. Because we are so far south, we will experience approximately 18-24 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish.

Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.

We generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. You’ll want to rug up before joining Zodiac cruises along spectacular ice cliffs or among grounded icebergs, keeping watch for whales, seals and porpoising penguins. Zodiacs will also transport you from the ship to land, where you can visit penguin rookeries, discover historic huts and explore some of our favourite spots along the peninsula.

While ashore we aim to stretch our legs, wandering along pebbly beaches or perhaps up snow-covered ridgelines to vantage points with mountains towering overhead and ice-speckled oceans below. If you have chosen an optional activity, you’ll have the option to do that whenever conditions allow, and of course keen polar plungers will have the chance to fully immerse themselves in polar waters - conditions permitting!

In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, we may ship cruise some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to watch whales travelling or feeding. This is a great time to enjoy the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge (Captain's call) for uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendour. Keep an ear out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve their way from summit to sea. Take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of this incredible white continent.

Days 7-8 Drake Passage crossing
Enjoy a morning landing in Antarctica before commencing our 1.5-day crossing of the Drake Passage. With lectures and film presentations to complete our Antarctic experience, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the magic of Southern Ocean and the life that calls it home. There is time for reflection and discussion about what we have seen and experienced, and the impact this voyage has had on our attitude to life.

Day 9 Chilean Fjords
As we approach the tip of South America, our Captain may sail close to legendary Cape Horn, weather and time permitting. Sail through fjords and channels flanked by majestic mountains discovered by European explorers over 500 years ago. Keep a look out for seabirds and marine wildlife including dolphins, sea lions, and whales preparing to migrate to Antarctica to fatten up on plentiful krill.

Day 10 Disembarkation in Punta Arenas
During the early morning, we quietly slipping into dock in Punta Arenas, where we begin disembarking at around 8.00 am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow travellers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to your hotel in Punta Arenas or to the airport is included in the cost of the voyage.


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